Any website that promises “your kids will beg to do their chores” deserves a skeptical eye. What might they promise next? They’ll eat all their vegetables? Floss after every meal?
Yet while the designers at ChoreMonster may be given to hyperbole, they also just might have hit on an answer to getting the kiddos to make their bed and empty the dishwasher without being asked for the thousandth time—and learn something about money and responsibility in the process.
Techstars, the popular for-profit incubator and investment fund, has acquired Up Global, the nonprofit organization that hosts Startup Weekend.
The merger makes sense, since Startup Weekend brings aspiring entrepreneurs together for an intense, 54-hour experience in creating a company, while Techstars provides a three-month course designed to get those aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into going concerns. While the former is heavy on inspiration and excitement, the latter provides some cash and more concrete, practical help in getting startups off the ground.
CarLister, which was built by the company DreamWare Inc., has raised $6.5 million in seed funding from individuals and added former Morgan Stanley President Bob Scott as its chairman, Lizette Chapman reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The startup will join TrueCar and Cars.com, and newer efforts by Beepi and Shift Technologies, as tech companies are providing platforms to enable easier and more-complete vehicle searchers, increased pricing transparency and speedier service for both buyers and sellers. CarLister’s service is designed to help dealers and individuals list cars for sale by providing VIN numbers and answering a series of questions.
As more studios launch live games that rely on always-online servers and constantly updated content, the tab to keep the backend servers running can get expensive. But that is where a company that sells live operations wants to step in.
In Inside Out, Pixar’s first all-new film since 2012’s Brave, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, and others voice the emotions that govern a young person’s life. If you spend any time around kids, you know that few things trigger those emotions more reliably than being told to do their chores. In that way, a partnership between Pixar and the Cincinnati-based startup ChoreMonster, which rewards kids for doing chores and offers them both in-app entertainment and parent-directed rewards for doing chores, makes a whole lot of sense.
Disney is always looking for the next big thing.
That's why the company is gearing up for the second annual Disney Accelerator program, a startup farm to connect founders with Disney money, Disney intellectual property, and perhaps best of all, access to Disney's team as executive as mentors, up to and including Disney CEO Bob Iger.
When Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency, brew masters took notice.
According to the USDA, Washington State accounted for 79 percent of hop production in the United States. The declaration will mean water restrictions on some farmers who grow hops, and hops use a lot of water - up to three gallons per day per plant.
Frustrated growers and investors from drought stricken California are purchasing farm land with long-term water rights.
Michael Butler, Chairman and CEO of Cascadia Capital, says the land is being bought for premium prices for speculative reasons and future crop production, including very profitable almonds. The purchases make it harder to expand hop production.
An unusual thing happened when ChoreMonster started to build an app for the Apple Watch. The Cincinnati-based startup, which helps parents reward their kids for getting chores done, realized its iPhone app could be simpler.
"We're taking away clutter, essentially," says Paul Armstrong, Choremonster's cofounder and chief creative officer. "We're taking away extra steps, taking away extra screens, anything that might seem not as necessary."
In the aftermath of the 7.3-magnitude tremor in Nepal this week, Seattle-based NGO Splash has launched a campaign to raise $500,000 (£320,000) for its water projects in Kathmandu.
Investment apps and websites that cater to millennial investors:
Acorns. Your “spare change” from linked credit and debit card purchases is rounded up to the nearest dollar and invested in six different funds based on your risk tolerance. “Acorns provides a turnkey approach to investing, as it allows millennials to easily take tiny amounts of money from everyday purchases,” says Rahul Sethuram, co-founder and chief operating officer of social investing platform Tip'd Off. “This creates a more accessible and less stressful foray in the investing world.” The app charges $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25 percent of your annual assets for accounts over $5,000.
Tip'd Off. Sethuram’s website is a financial Facebook of sorts; it will provide members with a social media-type platform that millennials will find familiar. Here, visitors can connect with a community of like-minded investors to learn the tricks of the trades, if you will. A news feed will also update users on other member’s trades, and the platform will link to all major brokerages. Tip’d Off also utilizes a “read-only” system, meaning nobody can place real trades from the site. Currently in beta, it has a waitlist of more than 5,000; the website is expected to fully launch in the early summer.