issue one
issue one
March 2019

editors note

editors note

The U.S. Department of Labor tells us that new business creation is at a 40-year low, yet content about new businesses appears to be at an all-time high. One peek around #vcTwit or a stumble into TechCrunch would have you swallowed by Silicon Valley hype.

From the outside, it seems to be getting tougher to find the signal in the noise.

Outside of Silicon Valley, something different is happening. Superficial stories about flyover states and corn fields, routine posts about “the next Silicon Valley,” and cursory Top 10 lists are the only substance that makes national distributions. As a case-in-point, TechCrunch used to use the same theme and thumbnail for a post about the Midwest every few months.

From the outside, it seems that our communities aren’t being understood.

At upside, we focus on startups, startup communities, and startup investing outside of Silicon Valley. We have our ears to the ground, arms wide open, and platform ready to tell the stories of amazing founders, venture capitalists, and community builders from across the country who are tackling problems in their own unique way.

This is a quarterly publication for outsiders by outsiders.

Welcome to the first issue of the update, a publication featuring editorials, trends, and stories happening outside of Silicon Valley. Our contributors live in the world outside of Silicon Valley and we think you’re going to love their genuine perspective.

If you enjoy the update, we would ask one simple thing: share it.

Share it on social, over email, and/or with a friend. Hell, share it from the mountaintop.

Cheers,
Jay & Eric

 

from the upside team

from the upside team

The Truth often exists in the middle. In the world of economics, the trickle-down Keynesian theories are directly opposed by the laissez-faire Austrian school. But the truth exists somewhere in the middle - the perfect combination of sweeping, centralized policy and organic, decentralized transactions.
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I attended my first Startup Weekend event in 2012. I had an app idea (doesn’t everyone?) and after applying for grant, was told, “This isn’t really aligned with our grants program, but here’s $100 -- go pitch it at Startup Weekend.” That event changed my life -- and that is not hyperbole.
read full story
I attended my first Startup Weekend event in 2012. I had an app idea (doesn’t everyone?) and after applying for grant, was told, “This isn’t really aligned with our grants program, but here’s $100 -- go pitch it at Startup Weekend.” That event changed my life -- and that is not hyperbole.
read full story

guest editorials

guest editorials

Almost daily, a request floats through my inbox from a startup seeking guidance on fundraising. The asks run the gamut—reviewing a pitch deck, feedback on the deal structure, or a warm intro to an investor. So how can the density of capital going into the coastal startup hubs make its way to a promising founder in smaller markets?
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For as long as I can remember, building things has been in my blood. My favorite toys growing up were Legos. I loved Legos so much that I shared a room with my little brothers way too long, just so that we could use our other bedroom to store all of our Legos.
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For as long as I can remember, building things has been in my blood. My favorite toys growing up were Legos. I loved Legos so much that I shared a room with my little brothers way too long, just so that we could use our other bedroom to store all of our Legos.
read full story
I was sitting in a packed session on the topic of venture funding with a panel of investors and venture-backed entrepreneurs. The audience of founders took copious notes while important, first-hand experiences were shared. Everything was fine, until one of the speakers indicated to the audience that founders must seek out a ‘friends and family’ round prior to approaching venture capitalists...
read full story

finger on the pulse

finger on the pulse

Everyone is looking for the next emerging tech hub. Articles about trending regions, curated by the upside team.

 

Columbus dominated Midwest startup growth in 2018

If you were to bet on one city that's poised to experience serious startup growth in the Midwest, Columbus would be a good candidate. In 2018, three of the city's startups - Root Insurance, Beam Dental, and Olive, raised the three largest VC rounds of any Ohio tech startup, excluding the state's health care startups.This followed the 2017 acquisition of Columbus' CoverMyMeds by San Francisco's McKesson for $1.1 billion.

This is Why Your Startup Should Partner with Big Companies to Ensure Success

It's not complicated. But I think we overdue the role that luck plays in business success. Luck is part of it, there are no guarantees but you can-and should-put your startup in the best position to succeed. In Cincinnati, a very intentional collaboration between big companies and startups has been taking place for a decade.

All Top US VC Firms Will Have Chicago Offices in 5 Years

Battery Ventures invested in Indianapolis-based Sigstr's $5 million Series A. August Capital led Chicago startup Kin Insurance's $13 million Series A. NEA and Maveron invested in St. Louis-based Safetrek's $3.2 million seed round. Greycroft came in on Minneapolis-based Foodsby's $1 million seed round.

'Comeback Cities Tour' Brought A Dozen Coastal VCs Through the South. Here's What They Thought - Hypepotamus

Last month, Atlanta founder Michael Sengbusch penned a piece for Hypepotamus on the underrepresentation of southeastern startups at the TechCrunch Disrupt startup event in Silicon Valley. That underrepresentation means that not only are startups from the region missing out on the visibility and connections to capital, but those who live in the tech hubs are also not exposed to the fact that the South and other regions do indeed have innovative, investable companies.

podfolio news

podfolio news

For this initial episode of the update, there may be some articles which did not happen between Dec. 1, 2018 - Feb. 28, 2019. All articles were published between episode recording and Feb. 28, 2019. In future episodes, all articles will be constrained to the previous three months.

 

(UP001) Tilr named to The Upstart 100 list (CNBC)

(UP002) RapChat raises $1.60M (Cheddar)

(UP003) How LawnGuru Uses Satellites To Map Your Yard (MapBox)

(UP004) Nick Potts quoted on Columbus as Tech Hub (Forbes)

(UP005) Chris Sentz featured in Founder Story Series (TechOhio)

(UP006) Swannies attended the PGA Merchandise Show (PGA)

(UP007) Kaleidoscope partners with ECMC and Zenith (PR Newswire)

(UP008) Loop Returns is hiring more (careers)

(UP009) BYBE named runner up in the Reader’s Poll (Columbus CEO)

(UP010) Upsie named a Best AppleCare Alternative (Gotta Be Mobile)

(UP011) ParqEx is Reinventing Rentals (Built in Chicago)

(UP012) Here are the 8 Louisville companies competing for $100,000 in Rise of the Rest (WDRB)

(UP013) Local Crate partners with James Beard Award Winner, Food52 (GlobeNewswire)

(UP014) 10XTS launched an equity crowdfunding campaign (Wunderfund)

(UP015) Mixtroz is Shining in Birmingham (Alabama NewsCenter)

(UP016) Mobius named top startup culture (Powderkeg)

(UP017) Set Scouter finds love in the blogging community (MTL Blog)

(UP018) Are Cuddle Clones slippers the best custom gift eve? (Today)

(UP019) Wicked Sheets pitched at Startup Grind in Silicon Valley (Lane Report)

(UP020) Three Firefighters received four reviews (f6s)

(UP021) GenoPalate Closes $1.35M round (BizTimes)

(VC022) Concur passed 20,000 followers (Instagram)

(UP023) Bek Abdullayev named Pipeline Fellow (Startland)

(UP024) Intrinio had a big 2018 (St. Pete Catalyst)

(UP025) Vlipsy gets adopted by Peeqo, the video-response robot (Kickstarter)

(UP026) Can AI prevent the next Parkland? (USA Today)

(UP027) ShearShare partners with L’Oreal for independent stylist services (Fast Company)

(UP028) Summersalt Closes $6.10M round (Silicon Prairie News)

(UP029) CareAlert plans launch in 2019Q2 (Hypepotamus)

(UP030) SenseArena looks to help young players workout their brain muscles (Sports Techie)

(UP031) Woobo named #3 Hottest Kids Tech at CES (Daily Mom)

(UP032) Leah La Salla named to 50 Women-Led Startups Crushing Tech (Forbes)

(UP033) SOMAVAC Medical Solutions Welcomes Joelle Goan as Program Manager (BioSpace)

(UP034) Testcard received a Top Emerging Tech Award for CES 2019 (Digital Trends)

(UP035) Exaeris and University of Tulsa announce patent issuance (The Water Network)

parting gift

parting gift

JAY CLOUSE AND ERIC HORNUNG

first quarter podcast recommendations

As you may know, we run a podcast called upside, the first podcast finding upside outside of Silicon Valley. What you might not know is that we also listen to other podcasts.

In listening to dozens of podcasts a week, we have stumbled across a few that really stick out. And each quarter, we will distill our listens down into:

  • Consensus - the podcast episode Eric and Jay most agree on
  • Classic - Jay and Eric’s individual picks that tackle a topic near the intersection of finance and entrepreneurship
  • Contrary - Jay and Eric’s individual picks that aren’t immediately intuitive
see our picks

further reading

further reading

Want to read even more great startup content? We recommend these roundups for more.