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Justin Landwehr
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You're too humble. I just consulted my book list, and yours is my top that is explicitly start-up related. I don't know if Seth Godin books count, but I thought Linchpin was excellent.
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An early stage company with high hopes and high potential has recently made Durham its new home. Urban Planet Mobile has the mission of turning the mobile phone into a device not just for communication and entertainment, but for information and education as well. The company was founded in April 2007 by Brian Oliver-Smith and his wife Catherine, and relocated to the Bull City from Savannah, GA in June. One of their first products, launched last month, provides 700 English lessons in four levels and twelve languages. The lessons are delivered daily via text message through the use of a novel technology that uses ringtone capability to send audio recordings up to three minutes long. Other products in the Urban Planet Mobile repertoire include daily SAT verbal prep lessons (and, soon, GRE lessons) and “Travelingo”, offering useful travel phrases in one of ten languages. The potential social impact of the English lessons product alone is enormous since at any time there are over 1.4 billion (with a ‘B’) people in the world trying to learn English, moving to an estimated 2 billion by 2020. The product is built specifically for worldwide delivery because, while much of the world is still without a personal computer or a smart phone, ring tones can reach 80% of the world. The lessons range from basic vocabulary to advanced conversation to preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and are delivered in an accessible way with language that is used in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2010 at Bull City Rising
When people use adjectives like "burgeoning", "thriving", or "vibrant" to describe the start-up scene of an area, they could be exaggerating -- but in Durham, those words seem increasingly pertinent and accurate. The trouble is that our area’s large and growing start-up scene has largely eluded the public’s awareness. That is in part because the start-ups remain partially hidden behind a veil of oak trees and faceless buildings. To shed more light on what's happening with startups and new enterprises, BCR is today launching a new series called The Durham Startup Seen that will take a closer look at the start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Bull City. Joining BCR with this series is Justin Landwehr, our newest correspondent covering start-ups and entrepreneurship. Justin moved from rural Ohio to Raleigh in 2000, and from Raleigh to Durham in 2007 after graduating from NC State with Bachelor’s degrees in Statistics and Economics. He works as a research associate in RTP and lives in a “cozy” old brick ranch just north of the Park. You can reach Justin at jglandwehr@gmail.com. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ What conditions are necessary (or, better yet, sufficient) for entrepreneurship to thrive in an area? It is a question of great interest to city planners and business school professors everywhere, and while theories abound as to what the right conditions are, it seems apparent that Durham gets many of them right -- including, to name a few, the access to talent that comes with the “brain power” of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at Bull City Rising
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Sep 12, 2010