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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dubbed as a serial entrepreneur, Benny Luo is more than just the next big thing. In fact, he’s already arrived and left and came back again, and with each venture he’s made it clear that he means business. His most recent one is NextShark, an online magazine for young entrepreneurs. There’s nothing like starting them young, after all, and Luo aims to take advantage of the zeal of youth to inspire young entrepreneurs into taking that big step out of the door to pursue their dreams and ideas.

When he’s not starting businesses or inspiring others to do the same, he is off writing clickable articles, organizing crowdfunding conferences, and cooking up other adventures. He does speak three languages so that must help. Some of his other ventures include NewMediaRockstars (which profiles YouTube stars and emerging cultural trendsetters) and TheOtherAsians (which highlights creative Asian Americans with non-traditional careers).

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Most people know Thomas Alva Edison to be the great inventor of the lightbulb but the innovator was also adept in business, seeking out entrepreneurial opportunities alongside inventing many things. Rightfully dubbed the “Wizard of Menlo Park”, Edison was one of the first inventors to take advantage of mass production, reinventing the way production was carried out so much so that this led to him being credited as well with making the first industrial research laboratory.

To say he was a prolific inventor is an understatement; Edison has more than 1000 US patents in his name plus many others in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. But more than the sheer number of his inventions, he is more notable for the impact of his works, paving the way for major industries across the globe to start. One of the most important contributions he made was the development of an electric power generation and distribution system, which he intended to use to cater to the needs of not just homes but businesses and factories as well. Edison’s first power station was located in Manhattan, New York along Pearl Street and had a 110-volt capacity distributed among 59 customers in the area. In 1880, he started the Edison Illuminating Company, which became the General Electric Corporation.

Some of the awards and recognitions that Thomas Edison has received through the years include; the distinction of Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1881, the Matteucci Medal in 1887,the John Scott Medal in 1889, the Edward Longstreth Medal in 1899, the John Fritz Medal from the American Association of Engineering Studies in 1908, the creation of the Edison Medal in 1923, membership into the National Academy of Sciences in 1927, and induction into the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame in 2011.

Josh Shipp is what is called as “The Teen Whisperer.” An American expert on teen behavior, Shipp is a motivational speaker, TV show host, and author. He started professionally speaking when he was 17 years old, becoming the spokesperson for the National Foster Care Month starting 2005 since he was a foster kid himself. In 2009, he made the cut as one of Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30, further gaining him attention and popularity for the work that he does.

Since it all began in 1998, Shipp has been part of two documentary-style TV shows, lectured in major universities, spoken to more than two million parents and children, and offered valuable know-how in several conventions. He has also contributed his knowledge to Oprah.com, Good Morning America, CNN, MTV, Anderson Cooper Live, and The New York Times, amongst other media outlets. Shipp has also written two books, The Teen’s Guide to World Domination and Jump Ship: Turn Your Passion into a Profession, with the former being released in 2010.

An American entrepreneur, Elliott Bisnow is the founder and CEO of the Summit Series, a venture partner at Learn Capital, co-founder of the Get Well soon Tour and the Bisnow Media Corporation, and founding board member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council. He grew up in Washington, D.C., the son of a lawyer and former federal trade commissioner, dropping out of college to pursue business opportunities in 2007.

Bisnow got his start in business while he was still attending the University of Wisconsin with a t-shirt company. In 2006, he joined his father full-time in Bisnow Media, helping grow the business to earn revenues of more than $10 million by 2012. On his own, Bisnow started the Summit Series in 2008, which Forbes called the “Hipper Davos” and Wired as “TED Meets Burning Man.” Summit Series is an American organization that hosts events that bring together activists, artists, and entrepreneurs, creating invite-only events that tackle business practices, raising awareness and funding, and technological innovations. Some of the people in attendance during the Summit Series’ first event in Park City, Utah were Ryan Allis of iContact, Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen of CollegeHumor.com, and Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes.

Through his work with the Summit Series, Bisnow has been recognized as “America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneur” in 2009 by Inc. magazine, ranking him 19th in the 30 Under 30 list released by the magazine. In 2013, Bisnow and the Summit Series were able to purchase Powder Mountain, the biggest ski resort in the US, for a whopping $40 million. Aside from being a conference venue, Summit Powder Mountain will be the center of culture and innovation, housing a sustainable residential community, a record studio, an innovation laboratory, and a startup incubator.

Through his personal effort and through the support of the Summit Series, Bisnow has also helped raise funds for the University of Miami, the United Nations Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Clinton Foundation.

It has been said that one sure way to make money is find a product for kids.  However, if you cannot find the next Beanie Baby, try another market:  sports.  Even in these difficult times, the market for sports equipment is growing by over 2%; almost half of that market is in the consumer driven U.S.  This is a market where innovators have a huge opportunity.

One such innovator is Vinci Sports.  Vinci is a maker of baseball and softball mitts and gloves as well as sports sunglasses.  You may think of these as established businesses with stiff competition, which is true.  However, Pete Vinci took a love of baseball that started at Yankee Stadium and turned it into a business that markets top quality equipment.  Vinci Sports has been manufacturing for over twenty years.  Among their clients are dozen of Major League players.  The attention to detail of the entire is a distinguishing feature of Vinci equipment.

Some people make art a lifelong study and seek to shape their talents through years of practice and training. Then there are others who are seemingly born with the gift of creativity and ingenuity, able to craft and transform materials and turn them into pieces that awe and inspire. Ann Dexter Jones is the latter, a British-born artist who calls New York City home, and one of the world’s most well-known jewelry designers.

The mother of celebrities and artists, Ann Dexter Jones’ passion for jewelry stemmed from her family background and heritage that was steeped in culture, travel, music and the arts. Ann’s grandfather was known as the crown jeweler for Franz Josef of Austria. Ann’s father who was both a physician and a violinist wanted his daughter to explore her horizons and break out of what he saw as an elitist and humdrum English way of life. Ann and her siblings traveled around the world immensely, living in practically all continents and attending so many schools. It was these experiences that influenced Ann in her work.

Ann Dexter Jones, the designer’s self-made jewelry line, began with the idea of an ID bracelet that reflected her own personality. Using the stones she had collected during her trips, Ann made her own bracelet and launched her own jewelry collection. All the pieces under her name are carefully and masterfully crafted by artisans in New York City. A socialite and author as well as a jewelry designer, Ann has made and designed for top jewelry brands and companies such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. Ann Dexter Jones Designs are made up of various product lines, such as The Midnight Hour Collection, The Starry Starry Night Collection, The Give Peace a Chance Collection, The Fairy Collection and The Pearl Collection.

 

Tej Kohli is an international philanthropist and businessman boasting of a diverse portfolio of charitable and commercial operations in India, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. His interests in business range from technology and e-commerce to real estate in emerging markets and online shopping. In an effort to support budding industries, Kohli continues to invest in various startups with the help of the venture capital division of his company.

Kohli is guided by three principles on business: business success is derived from constant engagement that utilizes the latest developments; finding and developing the right individuals is essential for growing a successful company; and harnessing the ideas of the younger generation is the key to figuring out the solution to hurdles to economic success that all countries face. These three principles have guided Tej Kohli and his group of companies through the years and will continue to do so, aiding the man in succeeding in whatever he ventures into.

Mark Cuban is an American investor and business, best known for being the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Magnolia Pictures, and Landmark Theatres. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Mount Lebanon to a Jewish family, the son of Norton and Shirley Cuban. His first venture as a businessman? Selling garbage bags when he was 12 so he can pay for a pair of basketball shoes. In high school, Cuban also took various jobs, nurturing his entrepreneurial streak. He later on attended the University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University, and the Kelley School of Business.

When Cuban moved to Dallas in 1982, he started working as a bartender before becoming a salesperson for Your Business Software. He was fired from Your Business Software but it was with help from customers from the company that Cuban was able to start a company called MicroSolutions, an early proponent for technologies like Lotus Notes and Carbon Copy. In 1990, he sold MicroSolutions to CompuServe, making about $2 million from the deal after taxes. In 1995, he started a new venture called Audionet with a fellow alumnus from Indiana University, Todd Wagner, which became Broadcast.com in 1998. In 1999, Yahoo! acquired Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion in company stocks. After selling Broadcast.com, Cuban wisely diversified his wealth, allowing him to weather through the market crash in relative ease. In 2011, he was estimated to be worth $2.3 billion, making him the 459th richest person in the world according to Forbes.

To give back to the community, Cuban created the Fallen Patriot Fund and The Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan. The former was for helping the families of US military personnel that have been injured or killed during the war in Iraq, while the latter was for aiding in economic stimulation by funding ideas from individuals that meet certain criteria set.