September 20, 2014

Although many Americans make sure to recycle their plastic bottles and aluminum cans, they’re less careful to do so with their more functional possessions. Ninety percent of the nation’s mobile devices get thrown in the trash rather than the recycling bin. The gadgets are joined there by 40 percent of the food produced each year in the U.S., along with the 12 million tons of textiles that get tossed annually.

Over the last few years, a number of new companies Continue reading

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September 6, 2014

Nobody likes to wait in line for the bathroom, but sometimes that’s just the way things are at big, busy venues like stadiums and airports. Entrepreneur Allen Klevens couldn’t accept this fact of life, however, and set out to fix it with his new product Tooshlights. These small beacons rest at the top of a bathroom stall door and glow red if the space is occupied or green if it’s free. Klevens hopes this clever stop-and-go system will drastically speed Continue reading

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August 23, 2014

 

caregivingIn order to turn a successful business into a successful franchise, an entrepreneur needs a strong concept along with good people to implement it. That’s exactly what Allen Hager set out to do when he launched his home health care company, Right at Home, as a franchise nearly 20 years ago. By expanding the business plan and setting strict hiring policies, Right at Home has grown into a company with nearly 400 locations across the world and $265 million Continue reading

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August 19, 2014

 

When Howard Schultz first joined Starbucks as marketing director in 1982, the small Seattle company made most of its money selling coffee-making equipment. Once Schultz landed the CEO position, however, matters changed drastically. Looking to bring the European café experience to American shores, Schultz transformed the regional chain into an international behemoth within two decades.

Starbucks changed again when Schultz stepped down as CEO in 2000. After a rapid expansion saw the company grow to more than 15,000 stores Continue reading

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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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