Revenue Producers: Where They Are, What They Do

Sure, all businesses (or at least a very high percentage) are important contributors to society in some form or fashion. But for the sake of a research paper, the Kauffman Foundation identified Companies That Matter as the following: scalable, quickly reaching $100 million or more in revenues; generating jobs quickly and broadly; and disproportionate creators of wealth, directly through profits and salaries and indirectly through equity.

More from Kauffman on the research and what it found:

In the paper, "The Constant: Companies that Matter," Kauffman Foundation Senior Fellow Paul Kedrosky explores the rate and founding locations of companies in the United States that "matter" from 1980 to present.

"Companies unable to reach $100 million in revenues are still relevant to the economy," Kedrosky says. "But the $100-million firms meet an entirely different threshold that gives cities, states and countries an even greater economic advantage."

Anywhere from 125 to 250 companies per year (out of roughly 552,000 new employer firms) are founded in the United States that reach $100 million in revenues. The largest contributors, in percentage terms, are from the consumer discretionary and industrial sectors. Taking into account sectoral contribution to U.S. GDP, the information technology sector produces more $100-million companies than might be expected.

Geographically, the most productive region in terms of $100-million company production is the U.S. southeast (Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana) with the Pacific region (California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii) coming in second. Following closely behind are the Mid-Atlantic and Central regions. Most regions are balanced with regard to sector, except for the Pacific region, which produces only slightly fewer $100-million information technology companies than the rest of the country combined, most of which are in California.

The United States averages 20 technology companies founded per year that reach $100 million in revenues, 17 of which are in 7 states: California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Texas. Of these 17, 4 are usually in California. However, in the 1990s, California's share of $100-million technology companies was around 35 percent. That share has declined to around 20 percent in recent years.

"Looking forward, we will most likely see even more changes regarding the locations and sectors of these companies that matter," said Kedrosky. "With the prevalence of lean startups, accelerators and fractional entrepreneurship, and the declining cost of company creation, entrepreneurship is less expensive and more widely available to prospective entrepreneurs."

Gigerich: Indiana Business Climate is Good News, Bad News Scenario

Larry Gigerich of site selector Ginovus penned an informative column for Inside INdiana Business about Indiana's business climate. While we have come a long way and are currently envied by many states, there is still work to be done. He writes:

A few weeks ago, the Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com released an annual ranking of states for their friendliness to small businesses. Indiana ranked 15th for 2013. The study analyzed several factors including items related to tax climate, work force development and regulatory issues. Eight-thousand small businesses were contacted for feedback regarding the study's criteria. Here is how Indiana ranked in each category.

1. Overall Friendliness: B+
2. Ease of Starting a Business: B+
3. Ease of Hiring: F
4. Regulations: C
5. Health and Safety: D
6. Employment, Labor and Hiring: C-
7. Tax Code: D
8. Licensing: A-
9. Environmental: D
10. Zoning: B-
11. Training and Networking Programs: C-

The grades given to Indiana are not surprising. Work force development and job training have been a focus of Governor Mike Pence and the legislature since the beginning of the year. Indiana's educational achievement, continuing learning for adults in the work force and availability of certification/credential programs have not been where they need to be. While progress has been made, there is still much to be done by government, educational providers, not-for-profits and the private sectors.

Indiana has been recognized as a relatively easy place to start and grow a business. This report points to that in terms of licensing, zoning and other factors affecting the launch of a new business.

The tax code ranking is a bit surprising, but the survey asked small businesses if they were paying too much in taxes for their locations. The elimination of the state inheritance tax, which impacts small and family-owned businesses, could help improve this ranking.

Indiana continues to struggle with rankings where health and environmental issues are considered. In particular, the state's obesity and smoking rates are unacceptably high. These items impact healthcare costs, number of missed days of work and quality of life. In terms of the environment, Indiana's long-term large manufacturing presence has impacted water, air and soil quality. While important steps have been taken in the areas, there is much left to be done.

The top five states for small businesses are (in order): Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. The bottom five are (in order): Illinois, California, Hawaii, Maine and Rhode Island.

In summary, Indiana's ranking relative to the rest of the country is good. Policymakers in the state should focus on ways to improve our weaknesses in order to move Indiana into the top 10. Due to the fact that Indiana has never been a location for large headquarters for companies, small businesses are and will continue to be the lifeblood of the state's economic growth.

Hoosier Entrepreneurs Earn Invitation to White House as Startup Climate Warms

Indiana's strong business climate and favorable cost of living is making the Hoosier state a popular place for startup businesses. As this blog and BizVoice feature about DeveloperTown convey, Silicon Valley doesn't have much on the budding ideas and energy emanating from the heartland — especially in Central Indiana. Tuesday, five Indiana entrepreneurs are meeting with White House staff in Washington, D.C. about how to make Indiana's startup climate even better. Below is an excerpt from a press release, as well as background on Indiana's representatives as written by Kevin Hitchen of Localstake.

Startup leaders from across the country will convene in Washington, D.C. on February 5th to meet with administration officials to discuss the importance of fostering vibrant startup communities throughout the U.S. These Startup America Region Champions will also unveil their regions’ plans to push their startup ecosystems to the next level. Representatives from the Small Business Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Commerce will take part in the meeting. 
 
Participating regions include: Startup Arizona, Startup Colorado, Startup DC, Startup Indiana, Startup Iowa, Startup Maryland, Startup North Carolina, Startup Nebraska, Startup Tennessee, Startup Texas and Startup Virginia. This meeting will be preceded by the Kauffman Foundation’s State of Entrepreneurship luncheon and followed by a reception hosted by Startup DC at the brand new D.C. startup hub 1776.

Indiana's representation includes:

  • Michael Coffey, who raised $2.5 in 60 days in 2010 and started a niche marketing company, moved from Napa Valley to Indianapolis because he is so impressed with Indiana's startup scene. In 2012, he became partner at DeveloperTown.
  • Kevin Hitchen is one of the founders of Localstake, a new investment marketplace that allows individuals to invest in local private businesses.  Localstake recently registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC and FINRA, so it can offer private business investing before the JOBS Act is implemented.
  • Matt Hunckler is the founder of Verge, a 2,000-member platform for software entrepreneurs in the Midwest. He leads startup efforts at Social Reactor, a premium social engagement platform based in Carmel.
  • Michael Langellier is the new CEO of TechPoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative. He cofounded MyJibe, which he sold to MoneyDesktop in November 2011.
  • Dustin Sapp is president and co-founder of TinderBox, the third company he has helped start in Indianapolis. He has been recognized locally and regionally for efforts in entrepreneurship.

Still an Uphill Battle for Female Entrepreneurs

Is there an entrepreneurial gender gap? Maybe so, according to some research from the Kauffman Foundation. The State Science & Technology Institute offers this summary:

A recent paper on women entrepreneurs finds that while women are making significant strides in advancing to high rank within corporations, several barriers are keeping them from breaking out to start their own high-growth firms.

Pointing to the untapped potential of women’s contributions to the economy, the author correlates support for women’s entrepreneurship with significant economic expansion and job creation. The types of high-growth firms described in the paper ideally would become prominent niche firms, creating jobs prolifically and serving global or national markets.

Deterring this type of economic growth, however, is an entrepreneurship gender gap. The author finds stark differences in women’s entrepreneurial participation compared to men, especially given their current and projected participation in the workforce. The gap widens even further when looking at growth measures in number of women-owned firms and by revenue. For example, census bureau data indicate that women-owned firms with paid employees grew only 7.6 percent from 1997-2007. In terms of revenue, an American Express OPEN report found women own 1.8 percent of firms with more than $1 million in revenue while men own 6.3 percent.

The paper also describes a study that finds women tend to produce research equal to or slightly better than men’s on average, but female faculty patented their research only about 40 percent of the rate of their male colleagues. Women also tended to rely on formal university conduits to help commercialize research, while more men used connections in private industry. Inviting women to join science advisory boards of high-tech companies would provide more regular exposure to industry that breeds such contacts, according to the author.

Other recommendations include support of networking and collaborative events between startup founders and big companies and greater funding for nonprofit initiatives advancing opportunities for high-growth women entrepreneurs. Additionally, successful women entrepreneurs or inventors should make themselves visible and available.

 

Study Says India the Leader in Workforce Development

A new study, titled How the Disciple Became the Guru, was recently released by the Kauffman Foundation. I’ll let the experts from Duke and Harvard, who authored the report, explain:

In the ’90s, India’s Information Technology (IT) industry learned to compensate for the country’s weak infrastructure and developed competencies that helped it become a top global player. Now several industries, including IT, have learned to overcome another major deficiency: India’s education system. They have adapted and perfected western practices in workforce training and development, and now take workers with poor education and weak technical skills and turn them into highly productive technical specialists and managers able to compete on the world stage.
 
Still not sure this applies to Indiana? Try this on for size from a project released earlier this year by the Indiana Chamber: Indiana’s Adult Education and Workforce Skills Performance Report. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems did the research and offered the following:
 
Even if Indiana were to become the best-performing state on measures of high school completion, college participation and graduation of traditional-age students, it would still fall short of reaching the level of educational attainment needed to be globally competitive. It must also rely on improved success in raising the education levels of adults age 25 and older. Indiana currently ranks 34th in the U.S. in the percentage of non-traditional-age adults participating in postsecondary education.
 
Unless Indiana can do a better job preparing its workforce, its ability to attract and maintain knowledge-based jobs may well be in jeopardy. In addition, only a highly trained workforce will possess the necessary ingredients to grow a more vibrant economy from within the state – e.g., entrepreneurship, leadership and civic engagement.
  
The professionals have spoken. What they are saying requires the attention of — quite simply — everyone. The Chamber’s Letters to Our Leaders will offer a starting point for funding Indiana’s workforce development needs in an August 5 release.