Thursday, March 14, 2019

small business ideas for men

small business ideas for men


Students Present Startup Ideas To Win $16K in Prizes in Pirates Pitch Contest - Seton Hall University News & Events

Posted: 12 Mar 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Student photographed from 2018 Pirates Pitch AwardsDo you dream of appearing before a panel of investors to pitch your startup idea and win their support and dollars? Four student entrepreneur teams will get a chance to see that dream come true, Seton Hall University style, when they compete for a total of $16,000 in seed funding from a panel of investor-judges at the ninth annual Pirates Pitch Startup Contest.

The competition will be held on the evening of Wednesday April 3 from 6-8 p.m., in Jubilee Hall Auditorium. The event is open to students, faculty, alumni, parents and members of the community. What's more, well-known sportscaster John Fanta '17, will serve as emcee for the evening. Fanta, on air talent for the Big East Digital Network and Fox Sports Network, also hosts a weekly men's basketball show named "Shootaround," featuring behind-the-scenes, in-depth stories from the Big East Conference's 10 member schools.

"This is a new format for our competition that we believe will truly capture the excitement of entrepreneurship," said Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stillman School of Business. "Instead of awarding first, second and third place prizes as we have in the past, our judges will act like investors and award the $16,000 in prize money immediately after each team of aspiring entrepreneurs finishes its pitch. After questioning each team, the judges will determine the award. Although the amounts awarded to each team will differ, all teams will obtain funding. The judges will evaluate the teams on their perceived ability to execute the idea and turn it into a viable, profitable business. "One of the goals of our entrepreneurship education program is to create an environment where students can live like entrepreneurs, and this format mimics the process entrepreneurs experience when they raise funds from venture capitalists and other investors," she added.

"Over the years, I've been so impressed to see the quality of these student pitches and the wide range of startup ideas that are advanced," said Joyce Strawser, dean of the Stillman School of Business. "It's clear that the student finalists benefit greatly from the mentorship they receive from seasoned entrepreneurs as they prepare for the formal presentations. In all, our Pirates Pitch tradition beautifully exemplifies the Stillman School's mission goal of transforming concepts into practice," Dean Strawser added.

2018 Pirates Pitch Finalists and JudgesThe contest kicked off in January when interested students attended a series of workshops and mentoring sessions. Each team then submitted a two-page Executive Summary outlining its idea. Of the 15 startup ideas submitted by students throughout the University, four teams were chosen with the assistance of alumni entrepreneurs. The startup ideas were evaluated based on several criteria, including originality, viability and growth potential.

The startups in this year's competition vary widely and the aspiring entrepreneurs on the teams represent a variety of academic disciplines, and include undergraduate and graduate students. Teams are permitted to be comprised of one to six Seton Hall University students. The contest is open to all students at the university.

The Student Entrepreneur Teams

  • Logo for the company, Care CallCare Call. Freshmen nursing students Allison Lamoureux, Katie Mazzarelli and Annemarie Ryan comprise the pitch team for Care Call, an innovative I-Pad like product being developed to replace the old-fashioned hospital care bell patients used to signal for assistance. Care Call will enable patients to communicate their exact need and will quickly rout messages to the appropriate staff members in the hospital, reducing patient waiting time and making nursing procedures more efficient.
  • Logo for the company, FlockFlock. This app is being developed by Seniors Peyton Elder (environmental studies concentration and certificate in supply chain management) and Olivia Finan (marketing concentration). Flock will allow consumers to instantly compare the prices and wait times for delivery food services such as Uber Eats and Grub Hub.
  • Logo for the company, Sincere SitterSincere Sitter. M.B.A. student Alissa Lopez (marketing concentration) has worked part-time as a babysitter for the past seven years. That experience led to Sincere Sitter, an innovative business idea that utilizes both a website and an app to connect caregivers and parents through personal social networks, and offers exclusive training and reviews for both to ensure positive child care experiences.
  • Logo for the company, Sprouts AnalyticsSpouts Analytics: The emerging cryptocurrency market is the focus of Sprouts Analytics, the startup being developed by Juniors Steven Catudal, (finance and information technology services concentrations), and Elizabeth Win, (marketing and information technology services concentrations), and Senior Nathaniel Boatswain (financial mathematics and information technology concentrations.) Spouts Analytics aspires to be the Bloomberg Data Service for cryptocurrencies, providing real-time data and news feeds to cryptocurrency investors.

Judges
The judges are: Michael Lucciola '83, CEO, Firefly Group and SHU Regent; John Auriemma, '81, founder and CEO American Wear; Pravina Raghavan, M.B.A. '01, Executive Vice President, Division of Small Business and Community Economic Development Empire State Development; and Taseen Peterson, '14, founder, Gamefuly.

Ahead of the contest, faculty and alumni mentors will provide feedback and guidance as the teams continue to develop viable business models and hone their pitches for April 3.

Successful Student Entrepreneurs
Thanks to this intensive mentoring and support, several students who have participated in Pirates Pitch over the past nine years now run successful businesses. For example, Luciana Contuzzi '13, who won first place in the inaugural Pirates Pitch contest in 2010, is the founder of Zest, a gluten and dairy free baked good business and café in Fairfield, N.J. Meanwhile, Christian Zeron '16, won first place in Pirates Pitch as a senior with Theo and Harris, his online vintage watch retailer, today sells $2 million worth of watches annually. Additionally, Taseen Peterson, one of this year's judges and a past Pirates Pitch winner, was also was the first place winner in the national digital startup contest Student Startup Madness in 2014. Today, Peterson's latest startup, Gamefuly, was recently selected to participate in the TechStars accelerator program.

Pirates Pitch helps to foster an entrepreneurial mindset. "In today's fast-paced and changing world, every college graduate needs the skills to be an innovative self-starter," she said. "So whether a student watches Pirates Pitch as a member of the audience, or is a participant in the contest, he or she is learning about the process of entrepreneurial innovative and creativity. These skills can be utilized in all types of career endeavors."

Entrepreneurial Offerings
Moreover, Pirates Pitch has been so popular that the University now runs a high school version of competition. In the four years that Pirates Pitch for High School students has operated, there were more than 1,000 applications from the U.S. and foreign countries. Additionally, the Stillman School of Business now offers an entrepreneurship concentration. The Center's latest effort is an entrepreneur boot camp being launched this summer. All undergraduate students are invited to apply to the no-cost boot camp, although enrollment will be limited to 20 students.

Beto O'Rourke isn't Barack Obama 2.0 - NBC News

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 02:56 PM PDT

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Beto O'Rourke's fans like to compare him to Barack Obama.

Like the last Democratic president, the former Texas congressman — who lit the party's grassroots aflame in his losing Senate bid against Ted Cruz last November — has a natural poise on the stump, a youthful energy and an ability to transition smoothly between the articulation of lofty ideas and plain talk.

And, like Obama, he says his ideas — liberal as they may be — are for Democrats, Republicans and those who don't identify with either major political party.

March 14, 201901:30

Those parallels help explain why many Obama alumni have been drawn to O'Rourke, and it makes sense to a degree for fans of both men to invite a comparison that renews Obama's brand as the definition of a fresh, hip political figure and anoints O'Rourke as the second coming of the last Democrat to win the White House.

"The strongest similarity between he and Obama, I think, is that they both believe in using the office of the presidency to give people hope, to inspire us, and to unite us toward a better tomorrow," Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., who endorsed O'Rourke on Thursday, said in a text message. "Our country would benefit from his compassion, authenticity and unifying vision."

But these two "O"-men are different in important ways that could help determine whether O'Rourke can actually follow in Obama's footsteps.

When O'Rourke launched his presidential campaign Thursday in a straight-to-camera video from a couch — as Hillary Clinton did in 2007 — he described the challenges facing the country and the world in the most epic of terms.

"We are truly now, more than ever, the last great hope on Earth," he said.

There were nods to areas of policy, like climate change, immigration and criminal justice reform, but not much about his biography, his record or any specific plans he would embrace in his campaign.

"As attractive as he is, I don't know where Beto stands on anything," Bill Press, a liberal talk show host and author of "Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down," said in a telephone interview.

Some Democratic voters were disappointed that Obama wasn't able to deliver on all of his lofty campaign-trail promises, Press said.

At times, O'Rourke sounds a lot like Obama.

"We've never been more divided or polarized, more driven by partisanship," he said in his announcement. "We need to come together. Damn the differences. Find the things that we share in common. And go after it and get it done. That's the way that I've operated, and that's the way I want to operate going forward."

But the bar for Democratic voters buying his rhetoric may be higher.

March 14, 201904:42

"I think a lot of people will be more demanding of Beto after the Obama experience," Press said.

The truth is that O'Rourke didn't do much on the legislative front during his three terms in the minority in the House, and he didn't make a name for himself as a political force for fellow Democrats.

On Thursday, while talking with Iowans, O'Rourke spoke of the different kind of experience he's had as a city council member in El Paso, Texas, and as a small-business owner.

"I may not have served forever in the House — six years, three terms — but I served in other ways," he said. "And the way in which we campaigned... for the last two years in Texas — going everywhere, being for everyone, listening to all — that's really what I think this country needs right now."

But he comes into the 2020 scramble much less prepared than Obama was when he started his campaign for president a dozen years ago.

By the time Obama arrived at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield for his official launch event, he was able to point to a legislative record both at the state and federal levels — though thinner than those of some of his rivals — with accomplishments that fit the narrative of his presidential campaign. That day, he highlighted a death penalty moratorium, health insurance for kids and ethics reform as issues he'd worked on.

Fundamentally, they were nonpartisan matters that had taken bipartisan efforts to enact.

March 14, 201929:07

More important for Democratic primary voters, Obama had spent the previous years putting together a political and policy operation that helped him legislate, navigate the land mines of Senate votes, build goodwill by traveling the country to raise money for fellow Democrats and nurture a growing national following with an ever-expanding list of donors and activists.

Ben LaBolt, a Democratic strategist who worked for Obama at the White House and on the campaign trail, said there are similarities in style but differences in substance.

"Neither Obama nor Beto are soundbite candidates," LaBolt said in an email exchange with NBC News. "They lay out their message in terms of a historic narrative, about what type of moment we're experiencing. They also both work to be culturally relevant, which helps them connect with the younger generation and those voters who aren't traditionally drawn to politics."

But, he added, "Obama was defined by taking a big stand on one of the key issues of the election that differentiated him from his competitors — opposition to the war in Iraq. ... Beto is less distinguished by a big issue or record in Congress."

Obama spent the three years between his landmark 2004 Democratic National Convention speech and the launch of his presidential bid preparing to run for the highest office in the land. He came ready for the fight.

By contrast, O'Rourke so far has been winging it.

That doesn't mean he won't use the money that is sure to roll in as fast as the semi-conductors on the campaign computers can churn to build a campaign worthy of the prize he's pursuing, but his approach has hardly been the same.

The fundamentals of O'Rourke's race are much different, too: Rather than facing just Hillary Clinton and John Edwards as serious competitors in the Democratic primary, as Obama did in 2008, O'Rourke is one of a sea of candidates, and, if he wins that scramble, he'll go up against an incumbent president.

There are also differences between the two men on policy. Bernie Sanders' supporters have taken issue with the instances in which O'Rourke voted to the political right of most Democrats to, among other things, tweak Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. O'Rourke also voted to condemn the Obama administration for transferring Guantánamo Bay detainees without notifying Congress.

Aside from policy, there's peril in O'Rourke tying himself too closely to Obama stylistically, said one Democratic strategist: It's hard to measure up to party icons.

"Do you want to be compared to JFK?" asked the strategist, who asked to remain anonymous because he may end up doing work for one of the Democratic campaigns.

HondaJet: Honda Sōichirō's Dream Comes True - Nippon.com

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 05:05 PM PDT

After three decades and untold sums spent on development, HondaJet has hit the skies, winning market share as the world's bestselling small business jet.

Creating a Global Bestseller

For the second year running, the Greensboro, North Carolina–based Honda Aircraft Company's HondaJet has won the title of the top-selling small business jet on earth. The company sold 37 aircraft in 2018, putting it in first place in its class, a repeat of its first-place finish in 2017 with sales of 43 aircraft. Cessna and a handful of other aircraft manufacturers had traditionally led the market for this class of jet until HondaJet, an offshoot of motorcycle and auto manufacturer Honda Motor Company, came along and vaulted to the top position.

HondaJet's most remarkable feature is its over-the-wing engine mount configuration. By contrast, most other business jets' engines are attached to the fuselage. HondaJet's revolutionary design, which improves aerodynamic performance and fuel efficiency, made it possible to increase the aircraft's range and speed. Mounting the engines over the wings also maximizes internal space and reduces in-cabin noise and vibration.

HondaJet's cabin interior. (Photo courtesy of Honda)
HondaJet's cabin interior. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

Another point in HondaJet's favor is greatly reduced pilot workload, effected through the use of touchscreens similar to those for smartphones. The touchscreen makes flying intuitive by allowing the pilot to select icons and other indicators at the touch of a finger.

HondaJet's cockpit. (Photo courtesy of Honda)
HondaJet's cockpit. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

But the road to the top spot for Honda's aviation business was long and hard. At times, there was even talk of scaling back the enterprise or shutting it down entirely.

Scaling Back After the Bubble

No story of HondaJet's success can begin without mentioning Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Fujino Michimasa. In 1986, three years after he began working for Honda, Fujino was assigned to the company's Fundamental Technology Research Center in Wakō, just outside Tokyo. Although Fujino had earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Tokyo, he had decided to join an automaker, so this personnel assignment was a surprise. Little did he know that he would spend his career working on Honda's aircraft business.

Fujino began research activities in earnest at Mississippi State University's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. During his time there, he created two experimental aircraft. But the bursting of Japan's asset speculation bubble in the early 1990s changed the financial picture for Honda, which decided it could no longer devote generous financial resources to developing an aircraft. The research project was scaled back; in 1996 Fujino and the other overseas members of the research team were recalled to Japan, and the staff in Japan were assigned to other divisions. That should, by all rights, have spelled the end of the road for Honda's foray into the aircraft business.

Inspiration in the Middle of the Night

As Fujino recalls, he was jolted out of a sound sleep, sometime toward the end of 1996 or early 1997, by a flash of inspiration. With no notepaper handy, he sketched out his idea—the over-the-wing engine mount configuration—on the back of a calendar. Fujino may not have known it then, but the HondaJet was born in that instant.

Fujino sketched his idea for the over-the-wing engine mount configuration on the back of a calendar. (Courtesy of Honda Aircraft Company)
Fujino sketched his idea for the over-the-wing engine mount configuration on the back of a calendar. (Courtesy of Honda Aircraft Company)

In the fall of 1997, Fujino, still in his thirties, by chance got to talk informally with Kawamoto Nobuhiko, then Honda Motor's president. He took the opportunity to expound on the importance of Honda's continuing in the aircraft business. Fujino's passion must have struck a chord with Kawamoto, because he instructed the young engineer to bring the matter up at a management meeting. At the meeting, Fujino got approval to resume development of a prototype aircraft and was named project leader. Honda's dream of reaching for the sky had been granted a reprieve.

A Successful First Flight

Fujino returned to the United States, where he threw himself once more into aircraft development and design. The first successful test flight of the experimental craft, which flew for one hour, took place in December 2003 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro.

But Honda's management had decided that the aircraft would not be commercialized. At the time, managers viewed the aircraft business as pure research intended to develop technologies that could be applied to automobiles. According to Honda, many within the company were opposed to commercializing the aircraft, foreseeing huge problems with certification, production, sales, and aftersales service and anticipating formidable barriers to market entry.

A Chance Encounter

A downhearted Fujino took time off and went to the Bahamas for a vacation. One day, as he was breakfasting with his family, an American man sitting at the next table remarked on how adorable his children were. As the two men chatted, the American commented that he had traveled to the Bahamas on his business jet. At that point, Fujino revealed that he was working on developing aircraft for Honda.

The American replied that he had read a news article about HondaJet and remarked, "The HondaJet is really cool. If you ever start selling it, I will definitely buy one, so let me be the first to know." Those words gave Fujino much-needed encouragement.

Although the company had no plans to commercialize the aircraft, flight testing continued. The HondaJet was first unveiled at an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July 2005. In front of several thousand spectators, the aircraft, with its innovative over-the-wing engine mount design, made a definite splash. But despite this, the company still viewed the aircraft as a means of demonstrating its technological prowess to the world, rather than something to actually market.

Selling Like Hotcakes

A change in fortune occurred in March 2006. After a personal appeal from Fujino, Fukui Takeo, Honda's president at the time, agreed to take steps to commercialize the aircraft. In October the same year, Honda exhibited the HondaJet at the National Business Aviation Association's business aviation show in Orlando, Florida, and began taking orders. The company promptly received orders for over 100 aircraft—the jet, in Fujino's words, "sold like hotcakes." It was a sweet reward for all the years he spent persevering in research and advocating for his creation.

Fujino was also in for another surprise. Hearing someone call his name, he turned to see the man he had met in the Bahamas. "Do you remember me? I came today because I told you I would definitely buy your plane," he said, and signed a purchase order on the spot.

No matter how well an aircraft performs, though, no sales can go through without type certification. Honda obtained this from the Federal Aviation Administration in December 2015, paving the way for final delivery of the aircraft to customers, nine long years after orders had initially been received.

Fujino, Engineer cum Manager

Of course, success was not due entirely to Fujino's efforts. At an August 2018 press conference at the Japan National Press Club, Fujino remarked that he kept meetings to a minimum in order to get the most out of his team. Initially, said Fujino, all team members gathered regularly, but the meetings soon started to feel like a chore and no new ideas were being generated. That's when he changed his management style, reducing meetings to the bare minimum and tasking team members with gathering information on their own instead. In doing so, he succeeded in creating an environment conducive to thinking creatively.

Today, when the original 40-strong team has grown to 1,800 people, Fujino admits that it's hard to run the company without meetings. But according to him, what's important is to keep things flexible and practical. He has learned that shepherding a project from research and development through to sales requires capabilities not just as an engineer but also as a manager, supervising employees and keeping track of everything that goes on within the organization.

Fujino Michimasa, president of Honda Aircraft Company. (Photo courtesy of Honda)
Fujino Michimasa, president of Honda Aircraft Company. (Photo courtesy of Honda)

Passing On the Dream

For Honda Sōichirō, airplanes had always been a dream. As a boy, he had reportedly been fascinated by the aerial exploits of the stunt pilot Art Smith, who had come to Japan for exhibition flights. Fujino only met the Honda Motor Company founder once—an encounter made all the more memorable by the bright red Hawaiian shirt the legendary inventor was wearing—in the men's room at the company's research center in Wakō.

Fujino's boss had warned him never to mention the aircraft project to Honda. At the time, Honda had already retired from all executive positions. But everyone knew that he loved aircraft, and they worried that he might insist on resuming an active role if he got wind of the aircraft development project. Fujino, as instructed by his boss, never said a word.

Two years later, in 1991, Honda Sōichirō died at the age of 84. Thirty years have gone by since then, and today HondaJet aircraft are flying around the world. Although Fujino never exchanged a word with Honda, the latter's dream may have been passed on during that chance meeting.

(Originally written in Japanese. Banner photo: The Elite, the newest HondaJet model, went on sale in 2018. Photo courtesy of Honda.)

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