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What National black business month means to America

Entrepreneurship has long been valued in the Black community and is a vital contributor to the national economy. Recent external forces like the pandemic and the wavering economic crisis have reminded us why we have to celebrate black entrepreneurs, who our communities are, and how to keep growing.

This historic annual event allows consumers and business owners to not only support Black businesses, but also give them a platform to grow their business and build wealth for current and future generations of African Americans.

The origins of National Black Business Month can be traced back to 2004 when two Black entrepreneurs, engineer Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton, president and executive editor of eAccess Corp., a scholarly publishing company, designated August as such. Jordan was obligated to highlight and encourage Black business owners like himself after overcoming significant obstacles.

The duo aimed to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African American businesses, to highlight and empower Black business owners all over the world.

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WeWork Joins Rush Of Tech Companies Into Office Software As Its Shares Sag

Nine months after going public, WeWork Inc. is hoping to boost its drooping share price by joining the growing number of technology companies selling apps, data tools, and other software to landlords and office tenants trying to adjust to the new world of hybrid workplaces.

The shared-workplace operator in July officially launched a service named WeWork Workplace, which includes the software tools that WeWork has been using to power its scores of locations. For the first time, WeWork is now offering these tools to all tenants regardless of WeWork membership.

WeWork executives say Workplace will help businesses lure workers back to offices by giving their employees an app with which they can do such things as book a conference room, post a company announcement or register for a yoga class.

Scott Morey, WeWork’s President of technology and innovation. That sea change in the workplace has created challenges that require digital solutions, he said.

In the early stages of the pandemic, tech companies raced to help businesses cope with health, safety and telecommunication systems as employees shifted almost overnight to working from home.

More recently, tech companies have been trying to help businesses and landlords deal with the slow reopening of traditional workplaces. Most businesses have adopted hybrid strategies combining office work and remote work that have required management teams to rethink conference rooms, design, security, scheduling, food, air quality, and other office needs.

Honeywell, meanwhile, has tried to capture market share with software such as People Counting, a tool that analyzes video from security cameras to keep a real-time log of how many people go in and out of the office.

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How to start a company with no money

Allow me to clarify things straight away. You cannot start a business with no money. I merely need to reach those for whom it appears to be the only alternative. A more appropriate title may be: It no longer takes an inheritance to launch a credible, high-growth firm. Because far too many people start the wrong company and fail as a result of their ill-prepared nature. First, you should start with a “No-code, Low Code,” policy. No-code and low-code solutions will assist you in centralizing your information around a single location, such as a website or a database. What can you integrate into your business model to keep it alive indefinitely until you identify one or more catalysts that can operate as growth accelerants?

For example, I can operate Teaching Startup “indefinitely,” or as long as entrepreneurs ask me questions that I or others can answer. It’s low-cost to run, it’s not my main source of revenue, and practically all of the “stuff” required to sell and deliver the “product” is automated using no-code and low-code.

You can also slowly expand your business. On paper, starting a machine is simple. Raise money, allocate it, then go raise more money, and so on till you exit. It’s far more difficult in practice.

A mission startup is an inverse. There is no one technique to scale growth, but once it is written down, it is much easier to apply and sustain.

It simply takes an eternity.

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How to choose a strong business name and amplify your brand.

A strong brand name should be distinct, easy to remember, and elicit some form of emotional response from your target clients. If you do not create a memorable and sustainable brand for your company, your brand identity will be swallowed up by the competitors.

Your startup will not be able to launch without a name. However, coming up with an excellent brand name can take some time. When it comes to name your company, there are two best options: You can either come up with your own name or use a company name marketplace.

Storytelling is an extremely effective tool. A story recounts events, places, and experiences to which others can relate. Your personal story is intertwined with your business. Consider your journey thus far and why you chose to start the firm.

Many businesses now have names that tell a narrative. For example, Robinhood, a financial services firm named after the legend of Robin Hood. Through commission-free investing, the organization focuses on the equitable distribution of wealth.

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Every startup wants an extension round, but there aren’t enough to go around

As venture capital funding continues to dry up, founders are scrambling to prolong their runways, regardless of how much cash they currently have on hand. However, the firms that require the most capital are having the most difficulty. To investors, it appears that everyone is in hard times. Founders are claiming that raising funds has become more challenging across the board, it appears that it is much more difficult for some than others.

Wa’il Ashshowwaf, co-founder and CEO of Reyets, a social justice app that helps individuals learn about their rights in various scenarios, believes it will be more challenging for innovators like himself who are aiming for more impact-driven storylines. He told TechCrunch that his company had three verbal commitments for bridge financing this year — prior to a formal round next year — but that all investors withdrew only weeks before checks were set to be made.

“Investors are responding to [startups] that are more sure bets than the ones that are early and unproven,” Ashshowwaf said. “For us in the impact space, the line between business and benefit corp or a social venture makes [the investment opportunity] a lot harder for them to digest rather than, say, manufacturing a widget.”

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FTC warns the AI industry: Don’t discriminate, or else

The Federal Trade Commission of the United States has just thrown a shot across the bow of the artificial intelligence business. On April 19, 2021, a staff attorney at the agency, which serves as the nation’s top consumer protection regulator, published a blog post regarding biased AI algorithms with the following warning: “Keep in mind that if you don’t hold yourself accountable, the FTC may do it for you.”
The post, titled “Aiming for truth, fairness, and equity in your company’s use of AI,” was notable for its tough and specific rhetoric about discriminatory AI. The author observed that the commission’s authority to prohibit unfair and deceptive practices “would include the sale or use of – for example – racially biased algorithms” and that industry exaggerations regarding the capability of AI to make fair or unbiased hiring decisions could result in “deception, discrimination – and an FTC law enforcement action.”

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How to scale your coaching practice from solo to team

Whether you’re interested in personal growth, executives, teams, or something different, becoming an effective coach takes time. And you’ve most likely spent a significant amount of time and money honing your trade. However, it is all worthwhile because working as a professional coach is highly gratifying. Nothing beats the satisfaction of using your skills, expertise, and experience to help others.

Consider Investing In Service-Focused Technology

Technology is the key to simplifying workflows and optimizing corporate operations. Coaches and their teams can collaborate from anywhere with the proper technology. Furthermore, activities such as billing, client contact, course authoring, session scheduling, and marketing can be fully automated and turnkey. Scaling your business becomes easier when you have more time in your day and a wider network to draw on.

Communicate, Connect And Network

An advantage of broadening your network is that it makes it easier to find new talent. Coaches who break away from their solo practices and connect with like-minded professionals stand to gain a lot. Fortunately, technological improvements are assisting coaches in broadening their horizons by providing them with means to share knowledge and experiences, as well as connect with their colleagues online. These online and social media channels enable coaches to improve their team-building abilities. Never before has it been easier to communicate with people from all over the world.

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Founder of Zella Life Remy Meraz joins Google for Startups

Zella Life founder and Plug In member Remy Meraz announced earlier this week her company was selected to join the first cohort of the Google for Startups LatinX Founders Fund, a $5 million initiative designed for LatinX founders who are building great companies yet are often locked out of access to the funding critical to their success.

“I applied to the Google for Startup Latino Founders Fund because Black and Latinx women founders received less than half a percent of total VC investment in 2020, and I’m grateful to Google Startups for recognizing this and taking action. The Google for Startup Latino Founders Fund is enabling us to increase access to professional and personal development coaching for the BIPOC community,” said Remy Meraz, co-founder and CEO of Zella Life. 

Zella Life is an AI-driven coaching platform for individuals and corporate teams that are changing the future of work for professionals of color. Remy joined Plug In’s first Tech Accelerator cohort in 2020.

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Plug In Fellows Bootcamp for students kicks off

On June 30, 2022, Plug In South LA hosted its first workshop session for the Plug In Fellows Boot Camp at Verizon’s 5G Tour Lab. The Plug In Tech Fellows Internship is an eight-week program that gives tech industry exposure to talented BIPOC high school and community college students. The event started at 10:00 a.m. PT and included guest speaker, Dion Fulwood, a Software Engineer from Atticus delivering the lecture on how to start off your career on the right track. During the day,  the fellows learned everything they would need to consider when starting a professional career. More specifically, they learned how to identify if a position was a good fit, received interview tips, and then how to successfully network professionally. The fellows then were able to ask questions relevant to their future careers in a 20-minute Q&A session. Lunch was provided by the fellows, while Plug In founder, Derek Smith was amongst the mentors to be present at the event providing information to the fellows to use in the growth of their careers. 

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Corporate investors fill startup funding gap as VC firms pull back

According to investors, corporations are increasing investing for enterprise-technology firms despite a general slowdown in venture capital agreements.

The rebound comes as huge institutional investors such as hedge funds and pension funds abandon riskier bets on emerging technology businesses. Traditional venture capital firms are likewise reducing their investment in startups.

“But we’re seeing large corporations continue to invest,” Christophe Bourque, general partner at investment firm White Star Capital, said Tuesday at a panel at Collision 2022, a startup and investing conference in Toronto. “We’ve seen a lot of this across our portfolio companies.”

The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is centered on technology, fell to its lowest close since September 2020 last week, though it recovered 2.5 percent on Tuesday. Similar declines are reverberating throughout the startup sector, as many digital companies have shifted from hypergrowth to survival mode, eliminating employment and revenue projections.

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