A different type of business school. Sure, a Harvard MBA is nice, but for new entrepreneurs who don't have the time or money for a fancy graduate school diploma, community colleges are proving to be an attractive alternative. As the Dallas Morning News reports, community colleges across the country are beefing up their entrepreneurial and career-specific class offerings to cater to would-be entrepreneurs who need to learn the basics of starting a business. One survey from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship showed a 20 percent increase in entrepreneurial classes since last fall.
Is clean tech out of the woods? The first two quarters of 2009 were a rough time for clean tech ventures to score support, but recent developments seem to be reversing that trend. Earlier this month, Khosla Ventures raised one of the largest amounts of VC funding since 2007 and now Serious Materials, a Sunnyvale, California-based start-up has snagged $60 million in third round funding according to the San Jose Mercury News. The company produces window and drywall products that help people increase the energy efficiency of their homes for some serious savings.
VCs want to help you find your soulmate. Internet dating focused startups, like Intelius and Gelato, are all the rage with investors and bloggers, reports GigaOm. But, like fbFUND startup Thread, which raised $1.2 million for its concept of using Facebook to help users find dates, all these wannabe matchmakers that rely on data from social networking sites and public data make one dubious assumption. Namely, "that people's online reputations translate into real life." Gelato looks at your tweets and what songs you've streamed on Last.fm. Using public data, Intelius' Date Check iPhone app claims to let you know if that blind date you're meeting for dinner has had a DUI. What's the likelihood these new contenders can help you find your soulmate? Outlook hazy.
Evander Holyfield, heavyweight champ and green entrepreneur. Today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that retired boxer Evander Holyfield is trading in his gloves for a CEO title. The former champ has plans to build a solar energy farm on 40 acres of his Georgia property to generate solar power for commercial sale. A spokesman for Georgia Power, the local utility, has expressed interest in buying the newly generated power and the chairman for the Georgia Solar Energy Association said that the amount of power a project that size would produce would be significant. As Holyfield so eloquently puts it, "I've never had a problem being lean, now I'm the lean, green fighting machine." For a look at another boxer that has made his mark as an entrepreneur, check out Inc. Senior Editor Rod Kurtz's interview with George Foreman.
News from the Inc. 500|5000 Conference. The weather is beautiful down here in D.C. and the conference got off to a swinging start last night with a waterfront cocktail reception. So much for the recession, this year's conference has broken our all-time attendance record with over 1,700 attendees. African tech entrepreneur Herman Chinery-Hesse made an appearance last night at the reception and Zappos's CEO Tony Hsieh kicked off this morning's formal program with a quick story about how one unnamed record executive touring the Zappos Las Vegas headquarters was shocked to discover that his wife has spent over $62,000 at the online shoe retailer. No wonder Amazon is in talks to purchase the company. More updates to come.
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