Inc. has published a list of the 50 top emerging companies worldwide that “are tackling the world’s most pressing problems” as determined by Kairos, an early-stage investment fund based in New York that finances the most promising problem-solving startups. Its 2018 list of 50 winners were culled from some 2,500 early-stage startups from more than 65 countries worldwide. The 50 startups that made the cut are listed in alphabetical order, and range from a “stealth Los Angeles-based company focused on solving A.I. cybersecurity issues” to a Mexico-City-based venture that “wants to make early breast cancer detection as easy as putting on a bra”.
An elite group of 2,000 top U.S. entrepreneurs, executives, and investors converged at the exclusive 2018 EY (Ernst and Young) Strategic Growth Forum this year to share what it takes to launch, grow, and sustain a business. The author shares the eight top takeaways from the more high-profile participants, from working towards a higher purpose to looking to the future.
One of the latest articles for Fast Company’s Secrets of the Most Productive People, penned by a Toronto native (and resident), explores what kind of music fosters productivity while working. He states that while numerous studies have confirmed that listening to music can improve productivity, new research suggests that some genres are more motivating than others: the better for productivity is classic rock, followed by alternative and pop, while the most distracting are hip-hop, heavy metal, EDM, and country.
Although it is a subjective call, one factor the study’s respondents agreed on was that music is preferable to any other background noise in the workplace. The study’s authors suggest “the right playlist for the right task,” but silence remains golden when trying to concentrate on important work.
As the old adage says, the most successful entrepreneurs have “failed their way to the top,” but while it holds some truth, the author says “wise business leaders know that learning from the mistakes of those around them can be just as enlightening and far less costly”.
He then discusses the four lessons the 2018 news cycle holds for entrepreneurs: the shiny object syndrome is real (“stale messaging will fall on deaf ears”); most people live in an echo chamber (“company leaders can either avoid opinionated messages or pick a side and recognize that their decision will attract some people while alienating others”); your secrets will come back to haunt you (“the lesson here is about being an honorable partner with your clients because doing anything else is just bad business”); and finally, don’t be your future on just one thing (“if a business is built on meeting the needs of a single huge client, that business is completely at the mercy of its client’s whims”).
While a daily routine is fine, if you want to make your days as productive as possible you need to examine how you spend your time to determine if your routines are helpful or harmful. In this article, the author quotes 33 successful entrepreneurs and executives who share the daily habits they rely on, from owning your schedule to clearing your inbox every day.
Unlike big companies, startups have far fewer resources to invest in product development and require a different plan. Here the author details several strategies for lowering product development costs: developing a minimally viable product to test the market; outsourcing your product development; and, strategically sourcing production.
In this article, the author goes into much detail about the most significant challenges he’s faced while transitioning from a startup entrepreneur to his growing company’s CEO. After reaching a staff of 100, he’s found that he has to delegate hiring, sacrifice tactics for strategy, and accept a less customer-facing role.
A solid business plan helps startup founders stay focused and gives them a larger perspective of their venture, regardless of whether they need outside investors or partners. In this guide, the author details a step-by-step process for writing a business plan that is unique to your startup: knowing your mission and objectives; identifying your market; identifying your competition; setting marketing goals and strategy; and lastly, defining your startup’s organizational structure.
The competition for Inc.’s 2018 Company of the Year was “as intense as it gets,” the author says. Among the more notable contenders were Netflix, which largely met “its ambitious goal to produce 700 new titles this year”, and Lyft, which “finally outmaneuvered its biggest rival, Uber, in one very important and growing segment, micromobility.” However, Lyft’s advancement in the market was overshadowed by the winner of the competition, Bird, which “happens to be dominating the world of micromobility”.
Other top contenders included the direct-to-consumer mattress company Tuft & Needle, and Allbird, a startup which makes shoes noted for their comfort and quality, and manufactured from sustainable materials: “merino wool, sugarcane, and eucalyptus tree fiber”.
All industry experts and interested women entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) year of one-on-one mentorship. The national charity, founded in 2002, supports women entrepreneurs across Canada by pairing them with mentors to help them take their business to the next level. The organization will launch their next round of pairings next spring. The mentorship program is open to women entrepreneurs from all industries, sizes, and stages, and applicants can be paired with a mentor in the same city or from another province according to their preferences and needs. The application deadline for mentors and mentees is February 15th, 2019.
The author begins with: “If you thought it was especially difficult to hire good talent in 2018, brace yourself: Next year you can expect more of the same.” To discover what the future holds for hiring and retaining talent, Inc. tapped economists and labor market analysts, and their biggest predictions are: the pickings will get even slimmer; employers will consider opening foreign offices; companies will invest more in technology; Amazon could force other companies to raise wages; companies will hire even faster than before; and lastly, new perks are crucial (and the more personalized, the better).