The StartupBus: The True Story Of 12 Strangers Building Three Startups, Getting Real

Link: The StartupBus: The True Story Of 12 Strangers Building Three Startups, Getting Real

We recently came across The StartupBus, a Startup Weekend-like initiative, except that it involves a bus and a roadtrip. The program will bring together 12 strangers to drive from San Francisco to in Austin around the 12th of March, in time for the Interactive portion of the SXSW festival. The idea is for the entrepreneurs to present ideas and actually develop three different startups during the two to three day bus ride to Texas.

The founder of StartupBus, Elias Bizannes (he works for Vast.com) will handpick the twelve individuals. Bizannes thinks of it as a “startup camp” of sorts but on a bus. According to the StartupBus’s site, the bus will have lounges, bunk beds to rest, a kitchen, and WIFI. Any participating entrepreneur is required to put the startup they end up developing up for auction at the end of the process, to “enable people in the team to exit.”

The StartupBus: The True Story Of 12 Strangers Building Three Startups, Getting Real

Link: The StartupBus: The True Story Of 12 Strangers Building Three Startups, Getting Real

We recently came across The StartupBus, a Startup Weekend-like initiative, except that it involves a bus and a roadtrip. The program will bring together 12 strangers to drive from San Francisco to in Austin around the 12th of March, in time for the Interactive portion of the SXSW festival. The idea is for the entrepreneurs to present ideas and actually develop three different startups during the two to three day bus ride to Texas.

The founder of StartupBus, Elias Bizannes (he works for Vast.com) will handpick the twelve individuals. Bizannes thinks of it as a “startup camp” of sorts but on a bus. According to the StartupBus’s site, the bus will have lounges, bunk beds to rest, a kitchen, and WIFI. Any participating entrepreneur is required to put the startup they end up developing up for auction at the end of the process, to “enable people in the team to exit.”

Red Herring Global 100 Award

Link: Red Herring Global 100 Award

Red Herring, one of the top media companies covering innovation, technology, financing and entrepreneurial activity released their Global 100 awards winners list recently. The awards go to most promising and innovative startups around the world.

How to turn your skills into services that people will pay for

Link: How to turn your skills into services that people will pay for

In a survey of over 1,000 people that I recently did, the #1 reason people don’t start earning money on the side is this: They don’t know what to do.

How do you take your skills and turn them into something that people will pay for? Let’s say you have a full-time job as a project manager or salesperson or software engineer. How can you help that make you $200/month, $500/month, or even $5,000/month on the side?

I want you to pay attention: This is the #1 barrier because it is the hardest step. It’s not some simple 1-2-3 checklist, which is what most people want: a one-size-fits-all solution that they can blindly follow to start earning money. But because it’s so challenging, the rewards are disproportionately large. That’s because 90%+ of people will wash out at this step, leaving the few, the proud, and the now-earning-a-lot-on-the-side.

12 Free Web 2.0 Startups That Help Manage Small Businesses

Link: 12 Free Web 2.0 Startups That Help Manage Small Businesses

Anyone who lived through the late 90’s remembers the endless barrage of buzzwords about computerized productivity. “The paperless office” and “e-business” are but a few of the slogans capturing how the Internet was going to revolutionize our work. Annoying as these slogans became, the ideals behind them were unquestionably desirable. Who wouldn’t want to work in a paperless office? Reality hasn’t fully caught up to these ideals, but various Web 2.0 startups have come awfully close. Today we take a look at 12 services that help small businesses operate more efficiently and inexpensively. Neglect them at your peril, because your competitors surely haven’t!

Top 10 business ideas & opportunities for 2010

Link: Top 10 business ideas & opportunities for 2010

1. Small-scale food production using membership models

The past year or two saw a huge increase in innovative, upscale mobile food purveyors working from trucks and selling everything from premium ice-cream to Korean BBQ tacos. Requiring an even lower investment, the next wave could be small-scale culinary subscription services, which allow fledgling entrepreneurs to get a foothold in the food business, and create a steady income and a loyal client base for future business activities.
Milk Made »Dulcinea »

2. Low impact advertising

Realising that green concerns are here to stay, British media agency Curb offers nothing but low-impact advertising. Its first service used rainwater to clean logos into grubby pavements, and was quickly followed by other techniques that use sand, sea water, grass, glow-in-the-dark funghi and more to broadcast their clients’ messages in an earth-friendly manner.
Curb »

3. Health tracking devices

From wireless headbands that track sleep patterns to wearable gadgets that track every move, an increasing number of options is available for people who want to track their own health-related behaviour. Recording and relaying detailed information that was previously only available through medical monitoring, most of these devices aren’t yet available worldwide, which creates a host of opportunities for distributors and localized versions.
Zeo »Fitbit »DirectLife »TheCarrot.com »Bedpost »

4. Sample stores, cafes & vending machines

Sophisticated sampling—dubbed tryvertising by trendwatching.com—isn’t new. On the rise, however, are dedicated spaces that facilitate sampling by a variety of brands, attracting consumers through the irresistible offer of free goods. Following sampling stores in Spain, sampling cafes in Tokyo and sample vending machines in Belgium, we suspect this concept will spread even further in 2010.
Esloúltimo »L CAFE »Boobox »

5. Discreet rooftop solar panels and wind turbines

While most homeowners would in theory like to generate their own wind or solar power, many are put off not just by cost, but by the aesthetic impact of wind turbines and solar panels. Aiming to resolve that problem are smart engineers who are creating new options that blend in with their environment. Two promising examples: rooftop wind turbines that almost disappear along the apex of a sloping roof, and solar panels shaped like traditional clay roof tiles. Plenty of opportunities here over the next decade, both in distribution and in the development of similar products.
Solé Power Tile »Ridgeblade »

6. Rotating retail at airports and in malls

Pop-up, temporary retail is still going strong, but a new alternative has entered the game: rotating retail. Two spottings: opening soon in Glasgow Airport is Planeshop, a permanent store that brands will take over for a limited time, including changing the shop’s exterior graphics to match their identity. And in the Netherlands, BrandNew Stores aims to turn those fleeting pop-up shops into a chain concept, creating fixed spaces where brands can temporarily present themselves in a regular retail environment.
Planeshop »BrandNew Stores »

7. Remote farming for consumers

According to Wikipedia, farm simulation game FarmVille has become the most popular game application on Facebook with 73.8 million active users in January 2010. Offering consumers a way to remotely control a patch of land that will actually provide them with an edible harvest is a new Italian start-up: Le Verdure Del Mio Orto, which lets anyone build an organic garden right from their web browser. As the produce grows, it’s picked and delivered to the customer’s door within 24 hours. Weekly deliveries are part of the package.
Le Verdure Del Mio Orto »

8. Connecting creative consumers with local fabricators

A partnership between New Zealand-based Ponoko and North Carolina-based ShopBot Tools, 100kGarages is a community of workshops distributed around the world that are equipped with the digital fabrication tools needed to precisely cut, machine, drill or sculpt the components of virtually any creative project. The network allows designers or consumers turn their ideas into physical products, and creates new business for small workshops.
100kGarages »

9. Paying consumers to promote products they use and love

As our sister-site trendwatching.com pointed out in its sellsumers briefing, selling is the new saving: a recession-induced need for cash plus an ever-growing infrastructure are fueling concepts that help ordinary consumers make money instead of spending it. One of the easiest ways to do so is by taking on the role of marketeer for products they already use and love: from promoting concerts by their favourite bands, to helping small companies launch new products.
Hollrr »People’s Music Store »Posse »Looklet »

10. Single-use toilet bag turns human waste into fertilizer

While this is a numbered list, we love all of these ideas equally. So, last but not least, a potential solution to a problem that 2.6 billion people have to deal with: no access to a toilet. Designed for use sitting, squatting or standing, the single-use, biodegradable plastic Peepoo bag is lined with a urea-coated gauze layer that disinfects all waste. Used bags are odour-free for at least 24 hours and are safe for burial underground. Within two to four weeks after use, their contents are converted to high-quality fertiliser—something that’s also rare in many areas and could become a source of income and further enrichment for individuals or villages.
Peepoo bag »

10 Green Startups to Watch

Link: 10 Green Startups to Watch

AltaRock Energy

Sausalito, California-based AltaRock Energy has capitalized on the alternative energy craze with a bid to make Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) a viable alternative to fossil fuel-based power.

Hara

This Al Gore-backed startup plays to the growing corporate desire to keep track of CO2 emissions for both carbon regulation and CSR purposes.

Imara

Lithium-ion battery makers may still cater to a niche market, but demand is about to explode as the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles roll off production lines.

Integrity Block

Integrity Block, a startup that manufactures the sustainable answer to the standard concrete block. Integrity Block’s building blocks are made out of a proprietary soil composite that contain 50% recycled content and require 40% less energy to manufacture.

Industrial Origami

This San Francisco-based startup merges metal with origami to make cheap and efficient sheet metal-based products. The company cuts “smiles” (tabs) into thin pieces of sheet metal so that the material can be folded into complex structures using as few components as possible.

SOMS Technologies

We don’t all drive electric vehicles quite yet, and in the meantime, SOMS Technologies thinks its high-efficiency engine oil filter can seriously cut down on oil use. It may not be the sexiest green tech innovation, but its the first major upgrade to the standard oil filter since the 1970s.

Tendril

One of the most promising (and well-funded) startups is Tendril, a 5-year old company that has raised over $40 million for its suite of energy management hardware and software solutions. Among Tendril’s products: a smart thermostat, web-based energy portal, in-home energy display, smart outlets, and cell-phone apps that let customers keep track of energy use and remotely turn appliances on and off.

Oree

Oree, an Israeli startup, its trying its hand in the LED market with a flexible, credit-card sized bulb that the company claims is cheaper and more efficient than competing LEDs.

Calstar

Another major entrant in the burgeoning green building material industry is Calstar, a Foundation Capital-backed startup that makes low-energy, low-CO2 bricks from sand and fly-ash—a byproduct of burning coal.

Calera

Founded in 2007, this Los Gatos, CA-based startup claims that it has developed a process to turn CO2 from sources like coal power plants into replacement for Portland cement.

5 Trends in 2009’s Startups

Link: 5 Trends in 2009’s Startups

Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs

Link: Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs

Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Link: Social Media Guide for Small Businesses