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Best and worst states for business ranked

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

TexasFor the ninth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey, released today. Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana also made the top five.

The results may alleviate some fears in North Carolina, where other such evaluations have not placed the state as high as in previous years.

The states rated worst for business are California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

It’s interesting that states with powerhouse venture capital sources and nation-leading business sectors such as California, Massachusetts, and New York top the list of worst states for business in these polls time after time. Makes you wonder just what these business-friendly state rankings really mean.

Best 5 States for Business Rank 2013
Texas 1st
Florida 2nd
North Carolina 3rd
Tennessee 4th
Indiana 5th

 

Worst 5 States for Business Rank 2013
California 50th
New York 49th
Illinois 48th
Massachusetts 47th
New Jersey 46th

 

The Best & Worst States Survey measures the sentiments of CEOs on a range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.  For the 2013 survey, 736 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states between Jan. 16 and Feb. 14, 2013.

Ohio was the biggest gainer in this year’s survey, rising 13 spots from #35 to #22. “Ohio is doing some amazing things to attract and support a pro-business environment,” said Don Taylor , CEO of Fairlawn, Ohio-based Welty Building Company. The biggest loser was Delaware, which dropped 13 spots to #27.

California hostile to business?

CEOs say California’s poor ranking is the result of a perceived hostility to business, high state taxes and onerous regulations, all of which drive investment, companies and jobs to other states. According to the California Manufacturers & Technology Association,California accounts for 12.6% of total U.S. GDP, but only has a 2.2% share of investments in new and expanding manufacturing sites.

“When you investigate acquiring businesses in some of the states rated poorly for business conditions, the anecdotes all wind up being true,” said Kevin Hawkesworth , President & CEO of Florida-based Shaw Development. “The horror stories about these states are real.”

“California, Illinois and New York are simply awful states to operate facilities or employ people,” according to another CEO. “We will do almost anything possible to minimize our exposure to these anti-business environments.”

Piles of regulations a problem

“Thank you, California!” responded one Texas-based CEO facetiously. “Keep applying pressure on your job creators and we will keep welcoming their moves to Texas.”

A common theme among CEOs is the burden of constantly changing regulations. “Business is too hard without dealing with piles of regulations that are constantly changing,” said Rick Waechter , CEO of Boston Magazine. “I believe there have to be controls, but keep them simple and straightforward—and most importantly, don’t make it a moving target.”

“CEOs continue to tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas Governor Rick Perry , by contrast, personally makes it his mission to lead corporate recruitment and economic development efforts in his state,” saidJ.P. Donlon , Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net.

Playbook for success

“The playbook for successful states boils down to three simple moves: engage in real dialogue with business leaders, adapt policies to create an attractive environment, and effectively communicate your story to real job creators,” said Marshall Cooper , CEO of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “This year’s rankings prove that smart policies result in increased investments, jobs and greater overall economic activity.”

2013 Biggest Gainers Positions Gained
Ohio +13
Minnesota +6
Alabama +5
Arizona +4
Kansas +4
2013 Biggest Losers Positions Lost
Delaware -13
Mississippi -8
Missouri -7
Kentucky -4
Wyoming -4

For complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria, CEO comments, methodology and more, please visitChiefExecutive.net.

N. Kentucky UpTech II offers $50K in equity to selected startups

Friday, April 26th, 2013

UpTechUpTech, Northern Kentucky’s super business accelerator has opened the application process for UpTech II and seeks startups who will receive $50,000 in equity as part of the program.

Launched in 2012, the intense, six-month accelerator program is designed to attract and accelerate entrepreneurs who have the next big idea to make the world a better place.

As Tri-ED, Vision 2015 and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) continue their effort to build an informatics industry in Northern Kentucky, NKU will continue to support the community’s business start-up effort that began in UpTech I.

Working with N. Kentucky U

UpTech will work with Northern Kentucky University to engage faculty-guided students who will use their talents to support selected UpTech company projects.

”This will include student developers from the Center for Applied Informatics as well as students drawn from several programs in the College of Informatics and College of Business, helping these early stage UpTech companies build a business from the ground up.

Additionally, UpTech will provide each business with an equity investment of $50,000, six months of free, premium office space, an executive mentor, along with a dedicated team of essential business professionals providing financial, law, accounting, sales and marketing/public relations support. Additional follow-on funds will be awarded to successful companies after the program has concluded.

Informatics is the “sweet spot”

“UpTech’s ‘sweet spot’ is the Informatics sector but we are interested in investing in BIG IDEAS that disrupt the way we do business or see the world. We are excited to launch our second round,” said Amanda Greenwell, Program Manager. “Interested applicants are invited to participate in one of our webinar events for additional information about our program and the application process.”

Prospective applicants can register for the webinar sessions by visiting www.uptechideas.org.

Sessions will be held at noon EDT on the following days:
Tuesday, April 30th
Thursday, May 2nd
Tuesday, May 7th
Friday, May 10th
Tuesday May 14th
Thursday, May 16th
Monday, May 20th
Wednesday, May 22nd
Thursday, May 23rd

More information on applying for UpTech II can be also found on the UpTech website at www.uptechideas.org. The first round applications will be due by May 24, 2013 with UpTech II companies announced in July 2013.

Peak 10 CEO offers 4 tips for entrepreneurs

Monday, March 4th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

David Jones

David Jones, President & CEO, Peak 10.

Even though Peak 10, the Charlotte-based data center and managed services provider now has 350 employees, CEO David Jones says the company still tries to foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

“We don’t make all our decisions centrally,” says Jones.

Jones co-founded Peak 10 in March of 2000 and has led the company to a top market position as a leading independent data center, managed services, and cloud computing solutions provider in the United States, with facilities in Charlotte, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Tampa, South Florida, Raleigh, and Richmond.

Participating in the Southeast Venture Conference

Jones, who speaks often to entrepreneurial groups and is a past chair and still a director of the North Carolina Technology Association, is one of dozens of thought-leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs participating in the Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14.

“I think it’s going to be a great event for Charlotte,” Jones says. “It has an informative agenda, not the same old stuff you usually see at conferences. It’s going to bring a lot of faces into Charlotte who don’t normally spend time here.”

SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.

Specifically, that includes speakers and panelists from national and regional venture capital firms and 50 innovative presenting companies from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Last we heard, there were only a handful of seats left for the event, so it’s a good idea to reserve yours now if you plan on attending.

Part of the Peak 10 entrepreneurial culture derives from its growing an average of about 25 percent a year and regularly opening new facilities to meet demand in the areas it serves.

Four pieces of advice for entrepreneurs

We asked Jones what advice he thinks is most important to starting a company.

First, he says, “Stay focused. We’ve all heard stories of companies that try to do too many things at once and don’t do any of them well.”

But even more important, he says, “Hire the best people you can. Don’t be complacent about that.” In the end, “That will make you successful or not.”

Get the right financial leadership

Next, he says, “Make sure you have the right financial leadership. A lot of startups fly by the seat of their pants. You need to know your operating costs.  I’ve always tried to find the best financial officer I could. If nothing else, have a financial advisor who can help you strategize where you are and the things you’ll need.”

Doing that can prevent you from “Hitting a brick wall when you find you didn’t plan for what you need on the development side.”

Finally, he adds, “Make sure you have a plan that can get funded. Great ideas go nowhere unless you have a plan to get there. Keep it simple. The more complex you make it, the harder it will be to get to where you want to be.”

In general, Jones says, “We’re in challenging times, but there are still a lot of opportunities out there.”

 

Five reasons you should attend SEVC 2013

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

SEVC 2013Need a reason why you should attend the Seventh Annual Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14? Here’s five:

First, you’ll make connections with the region’s top technology entrepreneurs and executives.

More than 50 presenting companies and hundreds of high growth company C-suite execs attending, you’ll have an unsurpassed opportunity to build partnerships and hear about the latest startup trends.

Second, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to network with investors and venture firms from throughout the United States, not just regional firms.

Whether you’re in venture fundraising mode or an investor looking to further relationships with fellow investors for deal flow, SEVC is the vehicle to make those connections.

We’ve interviewed several of the participating venture capitalists at the TechJournal, with more to come. Here’s a sample:

 

Brian Rich

Brian Rich, managing director, co-founder, Catalyst Ventures.He’s participating in the Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14.

How to pitch a venture capitalist (interview with Brian Rich of Catalyst Ventures).

SecondMarket turns dead equity into productive equity (interview with SecondMarket’s Matt Shapiro).

The bar is higher for startups seeking first round financing (interview with Intel Capital’s East Coast Director, Mark Rostick).

Will there be an app economy in five years? (interview with Ron Shah of the Stripes Group).

Seven lessons from the dark side (interview with Grotech’s Don Rainey).

What does it take to build a startup to successful IPO? (interview with Bob Hower, general partner at Advanced Technology Ventures).

Also see: Startups aim to put Charlotte on the map (Charlotte Observer story focused on Terry Cox, founder and CEO of BIG (Business Innovation Growth) in Charlotte. It includes background on how Charlotte was chosen to host the event.

And three more reasons SEVC can kick up your chances for success:

Sevc12_pics

 

3. You’ll gain market insight and success strategies from innovation and technology community’s brightest starts.

From the CEO of SAP to the Publisher of Forbes - SEVC will feature over 40 speakers discussing the latest trends, best practices and strategies relating to technology and entrepreneurial growth. You’ll learn from them not just during roundtable discussions, but in one on one situations through hours of networking.

SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.

Panel & Presentation topics include:

  • State of Venture Capital
  • Early Stage Fundraising
  • Value Creation: Company/Investor Relationship
  • Growth Stage Funding
  • M&A Outlook and Strategies
  • LP Viewpoint
  • SaaS Investment Trends
  • Getting to Market
  • IPO & Secondary Market Outlook
  • Entrepreneur’s Roundtable
  • International Health Care Trends

4. To make networking and private meetings even easier, there is an online pre-event networking platform for attendees. 

At SEVC, the online networking platform allows attendees to connect with one another prior, during and after the conference. Attendees can see other attendee’s interests, request and setup meetings and connect helping to maximize the lasting connections you’ll make at this year’s conference.

5. Even more CXO and Venture Partner networking to create relationships that can last your entire career.

Networking is center stage at SEVC. Over one and a half days there are 3 separate open bar networking receptions, a networking breakfast, lunch networking and 7 additional networking breaks.

The event sells out, so it’s a good idea to Register today.

 

What can advertisers learn from the flu?

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

MaxPointEven though this year’s flu virus is infecting people throughout the nation and New York and Boston even declared citywide health emergencies – you might not guess that Huntsville, Alabama is the city most concerned about it.

MaxPoint, a company that helps retailers and brands drive local in-store sales with its Digital Zip technology, announced its latest Interest Index, which reveals the cities most interested in flu-related remedies.

While that may or may not concern your company or your advertising clients specifically, MaxPoint notes that it is crucial for advertisers to dive deep into neighborhood and audience data when building campaigns.

For instance, New York and Boston did not even make the top ten list of cities most concerned about the flu this year.

By analyzing billions of in-store purchases and online data points, MaxPoint found that the 10 cities most interested in all things flu-related are the following:

1. Huntsville, AL
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Greensboro, NC
4. Greenville, SC
5. Des Moines, IA
6. Rochester, NY
7. Birmingham, AL
8. Boise, ID
9. Augusta, GA
10. Milwaukee, WI

nterest Data in Action

Using the data from this Interest Index, MaxPoint ran several digital advertising campaigns, including the following:

  • A global pharmaceutical company with a diverse healthcare portfolio — including pharmaceuticals, eye care products and vaccines — wanted to drive adults over the age of 65 to select pharmacy locations to receive flu shots. Using MaxPoint’s hyperlocal advertising approach, the company achieved 164 percent lift in awareness of its flu vaccine at participating pharmacies.
  • A manufacturer of analgesics wanted to increase brand awareness and drive sales of its products. By running digital ads with MaxPoint, the manufacturer achieved 3 percent sales lift in mass merchandise stores.

State and local governments wasting billions to lure firms from other states

Friday, January 25th, 2013

US mapState and local governments waste billions of dollars annually on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on creating truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.

“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country,” said Greg LeRoy , executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report.

“The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”

Interstate job piracy is not a fruitful strategy for economic growth, LeRoy noted: “The costs are high and the benefits low, given that a tiny number of companies get huge subsidies for moving a small number of jobs.” LeRoy added: “Moreover, the availability of relocation subsidies allows companies that have no intention of moving to extract payoffs to stay put.”

Interstate relocations have microscopic job effects

Summarizing studies demonstrating that interstate relocations have microscopic job effects, the report also reviews the history of economic competition among the states and presents eight case studies of those areas where job piracy is most pronounced.

The case studies cover metropolitan areas such as Kansas City, Charlotte, New York and Memphis, where companies get subsidized to move short distances across state borders; states such as Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island that are aggressive users of relocation subsidies; and states such as Illinois and Ohio, which have given big retention or “job blackmail” packages.

The report recommends that states stop subsidizing companies for relocating jobs from other states, noting that four-fifths of the states already refuse to pay for intrastate job relocations.

The report also recommends that states end their business recruitment activities that are explicitly designed to pirate existing jobs from other states. It also suggests a modest role for the federal government: reserving a small portion of its economic development aid for those states that amend their incentive codes to make existing jobs ineligible for subsidies.

 The report, entitled The Job-Creation Shell Game, is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org/shellgame.

Need funding? SEVC seeks presenting companies for March event

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.

If you’re a high growth innovative company looking for funding, you still have a chance to present your business plan in front of top national venture capitalists and private equity professionals at the 2013 Southeast Venture Conference March 13th and 14th at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, NC.

Applications to present at the event are still being accepted.

The event seeks  high growth, innovative companies from diverse technology industries including Software-as-a-Service, New Media, Bio-IT, Clean-Tech, Medical Devices, Mobile, Security, among others.

You’ll meet  hundreds of the region’s leading entrepreneurs and high growth company executives (from startups to pre-IPO), National Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Professionals, M&A facilitators and other leading professionals serving the high growth technology community.

SEVC highlights both early and later stage investment opportunities from: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

Last year’s SEVC Average Presenter Profile:

  • Average Annual Revenue: $5.9 million
  • Average Capital Raised to Date: $6.7 million
  • Average Number of Employees: 35

While the presenting companies are from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the investors fly in from all parts of the country, including California, New York, and Massachusetts, as well as those that are regionally focused.

Exclusive panels, speakers, programming

The SEVC features market relevant investor and executive panels, exclusive networking opportunities, featured speakers and dozens of the region’s top private technology firms presenting to a national audience of venture capitalists, investment bankers and private equity investors.

As a TechMedia company and sponsor of the event, the TechJournal has reported on many firms that subsequently landed angel or venture backing. Venture capitalists tell us, they find new firms to put on their radar and track at each year’s event and many have returned year after year to spot hot Southeast opportunities.

SEVC is also an unparalleled networking event in which innovative firms meet potential partners, customers, and employees, in addition to making invaluable contacts within the venture and angel funding community.

Additional information on presenting and registration can be found at seventure.org andyou can view a list of past presenters here.

 

2013 Southeast Venture Conference set for Charlotte in March

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013.

The seventh annual Southeast Venture Conference, a major event for investors and entrepreneurs, is headed to Charlotte, NC, March 13-14 at the Riz-Carlton.

The conference features presentations by 60 of the region’s high growth investment opportunities.

They will include both early and later stage companies from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

The conference offers an unparalleled opportunity to Network with hundreds of the region’s leading Entrepreneurs and High Growth Company Executives, National Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Professionals, M&A facilitators and other leading professionals serving the technology community.

We’ve covered many startup and later stage firms that presented at previous SEVC’s and later landed multiple financing rounds.

SEVC is also teaming with the Internet Summit in Raleigh Nov. 6-8 this year to present the two-day Startup Summit focused on entrepreneurs.

ttendees and speakers include leading incubators, venture capital firms, and innovative companies. We’ll feature 16 presenting startups that will showcase their companies and concepts. You’ll have the opportunity to meet them one-on-one in our demo pit.

Speakers at the Startup Summit include influential entrepreneurs and leaders from the investment community:

  • Angus Davis, Founder & CEO, Swipely
  • Paul Singh, Partner & Master of the Hustle, 500Startups
  • Sarah Lacy, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, PandoDaily
  • Scott Maxwell, Founder, OpenView Venture Partners
  • Michael Doernberg, CEO and Co-founder, Reverbnation
  • Laura Witt, General Partner, ABS Capital
  • Rob Go, Partner, NextView Ventures
  • David Morken, Founder & CEO, Bandwidth.com
  • Jonathan Perrelli, Founding Partner, Fortify.vc
  • Dayna GraysonNorth Bridge Venture Partners
  • Neil Kataria, Founder & Chairman, newBrandAnalytics
  • Greg Cangialosi, Managing Dir, Nucleus Venture Partners
  • Jason Caplain, General Partner, Southern Capital Ventures
  • Robbie Allen, Founder & CEO, Automated Insights
  • John Burke, Founder and General Partner, True Ventures
  • Joe Velk, Contender Capital
  • Chris Heivly, Managing Partner, Triangle Startup Factory
  • David Jones, Partner, Southern Capital Ventures
  • Joe Schmidt, CMO, Cafepress
  • Tom Lotrecchiano, Sr Vice President, Cafepress
  • Matt Williamson, Founder & CEO, Windsor Circle

 

 

One week left to apply for NW Arkansas accelerator challenge

Monday, June 11th, 2012

By Allan Maurer

Northwest Arkansas probably does not come instantly to mind as a tech hub, admits Jeannette Balleza , director of The ARK Challenge Technology Accelerator.

But, NW Arkansas is cultivating its own startup ecosystem, building on its core strengths. The longstanding home to the corporate headquarters of Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Northwest Arkansas is recognized worldwide for leadership and world-class expertise in the retail, food and logistics industries.

The ArkIn addition, Balleza points out, NW Arkasas has the easy networking climate and reasonable costs of a small town but big city amenities demanded by a young, tech savvy workforce.

Tech companies – which do not have to be from Arkasas – have one week left to apply for a spot in the 14-week ARK challenge program. It seeks firms that can build a mobile app or Internet product attractive to one of the above clusters – retail, logistics, food processing – in time to demonstrate it to potential customers and investors following the program.

Up to 15 selected companies will receive over $18K each in seed funding, promotion, invaluable networking with advisors and potential funders, as well as intensive mentoring from a group of community-based and national mentors during a 14-week entrepreneurial bootcamp starting August 2012.

Each of the selected companies also will benefit from services of Innovate Arkansas, a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International that encourages technology-based innovations and job creation in Arkansas. Two of the selected startups will be eligible for an additional $150,000 in funding.

The ARK Challenge’s 60+ mentors include:

Inspired by innovation across the heartland—Detroit, Austin, Raleigh and Silicon Prairie of the Midwest, Northwest Arkansas is cultivating its own startup ecosystem, building on its core strengths. The longstanding home to the corporate headquarters of Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Northwest Arkansas is recognized worldwide for leadership and world-class expertise in the retail, food and logistics industries.

Additionally, The ARK Challenge has conducted interviews with representatives in each of these key industry clusters to identify the newest playgrounds for innovation for technology entrepreneurs. The resulting five-page technology assessment report is available for download here.

Bazella says ARK has received applications from seven countries and 11 states, some of them “exciting ideas in media social analytics.”

Visit http://arkchallenge.org for additional details and to apply, or contact The ARK Challenge Director Jeannette Balleza at jeannette@arkchallenge.org or 479.595.6063.

CEOs rate best states for business: Texas No. 1, NC slips, Florida rises

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

TexasFor the eighth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey, released today.

Florida rose one spot to take the #2 rank, while North Carolina slipped to #3.

Tennessee remained at #4 while Indiana climbed a spot to capture the #5 rank. CEOs named the worst states to do business as California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

The Best & Worst States Survey measures the sentiment of CEOs on business conditions around the nation.

For the 2012 survey, 650 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.  The survey was conducted from Jan. 24 to Feb. 26, 2012.

Louisiana biggest gainer

Louisiana was the biggest gainer in the survey, rising 14 spots to be the #13th most attractive state in the country to do business. The biggest loser was Oregon, which dropped nine spots to #42.

CEOs surveyed said California’s poor ranking is the result of its hostility to business, high state taxes and overly stringent regulations, which is driving investment, companies and jobs to other states.

According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.

“CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas, by contrast, has been welcoming companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena,” said J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executivemagazine and ChiefExecutive.net.

“Local economic development corporations, as well as the state Texas Enterprise Fund, are providing attractive incentives. This, along with the relaxed regulatory environment and supportive State Department of Commerce adds up to a favorable climate for business.”

Inhospitable business environments mean less jobs, as entrepreneurs and established corporations seek more cost-efficient and tax-friendly locales, said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net.  “This survey shows that states that create policies and incentives are rewarded with investment, jobs and greater overall economic activity.”

For complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria, methodology and more, please visitChiefExecutive.net.

Best 5 States for Business Rank 2012 Rank 2011
Texas 1st 1st
Florida 2nd 3rd
North Carolina 3rd 2nd
Tennessee 4th 4th
Indiana 5th 6th
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)              
Worst 5 States for Business Rank 2012 Rank 2011
California 50th 50th
New York 49th 49th
Illinois 48th 48th
Massachusetts 47th 45th
Michigan 46th 46th
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)              
2012 Biggest Gainers Positions Gained
Louisiana +14
Mississippi +8
West Virginia +8
Ohio +6
North Dakota +6
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)

 

2012 Biggest Losers Positions Lost
Oregon -9
Kentucky -8
New Hampshire -8
Nebraska -7
Minnesota -7
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)                                                

Cvent names the top 100 meeting hotels in the U.S.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Peabody Orlando

Interior of the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the number one meeting hotel in the U.S., according to Cvent

Cvent, the world’s largest cloud-based provider of event management and venue selection solutions, has named the top 100 hotels for meetings in the United States, according to meeting and event planners in the Cvent Supplier Network.

The Cvent Supplier Network is a free online marketplace that connects meeting planners with over 200,000 venues worldwide; it generated $4 billion in business for hotels in 2011 and projects more than $5.5 billion to be generated in 2012.

In addition, over 100,000 meetings were booked on the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011 alone.

The list of hotels was compiled from a pool of 80,000 hotels in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network. The ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:

  • The number of electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) the property received from the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011;
  • The hotel’s average response rate to the RFPs sent through the marketplace;
  • The number of meeting rooms available;
  • The total square footage of meeting space offered at the hotel; and
  • The amount of business the property was awarded in 2011 by meeting planners through the Cvent Supplier Network.

The list is comprised of venues from a variety of locales, spanning 17 states and the District of Columbia. Florida represents the largest number of meeting hotels in the top 100, taking nearly one-fifth of the list at a total of 19 properties.

Nevada comes in second with 14 properties, and the state of Texas takes third place with a total of 13 hotels on the list.

Top 10 Meeting Hotels in the U.S.

1. The Peabody Orlando, Orlando, Florida

2. Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee

3. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

4. Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Florida

5. The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos, Las Vegas, Nevada

6. Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

7. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

8. The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, Georgia

9. ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas, Nevada

10. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

For the complete list of Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S. visit http://www.cvent.com/top100hotelsus.

Rural Business Investment firm Meritus Ventures, promotes Chris Miller

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Meritus VenturesTennessee-based Meritus Ventures, a venture capital fund and Rural Business Investment Company, announced the promotion of Chris Miller to Associate.

Meritus Ventures, is currently the only Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) in the United States.

The $36.5M venture capital fund invests to realize attractive returns for the fund’s investors while creating wealth and jobs in rural areas of central and southern Appalachia and Arkansas.  In addition to providing equity investment, the fund may provide operational assistance to its portfolio companies.

“Chris is an exceptional member of our staff, making measureable contributions to the operation of our fund,” said Meritus Ventures Fund Manager Grady Vanderhoofven.

“In addition to his previous responsibilities as an analyst, we increasingly rely on Chris to participate in identifying and sourcing investment opportunities. He has become progressively more engaged in our due diligence process and will be more directly involved with our portfolio companies in the future.”

“We put an emphasis on mentoring and developing our investment professionals into assets for Meritus, our limited partners, our portfolio companies, and the region in which we invest.  Sustainability of our enterprise requires depth of resources and the expansion of capacity, and this action is another step in that direction for Meritus,” Vanderhoofven concluded.

Miller has more than ten years of operating and investment experience with small and venture companies.  Prior to joining Meritus Ventures in 2007 as an analyst, Miller received an MBA from the University of Tennessee and worked in operations and business development roles for a start-up.  Miller is an active part of the regional entrepreneurial business community, and he is a point of access and information for regional venture development groups and for companies seeking to approach Meritus for investment.

“Gig PrizeTM” offers Chattanoga entrepreneurs a shot at $100K for Internet business

Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Chatanooga

Chattanooga

CHATTANOGA, TN – Alcatel-Lucent is investing $100,000 in the “The Gig PrizeTM,” a Chattanooga-based initiative to foster the development of gigabit per second Internet applications and business ventures.

“Last year, Chattanooga became America’s first and only city to complete a community-wide network capable of delivering up to 1 gigabit per second Internet speeds to every home and business in EPB’s 600 square mile service area,” said Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region.

“We’re proud to partner with Chattanooga as this extraordinary city establishes a groundbreaking model for demonstrating the direct linkage between investment in telecommunications infrastructure and economic growth.”

Vrij made his announcement as part of his keynote address during the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Innovation luncheon where community leaders announced an initiative to position Chattanooga as the Gig CityTM and unveiled the Gig PrizeTM.

The Gig PrizeTM is a competition in which students and entrepreneurs will create and test next generation Internet applications and launch businesses using Chattanooga’s blazing fast Internet.

“Chattanooga offers forward thinking entrepreneurs a huge head-start in leading the next generation of Internet commerce,” said Tom Edd Wilson, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Gig PrizeTM will provide the support and connections necessary to develop, prove and fund these paradigm shifting business models.”

Additional information about The Gig PrizeTM will be released in coming weeks. Interested students and entrepreneurs can learn more at www.chattanoogagig.com where challenge rules and details will be available soon.

Cyberstates report: Tech industry job losses declined in 2010

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Tech America FoundationThe U.S. high-tech industry lost 115,800 net jobs in 2010, for a total of 5.75 million workers. This two percent decline in tech industry employment was less than half of the 249,500 jobs lost in 2009, which followed several years of sustained growth, according to the TechAmerica Foundation’s 14th annual Cyberstates report.

Over the longer term of 2007 to 2010 – the span of the economic downturn – the tech industry fared better than the private sector as a whole, with a four percent decline in employment versus a seven percent decline in the private sector.

“Of the four high-tech sectors highlighted in our report, only software services added jobs in 2010 – 22,800, a one percent gain,” said Robert F. Bennett, chairman of TechAmerica Foundation.  “Of the jobs lost, 72,100 were in communications services, 53,600 were in tech manufacturing, and 12,900 were in engineering and tech services.  Fortunately, the initial numbers for 2011 look more promising in terms of job growth.”

Job growth occurred in all four tech industry sectors

TechAmerica Foundation also today released a midyear jobs report for 2011 based on a different monthly data set from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This report shows that between January and June 2011, the tech industry added a net 115,000 jobs, a two percent gain, not adjusted for seasonality.

During this time period, job growth occurred in all four technology industry sectors, with the fastest growth in engineering and tech services.  A 12 month review of June 2010 in comparison with June 2011 also shows growth in three of the four tech industry sectors, with job losses occurring in communication services.

“Tech jobs were down in 2010, trending with the rest of the economy, but we have fared better than the private sector as a whole over the course of the economic downturn and there are some positive signs for 2011, said Dan Varroney, acting President and CEO of TechAmerica.  “We are poised not only to grow our own industry but to support the growth of the economy as a whole.  The key to growth is to support what we call the Four T’s: technology, talent, tax, and trade.”

“Technology: We need robust federal investment in basic research to create the scientific base that companies can use to produce new products and innovations.

“Talent: We need to invest in STEM education to provide our children with the foundation in math and science that will prepare them for high paying careers while allowing highly skilled foreign nationals educated at our universities to remain in the United States and join American companies instead of returning to their home countries and competing against us.”

Tax system needs reform

“Tax: We need to reform our tax system to make capital welcome.  We are competing against countries that are aggressively implementing tax policies that lower the cost of business.  We need comprehensive tax reform that attracts investments in technology and creates a framework that encourages repatriation of profits made by foreign operations of U.S.-based corporations.

“Trade: We need to open new markets to U.S. products and services by finishing the pending Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea and continue to pursue other opportunities to expand trade.”

Eight states added tech jobs in 2010

The state-by-state data reveal that eight states added tech jobs in 2010.  The largest gains occurred in Michigan (+2,700), the District of Columbia (+1,400), West Virginia (+400), Utah (+400), and South Carolina (+300).  On a percentage basis, the District of Columbia saw the fastest job growth in 2010 at 4.3 percent, albeit at a small base.

For the sixth straight year, Virginia led the nation with the highest concentration of tech workers – 98 of every 1,000 private sector workers in the state were employed in the tech industry.  Massachusetts and Colorado ranked second and third, respectively.

Cyberstates 2011 relies on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report provides 2010 national and state-by-state data on high-tech employment, wages, establishments, payroll, wage differential, and employment concentration. All data are the most recent available at the time of publication.

Cyberstates 2011 may be purchased for $150.  The 2011 midyear report may be freely downloaded. Both reports can be accessed at: www.techamericafoundation.org/cyberstates.

Investors rain $49M on Tower Cloud for wireless backhaul

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Tower cloudTower Cloud Inc., a wireless backhaul services provider, has secured $49 million in additional equity to fund its expansion into new markets throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.

The latest round of funding was led by two of Tower Cloud’s existing investors, The Burton Partnership and Knology Inc. Tower Cloud’s other existing institutional investors include: Sutter Hill Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, Ballast Point Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, ITC Partners Fund and Noro-Moseley Partners.

For this round, two new investors joined the consortium, The Florida Growth Fund and CLR Investors. The funding was done in two phases with $13 million completed in January and $36 million completed in July. This funding follows a $20 million equity commitment by the same investor group in October 2009.

Kentucky-based MOBIbucks banks $5M for cardless mobile payment tech

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

MobiBucksLOUISVILLE, KY -  MOBIbucks, which sells cardless mobile payment and marketing software, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Acadia Woods Partners, a New York-based technology, media and life science venture capital firm, led the round which also included the participation of several new and original angel investors.

The investment fuels MOBIbucks’ growth in key markets around the world and funds customer service in support of new installations.

MOBIbucks is the only mobile payment solution for making purchases using just a mobile phone number — it does not require cash, a card or even a mobile phone to be in the user’s possession to be used. The company’s mobile marketing and rewards solution is a powerful, paperless, cardless merchandising tool to offer coupons, loyalty rewards, gift cards and even online ordering.

“We believe there is an enormous market for mobile commerce applications, in which MOBIbucks is positioned to be a leader. MOBIbucks offers the first cardless, mobile phone agnostic, wireless operator independent, free from card association road blocks payment platform,” said Jorge Fernandes, CEO of MOBIbucks.

Fernandes has a point. Mobile commerce looks as if it may eventually dominate digital commerce and easy payment methods are likely to help fuel its growth.

 

The top 9 growth challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Growing an Entrepreneurial BusinessBrave entrepreneurial souls have shaped American enterprise, and today, they’re playing the very important role of helping to drive the nation’s economic recovery. And if you’re one of these brave souls—pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into running your own business— Professor Ed Hess stresses that there’s no time for rest. Once you’ve got your start-up off the ground, he says, the daunting task of growing your business to the next level must begin.

“Growing a business presents a whole new group of challenges for entrepreneurs,” says Hess, author of the new book Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases (Stanford University Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-8047714-1-2, $75.00, www.EDHLTD.com) and professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.

“The good news is that most businesses experience the same or very similar challenges when it comes to growth. There is no need for any entrepreneur to reinvent the ‘growth wheel.’ You just have to be willing to learn from those who grew before you.”

Hess recently studied 54 high-growth entrepreneurial companies based in 23 different states, all of which were designated as successful growth companies by leading magazines or accounting firms. His research findings are the subject of an MBA course he teaches at the Darden Graduate School of Business and the subject ofGrowing an Entrepreneurial Business, which he wrote for entrepreneurs and students.

What sets successful entrepreneurs apart

The 54 companies in Hess’s study operated product and service businesses, had been in business on average 9.6 years, and had reached an average revenue level of $60 million with the range being from $5 million to $350 million.

Some of them, such as Eyebobs in Minneapolis, Trilogy Health Services in Kentucky, Defender Direct in Indianapolis, SecureWorks in Atlanta, and Mellace Family Brands in California, were well-known companies. The research was supplemented with case studies of other successful entrepreneurial growth companies.

““What I found was that these successful companies all faced very similar challenges when it came to growing,” says Hess. “But what sets them apart from those companies that didn’t survive or didn’t reach the same level of success is how they approached that growth.  The companies in my study understood that growth is change and change is risky. Entrepreneurs who understand this and the challenges that come with it are the ones with the best chances for successful growth.”

The top nine growth challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs:

Getting overwhelmed by growth. Growth is change. Growth requires more processes, controls, and people. Too much growth too quickly can create financial, quality, and reputational risks that if not properly managed can lead to the demise of the business. Keeping tabs on all of these factors can easily overwhelm business owners. “Growth is like Mother Nature,” explains Hess. “She can be good or she can wreak havoc with hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. To properly manage company growth, successful, experienced entrepreneurs recommend the ‘gas pedal’ approach—when you start to feel overwhelmed, let up on the gas to allow processes, controls, and people to catch up.”

Knowing when to say “no.” Most successful start-ups have a plethora of opportunities. The challenge is choosing the right ones. Good opportunities are those that will enhance your company’s strengths and result in a compelling customer value proposition.

“Opportunities that don’t fall into that category should be met with a ‘no, thank you,’” says Hess. “The problem is that too many entrepreneurs never learn to say ‘NO!’ In an effort to get their business off the ground and keep it up and running, they say ‘yes’ to everything. They end up trying to do too much for too many, which dilutes their focus and often the quality of their product or service.

Determining and having the discipline to maintain a narrow strategic focus is critical to success, and that will require that you turn down certain opportunities. Successful entrepreneurs often call it ‘sticking to your knitting.’”

Learning to effectively delegate. For a business to grow, the entrepreneur must grow. When growth begins, you’ll quickly find that you can do only so much and that you need help from others to properly serve customers. You must evolve from being a doer to a manager of employees and then eventually to a manager of managers (a leader). “This may sound easy but it isn’t,” says Hess.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t like to give up control of any aspect of their business. Facing the fact that they can’t do it all on their own and that they must learn to rely on others to complete certain tasks (and not necessarily exactly how they themselves would do them) can be a very hard reality to swallow.”

Transitioning from owner to leader. When you get to the point where you’re delegating tasks and relying on your employees to drive your business, you must also transition from thinking of yourself as just a business owner and start developing as a leader and coach. Evolving toward becoming a leader and coach is challenging, because both roles require emotional intelligence, people engagement, and the ability to relate to individuals in a way that they find meaningful.

“Coaching requires that time be spent getting to know people, listening, caring, understanding their emotional needs, and helping them grow,” explains Hess. “Coaching takes patience and a degree of personal emotional intimacy that many entrepreneurs are not able to achieve. It requires a continuation of the mind shift from ‘me, the entrepreneur’ and ‘my way’ to ‘it is really all about them.’”

Hiring smart. Hiring mistakes are costly, time consuming, and create quality and financial control risks for small businesses. When confronted with impending growth, entrepreneurs often panic and hire employees too quickly, making snap decisions based on little data.

“In my research, bad hiring practices often continued when entrepreneurs tried to hire managers who needed to have functional or technical experience,” notes Hess. “In many cases, the companies had to make multiple costly hires for the same position before finding someone with the right competencies who also fit the company culture.”

He adds, “Many of these entrepreneurs frequently stated that they should have ‘hired more slowly and fired more quickly.’ They made much better hiring decisions when they learned to hire against a competencies and cultural scorecard; conduct multiple interviews; have multiple people interview prospects; hire on a trial basis; establish mentors for new employees; develop a good on-boarding process; and encourage good employees to make hiring referrals.”

Managing cash flow. Many times entrepreneurs get overly engaged in the joy of growth and lose sight of the need to manage cash on a daily basis. Cash flow management during growth periods is critical, because in many cases growth requires investments in people, technology, supplies, etc., ahead of the receipt of cash from customers. Thus, there is often a mismatch between expenditures and receipts.

“This might sound simple, but it can be a major issue if not handled properly,” notes Hess. “Entrepreneurs have to understand that they may not be able to afford all the available growth. The amount of cash available for investment can limit growth, especially in today’s economy when many small businesses can’t get loans or credit lines. And finally, I can’t help but stress the importance of cautiously managing your checkbooks, credit cards, and online accounts. If you do decide to delegate this task, choose the employee you trust the most and set prescribed monetary limits. Check your payments and accounts every day, because frauds do occur.”

Spending too much time putting out fires. A high-growth environment is hectic, sometimes chaotic, with multiple mistakes needing to be corrected almost every day. “Entrepreneurs can easily get sucked into playing the role of ‘firefighter,’” says Hess, “spending their days putting out fires. The problem with that is that growth requires the entrepreneur to plan for more growth, to put in place new and better processes, and to be constantly upgrading processes and resetting priorities.

“It is very difficult to find the time to do all that when your time is eaten up mediating employee conflicts, correcting inventory orders, calming angry customers, and so on. Entrepreneurs in my study found that they had to be disciplined in getting away from their businesses for short periods of time to think and plan. They needed ‘firehouse’ time away from the daily ‘fires’ that pop up when running a business.”

Creating a high-performance “family.” Entrepreneurs often struggle with creating a high-performance “family” or team environment. The challenge, of course, arises when someone in the “family” just isn’t meeting expectations and has to be terminated because they couldn’t grow their skills as the business grew. “Here entrepreneurs face an uphill battle in balancing loyalty and changing performance needs,” notes Hess. “Let someone go who everyone else at the company loves and you’ve created morale and emotional issues.

“Let a poor performer stay and you’ve created morale and emotional issues. See the challenge? The entrepreneurs I researched learned that you can have a ‘family’-like culture and high performance by having clear job expectations; a fair, transparent, and frequent feedback process; and by giving people a fair chance to improve or to step into a role that they could do well.”

Understanding that upgrading never ends. The people, processes, structure, and controls needed to manage a business with $1 million of revenue generally do not work for a business with $10 million of revenue.

“Entrepreneurs often learn the hard way that growth means continual change,” says Hess. “And as you grow, the solutions that worked at one level will most likely not work at the next. Inflection points for the companies I’ve studied occurred frequently when they expanded to 10, 25, 50, and 100 employees. When these changes take place, entrepreneurs often realize their hope of having a smooth-running machine is an elusive dream.”

Success means learning and adapting continually

He continues, “Successful entrepreneurs and their employees are open to learning and adapting in an incremental, iterative, and experimental fashion. The hard truth is that growing businesses generally do not experience much sameness or predictability until they become quite large—for example, larger than $100 million in revenue—but learn to manage these changes properly, and you can keep the ship pointed in the right direction.”

“Growing a business is an evolutionary process,” says Hess. “Growth is messy. Growth is change. Growth has spurts, detours, downturns, and spikes. Growth requires constant learning and improvement. And if not well planned and managed, it can outstrip the capabilities of companies.

“These are important points that must be heeded,” concludes Hess. “Growth should be a strategic decision made only after the risks of growing and not growing have been assessed. My advice is that rather than focus on growing for growth’s sake, base your goals around how you can constantly improve your business. When you do this, you will be able to meet the challenges of business growth head on and with great success.”

Best states for business: NC at No. 2, Florida, 3, Tennsessee 4, Georgia 5

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Best Worst StatesFor the seventh year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business and California as the worst. North Carolina maintained its #2 rank, while Florida rose three positions to the #3 spot. Tennessee fell one slot from last year to #4 while Georgia climbed two positions to claim the #5 rank.

Chief Executive magazine’s annual “Best & Worst States” survey takes the pulse of CEOs on business conditions around the nation. For the 2011 survey, 550 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, education resources, quality of living and infrastructure.

“A handful of states have made business-friendly policies a priority,” says J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief ofChief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “These forward-thinking states are the exception rather than the rule and include Utah, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.”

CEOs voted California as the worst state in 2011, with New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Michiganrounding out the bottom five.

“ABC — Anywhere But California,” said T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, a $668 million chip maker headquartered in San Jose, California, and with plants in 10 countries. “It’s expensive, it’s hostile to business, and environmental regulations are more of a drag on business than protecting the environment.” Cypress Semiconductor’s headcount in California peaked at 1,500. It’s now down to about 600.

With finances in shambles due to the weak economy, many states have been increasing tax rates.

“Today’s ‘soak the rich’ mentality hits business leaders especially hard,” says Marshall Cooper, CEO ofChief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “CEOs and entrepreneurs vote with their feet — and also pack up jobs and investment with them when they leave.”

It’s interesting that North Carolina, which has one of the highest tax rates in the Southeast, maintains its number two position, largely due to the talent available through its eduction system and its quality of life. It’s education system is about to take a huge cut as the state wrestles with the same type of budget deficit that plagues other states.

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

Georgia’s rise is also interesting. Another recent report noted that Georgia is right at the top when it comes to startup activitity, with more than 500 businesses a month launching.

DC, Baltimore, Raleigh-Durham, among top ten cities for staying young

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Capitol BuildingSAN DIEGO–Want to live a longer life? Move to Salt Lake City, the DC-Balitmore area, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill,  San Francisco, or Austin. On the other hand, Knoxville and Nashville, TN, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Tampa and Jacksonville, FL, may make you old before your time. So says and new report by RealAge.

Southeast and western cities are among the top ten on RealAge’s list of the “youngest” cities in America—metropolitan areas with such healthy lifestyles that on average their residents are physically at least two years younger than their chronological age, and many are years younger than that. RealAge analyzed data from the largest 50 metropolitan areas to compile the rankings.

A passion for fitness and a loathing for smoking are key factors in Salt Lake City’s number one ranking. At the other extreme, residents of Knoxville, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Nashville are aging faster than they should. (Get an infographic of the 10 youngest and oldest cities here.)

What are the 10 metro areas where you have the best odds of staying young?

1. Salt Lake City, Utah
2. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Denver, Colo.
5. Boston, Mass.
6. Washington, DC/Baltimore, Md.
7. San Diego, Calif.
8. Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C.
9. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
10. Seattle/Tacoma/Bremerton, Wash.

Which metro areas are likely to make you old before your time?

1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, N.C.
3. Nashville, Tenn.
4. Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Mich.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.
7. Oklahoma City, Okla.
8. Las Vegas, Nev.
9. Jacksonville, Fla.
10. Tulsa, Okla.

“Each city’s ranking is more than just a number,” says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of RealAge and a co-creator of its test. “It’s a unique assessment of the healthy lifestyles, or lack of them, in each metro area—of how people live there, what they’re doing right and what they need to change. If you live in one of the 10 oldest cities, take this as the alarm on your body’s aging clock going off! It’s never too late for a fresh start.”

Note that half of the 10 youngest cities are in the Western U.S., from Denver to Seattle.

“Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the mountains, but Western cities have adopted active lifestyles that can slow down the aging process,” says Dr. Roach.

Behind the Rankings

To compile the rankings, RealAge analyzed data for America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas generated by its landmark online assessment, the RealAge Test, taken by over 27 million people. This is the first time the company has analyzed aggregated results on a city-by-city basis.

A random sample of 1,000 RealAge members was drawn from each city. The sample data was adjusted for age differences, so a metropolitan area that’s a magnet for retirees wasn’t penalized, and a city jammed with university students didn’t benefit.

The Test uses a powerful algorithm that combines the latest scientific studies with lifestyle, genetics, and medical history to calculate your RealAge—how old your body thinks you are.

What Makes a City Younger or Older

While multiple lifestyle factors are involved, here are four big ones that help people in Boston (the 5th youngest city), for example, stay younger and healthier than those in Cincinnati (the 5th oldest):

     
1.   Getting the right amount of sleep. Six of the 10 youngest cities are among those with stellar sleep habits. And (surprise) New York isn’t the city that never sleeps—the Big Apple ranks second in ZZZ’s; Austin is first. Sleeping six to nine hours a night can make your RealAge as much as 3 years younger.
2.   Stubbing out cigarettes for good. Four of the five fastest-aging cities have the highest percentage of smokers.
3.   Not sitting around. Six of the 10 youngest cities are among the most physically active in the country. A daily 30-minute walk can make your RealAge up to 3.5 years younger.
4.   Controlling your blood pressure. Five of the 10 fastest-aging cities—Knoxville, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, and Tulsa—are among the worst for high blood pressure. Nothing ages you faster. Who has the lowest BP? Residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the 9th youngest city.

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

Wireless infrastructure firm 11i Solutions closes $1.89M bridge financing

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

11i SolutionsHUNTSVILLE, AL – 11i Soluitons, a wireless infrastructure and solutions provider, has closed on a $1.8 million convertible bridge financing. Steel Pier Capital Advisors led the round.

11i Solutions, Inc. was founded in 2007 to deliver enterprise-wide security, compliance, data and communications services.

The company says it streamlines clients’ wireless systems as a whole by anticipating new technologies and avoiding short-term obsolescence. With a wide range of solutions offered – from asset tracking via radio frequency identification (RFID) and fixed mobile convergence to data centers and Secure Cellphone Communication

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