Mar 21

Shinola Builds Brand and Jobs in Detroit

Shinola isn’t just a startup. It’s a Detroit-based startup. Like the city, Shinola is a bit of an underdog. As disposable, mass-produced goods from China flood the market, Shinola is betting on high-quality products produced with American labor. But as it expands its manufacturing footprint in Detroit while opening retail stores across the country and […]

Feb 19

Earnest Lends Based on Potential, Not History

If the American banking system isn’t broken, there are definitely plenty of cracks. Earnest, a self-described “merit-based lender,” can identify those who slip through them. Traditional banks use credit scores to determine if you’re eligible for a loan. Earnest doesn’t believe those scores offer a complete picture. It’s leveraging technology and up to 100,000 data […]

Feb 12

Hyperloop Technologies Approaches Its Kitty Hawk Moment

When Elon Musk dropped a 57-page proposal for Hyperloop, a new kind of transportation system, in 2013, some thought his concept was a great idea. They just didn’t think it would ever happen. Hyperloop utilizes pods to transport people or cargo in a low-pressure tube, which cuts down on friction, at nearly the speed of […]

Feb 11

Accelerating Biotech at Startup Speed

IndieBio, a seed-stage biotech accelerator, believes we can reprogram life to solve “intractable problems.” It’s helping companies develop faster solutions to those problems with $200,000 in cash and $50,000 in resources, for which the accelerator gets 8 percent equity. Recently the company held its second Demo Day. Fourteen companies got the chance to show off […]

Feb 5

Carrot’s Cars Cut Down Mexico City Congestion

Carrot must have known it was doing something right when Mexico City’s Head of Government and Head of the Ministry of Environment helped it launch its carsharing service in 2012. The reason they were there? Nine million people live in Mexico City, with vehicle ownership growing  4.2 percent annually. Its heavily congested streets aren’t just […]

Feb 4

Rebooting the Solar Industry

Subsidies helped solar achieve its best year ever in 2015. With the extension of the solar investment tax credit, Congress will help utility-scale and rooftop solar grow even faster in 2016, even if investing in solar doesn’t always work out (Solyndra). Had the credit not been extended, forecaster IHS says, the impact on the solar industry would have […]

Jan 29

Can Tech Improve Democracy?

Back in 2008, the last time there were two contested sets of caucuses in Iowa, the parties reported results via touch-tone phones. Now, Microsoft is providing Republicans and Democrats with apps to record and report results. The software promises to highlight anomalies and let party officials contact precincts if issues come up. It’s a swell […]

Jan 29

Seenapse’s Big Idea? An Inspiration Engine for Creatives

A few years ago, Rafael Jimenez realized something was missing from the Internet. It wasn’t information. There’s plenty of that. It was missing a system to inspire creativity. “Out of frustration,” Jimenez created Seenapse, a search engine he hopes will help others, and himself, “spark ideas.” Seenapse lets people share and discover “mental associations.” For […]