4 Benefits of Working for a Startup

The word "startup" written in yellow.

Image credit: Shutterstock

If you’re seeking employment but haven’t had any luck thus far, perhaps it’s time to look into startups. New companies are hidden gems of opportunity, especially for young professionals who are entering the workforce. Before you go dismissing the idea entirely, check out the top four benefits of working for a startup.

1. Faster Upward Mobility

Because there are generally fewer employees at a startup, the opportunities for advancement are significantly increased. Factor in high turnover rates and you’ve got some great odds working in your favor. Sure, you may not be getting paid as much as you would at a major corporation, but in the long-term you’ll get to where you want to go a whole lot quicker.

2. Interaction with Leadership

When working for a startup, it’s not uncommon to see the CEO in office every day. Because startups are so small, it puts you in direct communication with the company’s top executives. In other words, you’ll have the opportunity to make your voice heard and wield some influence.

3. Your Work is Directly Impactful

Starting a company is not easy. That’s why launching a new product or service requires a great amount of effort on behalf of everyone involved. If you happen to snag a position at a startup, it means that your role is vital to the overall function of the organization. That often translates to incredibly fulfilling work, as you’ll feel valued and appreciated.

4. They’re Unstable

For some people, this is more of a con than it is a pro. But for those of us who prefer to live life on the edge, it’s incredibly exciting!

There are no guarantees when it comes to startups. The company can go under at any time, which either terrifies you or motivates you depending on the kind of person you are. The fact that you’re always walking a tight rope between employment and impending doom means that you have to stay on your A-game 100% of the time.

Tell me: have you ever worked for a startup? What was your experience like? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


Vietnamese Startups Drawing Investors from Around the World


Vietnam is turning into an investment hotspot thanks to a number of promising tech startups in that country. Although hard data is difficult to come by, Singapore based Tech in Asia, a startup which apparently researches other startups, says there about 1,500 tech startups in Vietnam at the moment, which is a larger number per capita than Indonesia, China, or India.

Those startups benefit from a tech-savvy population with a median age of 30, in a country where the average 15 year old beats out American, British, and Australian kids in maths and science. Startups there don’t receive much support from the government, just around $10,000 cash and some legal advice, so there are plenty of investment opportunities.

Investments are coming from all over the place, but especially from other Asian countries, like Japan and South Korea. In fact, South Korea’s Samsung has had production in Vietnam for years, and are being joined by a number of other companies seeking cheaper labor than China, closer ties to the European Union, and incentives to lure investors away from the country’s neighbors. Toshiba, Panasonic, and LG have all been producing in Vietnam for quite some time as well. American firms are shoring up or expanding their investments there as well. Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered PLC just invested another $28 million, and 500 Startups from Silicon Valley pitched in another $10 million.

eCommerce is one of the main focuses of a lot of these startups, and there’s plenty of room for that growing segment to keep up steam. But Vietnam also gave us the international hit mobile game Flappy Bird, which took the world by storm a few years ago. Although China and India are investing a lot of their own money into local startups, the Chinese market at least is harder for foreign investors to access, but those barriers don’t seem to exist with Vietnam.

Innovega Brings You Contacts With Superhuman Vision Capabilities

Innovega Contacts

IMG: via Shutterstock

Good news for contact wearing people – soon your contacts may be able to give you “superhuman vision.” As many people with contacts know, contacts constantly are drying out and moving, so you don’t always have 20/20 vision. There are times I can’t read something that a friend with no contacts in can read.

Of course, you don’t have to have impaired vision to wear these. An eye-wear startup called Innovega just announced a prototype of its high-tech iOptik lenses. The product will be shown at this year’s International CES.

The Innovega eye-wear system has two parts to it. The contact lenses give you enhanced focusing abilities which allow users to see things more clearly that are farther and closer than they could normally see. For example, you can actually see the fine details of your fingerprint, while your natural eye can’t focus on an object that close.

The second part is the glasses, which enhance the vision of your contact lenses. They include flat-panels or micro-projectors that can display apps and media, like Google Glasses.

Why not blend the contacts and glasses technology into one thing to wear?

“A lot of companies are trying to do that right now with hardware, and there are limitations: It creates a tiny field of view,” an iOptik spokesperson told Mashable. “Google Glass is the equivalent of having your smartphone about 24 inches in front of you. The iOptik system is six times the resolution and 20 times the area. It’s like looking at a big TV projection, and you can see so much more.”

The great thing about iOptik glasses is that they still look like you are wearing regular glasses. It doesn’t look like you are wearing goggles or something weird on your face.

“We’re hoping technology like this will eventually replace your smartphone,” the spokesperson said.

What do you think of these new products?

New Delivery Service in NYC Promises to Deliver Anything in an Hour

PostmatesNew York is known as the place where you can get anything you want. Frozen yogurt and a hot dog at 4 in the morning, why not? A San Francisco startup has decided to help this need become even more accessible to New Yorkers. The app is already sucessfull in Seattle and San Fransisco.

Yesterday, the free IOS app, Postmates officially launched for those living in the Flatiron District. The app lets users select from a long list of restaurants and stores and order what they want. The delivery fees start at $6.99, so you probably won’t want to order something from just around the block unless you’re sick in bed.

“People really go for that piece of pizza that they like that doesn’t deliver,” said Bastian Lehmann, CEO of Postmates. “It’s often artisan food that’s not easy to get at every street corner.”.

In fact, Lehmann has already used the app himself in preparation for a TV appearance later that day. “I just got from them a pair of blue socks for my shoes because I’m wearing a blue suit for the first time in a year,” Lehmann said.

Some people question why an app like this is necessary in a city that has everything. Lehmann argues that a lot of New York restaurants don’t deliver, and even if they do, his app will be easier and more efficient. Instead of calling them and figuring out a time to stop by, you just have to plug the information into the app and wait for it to be brought to you.

Alisa Chumachenko Profile

Alisa Chumachenko


In 2012, Alisa Chumachenko founded Game Insight International in Moscow. Her companies’ most successful mobile app is Paradise Island, and at one point was making $1 million per month on Android phones. Game Insights International reported $50 million in revenue in 2011. She just added a San Francisco headquarters, which has its own publishing website.

“While we definitely enjoy creating more casual titles for social and mobile, and have seen great success from games like Paradise Island, Airport City, and The Tribez, Dragon Eternity was something of a passion project for us,” Chumachenko stated.

Today, Game Insight Group is a big player in the social network and mobile game market. During just one year, the user number of their games being played exceeded the twenty million mark and is still growing.

Before create Game Insight, Alisa Chumachenko worked as the Vice President for Marketing and Advertising in a holding company Astrum Online Entertainment. She formed an amazing marketing team in in Russia, which allowed the company to have steady growth and launched dozens of free to play MMOG projects. Alisa Chumachenko continues to create great work and was dubbed as one of the Top 5 Women in Tech Startups to watch Out For by the Huffington Post.

New York City’s Big Technology Event – Disrupt NY

disrupt ny 2013

Img: TechCrunch via Flickr

In just a couple of weeks, TechCrunch Disrupt NY will be taking over New York City. The technology event starts off with a 24-hour Hackathon from April 27-28th. Afterwords, the Disrupt conference takes place from April 29th-May 1st. This conference brings together the best of technologies startups, students, experts, and professionals.

The Hackathon is a great opportunity for students and entrepreneurs to showcase their skills and learn from others. It consists of a the top developers and hackers coming together from around the world. They work together to create new projects, and hacks that will be judged by the audience and an expert panel. The teams that are lucky enough to be declared a winner, will get tickets to Disrupt to present their product. 

Judges for the Hackathon include people in technology such as Jalak Jobanputra, founding partner of FuturePerfect Ventures and former technology and digital media manager for NYC Investment fund (which was founded by Henry Kravis of KKR). Tarikh Korula, CEO and co-founder of Mahaya, and entrepreneurial expert Charlie O’Donnell.

Other events at TechCrunch Disrupt include Startup Alley. This event has start up companies in the early stage, and allows them to showcase their talent and technologies to the audience. There will be around 50 new companies on Monday as well as Tuesday. On Monday and Tuesday, the audience votes for their “Audience Choice Winner”. If chosen, that company will be able to compete in the Battlefield Finals for the $50,000 grand prize.

Tickets are still available via the TechCrunch website. A variety of packages are available for startups and individuals. 

Surprising Startups that Made Millions


Img: José Moutinho via Flickr

While startups such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon seem relevant, creative, and useful now, they didn’t start out that way. A lot of very successful companies were passed on by investors, whom now regret it.

According to the Pipewise CEO Michael Wolfe on Quora, here are 5 of the 18 ridiculous startup ideas that eventually became very successful:

1) Facebook – Who needs Facebook when you have a Myspace? I remember thinking this same question, and I am sure many others did as well. Instead of flopping, Facebook used the idea of Myspace, and integrated a lot more features into it and now is worth millions.

2) Amazon – Who wants to pay for shipping and wait 1-2 weeks for their book to be shipped? Apparently a lot more people than one might have though.

3) Google – While it may seem crazy, there was a time when Google wasn’t around and no one saw the need for it.

4) Instagram – Who needs another social media site? Apparently everyone.

5) Paypal – Putting your banking information online and sending people money seemed like an odd idea, but now people and businesses use it all the time.


3 Startup Women Founders in Technology to Watch For

Erika Trautman

Erika Trautman at the Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2012.
IMG: Fortune Live Media via Flickr.

While men are the majority of people with startups, there are more women in senior positions at successful startups than unsuccessful ones according to a study done by Dow Jones. This article also stated that Women own 28 percent of all businesses in the US, and make up 16 percent of all board members and corporate officers of the Fortune 500. 7 percent of venture-backed startups are started by women. While this is an improvement, it is unfortunate considering women make up a little over half of the population and are better educated than men.

Erika Trautman – Founder & CEO of Flixmaster

Erika Trautman co-founded Flixmaster in August of 2011. This is a company that provides users with tools to create their own interactive videos. In recent news, Trautman just signed a contract with Sony Create Software in an attempt to make interactive videos even more common.

Alisa Chumachenko – Founder & CEO of Game Insight International

In 2010, Alisa Chumachenko founded Game Insight International in Moscow. It’s most popular game mobile app is called Paradise Island, and at one point was making “$1 million a month” on Android phones, which is insanely impressive. Recently the company created a headquarters in San Francisco and has it’s own publishing website.

Cindy Gallop – Founder and CEO of Make Love, Not Porn

Cindy Gallop’s “Make Love, Not Porn,” talk on TED Talk was the most talked about parts of TED in 2009. This talk addressed many issues on how children are using porn to learn about sex and having unrealistic expectations and negative views on women. This startup was created to address this problem and teach internet users the difference between “porn sex” and “real sex”.

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