Council, governor request nearly $40 million to support Wyoming’s economic growth, diversification

The executive council of ENDOW, an economic development initiative started by Wyoming governor Matt Mead, has announced its preliminary recommendations to diversify and grow the state’s economy, including statewide programs to support tech-based economic development that total more than $36 million. Notable among the recommendations are $6 million for a proposed Wyoming Research and Innovation Fund that provides matching funds as a way to leverage federal R&D opportunities and $5 million to develop a new organization called Startup:Wyoming, which would administer the Fund and provide support to entrepreneurs throughout the state.

Growth of technology-based startups helps power US economy

Despite concern that America’s entrepreneurial engine is severely damaged, new research from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) finds that the number of technology-based startups has grown by 47 percent from 2007 to 2016, with wage growth higher than the national average. Because of their high growth potential, the authors suggest that technology-based startups should be the primary focus of entrepreneurship policy.

Startup survey reveals faster growth, higher risk

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that startup firms (small businesses that were five-years-old or younger and had full- or part-time employees in 2016) were twice as likely to be adding jobs and growing revenues but more likely to be higher credit risk than mature firms. The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Startup Firms provides an in-depth look at the financing and credit experiences of the startups.

$35.6 billion invested globally in university spinouts between 2013-2016

Over the past four years, 1,668 deals involving university spinout companies from across the globe attracted approximately $35.6 billion from 2013 to 2016, according to a new report from Global University Venturing. The report, however, highlights that global deals peaked in 2014 with 529 deals and total investments dollars peaked in 2015 with nearly $14 billion invested. As the authors highlighted, these global numbers were unsustainable and 2016 saw significant declines in both deals and dollars. In 2016, the total deals reported were 407 (21.6 percent decrease from 2015) and dollars invested was $6.4 billion (a 54.3 percent decrease from 2015).

BX Challenge supports diverse entrepreneurs in Chicago area

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has announced its first cohort of eight organizations in the Chicago-area entrepreneurship challenge. Named the BX Challenge, up to $3 million in grant funding will be provided over three years to innovative organizations that effectively recruit and support diverse entrepreneurs and scale startups in the Chicago area. The selected programs will serve underserved populations, including communities of color, women, veterans, and immigrants.

Recent Research: Unicorns are routinely over-valued

In a market economy, what people are willing to pay determines something’s value. Airline tickets are a good example. For most of the major airlines, the price to purchase a seat the day of a flight seems to be some multiple of how much the airline thinks they can get away charging versus any drive to actually see the seat used. This supply-demand principle falls apart though with valuations set for startup companies funded by equity investors, such as angels or venture capitalists. In the risk capital business, a number of possible factors influences a startup company’s value – most tied to future markets, comparables, or dreams of big exits. Recent research from the University of British Columbia and Stanford University suggests just how surprisingly risky – and overly optimistic – this approach is.

Startup school provides wealth of free info

The traditional school season is ending across the country, but a new offering from Y Combinator (YC) does not follow a traditional path and instead allows students of startups the opportunity to participate from anywhere in an online course. The 10-week course, which began April 5, was open to startup founders, but the lectures are posted online weekly for “spectators.” Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley-based accelerator, explains on the course webpage that they thought the barrier to entry for people to start a startup is still too high, so they decided to share what they’ve learned through Startup School.

Arkansas targets science, tech growth

Arkansas has new tools targeting growth in the state’s innovation and technology sector after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed legislation creating a $2 million accelerator grant program for startups and establishing a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) matching funds program. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Division of Science and Technology will administer the programs and seek corporate sponsors to provide matching funds to create accelerator events throughout the state.

Philly collaboration aims to accelerate business

Tuesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking on a new building in Philadelphia marks the foundation of a new collaboration between a number of players that are hoping to accelerate the innovation community in the city. University City Science Center (UCSC), an SSTI member that has operated in Philadelphia for 54 years, is partnering with the Boston-area Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) as well as Wexford Science and Technology on a new space that will create a stronger group of serial entrepreneurs and increase the level of investment in the community, said UCSC President and CEO Stephen Tang.

Startup Founders Chase Growth, Acquisition by Tech Giants, Study Finds

While the majority of founders say the tech industry is in a bubble (57 percent of respondents),  nine out of 10 founders believe that it’s a good time to be starting a company and are highly optimistic about their own firms’ futures, according to State of Startups for 2016 from First Round Capital – a seed-stage venture firm.


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