X Marks The Spot

X Startup.Com
This story first appeared in the February 2000 issue of Startups. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Yeah, yeah--we know Business Start-Ups is all a novice entrepreneur really needs. But if you have to get a different perspective, there's a cornucopia of informative sites specifically geared toward answering your start-up questions. Unfortunately, Alex Carter, 24, founder of X Startup.Com (http://www.xstartup.com) in Ames, Iowa, didn't encounter one that told the stories of entrepreneurs his age--so he created his own.

"I originally got the idea for the site last February," says Carter. "I went to a bookstore, was thumbing through magazines, and picked up Business Start-Ups for the first time. On the cover was a story on Generation X entrepreneurs."

Already eight months into his own Internet consulting venture, Carter was surprised to learn that droves of young people were infiltrating small business, and he felt a strong desire to find out exactly what they were up to. After a fruitless attempt sifting through several bland business sites, he hit the Idea Cafe (http://www.ideacafe.com) bulletin board looking for resources. He didn't find any to his liking, but he did find Jeff Frutkin, 24, who helped him outline the initial idea for X Startup.Com but dropped out of the development process to start his own network of sports Web sites.

With only $300 to cover software and hosting, and mass amounts of input gathered from entrepreneurial bulletin-board pals, Carter brought X Startup.Com live to advice-seekers worldwide last June. (He's not the only one who thought it was a good idea; Idea Café acquired X Startup.Com last September.) Whether you're seeking straightforward start-up articles, profiles of young entrepreneurs, a venue for networking, a good idea or you just want to post your URL so others can learn about your business, it's all yours for the taking.

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