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Inside Founders (Aug 6th, 2019)

Finalists in the business accelerator program I oversee currently are preparing to submit business plans as part of the final judging process. I like to send the cohort members articles and resources I think may be useful to them as they work on their plans. I'd been thinking it might be fun to devote an issue of this newsletter in the future to resources for entrepreneurs. Want to help me? Send me your favorite articles and tool kits—ones you've used yourself or recommended to others—to help me build out the guide. You can reach me directly at julia@inside.com.

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1. Screen-sharing app Squad has raised $5 million in a seed round for the company, described by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Esther Crawford as the “anti-bro startup.” Crawford says Squad is looking to successful social media startups such as Snap, WhatsApp and Twitch to "learn from the best in what they did," while at the same time "get rid of the shit." Specifically, Squad is addressing the male-dominated qualities of social media and incorporating features—such as heightened security measures—that cater to a female demographic: 70 percent of Squad's 450,000 registered users are teenage girls. The seed round was led by First Round Capital's only female partner Hayley Barna. — TECHCRUNCH

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2. Atlanta has the second-fastest growing economy in the U.S., and 25 percent of its tech industry employees are black. The figure is significant in an industry struggling with diversity; by comparison, only 6 percent of the employees in San Francisco—the top growing economy—are black. Atlanta's growing reputation as a hub for black entrepreneurship is due in large part to migration to the city by black founders such as Walker & Company's Tristan Walker, who raised $30 million to launch his company in Palo Alto, but grew disillusioned with Silicon Valley and last year sold his company to Proctor & Gamble, stayed on as CEO and moved its headquarters to Atlanta. — FAST COMPANY

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3. By the Numbers: Atlanta's Tech Scene

Fast Company's profile of Atlanta's growing reputation as a hub for black founders and the tech industry overall notes that the city's metro area is the second-fastest growing economy in the U.S., following San Francisco. Atlanta also added 8,090 tech-related jobs in the metro area last year, with net tech-employment growing by 3.2 percent. The metro area alone is home to 20 blockchain companies, and Atlanta has three tech incubators. One of them, Tech Square Labs, opens applications Aug. 12 for the Atlanta Startup Battle, in which 500 startups compete for $100,000. Overall in Georgia, the tech sector's $52.6 billion direct economic impact constitutes 10.2 percent of the total economy.

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4. Financial services startup Human Interest announced yesterday a $15.4 million dollars Series B round for its modern 401(k) software. The company was founded four years ago by Roger Lee and Paul Sawaya in that summer's Y Combinator cohort. Human Interest's software is geared at smaller companies that want to eschew traditional investment firms and build their own retirement plans for employees. Current clients include search company DuckDuckGo and flavored-water company Hint, among others. Human Interest's cloud-based offerings are particularly suited to tech startups, which traditionally have challenges offering retirement options to their employees, by offering an easy platform that also is more affordable. — CRUNCHBASE

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5. "Undercover Billionaire" premiers on the Discovery Channel tonight, and follows entrepreneur Glenn Stearns as he tries to build a million dollar business in just 90 days with only $100. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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6. Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser and startup accelerator Founders Factory have joined together to create Founders Factory Hygiene and Home, a new startup accelerator for companies that use technology to create cleaner and safer home environments. — FORBES

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7. New research from Cornell University shows that foreign-born Ph.Ds in the science and engineering fields are half as likely to work at U.S. startups as their American counterparts due to concerns about securing their work visas. — PNAS

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8. Y Combinator partner Jared Friedman writes that biotech fundraising is following the same trajectory tech company startups had a decade ago, and says if that pattern continues, "we’ll see an explosion in the funding options for biotech companies." — Y COMBINATOR BLOG

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9. Competition is growing for makers of apps that provide families in hospital waiting rooms updates on their loved ones; EASE Applications, co-founded in 2014 by pediatric anesthesiologist Hamish Munro, has had to navigate both healthcare regulations and hospitals' financial limitations. — WALL STREET JOURNAL

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10.  Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen has once again created a limited-edition batch of ice-cream through his "Ben's Best" label to support presidential candidate and fellow Vermontian Bernie Sanders; the cinnamon/butter-crunch "Bernie's Back" flavor is only available through Sanders' campaign website, and Cohen says more flavors are on the way. — BLOOMBERG

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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.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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