Comcast Business Announces Entrepreneurial/Startup Contest

Comcast Business, a company that provides scalable internet, voice and data services to a number of businesses, is searching for Florida’s most pioneering entrepreneurs and startup companies. Comcast’s “Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs” competition is an opportunity for current and hopeful business owners from Florida can enter the competition, which will award winners $30,000 for beating out other teams of business experts, who will demonstrate their business ability and showcase their plans.

Applicants were asked to submit 250-word essays, which offered an answer to the question: “How could your business use technology to help enhance your business?” These entrepreneurs and startups were also encouraged to visit the Comcast Business Community for complete program details, and it also identifies specifications for the application and essay. The contest will effectively draw startup businesses and entrepreneurs into the light, which will lead to more jobs and economic influence.

Two winners from Florida will be selected by judges, as well as winners from the other 14 Comcast Business regions. One winner will be recognized for their startup company. Another will be one winner named for the ‘entrepreneurs’ category. Additionally, 30 regional winners will earn $10,000 in cash.

Approximately six of the regional winners will be selected as grand prize winners, earning an additional $20,000 in cash and a trip to Philadelphia for participation in a group session involving industry professionals. Industry professionals who will be in attendance are John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, speaker and best-selling author; Denice Hasty, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing, Comcast Business; Anita Campbell, Founder, CEO & Publisher of Small Business Trends; Robert Irvine restaurateur, TV star and entrepreneur; Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast; Louis Toth, Managing Director for Comcast Ventures; and experts from Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship.

Entries for the contest are due by March 11, 2016. The online application can be found at http://cbcommunity.comcast.com/i4e. Voting will take place between April 25 and May 13. The regional winners will be announced April 25, 2016. Also, the six grand prize winners will be announced June 6. The Grand Prize event will take place later in the year on August 2016.


Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

The Ten Best Apps for Startups

Startup companies are entrepreneurial ventures that come in all sizes and forms; and they’ve been on the rise, particularly as technological advancements have helped to nurture the growth, innovation and ambition of a newly developed company.

Every day, new ideas and applications are conceived to help facilitate the development of these innovative businesses, via apps that provide optimal organization and productivity. Slack, Pushover, Rescue Time and Evernote  have been deemed essential for budding businesses, here are the names of some other tools and apps recently developed that’s helped to make startups and their founders a force to be reckoned with.

Meet, an app released by Sunrise, allows users the quickest way possible to schedule a one-on-one meeting. The time selected by the invitee is automatically added to the calendars of anyone involved in the scheduling.  The sleek app has been deemed “a better way to RSVP.”

Wonder is a research tool, connecting users with researchers who search the web to answer questions that may seem unanswerable. After the researcher is sure that the answer is relevant and accurate, they then forward the response directly to the inbox of a client. This helps startups by removing the need to conduct timely research, and they’ll be provided with coverage that assess every angle of the topic.

Better Error Pages enable the creation of free 404, 500-level, and maintenance pages in as little as a minute. These error pages can be beautiful, and can include support information or a link to the company’s URL. Better Error Pages provides user-friendly templates, and they quickly email all relevant information to the user.

Makerbook is a directory of free resources for creatives. Launched in May 2015, the tool includes a hand-picked list of free resources, helping to connect creative businesses with the services and applications that they truly need.

Design Pitfalls is a free course shared with users via email, educating users on how to skirt usual beginner mistakes when designing a website. David Kadavy authored the free course, which teaches design fundamentals with hackers in mind.

Breather is an app that connects users with a space to make a call, have meetings or unwind at an hourly rate. The posh, private spaces are a delightful alternative to holding a meeting in a loud park or coffee shop.

Trello is an elevated whiteboard app, which is great for managing teams of freelancers, composing a screenplay, or staying organized and transparent when dealing with a team. The app eases communication and facilitates collaboration.

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool, allowing companies an opportunity to create newsletters and manage mailing lists. The customized email templates and the other services make it easier for companies to connect with their chosen audience. Also, it’s free to send up to 12,000 emails monthly to up to 2,000 subscribers.

Dropbox is a popular platform for easy, reliable storage. Not only does Dropbox offer free trials, but the service works across all operating systems and devices.

KanbanFlow, a web-based app, simplifies office communication. With the app, managers can connect with their team, create schedules and upload documents, and the premium version offers a cumulative flow diagram and revision history.

 

Entrepreneurial News Sources

Staying informed is the key to developing winning business strategies. The speed of information has rapidly increased, and smart entrepreneurs make a concentrated effort to keep pace. Getting into a habit of checking these three common sources of information is essential.

General Business News

Always review general business news every day. The economy is constantly changing, and it is a fact of life that everyone is going to need to update skills, processes, and expectations at some point. Read the latest magazines, news reports, and journals to get a feel for the general state and mood of the nation. Sometimes it is possible to spot trends in specific markets as well, but avoid relying too much on these generalized sources for detailed information.

Trade Publications

Industry specific information can be found in trade publications. These sources are almost always current and provide valuable insights. They are not always readily available to public. It may be necessary to join a club or an association to gain access. Subscribe to news sources and email lists whenever possible, and get in the habit of reviewing the headlines for important details regularly.

Helpful Rumors 

Often times the most valuable information isn’t found in print. Nor will it be posted in blogs or other online media. The best entrepreneurial advice and tips come from personal networks.  Attend business functions with other experts to build contacts with competitors and allies. 

  • To keep informed of the latest trends:
  • Attend business networking events
  • Follow social media
  • Directly call contacts for advice

Avoid relying solely on the advice from peers. It is wise to always verify before you act, but never discount the importance of leads that these sources will generate.

A successful business strategy depends on a constant stream of reliable information. Keep informed by accessing as many different sources of news as possible. Even the most insignificant detail can lead to a profitable idea or help to avoid a potential disaster.