NASA and the Private Sector Look to New Horizons in Space

The United States has a long history of innovation in space and pushing the boundaries, from putting the first people on the moon in 1969 to landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars in 2012. At 7:49:58 Tuesday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continued that tradition as the spacecraft New Horizons passed by Pluto, making the United States the first nation to send a spacecraft to the dwarf planet. While many are first hearing about New Horizons this week, its journey began long ago. Launched in January of 2006, the spacecraft has been on its way to Pluto for nine years. The payoff now comes with close-up images of Pluto and its five moons. Discovered in 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh, Pluto quickly captured the public’s imagination. Pluto made news in 2006 as astronomers reclassified it as a dwarf planet, officially lowering the number of planets in our solar […]

NASA and the Private Sector Look to New Horizons in Space

True innovation

Designing Books for Infants: As Tricky as You’d Think

A recent report from Scholastic and YouGov found that children who were read to “early and often” were more likely to be frequent readers themselves later in life. But where can parents find the kinds of books that help young children develop a lifelong love of reading? For many caregivers, the answer is Babybug. What makes Babybug unique? Published by Cricket Media, a Virginia-based media company, Babybug is specifically designed to engage babies aged six months to three years. Made up of poems, stories, and other pieces engineered to make parents interact with their children, Babybug is available in digital and physical forms. Though it has evolved over time to become more specialized and targeted, Babybug remains geared toward its core audience of parents and their children. To find out more about the publication and what distinguishes it from the competition, we recently sat down for an interview with Cricket […]

Designing Books for Infants: As Tricky as You’d Think

Creating opportunity | Doing good

1776 Challenge Cup is a global startup competition taking place in 16 cities across 11 countries to identify the most promising startups solving the biggest challenges in four categories – education, energy, health and cities.

Click here for all our Challenge Cup coverage.

10 Years Post-Katrina, New Orleans Schools Are Better Than Ever

This post originally appeared on Above the Fold, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital platform featuring analysis, commentary, and real stories about the intersection of government and business. A decade ago, public education in New Orleans was nobody’s idea of a success story. And when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, the city’s beleaguered school system was virtually decimated–a further blow to an already troubled system. But in recovering from that tragedy, city leaders in New Orleans asked a radical question: what would you do differently if you could redesign the public school system from the ground up? They came up with a dramatic new approach, converting the K-12 system almost entirely to charter schools, thereby allowing families to choose where and how their children would learn. As a result, New Orleans has emerged at the forefront of an innovation revolution in education. “One of the strengths of New Orleans […]

10 Years Post-Katrina, New Orleans Schools Are Better Than Ever

Creating opportunity | Doing good

Teen Develops A Sensible Approach to Studying

–Cross posted from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation blog— Lane Karlitz, who just completed the eighth grade at Palos Verdes Intermediate School, has gained national attention for his company, Study Senses, LLC, a mobile application designed to make learning fun for all ages and education levels by creating customized soundtracks for schoolwork. “Study Senses is a revolutionary mobile application designed to make studying easy and enjoyable,” says Karlitz. “Imagine Schoolhouse Rock meets Quizlet, empowered by iTunes.” Karlitz was named a regional champion in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Saunders Scholarship national competition and competed against other YEA! students on June 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C. at the 2015 America’s Small Business Summit. His journey to the national competition began when he was named the local YEA! winner of the competition produced by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Karlitz was awarded funding by local investors to launch his business and at the final competition in […]

Teen Develops A Sensible Approach to Studying

Doing good

This City’s Problem: Too Many Jobs, Too Few Workers

With its 2.6% unemployment rate, Lincoln, Nebraska, has one of the hottest economies in the U.S. What is the city doing to sustain that kind of torrid growth over the next decade and beyond? It’s investing in education, for starters. Building on Success The Lincoln metropolitan area has a lot going for it when it comes to education. Its residents, for instance, are among the highest in terms of educational attainment in the U.S., with an outsized share graduating from both high school and college. Local and state officials are continually working to cultivate this kind of environment, one that has helped attract all kinds of businesses from a diverse range of industries. On this front, Lincoln actually has a unique problem other cities would envy: Many employers are growing so quickly that they are unable to find qualified workers. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development is actively working with […]

This City’s Problem: Too Many Jobs, Too Few Workers

Creating opportunity | Smart government

7 Steps to Repeat Success: Skype’s 1st Employee Strikes Gold Again

What do you do after you’ve already struck professional gold? That’s a question Taavet Hinrikus, who was Skype’s first employee, had to grapple with. Yet his international money transfer startup, TransferWise, shows he was in no way a one-hit wonder.  TransferWise is—pardon our use of the word—disrupting the international money transfer industry by enabling users to forgo paying the hefty fees that large financial institutions typically tack on to such transfers. Though they vary by organization and currency, international money transfer fees are routinely calculated as a percentage of the entire transaction. These costs can rise quickly. Say you want to transfer $5,000 abroad but you have to pay a 6% fee—a common benchmark in the industry—then you’ll end up forking over an additional $300. That’s something that frustrated Hinrikus and his co-founder, Kristo Käärmann. So, what happened next? “They started TransferWise, which offers a super low-cost alternative and is completely transparent,” […]

7 Steps to Repeat Success: Skype’s 1st Employee Strikes Gold Again

Doing good | True innovation

A Startup Helping Doctors Cut Loans by Thousands of Dollars

There’s a lot  that goes into becoming a doctor. Apart from the years of schooling and training, the process frequently demands more than a decade of work and often sends aspiring physicians into debt. But that’s where LinkCapital comes in: The startup helps doctors and other medical professionals refinance their student loans at lower rates, saving money and improving their financial health. Why focus on this particular group, especially one that’s known for having above-average salaries? Put simply, it makes good business sense “We started looking into the student loan situations of health care professionals and realized that they have sizable balances—often greater than $400,000—but they also carry a low financial risk. They are highly skilled, have secure long-term and stable employment, and are high-earners,” Bill Claus, LinkCapital’s chief executive officer and co-managing partner, tells Free Enterprise. LinkCapital leverages these variables to generate substantial savings for the medical professionals with […]

A Startup Helping Doctors Cut Loans by Thousands of Dollars

Creating opportunity

8 Iconic Brands That Came Back From the Dead

Here are 8 iconic brands that died but pulled off the unthinkable: They came back from obscurity and are now more popular than ever.

8 Iconic Brands That Came Back From the Dead

True innovation