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Prague panorama (josefkubes/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Prague panorama (josefkubes/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Small business briefing

Travel startup exposes city's dark underbelly Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz .

CorruptTour looks at ‘the bright side of sleaze’

You may not stroll across the Charles Bridge, one of Prague’s most romantic sites, but you may get to see a hospital or two ‘notorious for graft and sleaze.’ As its name implies, CorruptTour – a new Prague-based travel startup that takes you to cities’ seedier areas – is not your typical tour company.

According to the company’s website, it’s the world’s first corruption specialist tour company and it specializes in showcasing ‘the best of the worst.’ It takes tourists to shadier parts, like construction zones and homes of politicians, in three cities in the Czech Republic: Prague, Usti nad Labem and Calsbad. For about $40 per person, Czech, German and English-speaking tourists can take a walking or bus tours.

CNN Travel says the company takes the prize as their favourite travel startup, “for the simple reason that it is the strangest ever.” The news organization also writes that they believe this kind of tour has real potential in the United States (i.e. the New York tour could take visitors to the "former environs of Lehman Brothers").

Fresh funding helps Eventbrite keep IPO at bay

Eventbrite Inc., an online ticketing company, has secured $60-million in private funding from T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global Management, according to The Wall Street Journal. The additional capital, which brings its total private fundraising to $135-million, helps the company avoid an initial public offering.

When the San Francisco-based company started in 2006, it sold tickets primarily for smaller events – such as high school reunions – but has since moved onto managing big events including The Black Eyed Peas concerts in New York City’s Central Park and the Tribeca Film Festival. It expects to sell $1-billion of event tickets this year, up from $600-million last year. The company collects a fee only on tickets sold.

Why small businesses go green

What motivates small business owners to pursue more environmentally-friendly business practices? While 49 per cent are spurred by potential cost-savings and 20 per cent by employee encouragement and participation, more than three quarters (76 per cent) are motivated by concern for the environment, according to an Earth Day survey by Office Depot Inc.

The survey of more than 1,000 small business owners found that more than one-third of those surveyed (36 per cent) would pay a higher initial cost for greener office products if they would generate long-term savings, and 84 per cent say they would purchase the “green” office product over the comparable regular office product if the two were equally priced.


C100-NE to host Atlantic Venture Forum in June

C100-NE, a Boston-based group dedicated to helping Canadian tech and biotech companies navigate the New England startup community, will be hosting a forum in Halifax this June. The Atlantic Venture Forum will be a chance for Maritime startups to learn from entrepreneurs invested in the Northeastern U.S.’s thriving startup community. The event will take place June 19 and 20 at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax. Register on the event website.

TechCrunch Disrupt

One of the most anticipated tech conferences of the year is taking place next weekend in New York. On April 27th to April 28th, TechCrunch will host the Hackathon and April 29th to May 1st, they will be bringing Disrupt back to New York to reveal an all new slate of outstanding startups, influential speakers, guests, and more to the stage. Purchase tickets here.


Four boomers on why they chose second careers as entrepreneurs

With a new idea of what it means to retire, baby boomers are increasingly shunning any notions of a retirement filled with blissfully commitment-free, leisurely days


Young firm worries about cultural fit with older hire

Powered by Search needs a business development manager but is concerned about finding the right combination of experience and fit where the median age of employees is 25 Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.

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