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Boston is a distinguished historic city that continues to refine itself with beautiful culture, top education, great entertainment, and most importantly new ideas. Since the birth of our country, the people of Boston have fearlessly taken their dreams and driven them towards success. In the article written in the Boston Business Journal in 2016 titled, “Boston Is Ranked No. 1 Startup Hub In The U.S.”, it discusses how Boston is ranked number 1 among the top 25 startup hubs in the United States. Because of this, the article writes that Boston is best positioned to lead the digital economy. Home to universities such as Harvard and MIT, it is no coincidence that Boston is one of the top cities to create a startup company. Not only have startups in Boston blossomed, but their continued growth transcends the way the world works. Below is a sample of some of Boston, Massachusetts’ best and brightest startups.

1. LovePop
Location: 61 Chatham Street Fl 5, Boston, MA 02109
LovePop is a startup company with the goal of crafting much more than just a simple card. Since LovePop’s launch in 2014 out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, founders Wombi Rose and and John Wise have transcended the two-dimensional world, and transformed their cards into beautiful personalized three-dimensional paper sculptures. Each card is designed by naval engineers using the most up-to-date software, and is then hand-made in the Asian art form of sliceform kirigami. LovePop has been named to the 2015 Techstars class, and nominated for 50 on Fire by BostInno. LovePop has literally expanded from the cycle of traditional card selection, and when in the market to send a card to a loved one, LovePop will become your new obsession.

2. BookBub
Location: 1 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02142
BookBub, founded by Josh Schanker, is a free service Cambridge-based company that helps millions of readers find deals and discounts on e-books, while simultaneously providing authors and publishers with knowledge on how to drive sales, find new readers, and expand their fan-base. Their quick and easy sign-up process has the reader personalize their favorite book genres, allowing relevant offers and selections to be made based on their interests. Though BookBub does not sell the books, they alert you by email daily about limited-time offers, allowing you stay updated on the latest and greatest discounts. According to the article, “50 Boston Startups To Watch In 2017”, after launching in 2012, BookBub has worked with the “Big 5” of publishers, such as HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. When on the hunt to find the hottest deal, BookBub will be your best friend.

3. Lola Travel
Location: 250 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210
Starting to plan a trip, but feel overwhelmed and confused about where to begin? Lola Travel is here to help. Founded by Kayak’s co-founder Paul English in 2015, Lola is a travel app that provides travelers with a team of travel agents who find and book flights, hotels, and cars. Lola is partnered with select companies, institutions and membership organizations, and in January 2017 the app raised a $15 million Series B in order to launch an updated version in the spring. Setting itself apart from other travel booking apps, Lola provides its customers with a human component for better service and personalized communication. You no longer have to worry about the stresses of planning a trip, because Lola Travel will take care of you and all of your traveling needs.

4. Neurable
Location: 25 1st Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
Being able to control objects with your mind is the brainchild of excessive daydreamers and science fiction authors, and can never be done in real life, right? Thanks to a startup company in Cambridge called Neurable, the fictional essence of telekinesis has been invented into the real world. The company’s vision is to be beyond virtual reality, and to create a world without limitations. Neurable has created technology that uses electroencephalography to record brain activity, analyze data, and provide users with full three-dimensional control in real time. This technology that they created has opened doors to allow people to play games, control toys, and drive a full-sized car using only their thoughts. Neurable has has raised over $2.1 million in seed funding this winter. Magic has turned into reality, and brainpower is the muscle of the future.

In 2017, roughly 3.7 million workers or 2.8% of the workforce work remotely at least half of the week. Working remotely at home can become distracting at times, making it harder to complete tasks. In order to combat these distractions, coffee shops have become a popular outlet for employees to work remotely. Below are some of the best coffee shops in Boston, Massachusetts to complete work tasks out of the traditional office setting.

1.La Colombe Coffee
Location: 745 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02111
La Colombe Coffee is a great place to come and grab a quick delicious cup of coffee, or to set up a workstation and stay for a while. With their free guest wifi and friendly work environment, it is the perfect place to escape distractions in the office.

2.Simon’s Coffee Shop
Location: 1736 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Simon’s Coffee Shop is a cozy little cafe to set up camp and work away from a stuffy office. They have exceptional coffee and vegan options for those with dietary restrictions.

3.Ogawa Coffee
Location: 10 Milk Street, Boston, MA 02108
Stop by Ogawa Coffee for food and coffee that will spark your creativity. With free wifi, it is a great place to stay and work for as long you need. With stadium seating, you will have the ability to seclude yourself away from the busy traffic of the bottom level to give yourself privacy.

4.Curio Coffee
Location: 441 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
Skip lunch at the office cafeteria, pack up your work supplies, and head over to Curio Coffee for waffles that are to die for. They have an ample amount of plugs for long stays, and a refreshing environment full of plants and sunlight.

5.Thinking Cup
Location: 165 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111
Offering a vast assortment of the finest coffee, teas, sandwiches and pastries. Winner of countless awards. Thinking Cup is just steps away from the Boston Commons and easily accessible by subway or bus.

Check out our latest blog, Why Should Companies Allow Employees To Work Remotely? to learn more about working remotely.

Being forced to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning and suffer through hours of traffic only to work forty hours a week in an office full of distractions is an unproductive path to disaster. Though it is hard for companies trust their employees when they are absent or out of sight, working independently and remotely away from the usual hustle and bustle of the office has shown to lead to better job satisfaction and increased productivity.

In the article written in 2015 titled, “Advantages of Agile Work Strategies For Companies”, the positives that come when companies allow their employees to work remotely are discussed. At the beginning of the article, it is mentioned that 36% of people would choose to have the option to work remotely rather than receive a raise in pay, and a poll of 1,500 technology professionals showed that 37% of them would take a pay cut of 10% to have the ability to do so.

More advantages of working remotely listed in the article include:

  • The reduction of unscheduled absences: 78% of people that call in sick from work tend to not be sick. They could have another type of issue such as a family emergency, stress, or other problems that may get in the way of being able to come into work. But employees given the option to work remotely continue to work even when they are sick.
  • Increased Productivity: Due to constant distractions in an office, the productivity level of the employees could be compromised. When given the option to work remotely, productivity level rises. Two-thirds of of employers report increased productivity in employees that have the ability to work remotely.
  • Cuts down wasted meetings: When sitting in a physical meeting it can be easy for people to get distracted and get off topic, making the meeting even longer than necessary. Working remotely and using web-based communication is beneficial for businesses and their employees because they are more organized and have a better chance of staying on track with the subject being discussed.

When it is necessary for an employee to be present in the office for part of the day, or a business does not feel comfortable allowing their employees to work remotely from home, a compromising option is to take a break from sitting at the desk and work from a coffee shop near by.

In the Boston area? Check out our blog, Boston’s Top Five Coffee Shops When Working Remotely. Let us know what your favorite coffee shops are when working remotely.

Ever since the invention of the mobile app, the world has changed the way it views and uses technology. Instead of having to sit down at a computer to do work, or just simply communicate with other people, mobile apps allow you to have the same experience anywhere around the world with just the tip of your finger. Due to their uncomplicated simplicity and quick-to-use nature, mobile apps hold steady in their popularity with no intention of slowing down.

 

In the article, Mobile App Usage- Statistics and Facts, the increasing use and popularity of mobile apps is forecasted. It mentions that by the year 2020 mobile apps are to generate around 189 billion U.S. dollars in revenues through app stores and in-app advertising. The article also discusses that mobile apps were originally offered as productivity and information tools such as calendars, email, and weather information, but has now grown due to customer demand for developer tools. Since then, the mobile app market has consistently expanded.

 

Here is a list of the types of mobile apps that are the most in-demand among users:

 

  • Tools
  • Communication
  • Video Players and Edit
  • Travel and Local
  • Instant Messaging
  • Social Networking
  • Music

 

According to the article, “many of the most popular mobile properties are mainly accessed via mobile apps instead of mobile browsers”. This shift in the way society accesses technology is due to mobile apps’ ability to be used anywhere at anytime in an easy and fast-paced manner. The mobile app phenomenon is only expanding and enhancing over time, and has no intention of slowing down.

The term “Startup Company” is defined by many different people in many different ways. Some say it is about how long the company has been around, and others say it is about foregoing stability in the hopes of creating something massively popular while making an impact. The truth is, there is no single way to describe exactly what a startup company is. But there are attributes that each startup company has in common.

 

In the article titled, “What is a Startup?” by Natalie Robehmed, she breaks through the constant debating about what exactly defines a startup company, and looks deeper into the similarities that they all share. She first does this by describing what makes a company cease to be a startup. These are some factors to look for to see when a startup company has graduated to becoming a bigger business:

  1. The company is over 3 years old.
  2. It is acquired by a larger company.
  3. Has more than one office.
  4. Revenues greater than $20 million.
  5. Has more than 80 employees.
  6. Has founders who have personally sold shares.

 

According to Robehmed, one of the biggest attributes that all startup companies share is their ability to grow. With the use of technology, all startup companies focus on growth unbound by distance, and can reach their customers from anywhere in the world. This is what differentiates them from small businesses, which are just in one place, and make them so popular to a society that frequently uses technology in almost every aspect of their everyday lives.

 

A “Startup Company” is a term that is constantly debated, but can never be singularly defined. This is what makes them so unique. Whether it is about the amount of time the company has been around, how much the company makes, or the size of the company, it is up to people to make their own point of view on exactly what makes a startup company a startup company. But the one thing that is true is that a startup company is a business that is created to grow and make an impact in the world. It knows no bounds for the business it attracts.

In a fast paced world it can be hard for parents to constantly stay updated on their children’s school activities, and the one or two yearly parent-teacher conference is not enough to adequately form a cohesive bond between a student’s home and school life. Though it can be a daunting task for a parent to undertake, steady involvement in a child’s schooling is shown to lead to greater academic achievement and success. One easy way to start connecting is through consistent stable communication between the parent and the teacher.

 

In an article titled, “Impact of Teacher-Parent Communication: Research On ‘Underutilized Potential’” by Joanna Penn, she describes a study done by Rogers and Kraft in 2014. In the experiment a sample of high-school students participated in a summer credit-recovery program. The students were divided into three groups:

 

  1. The parents received a weekly message from the teacher containing positive information.
  2. The parents received a weekly message on how students could improve performance.
  3. The parents received no messages from the teacher.

 

The results of this experiment showed that students whose parents received messages were 6.5 percentage points more likely to earn course credits. This resulted in a 41% reduction in students failing to earn course credit. Improvement information messages were more effective with an 8.8 percentage-point increase in their likelihood to gain course credit, compared to positive information messages with their 4.5 percentage-points. Teacher-to-parent communication reduced student absenteeism by 2.5 percentage points.

 

Sustained communication between parents and teachers on what their children are doing and learning throughout the week is a beneficial practice that both supports the child’s learning process while making the parent feel more involved. It not only grants a quick and easy way to help the children succeed, but it also allows the parents to be better prepared while helping them.

 

For the complete article, please visit:

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/education/teacher-to-parent-communication-and-its-positive-effects-research-on-the-underutilized-potential

Why has asking “why” in the business world become a taboo? It’s too challenging for us to ask direct questions. No one wants to make anyone feel uncomfortable nor does anyone want to be asked “why”. One must question what critical information is being giving up because no one wants to ask “why”. The information obtained by asking “why” can help businesses make vital decisions pertaining to revenue, brand reputation, employees and their livelihood.

Through human nature, we naturally fill in the blanks when the necessary information needed isn’t readily available.

“I don’t know why he didn’t call me back… maybe he’s mad about that comment I made in yesterday’s meeting.”

Whether he is mad or just busy, it doesn’t matter, because without the necessary information, we complete it ourselves. By completing a story based off our own speculation, the entire storyline gets sidetracked.
Without asking “why”, the full context of a situation is unknown, leading us to make decisions based only off what we currently know. Sometimes going with your best guess is the only option because asking “why” may not be possible.

Other times, decisions are made with the assumption that we already know the answer. By reasonably filling in the blanks, our story may seem plausible, leading to action be taken based off our made-up storyline. If our assumptions don’t align with the rest of our company and fellow coworkers, the storyline becomes further sidetracked.

Spreading a story that may or may not be correct can lead to your coworkers having different versions of the same story. This leads to an already fault story becoming out of control. Trying to break the story back down can damage feelings of trust and credibility between team members. This is especially difficult when a story contains sensitive issues, such as unhappy clients, bonuses, and promotions.


For the complete article, please visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/03/10/the-power-of-asking-why-to-improve-your-business-and-communications/2/#5e587ac81592

Innovation and technology have always been words synonymous with each other, but what about food? In 2016, countless products were developed that combined all three; innovation, technology, and food. Using apps, drones, and robots technological innovation in the food world flourished. A few of our favorites include pizza delivery, food emojis, and instant gluten testers.

Drones and Robots Delivering Domino’s Pizza
In Auckland, New Zealand, customers are receiving their pizza deliveries from drones flying down from the sky. In Australia, a pizza delivery robot can carry up to ten pizzas and make deliveries within a 20-mile radius. On top of these new innovations, Domino’s is also ahead of the mobile app competition, with a “zero clicks required” app, that attributed to more than half of the company’s U.S. sales in 2016. Our only question is when will the drones and pizza delivering robots be available in the U.S.?

 

New Food Emojis Released in iOS Update
Now iOS users can express what they want to eat beyond slices of pepperoni pizza, hotdogs, and cheeseburgers. Introducing the new emojis for stuffed flatbread, salad, croissant,
Paella, avocado, and of course, bacon. Now you can signal to your friends that you want a bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant for breakfast without using words.

Test Food for Gluten With the Nima Sensor
The Nima Sensor has finally been released, after years of development. This device allows individuals with a serious gluten intolerance to test for gluten substances in their food. Insert a small portion of your meal into the device and within two minutes, the device determines whether or not the food contains gluten. With a price tag of $279.00, this little device may be best suited for those with an actual gluten intolerance or those health buffs who take their gluten free diets seriously enough.

 

We are excited to see what’s in store with innovation technology in the food world for 2017!

For the complete article, please visit:
http://www.eater.com/2016/12/22/13656968/food-tech-2016

Finding investors, even if an entrepreneur has a successful track record, is a very hard task. Sometimes it is such a meaningful duty that is it regarded as a full time job. Cash from an investor is necessary to generate profits as everyone knows. What many people forget, is that experience is what gives an entrepreneur knowledge that is essential for their success. It takes hundreds of introductions, calls, pitches, and meetings to identify who they want to do business with. Choosing the right business partner is important because entrepreneurs spend a lot of time together in the beginning of a business, building a strong relationship.

Networking is the main component to a successful start-up. Attending information sessions and striking up a conversation will only further a business. Being “on the edge” is something an entrepreneur has to get used to feeling. All businesses, especially start-ups, have down times, but it doesn’t mean that their out. Being persistent and believing in other team members is the best thing any entrepreneur can do. Like everything else in life, a little luck is involved. The market today is growing, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to create their own luck. It’s not easy, but keeping composure and believing in the business will contribute to finding the right investors.

For the complete article, please visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bill-rader/2017/02/14/raising-investment-funds-a-start-up-entrepreneurs-biggest-challenge/#2b74b99d7ca5

The biggest problem with start-up companies, is not the idea, it’s the surrounding community. In an article written by Eilene Zimmerman, “What It Takes to Create a Start-Up Community” Eilene explains how much goes into the next “Silicon Valley”. “Entrepreneurs lead a community’s creation and everyone else feeds it. Those feeders include government, universities, mentors, investors, service providers and large companies.” For a start-up community to become successful other parties need to come together to help push the start-up company through the crowd of other start-up companies.

Eilene mention what seems to be the next hot spot for startup companies, Silicon Beach. “With a steady supply of engineering, business and creative talent from Hollywood studios and major universities like U.C.L.A. and U.S.C, plus lots of meet-ups, co-working spaces and start-up events, Silicon Beach- which includes the beach communities of Santa Monica and Venice, as well as downtown L.A and Hollywood – has become a haven for start-ups that blend technology and media, especially gaming companies.” The location is a big factor for start-up companies, depending on your geographic location, you are either increasing or decreasing your chances. Having established universities with young ambitious students is a benefit, as well as other companies that could be potential partners-up with your start-up. Check out the full article to learn more about Start-up Communities.

For the complete article, please visit: https://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/what-it-takes-to-create-a-start-up-community/?_r=0

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