Entrepreneurial

Cloud technology lifts “accidental” entrepreneur

– Cindy Bates is vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. SMB organization where she is responsible for the company’s end-to-end SMB sales and marketing efforts. The views expressed are her own. –

Recovery from the recession has been frustratingly slow for many whose jobs disappeared as companies shrank or even vanished.  Many have decided to take the plunge and start their own businesses.

This generation of business executives has become known as “accidental entrepreneurs.”  But a recent Microsoft survey discovered their ability to launch and succeed in a business was no accident – it was made possible to a great extent by technology.

The survey found that nearly one-third of the business owners who established their companies during the recession were full-time employees prior to launching business ventures. Half said the recession impacted their decisions to start their own businesses; nearly three-quarters are going it alone, without any employees.

A large proportion of these entrepreneurs reported that technology made it possible for them to start their businesses. In fact, 30 percent said they would have been less likely to start a business without the advantage of today’s technologies.

Will the next Google be started by a woman?

The following is a guest post by Tereza Nemessanyi, founder and CEO of Honestly Now Inc., a web and mobile social media platform which will release its beta product to the market in September. The opinions expressed are her own.

After decades investing in “white male nerds who’ve dropped out of Harvard or Stanford,” venture capitalist John Doerr broke a pattern in July: he invested in a woman.

Not that Kathy Savitt was a risky bet.

The former CEO of American Eagle Outfitters and a senior executive at Amazon, Savitt built Lockerz.com, a social networking and commerce site for ages 13 to 30. She grew it from 50 college and high school students to 15.5 million users in less than twelve months, leveraging natural networks of friends and social influence. In the web technology world, she’s a rock star.

VIDEO: New class of startup aims for quick revenues

peHub‘s Dan Primack spoke with Reuters about a new kind of startup that’s designed to develop an idea and then be snapped up by a larger company.

As Primack explains, these startups differ from the traditional sort in that they tend to be interested in creating targeted web services or applications rather than conventional companies with longer-term growth ambitions.

“The hope for these companies isn’t to create the next Google or the next Cisco, the goal is to create a little application that Google or Cisco or Facebook or Twitter wants and then will purchase,” he explains.

Experts weigh in on Twitter-based shopping site

IMshopping's Twitter pageYesterday we presented entrepreneur Prashant Nedungadi (read his entrepreneur journal) and his startup website IMshopping.com, which offers a platform whereby consumers can ask specific retail-related questions, through the website directly or via Twitter, and have them answered by an online community of retail experts. (click here to read Nedungadi’s pitch)

Nedungadi launched his website last April and has already received $4.7 million in venture capital investment from SK Telecom, but now needs to find retailers willing to pay to utilize his virtual sales force instead of going the traditional route and hiring their own sales people.

Our panel of experts have watched Nedungadi’s pitch video and gave us their reaction to IMshopping and Nedungadi’s business model.

Connecting local in a globalized world

SocialightImagine you leave a restaurant and would like to share your thoughts with anyone nearby, or picture yourself standing in an unknown place while reading notes that have been left there from previous visitors or even your friends.

“Urban spaces are increasingly densely populated,” said Dan Melinger, a resident of New York City. “People live in these spaces but may not even know what their neighbors think of the environment that they share.”

By leveraging existing technologies, socialight.com offers a platform that allows people to connect and share the content that is important to them, and allows brands to provide content related to the areas they and their customers inhabit.

Are your business plans more secure than Twitter’s?

lockIt’s not every day that a privately-owned company’s internal financial laundry is scattered across the Web for all to see.

But that’s the unfortunate scenario microblogging startup Twitter found itself in on Wednesday after technology news site TechCrunch published a slew of the company’s confidential business documents.

The files, sent to the site by a hacker who managed to gain access to some of the company’s servers, included everything from plans to launch a Twitter reality television show to notes from its executive meetings to a detailed financial outlook from February.

Seattle startup looks for customers in the cloud

newlineWhat would happen if your laptop was lost, stolen or accidentally dropped in a pool? Would you be able to easily retrieve all the megabytes of precious content housed in its memory banks?

These are the questions that drove Seattle software developer Kory Gill to leave an almost 20-year career at Microsoft and start his own online data-storage company. For years, Gill has sought a Web-based storage solution that would safeguard his priceless family photos, home movies and other important digital data, but never found a single solution that addressed all his specific needs.

“If these are irreplaceable files, you need to have the same type of insurance for your data as you would of any other asset, like your home or car,” said Gill, who often shared his frustrations with friend and fellow Microsoft programmer Marius Nita.

Young entrepreneurs to watch in the tech sector

Bill Gates was 19 when he came up with the idea for Microsoft. Michael Dell was the same age when he started selling computers out of his dorm room. Who are the teenagers and 20-somethings trying to hatch the big tech and media ideas of tomorrow?

paidContent.org has compiled a list of likely candidates under the age of 21, from web design impresarios to “pimp my MySpace” tycoons.  Taking advantage of the Web’s low barriers to entry means that you often only need a really good idea. catherinecook_woCatherine Cook

Age: 19
Company: myYearbook

Some great ideas come from analysis and introspection. For siblings Catherine and David Cook, it was the result of a snarky comment. “My brother David and I were flipping through our high-school yearbook during my freshman year,” Catherine recalls. “We were looking for a girl in his class—I think he liked her—and he was trying to show me who she was. Once we finally got to the picture he was like, ‘She looks nothing like that.’”

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