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Five young entrepreneurs to watch in 2014

(Business Entrepreneur) Watching the up and coming entrepreneurs can inspire your own entrepreneur fire, because new blood is showing us new ways of doing things while learning from those that came before them.

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Keeping an eye on up and coming talent

Do you know the hottest entrepreneurs to keep an eye on in 2014? Some of them are fresh college grads while others are career changers who come with years of experience. Whether you’re an investor looking for your next sure thing or a job seeker who wants to work closely with an up and comer, knowing the most impressive entrepreneurs in 2014 is a smart move.

Hello there, Marshall Elementary School students! We see you’ve got a big assignment about entrepreneurs, that’s so great! Feel free to email Larry Alton, the author of this article at larryalton3@gmail.com or our Editor, Lani Rosales at lanirosales@gmail.com with any questions. Good luck!

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Of course, if you see them as competition, it’s paramount that you watch their moves to stay ahead. No matter the industry, these leaders are gearing up to change the game.

1. Jason Baptiste

onswipe ceoAt just 25 years old, Baptiste designed OnSwipe which basically makes it easy to publish gorgeous content in a single swipe. He used WordPress to get started, which adopted his technology to publish over 18 million blogs. The touch-swipe technology is now being looked at by media outlets and publishers around the world. For Baptiste, it was simply a natural segue between seeing a need for something and fulfilling it.

2. Daniele Calabrese

sountrack founderAn Italian transplant who came to the US for university, Calabrese has always been passionate about radio and music. He’s the founder of Soundtrackr.com, which is cloud-based streaming of music that he’s sure will overtake MP3 options any day now.

The site was launched in 2010 and he’s been working diligently on music licenses and ticket sales. By 2014, millions of users have signed up and the site is gearing up to take down the giants.


3. Brice Goguet

briceSeller of high end equestrian goods, Goguet specializes in both the American and European markets. At just 33 years old, he’s become one of the three greatest sellers of the niche market in the world, and proudly says that sine he loves what he does it never feels like work.

An anomaly in today’s high tech world, Goguet is proof that truly any industry can be lucrative with the right leadership.


4. Michelle Ng

michelle ngA fashion designer, Ng combines art with streetwear and gets inspiration for jewelry design from things like internal organs. The New Zealand former art student says she saw a hole in the market, particularly with high-end headpieces, and became committed to filling it.

Initially interested in joining a fashion house, Ng found that it wasn’t for her after an internship and instead branched off into her own line.


5. Paolo Spada

paolo spadaDesigner of custom supercars and vehicles, Spada comes from a family of supercar lovers. Happy to sell designs to competing companies as well as manufacture his own, Spada has branched off from what his dad did as a designer for lines like BMW and has created his owner powerhouse at just 40 years old.

“The low production means we can satisfy each customer by customizing a car in a different way,” he says.

Each of these young entrepreneurs from around the globe are worth watching because there’s no telling what they might dream up next. They’re proof that dedication and a little innovation can take you far, especially if you have that entrepreneurial spirit.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Business Entrepreneur

Cowrkr gives you accountability while you work solo

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) Being accountable for your own accountability is a tall order. Join Cowrkr and let someone else do it for you.

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My boyfriend and I have always had a great appreciation for film and television, as well as the writing that goes into it. We always talk about different project ideas, but never get too far in execution with the busyness of real life.

Last night, I finally thought of a way that we can help each other bring our projects to completion, and that is simply by holding each other accountable. I suggest that each week we could have a new task that is due by 10 p.m. Sunday night.

We both have ideas for scripts, so the plan is to start off with having a plot synopsis and character list due the first week, having an outline due the second week, and so on. This will not only help keep us on track but will also help in terms of formatting ideas.

While I’m grateful that this little plan has come together, I know that most people aren’t working on similar projects to people they are close with. Therefore, they may need to look elsewhere for accountability.

Now freelancers and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be matched with a fellow freelancer or entrepreneur to help hold each other accountable for their respective projects. Meet Cowrkr.

“This is an initiative to help makers keep themselves socially accountable by getting them to build publicly,” says cowrkr developers.

Users sign up and give some info regarding what project they’re working on and what they’re shipping. It works by connecting two makers at a time and cowrkr works to help each maker keep the other accountable until each project is completed.

Once a project has been completed, the makers then end their accountability relationship. When their next project comes along, they will then be assigned a different maker.

Cowrkr’s website does not give a ton of insight as to how the algorithms and matching systems work, but it is an intriguing idea for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking to take their individual projects to the next level.

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Business Entrepreneur

The top 10 startup cities in America

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) If you’re thinking about launching a startup anytime soon you may want to check out this list on the top 10 cities for startups.

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The digital revolution is in full swing, and some cities are setting themselves up to capitalize upon these innovations by supporting startups.

In order to “better understand the U.S. cities driving the digital revolution,” several groups have come together to rank which cities are making the most of the tech startup boom.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1776, the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center, and FreeEnterprise.com have teamed up to publish a report called Innovation That Matters (ITM).

The report analyzes and ranks U.S. cities on such factors as startup capital, the connectivity of startups, startup culture, the availability of worker talent and specialization, and more. Data was taken from surveys of entrepreneurs and businesspeople, startups, and leaders in public and private sectors.

J.D. Harrison, senior director of strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the “digital revolution has the potential to make winners of some cities and leave others behind.”

The study aims to find out which cities “embrace this shift to a digital economy and actively support technology startups,” arguing that these cities “will be the best positioned to unleash the power of high-impact innovation and cultivate vibrant, thriving communities.”

The top ten ranking cities are as follows:

10) Portland, Oregon because every city needs a nickname, has been dubbed the Silicon Forest, referencing its leadership in green tech.

9) New York City, New York. The largest tech hub on the east coast.

8) Seattle, Washington. Home to Amazon.com and several other tech firms, with Microsoft’s headquarters in nearby Redmond.

7) Dallas, Texas. Dtown moved up significantly by increasing startup connectivity and tapping into a large, diverse workforce.

6) Atlanta, Georgia. The “most improved” city on the ITM list, moving up 15 places to number six due to a surge in financial, educational, and health tech industries.

5) Austin,Texas. Home of The American Genius, Austin has become a “haven for tech-savvy millennials seeking good-paying job opportunities.” Besides hosting many tech startups, Austin still has a relatively affordable cost of living.

4) San Diego, California. San Diego is full of cybersecurity, Big Data, robotics, and software startups.

3)Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also known as Philicon Alley, moved up from number eight by deregulating and becoming more business-friendly.

2) San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay also ranked number two last year. The seaside neighbor to the Silicon Valley has been doing a great job attracting seed funding these days.

1) Boston, Massachusetts. This is the second year in a row that Boston has topped this list, due to its large number of startups and robust entrepreneur population.

How does your city rank?

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Business Entrepreneur

Customer surveys tell more than just satisfaction

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) While they can be annoying for the consumer and cost time for the company, customer feedback surveys are crucial to your business.

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While Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, and Steve Harvey may not be able to personally help you with customer service, what they have in common can. Surveys, and personalized follow-up attention in general, help clients and consumers know that they mean something to your business.

For the sake of this article (and the fast-paced, technological world we live in) I am going to be speaking about surveys. However, I want to share this anecdote first.

I used to work front desk at a salon and part of my job was to follow up with new guests about a week after their appointment.

Now, most of the time, my calls went to voicemail, which were never returned; but every once in awhile a human answered.

After going through the spiel of why I was calling, I could almost always sense a sound of surprise from the other line before the person answered my question. One conversation in particular left me realizing how important this seemingly useless task was.

I called an older woman and asked her about a recent appointment she had at the salon. She thanked me for calling and then went into detail about how great the appointment was and how much getting her hair done meant to her.

Before we hung up she said, “thank you again for calling. A salon has never done this before.” It then hit me like a ton of bricks just how significant something as small as a callback is.

If you have the time, definitely make those callbacks to clients as it could be very meaningful. However, it’s understandable that most of us may not have the time in our schedule for personalized phone calls.

So if that’s the case, don’t forget about surveys. I know most of them will either go to spam or go unanswered, but the mere fact that you’re sending it out shows clients and customers that you care about their business.

And, for those surveys that do receive responses, it can be extremely beneficial for your company as you can get insight into what works and what doesn’t. There’s really no disadvantage to this tactic, so remember to make time for that follow up with existing clients rather than just focusing on getting new ones.

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