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Skype Meeting Broadcast Will Get Translation, Transcription Features

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2016-07-26 07:30

A communications tool used to facilitate online meetings will soon have the capabilities to translate the remarks of participants and preserve a written transcript of what was said. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced last week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that it would be adding automatic transcription and translation for Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Certainly, being able to communicate with anyone around the world without the barrier of different languages has clear business advantages. But real-time translation has been, and still continues to be, one of the biggest challenges in the IT sector. Although some great developments have introduced some innovative products for real-time translations, there is still a ways to go before it is perfected.

The translation that will be part of Skype Meeting Broadcast won’t be available until the end of 2016, and there is very little information as to what languages are going to be supported. However, using Skype Translator as a measuring stick, it can be assumed there will be at least seven languages and possibly more. What we do know for sure is, this new feature will provide live closed captioning during presentations, thus allowing users to choose the language they are most comfortable with so they can participate.

Whether your company is a global enterprise or a small business looking to deliver services globally, the presentations, webinars, lectures or lessons you present will be able to attract a global audience. The technology will also give individuals who are hearing impaired a great way to participate in real-time meetings and presentations instead of waiting for transcriptions at a later time.

So what is Skype Meeting Broadcast?

Skype Meeting Broadcast was released in 2015 as part of Office 365 and Skype for Business Online, for producing, hosting and broadcasting meetings to large online audiences. It enables you schedule meetings for up to 10,000 people by using the Skype Meeting Broadcast scheduling and management portal. People that attend the meeting can participate, and they can do so on any device no matter where they are located.

Here’s a closer look at how the technology works:

There are some requirements for the different components of the platform. Attendees will need browser enabled devices with Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox, OSX Safari, iOS 8 or later and Android (KitKat). Producers and presenters of the meetings require Skype for Business client for Windows and a Skype for Business Online Standalone Plan 2 (or 3), or enterprise E1, E3, or E5 license.

In a world that is getting more connected and interdependent on each other, language still represents a formidable barrier. Skype Meeting Broadcast looks to make it much easier with automatic transcription and translation of different language.

Image: Skype

This article, "Skype Meeting Broadcast Will Get Translation, Transcription Features" was first published on Small Business Trends

Here’s a Peek at the Future of Crowdfunding Through 2016 and Beyond

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2016-07-26 06:30

It’s no secret that crowdfunding has transformed itself from an indie fundraising platform for personal projects to a complete corporate validation tool. But given the considerable evolution the concept has already undergone, what can we expect for its future?

First, The Crowdfunding News

According to crowdfunding research firm Massolution, crowdfunding grew 167 percent in 2014. To put that into dollars, crowdfunding platforms raised $16.2 billion in 2014, escalating to $34.4 billion in 2015. For 2016, crowdfunding trends are predicted to pass VC funding for the first time.

Crowdfunding isn’t just an industry — it’s an industry disrupter. We hear a lot about the new developments in equity crowdfunding, but there are other less-talked about crowdfunding markets as well that are emerging as fierce competitors in their industries. Here’s a look at the future of crowdfunding through 2016 and beyond.

Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding was once reserved for only the wealthiest investors, but today is open to everyone. In the past, only accredited investors with $200,000 a year in income, or those who are worth over $1 million, could invest. Theoretically, that changed when President Obama signed the JOBS Act four years ago, though it was only recently that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finally opened the door to mainstream equity crowdfunding.

As implemented, these rules mean that startups can now sell up to $50 million worth of stock online in a 12-month period to anyone who wants to invest, opening the door for small businesses like restaurants and family-owned shops to raise funding.

That said, not everyone is singing the praises of the new SEC’s ruling. While the change allows startups to get up-and-running with raising money quickly, there is a pervasive risk of failing to comply with the rules. According to Forbes, equity crowdfunding campaigns must disclose a range of information, including how they determine the price of the securities sold, financial statements, possible tax returns and more. It remains to be seen whether or not fledgling start-ups will struggle with non-compliance issues under these new restrictions.

Retail Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding moves into big fashion and the retail sector with the launch of Crowdemand. Ordinarily, fashion designers and manufacturers must either secure private funding or foot the bill themselves to bring a design to market. While they typically must then wait and hope it sells well, if it flops, they’re left on their own to try to recoup the cost.

Instead, Crowdemand offers exclusive designs for pre-order at a 50 percent deposit upfront. Once the designs are completed, customers pay the remainder. This allows fashion designers to test the popularity of their designs, secure funding for their completion and pre-sell them to an audience. Noted designer Cynthia Rowley is one of the platform’s supporters and uses it to debut and sell her exclusive creations.

Corporate Crowdfunding

In its infancy, crowdfunding was about raising money for music albums and personal projects. However, in the last several years, we have seen entrepreneurs validate and fund their prototypes to bring their ideas to market. For example, the Pebble E-Paper Watch Kickstarter campaign was one of the most successful of its kind, raising $10,266,845. Now, corporations are looking to leverage crowdfunding for their own prototypes, research and funding.

Recently, the BBC reported that Indiegogo plans to market its crowdfunding platform to major firms. Their aim is to help companies crowdfund their research ideas, while enticing customers to fund their favorites. This could usher in an era of corporate market research being done through public validation, support and pre-orders before ever hitting the mainstream. Currently, Indiegogo’s new crowdfund program is only open to Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, with fees that would be prohibitive to smaller firms.

Real Estate Crowdfunding

In the past, the commercial real estate industry was reserved for investors with millions of dollars to bring a strip mall, apartment complex or even storage unit facility to life. Today, real estate crowdfunding is catching on, with sites like RealtyMogul.com, which has raised more than $200 million on their online platform to date.

RealtyMogul.com makes it possible to crowdfund a real estate property for as little as $5,000. Investors can also use the platform to browse for debt or equity investments, invest online and track their performance from a centralized dashboard.

Crowdfunding Insurance

In May 2016, American International Group (AIG) announced the launch of crowdfunded insurance to help protect equity crowdfunding platforms. The first of its kind in the industry, AIG currently only sells coverage to platforms it feels has the appropriate checks and balances in place. Its first policyholder is the crowdfunding platform Eureeca, which is poised to offer insurance protection to all investors using its portal.

If AIG is successful, we’ll likely see more crowdfunding insurance players entering the market, starting with large scale equity fundraising projects. Over time, more policies will trickle into small platforms, perhaps offering the kinds of a la carte services that enable sellers to pick and choose the coverage that makes the most sense for smaller investors.

What are your predictions or hopes for the future of crowdfunding? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Crowd Funding Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Here’s a Peek at the Future of Crowdfunding Through 2016 and Beyond" was first published on Small Business Trends

Britain's first 'Mukbang' star reveals how she binge...

Topix - Tue, 2016-07-26 06:26

YouTube vlogger Lydie is cashing in on an internet craze called 'Mukbang', which sees thousands of people watching her binge eat her way through mountains of fast food A video of a student scoffing McDonald's takeaway in 23 minutes has been watched by up more than 100,000 hits on a video of her The 25-year-old has racked up hundreds of thousands of views of her ploughing her way through KFC, pizza, Burger King , noodles and pancakes. She set up the YouTube account Mange Tout as a hobby two months ago after being inspired by Americans and South Koreans who participate in the new online phenomenon Mukbang.

Categories: Today's Food News

Aloft Hotels To Debut In State Of Victoria With The Signing Of Aloft Melbourne South Yarra

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2016-07-26 05:44
SYDNEY--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced it has signed an agreement with Spotlight Group Holdings Pty Ltd (“Spotlight”) – ...

HVMG Adds Courtyard By Marriott Atlanta Airport West To Its Growing Management Portfolio

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2016-07-26 05:38
ATLANTA-–Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), an Atlanta-based, private hotel management company, today announced that it was awarded management of the 124-room ...

Wyndham Hotel Group Adds Hamlisch As New VP, Sales Ops And Innovation

Hotel Interactive - Tue, 2016-07-26 05:16
PARSIPPANY, NJ--Eliot Hamlisch has joined the Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) team as vice president, Sales Operations and Innovation, reporting to Kathy Maher, ...

5 Tips for Attracting Angel Investors

Small Business Trends - Tue, 2016-07-26 05:00

If you’re considering seeking funding to either launch or grow your business, angel investors are one potential source of financing worth considering. But realize: angel investors get pitched every day, and turn down 90 percent of the startups that approach them. What can you do to put yourself in the best light possible to increase your chances of getting funded?

How to Get Angel Investors Tip 1: Know Your Numbers

If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank and seen startup founders who fumble when asked what their profit margin or sales numbers are, you have witnessed how not being savvy about business finances can ruin a company’s chance of getting funded.

Even if you’re not a financial expert, as a business owner — especially one seeking money — it is absolutely essential that you know details on the following:

  • Profit margin
  • Sales (in dollars) over past year
  • Gross profit
  • Expenses
  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement

Before your pitch, spend time reviewing these documents so that when you’re asked about them, you don’t trip over the answers and can confidently give a response.

Tip 2: Have a Track Record of Success

If you’re struggling to keep your business afloat, this is not the time to seek funding. Investors are concerned with what’s in it for them: if they give you money, how will it help them make more? They’re not interested in bailing you out when times are tough.

Many investors won’t give money to a company that hasn’t yet launched. There’s no empirical evidence that your business will succeed if it doesn’t yet have a history of sales. But if you’ve been in business a while and have done relatively well, this is the best position to be in to ask for money. Yes, it’s counterintuitive to ask for money when you don’t really need it, but consider what you can do with an infusion of cash as you grow your business. You could expand into additional product lines, hire more staff or beef up your marketing.

Tip 3: Only Pitch Angel Investors in Your Industry

You wouldn’t ask your child’s pediatrician to give you a root canal, so why would you ask an investor specializing in another industry to partner with you? An angel investor typically has deep experience in (and may have even run businesses in) a particular industry. Not only do you want someone who understands where you’re coming from, but you also want a partner who has contacts in that field that can help your business grow.

Tip 4: Have a Plan

It’s essential that you have more than just a good idea when seeking funding. Sure, you may think your electronic backscratcher is going to take the world by storm, but rest assured, an investor who has decades of experience in bringing new products to market may not agree. If you are just starting out, make sure you’ve already done plenty of research and development, explored your target market and know enough to intelligently forecast the success of your future business.

Also, be keenly aware of the competition. An investor won’t be interested in your product if it’s a copycat of what’s already out there. You need a unique angle to ensure that not only an investor sees promise in your product, but also that customers will want to buy it.

Tip 5: Show You’re Willing to Help Yourself

Asking for an investment shouldn’t be a lifeline to success. Investors want to see that you’re doing everything in your power to promote your business, grow your network and increase sales. That’s your job, not theirs. If you show that, for example, your company has won awards or gotten media coverage, it might be enticing enough to spur an investor to want to be a part of that momentum.

Working with angel investors can provide heaven-sent funds just when you need them to grow your business. But remember, you want to be as attractive an investment as possible in order to not only attract one investor, but even have a bevvy to choose from.

Startups Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "5 Tips for Attracting Angel Investors" was first published on Small Business Trends

SVN® CEO Recognized for Promoting Diversity in Real Estate

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

SVN President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo named as a Best CRE Boss for promoting industry-wide diversity in commercial real estate

(PRWeb July 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13558678.htm

Express Employment Professionals Expands in Maine

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

Express is on an aggressive expansion campaign to reach 800 franchise locations in 2016, including locations in Maine. Express franchises open more than two years have average annual sales of $5.6...

(PRWeb July 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13559245.htm

Rita’s Italian Ice Expands with New Locations Across Florida

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

50 Area Developer Agreements to Be Sold Across North and South Florida

(PRWeb July 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13559571.htm

Local Child Protective Services Kids Get School Supply Boost From...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

Sixth annual event to benefit 8,000 abused and neglected children in Bexar County

(PRWeb July 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13555554.htm

Engel & Völkers Gives Back in Artistic Style

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

E&V Santa Monica joins the Montana Avenue Art Walk with an event to benefit One Voice

(PRWeb July 18, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13555848.htm

Your Pie to Offer Customers a Taste of Italy on Gelato Day; Announces...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

On Sunday, July 17, Your Pie will give every customer that comes through their doors a free gelato of their choosing

(PRWeb July 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/yourpie/franchise/prweb13556921.htm

Negative Sales Streak Spans Two Quarters for First Time in 24 Months...

PR Web - Tue, 2016-07-26 03:30

In addition to the slowdown in sales and traffic (-0.7%), the industry is also facing considerable challenges when it comes to finding enough qualified employees and managers to keep their restaurants...

(PRWeb July 15, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13554421.htm

Video: cops swarm when off-duty deputy pulls gun in drive-through

Topix - Tue, 2016-07-26 02:24

A Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy remains on paid leave after he was charged with misdemeanors for brandishing a gun in a Jack in the Box drive-through in January during a night of drinking and partying with friends, officials said. Now, a video of the police response has gone viral, with tens of thousands watching the clip that shows police officers training their guns on Deputy Benjamin Lee and a police dog standing by until he and his passenger exit the vehicle with their hands raised.

Categories: Today's Food News

AutoNews Now: FCA: Sales win streak ended in '13

AutoNews - Tue, 2016-07-26 01:01
FCA revises sales reporting, streak ended in '13; End near for Dart, 200?; VW buyback plan gets early OK; Report: Tesla driver speeding; Cadillac XT5 strategy; Toyota's '18 entries.
Categories: Latest News

Kia helps surfer tackle waves in top campaign

AutoNews - Tue, 2016-07-26 01:01
To hammer home the point of craftsmanship, the spot shows leather being stitched together on a steering wheel while wood grain is being carved as viewers get a glimpse of the CX-9's interior.
Categories: Latest News

Cadillac XT5 price undercuts rivals in Europe

AutoNews - Tue, 2016-07-26 01:01
Cadillac aims to increase its SUV market share in Europe by pricing its new XT5 below German premium rivals such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, and by offering more equipment.
Categories: Latest News

Cops: Enraged man punches passenger waiting in Oak Lawn drive-thru

Topix - Mon, 2016-07-25 22:29

A man was arrested in Oak Lawn Monday following a road rage-related scuffle outside of Fatso's drive-thru window, police said. A man was arrested in Oak Lawn Monday following a road rage-related scuffle outside of Fatso's drive-thru window, police said.

Categories: Today's Food News