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Going Abroad: A Guideline to Entrepreneur Visas [ INFOGRAPHIC ]

Sometimes, the United States simply isn’t the best option for some startups. And, that’s perfectly fine – after all, there are several great startup economies outside the United States that are definitely well on their way to competing with the likes of even America’s Silicon Valley. On Tech.Co, we’ve looked at everything from how Brazil’s booming economy is contributing to the rapid growth of its tech sector to how the small Indonesian island of Bali is incubating its own community of entrepreneurs; all across the globe, there are startup ecosystems that have their own set of traits that can serve as major benefits for certain startups. But once you do determine that starting up in another country is the right option, how will you go about having to deal with the necessary entrepreneur visas to, you know, actually make that move a reality?
An infographic created by immigration blog Migreat shows which countries around the world offer entrepreneur visas, as well as lists the requirements a person or a company has to meet in order to attain such visas. The infographic looks at the general requirements for entrepreneur visas in countries like Canada, Chile, and the United Kingdom – a total of eleven countries.
Looking at the infographic, it seems that startups that have already received a decent amount of funding fare better at being granted entrepreneur visas; many countries, for instance, require that companies already received funding between $40,000 and $100,000. On the other hand, countries like France and Chile don’t require that startups have raised previous funding and, rather, provides startups with monetary grants alongside their entrepreneur visas. Not surprising for a country like Chile, which just earlier this month announced that its national startup accelerator, Start-Up Chile, would be making follow-up investments to its alumni startups; indeed, looking at the guideline, it seems that startups can only qualify for the Chilean entrepreneur visa if they get accepted to Start-Up Chile.
There are a few other notable things to point out in the infographic. Remarkably, unlike all the other entrepreneur visas granted to startups, Canada’s offers permanent residency – something that isn’t at all provided by any other country’s. And, more importantly, the country’s flexible immigration system makes it much easier for startups to hire immigrants – something that is desperately lacking in the United States. Speaking of America: it’s not listed on the infographic. That’s because our country doesn’t yet offer any kind of entrepreneur visa; however, it should be noted that President Obama announced last November a plan for a startup visa (but, really, all we can do is hope it’ll actually happen, right?).
Check out the full infographic from Migreat below:

Does This Mean Nevada Finally gets Uber?

To say that Uber has had a little bit of trouble setting up shop in Nevada is a glaring understatement. On October 24, 2014 we wrote that Las Vegas would finally be getting Uber after waiting for what seemed like ages. However, the very next day on October 25, we reported that a Nevada judge had effectively halted Uber’s expansion.
Sure, Uber has encountered this kind of resistance from state authorities before and they weren’t going to give up on the Silver State. To that end it was today announced that the Nevada legislature has approved a bill that would allow ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft to operate in Nevada.
This is definitely exciting for residents of Nevada who have been trying to get Uber in their state for a long time now. However, the bill won’t mean anything if Governor Brian Sandoval doesn’t sign it. Granted, he is expected to sign it into law, but then again the tide of politics can seemingly shift any direction at any time.
According to Sean Whaley and Sandra Chereb of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “the bill is effective upon passage and approval but companies must apply to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission before they can begin operating”. Whaley and Chereb go on to say that the bill wasn’t devoid of hefty amounts of confusion though.
“The original plan was to approve regulations to let Uber and Lyft operate in one measure, Assembly Bill [AB] 176, and authorize the tax levy in AB175. But the assemply only concurred in AB175 and rejected AB176. The effect of the action was to remove a provision that would have had the companies regulated by the Nevada Transportation Authority instead of the PUC,” they explain.
In short, it’s messy. It’s especially messy when you compare it to other cities like Fargo, North Dakota that Uber has expanded to. They took the time to implement rideshare legislation first and then get Uber to expand to their city.
So, while Nevada has maybe done it a bit backwards, they’re at least making headway finally. However you have to remember it’s equally probable that Uber gets approved or gets the axe once again. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the state of Nevada finds a way to coexist with ridesharing platforms at the end of the day though.
Image Credit: Uber Facebook page

Uber is Now Operational in Fargo

Last week, the great city of Fargo took a giant leap forward in joining major tech-friendly ecosystems around the globe by welcoming Uber. This story is completely excerpted from Marisa Jackels at Emerging Prairie – read the full blog post here. Fargo joins the Uber ranks currently operating in 300 cities in 57 countries – the closest being Minneapolis.
“We understand that Fargo has a growing tech ecosystem,” said Sagar Shah, Uber’s general manager of expansion to North Dakota. “It’s exciting for everybody, and bringing tech like Uber there really supports that growing environment for tech.”
Uber has been an active part of the rideshare legislation process in North Dakota since January, Shah said. Now, Fargo is the first city for Uber expansion that has rideshare legislation already in place.
“North Dakota is the first place that has passed ridesharing regulations before Uber started operating,” Shah said. “That’s very forward thinking and really speaks to the fact that North Dakota is a business-friendly state that supports innovation and new tech.”
Because of the friendly legislation, Shah said they do plan to expand to other North Dakota cities such as Bismarck. Uber will also be operational in Moorhead, MN.

Uber in Fargo: The Untold Story
While rumors of Uber coming to Fargo surfaced last December, the story really begins about a year ago, in a Chicago cafe.
Local Fargoan Joe Burgum was sipping coffee when, in an instance of “urban serendipity,” he ran into a college friend who was an early Uber employee.
As a strong Uber enthusiast, Burgum got his contact info and began sending him monthly e-mails about bringing Uber to Fargo. For months, there was no response.
“I thought, ‘they aren’t interested in Fargo, I guess,’” Burgum said.
Then, when North Dakota began updating legislation for cab ordinances this past winter, Uber tuned in. Burgum got an e-mail: “Hey, let’s talk.” He met with Shah and other Uber representatives, and they immediately began work in Bismarck to get rideshare legislation introduced.
“That’s the untold story of all of this,” Burgum said. “It was definitely easier than in a lot of states, but there was a lot of man hours out in Bismarck that went into this.”
One of the unique challenges in North Dakota was that, because Uber was not already operational, more explanation was needed for people to grasp what Uber is and why it is valuable, Burgum said.
Advice from the fastest-growing startup in the world
The Fargo launch comes just days after Uber made international headlines with reports of the company seeking to raise $1.5 billion in funds – which could push its total valuation to a groundbreaking $50 billion and make it one of the richest startups in history.
As a part of such a record-breaking startup, we asked Shah what his advice would be for Fargo’s tech startups and entrepreneurs.
“Really just work hard,” Shah said. “You can have the most interesting idea and the coolest tech in the world. But if you’re not working really hard and executing with all your strength on the ground, a lot of that can get lost. Ultimately, success is the ability to give it your all.”
Since its founding in 2009, Uber has been disrupting taxi and limo services across the globe, and is now widely hailed as one of the fastest growing startups in the world.
And now, it’s coming to Fargo.
“I think it’s a total game-changer,” Burgum said. “I think Uber is going to put Fargo on the map as a big city.”
Image Credit: Flickr/Kyle May

The Chicago Blackhawks: Mobilizing 2M People Via Social Media

This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation. Read more here!
It’s round three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs right now, and I honestly thought the St. Louis Blues would make it out of the first round but we lost to the Minnesota Wild. I was a bit torn up, but my mind was put to ease when the Chicago Blackhawks swept the Wild in round two, four games to none.
Chicago’s second round victory brought them to face the Anaheim Ducks, and as it stands the series is currently tied one to one. It’s one of the first serious runs Anaheim has put up since 2007 when they won the Stanley Cup and brought it back home.
Now, typical in these homecoming ceremonies is a massive parade for all the fans to celebrate with their team. When the Ducks brought the Cup home about 15,000 fans showed up to join them.
Sounds like a lot of people, right? Well it’s not. When the Blackhawks brought the Stanley Cup home to Chicago in 2010 and then again in 2013 they eclipsed 2 million people at their celebratory parades.
Granted, Anaheim is a smaller city, but the Blackhawks outperformed the Ducks when it came to mobilizing a large force of fans. Their plan was to leverage social media to drum up as much team hype as they could, and since their last cup victory that mindset has only grown more resolved.
The Blackhawks have kept up their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds with a constant stream of engaging and relevant content for their fans:
An epic triple OT game deserves an epic Sights and Sounds recap. Watch this and get all of the feels: http://t.co/giUz5eIVxA
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 20, 2015

Sure, any team can engage fans with social media. What separates the Blackhawks from the herd is how they go above and beyond just tweeting and posting for their fans. Case in point: this year they struck a collaborative partnership with the bike-sharing platform Divvy that will last until they play their last game in the 2015 playoffs.
They released five special Blackhawk themed bicycles into the Divvy fleet, and wherever fans see them around town they’re supposed to snap a quick photo. If they upload it to social media with the #BlackhawksBike hashtag they’ll be entered for a chance to win playoff tickets, exclusive fan experiences, and signed memorabilia.
Image Credit: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=100409
Each of the five bikes represents one of the team’s previous Stanley Cup victories in 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, and 2013. Both the Blackhawks and Divvy get the benefit of a symbiotic business partnership, but it’s also a great way to spread mutual pride in both the real world and the digital world simultaneously. In short, it’s kind of a brilliant plan.
It’s brilliant because Chicago Blackhawk fans have a lot to be proud of. On top of everything, they have a team that gives back to the community and recognizes that they’re a part of something much bigger than one locker room. This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation.
Courtney's goal was to have a Blackhawk bring dinner to her husband and fellow firefighters.

@88PKane delivered.
https://t.co/o1ew01t66G
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 15, 2015

When you have 2 million people that look up to and are actively engaging with you it’s going to inherently hire the bar. By default you’ll play to your ultimate limit – not for you, not for the team, but for the fans. No matter how you spin it, the fans are what drive any professional sports team towards success and the Blackhawks are a great example of how to show appreciation for that.
Keep doing work, Blackhawks:

Image Credit: Flickr / Ron Cogswell’s page / cropped, resized

Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs in Dallas

The Dallas startup scene is BOOMING and this month LAUNCHDFW, The DEC, Tech Wildcatters and Startup Grind have partnered to produce a day to celebrate female entrepreneurs.
Jennifer Conley of the organizing team encourages all women to come out to this free event next week, “Whether you’re an aspiring or established entrepreneur, a mompreneur, or a socialpreneur, this program is set up for those who share a common desire to encourage and inspire more women in leadership and founder roles. And while the subject of the event may be about women, we highly encourage men to be part of this conversation too.”
The organizers are flying in some amazing female entrepreneurs in from all over the country such as Donna Harris and Shauna Causey to give the local community a broader experience.

Investor and StartupMentor Kelly Hoey, also flying in for the event, encourages women, “You can’t wait for opportunity to find you. Tapping into networks, building connections, taking action – that is how you change your career or launch a new venture. These are just a few of the reasons why I’m thrilled to participate in The DEC’s ‘Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs’ event.”

The day will kick off Startup Weekend Women’s Edition May 29th-31st hosted by a few notable Dallas community leaders. Tech Wildcatters VP Clarisa Lindenmeyer encourages all to attend the event as “it seeks to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams and to connect more women to the vast number of resources and mentors available in our startup community.”
The Dallas women’s entrepreneur scene has grown dramatically in the last year with a 98% increase in women owned businesses and earning a top 5 ranking as one of the best cities for women in tech according to a study from RJMetrics. Even major fashion names like Tory Burch are participating in the Dallas ecosystem, opening Elizabeth Street Capital in December 2014 which aims to provide $10 million in loans to women entrepreneurs across the country.

Miami’s Tech Leaders Ask Mayor Gimenez for a Stronger Open Data Policy

This week, 59 members of Miami’s tech community signed a letter calling on Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez to introduce a robust open data policy for the county. The letter was sent on behalf of the signers by Code for Miami, a brigade of volunteers dedicated to improving civic technology throughout Miami­-Dade County.
Miami lags behind when it comes to creating an open data policy. In the last few years, cities like San Francisco and Chicago have implemented strategic plans for releasing public data in a timely manner, improving the usability of city data and identifying innovative uses for data sets.
“It is the first time that so many of Miami’s tech and civic leaders have come together to make a political statement,” explained Ric Herrero of MIAMade “Miami-Dade should not be left behind.”
This move would help Miami-Dade focus more time and attention on its civic hackers, the developers, analysts, and business people who can use the public data to create solutions to ongoing problems in the city. Below is the letter to Mayor Gimenez:
Dear Mayor Gimenez,
For years your administration has recognized that Miami’s tech community needs support if it is to thrive in the world­wide economy. Last February, you stood on stage before members of the tech community to launch Miami-Dade’s Open Data Portal. By doing so, you helped position the County as a worldwide leader in data­driven governance. Now, the undersigned members of Miami’s tech community ask that you continue your commitment to responsive governance and innovation by adopting an Open Data Policy that governs the maintenance of the County’s Open Data Portal and ensures the reliability of its data.
Since its launch, the County’s Open Data Portal has been an unequivocal success. It has fostered transparency and accountability within the County and has helped local developers to create innovative solutions to a variety of civic challenges. Making county data routinely and freely available to the public means it is also available internally across County agencies, empowering Miami-­Dade County employees to more effectively monitor and improve services. Local volunteers have created tools using the County’s Open Data Portal to help Miamians predict flooding patterns, track public transportation services, and streamline the County’s permitting process. New applications are being built every day with public data and with each line of code our community grows stronger.
Indeed, the county’s Open Data Portal is a promising start. But with your help, and the implementation of a robust Open Data Policy, Miami can solidify itself as a worldwide destination for technology. An Open Data Policy would formalize the rules governing the County’s Open Data Portal and would provide needed guidelines on data accessibility and data security. A reliable Open Data Policy would foster innovation by preserving data integrity and ensuring that the County’s Open Data Portal is up­to­date and accurate. It would also provide assurances about the quality of the County’s data to entrepreneurs wishing to start local tech businesses and developers seeking to utilize public data to create high­tech applications that improve civic life.
A great example of how an Open Data Policy can trigger entrepreneurism and civic improvement occurred recently in Los Angeles when the municipality entered into an open data partnership with mobile app Waze to help its residents avoid the city’s notorious rush hour traffic. We appreciate the county’s existing civic technology outreach efforts. The Community Information and Outreach (CIAO) department has led efforts to leverage county data and analytics to improve services and has assisted citizens engaging with county government technology and data. This department has worked hand ­in ­hand with the civic tech community to develop more accessible, user-­friendly solutions to civic challenges through technology. CIAO’s commitment to collaboration demonstrates that they should play a key role in the implementation of an Open Data Policy. We therefore recommend that your office empower CIAO to work directly with county agencies to open their data sets in ways that are responsive to community needs, and to measure CIAO’s success by its ability to demonstrate to agencies how they can procure and deliver services more effectively through the smart leveraging of open data.
We all share a commitment to building a strong civic ecosystem and ensuring that government technology benefits all residents. As members of this community, we will continue developing projects and hosting hackathons, trainings, and meetups to promote government transparency, technological innovation, and civic problem­solving. We’ll collaborate, compete, and share expertise to help Miami­-Dade address our most pressing civic challenges. And we’ll train a new generation of Miamians to be civically engaged and to put their considerable skills to work for our community. We invite you, our commissioners and our county staff to join us again this year at Miami’s third annual National Day of Civic Hacking on June 6 at the LAB Miami to work on next steps together and to see this commitment in action. Throughout your term as mayor, you have been an advocate for Miami-­Dade County’s burgeoning tech scene. You have worked for economic opportunity, for transparency, for efficiency, and for accountability. We support these goals and believe that a robust Open Data Policy and your continued commitment to vital technology collaboration between community and government will accelerate our county’s progress toward them.
Thank you,
Rebekah Monson Co­founder, Code for Miami
Ernie Hsiung Co­Founder, Code for Miami
Cristina Solana, Co­captain, Code for Miami
Tamara Wendt, The LAB Miami
Brian Breslin, Refresh Miami
Stonly Baptiste, Urban.Us
Felecia Hatcher, Code Fever
Wifredo Fernandez, CREATE Miami at Miami Dade College
Mariana Rego, LaunchCode
Johanna Mikkola Co­founder Wyncode Academy
Matt Mawhinney, LaunchCode
Natalia Martinez, Awesome Foundation
Justin Wales, Emerge Miami
Christopher Sopher, CEO, Whereby.Us
Matthew Toro Co­founder, Maptime Miami
Bruce Pinchbeck, Co­founder, Whereby.Us
Kubs Lalchandani New Leaders Council Miami, Lalchandani Simon PL Alice Horn Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
Bobby Hannat New Leaders Council Miami
Binsen J Gonzalez, Our City Thoughts, Inc.
Andre Rodriguez Influence Communications
Kyler Berry, Organizer, Front­End Developers of Miami
Armando Ibarra, Miami Young Republicans
Lili Bach, Miami­Dade Young Dems
Jose L Pimienta, Front­End Developers of Miami
Brett Hudson, Defense Connect Group
Ashley Arostegui, WMN Miami/Younger Women’s Task Force
Ana Colls, WMN Miami/Younger Women’s Task Force
Nabyl Charania Co­founder & CEO, Rokk3r Labs
Juan Cuba, New Leaders Council Miami
Carlos E Caceres Developer, Tow Truck Alert
Adrian Esquivel, CEO, TECKpert Greg Bloom, Open Referral Initiative
Vitaliy Gnezdilov, designMiami
Jonathon Ende CEO, SeamlessDocs
Chachi Camejo CTO, SeamlessDocs
David Peraza Co­Founder, Aecosoft Corp. Project Lead, OpenPermit Initiative
Maykel Martin Co­Founder, Aecosoft Corp. Project Lead, OpenPermit Initiative
Tyler Gordon Co­Founder, COO, Agent Inbox
Alaa Mukahhal Innovative Operations, Wyncode Academy
Jose C Fernandez Developer, JoseWorks, Teaching Assistant, Wyncode Academy
Walter Latimer Wyncode Academy, Codecademy Labs
Marta Viciedo Founding Partner, Urban Impact Lab Chair, TrAC
Ric Herrero Founder, MIAMade
Dan Grech Co­Founder, Hacks/Hackers Miami Vice Chair, Dean’s Advisory Board at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at FIU
Ed Toro Head Instructor, Wyncode Academy Co­Organizer, Miami Ruby Brigade
Susan Jacobson Assistant Professor, Florida International University School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Mikhaile Solomon Opa­locka Community Development Corporation PRIZM New Leaders Council Miami
Mario Cruz CTO & Founder, Choose Digital
Nelson Milian Co­Founder Wynwood Maker Camp, Mindjoule
Will Weinraub CEO & Co­Founder, LiveNinja
Rebecca White Vice President, AIGA Miami
Shaun Abrahamson Urban.Us
Nizar Khalife Lead Instructor, Ironhack
Vassoula Vasiliou President AIGA Miami
Juha Mikkola Co­founder Wyncode Academy
David James Knight Internet, IP and Technology Attorney

Healthbox Launches Accelerator in Miami With 10 Health Startups

Digital health accelerator Healthbox is launching its accelerator in Miami and it has announced 10 health startups that will be joining the eight week program. The Chicago-based accelerator has forged a long-term partnership with Florida Blue and now its holding company, GuideWell, and it will be rotating the program across Florida. Program sponsors include Orlando-based Lake Nona Institute, the Health Foundation of Florida, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Entrepreneurs will benefit from customized, stage-specific guidance and curated access to healthcare and business experts, while meeting our industry partners needs to see innovation at all stages,” said Healthbox Vice President Maria Siambekos.
South Florida’s health companies have been successfully growing in the region’s tech ecosystem. Healthbox’s move to Miami further confirms the vertical’s strength and potential.
Here are the 10 companies in Healthbox’s next class:
Avatar DSS — Avatar DSS offers a service that simulates multiple treatment options for a certain disease and analyzes the results of these simulations to determine what the best approach is for a specific patient.
EHR Works — EHR Works aims to integrate data from multiple sources, including EHRs, wearables, medical devices, and lab tests, so that providers can keep all the data in one place.
HealthCentrix — This startup has developed an app, called Prevvy, that aims to help patients follow their care plan after they have been discharged from the hospital. The offering will send the patient notifications and reminders to keep them on track. It also offers an appointment management system and medication tracking. Users can integrate a variety of wearable devices into the app to track their health and they can communicated with a provider via “televisits”.
Hindsait — This software works as a service tool that uses health data and predictive analytics to help clinicians and managers flag requested patient services that may be unnecessary.
iCare Intelligence — This startup has developed a population health management tool that measures the costs of services on a per patient, per physician, and per physician group basis. It analyzes trends, care gaps, and risk gaps, and then aims to save money and increase quality of care.
Keet —This app helps physical therapy patients complete their physical therapy exercises. The app will provide users with a physical therapy guide that the physical therapist will put together for the patient, which they can do at home.
Tesser Health — Tesser has developed products across a few different areas including a chronic condition management tool, triage tools, as well as a drug benefit plans and drug pricing-focused tool.
Transformair — Transformair has developed an air purifier that helps eliminate triggers for asthma and allergies.
Sensentia — Their app helps members verify their health benefits and check which providers are in network. It also helps payors authorize certain medical procedures and helps providers write their medical notes in a way that would help coders or an automatic coding system make an appropriate claim.
Symptify — Symptify is an online symptom navigator to help patients understand the potential causes of their symptoms.

Image Credit: Flickr/NEC Corp of America

Oregon Technology Awards Name Winners

The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) sold out its 31st annual Oregon Technology Awards ceremony at the Portland Art Museum this year. The event drew more than 600 attendees which included entrepreneurs and tech professionals from across the region. The annual Oregon Technology Awards program celebrates excellence and achievement in the region’s technology industry.
Excellence and achievement in the region’s technology industry are celebrated at this event, and this year, the association added two new categories to reflect emerging industries and give a nod to those industries outside of Oregon which still provide an influence on local innovation.
Oregon Technology Award Winners:
Technology Company of the Year, Pre-­‐revenue -­‐ Skyward.io, an information management platform that powers the global aerial robotics network.
Technology Company of the Year, Emerging -­‐ Cloudability, a cloud cost and usage data management and analytics platform.
Technology Company of the Year, Rising Star -­‐ Cedexis, a service that optimizes web performance across data centers, content delivery networks (CDNs) and clouds.
Technology Company of the Year, Growth – Puppet Labs, an IT automation service that automates configuration and management of machines and the software running on them.
Technology Company of the Year, Enterprise – Qorvo, providing scalable and dynamic RF solutions on mobile, infrastructure, and defense markets.
Most Influential Technology Company Not Headquartered in Oregon – Salesforce, one of the leading Customer Relationship Management platforms.
Most Disruptive Technology – Lumen Learning, a solution to make education more affordable through open educational resources.
During the event, other individual awards were also given. Equilibrium Capital Group, LLC is a global asset management platform that drives sustainability in real assets such as crop farms and LEED-certified properties, wastewater treatment and other water management issues, and other important global management concerns. The company’s Head of Sustainability and Structuring, Bill Campbell, was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Technology Executive of the Year award honored Sam Blackman, CEO and founder of Elemental Technologies. Elemental Technologies helps pay TV operators, content programmers, film studios, and sports broadcasters bring video to any screen.
“This year’s awards program demonstrates the strength of the tech community in Oregon and SW Washington. The TAO would like to congratulate all of the winners and thank the many volunteers and event sponsors,” said Skip Newberry, President of the Technology Association of Oregon.
Image Credit: Flickr/Aaron Hockley

DC’s Golden Triangle Highlights its Burgeoning Tech Scene

The Golden Triangle is the business, banking, and technology center of Washington, DC. Located in close proximity to the White House, the Treasury Department, and the World Bank, it takes up approximately 43 blocks and is home to global corporations, law firms, non-profits, and tech companies, as well as trendy restaurants, hotels, and shops. At the heart of this flourishing business district is the Golden Triangle BID. They are responsible for the many events and initiatives that keep the district clean, beautiful, and thriving.
One of the events that the BID has initiated is Farragut Fridays. Farragut Square is essentially the town square of the Golden Triangle. It’s a popular lunch spot year-round as food trucks line each side of the square between the hours of 11-2. During Fridays in the summer, the Golden Triangle BID turns Farragut Square into a space where people can work, socialize, and learn. They provide everything from additional seating (the regular park benches are hardly enough), to ping pong tables, to free wifi. Special activities go on all day and movie showings in the square (starting May 22nd) will take Farragut Fridays well into the night.
A new addition to Farragut Fridays this year is Tech Trends. Tech Trends will take place from 11-12 in a part of Farragut Square that has been set aside as a co-working space. The Golden Triangle BID has partnered with several DC co-working spaces, incubators, and tech companies to bring demos and presentations to the square.
The Golden Triangle is not currently known as a tech hub, but it is a prime spot that is already home to a number of large corporations and investment groups. Basically, this is a commercial district that has a lot of resources and a lot of money. The ultimate goal is to leverage these resources to bring more tech companies, as well as startups, into the district. Featuring an outdoor co-working space in the square with free wi-fi, coffee, and live demos, certainly makes working there more appealing.
I had a chance to talk with the Leona Agouridis, Executive Director of the Golden Triangle BID, about why summer is the perfect time to draw attention to the tech scene that is going on in the Golden Triangle. “You kind of get to this point where life is a little more mellow on Fridays.” “People are into co-working and shared workspace, and they’re into being outside, because people don’t want to be inside anymore.” So they strengthened the Wi-Fi and partnered with several co-working organizations tech companies, incubators, and educational organizations to host mini-events every Friday, hopefully through the end of summer.

Here’s a taste of what’s the Tech Trends schedule looks like so far:
TechShop 3-D printer Display – Friday, May 15th
General Assembly “Web Development, Let’s Break it Down” – Friday, May 22nd
Meet the DC Tech Meetup Crew – Friday, May 22nd
TechShop MakerFair – Friday, June 5th
General Assembly “Digital Marketing for Beginners” – Friday, June 12th
General Assembly “Basics of User Experience” – Friday, July 10th

And here’s some of the tech companies, Investors, and co-working spaces that currently or soon will call the Golden Triangle home:
UberOffices
Cove
Canvas/HZDG Design
SocialRadar
Tableau
TrackMaven
Uber Car
GP Tech Labs
Core Capital Partners
The Grosvenor Funds
NextGen Angels

2 Global Alternatives to Starting Up in Silicon Valley

Although Silicon Valley remains a golden standard for startup companies, new technology hubs around the world have emerged to support further developments. With almost 140,000 new startup businesses launched every day (according to the last year’s World Startup Report), it is clear that Silicon Valley cannot be the home for them all.
Nor it should be. There are a variety of countries that offer better expansion opportunities, lower corporate tax rates, and better government incentives. The two examples that are particularly interesting are Singapore and Estonia, where a greater number of startup companies is founded with every passing year.
Singapore calling
In relation to Singapore, Catapult Ventures CEO Vinod Nair explains for ZDNet that this country is somewhat of a heaven on earth for the rising startups for various reasons. Firstly, incubators are plentiful, meaning that entrepreneurs can easily find the necessary help for their most critical processes.
Secondly, the policies regarding company establishment and getting loans from the government are simpler than in most other countries, which leaves more space for entrepreneurs to focus on mission-critical activities. There are even companies that will guide the entrepreneurs through the whole process, as is the case with Rikvin that graphically represents steps needed to set up a company in Singapore and emphasizes the most complex ones.
Estonia’s representative examples
When it comes to Europe, however, Estonia appears to be one of the most interesting areas for a startup life. This is mostly due to the fact that the country has one of the most liberal tax regimes in the world, which makes company incorporation both cheap and easy. With government’s incentives for new technology companies and over 150 of those already based in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, this truly sounds as a place to create a successful business.
After all, Skype was initially founded in Estonia, where it still employs over 400 IT specialists. Thus, as Antti Vilpponen, CEO of Arctic Startup once pointed out:
“Estonia has three things in its favor: political leadership, the success of Skype, and its culture.”
These insights definitely shed a new light on the startup development options. It’d be interesting to monitor the future growth of these regions, which is certainly going to be a turbulent one.
Image credit: HenryLeongHimWoh