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Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
Is the IPO pipeline bursting? With favorable market conditions and investor appetite, companies are lining up to go public—168 of them, to be precise. That's the largest backlog since 2000, and The New York Times's Dealbook questions today whether all the fervor is creating a dangerous crush—and that valuations could become unhinged from reality. While there's little indication of the market souring, it's clear that investor interest is driving up initial valuations—30 percent of offerings have exceeded price expectations this year, according to Renaissance Capital—and that some companies' stocks quickly deflate from their first-day gains. Peter Falvey, a managing director at Morgan Keegan, gave a light tough of analysis: "People are getting really excited, but it could end badly at some point."
Who's funding B2B start-ups? No one, it seems. Good luck getting funding for your start-up if your business model targets other businesses—you'll need it. According to The Wall Street Journal, start-ups targeting other businesses as their main customers are struggling to find venture dollars. "The shift away from business-oriented technology start-ups has been gathering steam over the past few years," The Journal notes. "Venture investment into such companies was $11.9 billion in 2010, down 35 percent from $18.4 billion in 2006." Funding for start-ups that cater to consumers, well, that's another story completely. In the first three months of this 2011, "venture-capital investment in consumer tech companies nearly tripled to $874 million from $310 million a year earlier…The disparity is stark."
Meet the $25 computer. MobileBeat reports that game developer David Braben has just created a $25 computer that can fit in the palm of your hand. Similar to the idea behind OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), Braben aimed to design a computer for children that would be both affordable and easily distributed around the world. "In theory, they could be given away to the child, there would be other ways of funding it," Braben told the BBC. "They would be able to engage with a lot of things that we are all consumers of but not necessarily creators of — understanding how you put together little scripts that might run on websites and filters." The details: It features a version of Linux, a 700-megahertz ARM processor, and 128 megabytes of RAM-- or about half the juice of a typical smartphone. The computer should be out in a year.
Plastic from Pineapple and Peels? Brazilian scientists have developed a process to take the cellulose fibers of agave, pineapples and banana peels and turn it into lighter, stronger and more eco-friendly plastics. Reuters spoke with Dr. Alcides Leao from Sao Paolo's State University about the process.
U.S. millionaire households to double this decade. If you've ever aspired to becoming a millionaire (and who hasn't?), it just might be easier for you to achieve your goal in the next decade. The Huffington Post shared the results of a new report by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services that predicted the number of U.S. millionaire households is expected to reach 20.6 million by 2020, nearly double the current amount. Total global wealth of millionaire households is also expected to more than double to $202 trillion from $92 trillion this year, with the U.S. claiming $87 trillion of the pie.
30 young entrepreneurs hit the books. Founded by Scott Gerber, the Young Entrepreneur Council provides young entrepreneurs with the tools, mentorship, and educational resources to support business growth and development. These young and passionate individuals are also avid readers—in The Huffington Post, 30 members of the Y.E.C. suggest their favorite business books and authors, and why these books have had an impact on their own businesses. Do you have a favorite business book that's impacted or changed the way you work? Let us know in our comments section below.
A lesson from the social media champs.Though social media is still a relatively nascent industry, some companies have seemed to really figure it out. CNNMoney highlights nine companies that have become master's of social media. A few of the well-known companies are Target, Google and Dell, and the common thread found in all of the companies was that they had a specific group, or person, dedicated to solely doing social media.
A swirl of M&A and IPOs begets newly-minted billionaires. The liquidity event of the 1990s dot-com bubble is back. The Wall Street Journal covers the individuals emerging from a spate of public offerings and mergers with millions, if not billions, of dollars like Joseph Chen, the founder of the China social network site Renren that went public this week. In the U.S., The Journal says, the so-called wealth engine is also centered on consumer web companies.
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