July 25, 2014

 

loliwareFor many entrepreneurs, the best ideas come around when you least expect it. That’s what happened to Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker after they graduated from New York’s Parsons The New School for Design in 2010. In an effort to expand their portfolios, the pair of young designers entered a number of product creation competitions. At one event centered on Jell-O, Briganti and Tucker designed an edible drinking glass using agar, a seaweed-based gelatin that is odorless and Continue reading

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Most state laws designate marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic that is illegal to possess, sell or consume, barring medical reasons in some states. But last year voters in Colorado and Washington elected to legalize the drug following years of lax medical cannabis legislation. While Washington lawmakers are spending a year drafting regulations for retail sale, Colorado’s legal dispensaries opened to customers aged 21 and over on January 1, 2014. Nevertheless, the Rocky Mountain State’s marijuana growers have a Continue reading

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April 30, 2014

In our increasingly connected world, people are constantly generating new data about themselves. While social networks collect a record of one’s feelings, sensors that measure sleep patterns and Wi-Fi-enabled scales can keep track of vital statistics. To tech experts, all this seemingly vain information may actually lead to the next great innovation: predictive computing. Soon enough our gadgets will know us so well that they won’t just store our to-do lists, they might actually write the lists themselves.

Many smartphone Continue reading

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March 26, 2014

For many people, learning a second language is often a necessary step to take in order to climb up the career ladder. Of the 1.2 billion people across the world currently learning a foreign language, more than 800 million are studying English to get a better job. But language learning is such a time-consuming and expensive enterprise that many people are forced to end their instruction before reaching fluency. Even alternatives to personal tutoring, such as the popular software line Continue reading

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March 23, 2014

Modern tech startups tend to be stereotypically categorized as venture capital-driven social media companies. But while popular websites like Facebook and Twitter receive loads of attention, the sheer number of users they need to drive their businesses sets them apart from other startups. As a result, many entrepreneurs are steering clear of heavily hyped social media startups in favor of more traditional enterprises, such as business-to-business (B2B) sales.

Sure, it’s unlikely that any B2B company will grow to the point Continue reading

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March 19, 2014

For many years, the famous phrase “location, location, location” served as one of the most unfailing maxims in the business lexicon. But as the digital age has broken down borders and streamlined commerce, the importance of physical locations has diminished. In fact, some intrepid entrepreneurs have given up permanent addresses entirely in order to cut down costs and increase mobility.

The types of business best suited for going off the physical grid are tech companies, service providers, media firms and Continue reading

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March 15, 2014

At first glance it may be difficult to figure out what a tech giant like Google shares in common with the women’s feature-smoothing undergarment line Spanx. Although they may seem like completely different operations, both companies share one crucial element: they each have memorable founding stories. With Google, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page hammered out their first search engine while holed up in a friend’s garage. Meanwhile, Sara Blakely demonstrated the power of Spanx by using a pair of Continue reading

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March 11, 2014

 

When Kevin Hartford lost his consulting job in the mid-1990s, the knowledge and expertise he gained after years of hard work should have been enough to land him another job quickly. However, potential employers became hung up on one particular item not included on Hartford’s resume: his stutter. While his speech impediment had never been a problem at his previous job, Hartford says that it put off recruiters as he went on countless interviews. “I applied for job after Continue reading

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March 3, 2014

 

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have allowed thousands to receive the capital they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. However, these sites tend to work out best for people whose ideas play to an Internet audience, such as artists or video game designers. That’s why U.S. lawmakers passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012. The legislation is meant to make crowdfunding more accessible to small businesses that may not have much of a web presence. Continue reading

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January 31, 2014

In an effort to boost local economies, states and cities nationwide are amending zoning laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up shop at home. For years local governments either banned home businesses outright or riddled them with red tape, such as requiring potential owners to seek approval through public hearings. But over the past decade restrictions have eased, paving the way for home businesses ranging from food makers to music instructors.

Small businesses often drive economic recoveries, Continue reading

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