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Our top 10 articles of the year

Thursday, 1 September 2011 | By Oliver Milman

Throughout the first year of StartupSmart, we’ve kept you abreast of the latest developments in the start-up world, to help you build a smart business.

 

We are always searching for the latest trend, investment or launch to capture the entrepreneurial imagination.

 

But it’s also worth looking back at some of the articles in the past year that really deserve a second read.

 

Here are the 10 StartupSmart features that we feel hit the mark like no other. Happy reading second time around.

 

1. 54 hours inside Startup Weekend

 

The start-up landscape has changed significantly since StartupSmart launched. A year ago, the concept of creating a new business within two days with a group of random strangers would be met with bewilderment.

 

Now, Australia has Startup Weekend. We went undercover at the first Sydney Startup Weekend to see what was involved. Similarly, we went super sleuth in a trip to The Hub in Melbourne to see if collaborative working lives up to the hype.

 

The emergence of Startmate, PushStart and Pollenizer prompted another popular piece.

 

 

2. 10 top iPad 2 apps for start-ups

 

The roll out of the iPad 2 in February caused a flurry of excitement among entrepreneurs, given the popularity of our run-down of the 10 top apps the tablet offers start-ups.

 

Whether you need to organise your time better or simply want to doodle your thoughts, we came up with an app for you.

 

3. Standing out from the eBay crowd

 

eBay is an increasingly popular option for budding entrepreneurs who want to build a sustainable online business.

 

It’s easy to see why – the overheads are low and the site attracts more than 5.5 million unique visitors in Australia. In March, we published a widely-read lowdown on how to start-up on eBay the smart way.

 

4. 10 harsh entrepreneurial lessons

 

Over the past year, we have done our best to encourage, advice and cajole emerging businesses, despite an uncertain economic climate and consumers that prefer to save rather than spend.

 

However, it would be foolish to pretend that starting up is a bed of roses. Tom McKaskill’s top 10 illustrates the harsh realities of going it alone, spanning everything from raising money to hiring.

 

 

5. Should you be California dreaming?

 

For many Aussie start-ups, Silicon Valley is both the ultimate goal as well as the distant dream. But as several leading ventures have discovered, it’s certainly not impossible to access the huge market and fat-walleted investors of the US.

 

In this piece from February, we explain how to make it in California, as well as chat to three Aussie entrepreneurs who made the grade. Back home, we argued the 10 reasons why Australia needs a new start-up initiative to catch up with the Silicon Valley market leaders.

6. Meet the mumpreneurs

 

One of the most pleasing aspects of the past year has been the number of women who regularly read StartupSmart.

 

Given the increasing ease for mothers to start-up from home, we decided to speak to three “mumpreneurs” to see how they are going about making it in the business world.

 

7. Taking your elevator pitch to the top

 

It seems so simple. Summing up your business in under 30-seconds should be a doddle.

 

But many start-ups fail to condense their business proposition into investor-friendly brevity. We consulted the experts to see how to get your elevator pitch up to scratch.

 

8. Going guerrilla

 

Guerrilla marketing tactics aren’t new and larger businesses are increasingly adopting them in an attempt to appear edgy and relevant.

 

But there still remains a great opportunity for start-ups to pack a punch with their marketing, without breaking the bank. We explained how in this recent piece.

 

9. Pulling your start-up up by its bootstraps

 

A lucky few start-ups manage to snare sizeable investment soon after launching. But if you aren’t one of these businesses, do not fret.

 

It’s more than possible, and in fact advisable, to “bootstrap” your business, in order to keep costs down. Here, Eventarc founder Scott Handsaker explained how to do it.

 

 

10. Top 10 unlikely start-up successes

 

A man who is paid to wear t-shirts. A female urinal device. Goggles for dogs.

 

None of these ideas sound like feasible ways to build a profitable business yet all have made millions. Back in January, we unveiled the top 10 strangest start-up successes.

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