Jason Grill’s New Post
Sprint has partnered with Techstars, a mentor-ship driven startup accelerator, to welcome 10 small American and Australian companies to Kansas City for its Mobile Health Accelerator program. The startups that will be participating in the health-tech accelerator program include Akibah, Fitbark, Lifeline Response, Medicast, Ollo Mobile, Prime, Sickweather, Symptom.ly, Tenacity Health, and Yosko. The companies are part of the accelerator’s inaugural class, and are all working to develop solutions that “encompass hardware, software platforms, transformative services, big data, and mobile applications.” Sprint hopes that its sponsorship will aid in the effort to grow Kansas City’s startup business community while assisting in the development of innovative mobile health care applications.
The program will take place in Kansas City’s Crossroads district and will last a total of three months. The program will allow the participating startups to interact with and receive advice from leading technology experts from Sprint, regional health care leaders, and various successful entrepreneurs from across the nation. In addition, each startup company can receive up to $120,000 in funding to help achieve their respective company’s goals and objectives.
With entities like Rock Health, Tigerlabs, StartUp Health, and The Iron Yard, it is apparent that health-tech accelerators and the services they offer cannot be categorized as completely new or innovative ideas. However, with Sprint, a telecommunications company, as a partner, the company’s angle will shift the standard ideal of the health-tech accelerator to promote the improvement of mobile products as opposed to conventional health care technologies. The presence of smartphones and mobile devices is growing rapidly, as is the realization of the convenience these devices can offer. This could be an indication that any applications or mobile health devices that come about as a result of this startup health-tech accelerator could be very successful.
For more information about Sprint and Techstars health-tech accelerator program please visit http://ift.tt/1cU5gtp.
via Jason Grill http://ift.tt/1fELAP1
via WordPress http://ift.tt/1lDsuJp
Jason Grill’s New Post
In 2012, Kansas City was the first recipient of Google’s fiber-optic cable network, Google Fiber, a service that acts as an extremely fast Internet service and high-definition TV provider. Google recently announced that there are nine cities currently being considered for the next rollout of Google Fiber. These cities include Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta, and Nashville. Other cities are eager to experience the tech giant’s digital service because of the changes Google Fiber has had on the business community in Kansas City, most notably with smaller startup businesses.
One example of this growth among startup companies is found in a neighborhood-based hub of entrepreneurs that straddles the Kansas-Missouri border called the Kansas City Startup Village. A few entrepreneurial companies existed in the area before Google Fiber was introduced, but there was a noticeable growth in the startup community after the network chose the neighborhood as the place to create its first “fiberhood.” In total, there are 12 residential and commercial buildings within the Kansas City Startup Village that house 22 startup companies today.
Reaching beyond the entrepreneurial facet of the business community, Google Fiber is helping Kansas City develop a new identity, swapping the image of a “fly-over city” for one that displays top tech talent within the city. Additionally, Google Fiber has opened lines of communication between different companies and organizations within the city. Google Fiber is quickly creating opportunities that had not previously existed by bringing fast, efficient communication methods to different entities within the city.
Google Fiber has connected Kansas City internally and externally. Cities like Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas have extended conversation to Kansas City, hoping to gain tips and insights as they rollout their own fiber networks. Google told the Nashville Business Journal that seeing faster Internet connectivity contribute to the expansion of startup communities excites the company and leaves them anxiously awaiting the reveal of what smaller business communities can do with faster gig speed.
For more information about Google Fiber’s impact in Kansas City please visit http://ift.tt/NdzvEF.
via Jason Grill http://ift.tt/1fELy9O
via WordPress http://ift.tt/ObRQCZ
Jason Grill’s New Post
Amazon is raising the price of its 2-day shipping, video streaming, and e-book lending service, Amazon Prime, for the first time since its release in 2005. A round of emails notified customers that they will need to pay more for Prime services when their subscriptions lapse and its time for renewal. The service that originally cost customers $79 will now cost $99. Amazon student will also increase from $39 to $49 annually.
What many people will be watching out for in the coming months is whether or not this price increase will hurt or help Amazon. Hoping to convince more customers to keep their Prime subscriptions, Amazon will be rolling out a new music streaming service, something similar to Apple’s iTunes Radio, in addition to a set-top box like AppleTV. The E-commerce site will also continue to offer free shipping on orders over $35. In addition, new distribution centers that have opened within the last year have already decreased shipping times on standard orders, adding to Amazon’s appeal.
However, it is still very possible that many subscribers will cancel their Prime accounts. With this increase in the price of Prime, there are two apparent scenarios that the company could face. The first is that Amazon will collect an extra $20 from each of its subscribers who have realized that they cannot live without the convenience Prime offers. This is a possibility because Prime accounts do, arguably, contribute to higher spending rates among consumers who purchase goods on Amazon.com.
However, if even only a small percentage of customers drop the service because of the price increase, Amazon could end up losing a large amount of profits as people cancel their subscriptions. This could essentially nullify any profits the company might incur from the additional $20 it would receive from its remaining Prime subscribers.
For more information about the Amazon Prime price increase please visit http://ift.tt/1evhkSe.
via Jason Grill http://ift.tt/1fELAhZ
via WordPress http://ift.tt/1lDsuJn
Jason Grill’s New Post
Dong Nguyen’s decision to pull his extremely successful gaming application, “Flappy Bird,” from the app marketplace left many people scratching their heads. In what Nguyen said was a decision to return to his simple, comfortable lifestyle, he rejected large amounts of money and fame, causing many people to question whether his actions were truly those of someone who became overwhelmed with success or if the whole chain of events is a marketing ruse. Nguyen’s reasons for disenfranchising “Flappy Bird” remain unknown, but his actions speak volumes about marketing and entrepreneurship in the business world.
The public loved “Flappy Bird” because the game was extremely difficult, unveiling an incessant need to win among players. This may explain why the game was so popular and why the fad spread so quickly. However, if Nguyen did not take into account that the public would be excited by a challenge, ultimately leading to skyrocketing the profits and publicity for his game, he was planning for failure when he created and launched the app. Arguably, Nguyen could not handle the immediate fame and growing fortune because he assumed he would fail and had not thought about the implications the game’s success could have on his everyday life.
This trend is seen in start-up businesses all the time. Smaller businesses tend to believe that success can never be immediate, assuming that a marginal gain in profits will not happen for years, if it happens at all. Not believing in the potential success of a business is what causes many start-up businesses to become overwhelmed, ultimately hindering their own success. Entrepreneurs should not expect success, but should be ready to deal with it should their business or product strike a public nerve like “Flappy Bird” did.
For more information about what can be learned form the “rise and fall of Flappy Bird” please visit http://ift.tt/1bSipFO.
via Jason Grill http://ift.tt/1gBuvF4
via WordPress http://ift.tt/1cmNjq3
Jason Grill’s New Post
The chief executive of AOL, Tim Armstrong, recently made a public statement that revealed sensitive health care details about two of his employees while he was trying to explain why the company had decided to make cuts to benefits packages. Armstong apologized for his actions and reinstated the benefits after multiple attacks from the public and media. However, Armstrong’s slip could make Americans feel very uncomfortable about the accessibility of corporate files on personal health care data for years to come.
Many workers have begun to worry that companies could involuntarily, or voluntarily, disclose information about existing health conditions, making it easy for employers and colleagues to find out if a worker has a rare medical condition. Recently, employees with employer-provided health care have become concerned that companies are delving too far into the details of each person’s health conditions in an attempt to lower healthcare costs. While paying close attention to employees’ health care costs is completely legal, the recent slip by Armstrong reveals potential privacy risks within the system of employer-provided health care.
While there are Hipaa (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) restrictions on healthcare-related entities, such as hospitals and health insurers, and how they may disclose patients’ records, there are not regulations that inhibit self-insured employers from obtaining certain types of medical information. This is because the company directly assumes risks and pays out of pocket for medical expenses. The reports companies can receive and create breakdown company health care costs by treatment category, clearly defining how many employees have psychiatric disorders, cancer, or muscular-skeletal disorders. While it is unlikely that any company would willingly divulge a wealth of employee health care knowledge or that any one employee could be identified within a company health care report, the possibility of a loss of personal health privacy and questions of who has access a company’s health insurance files continue to unnerve some employees.
For more information about how this recent incident at AOL has increased privacy concerns please visit http://ift.tt/1gBuvot.
via Jason Grill http://ift.tt/MalrLE
via WordPress http://ift.tt/1fwbLCP