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Inside Founders (Apr 30th, 2019)

1. Co-working company WeWork announced Monday it has filed confidential Initial Public Offering paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In an email to staff obtained by CNN, company co-founder Adam Neumann said while there is no date for the IPO, the process has started, and that he believes the company has a responsibility "to help lead the way and set the global example for people and corporations on how we should take care of each other and of our planet." WeWork, co-founded by Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010—and renamed The We Company at the beginning of this year—reported a $1.9 billion loss at the end of March, largely attributed to the company's accelerated growth and acquisitions.— NEW YORK TIMES

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2. Solo founders are more likely to succeed than those working on teams, according to a new study. A working paper by academics at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania evaluated more than 3,500 companies who used Kickstarter to crowdfund their businesses, and then evaluated them over the course of seven years. The research finds that those started by one entrepreneur were 2.6 times more likely to survive than those with several founders. The solo-founded startups also were more likely to have higher average revenue. Researchers say they are expanding their sources to add more data to the study. — WALL STREET JOURNAL

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3. The 25 private businesses on Forbes' annual Best Small Companies list primarily were founded by individuals and couples. All were selected for company practices that emphasize employee well being. For example, interactive content creator Arkadium founders Jessica Rovello and Kenny Rosenblatt relocated all their employees in a Crimea gaming studio to a nearby city when Russia invaded in 2014. Choice One Engineering founder Tony Schroeder allows for all employees—including part-time ones—to own shares of his company. Inspira Marketing founder Jeff Snyder takes staff to Mexico or Jamaica when they reach their revenue goals. — FORBES

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4. Crowd-funding platform Kickstarter went live 10 years ago this week. Co-founders Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler began with an invitation-only site that primarily attracted arts-related projects with small sums. In 2010, within hours, two projects raised $1 million each: Elevation Dock, for iPhone docking, and adventure game Broken Age. High-profile Kickstarter campaigns included Cards Against Humanity in 2010 ($15,570 from 758 backers) and the Veronica Mars movie in 2013 ($5.7 million from 91,585 backers). Chen, an artist and musician, stepped down last month as Kickstarter's CEO to focus on his music, but remains chairman of its board. — WIRED

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5. By the Numbers: For its 10-year anniversary this week, Kickstarter highlighted some of the 160,000 projects backed by more than 16 million people. Digging down into the stats, games is the leading category for pledged funding: Nearly $1 billion in successful pledges have been made to game projects since its launch. But the most successful category in terms of successful funding is—wait for it—dance, with a 61.83 percent success rate. Kickstarter updates its data daily. 

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6. Decades of government research have laid the groundwork for dozens of nuclear fusion startups to gain traction, with a goal of establishing the first commercial nuclear fusion plant in the coming years. — NBC

7. CBD manufacturing company Mile High Labs founder and CTO Stephen Mueller says his company's focus is addressing the backup in processing CBD from hemp through the use of a modular standalone processor, for which he's received $35 million in Series A funding. — ENTREPRENEUR

8. The forthcoming book Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption tells the story of entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in the years since their legal battles with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. — VANITY FAIR

9. Veterinary services startup Small Door has raised $3.5 million in seed funding for its membership-based company that will provide pet owners with, among other features, 24/7 veterinary access. Company co-founder Josh Guttman was inspired by his own challenging experience in seeking medical care for his dog. — TECHCRUNCH

10. Venture philanthropy organization New Profit has awarded $50,000 each to seven "democracy entrepreneurs" whose projects promote political literacy, voting reform and racial inequity, among other civic initiatives. — FAST COMPANY

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Julia Goldberg is a journalist and author living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She writes regularly about the intersection of technology and culture, and is the executive director of MIX Santa Fe, a networking organization for entrepreneurs. She writes the Inside Founders newsletter and can be found on Twitter @votergirl.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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