Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Meet the most innovative drivers in town. A tech-savvy crew of cab drivers in London has banded together to create a Twitter-based taxi service (via the Guardian). Anyone in need of a ride can tweet @tweetalondoncab and track down one of the service's 100 black cabs. So far, it's amassed 7,000 followers and is providing the drivers, themselves, with some unforeseen data on public demand. According to the story, the founders are now looking for funding, and several developers have already approached them about turning the service into a mobile app.
Need a cheap lawyer? The New York Times features a piece about the growth of the legal outsourcing sector in India, in which Indian lawyers are now performing many of the legal tasks typically assigned to young lawyers in the United States. "India's legal outsourcing industry has grown in recent years from an experimental endeavor to a small but mainstream part of the global business of law," The Times says. "Cash-conscious Wall Street banks, mining giants, insurance firms and industrial conglomerates are hiring lawyers in India for document review, due diligence, contract management and more." The Times also explains how the industry is growing by actively recruiting experienced lawyers from the West, the types "who might once have turned up their noses at the idea of moving to India or harbored an outright hostility to outsourcing legal work in principle," but now are "re-evaluating the sector."
Build from scratch or buy and improve? That's the debate playing out today on avc.com, the blog of New York City venture capitalist Fred Wilson. In the post, Wilson highlights a reader comment from one of his previous posts that focuses on an oft-overlooked opportunity for entrepreneurs: "acquire 'old school,' low tech businesses and retool them with modern management, modern marketing including social media, a well crafted financial structure and a dab of leadership to make an otherwise boring business into a highly scalable and expanding enterprise."
How an immigrant entrepreneur could save a Detroit stadium. When Andreas Apostolopoulos came to Canada from his native Greece in 1969, he only had $50 in his pocket (via Business Week). He worked his way up from KFC chicken slicer to become a plastics entrepreneur and savvy real estate investor worth $800 million. When he heard that Detroit's Pontiac Silverdome stadium was up for sale, he snapped it up right away for a mere half million dollars, despite the fact that he had never seen it. Now he has plans to draw crowds to high profile soccer matches and the inhabitants of the Motor City, psyched that he's not flipping the property or converting it into a landfill, have expressed enthusiasm about the stadium's future. That said we've seen past plans to revitalize Detroit and none of them have taken off just yet.
GM invests $5 million in electric car start-up. Electric car company Tesla Motors made news recently when it became the first American car company to go public in 54 years. Now another electric car start-up, Bright Automotive, is making news with the announcement that it has landed a $5 million investment from General Motors. As reported in the Indianapolis Star, the Indiana-based company has been working on a hybrid commercial delivery van called the IDEA, which could begin production in 2014. Bright Automotive is comprised of a group of automotive entrepreneurs, including founder John Waters who worked on GM's EV1 electric car in the 1990's. The company is also seeking a $450 million federal loan in order to complete production of its assembly plant.