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The Innovative Technologies That Helped Keep Athletes & Spectators Safe in Rio

In the months leading up to the 36th Olympic Games, there were countless concerns about health and safety for the thousands of athletes and supporters who would descend on Rio; understandably so, with threats ranging from Zika and water quality issues to violent crime and terrorism. That prompted Olympic officials and Brazilian government leaders to seek out the world’s most advanced health and security innovations in an effort to keep Rio’s millions of visitors as safe as possible during the two-week event – and much of that technology was provided by American businesses. While several notable incidents took place outside of the confines of the Olympic arenas (most notably, the saga that continues to unfold with the four American swimmers), the Games wrapped up on Sunday without any major security breaches and no reported terrorist attacks (despite several credible threats). Some, if not much, of the credit falls on innovative […]

The Innovative Technologies That Helped Keep Athletes & Spectators Safe in Rio

True innovation

This Startup Crowdfunded 36 Olympic Dreams in Rio

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular across a number of disciplines, with ambitious entrepreneurs, cash-strapped artists and political hopefuls all turning to new online funding portals to raise money to finance their dreams. Thanks to one up-and-coming startup – and with a little help from Coca-Cola and POWERADE – that’s now a possibility for Olympic athletes, too. In fact, three dozen of them are in Rio right now thanks to crowdfunding. Started in 2013, Sponsorise.me has emerged as the leading sports-focused crowdfunding site in Europe and recently started gaining popularity in the United States. In short, the site allows fans, friends, family members and any one else to financially back an athlete’s or team’s journey in exchange for unique rewards, ranging from autographed memorabilia to meeting the athletes in person. Check out an example campaign below: “Every day, millions of athletes and teams are looking for sponsors to finance their project, […]

This Startup Crowdfunded 36 Olympic Dreams in Rio

Creating opportunity

How Edtech Startups Are Enriching Salt Lake City’s Economy

Every startup hub has a unique reputation. New York City is known for its financial technology companies, Silicon Valley is king of apps and software, and Boston is driving innovation in the health care space. But what about Salt Lake City? No, this city isn’t pushing the limits of skiing technology as you might expect – rather, it’s emerged as one of America’s premier destinations for education technology companies. Salt Lake City’s edtech standouts include Pluralsight, an on-demand education training website that raised $135 million in 2014, which was the largest venture-funding investment for a Utah company at the time. Meanwhile, local technology company Instructure, creator of an online course management system called Canvas, raised $40 million last year and boasts clients around the world. Nearby, software company MasteryConnect raised $5 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, in 2015. The startup’s platform helps teachers monitor […]

How Edtech Startups Are Enriching Salt Lake City’s Economy

Silicon Cities

These Startups Have Given the Fashion Industry A Whole New Look

Looking for a personalized wardrobe picked out by your very own stylist? Seeking beauty and lifestyle goods on a budget? Or maybe you’re just looking to shop the latest indie designs from around the world? Whatever the case, a new crop of tech-centric fashion startups are stitching together solutions that are putting a new look on a centuries-old industry. Rent the Runway When entrepreneurs Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss launched Rent the Runway in 2008, they gave women the opportunity to borrow high-end apparel and accessories at relatively affordable prices. The so-called “Airbnb of couture” has merged technology and fashion to create a winning business platform that delivers bridesmaid dresses, shawls for prom, and pumps for fancy work functions right to a customer’s front door. The startup handles everything from dry cleaning to styling advice. It even offers an optional $5 insurance policy so fashionistas can sashay in style without […]

These Startups Have Given the Fashion Industry A Whole New Look

Creating opportunity

Team USA’s New Olympic Training Partner: Innovative Startups

Olympic athletes are always looking for new ways to gain an edge over the competition. Whether it’s a special diet, a unique workout routine, or the latest and greatest apparel and equipment, every competitor has those special secrets that contribute to his or her success. In Rio, some Olympic athletes and coaches (including several members of Team USA) have adopted an unexpected training partner: tech companies. Here’s an inside look at some of the innovative companies that have helped athletes from around the world train for the Olympic Games. Halo Can smart headphones make athletes faster and stronger? U.S.-based startup Halo Neuroscience thinks so. The company, founded in 2013, has created a futuristic headset that pushes gentle electrical pulses to an athlete’s brain while they work out in an effort to boost athletic performance. The technology underpinning the device is called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, which studies have […]

Team USA’s New Olympic Training Partner: Innovative Startups

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Here’s What New Crowdfunding Rules Mean For America’s Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding has become an important tool for startups that want to raise new capital. While popular platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helped entrepreneurs launch successful businesses for years, new U.S. regulations are now helping startups take this revolutionary capital-formation tool to the next level. A new crowdfunding regulation stemming from the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, is making it possible for startups to raise capital online from a wider net of investors. Originally signed into law by President Obama in 2012, the law was intended to help small businesses grow by making it easier for them to raise money. “It’s been transformative,” said Richard Swart, chief strategy officer of NextGen Crowdfunding, a company that helps entrepreneurs raise money online. “It allows entrepreneurs to keep more control over their businesses, set better terms for crowdfunding, and deepen relationships with their investors.” Previously, only a select group […]

Here’s What New Crowdfunding Rules Mean For America’s Entrepreneurs

Creating opportunity

How Your Small Business Can Capitalize on the Pokémon Go Craze

Pokémon Go – a recently released augmented reality (AR) game from Niantic Labs, in partnership with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, based on the popular video games and trading card franchise – has taken the nation by storm. Not yet familiar? Well, the game combines GPS and smartphone camera technology to transform the real world, so that players can “catch” digital Pokémon creatures and visit “PokéStops” to replenish the supplies needed to play the game. PokéStops include local and historical landmarks, buildings, parks, museums, public art, and more. The game is designed to get players outside and exploring their community. It’s working, too. The app has been downloaded by over 75 million users worldwide, and it’s reportedly earning in the neighborhood of $1.7 million every day – and that’s only from smartphone-equipped gamers in the United States. The game’s immediate popularity even raised the market value of Nintendo by a […]

How Your Small Business Can Capitalize on the Pokémon Go Craze

True innovation

Engineering a $10,000 Cat

The Bengal cat has a devoted following of fans and breeders, who have spent decades selectively breeding the exotic cat. But what makes them worth $10,000?

Engineering a $10,000 Cat

True innovation

Three Entrepreneurs. Two Countries. One Life-Changing Collision Over Coffee

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. Tucked between the mountains of central Pennsylvania is the town of State College, home of Penn State University. Nicknamed “Happy Valley,” much of the town’s activity revolves around student life and university events, such as Nittany Lion football games, homecoming, and graduation. Loaded with term papers, research projects and exams, quality coffee is a necessity for the 46,000 undergraduates that call Happy Valley home. Several local and regional shops compete to keep students caffeinated, but none are more unique than Barranquero Café, which has been making a splash with students since it opened in April. Barranquero Café is the brainchild of State College native Susan Jermusyk and her uncle, Gerry Kistler, the latter of whom was inspired to open his own coffee shop after […]

Three Entrepreneurs. Two Countries. One Life-Changing Collision Over Coffee

Creating opportunity

The Road to 5 Percent: 20 Years of Striving for Women-Owned Businesses

In 1994, Congress passed the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, which among other things, aimed to make sure that the federal government gives businesses owned by women, veterans, and minorities a fair shake at winning government contracts. One of the goals the law set: The government should aim to award 5 percent of its contracts for which small businesses are eligible to women-owned businesses. It took a little more than two decades, but the U.S. government has finally achieved that goal. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced earlier this year that women-owned businesses secured 5 percent of federal contracts in fiscal year 2015, representing $17.8 billion worth of federal work. The question now: What’s next for women entrepreneurs and the approximately 8 million workers they employ across the country? While women-owned businesses have made great strides in federal contracting, officials still have a lot of work ahead to create a […]

The Road to 5 Percent: 20 Years of Striving for Women-Owned Businesses

Smart government

These New Tech Startups Are Rejuvenating Old Industries

It takes guts to go head-to-head against giant businesses. Here are eight companies that transformed industries by doing just that.

These New Tech Startups Are Rejuvenating Old Industries

America at work

When Her Brother Was Diagnosed With Diabetes, This Teen Launched A Startup to Help

Children living with diabetes deal with many daily struggles. They continuously have to monitor what they eat, check their blood sugar levels throughout the day, and safely inject themselves with insulin when necessary. Entrepreneur Emily Guertler, 15, hopes to lessen some of that burden through her small business called StraightShot Apparel. The Utah teen has created a line of stylish pants with adjustable zippers that make insulin injections more manageable for kids and their parents. “I remember thinking that I wish someone would come up with an easier way for my parents to manage my brother’s diabetes,” Guertler said in an interview. “I guess I just didn’t know that I could help.” The pants are hand-sewn and made exclusively for children. The zippers run along the thigh, making it easy to administer an insulin injection to the upper leg quickly and efficiently. The upper leg may seem like an odd […]

When Her Brother Was Diagnosed With Diabetes, This Teen Launched A Startup to Help

America at work
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