1 In 5 Idaho Startups Fail In Their First Year. Here Are 5 That Have Made It Past That — Or Plan To

By Heather Kennison
The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) About 23 percent of Idaho’s new private businesses fail within their first year. Be that as it may, in south-central Idaho, there is no shortage of success stories. Heather Kennison of the “Times-News” introduces us to some local startups that have pushed through their first months in business.


You’re trapped in a room with a chained zombie.

Every few minutes, the chain lengthens and the walking corpse comes nearer. You’ve got an hour to figure out how unlock the room and escape before you’re infected with the virus.

Will you make it?

That’s the scenario for Edward Ford’s next phase of the Twin Falls Escape Rooms. Since the startup business opened in December 2016, he’s recouped his initial $50,000 investment and plans to keep the business going.

Escape rooms are a fast-growing business trend across the nation. Participants go into a fictitious, game-like scenario where they have to figure out how to “escape” from a room in the given time using a series of clues and puzzles. In reality, Ford explained, the room has an emergency exit.

While they’re popular now, Ford doesn’t expect these businesses — including his own — to last more than two or three years.

“It’s kind of one of those in-the-moment things,” he said.

Still, there’s a lot of other new startups out there. The Idaho Department of Labor recently reported that Idaho has a higher rate of private sector startups than the national rate.

Surviving in the real world, however, is much harder than in a game. About 23 percent of Idaho’s new private businesses fail within their first year (based on 2015 data).

Those that do make it boost the economy. The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that in 2015, the nation’s 414,000 startup firms created 2.5 million new jobs.

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