River City Roasters Builds Communities on Caffeine

In a time of big corporations and globalization, it can be difficult for the average mom and pop store to prosper. Despite these setbacks, small businesses have a secret weapon for success: community involvement. Many small businesses bring the community together – serving as hosts for local events or spots to meet up and chat. River City Roasters, a small coffee shop in Wheaton, Illinois, incorporates community in everything they do. A 2015 DREAM BIG Blue Ribbon Award finalist, River City Roasters opened in 2013 as a place for the Chicago suburb to come together over a cup of delicious, artisan coffee. Through their motto “Coffee, Connection, Community,” River City Roasters has grown from a small brick and mortar shop to a staple for caffeine in the neighborhood. Their success is in part due to their ties to the international community as well. River City Roasters is different than many […]

River City Roasters Builds Communities on Caffeine

Doing good

Meet the startup battling modern-day slavery

London-based startup Segura Systems is battling sweatshops in an unusual way. Not with billboard campaigns, fundraising initiatives or even celebrity spokespeople, but instead with a supply verification application that confirms the companies used for overseas manufacturing are on approved lists. The benefit for businesses is two-fold. First, it helps them access detailed information about their suppliers and keep their records up to date. Second, it provides much-needed information that a growing number of consumers are interested in. “In recent years consumers have begun to ask more of their retailers – people want to know that the goods they’re buying have been ethically and responsibly produced,” says co-founder Ian Hepworth. “There has also been a clear and necessary realization that problems such as modern slavery are very real, posing both a severe supply chain risk and a wider ethical risk.” The company, co-founded by Hepworth and Peter Needle, started in 2011 […]

Meet the startup battling modern-day slavery

Doing good

Innovation that matters

 

4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On a day dedicated to the celebration of his legacy and work, we wanted to pay tribute to King, whose influence has only grown over time.

4 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Doing good

A Hip New Take on The Chemistry Kit

Over the past few years, STEM has become an integral part of most conversations about our education system. This emphasis is steeped in the fact that science, technology, engineering, and math are seen as pathways to innovation—so ensuring that the next generation is well-versed in these subjects is a critical focus. The problem is that many of these conversations also center on the fact that women are underrepresented in STEM fields. That’s where Yellow Scope comes in. Recently named finalists in the Portland Challenge Cup competition, the owners of Yellow Scope, two mothers and scientists, set out to remedy the situation. Yellow Scope produces science kits to help get young girls interested in STEM fields. By providing the materials for out-of-the-box experiments, the company tries to shape a creative and fun environment for girls to learn about science, helping to build their interest in a field to which girls are […]

A Hip New Take on The Chemistry Kit

Challenge Cup

New EU data rules mean big changes for American businesses

A new year often marks a much-needed turnaround for businesses — a chance to redeem the previous year or capitalize on well-earned gains. However, 2016 brings with it sweeping data privacy changes for businesses that operate in the European Union, which will impact how they do business and make money. The new protection laws, which will come into effect in two years, are arguably the biggest shakeup for data regulators and businesses that operate in the EU’s 28 member states. “There are a few reasons people should really care [about this],” says Adam Schlosser, Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation. “If they’re doing business in the European Union now, they’ll have to monitor the changes. There’s an extensive amount of changes and the changes will come with a potentially substantial fine of up to 4% of global turnover—and even if you’re not intentionally targeting […]

New EU data rules mean big changes for American businesses

Creating opportunity

Click – And Dinner is Served

It’s a well-known fact that America’s dining habits have changed over the years. The once-common ritual of families gathering around a table every night for a meal is somewhat akin to an urban legend, played out more often on the big screen than in real life. Since people today are busier and working longer hours, it means many don’t have the time to cook enjoyable meals at home, even though they want to-at least according to Jon Tien, CEO of a startup called Kitchensurfing. The company, which started in 2013, lets customers choose a chef who will cook for them in the comfort of their own home. Unlike other companies that send fresh ingredients and recipes for people to prepare themselves, Kitchensurfing does everything—from soup to nuts, as they say. The chefs bring all ingredients and equipment; they cook, serve, and clean up in half an hour. The cost comes […]

Click – And Dinner is Served

True innovation

Becoming the Boss: With Great Cookies Comes Great Responsibility

This story 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. Welcome to Becoming the Boss, our series celebrating small business owners who have made the transition from solo-entrepreneur to employer. Check back periodically for new installments. Kirk Francis – now known around the nation’s capital as “Captain Cookie” – says it all started when he was a 4-year-old kid in Oklahoma. “I’ve always been obsessed with cookies,” Francis, who owns and operates the increasingly popular Captain Cookie and the Milkman food trucks in Washington, D.C., said in an interview. “I’ve been working on my chocolate chip cookie recipe for about 25 years now.” Francis moved to D.C. after college, where he worked as a consultant for the Department of Homeland Security. He continued to bake and tinker with his favorite chocolate chip […]

Becoming the Boss: With Great Cookies Comes Great Responsibility

America at work

How Startup mcSquares Hacked the Whiteboard

Some of us went to school when it was cool to write on the chalkboard (gasp!). Thankfully, many of today’s classroom supplies are seeing continued innovation. A new entrant to this fray just may be Colorado-based mcSquares, a finalist in the recent Challenge Cup competition in Denver. mcSquares has developed a modular white board with practical applications in the classroom, the boardroom, the cafe, and even the home. With a wall-mounted bracket that can hold mutliple mcSquare tiles, you can imagine how students or teams of colleagues might piece together concepts, and then take away action items. But truly, this concept is best explained by seeing. Follow along at #1776Challenge to see how mcSquares fares in the rest of the Challenge Cup competition.

How Startup mcSquares Hacked the Whiteboard

Challenge Cup