Startup Guide Vienna: how this Central Europe hub combines quality of life with entrepreneurial drive - YourStory

Startup Guide Vienna: how this Central Europe hub combines quality of life with entrepreneurial drive - YourStoryStartup Guide Vienna: how this Central Europe hub combines quality of life with entrepreneurial drive - YourStoryPosted: 28 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTLaunched in 2012, YourStory'sBook Reviewsection features over 250 titles on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital transformation. See also our related columnsThe Turning Point,Techie Tuesdays,andStorybites.The Startup Guide series of books, launched in 2014 by Copenhagen-based publisher Sissel Hansen, covers over 25 cities such as London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Oslo, and Miami. See our reviews of the guidebooks for New York,Berlin,Munich,Zurich, Paris,Stockholm,Johannesburg, Cairo,Tokyo,Bangkok, and Singapore.Startup Guide Vienna is spread across 225 pages and makes for an informative and entertaining read, with profiles of founders, co-working spaces, incubators, and other ecosystem players.The 2017 edition of the …

Finally, Microsoft begs you: Stop using Internet Explorer - Norman Transcript

Finally, Microsoft begs you: Stop using Internet Explorer - Norman Transcript

Finally, Microsoft begs you: Stop using Internet Explorer - Norman Transcript

Posted: 11 Aug 2019 05:15 AM PDT

Internet Exploder. That's what we used to call it in the I.T. security community, back in "the day."

Microsoft's browser, called "Internet Explorer," was so buggy, so insecure, so problematic and prone to crashing that it seemed to blow itself up without warning. Hence, the moniker, "Internet Exploder."

Some of you might remember the "browser wars" of the late 1990's when an uppity company called Netscape introduced its product called Netscape Navigator. Back then, the Internet was just starting to ramp up in the public consciousness. "Browsers," like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, offered easy ways to "browse" the hundreds and thousands of Internet websites that were starting to appear.

At the time, Microsoft was the world's dominant computer company, but had not really embraced the idea of the "Internet" way of doing things. In fact, in his book "The Road Ahead," Bill Gates brushed off the Internet as a mere stepping stone to what he saw as "the real information superhighway," which he promoted as being MSN (the Microsoft Network). Of course, his main competitors at the time, Compuserve and AOL (America Online) were not pleased with his opinion.

One month after his book hit the stores, and realizing the Internet was becoming a force that Microsoft could not control, Gates released a "Completely Revised and Up-to-Date" version of his book in October, 1996.

Then came the "Browser Wars." Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser, was transformed into Netscape Navigator by Jim Clark and Marc Andreesson. Netscape Navigator was widely loved and used (especially by me), but Microsoft had different ideas. Before long, Microsoft used its corporate might to crush the upstart Netscape, and push it into oblivion.

Even though Netscape Navigator was clearly the superior browser, and did a better job of taking you to and showing you the rapidly developing World Wide Web (WWW) of websites, it could not stand up to the overwhelming might of the Microsoft machine.

Microsoft, because of its unethical practices, was sued in 2001, in "United States v. Microsoft Corp," and found guilty of monopolization and attempted monopolization. Still, its massive promotional juggernaut was not to be denied.

After all was said and done, in spite of everything, Internet Explorer became the most widely used browser in the world, mainly because, if you wanted to use Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer was pitched as the only way to go. Browser war, over.

Ah, Internet Explorer. An almost nostalgic sigh occurs at the sight of its familiar and comfortable blue lower-case "e." Internet Explorer: the browser that won, not because it was the best product, but because it had the most powerful marketing department. A classic David and Goliath tale that went the wrong way.

Fast forward 23 years. We are blessed that super-smart programmers have taken the original Netscape Navigator browser and transformed it into the Internet's best browser: Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer, plodding, fumbling and bungling its way along, dominated the browser scene, not because of product superiority, but because of marketing might.

The Google Chrome browser jumped into first place, again, not because it's the better product, but because it now has the most powerful marketing machine.

And here we are, 2019, with Microsoft calling it quits with Internet Explorer. Earlier this year, Microsoft bigwigs declared Internet Explorer dead, saying it should no longer be used as a general Internet website browser. Search for "Microsoft says stop using Internet Explorer," if you want the story's ugly details.

As an Internet problem, this is huge. I fear I understate the problem, as it is massive in its global impact, beyond the comprehension of normal Internet users. For years, entire corporate structures have been built on the Internet Explorer protocols, depending on them as a solid way for their employees to connect remotely to their internal corporate networks.

With Microsoft declaring Internet Explorer dead, big time corporate structures are up the proverbial creek with crap for a paddle.

What are "normal," everyday Mom and Pop folks and small business users to do? Stop using Internet Explorer. Just stop. I've been preaching this sermon for years. The time is now. Stop using Internet Explorer. Forever and ever. Long live Firefox. The end. Amen.

Dave Moore has been fixing computers in Oklahoma since 1984. Founder of the nonprofit Internet Safety Group Ltd., he also teaches Internet safety community training workshops. He can be reached at 919-9901 or

Great part time online job ideas for start-up entrepreneurs - eSellerCafe

Posted: 19 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT


Have you ever dreamt of becoming a start-up entrepreneur and breaking from the chains of being a corporate slave? The great news is that you can actually have a part-time online job that you can do as a start-up entrepreneur. With determination and grit, you can have a great part-time online job that can even help you with your entrepreneurial aspirations. Here are some ideas on part-time online jobs, most especially for start-up entrepreneurs:

1. E-Commerce

Right now, the next booming industry is the e-commerce industry. E-commerce is simply the process of buying and selling products on electronic mediums such as the internet or mobile applications.

As a start-up entrepreneur, you might have products that you've created. If you have any product that you want to sell, you can do this through e-commerce. It's very simple: you just need to take photos of your products and post them online. Once someone is interested to buy, they can simply message you. In turn, you can process payments and ship the product to their delivery address. All of this you can just do in the comfort of your own home. There are many legitimate work from home opportunities that you can find online just by doing research.

2. Graphic Designing

If you have talent in the creative side, you can do some freelance graphic designing as well. It's very convenient these days to be a start-up entrepreneur and open your own online store as a freelance graphic designer. You just need to make an Instagram and use it as your own online store and portfolio.

Even if you don't have a formal background in graphic designing, you can still do this. Graphic designing is also relatively easy to learn if you have the time and motivation for it. There are various graphic design programs that can allow you to create images, and you can get paid for doing what you like.

Entrepreneur brainstorm session

3. Website Development

Right now, website development is very in demand since almost every business has to be where the people are, which is online. If you know how to code, it can be a very valuable skill to be able to build websites. You can actually learn this online for free by taking online courses.

Once you understand the language of Ruby, Python, HTML, Javascript, or CSS, you can already start taking on projects to build websites. You can actually start your own website advertising your skills and doing this as a start-up entrepreneur, all in the comfort of your own home.

4. Teaching Online Courses

We've seen this done many times before. If you have a passion for teaching, you will also be able to do this as a start-up online. All you have to do is build a website and post skills that you can teach others. An online school is as useful as a traditional school. This will also cater to those who have jobs and don't have time to go to a traditional school.

If you have the skills, you can teach these subjects online on your own. On the other hand, if you don't have skills, you can still hire other people to host the online classes and manage the website. There are many people who are looking to take classes online. You just have to figure out which skills people want to learn and how you'll provide it for them. Again, you can do this without having to go outside your house or having a physical office.

5. Instagram Marketing

With the rise of social media came along the rise of social media managers as well. You can have a start-up by being a social media manager for several Instagram websites. You will be surprised by how quickly you'll be approached by brands to manage their Instagram pages.

As a start-up entrepreneur for Instagram marketing, you could potentially earn significant income through brand sponsorships. Lots of companies have a social media presence with the constant need to help keep customers happy. These companies need other people to manage the influx of traffic in their social media sites nowadays.


Depending on your skills, you can take on a start-up online anytime. Almost any kind of business nowadays is possible to do online if you are determined enough. The part time online jobs for start-up entrepreneurs listed above can give you some ideas when you want to begin your own online business on the side. With just a little bit of grit and a whole lot of patience, you can surely begin your entrepreneurial endeavours and gain success over time.

HBC incubates entrepreneurs in Clark-Fulton - Crain's Cleveland Business

Posted: 10 Aug 2019 01:00 AM PDT

Sometime during his teenage years in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Delfin Carasquillo decided he wanted to be a clothing designer. He had been following the Instagram accounts of artists in San Juan, Miami and New York. Upon moving to Cleveland with his family, he decided he'd pursue such a career himself.

Arriving in the States, Carasquillo had little money, save for his father's. He had no concrete college plans, nor was he fluent in English. But he did have a dream: to one day operate on a binational level.

"I want to one day go to San Juan," he explained, sitting at a table at Las Tienditas, a hub for Latin small business in Cleveland's Clark-Fulton neighborhood. "One day, I see myself here. And I see myself there."

For someone like Carrasquillo, the reality of growing a boutique clothing brand, or any other business, isn't as simple as opening an Instagram account, although that's a necessity.

There are Ohio codes to be followed, proper bookkeeping practices to be learned. If you have a restaurant, how do you maintain a rapport with the health inspector? How do you speak (in English) to a good accountant? More importantly, how can you make sure that accountant isn't manipulating you in some nefarious way?

This is where the Hispanic Business Center steps in. Composed entirely of bilingual staff privy to the going-ons of Clark-Fulton's Hispanic community, HBC's primary function — incubating Latin-owned business ideas into eventual brick-and-mortar operations — may be needed more than ever.

In the midst of an $8.3 million, 21-kiosk Centro Villa 25 (also known as "El Mercado") installment on West 25th Street, a swath of young Hispanic entrepreneurs in their teens and 20s are hoping to take the reins on small business development in time for Centro Villa's slated completion in 2020. And HBC is here to spark them.

Jenice Contreras, executive director of the HBC and a native of the Clark- Fulton community, said the center's incubation process for would-be Latin-American entrepreneurs is just part of the economic leg-up.

Grants from $1,000 and up are awarded to applicants based on prowess and creativity, and rent is paid for at the Las Tienditas hub for six months. How to talk to customers? Yes. How to understand and speak specific English business terms? Sure, if needed.

"I like to say we provide business support in a nonjudgmental way," Contreras said in a phone interview in July. "We want (them) to learn financials, growth strategies. I want to first of all know things like, 'What are your long-term goals?' We're going to drill (our applicants) like that."

It was through the HBC, located on the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 25th, that 22-year-old Lalo Rodriguez found the path from idea to incubation to brick-and-mortar and his own coffee shop. Called Café Social Latinoamericano, Rodriguez's Mexico-inspired cafe — he grew up in Venezuela and Guanajuato, Mexico — is a pan-Latin-American pastry shop and coffee counter that serves family-inspired flan, panna cotta and passionfruit parchita cake, among other treats. All of Rodriguez's offerings follow a specific set of rules: They're all from Latin America, and their sales support programs that give back to their respective communities.

After attending Cleveland Institute of Art for two-and-a-half years as a sculpture student, Rodriguez decided to take a different direction. With assistance from the HBC and his father, he opened his cafe in September 2018, at the back of Las Dos Fronteras Mexican Restaurant on Fulton Road.

He's just broken even so far, and at times the path has been "a little bit rocky," he admitted.

"When you come to a personal business, you really do it all," he added. With HBC, "it was kind of a cool mix of deciding the place, learning financials, advertisements, knowing how to make the drinks."

He doesn't recommend anyone like him trying to go it solo, without tapping into the resources available. "Let's just say that looking stuff up on the internet will only get you so far," he said.

As for Carrasquillo, who worked directly under HBC coordinator Randy Cedeño, the mentorship was a crash course in coming-of-age entrepreneurship.

Though less than a year out of his HBC guidance, he is still laboring toward his markers for success: to save growth cash ($340 on a recent order of T-shirts); working second shift at National Safety Apparel; to expand his online store on Big Cartel; to network with admired designers on Instagram, such as Cülturä Clothing Co. in Cleveland or Fred the Key Streetwear in Miami — the latter an idol of his.

"Todos operan en niveles," Carrasquillo said. Everything operates in levels. "To manage your business correctly, you have to know exactly what you have to do, what you must experience."

His San Juan boutique is still on the horizon, but he's not about to give up.

"It's not totally impossible," he said. "You just need the contacts."

Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2019 - Forbes

Posted: 16 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Produced in partnership with TrueBridge Capital Partners.

Each year for the past five, Forbes has searched the country for the 25 fast-growing, venture-backed startups most likely to reach $1 billion in value. Graduates include: food delivery service DoorDash, home seller Opendoor, luggage brand Away and synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks. 

This year, with the help of TrueBridge Capital Partners, we scoured the country again for budding unicorns. TrueBridge analyzed the finances of more than 150 startups, then our reporters dug deeper. That research caught problems at San Francisco-based Cleo, a parenting app with a troubled workplace and a CEO who lied about her age and background. The company was removed from consideration after our investigation, and its CEO resigned in mid-June. (The full story is here.)

7 Unicorns, A $2.6 Billion Acquisition And 1 FBI Raid: This Year In Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups

These Forbes 30 Under 30 Founders Are Now Running The Next Billion-Dollar Startups

Why Only Two Companies Founded By Women Made The Cut

Cryptocurrency Crimefighter Chainalysis Becomes First Blockchain Company To Make The Cut

The Next Billion-Dollar Startups: Where Are They Now? Exit Edition

3 Major Industries And Their Next-Gen Disruptors


FOUNDERS: Michael Gronager (CEO), Jonathan Levin, Jan Moller

EQUITY RAISED: $53 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $8 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Accel, Benchmark

New York-based Chainalysis makes cryptocurrency investigation software that can shine light on how people use bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and more. Financial institutions use the technology to screen customers and comply with regulations designed to prevent money laundering, while government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation can identify illicit transactions and investigate alleged criminals. Before teaming up to found Chainalysis, CEO Michael Gronager, 49, cofounded cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, while CTO Jan Moller, 47, built the Mycelium cryptocurrency wallet.


FOUNDERS: Arshan Dabirsiaghi, Jeff Williams; CEO: Alan Naumann

EQUITY RAISED: $122 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $25 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Acero Capital, Battery Ventures, General Catalyst, Warburg Pincus

In 2010, software security analyst Jeff Williams, 52, started dedicating resources at his consultancy, Aspect, to developing a program that would automate software security analysis. In 2014, he and former Aspect analyst Arshan Dabirsiaghi, 36, founded Los Altos, California-based Contrast Security to monitor the code within running apps and directly notify developers of potential vulnerabilities. "The work that previously had to go through security experts now goes directly to developers," says Dabirsiaghi, now the company's chief scientist. In 2016, the company brought in an outside chief executive, Alan Naumann, formerly CEO of online fraud detection startup 41st Parameter, to expand the business.


FOUNDERS: Lior Div (CEO), Yossi Naar, Yonatan Striem-Amit

EQUITY RAISED: $189 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $50 million

LEAD INVESTORS: CRV, Lockheed Martin, Softbank, Spark Capital

Cofounders Lior Div, Yossi Naar, and Yonatan Striem-Amit met during their service in the Israel Defense Forces' elite intelligence unit, Unit 8200, fertile ground for many high-tech startups. While working on cybersecurity in the military, they came up with the idea for Cybereason, a cloud-based cybersecurity platform specializing in continuous monitoring and response to advanced cybersecurity threats. The company launched in 2012, and relocated from Israel to Boston the next year. "You provide value by helping a big organization not to be in the news as someone that gets hacked," says Div, 41. 


FOUNDERS: Paras Chitrakar, Jason Wilk (CEO), John Wolanin

EQUITY RAISED: $13 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $19 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Mark Cuban, Section 32

As a college student at Loyola Marymount University, Jason Wilk, now 34, blew through his budget, collecting overdraft fees. Wilk, an avid "Redditor," saw that overdraft fees are a common complaint among users. So in 2016, he founded Dave, short for David, who beat Goliath, which Wilk sees as the big banks. The app tracks expenses and warns when a user's account is in danger of being overdrawn. It hit a nerve: Dave was Apple's "app of the day" in April 2017, and has been downloaded nearly 10 million times in two years. "Entrepreneurs can keep their ear to the ground for the next idea," Wilk says. "Any idea that can be Reddit tested is a good place to start."


FOUNDERS: Blake Murray (CEO), Alex Bean

EQUITY RAISED: $257 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $8 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Insight Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Pelion Venture Partners  

Expense tracking service Divvy is taking on Concur and Expensify by offering its budgeting, fraud detection, and spend management tools for free. Instead of charging per user, Lehi, Utah-based Divvy gives businesses custom Mastercards and takes a cut of merchants' fees to the bank when people make purchases. Founders (and high school buddies) Alex Bean and Blake Murray, both 35, have won over more than 3,000 corporate customers so far, including WordPress, Evernote and Qualtrics. 


FOUNDERS: Luis von Ahn (CEO), Severin Hacker

EQUITY RAISED: $108 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $36 million

LEAD INVESTORS: CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures

The world's most popular digital language-learning tool, seven-year-old Duolingo has 28 million monthly active users. Most use the free version of its gamified courses. Revenue, largely from subscription fees from ad-free Duolingo Plus, is expected to double this year. CEO Luis von Ahn, 39, is a 2006 winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant and a former Carnegie Mellon computer science professor. Before founding Pittsburgh-based Duolingo, he sold two inventions to Google, including reCAPTCHA, the software that spits out the squiggly lines you type to alert a website that you are not a bot. An immigrant from Guatemala City who says learning English transformed his life, he's driven to offer free language education to the masses. For our feature on Duolingo, click here.


FOUNDERS: Marcelo Cortes, Daniele Perito, Max Rhodes (CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $116 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $100 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Forerunner Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Y Combinator 

In a bid to help mom-and-pop stores survive in the age of Amazon, Faire wants to take the risk and hassle out of wholesale purchasing. The San Francisco-based company helps retailers discover and buy new products online, and will accept free returns from them within 60 days for items that don't sell. Today, it offers 5,000 brands to 35,000 stores. CEO Max Rhodes, a 32-year-old former Square employee, came up with the idea after he started working with a New Zealand-based umbrella brand and spent thousands of dollars to sit at a tradeshow booth to convince U.S. store owners to stock the high-end umbrellas.


FOUNDERS: Dylan Field (CEO), Evan Wallace

EQUITY RAISED: $83 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $3 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Greylock, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia

Figma wants to move design online, casting aside the old model of software downloads and siloed creation in favor of a browser-based tool where designers can work and collaborate together. Founders Evan Wallace, 29, and Dylan Field, 27, met at Brown University—Wallace graduated, Field dropped out with a Thiel Fellowship—and launched the San Francisco-based company in 2012. Five years later, Figma started charging professionals to use its product. (Individuals are still free.) Today, professionals pay $12 per editor per month and businesses $45 per editor month to use Figma. More than 5,000 teams, at companies like Microsoft, Volvo, Uber and Square, are users. "Design is like this viral infectant because once your competitor is well-designed, you have to be well-designed, otherwise you'll be disrupted," says Field.


FOUNDERS: Arun Chandrasekaran, Matt Elenjickal (CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $101 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $16 million

LEAD INVESTORS: August Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners

Matt Elenjickal, 37, a logistics geek with an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, founded FourKites in 2014 to help companies know where their deliveries are, when they'll arrive and what's going on along the way. Its predictive supply-chain management software is now used by more than 260 of the world's top shippers — and upwards of 500,000 loads per day — including Best Buy, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Smithfield Foods. "If you are a shipper, once the truck leaves your facility you have no idea what is happening," Elenjickal says. "That is how supply chains are run even now without a solution like FourKites. You cannot compete against Amazon."


FOUNDERS: Mathilde Collin (CEO), Laurent Perrin

EQUITY RAISED: $79 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $16 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Sequoia, Uncork Capital

Mathilde Collin, an alumna of Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, got the idea for Front while at her first job after graduate school. "I saw how much time was wasted with people sorting through their emails," she says. So in 2013, she launched the San Francisco-based startup to help companies become more productive with a shared email inbox that incorporates Facebook, Twitter and SMS, and encourages team collaboration. Today, Front has 5,000 customers including Shopify, MailChimp and Stripe.


FOUNDERS: Sung Ho Choi, David Gandler (CEO), Alberto Horihuela

EQUITY RAISED: $145 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $74 million

LEAD INVESTORS: 21st Century Fox, Northzone, Sky

David Gandler, 44, a longtime network sales exec, launched FuboTV in 2015 to tap into pent-up demand in the United States for overseas soccer leagues. FuboTV offered live streams of soccer channels such as GolTV and Benfica TV to start, then expanded programming through deals with beIN Sports and Univision. Today, New York-based FuboTV is generally a cheaper alternative to cable (starting at $54.99 a month) that offers more than 90 channels.


FOUNDERS: Chris Clark, Stuart Landesberg (CEO), Jordan Savage

EQUITY RAISED: $213 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $104 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Bullpen Capital, General Atlantic, Lone Pine Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Norwest Venture Partners, Serious Change

Ask Grove Collaborative CEO Stuart Landesberg, 34, who his typical customer is, and he'll give you a specific answer: "A 29-year-old mother of two working as a substitute teacher in Lawrence, Kansas." Even in the age of Amazon, Grove has carved out a $104 million niche in e-commerce by selling natural products, from laundry detergent to sponges, in easy-to-order shipments. Around 60% of its revenue comes from products not sold on Amazon, says Landesberg. But he wants to do more than sell Seventh Generation or Method soaps online. In 2016, Grove started to manufacture its own all-natural products that now make up nearly 50% of its sales. The key? Designing products that are easier to ship. Its glass cleaner, for example, is highly-concentrated and smaller than a tube of toothpaste.


FOUNDERS: Augusto Marietti (CEO), Marco Palladino

EQUITY RAISED: $71 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $5 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, Index Ventures, New Enterprise Associates

Kong acts as a gatekeeper to companies' APIs (code developers use to build apps) and monitors how often they're used. Augusto Marietti, 31, and Marco Palladino, 30, launched the company out of a garage in Milan, where they both attended university, and were constantly flying back and forth to Silicon Valley to fundraise. "At this stage, we barely had enough money to eat," Marietti says. "We definitely lost a few pounds when we were first starting up." Now based in San Francisco, Kong has successfully penetrated the enterprise market with 130 customers that include SoulCycle, Yahoo Japan and WeWork.


FOUNDERS: Jack Altman (CEO), Eric Koslow

EQUITY RAISED: $27 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $7 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Shasta Ventures, Thrive Capital

Lattice founders Jack Altman, 30, and Eric Koslow, 28, learned first-hand the impact of work culture while working at startup Teespring, which sells custom t-shirts. In 2015, they decided to do something about it, starting Lattice. The San Francisco-based company's human resources software uses surveys to shift the focus of performance management from employee evaluation to career development. Today, Lattice works with 1,300 customers, including Coinbase, Instacart, Slack and WeWork. "Employees are looking for more meaning from work than ever before, and have more visibility into and access to other jobs than ever before," Altman says. Lattice helps their employers step up.


FOUNDERS: Elton Chung, Lidia Yan (CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $125 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $46 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Brookfield Ventures, China Energy Group, Sequoia

Cofounded by husband and wife team Elton Chung and Lidia Yan in 2015, Los Angeles-based Next Trucking is moving freight brokerage online. While other startups like Convoy and Uber Freight move cargo from point A to point B, Next Trucking focuses on drayage, or the "first-mile" of transferring goods from port to warehouse. "Drayage is a lot more complicated because it involves terminals and ports," says Yan, 38. As a result, Next Trucking has doubled revenue every year since 2016, reaching $46 million in 2018. Yan forecasts revenue will hit $120 million this year, helped by large contracts with retailers Dollar General, Rite Aid and Steve Madden. For our feature on Next Trucking, click here.


FOUNDERS: Jack Conte (CEO), Sam Yam

EQUITY RAISED: $166 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $35 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Freestyle Capital, Glade Brook Capital Partners, Index Ventures, Thrive Capital

Musician turned entrepreneur, Jack Conte, 35, wants to break the "starving artist" archetype by helping creators earn a regular income. "Deciding to be an artist shouldn't have to be a difficult conversation," says Conte. "It should feel like a viable career choice." Using Patreon, artists offer exclusive experiences in return for contributions from their subscribers or "patrons." HBO's Issa Rae, Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton and comedian Heather McDonald are some of the creators currently using Patreon and by 2019, the company expects to pay out more than $1 billion to its users.


FOUNDERS: Denis Mars (CEO), Simon Ratner

EQUITY RAISED: $14 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $1 million

LEAD INVESTOR: Kleiner Perkins

The Proxy app is like having a set of keys on your smartphone: Your profile's signal gives you access to any building where you're registered, eliminating the need for traditional ID cards and keys. It's a straightforward idea, but Australian-expat founders Denis Mars, 42, and Simon Ratner, 39, are confident that they've just scratched the surface of its potential. So far, San Francisco-based Proxy has proven popular with commercial real estate clients like WeWork. Mars and Ratner now hope to expand their technology (which includes the app, management platform and signal-reading hardware) to identity verification for ride-sharing and event check-in. 


FOUNDERS: Ofer Bengal (CEO), Yiftach Shoolman

EQUITY RAISED: $147 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $50 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Bain Capital Ventures, Francisco Partners, Goldman Sachs, Viola Ventures 

Israeli tech veterans Ofer Bengal and Yiftach Shoolman set up a fast-database service, in 2011, to help businesses looking to speed up responses on their apps. Redis Labs relies on what's known as NoSQL, an alternative form of compiling data that is faster than traditional models. That lightening-fast processing speed has helped it sign on FedEx, Mastercard and other corporate behemoths. To scale up quickly, the Mountain View, California-based company offered a free, open-source version to hook developers. In 2013, it rolled out a paid version with costs starting at $5 per month per gigabyte. "You can't do without open source if you want rapid adoption," says Bengal.


FOUNDERS: Shivaas Gulati, Josh Hug, Matt Oppenheimer (CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $312 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $80 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Bezos Expeditions, DFJ Venture Capital (now Threshold Ventures), Generation Investment Management, Naspers' PayU, QED Investors, Stripes Group

Remitly is taking on Western Union with lower fees — estimated 1.5% on average vs. the money-transfer giant's 5%. Matt Oppenheimer, who had worked for Barclays in Kenya, and his cofounders launched the business in 2011 to help people in developed nations like the U.S. and Australia send money cheaply to relatives in developing countries like Mexico and the Philippines. Today, Remitly serves 60 countries and processes $6 billion a year in money transfers, about 1% of the nearly $700 billion remittance market. Already one of the largest fintech firms targeting immigrants, the Seattle startup's long-term goal is to branch out into other financial services, potentially including credit cards, personal loans and auto loans.


FOUNDERS: Xuan Yong (CEO), Mike Witte

EQUITY RAISED: $94 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $21 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Bedrock Capital, Founders Fund, Quantum Energy Partners

There are nearly 1,000 rigs drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. Each well requires the input of dozens of service companies and workers — everything from high-horsepower compressors for fracking, to miles of steel pipe, and millions of gallons of water and truckloads of sand. Cofounder Xuan Yong, formerly of Citadel and D.E. Shaw, believes RigUp can improve on the good ol' boy network by more efficiently connecting the "hyperfragmented" market of roughnecks, engineers and business owners with the big oil companies that call the shots. RigUp pre-vets workers and vendors, and creams an estimated 4% off every contract made via its online platform. Yong isn't worried about machines invading the oilpatch. "Even with A.I. there will be demand growth for labor," he says. "Field tickets are still signed on paper and stamped." For now.


FOUNDERS: Stephen Hawthornthwaite, Roth Martin (interim CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $42 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $140 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Goldman Sachs, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Founders Roth Martin, a former art gallery owner, and Stephen Hawthornthwaite (aka "Hawthy"), a former investment banker, launched the footwear brand after listening to their wives complain about the lack of stylish, comfortable shoes. Rothy's 3D-knitted round-toe and point-toe flats, made from recycled plastic water bottles, have gained cult status. In just three years, it expanded rapidly with direct-to-consumer sales online, reaching revenue of $140 million last year. For our feature on Rothy's, click here.


FOUNDERS: Phillip Liu, Karthik Rau (CEO)

EQUITY RAISED: $179 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $25 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, General Catalyst, Tiger Global Management

SignalFx monitors cloud infrastructure in real time for companies like Yelp, Shutterfly and HubSpot. In 2013, Karthik Rau, 41, who previously worked at tech startups LoudCloud and VMware, founded the company with ex-Facebook software architect Phillip Liu, 51. While competitors collect and query data in batches every two to three minutes, SignalFx evaluates and alerts users to anomalies in two to five seconds. "The difference between getting reliable alerts within seconds and getting them in minutes is the difference of seamlessly dealing with an issue," says Rau. "Or having all of your users on Twitter complaining."


FOUNDERS: Paul Dabrowski (CEO), Michael Dabrowski

EQUITY RAISED: $157 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $20 million

LEAD INVESTORS: Founders Fund, 8VC

Gene-editing tool Crispr has unleashed a gold rush for new products made possible by cheaply and easily editing DNA. Synthego is cashing in by selling the genomic equivalent of pickaxes, shovels, maps and other tools. Its ready-made and custom kits allow researchers in academia and the private sector to rapidly develop gene-edited products, including new medical treatments. Its founders, brothers Paul and Michael Dabrowski, 34 and 38, previously worked at SpaceX as engineers and drew on that experience to bring a new way of thinking to biotech. 


FOUNDERS: Umar Afridi (CEO), Sid Viswanathan

EQUITY RAISED: $13 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $48 million

LEAD INVESTOR: Initialized Capital

If you buy birth control from Nurx or hair-loss products from Hims, behind-the-scenes pharmacy Truepill will actually fill and deliver your prescription. The three-year-old startup's founders Umar Afridi, 37, a former retail pharmacist, and Sid Viswanathan, 35, who previously worked at Johnson & Johnson and LinkedIn, see a growing market in bringing technology and efficiency to pharmacy. Although Truepill started with direct-to-consumer brands, it's now making a bigger play to bring on corporate customers with pricey, specialty medications. 


FOUNDERS: Benjamin Bercovitz, Filip Kaliszan (CEO), James Ren, Hans Robertson

EQUITY RAISED: $59 million

ESTIMATED 2018 REVENUE: $20 million

LEAD INVESTORS: First Round, Meritech, Next47, Sequoia 

While many startups have tackled the "smart home" with varying degrees of success, Verkada has exploded in shy of two years on the market by offering big businesses, municipalities and schools a cloud-based system that combines hardware and software to detect movement and easily store and share surveillance streams. In 2019, the company founded by three Stanford graduates and the former cofounder of Meraki (a cloud startup since acquired by Cisco) signed on the city of Memphis — a nearly 1,000-camera contract — Juul Labs and Newtown Public School District, the district of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy.

Additional reporting by Susan Adams, Elisabeth Brier, Dawn Chmielewski, Lauren Debter, Michael del Castillo, Jillian D'Onfro, Christopher Helman, Jeff Kauflin, Alex Knapp, Alex Konrad, Christian Kreznar and Monica Melton

Cover Photographs by Tim Pannell for Forbes | Illustrations by David Wilson


Popular posts from this blog

Live streaming is new hunting ground for Chinese online fraudsters - South China Morning Post

Top 6 Small Business Ideas for New Entrepreneurs in Philadelphia - The Hack Post

Men’s at-home health startup Vault takes in $30 million from Tiger Capital - TechCrunch