Got QA? It’s the new tech apprenticeship

Quality assurance is not one of the more glamourous positions in the tech world but it may be just the stepping stone necessary to bring in a new generation of programmers. That’s the thinking behind a new White House initiative called SummerQAmp.

The 10 Austin startups you need to meet at SXSW 2012

Pack up the robots, your Apple gear and the Red Bull because it’s almost time for South by Southwest in lovely Austin, Texas. Each year I’ve tried to showcase 10 hot startups in the city for visiting VCs, executives and job seekers. Here they are.

LuxeYard puts a social spin on high-end flash sales

LuxeYard, a site selling high-end home decor products, is launching Tuesday. Yes, it’s technically another flash sales site. But what’s interesting about LuxeYard is that it’s doing things a bit differently from the established players in the space such as One Kings Lane and Gilt Groupe.

The new new commerce

The new breed of e-commerce sites offers consumers ways to socialize and be entertained. But as Rags Gupta of Brightcove points out, these new new commerce sites are taking advantage of old principles. Their innovation comes from introducing them online.

Gilt Groupe is talking IPO. Should this be a tech story?

Gilt Groupe, the designer flash sales website, is reportedly set to start prepping an IPO next year. But as more consumer and retail companies get savvy to the web and mobile worlds, should IPOs of companies like Gilt and Groupon really be considered tech industry stories?

Want some cheese with that wine? Lot18 has you covered

Lot18, the membership-only daily deals website for high end wine, is set to expand into three new product categories: food, epicurean travel, and spirits. Lot18 will start rolling out the new verticals, starting with food, within the next several weeks, CEO Philip James tells me.

Now profitable, Polyvore strikes a pose as top fashion site

Interactive fashion website Polyvore has officially entered into inflection point territory. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, which is backed with $8.2 million in venture capital, has achieved profitable operations and is currently seeing record web traffic, co-founder Jess Lee told me in an interview this week.

Can big data make Groupon profitable?

Groupon’s prospectus for an IPO started arguments over the company’s huge losses. Silicon Valley wants Groupon to look like a technology company, but right now it’s more or less in the Yellow Pages business. But by better applying big data analysis, Groupon could start seeing profits.