A New Model for Accelerators

By | General | No Comments

The accelerator, as we know it today, has been commoditized. It all started 10 years ago as a small, exclusive opportunity for top founders with raw ideas to take a little money and get a lot of help in a really short period of time, famously spawning the likes of DropBox, Reddit, and Airbnb. Y Combinator’s early success spawned Techstars and a host of other models. Now, cities that barely have a startup scene at all certainly have one, and likely more, accelerators ready and willing to serve the entrepreneurial population. When we founded Uproar Labs a year ago, our team…

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‘Internet of Things’ next change agent?

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This article was written by Mark Green, the editorial director of The Lane Report, and appears in their December issue..  He can be reached at markgreen@lanereport.com. Internet connectivity is rapidly infiltrating devices everywhere to provide feedback to engineers, managers, designers and customers. Machines, products and industrial processes, especially in manufacturing, are growing ever more effective, efficient and profitable. This “Internet of Things,” as it is called, is helping revive U.S. productivity and competitiveness, attracting onshore jobs that departed a generation ago in pursuit of lower foreign labor costs. Growing machine-to-machine communication is creating faster processes and better service, decreasing downtime and…

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How Kentucky Can Produce More Engineers [and your state, too!]

By | Software, Tech and Startups | No Comments

Growing Kentucky’s Engineering Population An essay by Nick Such of Awesome Inc. and Alex Frommeyer of Beam Technologies/Uproar Labs This essay originally appears in Louisville Business First: In our post-recession, 21st century ecosystem, there are many theories about structuring a successful economy. Diversity. A commitment to manufacturing. Less reliance on financial services. And…a deep, robust investment in innovation and technology. In 2011, Marc Andreessen of the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz famously declared that software ‘is eating the world’. This theme certainly resonates for anyone who has watched software evolve from rudimentary languages to a mainstay in every facet of a…

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The Real Problem with Scaling Solar Energy

By | General | No Comments

Installing solar panels is more practical now than ever before. However, solar energy accounts for just 1% of the US’s total electricity production. If more home, business and property owners take advantage of the beneficial economics of utilizing solar energy, our nation’s insatiable energy demand and environmental concerns can simultaneously be quelled.   If solar energy can be so practical, cost effective, and easy, then why aren’t home owners installing nationwide? For some places, competing energy production costs are low enough to prevent solar from making sense financially. But, for literally millions of homes all over the country, solar panels are…

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Making Restaurants Smarter: FreshFry Profile

By | General | One Comment

I first met Jeremiah Chapman in 2009 when we were both undergrads in the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. The first two things you notice about Jeremiah are his energy and personality; he is a true magnet in that way.  Our friendship was primarily social, but it wasn’t long before his passion for innovation within the energy field became evident. Around that time, Jeremiah began to take a deep interest in clean-tech topics within his chemical engineering degree program. Hank Conn, an engineering grad and successful businessman, had also just made a large gift to the…

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Why Hardware Companies Are Secretly Excellent Startup Opportunities

By | Internet of Things | No Comments

Bolt, with Ben Einstein, has done it again. In a recent piece on the 2 hidden advantages of doing a hardware play, Ben teases out one of the dirty little secrets of SaaS business models: there is often a high customer acquisition cost, and relatively low lifetime customers value in exchange for it. In other words, it can cost a ton of money in sales & marketing to get any given user buying your new-fangled piece of software. Totally OK, as long as that customer a) doesn’t leave for a newer/better/cheaper version of you in 2 months, and b) pays…

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HelioMap: Connecting Customers to Solar Panels

By | General | No Comments

For the past couple of years, I have had a present and increasing interest in clean tech and renewables, specifically in solar.  Part of the fascination is with the underlying technology and storage issues, and part is with the business model of solar energy.  The question is always the same: ‘Why hasn’t solar won yet?’. Now, this perspective has been mostly contained to the US market, and solar has been a much bigger deal in other markets for decades.  However, the US is the world’s largest consumer of energy, and renewables cut across technology, business, politics, and culture in a…

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Hey, Rust Belt: Be Strategic about Building your Maker Community

By | General, Tech and Startups | One Comment

This is the last of a 3 part series exploring the fascinating topic of hackerspaces and makerspaces.  Check out my take on Techshop and a discussion of corporate hackerspaces for more on the subject. The maker movement is growing nationwide at an incredible pace.  This coincides with many of the themes that have suddenly gripped the tech industry in the very recent past: crowdfunding, 3D printing, the internet of things, wearables, cheap sensors, the domestic manufacturing movement, and many more.  But perhaps more than any of these factors, a makerspace increasingly represents something much bigger in many communities fortunate enough to…

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Perception is Reality: IoT’s Security Problem

By | General | One Comment

The hype machine for the internet of things projects to reach its fever pitch by the end of this year or in 2015, as we continue to see a rush of hardware hackers, IoT startups, and, increasingly, even large tech companies flexing their muscles with new connected products.  One theme that continues to get a lot of play in media is the collective public concern around data breaches, data uses, and general security.  Whether the products are in the sky (‘you mean these drones have cameras and can spy on me?!’), on the wrist (‘is my health payer going to…

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Can Corporate Hackerspaces Work?

By | General | No Comments

This is the second of a 3 part series discussing hackerspaces.  Part 3 will address the value of hackerspaces in middle American urban areas as a catalyst for a more creative culture.   The Maker Movement worldwide is in explosive growth mode: There are now over 500 active hackerspaces in the world, dozens of Maker Faire’s that dot the US and some international locations, and the rise of sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Etsy and others that cater to the ‘maker economy’.  3D printers have gone from expensive industrial machinery to a must buy for every middle school science class in just…

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