Alyson Shontell

Alyson Shontell

Editor at Business Insider, entrepreneur at heart

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Business Insider

Wall Street Should Fear 28-Year-Old Alexa Von Tobel - SFGate

When LearnVest launched a few years ago, it was a site that promised to teach women important financial information. [...] how big a business could financial content for women really be? The Harvard Business School dropout and former Morgan Stanley trader would use technology to shake up Wall Street. LearnVest launched a product that looked a lot like Mint to help its customers visualize their savings and spending. "Being a registered investment advisor allows us to start giving investment advice and to maximize all of our customers' investments," Von Tobel says. The Portfolio Builder package costs $599 and includes all of the 5-Year Planner benefits, as well as guidance around investment portfolios. There's a dual browser screen so financial planners and clients can access the accounts at the same time and walk through the planning together.

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Business Insider

10 Founders Under 30 Who Grew Their Startups To $100 Million+ ...

Others took their companies public ⠔ also before the age of 30. Mint is a financial tools and management platform that helps people keep track of their spending. In 2004, Levchin founded Slide, a platform for creating and sharing content.  In 2005, Catherine Cook and her brother David moved to a new high school.  QuePasa, a Latino social network, bought MyYearbook for $82 million in stock and $18 million in cash -- just enough to pay off the $17 million the siblings had raised from investors.

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Business Insider

20 Incredible Images That Show Why Pinterest Gets 1 Billion Monthly

Even though it has yet to make a dime, the startup was called the "toast of the town" by Silicon Valley investors this summer. The pictures on the main page are a unique collection of fashion, design and inspirational photography. Incredible Images Competing In The National Geographic Photo Of The Year Contest11 Services That Don't Exist Anymore At The US Post OfficeThe 10 Unhealthiest States In America

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Business Insider

27-Year-Old Kellee Khalil Is Taking On Pinterest, The Knot, And ...

When users browse photos, they're given all of the purchase information they need.  Starting in April, Khalil will sell advertising across the network, like a Federated Media for wedding blogs, and split revenue with the publishers. Luckily, Khalil's sister is incredibly well connected in the wedding industry. Hundreds of thousands of photos have been uploaded and tagged, and a significant amount of traffic is already being generated for the partnering sites. Greg Smith Was Right, They Ruined My Great-Grandfather's CompanyTim Cook Dragged Path's Dave Morin Into His Office And Grilled HimWALL STREET'S WORST NIGHTMARE:

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Business Insider

After Making Millions, Two 20-Somethings Have Founded A Startup To

After Making Millions, Two 20-Somethings Have Founded A Startup To Help Fight Cancer [...] when they left Google in June, they started brainstorming ways to help find a cure. After their June brainstorming session, the two began meeting with dozens of oncologists every week to learn from them and see where the treatment process could be improved. Clinical trials are new, innovative cancer treatments.

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Business Insider

A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest ...

A  woman named Kirsten decided to look into the legality of Pinterest.  After all, she's a lawyer with a passion for photography. What she found scared her so much, she shut down her Pinterest...

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Business Insider

Ex-Googlers Relaunch Their Startup Stamped And Get Ryan Seacrest

Last Spring, Robby Stein and Bart Stein (not related) left their jobs at Google to start a company, Stamped. Stamped received funding from Google Ventures and others to become a mobile app that would make restaurant and small business reviews more social. A slew of A-list investors are supporting Stamped's new vision; Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, The New York Times, Columbia Records, Crunchfund, Eric Schmidt, ShoeDazzle's Brian Lee, and Pandora CTO Tom Conrad are all investors. [...] Stamped creates personalized guides for users based on their interests and their friends' recommendations. The three founders, Robby, Bart and Kevin Palms, are determined to build a long-term network where people help others discover amazing things.

Business Insider

HotelTonight Is A 1.5-Year-Old Startup That's Raised $36 Million To ...

Sam Shank founded HotelTonight a year and a half ago. [...] he's raised $36 million from investors for his mobile app.

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Business Insider

In Alleged New IMs From Harvard, Zuckerberg Says Facebook Is ...

In Alleged New IMs From Harvard, Zuckerberg Says Facebook Is 'Souped-Up' Version Of Someone Else's Idea (FB) Aaron Greenspan was a Harvard junior while Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg was a sophomore. For years, Greenspan has been trying to tell media outlets that Zuckberg's orginal idea for Facebook, a social network for Harvard students, was essentially a ripoff of a product Greenspan had put together at Harvard. Today, Greenspan published what he says are instant message conversations he had with Mark Zuckerberg in 2004.  In one alleged conversation, Zuckerberg approaches Greenspan to see if he'd like work with him on a project ⠓ a project that would turn out to be Facebook. Zuckerberg says he would like Greenspan to work on this project because he thinks it will be similar to a "facebook" site that Greenspan has already been working on ⠓ a Harvard-sanctioned Website called "Housesystem." Zuckeberg tells Greenspan his project is &quot

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Business Insider

Meet Foursquare's Money Man, Steven Rosenblatt - SFGate

[...] the local check-in app has never been very focused on generating revenue -- until now. There are currently ten people working with Rosenblatt in sales support, sales strategy and account management, and he's still hiring. Dennis Crowley's brother Jay has been running business development for a few years, but this is the first time a sales team has been instated at the startup. Foursquare launched the pilot program with 20 merchants in July. [...] it has a better Explore feature, 20 million plus users, 2.5 billion check-ins, 1 million confirmed merchant listings and 5 million check-ins per day.

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Business Insider

Non-Technical Founders Will Always Make Subpar Products That Fail

Non-Technical Founders Will Always Make Subpar Products That Fail Slowly A few weeks before sold to Facebook, founder Sam Lessin met with New York Tech Meetup's Nate Westheimer. Idea people who can't code have to relay their vision to others, and part of the vision inevitably gets lost in translation. Westheimer, who had been considering founding a new startup and already had an investor on board, took a step back. To them he responds, I run a 22,000 person group full of technical people [New York Tech Meetup] so I'm pretty well connected. Westheimer says he tried online tutorials like Codecademy and MIT classes.  Instead he looked for books that taught people to develop products or features. A Disastrous War Game Changed America's Strategy For IranLIVE: RIM Earnings!BEST BUY IMPLODES:

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Business Insider

Suddenly, Hollywood Is A Startup Hotbed - SFGate

[...] TV industry executives are quitting their jobs to become entrepreneurs. Why did Silicon Valley take off? Because successful entrepreneurs didn't walk away or retire with their millionsâ ”they stuck around and started new companies or became investors. Myspace may not be doing well today, but it produced entrepreneurs like Richard Rosenblatt, who's now running Demand Media in LA. Venture capitalists are flying to Los Angeles regularly hunting for innovative ideas at valuations that are a steal compared to Silicon Valley or New York. [...] Sean Percival, a former Myspace vice president, now runs Wittlebee, a subscription-commerce startup for kids' clothes. The film industry, and TV in particular, is ripe for disruption. Maker Studios, for example, is trying to bring the quality of big-screen videos to YouTube. "With the massive growth of YouTube and Hulu and startups providing alternative solutions, the TV industry is really changing and it creates opportunity," Greycroft partn

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Business Insider

Suddenly, Startups Have Gotten Very Boring - SFGate

In the wake of the Facebook IPO, something funny has happened to the world of startups.  "The noisiest space (social consumer) looks a bit less interesting," said another. [...] the question is, how many of those opportunities will be captured by startups versus incumbents? Silicon Valley may not be running out of ideas, but we might be running out of big new companies. "The bad performance of the Facebook IPO will hurt the funding market for earlier stage startups," he said. Thanks to improved technology, social media, and new sources of financing, anyone can start a company, even if it isn't novel or necessary. "Thousands of early-stage consumer web/mobile companies were started and funded in last 24 months," he wrote. If you are thinking of starting a non-transactional consumer startup, be aware that you are entering what is perhaps the most competitive sector in tech in the last decade. "The interesting innovation now is happening in [business-to-busi

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Business Insider

Take A Tour Of Foursquare, The Coolest Startup Office We've Ever ...

Take A Tour Of Foursquare, The Coolest Startup Office We've Ever Seen Most of Foursquare's 135 employees are located on the 10th floor of 568 Broadway, a building it shares with Equinox, Thrillist and ZocDoc. There are also gymnastics rings, a mini amphitheater, tons of games, gobs of food, picnic tables and weekly kegs.