Former Disney Execs Launch Social Network For Girls


A pair of former Disney executives have created a new social media platform for girls.

On Friday, Brooke Chaffin and Catherine Connors announced the launch of Maverick, a social network geared toward young women between the ages of 10 and 20. The aim is to connect and empower girls by fostering their creativity and introducing them to inspiring role models.

When users join Maverick, which offers both a free iOS app and desktop experience, they have the opportunity to participate in video, photo and text-based “challenges,” like creating their own superheroes, coming up with lyrics for their personal anthems, making dance videos and creating posters for meaningful causes. One recent challenge involves designing their own “freak flags” to celebrate their eccentricity.

“Maverick aims to provide girls and young women with ongoing opportunities to exercise their powers of creativity, curiosity, and daring in the years of their lives when they are still comfortable being messy, ambitious, and unapologetic,” Connors told HuffPost.

“This is with the hope and expectation that they will become practiced and comfortable in experimenting and taking risks, in challenging the pressures of perfection, in being their real, powerful, authentic selves, and in working together ― and that they will carry them forward into adulthood, and use them to make their own futures and change the world,” Connors added.

The challenges come from “Catalysts,” or role models from a range of fields meant to inspire the young “Mavericks.” After sharing their work in response to challenges, users have the opportunity to view and reward each other’s work with comments and badges for categories like “unique,” “creative,” “unstoppable” and “daring.”

Continue onto HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

These 50 founders and VCs suggest 2018 may be a tipping point for women: Part 1


For the last several years, we’ve compiled profiles of women founders and investors at the end of each year because they’ve either raised substantial amounts of money or otherwise achieved notable milestones.

This year, we don’t want to wait until December. We’re too excited about the progress we’re witnessing, with women-led startups getting seed, Series A or later-stage funding each week — all while top venture firms grow more serious about pulling women into their most senior ranks, female VCs band together to fund female founders and other women go about launching their own funds.

Some of you will note that this list is far from comprehensive, and we’ll readily agree with you. But we think it’s better to celebrate the accomplishments of some of the women who deserve attention than try to capture every last person we’d include if only there were more hours in the day.

Herewith, a list of 25 founders and investors who’ve had a pretty good 2018 so far, with a second list of women in the industry coming shortly, so stay tuned.

Brynn Putnam, founder and CEO of Mirror

Harvard grad Brynn Putnam was once a professional ballet dancer, but she may eventually find more fame as a serial founder. Two years after her last performance in 2008 with a ballet company in Montreal, Putnam started a New York-boutique fitness studio, Refine Method, around a high-intensity, interval workout. It would later sprout into three studios in New York and attract the likes of Kelly Ripa and Ivana Trump.

Now, Putnam is using its founding principal — that gym users can wring more from their workout hours — to build yet another business called Mirror. Centered around an at-home device, it looks like a mirror but enables users to see an instructor and classmates for fitness routines like Pilates, all while tracking their performance on screen. Mirror isn’t available to buy yet, but investors are already sold, providing the company with $13 million in funding earlier this year so it can bring its product to fitness buffs everywhere.

Ritu Narayan, co-founder and CEO of Zūm

Ritu Narayan led product management at stalwart tech companies, including Yahoo and eBay, but her biggest challenge eventually became how to ensure that her kids got to where they needed to go during her working hours. She knew she wasn’t alone; there are roughly 73 million children under age 18 in the U.S., many of whom are driven around by frenzied parents who are trying to make it through each day.

Enter Zūm, a now 3.5-year-old company that promises reliable transportation and care for children ages five and older. Zūm isn’t the first kind of Uber for kids. In fact, another competitor, Shuddle, shuttered in 2016 after burning through more than $12 million in funding. But Narayan’s company appears to be doing something right. Earlier this year, Zūm raised $19 million in Series B funding, including from earlier backer Sequoia Capital, which is famously metric driven.

The company has now raised $26.8 million altogether.

Daniela Perdomo, co-founder and CEO, goTenna

When Hurricane Sandy cut off power in and around New York City in the fall of 2012, Daniela Perdomo  and her brother, Jorge, were struck by the need for a network that would enable people to call or text even when there’s no Wi-Fi or cell signal. Today, that company, goTenna, is taking off, powered by an early device it created that pairs with a cell phone via Bluetooth to transmit messages using radio frequencies, along with a newer version of the device that allows them to create a kind of mesh network.

To date, the company has sold more than 100,000 units of its devices. It has raised roughly $17 million from VCs. In May, the company also partnered with an outfit called Samourai Wallet to launch an Android app that, beginning this summer, will enable users to send bitcoin payments without an internet connection. The move could prove crucial for some of its customers, particularly in disaster areas.

Chloe Alpert, CEO and co-founder of Medinas Health

Hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of surplus medical supplies are discarded every year, according to Chloe Alpert, the founder of Medinas Health, a Berkeley, Calif.-based startup that uses inventory data and matching software to help big hospitals sell excess equipment to small clinics and nursing homes.

Alpert thinks Medinas can create cost savings for both sides by creating something that’s fast and trustworthy and working with third parties who can disassemble, ship and re-assemble medical equipment.

Investors believe her surplus marketplace has a shot. Her 10-month-old company raised $1 million in funding earlier this year, including from Sound Ventures, Rough Draft Ventures, Precursor Ventures and Trammell Ventures.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, co-founder of Promise

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins was raised by a single mom who occasionally fed her two daughters with food stamps before a union job enabled the three to escape welfare. But that formative experience made a lasting impact. In fact, after graduating from college, Ellis-Lamkins worked for a union that helped organize low-wage home care. By the time she was 26, she was head of the San Jose-based South Bay Labor Council.

Ellis-Lamkins is far from done in her work to ensure that the disadvantaged can prosper. Her newest project: working in partnership with governments that release people from jail on condition that they work with her company, Promise. The big idea: Promise provides support to people caught in the criminal justice system to ensure they can return to their jobs and families until their case in resolved, rather than remain incarcerated because they can’t afford bail. The latter scenario happens all too often, agree VCs. Toward that end, earlier this year a handful of investors — including First Round Capital, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, 8VC and Kapor Capital — provided Promise with $3 million to help put an end to it.

Continue onto Tech Crunch to read the complete article.

The iGen iEverything Train is Coming, but Are You Ready?


Technology is being consumed at an ever increasing rate causing executives, managers, and process improvement experts on the factory floor to re-define the methods of training and dissemination that have become obsolete.

Critical skills and tribal knowledge are being lost as boomers retire and training plans for new employees fall short of preparing workers for the sophistication of the new manufacturing environment.

Move over millennials, here comes the IGen! Born between 1995 and 2005 this group of tech savvy natives is the next cohort and are just now entering the workforce. IGen, or Gen Z as they are often referred, have grown up in a world of social media where Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter reign supreme. These kids are a force to be reckoned with and require access to information in ways that are familiar, immediate, and actionable. Our success depends on them because as the IGen goes, so goes the manufacturing industry, the nation, and the world.

Alliance Resource Group, in partnership with Sify Technologies has pulled together experts from manufacturing, academia and automated methodologies to develop a solution that addresses the manufacturing challenge of this next generation and identifies the key components of a successful framework including content management, dissemination methodology, scalability, and integration with current learning management systems. These components constitute a micro-learning strategy that facilitates current and future state requirements.

Alliance Resource Group (ARG), is a service disabled veteran owned business located in Newport Beach California. With a foundation in resource management, recruiting, and consulting, ARG provides services to small and medium size companies throughout the United States.

View the ARG White Paper here! Better be prepared for total process transformation if you want to remain competitive.

Katsuko Saruhashi turned radioactive fallout into a scientific legacy

Katsuko S.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Japanese geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi, whose research helped reveal the insidious spread of radioactive fallout from the US nuclear testing ground in the Pacific. If she were still alive, today would have been her 98th birthday.

In 1957, Saruhashi became the first woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in Japan. Her work focused on measuring the molecules in seawater, like carbon dioxide, oxygen, and also radioactive molecules like cesium-137. Just 12 years before she received her PhD, the United States dropped atomic bombs that devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the US continued to unleash a torrent of radioactive fallout in the Pacific as it tested bigger and bigger bombs. By 1958, the US had exploded 67 nuclear devices around the Marshall Islands — leaving a long legacy of contamination behind.

Saruhashi worked at the Central Meteorological Observatory in Tokyo to develop more sensitive methods of measuring radioactive fallout. It was a challenging task, says Toshihiro Higuchi, a historian at Georgetown University and expert on Cold War science. “The amount of fallout that we are talking about is really tiny, and then we are talking about the vast ocean,” he says.

Saruhashi and her colleagues discovered that fallout didn’t disperse evenly in the ocean. The concentrations of radioactive cesium near Japan, for example, were much higher than the concentrations along the West Coast of the US. The team proposed that the high levels were because Japan is downstream of the Pacific nuclear testing ground. But others suspected that the measurements might be off, Higuchi says. “There was a controversy over her argument that the radioactive fallout in seawater was more than what they used to think.”

To settle the dispute, the US Atomic Energy Commission funded a lab swap. Saruhashi took a six-month leave of absence from her work at the Central Meteorological Observatory in Japan and visited Scripps Institute of Oceanography. There, she and oceanographer Ted Folsom compared their methods and discovered that Saruhashi’s technique was spot-on: the two teams’ methods produced almost identical results.

Saruhashi worked to support female scientists, and in 1958 she co-founded the Society of Japanese Women Scientists, which pushed for nuclear disarmament and peace. “She was very conscious of the social responsibility of scientists in general,” Higuchi says. Saruhashi died in 2007. But she left behind a legacy of scientific research, including an award called the Saruhashi Prize for top natural scientists who are women. “She was a trailblazer,” Higuchi says.

Read the complete article on The Verge

Meet Danielle Olson: A ‘Gique’ Advancing the Case for STEAM Education

Danielle Olson

What is a “Gique”? It’s a cross between “geek” and “chic,” a maker and creative problem-solver whose interdisciplinary interests turn STEM into STEAM. Meet Danielle Olson, researcher and PhD student at MIT and proud founder of Gique, a nonprofit that provides transformational, culturally situated STEAM learning for underserved youth.

Olson says being a Gique is about using your passion to embrace change and create your dream job. Olson offered STEMconnector her insights and experience as an engineer, a dancer, a dreamer, and pioneer in STEAM education, as well as research on how the arts are leveling the educational playing field in STEM.

Interview below courtesy of Stemconnector

STEMconnector: How does using the arts impact the STEM talent gap?

Danielle Olson: Fortunately, a new and exciting field of education is emerging where curricula are designed to expose youth to the applications of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) in the real world. STEAM, rather than just STEM, education focuses on student cultivation of the critical, creative, and participatory dispositions key to empowered, authentic engagement in both science and art, along with preparing students to think of ways that they can contribute to society as individuals.

The arts have been treated as a “cherry on top” in recent years. But research demonstrates that an arts education offers critical development opportunities for children, which include cognitive and social growth, long-term memory improvement, stress reduction, and promotion of creativity. In fact, research findings show that if arts were included in science classes, STEM would be more appealing to students, and exposure to experts in these fields could affect career decisions. Gique believes that STEAM education affords students opportunities to envision themselves pursuing their “dream careers,” which they may invent for themselves.

There are three categories that aid in representing various perspectives of art integration: (1) learning “through” and “with” the arts, (2) making connections across knowledge domains, and (3) collaborative engagement across disciplines.

Gique piloted a 9-month-long, out-of-school STEAM Program with students at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an inner-city in Boston, Massachusetts, in the areas of science, the arts, and entrepreneurship by putting the theoretical framework, which underpins the necessity for STEAM education, into action.

SC: What kinds of lessons do you offer students?

DO: Gique designs and provides free, hands-on educational programs and mentorship to talented youth from diverse circumstances in the Boston area and in California. We create a safe, positive learning community for our students and cultivate their curiosity and self-esteem through two arms of programming:

  • Gique’s Science Can DANCE! Community Programs—provides youth with a way to explore STEAM through creative movement and dance choreography. By taking an integrated approach to breaking down technical concepts, we provide a unique mentorship opportunity for students interested in both arts and science topics.
  • Gique’s Out-of-School Time (OST) STEAM Program—a 9-month-long, weekly after-school program for middle school students to explore their personal interests in STEAM. This program enables students to receive long-term mentorship from innovators from around the world and participate in hands-on workshops and field trips. By the end of the semester, students gain a better understanding of how they can take an idea from concept to reality through innovation with art + design, science, and technology.

In addition to these two programs, Gique has provided a wide variety of educational opportunities to people of all ages in the Boston area for the past four years. We have collaborated with numerous organizations to provide educational programming, including MIT Museum, Harvard Museum of Science & Culture, Artisan’s Asylum, and General Assembly Boston.

SC: How can corporations that support a vibrant STEM workforce get involved in advancing STEAM education?

DO: First, corporations should stand with teachers and parents to fight back against policies that discourage interdisciplinary education. This may include, but is not limited to, policies that result in art, drama, history, and science class time reduction and policies, which discourage teachers from being innovative due to too much focus on standardized testing.

Second, people in power must use their influence to help give underrepresented groups more access to resources that can level the playing field in education. I had access to programs like FIRST Robotics Competition and MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program, which changed my life, thanks to the generosity of donors investing directly in people of color by sponsoring these programs. However, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in these programs if I had to pay for them. That’s why Gique leverages the support of its sponsors to deliver life-changing experiences to students that help them pursue career dreams that they may have deemed impossible.

SC: How is Gique measuring its impact?

DO: We have a structured process in place to design, administer, and analyze quantitative and qualitative measurements, including pre- and post- assessments, audio/video interviews, and external feedback (from program staff/volunteers and parents/guardians).

Specifically, for Gique’s OST STEAM Program, a schema was developed to identify, both broadly and specifically, what students learned and in what context it applies to their lives. Prior to each term, the program leadership developed several goals for student impact, with measurable indicators to assess each goal. Assessment questions were adapted from the Museum of Science Boston’s Engineering is Elementary program assessment model. At the end of the semester, students completed the same assessment for the program leadership to understand what deltas occurred and what the development areas were for program improvement.

While the quantitative data collected often helped to inform strategic decisions and content choices, the qualitative data showed how the program impacted students, parents, volunteers and teachers. Gique wholeheartedly believes that learning experiences should be fun, so asking these qualitative questions were critical to the development and success of the pilot OST STEAM program.

Gaining parent/guardian feedback served to be an excellent indicator of how excited students were about the program.

Visit Gique’s community of leaders and makers at


2018 Hot Jobs

stem cell research

Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering, and technology will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation.

As the nation’s roughly 2 million college freshmen take the first steps on their career paths, the employment experts offered some advice on which areas could offer the most fertile employment landscape over the next decade.

Many freshmen have no idea what career path they want to pursue, relying on a mix of courses in the first year to help point them in the right direction. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is a good idea to at least be armed with information about where job growth is expected to remain strong to make the best decisions about one’s course selections going forward.

Those who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering, and technology will probably have the widest array of options upon graduation. However, it is vital not to overlook critical coursework in writing, public speaking, and courses that sharpen your critical thinking skills. While technical skills are in high demand, employers across the country consistently lament the lack of writing and communication skills that are essential in any profession one might pursue.

Indeed, when human resources executives were asked by the Society of Human Resource Management to identify the skills that 2013 graduates were lacking the most, the largest percentage by far pointed to basic writing skills. Nearly half of the HR professionals said last spring’s graduates lacked grammar, spelling, and other writing skills. Math, which ranked second in the list of skill deficiencies, was selected by 18 percent of respondents.

Even if you pursue a profession that is desperate for workers, a lack of fundamental written and verbal communication skills will significantly reduce the chances of being considered, let alone hired.

Below is a list of fields and professions that are expected to experience strong employment gains in the coming years.

Big Data – Health care, corporations, government agencies, etc., are all collecting massive amounts of information. The demand will be for people who can organize, manage, and make sense of all this data.

R&D – Technological developments are accelerating the pace of change and significant breakthroughs in all types of fields, from renewable energy to health care, from transportation to home construction. Those schooled in biology, chemistry, math, engineering, design, computer technology, etc., are going to be rewarded with ample job opportunities in research and development.

Veterinarians – Pets are more popular than ever, and some of them get medical care that’s practically fit for a human. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for vets to rise 36 percent by 2020.

Medical technicians – As medical equipment continues to become more sophisticated, they require highly trained individuals to operate, troubleshoot, and repair them.

Athletic trainers/physical therapists – These represent two sides of the same coin. They share many of the same fundamental skills and training. Several trends are driving the growth in demand for these workers—the most obvious one being the aging baby boomer population, which will require increased physical care. We are also seeing growth in competitive sports, fitness, etc., that is creating demand for those trained in repairing participants.

Sales and Marketing – All of these other growth areas need people to increase demand for their products and services. That’s where sales and marketing pros will benefit. You could have the greatest invention ever, but if you don’t have a team to get it into the marketplace and create demand, that invention will never see the light of day.

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists – While these types of jobs need a catchier name, the demand will continue to grow. Where we work, how we work, and when we work have all changed dramatically over the past decade. These will continue to evolve going forward. So, we will need people who specialize in maximizing efficiency, health, cost, quality, etc. We have companies now where more than half of the employees work from home. How do you make sure everyone is on the same page and moving in the right direction? Yahoo couldn’t do it, so the company ended its work-at-home option. Companies need strategies for managing such a workforce, and these are the people who will do it. These workers will have varied education backgrounds, including psychology, engineering and technology, design, sociology, administration and management.

Also: Teachers and education services (as more private learning systems pop up); registered nurses, particularly in specialty areas, such as oncology, pediatrics, and intensive care; finance and accounting; trade crafts, such as electricians and plumbers; information technology and network administration.


81-year-old woman makes iPhone app after only starting to use computers at 60


If you laugh at how older people use computers, this 81-year-old from Japan is going to set you straight.

Masako Wakamiya is making the news for an app she created to show people the correct way to place their traditional doll displays ahead of Hinamatsuri, or Girl’s Day, in Japan.

Wakamiya is a former banker who clocked 43 years of service at a major Japanese bank, and only learned how to use computers when she was 60.

In the app, named Hinadan — a combination of the words hina, a type of doll, and dan, meaning “tier” — the player must position 12 dolls in their correct positions on a display with four tiers.

After the player finishes the game, a congratulatory message pops up.

In an email to Mashable, Wakamiya said that she was taught by a “young person” living in Sendai, northeast of Tokyo, who taught her Apple’s Swift programming language via Skype and Facebook Messenger. The images in the app are made by her friend with the shapes on Microsoft Office, she added.

“The reason for making this applications is that many smartphone apps are for young people and [there] are almost no apps that the elderly can enjoy,” she said. “I [would] encourage [old people] to start having fun experiences using computers.”

Wakamiya’s blog features tutorials on how to make art with Excel, and publishes vlogs from her travels to the Mediterranean and New Zealand.

The vibrant lady also runs a club for other retirees on active ageing called the Mellow Club.

Here she is featured at a TEDx talk in Tokyo, where she talked about active ageing in the digital world.

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.

7 of the Fastest Growing Jobs for Women in Wind


Women working in the wind industry are on the rise.

Wind power is the number one source of renewable energy generating capacity in the country, and has made substantial gains over the last 5 years. In 2016 alone, the industry added more than 20,000 new jobs and now employs 102,000 Americans in all 50 states.

According to a recent U.S. Department of Energy employment report, women make up 32% of that figure.

Kristen Graf, executive director of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), believes women in wind energy are making a difference.

“Teams of any kind do better when they are more diverse—full of different ideas, perspectives, backgrounds and talents,” she said. “A piece of that diversity is having more women in the mix, and right now, in the renewable energy space, we need more women in all roles and at all levels to help drive toward the kind of success we are capable of and know we need.”

With that in mind, here are seven of the most popular jobs for women, broken down by female percentage in the wind workforce:

Administrative/Clerical (83%)

Perform clerical and administrative duties, such as organizing files, preparing documents, and scheduling appointments.

Accountants/Bookkeepers/Finance (63%)

Record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy. Also provide bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing.

Communications/Public Relations (53%)

Create, edit, translate, and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms.

Applied and Field Scientists (45%)

Work with wind farm developers to ensure a site is suitable for development. After the site is selected, environmental scientists and biologists then help the developer comply with environmental regulations and policies to ensure that physical and wildlife sensitivities, as well as cultural impacts, are mitigated.

Civil Engineers (41%)

Design and supervise large construction projects, including wind farm foundations, access roads, support buildings, and crane paths and pads. Because of the scale of wind turbines, these engineers deal with some atypical problems, such as designing roads that can withstand very heavy loads as well as trailers that are up to 100 feet long.

Economists and Policy Experts (33%)

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues. Policy experts research and advise on various policy issues within the energy industry.

Attorneys (27%)

Advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues or disputes. Attorneys work within each sector of the wind industry, leading and supporting contract negotiations and execution, financing and confidentiality agreements, patents and intellectual property filings, mergers and acquisitions, and legal compliance.

Wind is Working

A recent study from Navigant Consulting predicts that the U.S. wind industry will drive more than $85 billion in economic activity over the next 4 years, with employment to reach 248,000 jobs in all 50 states by 2020. This is partially due to the multi-year extension of the production tax credit in 2015, which will enable the development of 35 gigawatts of wind power capacity across the country between now and 2020.

Of the approximate projected 248,000 jobs, Navigant expects:

  • 33,000 Americans to be working in wind manufacturing facilities,
  • 114,000 to be building, operating, and maintaining wind turbines (currently wind technicians are reported to be the fastest growing job in America), and
  • 102,000 workers in other jobs supporting the industry.

With numbers like this, it seems the wind industry is moving on up.

To learn more about wind industry careers and what is required to move into or move within the industry, see the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s wind career map.


Essential Tips for Paving Your Own Way Toward Entrepreneurial Success

Leena Patidar

Most entrepreneurs in America would agree that working your way to success is challenging. It’s common for businesses to open and close, with half of them not making it to the five-year mark.

It’s also something that entrepreneurs often have to pave their own trail for, according to one successful serial entrepreneur, rather than looking for a standard blueprint for success. ”You don’t have to follow someone else’s model or steps to achieve your goals, success has different meanings for different people. It’s worth taking the time to define what success means for you,” explains Leena Patidar, chief executive officer and co-founder of Coin Up. “It could even be achieving an ideal balance between work and family, traveling, or being surrounded by people that you enjoy working with.  Determine what success means for you, then figure out what it will take you to get there.”

No stranger to business and overcoming hurdles, Leena Patidar is a serial entrepreneur, with over 20 years of strategic and financial experience. She has co-founded several businesses, served on several boards as an advisor, spoken at events to inspire entrepreneurs, young women, and nonprofit leaders, as well as focus on the social enterprise sector thru the Coin Up app. In fact Patidar, recently accepted the “2017 Start Up Tech of the Year” Pinnacle Award from Athena San Diego, a prestigious women’s organization supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She also holds a master’s in business administration degree from MIT/Sloan School of Business that focuses on finance and entrepreneurship.

Patidar has achieved her own success because she was able to think and execute “outside the box” when it came to innovative ideas. She didn’t follow what others may consider a typical path to success. Instead, she considered what brought her happiness and what it would take to define herself as being happy. She then set out to pave her own way in order to meet those goals. In addition to determining your own definition of success, here are Patidar’s tips for paving your own way toward your entrepreneurial success:

  • Be Real. Don’t change who you are to make someone else happy. We all have met people or been surrounded by people we want to get validation from. Sometimes, this takes you out of your own zone to believe that you need to act quicker and say the right thing in order to be “right” or earn someone’s validation. There is never enough of that validation and you will continue to have an empty space that is never content because that validation is not authentic for you. By staying in your own zone and using your own compass, you will attract the right people at the right time to build up you and your company. That kind of validation is not always easy to achieve, but it is definitely more rewarding.
  • Take Time and Build Knowledge. When you are contemplating starting your own business have patience. You don’t have to make any sudden decisions and there is not really a limit on time on when you must start. Take the time to research, talk to experts about every angle of your idea, and build a business plan for yourself. When you accumulate knowledge, you gain strength and comfort in your ideas and your abilities. Be an expert at whatever you decide to do!
  • Know Before You Go. Be prepared for meetings with advisors, clients, and peers. Do your homework on who you are meeting with, why you are meeting them, what you need out of the meetings. Going in prepared makes you look professional, responsible, and authentic, and will get you a second meeting or another connection if you need it.
  • Learn Your Audience. When speaking, know who you are presenting to because your conversation must be directed for your audience. It could be clients, strategic partners, team members, or general networking. This is not only important when you are presenting formally, but even in your everyday business conversations. Being succinct and informative to your audience will take you a long way toward looking and being successful.
  • Surround yourself with the right people. Get incredible team members who fill your lack of knowledge. You don’t need to know all the answers, just surround yourself with those who do. It takes a team to build a business with experts in every area. You have to work together with this team to create a comprehensive business model at every angle.

“Take a chance, don’t undersell yourself, be prepared, get excited, and get smart,” adds Patidar. “There is more than one way to become successful and if you take the time to know what that means for you and map out how you will get there, the happiness factor and self-validation are truly priceless! Entrepreneurship is an incredible journey of the business, the people you meet, and your own self.”

To learn more about Leena Patidar and the Coin Up app visit or download the app for free on the Apple App Store. Nonprofits register for free and donors simply download the app, pick a charity, link their credit/debit card and set a monthly limit for donations. Every purchase made with the card is rounded up to the next dollar and the “spare change” is donated to their charity each month. For example, if a purchase is $3.35, the transaction will be “virtually” rounded up $.65 to a whole $4 within the app. The app will aggregate the spare change from each transaction until the monthly limit is reached (or the end of the month, whichever comes first). At the end of the month, the debit/credit card will be charged and the proceeds (less 15% transaction fees) will be sent directly to the charity of your choice.

# # #

About Coin Up:
Coin Up is an innovative mobile app that provides a platform for donors to give effortlessly and securely to their favorite charitable cause. Once downloaded and registered, the app will round up purchases made on your credit card or debit card and directly send funds to your chosen charity each month. The app is free to download and has been designed to simplify giving by using incremental spare change to create major social impact. Coin Up’s mission is to create a society that engages in charitable giving through the convenience of everyday transactions. For more information on Coin Up, visit the site at: YOUR CHANGE. YOUR IMPACT @CoinUpApp

Minuteman Press Franchise Owner Sherri Winslow Celebrates 15 Years in Business in Palm Desert, California

Sherri Winslow and Staff

When Sherri Winslow’s Husband Tragically Died in a Plane Crash in 2012, Her Local Support Team at Minuteman Press International Made Sure She Was Not Alone in Running Her Business

PALM DESERT, Calif.—Celebrating 15 years in business in Palm Desert, California, Minuteman Press franchise owner Sherri Winslow is an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome a tragic loss. When her husband suddenly lost his life in a plane crash in 2012, everything changed. At the time, Sherri was playing a supporting role in the design, marketing, and printing franchise that she and her husband built together for ten years, and now she had to transition to running the business herself on top of all of the other aspects of her life that would never be the same. If there was any silver lining, it was that Sherri was fully supported by her local regional team at Minuteman Press International, which is something she is truly thankful for to this day.

Sherri says, “This is probably the most important part of my long tenure at Minuteman Press.  My husband was killed in a plane crash in 2012.  We had always received great local support before that date, but at that time in my life, I needed to completely change my role from the support person to the owner.  I could not have done that without the help from my local support team.  My Regional Vice President Dan Byers, Area Manager Steve Szymanski, and the other field representatives helped me stay on track, get my feet back under me and move forward. A special thank you also goes out to Minuteman Press International’s Jack Panzer, who really helped me as well.  I not only survived a very tragic time in my life, but was able to carry on the business in such a way to start growing from where we were in 2012.  My local Minuteman Press support team helped me with developing new marketing programs, equipment purchases and growing the direction of the business.”

Celebrating 15 years in business + giving back to the community

As Sherri Winslow celebrates 15 years in business with Minuteman Press located at 73-660 Highway 111 in Palm Desert, CA, she relishes the chance to talk about helping both her clients and the community. Sherri says, “At our business we not only provide printing services, but we do it in a manner that makes the process easy for our customers.  We provide service to fit the needs of the customer whether they have never printed before or they are more experienced.  We do what it takes to get the job done and turn it around very quickly.  Our services include:  graphic design, digital and offset printing, bindery and finishing, large format printing, signs and banners, and promotional products.  We specialize in printing for charities and nonprofits, country clubs, small businesses, medical facilities, restaurants, conferences, and more!”

As well-versed as Sherri and her professional team at Minuteman Press in Palm Desert are with their customers, she has also made it a point of focus to give back to the community. Sherri explains, “I have been lucky enough to have a successful business career so now I feel better able to spend time and money to give back to causes I believe in.  I actively work with organizations such as Women Leaders Forum and Coachella Animal Network.  We support a number of charities including the Desert Cancer Foundation, Desert ARC, Angel View, Loving All Animals and Indian Ridge Scholarship Fund.  We are also members of the Palm Desert and Indian Wells Chamber of Commerce.”

Through organizations like the Women Leaders Forum, Sherri Winslow has served as a mentor to high school students. Sherri shares one particular experience that really made a difference: “This young lady was very intelligent and talented.  As part of the mentor program, you work with these young people for many hours during the year.  You are there to help them pursue their goals by instilling good business practices and helping guide them with the college and university process.  My mentee thought she should try to get into a local community college.  I expressed to her that one of the important things about the university that you attend is not only the learning but also the lifelong connections you make while you are there.  I persuaded her to apply to the Top 5 Business Universities in Southern California.  We worked on her letter to be included with her application.  I don’t think I could have been happier than when she was accepted to attend UCLA. ”

Why own a Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise?

Sherri Winslow and her husband first opened the doors to Minuteman Press in Palm Desert, CA in 2002. Sherri was a CPA who had previously worked for the Washington State Gambling Commission as Deputy Director while her husband was an entrepreneur who had bought and sold a computer manufacturing company while specializing in sales. Sherri says, “We moved to California from Washington State. After about one month of retirement and my husband being completely bored, we went in search of a business.”

Knowing they wanted to own a business, Sherri and her husband began their research. Sherri explains, “Throughout our search, we focused on a few things.  My husband wanted to own his business, he wanted to work with other businesses (not retail) and he wanted a good income.  The reason that Minuteman Press appealed to us was that they had a training program that made it easy for someone with no printing background to achieve success.  It included the intensive training at their Long Island, New York headquarters, plus onsite training at startup from the local field representatives.  It also had a reasonable royalty program, particularly compared to other franchises.”

For Sherri, owning a Minuteman Press franchise for 15 years and operating it for the past five years as a sole proprietor has really given her a unique perspective on what it is really like to own a business. She states, “The most rewarding part of running this business is being in control of your own destiny.  You get back out what you put into the business.  If you work hard, are dedicated and make good decisions the payback is there.  I worked very hard at the Gambling Commission and was paid well for the time that I was there, but it does not compare to owning my own business.  Also, although I was the Deputy Director and able to make many of the decisions at my former career, I still did not have same level of the control over the direction I wanted to go.”

Running the business and advice for others

Asked about how she runs her Minuteman Press franchise on a day to day basis, Sherri answers, “I pick up the paper on my way into the office and make some of the deliveries to clients on the way. Once I am at the office, I work with staff to solve any questions that have come up.  Additionally, I will review, change or approve quotes for certain jobs.  I handle all aspects of the accounting. I also make sure that we stay current with all of our marketing efforts.”

As for Sherri Winslow’s advice for others who are looking to own a business, she says, “If a person is looking into a franchise, I think it is important to look into what their training programs are.  Additionally, look into the costs that are involved with being part of the franchise.  You also want to know what type of support will be provided once you become a franchisee.”

She concludes, “Minuteman Press was certainly a fit for us and continues to help me today.”

Sherri Winslow’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 73-660 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260. For more information, call 760-340-4299, email, or visit their website:

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is a number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to over 950 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 25 times and 14 years in a row, including 2017. Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2017 Top Franchises and 2017 Top B2B Franchises lists thanks to positive feedback and reviews from owners.

At Minuteman Press, we are the modern printing industry, providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

To learn about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and access over 80 testimonials and Minuteman Press franchise reviews, visit or call 1-800-645-3006 for more information.

Uber partners with Girls Who Code to fight for greater diversity in tech


Uber is announcing today a multi-year partnership with the nonprofit Girls Who Code. As part of the deal, Uber is donating $1.2 million to Girls Who Code over the next three years. The money will go towards growing more after school and immersion programs for young girls to learn tech at an earlier age and the organization estimates that 60,000 more girls will gain access to these programs as a result of the deal.

While this initiative and the timing reads as another attempt by Uber to try and get good press after a series of PR disasters, at least the money is going toward a good cause. Uber engineers are also going to volunteer at Girls Who Code local chapters to help set up coding workshops and mentorship programs. And Uber also has another $1.8 million left in its diversity fund for the next three years that it plans to spend on other organizations that are similar to Girls Who Code.

To ensure the deal goes smoothly, Uber’s Chief Branding Officer Bozoma Saint John is also joining Girls Who Code’s board of directors. Saint John, who was hired by Uber away from Apple only a month before Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down, has been perceived by many as someone who might be able to help address Uber’s diversity problem, a problem that the entire tech industry faces as well. “Now more than ever it’s important to see strong female leadership in the tech industry,” Reshma Saujani, CEO & Founder of Girls Who Code, said. “Bozoma exemplifies this.”

Continue onto The Verge to read the complete article.