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Microsoft Teams Competing With Slack

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slack microsoft teams

Last week, Microsoft unveiled products catering to the professional creative. Yesterday, Microsoft is looking to capture the business collaboration market with Teams. Teams is an online collaboration service that competes directly with well-known collaboration service Slack by allowing real time chat and collaboration on projects. It supports threaded 1:1 private chats or open chats. Just like Slack, there is a sidebar with notifications, chat, and meetings.

Microsoft’s biggest advantage over Slack is the tight integration with Office 365. Excel, Word, and Powerpoint content can all be shared and members can be invited directly to Skype for Business calls. Per Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, “Office 365 is the broadest toolkit and platform for creation, communication and collaboration. Microsoft Teams adds a new experience to Office 365 as the chat-based workspace designed to empower the art of teams”. Microsoft products like Power BI and Sharepoint are also integrated for those more engrained in the Microsoft business ecosystem. However, Microsoft has released APIs to allow third party tab integration and even bots into Teams. Microsoft showed off Zendesk and Asana tab support as well as Polly bot integration. There’s even Twitter integration with the ability to push messages from tweets. On the security front, Microsoft promises that data is encrypted always, in transit and at rest. Multi-factor authentication is also available for an additional layer of security.

With Office 365 tying directly into Teams, it’s automatically available to any small business or corporation with a 365 account. This means that millions of people will automatically have “free” access to it. Microsoft’s massive presence inside of the business market positions Teams to be a major player in the collaboration space that is largely dominated by Slack. Slack is very well-known (and used) with 750 apps in the Slack App Directory. Still, Slack seems to be aware of the threat Microsoft poses. Shortly after Microsoft’s announcement, Slack penned a letter congratulating Microsoft on the additional competition and providing a few “tips” for success.

For now, Teams is only available for enterprise customers in 181 countries in 18 languages. Rollout to the general public will be in early 2017.

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Camden

Camden Catalyst – $25,000 Pitch Competition Recap

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Camden Catalyst was a $25,000 pitch competition hosted in Camden NJ with the goal of attracting Tech Startups to the city of Camden. The first annual Camden Catalyst was hosted on October 20th 2017 featuring a judging panel consisting of leads, innovators, and people that are shaping Camden.

Camden has been an active community within the last several years due to nearly $2.5 Billion (that’s with a capital B) in tax credits given to Fortune 500 companies to move to Camden. The incentive drew many companies to the city including Holtec, Subaru, 76ers Innovation Lab, and American Water to name a few. The last several years Camden has been busy with many of its major construction along the Camden Waterfront done by Liberty Property Trust and also development of Knights Crossing overseen by Brandywine Realty Trust. The process has garnered attention from businesses and startups from the surrounding region.

Waterfront Ventures

In 2016, Waterfront Ventures, an economic development organization, joined Camden with a mission – to bring 100 startups to the city of Camden to kickstart the startup community and provide jobs/opportunities for Camden students and residents. If Waterfront Ventures is successful, they promise Camden will be a vibrant community with an abundance of jobs/opportunities with a similar ecosystem like Philadelphia. They’ve since hosted several conferences in the city including Startup Conference on May 25th of 2016, UP Conference on January 14th of 2017, and also hosted a plethora of events and programs such as Breakfast with Titans, Camden Tech Meetup, and Lighthouse Mentorship.

Birth of Camden Catalyst 3/24/17

Given their growth and development in the city, a pitch competition was inevitable. On March 24th, Bob Moul CEO of Cloudamize, Dan Rhoton CEO of Hopeworks N’ Camden, and the Waterfront Ventures team got together and created a pitch competition with a prize pool of $25,000. The plan was to have a high enough prize pool to generate buzz for Camden and also provide incentives for a startup to consider building their HQ in the city. The winning startup would have to build their HQ in the city of Camden, hire their first employee in the city, and 50% of their workforce must be Camden students or residents. With the plan in place, the team set out and created Camden Catalyst and announced it to the world.

The Practice Pitch 8/17/17

Hundreds of startups signed up within weeks of Camden Catalyst going live.  The Waterfront Ventures team’s first challenge is to call and vet each and every single startup to ensure that they meet the requirement and qualify. 102 startups qualified through the screening process. On August 17th the team created a practice pitch to help first time entrepreneurs prepare for the big day.

Camden Catalyst Pitch Competition – 10/14/17


The big day took place on October 14th 2017 at the Waterfront Technology Center. Of the 102 startups that passed screening, 40 made it to the big day to pitch. The pitch competition’s format required 2 groups of judges in order to accommodate 40 startups. The judges from these 2 groups were community leaders in Camden, non-profit organization leaders in Camden, business owners, investors, and innovators both in Camden and Philadelphia. The first round was a 90-second elevator pitch. The startup had to sell to the panel of judges in 90 seconds to move onto the round of 16. This was challenging since most of the startups have planned for a 10-minute pitch, but few were ready for a 90-second elevator pitch.

From the 40 startups that came, 16 moved onto Round 1 of Camden Catalyst.

Round 1 of Camden Catalyst

The Waterfront Ventures team opened up Camden Catalyst by sharing the mission and vision of the organization and what their hopes were for all the startups in attendance. 16 Startups will enter Round 1, and 8 Startups will move onto Round 2 of Camden Catalyst. The startups and judges divided into 2 separate rooms and Camden Catalyst officially commenced.

Round 1 Judges

Brett Buterick, Associate at Hill Wallack LLP

Shahid Rana, V.P. of Business Development at Cooper’s Ferry

Rashaan Hornsby, President at Education Over Everything Foundation, Inc.

Sean M Brown, Chief Operations Officer at DuBois Douglass Strategies

Sean O’Donnell, Partner at BALLAST IP LAW, LLP

Ryan Wertman, Co-Founder and Business Lawyer at Growth Counsel

Damon Pennington, President & CEO at ATS Group, LLC

 

Startups that pitched in Round 1

  1. Linked Noodle (Katrina Naidas)
  2. Jauntify (Dennis Pitcock)
  3. Rezzio (Jessica Sarkisian)
  4. Eoko (Jeremiah De Leon)
  5. Denial Flow (Robert Rupp)
  6. Rising Leaders (Jamia Santiago)
  7. Frostheave Fantasy Esports (Kyle Hampton)
  8. Networked (Roger Chinchilla)
  9. Invincible City Farms (Fredric Byarm)
  10. Unishare (Stephanie Huang)
  11. Engageathon (Veniece Newton)
  12. First Responders Live (James Corbett)
  13. Tribes (Liwen Ma)
  14. Nuj Health (Deboleena Dutta)
  15. Higher Hospitality (Yaz Barqawi)

 

Round 2 of Camden Catalyst

The success of Round 1 brought 8 semi-finalists to round 2 where they competed again for a seat to pitch at the Camden Catalyst Awards Ceremony & Final Round on October 20th 2017.

Judges for Round 2

Chris Kohl, Vice President & CIO at Vertex Inc.

Chuck Sacco, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives & Director of the Baiada Institute at Drexel U. Close School of Entrepreneurship

Johnathan Grzybowski, Co-founder of Penji

 

Startups that pitched in Round 2

  1. Linked Noodle (Katrina Naidas)
  2. Denial Flow (Robert Rupp)
  3. Invincible City Farms (Fredric Byarm)
  4. Higher Hospitality (Yaz Barqawi)
  5. Tribes (Liwen Ma)
  6. Unishare (Stephanie Huang)
  7. Nuj Health (Deboleena Dutta)
  8. Engageathon (Veniece Newton)

The 8 startups pitched their ideas to the panel of experienced judges in round 2 and the finalists were determined at the conclusion of the 6 hour Camden Catalyst Pitch Competition. The 4 finalists will now have time to recuperate and plan their strategies for the final round on October 20th.

 

Camden Catalyst Award Ceremony & Final Round 10/20/17


This is the biggest startup event ever held in the city of Camden. Over 470 attendees came to the award ceremony to witness the very first winner of Camden Catalyst and to celebrate the birth of an emerging tech community in Camden. Attendees ranged from CEOs and executives from the major fortune 500 companies in Camden, city officials from City Hall, freeholders of Camden, Rutgers/Rowan/Camden County College representatives, to startup founders, community leaders, investors, from both sides of the bridge.

The event was a huge success and brought everyone who shares a common dream together under one roof. Camden Catalyst was the historic day where all the business owners, executives, founders, and investors who believe in Camden came together to support a new startup coming into the city. It was a day of celebration, joy, excitement, and love.

Opening Ceremony

The event opened up with Congressman Donald Norcross sharing his hope for the city and excitement for a new age of technology. Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli followed up with a talk about his efforts to bring safety and security to Camden and elaborating on the police department’s great work in the city to lower crime rates and increase public safety.

Let the final round begin!

Katrina Naidas, CEO of Linked Noodle kicked off Camden Catalyst with her 10 minute pitch about her tech startup. Her startup Linked Noodle connect students and local instructors. Instructors aren’t limited to teaching boring education-based classes. Linked Noodle is a platform for creatives to teach what they know and love best. And allow others to join in on the fun. Prospective teachers and students meet online and end with a tangible offline connection.

Robert Rupp, CEO of Denial Flow pitched second and presented his idea on solving a $250 Billion dollar health insurance issue. The mission of Denial Flow is to bring a lean and agile software to enterprise revenue cycle management while providing clean, practical solutions at a reasonable price.

Veniece Newton, CEO of Engageathon pitched third and presented her idea of providing an incentive empowerment software for students and community. Engageathon is a software platform that provides tools for school districts, nonprofits, and corporations to improve community engagement. They will use Engageathon to promote, track, and reward student engagement, outreach, and social impact.

And finally Fredric Byarm, CEO of Invincible City Farms presented his idea of building a sustainable farm in Camden to solve the food desert problem and also provide jobs for residents in Camden.

The Winner is announced!

With much excitement and anticipation in the room, the winner of the first annual Camden Catalyst Pitch Competition is announced…Invincible City Farms! The room exploded with applause while the startups all congratulate one another and come together for a group celebration.

Camden Catalyst was an exciting event to witness and brings a different kind of energy and enthusiasm to the city. It’s a much needed energy, the kind that sparks innovation, ideas, and the kind that drives people. Now the rest of Camden will have to wait and see if Invincible City Farms can live up to the hopes and expectation that was set out for the startup.

Waterfront Ventures also announced they are currently working to put together the second Camden Catalyst for 2018.

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Holiday 2017 Gift Guide for Stocking Stuffers

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2017 gift guide

Stockings are a traditional ornament to Christmas, but the stuffings inside are what makes it jolly. Stocking stuffers redefine gift giving, that neither size or price matters in the premise of giving a present. These miniature gifts give entrepreneurs the advantage to pick up gifts last minute. The standards for stocking stuffers are to simply be small and compact, but that shouldn’t reflect on the quality of the gift. When entrepreneurs want to impress their receivers, these are the gifts to provide for them in the 2017 Gift Guide:

Vanacci

2017 gift guide

 

The Vanacci lockstone bracelet is the bracelet that I have been waiting for. I have been using the Vanacci bracelet for about a month now and I haven’t taken it off since. Not only is there quality fantastic, there is the added benefit of the my unique scent/cologne will follow me around throughout the day.

Like most men, I did not follow the original directions of spraying the bracelet and letting it sit. I sprayed directly on the arm, and rarely have to reapply. My personal band is black and goes with just about anything. This is a great gift for the fashionable male.

Moment Lenses

2017 gift guide

The size and quality of Moment Lenses are impressive. The detail on each glasses are built professionally, while the weight of the lens are kept at a decent size. These attractive lenses are perfect for either starters or professionals in photography, since the product is easy to navigate through. The lenses offered are in the shape of a Wide 18mm lens, or a Macro 25mm lens, and also includes a 170 degree Superfish field of vision lens. Moment Lenses now have a battery case as well, that is also equipped with its new mounting system. They now offer external shutter buttons, travel cases, and other accessories all on their website. With finally an attached via a mounting clip(these new lenses twist 180 degrees). The perfect gift for self-proclaimed photographers from the 2017 Gift Guide.

Nomad’s Leather Charging Wallet

2017 holiday gift guide

Nomad brings the perfect combo to solving iPhone’s battery problem and wallet situation. The wallet contains a thin lithium-ion battery that holds a 2400 mAh charge in their built in cable. Mobile users are saved from a sudden battery shortage with this unique product. The idea of applying a charger within a wallet stems from the belief that we will always have our wallets with us. Now, with a charger embedded into our wallets, you can charge your phone whenever or wherever. Displayed in brown, the advanced SoC (system on chip) microprocessor additionally enable the battery to fully charge your mobile device. A first choice gift to a loved one from the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Upright Go

2017 gift guide

The device that is about 4.25’ long, 1.5’ wide, and 1’ thick, Upright Go is the perfect gift for people who slouch. The product is made of silicone rubber material and can be used up to 10 days on a single charge. Upright is also connected to your iOS or Android smartphone app, with individual training plan for gradual change. The strict reinforcements in Upright’s gentle vibration delivers a cue to help you remember to sit up. The method is taken from B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory, that is effectively used in Upright technology today. The obvious gift to offer in the 2017 Gift Guide. 

Anker SoundBuds Curve Bluetooth Headphones

2017 gift guide

Anker headphones are the perfect fit for athletes. The headphones have an earhook with a waterproof nano coating for complete comfort, this also includes a gym and running workout headset with pouch. Athletes can continue their rigorous workouts with Anker headphones on due to their lightweight condition. The product itself is durable with a strong connection to devices up to 30 feet. Their most special quality is within their CVC noise cancellation feature that runs on 12.5 hours of battery. Although Anker’s bluetooth headphones have amazing qualities, a headphone can’t be rated without mentioning their sound. With that, Anker provides a quality sound with it’s ample bass, that will allow users to really capture a feel for their music. 

Anker PowerLine + Lightning Cable with Pouch

2017 gift guide

The charging cable for many apple products, including the new iPhone X to the iPod touch. The product is named the lightning cable simply due to their fast speed charge, due to their wide diameter wires and minimized cord resistance. Like many of Anker’s products, the lightning cable is durable. The cable is 5x more durable than other original products also. The product’s performance remained constant, no matter how many times the cable has been bent. The 3ft toughest and fastest cable product comes in black, grey, white, red, and blue. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

2017 gift guide

The Anker powercore ultra-compact 10000mAh portable charger is designed to be smaller than a candy bar. Their unique cut ridged-surface brings a new experience to users, allowing a precise grip to the charger. The surface is also intended to avoid smudges so the product is looking presentable always. This includes an output temperature control, high voltage protection, current regulation, and more. Their most distinctive feature is within their 8-light led sensor to detect the power percentage on the charger. One of Anker’s most unique product and a good choice for the 2017 Gift Guide.

Mikol Marble Notebook

2017 gift guide

For writers, sketch artists, or simply anyone, Mikol provides an attractive notebook for a gift. The Mikol notebooks offer a Carrara white and the Nero Marquina style, made of 100% real natural stone from Spain. With this, their brand name is engraved in gold on the front. This can be altered by an additional $25 for a word of your choice engraved below. The notebook contains 180 pages of cream colored paper, while each section is divided up by a variety of different types of styles. One section of the notebook provided lined pages, the next a grid, and the last section, blank pages. A quality notebook for all types of talents.

Sudio AB

2017 gift guide

Headphones are an essential asset due to the digital age, Sudio AB are as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical. The wireless headphones are lightweight, easy to use, and are perfect for entrepreneurs who desire functionally and beautifully designed products. Tres headphones are ideally for office use, with the 9-hour battery life and quick charge capability. The packaging is simplistic and mirrors Apple’s minimal designs. The headphones themselves come in neutral colors with an accent of black, gold, or rose gold that appears more like pink in person. Different size ear comforters allow fit for a variety of users, although long term wear can leave the ear a bit sore.

 

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide For Entrepreneurs

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The entrepreneur in your life is always pushing to be the best. This holiday, you can get them a present that will assist them on their venture. You can always take a look at the hottest technology this year, or perhaps you want to get them something for their pet. Whatever it may be, you’ll be helping them enhance their lifestyle. The average entrepreneur is working every waking moment, growing their personal brand and building their business. We put together a Holiday Gift Guide that will help the entrepreneur in your life crush it.

Hyper Chiller

hyper chiller

Have you ever wanted a cold beverage, but don’t have the patience to wait an hour for your drink to chill? Hyper Chiller can fix that problem in one minute. It has a multi-chamber design that chills anything from wine, coffee, tea, or even shots without any dilution. This gift is bound to be frequently used and become a house favorite.

 

Travel Halo

travel halo

Perfect for the frequent traveler, the Travel Halo allows for you to sleep comfortably no matter where you are. It’s a less clunky alternative to the standard airplane neck pillow and is made to prevent your head from rolling while it’s on. It is compact enough to fit into a carry on, so you don’t have to worry about space in your luggage.

Bellroy Notebook Cover

Bellroy

Do you know someone who’s obsessively organized? The Bellroy Notebook Cover A5 is a great accessory for their notebook or sketchbook. It can even fit a small tablet or e-reader. The leather is made of premium hides that has been tanned and dyed through to ensure graceful aging. This gift is great for the entrepreneur who is always networking and attending professional events.

 

DRIPO

Dripo

This latest innovation in coffee has got caffeine addicts hooked on cold brew. Dripo has a proprietary slow-drip cold brew method that creates an old-world, bitter-free luxurious taste. The device releases 45 drips per minute, and a perfect up of coffee is ready in about 2-3 hours. Dripo is ideal for the patient and those who appreciates coffee brewed to perfection. If you’re looking for a gift for your company Secret Santa, this is it.

Dripo

 

Portable Power Bank

WLTH

There’s always that one friend that is constantly on their phone, complaining about low battery. Help them out by gifting the High Capacity Portable Power Bank. It has 7-10 full charges so they will never have to worry about their phone dying ever again. The power bank fits comfortably in your car, bag, or even your pocket! Both Android and iPhone users can charge at the same time, making it one of the most convenient charging banks out there.

 

Adventure Assist Notebook


Travel efficiently with Adventure Assist. It is beautifully designed and perfect for organizing trips. Plan every detail of your journey beforehand and relive the adventure whenever you want. Adventure Assist is a great alternative to a conventional notebook or agenda. You can log your travels while you travel as well as have all your documents in the convenient pocket on the inside cover. Enjoy your dream trip over and over!

 

Espro

Espro

Take your favorite hot coffee with you, no matter where you’re traveling. The French style two filter system in Espro leaves all of the flavor and none of the grit. Not only is it great for coffee, you can use Espro for tea too! It still goes through the double filtering system to provide maximum flavor. It is made of double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel and keeps your coffee and tea hot for 4-6 hours. You can venture to the ends of the earth with this travel press and be confident that you will still have your favorite cup of coffee.

 

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