Top Startup and Tech News Today – 7 Things You Missed Today

Top Startup and Tech News Today – 7 Things You Missed Today

1. Is Bitcoin a currency? One Switch reader says no.

The beauty of the internet is that people can say what they want. They can contribute to a discussion, and agree or disagree with points being made. One Switch user took advantage of this and left a comment on an article which described Bitcoin advocates meeting with federal regulators to explain Bitcoin. The comment in question, is as follows: “It’s a scrip payment, or a speculation, or a form of discounted paper, but the one thing that it ISN’T is currency!”

This statement started a long debate about the difference between currency, legal tender, and barter. This confusion doesn’t just rest on the internet, however; federal officials and other academics are just as stunned on how to classify Bitcoins.

2. What to write about on your startup’s blog

A cheap way to market your startup is blogging. Some people think blogging is ineffective, but statistics prove otherwise – 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, and 59% of B2B marketers rate blogs as their most effective content marketing tactic. Blogging also ranks as the #1 method for increasing traffic, besting SEO which falls in second. But, before you blog, it’s important to figure out who you want coming to your website.

The first thing you need to do is figure out who your audience is. Ask yourself simple questions, like “what does your audience want?” and “How can you help them?”

Then, set up a listening dashboard. Stay tuned in with the elements your audience values most. You can do this by visiting the sites and forums they frequent most, attending networking events, Google Alerts, and more.

But now that you have this all set up – what should you blog about? Five popular topics for startups to blog about are best practices and tips (useful and practical content for your target audience), how-to guides, industry news analysis, answering user questions and concerns, and reporting on future trends.

Even if you follow all these steps, you won’t necessarily attract a following. Make sure to have a marketing strategy for your startup blog. Set up things like social sharing, RSS subscription, promotion, links, and etc to get an audience flowing to your blog!

3. Mobile-payment startups face challenges

While it was a once booming industry, the market for mobile phone apps that help consumers buy goods is getting very crowded. This is putting off venture capitals and making it hard for these startups to profit.

Startup Kristy Fassio testifies to this effect. She owns an exercise franchise called “Fit4Mom” and talks about being bombarded with pitches from mobile and Web-payment companies. All pledge to provide low-costs and easy ways to accept payments. They tell her thay can “beat any price you are paying.” Some even offer not charge her fees, even though that means they won’t make any money.

Another problem, besides the saturation of the market, is that not all startups are effectively screening their business customers. This raises their risk of mounting losses. Some are experience default rates that are double or triple the industry average.

It’s also hard for mobile payment startups and companies and distinguish themselves from others. Advertising and marketing and other methods of doing so are often costly, and startups find themselves running out of money. The problem of needing more money while having nearly none is a prominent challenge these companies are facing and one that might lead to the downfall of the business.

4. Entrepreneur Argues Having Higher Purpose Can Lead To Profits

August Turak is an author and businessman. In 1996, he broke his ankle skydiving and went to Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina. As he healed, he noticed that many monks at the Abbey were successful businessman who worked a 10th as hard as he did. It was then he realized that the secret to being a successful businessman is to service the customer. “The more you concentrate on serving other people and helping other people, the faster you’re going to become successful,” said Turak.

He’s penned a booked regarding this subject. His book, The Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity, is a tell-all using a qualitative approach to create loyal customers who know you have their best interest in mind.

5. President Obama: We Need Title IX for Funding Women’s Startups

In the 1960s, it was decided that sports were an important part of life. Thus, it was made so that barring females from fair access to athletics was no longer allowed. There was a problem. It was fixed.

Now, there is a new problem, similar to the one that was dealt with in the 1960s. The problem is starting companies. Startups depend on having access to capital and money ,and with only 4-9% of venture funding going to women, it is no wonder that women are finding it harder to succeed in industry than their male counterpart.

Those who opposed the ruling that made banning females from sports illegal said that women had other priorities besides competing and playing sports. People nowadays are spouting a similar argument. But, the track record of female startup heads show superior investment returns than male heads. So, if statistics can’t get a venture firm to do something, then what can?

Well, Jules Pieri suggests to remove the interest tax loophole from any venture firms that don’t fund women’s business proportionally to men’s. She wants this idea to spread and end up in front of President Obama. He has daughters, she claims. Let him make the world a more fair place for them.

6. Two start-ups win Star Accelerator Fund

The Start Accelator Fund has awarded two startups to be the recipients for its funding – Geob International and Loanstreet.

Geob International is using its fund to market its healthcare wristband, Hypoband. Hypoband detects cold sweating during hypoglycemia in diabetic patients. Founder and CEO Geoffery Tan says that the funding “has really given us a footing to expand.” Using this money, they’ve also allocated funds to research and development so a version of HypoBand can be created that is compatible with the Apple iOS.

 

Loanstreet is using the funding as a means to boost the team morale. Managing director Jared Lim says that they now “feel more confident… As an entrepreneur, it’s great to not have to worry about settling bills now.”

George Chan, the Start Publications corporate service group general manager says that the “the release of the first tranche of the fund to the two recipients” is hoped to “see more entrepreneurs stepping forward and sharing with us their ideas, leveraging our media expertise to contribute positively to the country’s economy…The fund is here to stay to help talented entrepreneurs flourish.”

7. Labor Day 2013: Fun Facts For Your Holiday

Labor Day was September 2nd – let’s celebrate it with some fun facts!

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker and is celebrated the first Monday in September. It’s been around since 1882.

No one really know who founded Labor Day. Some people point to a union member named Peter J. McGuire, who was a co-founder of the AFL. Others point to Matthew Maguire, secretary of a local International Association of Machinists.

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894.

It’s been whispered not to wear white after Labor Day. Where did this come from? According to Time, it comes from well-heeled women wearing white during their vacations and then changing back to dark colors for when they returned to the extremely dirty city life.

 

Jessie Yen

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