November 14, 2017

Each year American restaurants and supermarkets throw away $57 billion worth of food due to spoilage or lack of demand. An additional $15 billion in foodstuffs never even leaves farms, often because the crops are either damaged or simply too ugly to sell. Although companies try to donate as much unsold inventory as possible, the scale of the problem is far larger than the industry can currently handle.

That’s where startups like Spoiler Alert and FoodMaven come in. These Continue reading

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October 27, 2017

Since its founding in 2012, the women’s apparel seller LuLaRoe has grown into a powerful brand despite never stocking its clothes in stores. Instead, the company directly sells items to a team of independent consultants who find customers on their own. These representatives can eventually receive bonuses if they find new consultants to recruit, thus expanding the number of LuLaRoe sellers as well as customers. If you ask executives at the company, this direct selling strategy fits the mold Continue reading

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October 13, 2017

This light and breezy video takes you to Mcity, a tiny town that serves as the test track for the University of Michigan’s autonomous vehicle research program. Engineers observe closely as self-driving cars learn how to avoid pedestrians and navigate through obstacles in a realistic setting.

Questions:

  1. What is the benefit of testing products like autonomous vehicles in controlled but realistic settings?
  2. Do you think self-driving cars will become a common sight on the road within a few years?
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September 21, 2017

marketIn malls across the country, food courts act as hubs where shoppers can eat, drink, and take breaks from comparing price tags. Along with sharing a common purpose, these corrals of restaurants and drink stands often serve similar fare, too. After all, walk into any food court and you’re likely to find mainstay chains like Sbarro, Subway and Panda Express alongside a couple of local options.

This dependable if slightly boring structure served retail centers well for decades as shoppers Continue reading

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September 15, 2017

In the 17th century citizens of the Netherlands enjoyed an historic era of art and prosperity known as the Dutch Golden Age. Wealthy merchants spent lavishly on all sorts of luxuries, including a new flower imported from Turkey called the tulip. Demand for tulips reached incredible heights until the bottom suddenly fell out of the market. This short video looks at what many economists consider to be the first market bubble to burst.

Questions:

  1. How does the Dutch tulip craze Continue reading
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August 18, 2017

Instead of waiting in traffic, what if you could hop in a helicopter and commute to work in a matter of minutes? For a brief period in the 1970s people could do just that on New York Airways, a helicopter shuttle service that ferried folks around the city for as little as $5. Although a tragic accident quickly put an end to the industry, this video shows how advancements in technology could possibly allow helicopter shuttle companies to make a Continue reading

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August 10, 2017

restaurantThe U.S. economy has managed to add thousands of jobs so far this year thanks to big gains in industries like construction and health care. But even these substantial sectors can’t compare to the robust growth of the restaurant industry, which has gained nearly 200,000 new jobs in 2017 alone. And unlike manufacturing or construction work, these jobs aren’t localized to a few lucky cities scattered across the nation. Instead, nearly every American metropolis has seen a boom in restaurant Continue reading

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July 26, 2017

wedding-flowersAs the sudden closing of Alfred Angelo Bridal shows, dealing with weddings can be unpredictable and continuously frustrating even on the business side. But the financial rewards are vast for those who manage to navigate this volatile sector successfully. The wedding industry earned $58 billion in revenue in 2016 and is expected to bring in $63 billion by 2021. The average wedding now costs $26,500 as couples spend generously over the year or so that they spend planning the big Continue reading

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July 21, 2017

When starting a new business, many entrepreneurs opt to enter an established industry so they can know what to expect. At the same time, however, these markets are packed with fierce competitors who must vie with one another for their piece of the pie. The most fortunate entrepreneurs avoid cutthroat industries and create new markets based on previously unknown consumer demands. The video below looks at how this “blue ocean strategy” can ensure long-term dominance for innovative companies.

Questions:

  1. Can Continue reading
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July 18, 2017

nataliatarkhAlong with being a summertime staple, the neighborhood lemonade stand also represents the classic image of young entrepreneurship. In today’s interconnected world, though, ambitious kids have even more options at their disposal if they want to run a business. And while selling lemonade is certainly a refreshing way to earn a dollar, some have turned their attention to a far less appetizing but still lucrative option: slime.

This sticky substance has been fascinating young social media users for years. Unlike Continue reading

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