A ranking of entrepreneurial activity. Plus, Obama's Facebook town hall, Steve Jobs on Madison Avenue, and the rest of the day's news.
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
The best states to start a business. According to the Kauffman Foundation, the last two years have been markedly successful for American entrepreneurs, as start-up businesses are launching at the highest rate in 15 years. Using figures from the Kauffman Foundation, CNN Money has identified the six states with the highest start-up rates. California, which houses some of the most successful technology companies in the world, ranks at No. 3. Who tied for No. 1? Nope, it's not New York or Massachusetts. Southern hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity, Georgia and Nevada, took the honors.
Facebook hosts Obama town hall. That's right, the ties between Facebook and the White House continue to deepen. The New York Times reports that Facebook was the first to announce it'd be hosting Obama's town hall meeting on its site. It was only two months ago when Obama had a powwow with Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and other leading technology execs, and the Obama Administration is not shy about its reliance on social media and other technology. The meeting will be at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto on April 20. The topic of discussion will primary be about the economy and how to collectivity improve it. Of course, Zuckerberg is scheduled to attend, but what's interesting is the town hall meeting will also be streamed live, on Facebook of course.
Is Steve Jobs a "Mad" man? Now that Apple has such a treasure trove of consumer data on their media habits—thanks, iTunes and App Store—Steve Jobs appears to be poised to court Madison Avenue, and build a mobile-ad business, the New York Postreports. Sources have clued in the Post that Apple is "ramping up its iAds sales pitch under chief Steven Rosenblatt, who is also trying other tactics to lure marketers."
Branson's deepest ambition? He's hit the earth, the air, and the stratosphere with his companies, and now the British entrepreneur is taking to the depths of the ocean. Richard Branson told Fortune this week about his latest venture, Virgin Oceanic. "By promoting and utilizing new technology, Virgin Oceanic will aid humankind's ability to explore our oceans, assist science in understanding our ecosystem and raise awareness of the challenges facing our oceans," Branson said in a statement. He hopes to explore ocean trenches deeper than any American or Chinese submarine has gone. His first goals over the next two years? Explore the Mariana Trench (36,201 feet deep) and the Puerto Rico Trench (28,232 feet deep). Follow the link for a transcript of the conversation, or see a video here.
Twitter's homepage gets a makeover. This just in: tweeting is out, and following is in. Or, so Twitter's new homepage seems to imply. Tipped off by super sleuthing tweeters, the Huffington Post reports today that Twitter launched a revamped homepage, encouraging old and new users to "Follow your interests." For most, a homepage are just a roadblock on the way to a social network, but Twitter is using this transformation to redefine itself as a global media platform. And maybe also to nudge its most prolific civilian tweeters to cease and desist. One can only hope.
CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is senior writer at Inc. @Lagorio