Even though the effects of the recession have eased in the last few years, some small businesses still can’t find banks willing to lend them money. After all, many financial institutions are looking to invest in established companies with little to no risk involved, qualities that most small businesses simply do not have. That’s where OnDeck Capital comes in. This lending startup touts itself as a disruptive financial force that can make loan assessments and send cash to companies within Continue reading

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In the past few years, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become dependable sources of capital for all types of ventures. 2013 alone saw startups and artists collect more than $5.1 billion in crowdfunded cash. But businesses can receive more benefits from a successful crowdfunding campaign than just money. For instance, a startup selling a Bluetooth-enabled padlock raked in $652,000 in just one month on Kickstarter. Besides the investment windfall, contributors also sent the company offers of help with Continue reading

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Over the last few years, large retailers have become increasingly vulnerable to attacks by hackers looking to steal important company and customer data. In order to prevent these breaches, stores across the nation are upgrading to new credit card readers that scan an embedded chip rather than the card’s magnetic strip. Each transaction on a chip-card receives its own unique code, making shopping safer for consumers and companies alike. 575 million of these new cards are expected to land in Continue reading

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When the stock market collapsed in 2008, the government deemed Wall Street’s ailing banks “too big to fail” and provided them with a multi-billion dollar bailout. The emergency loan ultimately saved the banks, but has provided no shortage of controversy ever since. To the financial sector’s critics, many of the problems caused by these banks stemmed from their enormous size. In fact, nothing much has changed since the financial collapse: the same five banks that dominated bond underwriting and Continue reading

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April 30, 2015

In an earlier newsletter, we included a story about how Lego built its mighty block empire on a strong foundation of licensed products. The Danish company continues to make a variety of sets with characters from popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, accounting for a third of Lego’s sales. As the toy company became more dominant in the last year, however, it started to focus more on promoting its own brand rather than others’. The 2014 The Lego Continue reading

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April 26, 2015

As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, Hershey is always reshaping the way it does business in order to remain at the top. Technology especially helps the Pennsylvania-based company improve in a number of key areas. For instance, the prevalence of online shopping and self-checkout lines are hurting Hershey’s sales from impulse buyers. To encourage more “unplanned purchases,” the company plans to add small kiosks near self-checkout machines and curbside pickup stations that will give customers one last chance Continue reading

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April 21, 2015

 

California’s Silicon Valley is known the world over as a hub of technological innovation. Along with established giants like Google and Facebook, the Bay Area suburb is home to countless startups hoping to launch the next big social network or app. But not every entrepreneur in the Valley is a code-focused Mark Zuckerburg-type. In one burgeoning industry, scientists at several startups are cooking up revolutionary ways to use plants as meat substitutes in food.

These aren’t like the bean Continue reading

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April 18, 2015

For years Walt Disney Studios thrived by strategically reissuing its catalogue of animated classics on home video. Starting out on VHS and continuing with DVD and Blu-ray, the company rereleased a movie every seven years, updating the special features and packaging into something new for consumers to purchase. With digital downloads rising and DVD sales on the downturn, however, Disney’s longtime cash cow is starting to run dry. As a result, the Mouse has switched focus to reimagining its past Continue reading

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April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

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April 13, 2015

 

Americans may differ from one another in innumerable ways, but there’s at least one thing that unites most of us: our phones. Ninety-one percent of adults in the U.S. used a mobile phone in 2013, including 77 percent of Americans older than 65. Furthermore, people from around the globe are just as attached to their phones as we are. All told, the estimated number of mobile subscribers worldwide hovers somewhere around 4.5 billion people. In fact, mobile penetration is Continue reading

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