Explaining Southern California's economy

VIDEO: So you want to start a company?

How to Become a Billionaire

Jonathan Benn/KPCC

Matt DeBord explains how to become a billionaire.

People start businesses for lots of reasons. They crave entrepreneurship, they cherish independence, they want to change the world, they hope to get rich, they believe that they have a business idea or a product or service that deserves to get to market. 

Some just want to get the private jet and the second yacht and the third home. 

Some could care less about the money and are basically ill-suited to punch the clock for anyone but themselves.

But no matter what the motive, anyone who wants to start a business has a fundamental need: Money!

KPCC's terrific video team — and new addition Jonathan Benn, who's a talented young animator — and I put together the explainer above. It has a startup-y emphasis: This is how you launch a company that might follow the pattern of a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. But the general idea — that funding is essential for you to grow and thrive — applies to any kind of new business.

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The hippest, coolest part of venture capital comes to public media

Mercer 20464

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

People work at computers in TechHub, an office space for technology start-up entrepreneurs in London, England.

This is one of the best ideas I've seen in a while: following on its establishment of an early-stage venture fund at the beginning of the year, the Knight Foundation has announced that it's going to fund a Public Media Accelerator, to the the tune of $2.5 million. It's clear what Knight is up to here: it's putting together a fully functioning venture capital metabolism for the non-profit space, with a focus on media. 

It used to be that you could think of VC in terms of early and later-stage funding. But the emergence of incubators, like Pasdena's own Idealab, and accelerators with a somewhat different funding model — they seek to identify, nurture, and develop startups at an extremely early stage, sometimes before an actual company even exists — has made it necessary for any entity that wants to mimic Silicon Valley to think more broadly. 

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