UN award for Joburg Housing Company

first_img29 September 2010The Johannesburg Social Housing Company is to receive the world’s most prestigious human settlements accolade, the United Nations’ 2010 Scroll of Honour award, for its holistic approach to providing shelter, which has benefited almost 30 000 people around the city.The UN’s Scroll of Honour awards recognise initiatives that have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of homelessness, and leadership in post-conflict reconstruction.The 2010 awards will be presented in Shanghai, China on Monday, 4 October.The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) was established by the City of Johannesburg in 2004 to provide affordable rental housing to the lower-income market in order to help eradicate South Africa’s housing backlog.It has been active in several project sites, including in Orlando, Soweto and Industria West, where former hostels have been converted into 213 family apartments. At present, it manages more than 5 000 affordable rental accommodation units, and has reduced default on payments from 87 percent to only 6 percent since it started operating in 2006.The company’s annual budget is about R175-million.Joshco’s chief executive officer, Rory Gallocher, said Johannesburg faced a lot of pressure in delivering good quality and affordable housing.“It makes a big difference to know that we are doing something right because it is often possible to get buried in the detail and forget that we have many counterparts all over the world who are wrestling with similar problems,” Gallocher said. “But it is important for us to count our victories when they come along so that we realise that we are making progress.”Gallocher said the agency’s application to be considered for the award was a test to see if the past six years of work had made an impact. “We thought it would be interesting to compare our efforts with other initiatives around the world.”The group was planning to push for more opportunities to develop more affordable stock, he added.“Our focus right now is on reducing the costs and increasing the revenues. This is important so that we can stretch the budgets as far as possible so that the improved service delivery can be felt by more families in Johannesburg.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association offers unique opportunities for breeders and youth

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, is gearing up for its fifth season.The Best of the Buckeye program recognizes top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. This year’s sponsoring partners are The Folks Printing and Dickson Cattle Company, heifer division; Jones Show Cattle and R.D. Jones Excavating, steer division; Ohio Ag Equipment and Ohio Cat, scholarship division and Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University, breeder recognition. Thanks to these generous sponsors, $60,000 will be given through premiums at each show, scholarships and awards for both participants and breeders.The program provides Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, creates a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair with the benefit of added premiums. Breeders are encouraged to use the Best of the Buckeye logo for use in printed and digital promotion of Best of the Buckeye eligible cattle. The logo may be downloaded from the website at www.ohiocattle.org or requested by email at beef@ohiobeef.org.New for the 2018 program, a breeder recognition category has been added. All nominating breeders will be recognized on the website at ohiocattle.org and will also be recognized for their honors achieved with the cattle they sell and nominate for the program. The category is sponsored by Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University.The Best of the Buckeye program will offer scholarship opportunities for Best of the Buckeye participants to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf. Scholarships will be awarded to less-experienced participants, ages 8-21, with consideration given to the applicant’s financial need. Scholarship applications can be found at www.ohiocattle.org/Youth/best-of-the-buckeye  and will be due on January 15, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be notified in February 2018. Nominating breeders meeting age requirements may also apply.Academic scholarships will be offered to youth pursuing a post-high school degree. Scholarships will be based on academics and extracurricular activities. Eligible Best of the Buckeye participants are high school juniors through 21 years of age as of January 1, 2018. Academic scholarships will be awarded to participants and breeders pursuing an Ag related degree and may be awarded to applicants who are entering a non-Ag related field of study (based on the number of applications). All scholarship applicants will also be required to submit an essay along with their scholarship application. The scholarship essay topic will be predetermined and posted at www.ohiocattle.org. The scholarship deadline will be June 15, 2018 and scholarships will be presented at the Ohio State Fair. The scholarship division is sponsored by Ohio Cat and Ohio Ag Equipment.For cattle to be eligible for the Best of the Buckeye program, they must be registered and bred by an Ohio cattleman and born in state.  ET Calves and calves out of purchased bred cows are eligible if they were born in Ohio and list an Ohio cattleman as the breeder and are calved in Ohio. Breeders and exhibitors must be OCA members and in good standing with OCA to be eligible. Exhibitors must be Ohio residents and meet the age requirements for the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair junior shows. The heifer division is sponsored by The Folks Printing and Dickson Cattle Company and the steer division is sponsored by Jones Show Cattle and R.D. Jones Excavating.To participate in Best of the Buckeye, breeders must complete a nomination form (each form can be used to nominate up to five animals from the same breeder) and sign an affidavit verifying Best of the Buckeye eligibility. The breeder or exhibitor may submit the nomination forms and fee for the Best of the Buckeye nominations. Cattle that are nominated prior to the Ohio Beef Expo by March 1, 2018 and prior to the Ohio State Fair by June 20, 2018 will incur a $25 per head nomination fee per show. Cattle may be nominated for both shows by March 1, 2018 for a rate of $40. Breeders will have the opportunity to nominate cattle through check-in at the Ohio Beef Expo and at the Ohio State Fair at an increased late nomination fee of $75 per head.Best of the Buckeye exhibitor rules, last year’s show results and additional nomination details are available at www.ohiocattle.org/Youth/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting the OCA office. For more information, contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org.last_img read more

WRITER DIRECTOR STAR – CATHERINE REITMAN IS A REAL LIFE WORKIN MOM

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Workin’ Moms sold to FX first, before they passed and the CBC snapped it up. How is producing TV in Canada different than in the States? Are there things you can do here that you can’t do there?Absolutely. Coming to Canada has been incredibly liberating, both creatively and production-wise for [my husband and co-producer/co-star] Philip and I. For one, we’re partners in the creation of our show, as opposed to the usual contact you’d get in the United States, where you’re an employee on a show of your own creation. So, being able to feel ownership not only is exhilarating because it’s yours, but also you feel so much more responsibility, you know? If the show fails or succeeds, it’s on you. Catherine Reitman is living that working mom life—hard. She is the showrunner on CBC’s comedy hit Workin’ Moms (which she produces with her husband Philip Sternberg); she also writes and directs for the show. Oh, and stars on it. In addition to her show baby, she has two little ones at home. (She also pops up on Black-ish from time to time.) Reitman has won fans among the mom brigade and beyond for her raw, honest portrayal of the trials and tribulations of motherhood, from postpartum depression to breastfeeding boobs. With season three premiering today, we spoke with Reitman about directing cranky old men, tackling #MeToo on-screen, and working with her hubs.What are some issues and experiences that you felt were missing from the modern TV landscape that you wanted to show on Workin’ Moms?I felt that there was a limited portrayal of how mothers appeared on television. When I first got pregnant, my husband and I were huge consumers of premium cable television, and we were watching all of these shows, and it would either be the B-storyline of a show like Homeland, where she’s a working mother, or you have even smaller C-storylines on a show like Mad Men. And when mother storylines were A-storylines, they felt either very broad or kind of melodramatic—I wanted to see the comedy that I was used to watching with my husband, but my story. And I couldn’t find that anywhere. Advertisement Twitter Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Crash south of Edmonton claims 5 including 3 sisters

first_imgAPTN NewsThe chief of an Alberta First Nation called on the power of prayer to help his community heal from another fatal car crash.“Our community came together last time and our communities are going to come together this time,” said Vernon Saddleback of Samson Cree, south of Edmonton.Saddleback confirmed five people who died Tuesday had ties to Samson and Ermineskin – two of four first nations that comprise the Maskwacis region, about 95 kilometres south of Edmonton.However, the victims were living in the nearby town of Wetaskiwin.Three sisters from one family and a couple with a young son were killed when two vehicles collided outside Millet,  Alta., at about 4:15 pm MT June 5. They were all in the same vehicle.A person in the other vehicle was treated for minor injuries and released.Police have not yet spoken about the accident.“I do want to ask everyone out there who is watching, who is listening or who is going to read this, if you could pray for our communities,” Saddleback told reporters Wednesday.“And pray for those families involved.”Chief Vernon Saddleback speaks to reporters.The three sisters were Dominique Soosay Northwest, 19; Cheyanne Soosay Northwest, 22; and Latesha Soosay Northwest, 25; from Samson Cree First Nation.Cheyanne and Latesha had five children between them.Wetaskiwin RCMP said Wednesday they were still investigating the cause of the crash that also claimed the lives of Anthony Swampy, 30, and his girlfriend, Terrelle Minde – whose age was not available.Saddleback expressed shock at the heavy loss.“Tough to lose one family member but five from a community… words can’t express,” he said at a news conference.Police said the collision occurred on Highway 2A at Township Road 472, about five kilometres south of the town of Millet.last_img read more

HipHops Huge Year In Streaming How Rap Reigned Supreme In 2018

first_img Report: Hip-hop Highest-Streamed Genre In U.S. hip-hops-huge-year-streaming-how-rap-reigned-supreme-2018 Hip-Hop’s Huge Year In Streaming: How Rap Reigned Supreme In 2018 Twitter Email News Facebook A new study shows consumers of on-demand streaming services leaned hard toward hip-hop and rap in 2018, with the genre accounting for over a quarter of all playsNate HertweckGRAMMYs Jan 3, 2019 – 4:34 pm The rising popularity of hip-hop among consumers is nothing new, but the latest data from BuzzAngle shows the genre’s dominance in a new light. According to their year-end report, hip-hop and rap tracks accounted for more than a quarter of all on-demand plays on music streaming services in the U.S. in 2018. Mic drop.While the data also reveals rock and pop maintain strongholds in digital album sales and physical album sales respectively, streaming is king in 2018 and rap reigns with 25.4 percent of on-demand streams, eclipsing even pop at 18.5 percent.Rock’s top spot in album sales comes with a caveat, as album sales fell by 18.2 percent from the previous year, although rock ruled vinyl sales at 41.7 percent in a format that is up 11.9 percent overall.Hip-hop also holds court with the most audio streams and video streams of any genre, according to the study. But at least in one of those areas, video streams, rap has a hot contender. Latin music saw a surge in video streams up from 20.1 percent in 2017 to 21.8 percent in 2018, placing it just behind rap in the No. 2 position. Urban Latin music artists dominated many of the year-end lists from the likes of YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.One impossible-to-ignore artist, album and song likely had much to do with rap’s dominance of streaming in 2018. Drake’s double-album Scorpion and its single “God’s Plan” topped BuzzAngle’s biggest overall album for the year and biggest track across all three relevant formats (downloads, audio streams, video streams) lists. This comes as little surprise considering some of the streaming and chart records Drake broke in 2018.Will Latin music’s stock continue to rise in 2019? Will hip-hop widen the gap ahead of the pack? Will physical album sales hemorrhage as rapidly? Only time will tell. Happy listening!Album Of The Year Nominees Revealed | 2019 GRAMMY AwardsRead morelast_img read more

Finding a Niche

first_img “Each category is like a little pond where you can be a big fish,” says Mary Margaret Gibson, 61, president of Mirrors and Light Gallery (eBay User ID: maam1945), based in The Colony, Texas. Mirrors and Light specializes in unique, artist-made kaleidoscopes and jewelry. “Our plan was to have more and better kaleidoscopes than anybody else out there,” says Gibson. “There aren’t many who sell kaleidoscopes on a regu-lar basis [on eBay],” or in the volume that Mirrors and Light does. At any particular time, the company typically has 100 or so kaleidoscopes available through eBay for hobbyists, collectors and fans, ranging in price from $700 to $3,500.Because its products are much more expensive than typical eBay merchandise, Mirrors and Light has worked hard to develop a level of trust with buyers, especially the 30 percent of its customer base that is overseas. Gibson knows that overseas customers may be wary of sending several hundred dollars to an unknown seller in another part of the world. To address any reservations, Gibson went so far as to write a book, The Kaleidoscope Collector’s Guide. She also communicates frequently with the company’s core audience about its artists and products.Gibson explains that the kaleidoscopes being sold are either from private collections, self-representing artists, or a family or broker selling off an estate. And in some cases, Gibson acts as broker, helping research and evaluate individual pieces, and selling kaleidoscopes on eBay for individuals unfamiliar with them.Starting from scratch in 2004, Mirrors and Light expects to hit sales of just under $150,000 in 2006 from its online sales of kaleidoscopes and new jewelry.No LimitsInterestingly, choosing a narrowly defined niche does not prevent those outside your core customer group from buying from you, say Jennifer Basye Sander and Peter Sander, co-authors of Niche and Grow Rich. Rather, as a niche seller, you will have an easier time establishing yourself as the source for a particular type of product and still attract new buyers. For instance, if your niche is vintage Hermès scarves, your products will be presented to buyers who search for that exact phrase as well as to buyers simply looking for “scarves,” “vintage” or “Hermès.” Creating a niche doesn’t limit opportunities; in fact, it often results in more business. You won’t limit your buyers, and specializing in a particular product category will frequently make you a preferred seller to your target customers.Scratch That NicheTo zero in on a niche that’s not only profitable, but also fits your interests and background, check out these ebay tools.The eBay “Hot List”: A report provided by eBay and accessible from the “Sell” area of the site, the “Hot List” (http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/whatshot.html) identifies categories with the greatest increase in listings over a certain time period. Because people list more often in a category when demand is increasing, it’s a useful gauge of demand, says John Bodine, product manager for eBay Market-place Research.eBay Pulse: For a quick look at what buyers are searching for, eBay Pulse lists the top 10 search terms on the site (http://pulse.ebay.com). If you subscribe to eBay Marketplace Research, you can see the top 20 terms.Keyword Search: Anyone can use this simple tool to search for types of products and see how many are already listed–essentially, how much competition there is. Search completed listings to determine the typical selling price of an item. Most important, say eBay sellers and experts alike, is finding a niche you love.Gold Mine or Land Mine?If you think you’ve found a winner, ebay marketplace research can give you the following information to help you determine whether your proposed niche will make you rich.Size of The Opportunity: Using eBay Marketplace Research, you can search by product category to find the average selling price of products you’re interested in. Then you can check the number of items sold in that same category. Multiply the average selling price by the number of items sold, and divide by the number of months reported (either two or three, depending on your subscription level), and you have the approximate size of the sales opportunity per month, explains Nick Donelson, product manager for eBay Marketplace Research.Trends: You Ultimately want to enter a category with increasing demand and a rising average selling price, says Donelson. You can use eBay Marketplace Research to chart category performance by day or by week and to spot upticks in demand and price.Sales Forecasting: To determine how long it takes for a type of product to sell, look up average selling price and success rate. This will give you a ballpark idea of how long it will take to sell something. For instance, if 200 listings for McDonald’s memorabilia ended and 100 items sold, you can infer that 50 percent of the listings in this category are completed. Based on that information, you can opt to drop your price to sell your product faster, or you can expect to have to list your goods twice for them to sell, says Donelson.The cost to subscribe to eBay Marketplace Research varies according to the term length, which ranges from two days to a month. A Fast Pass provides two days of access for $2.99 and up to 60 days of historical sales information. The Basic level costs $9.99 per month for 60 days’ worth of data, and the Pro level costs $24.99 per month but provides up to 90 days of historical data and detailed information to help optimize your listings. October 30, 2006 Sure, the flexibility of being able to sell anything and everything on eBay sounds appealing. But specializing–carving out a niche in a particular category or type of product–can yield even greater rewards. For starters, explains Michael Miller, author of Making a Living From Your eBay Business, you’ll know your market and your products more thoroughly than you ever could as a generalist. “You can sell on eBay and not specialize, but it’s more hobby than business,” Miller observes. “The biggest eBay sellers I know do one or two things well.” Knowing a lot about one or two areas, vs. knowing only a little about many categories, can make the difference between being profitable and being very profitable.Seeking out what sellsCase in point: Steve Weber, 46, owner of Weber Books (eBay User ID: weber-books), a Falls Church, Virginia, reseller of used books. Although he made $300 or $400 on eBay the first month he began selling from his own bookshelves, Weber’s sales took off when he zeroed in on specific types of nonfiction books that were in demand. In 2005, four years after Weber started his business part time, the now full-time enterprise sold $335,000 online–more than 100 times what the business was initially generating. It all came down to finding a niche.At the outset, Weber worked part time in the evenings selling books he no longer needed. “I wasn’t an expert in book values,” he admits, but he did notice that nonfiction books tended to be more valuable than fiction, and science and math tomes in particular sold for far more than he anticipated. So he began going to library and estate sales–“the two best ways to get inventory”–in search of science and math guides. His efforts paid off when he purchased a box of books at a sale for a whopping $10. In the box was a book titled Curves and Their Properties, which Weber was able to sell for $200.”The way to make money is to find a specialty,” says Weber. “It’s helpful to start with a niche because you can learn a specific product area and you’re not re-inventing the wheel all the time–you quickly learn what sells.” He recommends that anyone interested in selling books on eBay start with used merchandise because “there’s more profit potential.”However, Weber cautions that mass market books, such as The DaVinci Code, may not necessarily sell for more than what you paid because there are already so many of them in circulation. On the other hand, more unusual books that appeal to a limited audience may take a little longer to sell on eBay, but they can sell for more (sometimes much more) than the original cover price, even if they’re not in pristine condition. With such quirky titles, “condition is not as important as the information they contain,” says Weber.Approximately one-third of Weber’s time is spent finding books, with big pushes during January and August, the two biggest bookselling months of the year. Each month, he buys at least 5,000 used books to resell, in addition to the new books he’s been selling since 2003. Through wholesale sellers online, such as Book Depot (www.bookdepot.com) and Kudzu Books (www.kudzubooks.com), Weber finds that he can buy overstock for 80 percent off retail and then resell the books profitably over the next several months. (You can find more potential product sources in “Finders, Sellers” on page 22.)The strategy has worked for Weber: “I’m making more money than ever,” he says, “because I keep getting better and better at [selling certain types of books] within my niche.” Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global A Well-Oiled Machine Big Fish in a Small Pond Register Now » 11 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Another advantage niche businesses have is standardi-zation of processes and materials. For example, Weber needs to stock only a few sizes of boxes and packages for shipping his books rather than hundreds of varieties. “Back-end efficiency, such as with packing and shipping, and effectiveness improve with a niche,” confirms Miller. You can set up a routine, a type of assembly line, which reduces the time it takes to complete a sale and increases your profitability.Through experience in his category, Weber is also much faster at setting prices. He uses auction-style listings for some hard-to-find books in hopes that bidders will drive the prices up, and he sells others at fixed prices using “Buy It Now” when there is a general agreement about the value of a particular book.Pump Up the VolumeWhile Weber Books expanded from used books into new ones, Curvy Girl Clothing (eBay User ID: curvygirlclothing) has always been about new merchandise. The company focuses on new special-occasion wear for plus-size women, says Laura Poorman, 31, co-founder with her twin sister, Lisa Toton, of the Portland, Or-egon, company. Poorman and Toton began their eBay careers as buyers, with Poorman scouting convertible cars and Toton on the hunt for a wedding ring set. Both found what they were looking for on the site and, inspired by the potential selling opportunities, began discussions about running their own eBay Store filled with stylish plus-size clothing.To amass some inventory, the two headed to Los Angeles’ fashion district, near Toton’s home, and stocked up on trendy tops, dresses and skirts for women size 16 to 32. In the three-mile area that makes up the fashion district, Poorman and Toton discovered numerous stores willing to sell clothing to them at great prices. “We only had to buy a few items” in each size, says Poorman.Although they didn’t have experience selling on eBay, what they did have was knowledge of their market. As curvy women themselves, Poorman says, “We know what’s going to work for plus-size women, so we’re able to pick better styles.” And because they deal only in new merchandise, they can buy in larger volumes rather than offering single items, as with used pieces. “You can buy something [used] for $5 to $20 and sell [it] for $60, but you only have one,” she points out, “so it’s harder work.” Selling used items next to new ones also devalues the new items, which is why Curvy Girl stays focused on its new-clothing niche.The twins started doing business on eBay in summer 2005, and in October, they had their first $10,000 week in sales. By the end of their first year in business, sales are expected to reach $350,000.Poorman says one of the keys to their success thus far is “not losing focus.” By establishing their niche and sticking with it, Curvy Girl Clothing is building a brand that draws eBay buyers back regularly because they know exactly what they’ll find there. Says Poorman, “People like that we only do plus-size, stylish occasion wear.”last_img read more

How to Make an Unsexy Industry Sexier

first_imgNovember 29, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Nothing can kill a conversation faster than starting to talk about something highly technical. This is especially true if you’re talking to someone who isn’t familiar with that technical subject. For today’s business owners, though, it’s more important than ever to be able to turn a specialized concept into something that is understandable for even the least tech-friendly person. If your client “gets it” they will be more likely to buy your product or service.Below are seven industries may be seen by some as “unsexy,” but there are businesses in each space that have found a way to make what they do sound exciting. By studying their examples and business models, we can all learn to better communicate our products and services to investors, potential clients, and other business partners.Related: 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks SpeakersPoliticsSocial media’s influence on the political elections scene is only going to grow and grow. Political elections have practically become a monster, and Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the system and its flaws.Brigade gained notice as one of the few platforms to accurately predict the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, based on analysis of social engagement.The company is trying to make government technology interesting by helping voters find ways to ensure their voices are actually heard by the appropriate politicians. The Brigade site’s goal is to bring voters together in one place to enact change. One person can only do so much, but a large group of people pushing for an initiative can get attention.”Most political tools are hopelessly top-down because they are built for professional campaigns and candidates,” says CEO and Co-Founder Matt Mahan. “Brigade starts with the individual voter and her top issues, and then maps out concrete actions she can take to have a real impact.”Related: Why It’s on You to Stop People From Interrupting YouCity PlanningMore and more people are moving and living in cities. Traffic congestion has become a serious problem in most of the larger cities. The nuts and bolts of working on remedies for traffic and other city related issues can also put people to sleep. Face it, the subject can be so boring that Elon Musk even named his tunnel company after that fact.Another company, planning platform Remix, helps public transit agencies relieve these traffic, highway, water systems and other issues too — by analyzing the costs while helping identify the best solutions currently available.Companies like Remix win over customers by solving a problem that impacts the general population on a personal level.The person in charge of planning and projects may be hearing a certain product pitch for the first time. Whether the pitch is for a government official, a venture capitalist, or a consumer, an agency or individual can immediately relate to the pain of sitting in traffic every day. When Remix describes its product to others, they stress the problems that will be solved and therefore immediately create a more interested and engaged audience.Related: 14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication SkillsHealth CareTechnology is taking over the healthcare industry, with practitioners and technicians across all specialties constantly working on new ways to improve patient health. Silene Biotech is innovating the stem cell space, allowing consumers to easily bank their stem cells for future use.Explaining the many benefits of this service can sometimes be challenging to a customer base that is still learning about stem cell research. But, the company has found a way to relate to its audience.”Healthcare is becoming more personalized and consumer driven every day, showing promise for Biotech,” says COO and Co-founder Lena Shaw. “However, the space must find a way to build narratives from the perspective of the consumer.””Often in Biotech it’s the complete opposite. The most fascinating discovery in the lab may not be the most relatable discovery to a consumer. Talk to your customers. Give them a chance to share their understanding of the need you feel you’re fulfilling.”Doing something that truly helps people can make health care pretty sexy. The benefits are more instantly apparent and feel good in an industry that has been challenged to really fulfill what it has promised and intends.A huge concern for POC Medical is to insure that they are providing people with their early detection tests for breast cancer. These tests are so low cost that they are making early detection for all women all over the world possible. This includes areas where quality health care is not usually accessible. The company has plans to expand this test for more types of cancer and perhaps even other diseases, saving lives with each new test that is performed.Related: Do Us All a Favor and Stop Saying These Words Around the OfficeRehabsRehabilitation centers may seem difficult to imagine as ever being attractive since traditionally it’s been something no one wants to talk about. However, Rehabs is adding interest to this industry by offering a platform that is mainstreaming the ability to find and match a rehab facility with clients and patients.The site understands the importance of providing more information about the rehabilitation process. This includes articles and reviews of facilities and the value of recovery. Therefore, those seeking this kind of assistance and others around them will see the process as normal and socially acceptable.Related: 12 Most Common Writing Mistakes You Want to Avoid at All CostsEducationA company breathing new life into EdTech is RaiseMe, which connects high school students with universities across the country by letting them earn incremental “micro-scholarships” from the colleges for their achievements in high school.Once a student creates an account, any grades, extracurriculars, and achievements become part of an online portfolio that the college admissions departments see. The service has the potential to modernize the application process, and appeals to anyone who’s ever had to put up with the grueling nature of getting a portfolio together for university admissions.”When the topic of student financial aid seems inaccessible or overly complex to students and their families, this acts as a huge barrier to educational opportunity,” says Co-Founder and CEO Preston Silverman. “Tens of billions of dollars in financial aid gets distributed to students every year, but students often have no way of knowing what that could mean for them in terms of college affordability, until it’s far too late to impact their college ambitions or decisions.”LogisticsArranging to move freight has always been a serious chore for trucking companies (and unfortunately for companies in this space, the subject is boring to talk about). Convoy has been working hard to automate the freight moving process. Instead of making deals with carriers themselves, shippers can use an app to connect with trucking companies that can arrange the moving of their shipments on demand.Although this pain point appeals specifically to the shipping company, businesses that arrange shipments for their items can immediately relate to the burden this app removes. It also opens logistics to smaller businesses that lack the full team necessary to constantly schedule and manage shipments. Unfortunately, the app that once billed itself as “Uber for trucking” now has to deal with Uber becoming one of its competitors.ResearchResearch is an important part of so many activities. From students writing assigned reports to historians finding facts for their latest books. But, the process of searching volumes of materials can be time consuming and unpleasant, especially if you have to comb through multiple different sources.ProQuest specializes in supporting researchers and librarians with the information they need. Currently the service offers access to 90,000 sources and 6 billion digital pages spanning six centuries. Anyone who has ever spent hours trying to get the information they need to support their work can relate to the demand ProQuest is filling.Tech is innovating almost every industry, from the most openly appealing to least glamorous. When the application of a product is one that strikes its audience personally, especially if the app will solve a deep pain point, the public is more likely to personally relate.Consider what you are feeling yourself and make a personal connection when preparing your pitches. Presenting a solution from a personal level is one of the primary ways to take something “boring” and turn it into vitally interesting information to a potential customer. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 8 min read Register Now »last_img read more

4 Industries That Are Being Disrupted by AI

first_imgSeptember 25, 2018 The widespread disruption of AI is summed up best by Andrew Ng, the former chief scientist of Baidu, who views AI as the new electricity: “Just as electricity transformed almost everything 100 years ago, today I actually have a hard time thinking of an industry that I don’t think AI will transform in the next several years.”While most large corporations are undergoing technological transformations to use, support or offer AI technologies, the real magic takes place in the AI startup arena. According to CB Insights, the top 100 AI startups of 2017 have raised $11.7 billion in aggregate funding across 367 deals, thereby making the market rich with innovations plus financial backings.Related: How Investing in AI is About Investing in People, Not Just TechnologyThe most surprising AI startups and applications are those that are paving the way towards more unconventional verticals, such as insurance, background checks, real estate, health and retail. The unique application of AI in areas that aren’t traditionally high-tech is particularly fascinating for multiple reasons. For instance, it proves that with AI, all industries can be enhanced for greater efficiency and streamlined processes. When AI takes over time-consuming and tedious jobs, human counterparts are given more time for impactful contributions with greater value and tacit knowledge. Although many may argue that AI removes the human touch, it’s also important to bear in mind that it drives strategic and creative thinking at a larger scale.Here are four industries being disrupted by AI:1. InsuranceInsurance companies and their leaders have a lot to deal with lately, as reported by Deloitte’s latest market research report called Fintech by the numbers. As reported by Deloitte, “Political and regulatory upheavals around the world are changing some of the ground rules about how carriers are allowed to operate. An accelerating evolution in the way business is conducted is being driven by innovation and higher customer expectations, while disruptive newcomers are looking to take market share from incumbent insurers in the insurance industry.” Upheaval and changes create opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs, which is exactly what Lemonade is capitalizing on. Without relying on legacy players in the space, Lemonade blends insurance with tech and digitally transforms the user experience by appealing to consumers of all ages, removing costs and expediting claims. The data that is gathered helps drive efficiency and quantify risks.In December 2016, Lemonade set the world record for settling a claim in three seconds using its AI-powered claims bot, which ran 18 fraud algorithms simultaneously. Its technology understands the nature, severity and urgency of most claims. If any claim is too complex, it gets handed over to human counterparts for further manual analysis.2. Background checksAs President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda continues to be debated and laws are modified, employers need to keep a close watch on the reaction of the states to the administration’s federal employment law decisions. Changes made at federal regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) result in new business laws that can affect taxes and hiring practices.State and local legislation will continue to be big issues in screening in the next year. In 2017, there was an increase in legislation that bans asking for salary history in cities and states across the country. There will be more of these laws introduced in cities, municipalities and states in the next year. Ban the box laws have been sweeping the country for the last few years. The newest ban the box law went into effect in California on Jan. 1, 2018. The California law, which involves both the public and private sectors, states that employers cannot make a criminal history inquiry until after a conditional offer has been made to an applicant. State and city ban the box legislation will continue to pass in the new year.Related: Why Smart Cities Are a Golden Opportunity for EntrepreneursThanks to the above, the background industry has seen a spur in innovation and growth. Intelligo is leveraging AI and machine learning to conduct background checks on people and companies in just minutes. This reduces the wait time and frustrations that are traditionally associated with the backlogs of federal agencies and large financial corporations that rely on human analysts to manually conduct granular research across multiple mediums.Their solution quickly combs through thousands of data sources without concern of manual labor and offers a user-friendly interactive report, which presents actionable insights in a manner that is insightful yet easy to understand.3. Real estateIn 2017, real estate accounted for about 13.4 percent, or $2.6 trillion, of U.S. GDP, as reported by BEA.gov. That’s more than any other industry, including manufacturing at $2.2 trillion. Real estate, as a whole, covers a number of market segments, including commercial industries such as construction and rentals to residential with consumer housing. Real estate construction alone contributed more than $1 trillion to the economy last year, while apartment rental properties are worth north of $1.4 trillion.The real estate industry provides a huge market for opportunity. An example of AI in this space is from Compass, a startup that uses AI to connect potential homebuyers and renters with properties that best meet their needs. Though it is safe to say that there are multiple websites that offer a similar service, Compass perfected the art by breaking the mold and standing out. According to a representative of SoftBank Vision Fund, which invested $450 million in Compass, it is well positioned for future growth for building a “differentiated end-to-end tech platform that aggregates across diverse data streams to support agents and homebuyers through the entire process.”4. RetailIn an age where many claim that we are experiencing the retail apocalypse, Inturn proves that is not the case at all. If anything, we are only experiencing the latest shift in retail trends. According to Business Insider, by 2021 most retailers will invest in AI and IoT technologies for supply chain automation, location-based marketing, customer traffic sensors, machine learning, asset tracking and big data solutions. Inturn uses AI to empower brands and retailers to use automated workflow tools, a pricing optimization engine and business intelligence to gain visibility of their business and simplify the buying and selling of excess inventory.Related: Preparing for the Future of AIAs fascinating as these technological breakthroughs may be, it’s important to note that contrary to popular belief and Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters, AI is not set to take over jobs, or the world for that matter. AI exists to work alongside human counterparts for increased efficiency, so people can apply their skill sets towards more meaningful tasks without getting overwhelmed. Or, maybe AI will take over and rule the world, and make humans their working slaves (like when the FB chatbots started talking to themselves).  Whatever the case, AI will continue to impact industries in the future, and it’s important for large institutions, decision-makers and enthusiasts to keep tabs on startups that are disrupting industries with AI so that they can stay ahead of the curve. And, potentially, stay ahead of the AI that will one day rule them in more ways than one. 7 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

Elon Musks Neuralink Hopes to Put Sensors in Human Brains Next Year

first_imgJuly 17, 2019 While we waited for Neuralink to present the progress it’s made over the last couple of years in brain-computer interface technology, the New York Times and Bloomberg published information from an early briefing and it’s stuff that’s straight out of science fiction. The Elon Musk-backed company claims its “sewing machine-like” robot will be able to implant threads deep into a human brain.The results so far come from testing on lab rats implanted with as many as 1,500 electrodes, which, everyone should be warned, may or may not transfer smoothly to work on humans. If it does work, Neuralink says its intention for the technology at first is to do things like help amputees, or restore the ability to see, talk and listen. Of course, as Elon has said previously, he believes that connecting our brains to computers will eventually be the only way to keep up with the progression of artificial intelligence, so while things may start here the plan is for something much more powerful.One big reveal is that it “hopes” to begin working on human subjects as soon as the second quarter of next year. In the picture above, that was shown during the presentation, that small protrusion at the bottom right with the arrow pointing to it, is the size of the thread that it actually hopes to implant.According to the article, its bundles of flexible threads are about one quarter the diameter of a human hair, implanted using needles to avoid blood vessels on the brain’s surface. Then the embedded sensors capture information and send it to a receiver (the chip above) on the surface of the skull. From there it transmits wirelessly — Elon Musk said it could Bluetooth the information to your skull. Right now implantation requires drilling holes, but researchers hope in the future they can use lasers to avoid “unpleasant” vibration.The pod itself is worn behind the ear, with the wireless, battery and other hardware in there.Whether or not this can work in humans is, again, still unproven, and also whether or not the wires can hold up over time. Whenever tonight’s event at the California Academy of Sciences actually begins, hopefully we’ll find out a few more answers. You can watch the livestream embedded below.According to Musk, its current v1 4x4mm chip is capable of 10,000 electrodes with “read and write” capability, which he says is more than 1,000 times the number of the best deep brain interface currently available for Parkinson’s treatment.Neuralink president Max Hodak went on to explain why it’s embedding sensors directly into the brain, near but not in neurons. Simply, it’s the only way to send and receive the information necessary, from “spikes” of activity. A neurosurgeon is also part of the presentation, showing off some videos of the implantation technology, and how its robot can install thousands of wires directly into the brain while avoiding tissue damage and bleeding. Eventually, they’d like to do it without shaving the patient’s head, although he acknowledged that the first operations will be more like current deep brain implants.Further presentations explained even more about how all the technology works, and a paper will be released shortly with more data on what they’ve achieved so far. One note Musk revealed during a Q&A session is that “a monkey has been able to control the computer with its brain,” in response to a query about animal testing and the results so far. Less surprising is his assertion that two people with the implants could use them to communicate “telepathically” — once the technology is working two-ways in the brain that’s about what we’d expect. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read Register Now » This story originally appeared on Engadget Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more