Category: Startups

The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


View a higher resolution version of this map.

Map of the most searched businesses by region

The Type of Business Every Country Wants to Start

View a higher resolution version of this map.

Every year, millions of new businesses are started across the world—in 2021, nearly 5.4 million new business applications were filed in the U.S. alone.

And since startups and new businesses play a significant role in shaping a country’s economic growth, encouraging entrepreneurship is vital. But what types of businesses around the world are people most interested in starting?

These maps by ZenBusiness show the most popular types of businesses that entrepreneurs in nearly every country want to start, based on analyzing relevant internet search results.

Most Searched Businesses Around the World

To source the data, ZenBusiness analyzed searches from Ahrefs, specifically looking for the term “start a business” and its equivalents in local languages as of February 2022.

They then found the relevant topic or keyword with the highest search volume, and organized the results into 11 different industries:

  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Food & Drink
  • Logistics & Infrastructure
  • Personal Services
  • Recycling
  • Software Development
  • Business & Financial
  • Leisure & Tourism
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Retail & E-Commerce

The data showed that the industries entrepreneurs are most attracted to vary greatly from country to country, depending on a variety of factors such as infrastructure, business climate, and culture.

Here’s a breakdown of the most searched businesses around the world, broken down by region.

Africa

Map of the most searched businesses in Africa

From cooking gas refills in South Africa to supplements in the Gambia, entrepreneurs across (Read more...)

Charging access is still the “new” problem for Electric Vehicle commercial fleets


This post is by Anamaria Iuga from Seedcamp


Our Managing Partner Carlos Espinal’s Q & A with Niall Riddell and André Pinho, founders of Paua, on the interoperability of an ever-expanding yet fractured charging network and making Electric Vehicle (EV) charging user-friendly 

On a recent epic road trip across the UK this summer, I had my high hopes of a seamless charging experience shattered. Besides having to queue up at some stations, finding others out of service, and installing at least 15 apps to cover all the services on offer, I found the cost of electricity for EV charging to be all over the map – ranging from 28p to nearly £1 depending on where the stations were based and their speed of charge.

This cost variance is much wider than in petrol/diesel vehicles and feels like an unfair penalty for those wishing to help the environment through cleaner vehicles. To aggravate things further, charging speeds range from dead slow to 50x faster depending on where the charger is. These further exacerbate the problem of range and cost anxiety for EV owners – after all, time is money. The reality is most people and businesses care more about their time when they are travelling from A to B than p/kWh.

Despite current geopolitical and energy market developments, the demand for Electric Vehicles is on the rise. Customers’ demands are also changing, putting pressure on EV infrastructure providers to offer higher-quality services. In particular, for commercial fleets, for which reliability and cost efficiency are make-or-break factors, improved (Read more...)

Which is more important: a big vision or a specific focus?


This post is by David Cohen from Hi, I'm David G. Cohen


Eight years ago, I wrote what continues to be one of my best-read blog posts, entitled “Reconciling Vision and Focus.”

The question it sought to answer is one that still resonates with founders today:

Which is more important for your startup–a big vision or a specific focus?

It’s a question that consistently comes up in my conversations with entrepreneurs both within the Techstars universe and those I meet via my “Office Hours” conversations.

What I wrote in 2014 could have been written today:

Companies have mentors or advisors telling them they need a big, bold vision to draw others to the company, attract investors and be viewed as thought leaders.

At the same time, they are also being told they need to focus–they need to do something very specific and really build up a dominant market share with good revenue in a specific area.

Many view this as conflicting advice. It causes them to thrash about, between big vision and specific focus. In reality, it’s not conflicting at all.

This played out in a conversation with a recent founder who had a big vision to expand his company beyond his current focus.

At the same time, his company’s name actually highlighted the area of current focus, not the broader vision, something I cautioned him could be seen as a “market limiter.”

By all means, start your company by focusing in an area that can best validate your capabilities and potential. Chances are, this will be an area (Read more...)

The Power of Mentorship


This post is by David Cohen from Hi, I'm David G. Cohen


Techstars recently graduated its 3,000th company. We’ve helped our portfolio to raise $23.5 billion in total funding—and this year we’ll fund 700+ new companies through 54 accelerators around the world.

As many in the startup world already know, mentors are a key element of the success of Techstars-funded companies.

When I reflect on how we got here, I think it’s important to reflect on how important mentors have been to Techstars itself.

One of my key early mentors was Bill Warner. If you’ve ever edited a video, you’ve likely used the technology that he developed at Avid.

One night, when Techstars was barely one year old, I told Bill over dinner that I was unclear about how we would make money long-term. Perhaps Techstars was just a fun summer gig, I suggested.

Right then, Bill said something to me that truly resonated and has stuck with me ever since.

He told me that as long as Techstars stayed focused on its “center flow,” other “co-flows” would appear around it.

What did that mean?

What he explained to me was that the “center flow” was crucial. It was the passion or the “why” of Techstars.

I told him that our “center flow” was helping entrepreneurs succeed and that was the “why” behind creating Techstars.

Great, he said. Focus hard on that and stay focused over time and watch the co-flows appear around it.

And that’s the true power of mentorship.

A few words delivered at the exact right moment—and fully (Read more...)

The Biggest Tech Talent Hubs in the U.S. and Canada


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


Visualizing the biggest tech talent hubs in the U.S. and Canada

The Biggest Tech Talent Hubs in the U.S. and Canada

The tech workforce just keeps growing. In fact, there are now an estimated 6.5 million tech workers between the U.S. and Canada — 5.5 million of which work in the United States.

This infographic draws from a report by CBRE to determine which tech talent markets in the U.S. and Canada are the largest. The data looks at total workforce in the sector, as well as the change in tech worker population over time in various cities.

The report also classifies which metro areas and regions can rightly be considered tech hubs in the first place, by looking at a variety of factors including cost of living, average educational attainment, and tech employment levels as a share of different industries.

The Top Tech Hubs in the U.S.

Silicon Valley, in California’s Bay Area, remains the most prominent (and expensive) U.S. tech hub, with a talent pool of nearly 380,000 tech workers.

Here’s a look at the top tech talent markets in the country in terms of total worker population:

🇺🇸 MarketTotal Tech Talent% Talent Growth (2016-2021)
SF Bay Area378,87013%
New York Metro344,5203%
Washington D.C.259,3106%
Los Angeles235,80010%
Seattle189,57032%
Dallas/Ft. Worth187,95015%
Chicago167,5606%
Boston166,4502%
Atlanta145,0807%
Denver117,62023%
Philadelphia115,4507%
Minneapolis100,9905%
Phoenix99,60018%
Houston98,930-2%
Detroit93,7705%
Austin84,68021%
Baltimore79,0008%
San Diego77,78016%
Raleigh/Durham (Read more...)

[Video] Bill Gurley on Surviving Downturns


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


No matter where you look, the technology industry — from stalwarts to startups — is going through a reset. And that has led many companies to lay off people, cut costs and pare back their ambitions.

For so many of our startup founders, this is a new experience — a whole generation of entrepreneurs hasn’t experienced a bear market. And as a result, they don’t have frameworks to deal with this new reality. It is not as if they don’t want to deal with the situation. It is just that most founders are biased towards optimism (as they should) and have a hard time optimizing for the realities of tough times.

One of the toughest tasks for founders is figuring out how to tighten their belts. It is hard to decide how many people to cut from the company payrolls. People make incremental cuts to their teams — and these cuts don’t have a real impact and lead to more cuts.

Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital, is a venture investor who has been through a few ups and downs. He recently tweeted:

(Read more...)

[Video] Bill Gurley on Surviving Downturns


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


No matter where you look, the technology industry — from stalwarts to startups — is going through a reset. And that has led many companies to lay off people, cut costs and pare back their ambitions.

For so many of our startup founders, this is a new experience — a whole generation of entrepreneurs hasn’t experienced a bear market. And as a result, they don’t have frameworks to deal with this new reality. It is not as if they don’t want to deal with the situation. It is just that most founders are biased towards optimism (as they should) and have a hard time optimizing for the realities of tough times.

One of the toughest tasks for founders is figuring out how to tighten their belts. It is hard to decide how many people to cut from the company payrolls. People make incremental cuts to their teams — and these cuts don’t have a real impact and lead to more cuts.

Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital, is a venture investor who has been through a few ups and downs. He recently tweeted:

(Read more...)

What Freedom Looks Like



Black women are the fastest-growing but still the least funded segment of the entrepreneur universe. That’s why, this Juneteenth, I’ve invited Makisha Boothe, Founder and Head Business Coach of Sistahbiz Global Network, a business accelerator for Black women entrepreneurs, to write this guest post which I invite you to help amplify. Makisha shares her thoughts on the unique challenges facing Black female entrepreneurs–and the work that still needs to be done to give Black women full access to the freedom that entrepreneurship can open up. – David

As we approach Juneteenth this year,  I reflect on the past two years of civil unrest that have happened in service of racial justice in the U.S. I am led to pause and honor the word freedom. I think about what it is supposed to mean in America versus how it actually looks.

I think about the efforts of so many in the economic opportunity and justice space and acknowledge that much of our “why” is about fighting for a dream of freedom that our country’s forefathers claimed to birth, that my ancestors fought to realize but that we have yet to see. 

I’ve led political coalitions, run for office, written policy, managed grassroots and grass tops work in healthcare, education, and criminal justice reform. So how did I land here in the later years of my career with laser-like focus on economic equality, closing the wealth gap, and creating more access to capital for Black women entrepreneurs at Sistahbiz Global (Read more...)

The Essential Guide to Startup Boards


This post is by David Cohen from Hi, I'm David G. Cohen


The first time many founders see the inside of a board room is when they step in to lead their board. But how do boards work? How should they be structured, managed, and leveraged so that startups can grow, avoid pitfalls, and get the best out of their boards?

If you’re looking for answers to those questions and more, you’ll be pleased to know that one of the most essential books for startup founders has been updated in a second edition that launches today.

Startup Boards: A Field Guide to Building and Leading an Effective Board of Directors is a comprehensive guide on creating, growing, and leveraging a board of directors written for CEOs, board members, and people seeking board roles.

For this edition, Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani have enlisted the support of a third co-author, serial entrepreneur and long-time Techstars mentor, Matt Blumberg. They’ve also added a number of new voices to the book, including Jocelyn Mangan who wrote the foreword.

Brad Feld is, of course, a cofounder of Tecshtars and for the past three years he’s also been my co-host on the Give First podcast. I’ve also been fortunate enough to sit on a few startup boards with Brad and know how effective his “less is more” approach to board meetings can be. He truly knows how to keep the process efficient and focused on strategy. 

A lot has changed since the original book was published at the end of 2013, including the emphasis on independent board (Read more...)

Startups and Macro Risk



I find it difficult to think of another time with as much macro risk as the present at least since the financial crisis and likely much longer than that. There is a shooting war in Europe with no clear endgame. China might make a move on Taiwan at any moment. We have an ongoing pandemic that could still produce a dangerous variant. US democratic institutions appear incapable of mounting a coherent response to pretty much anything and are under attack from within.

The broader stock market has held up surprisingly well in light of this. Yet many public tech stocks have already pulled back substantially. Bluechip names like Cloudflare and Shopify are down 50% off their all time highs. This is a reflection both of anticipated higher interest rates and lower growth. Still I would not be surprised if we wound up with a much bigger and broader correction, if any of these macro risks are realized.

Is this something a startup founder/CEO should be paying attention to? In order to answer this question it is useful to look at the interaction between private and public markets.

Private market valuations tend to lag public market valuations. This is fantastic for venture investors when you invest in a sector where public market valuations are just starting to expand because you can still get into deals at reasonable prices. This is when the best venture returns are achieved. That’s why being early (but not too early) to a new sector is so (Read more...)