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Bosque Founder Deborah Choi Leaves No Opportunity Untaken



“Wait a second… I can’t be the only one with this issue.”

Deborah Choi, the founder of Bosque, brought plants into her home with the purpose of brightening the space. 

“I lived in these big cities: Chicago, New York, now Berlin. I didn’t have access to nature. So, I wanted to bring it inside.

“What could go wrong?”

The Definition of Insanity

The feeling of bringing a happy philodendron into your house only to watch it slowly die is discouraging. You ask yourself what you did wrong. Did I water it too little? Too much? Did it need sunlight? Am I supposed to feed it? 

So, you bring in another philodendron. This time you know you’re going to do better. You bought different soil, another kind of pot, you did some Googling. You got this. Right? 

Nope. It’s dead. You killed it. Again. 

It can feel like a curse, no? 

“I went through these cycles of buying plants, buying soil, buying pots, and doing it all wrong. With the results that my plants would die and I would repeat that process over and over. Which is the definition of insanity, right?

“That started this rabbit hole. What’s going on in this industry? What are the customer problems? 

I saw the opportunity and built Horticure around that.” 

Choi founded Horticure, and on-demand plant-care company at the end of 2018. The plant of your choice, and everything you need to take proper care of it, is provided via mail. If you have any kind of question or concern, there is flexible virtual access to vetted horticulturists. 

“Even pre-COVID we were doing these video chat consultations.”

Horticure is now merging with Bosque, a direct-to-consumer plant-care company. 

“The conversation about joining forces and seeing what that would be like came together very organically. There were a lot of conversations, testing, figuring out. We decided that the future was brighter, stronger, and greener together.” 

Deborah Choi is a natural entrepreneur with a great sense of trends. But it didn’t start that way. 

The Safe, Traditional Path

Born in Nigeria, her family moved to Ohio for greater access to education and opportunities. Like any child who wants to make their family proud and secure, Choi sought a traditional path. A good university, a good graduate program, stable income, “the American dream,” it was all part of the plan.

After graduating from the University of Chicago, Choi relocated to New York City. She quickly found friends. 

“We were going to thrift stores and flea markets for fun, finding cool things. This was the early 2000s, everyone was kind of talking about the internet. We thought, ‘let’s build a website and see what happens if we put stuff online.”

And that’s where it all began. 

Choi describes her career as taking an opportunity presented and running with it. This has led her on a series of ventures including a media company. If she was interested, curious, and excited about it, Choi pursued it. 

This characteristic drive has led Choi from selling cool New York thrift store items to a growing Berlin-based plant-care company called Bosque. If you’re struggling to connect the dots, you’re not alone. This entrepreneurial journey Choi embarked on in the early 2000s has twisted and turned in ways that have ultimately shaped Choi into the success she is today. 

She now chooses to take that success and pay it forward. Enter Founderland

A Community for Women Founders of Color

“What we’re doing is accelerating the business success of women of color founders here in Europe and the UK.”

By fostering a community of women founders of color and connecting them with the right people, Choi and company hope to create a fresher, more diverse generation of entrepreneurs. We know the obstacles women of color face in just about every industry. Taking the effort to provide a community the tools it needs to thrive is one of the more innovative efforts in the last few decades. 

“When we think of entrepreneurship, we see the highlights, the showreels, the major funding rounds. And it can seem intimidating. 

“One of the reasons why I and my co-founders built this community is because there was a lack of one. 

“Building a community is truly a lot of work, but let’s take the first step.”

You can learn more about Deborah Choi, her journey, her ventures, and her mission on Spotify’s The Black Founders Podcast. Founderland is fundraising and actively seeking women of color founders to aid in their journey. She currently lives in Berlin where she is expanding Bosque from Berlin to all of Germany. 

Her houseplants are much happier now.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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The Shift Towards Banking-As-A-Service



The changing times and the pandemic have created a significant shift in how we bank. In addition, our expectations from banks have also differed through the years. The digitalization of the financial services industry has furthered the plan to get free access to banking data. This is in connection with the Open Banking initiative and the dramatic rise of fintech companies and neo-banks.

The market space that the traditional banks once dominated has now given new players the opportunities to compete alongside them. Indeed, the commoditization of bank services has inevitably begun.

A void to connect banks and these new players has been filled in the form of banking-as-as-service (or BaaS for short) providers. It’s only logical that a service such as this emerges. It’s the order next in line to streamline the customer experience and provide products that are built to engage the modern world. 

What exactly is banking-as-as-service?

The easiest way to explain what banking-as-as-service is is through a few examples, these are:

  • Bank accounts
  • Lending systems
  • Credit card payments

The digital world is changing the relationships of brands and businesses with their customers. It is rapidly shifting and improving that even non-bank companies have already integrated financial services to their customers. Established companies such as Walmart, Apple, Uber, or Amazon have already been doing this to add value to their products and services.

Why businesses should take the banking-as-as-service opportunity

To those in the know, banking technology is a complex matter. Developing it from the ground up can be laborious and expensive. Add to that the challenge of getting a bank license which turns off those trying to get in that niche. What banking-as-as-service does is to connect businesses with banks that take care of the requirements and provide the technology they need to provide financial services through a slew of digital channels.

This process will make banking services more engaging and less transactional. Businesses can now integrate services throughout the buying journey without redirecting them to a different platform. This means customers will no longer do the rigamarole of going from one channel to another. They will get what they need when and where they need it.

And statistics show that it is working. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services are steadily climbing at a rate of 39% per year for approximately 10 million Britons making their online purchases. 

What now for traditional banks?

Since traditional banks have little appetite for risks, they weren’t built to handle the demands for embedded finance. BaaS companies make it faster and easier for fintechs and other companies to increase their offerings by embedding digital banking services directly into the purchase. Instead of seeing this as competition, traditional banks should collaborate with BaaS to benefit from this embedding.

What can Banking-as-a-service do?

With the help of banking-as-a-service, new players in the finance industry will have the capability of targeting niche communities and coming up with slimmer product sets. Also, the solutions that BaaS offers can give valuable insights to businesses on how they can improve their products or services. They will have the much-needed data to learn about industry trends, saving and spending behaviors, and general engagement with their offerings.

All these means that businesses can have more information on how they can improve the overall customer experience. This also means companies can deliver products and services that are more targeted towards the right customers. The possibilities that banking-as-a-service offers are endless in terms of innovation in the banking and financial services market.

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Playrcart Gives You What You Want – Immediately



We’ve all watched ads and immediately thought, “I want that. Right now.” Some of us wish we could jump right into the TV and into that sexy Ford F-Series quicker than we can have a second thought. But how many of us have gone to make a purchase only to be discouraged by the needlessly complicated payment process? “Too many,” says UK-based startup Playrcart

We believe this is the future of advertising.” 

Founder Glen Dormieux, along with CTO, Richard Mason, created Playrcart born of that very frustration.

What we’re seeing right now is fairly traditional – they’re doing the same thing time and time again.

Currently, when viewing an ad, you have to go through several pages in order to complete a purchase. How many sales are lost in that time-consuming process? “Too many!” say business owners in a Mr. Krabs-esque demeanor. 

How Does Playrcart Work?

Playrcart has designed its platform to convert digital assets into instant transactions within the ad itself. How is that possible? Technology, stupid. 

You can actually make the transaction go directly within the asset itself. So you engage with the ads, you interact with the purchase within the ad without ever leaving that same piece of content.

It effectively dilutes numerous clicks that you normally have to navigate through. The average of reduction clicks is about 75 percent.

With Playrcart, you can watch the trailer for a new Spider-man movie and buy tickets before it’s even completed. You can schedule a test drive in the Ford F-Series as you’re watching a professional drive it on a closed course. 

Consumers will now have the option to purchase something when their emotional response to an ad is at its peak. You can see an ad for a major event and as you’re riding that emotional wave you click and purchase tickets. As the ad concludes, you can emotionally conclude with it – satisfied. 

You can see Playrcart’s technology in action here

Playrcart is capitalizing on our instant gratification society, and they’re doing it with modesty and innovative advances in technology. 

We want to hit them instantly while you’ve got their attention.

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Crazy Things That Happened in 2021



Although 2021 would probably go down in history as one of the craziest years in recent times, 2021 is looking like it’s catching up. Here are a few of the crazy things that happened this year:

Capitol Hill Riot (January)

Early January saw a massive riot happen at the US Capitol. Former President Trump was charged with incitement in his impeachment trial in the Senate. This resulted in a mob that was pro-Trump, breaking into the building. This forced members of Congress to evacuate and left five dead.

Battle of the Billionaires (January)

Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world. This, thanks to the increase in Tesla’s share price giving him a net worth of more than $185 billion. Bezos was the holder of this title but went down with his $184 billion worth.

Trump Impeachment (January)

A call for Former President Trump’s impeachment happened twice this year. Some Democrats and members of the progressive group, The Squad, called for his impeachment. This, after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Frigid Weather in Texas (February)

Brutal winter storms ravaged Texas for more than seven days. It caused unprecedented devastation that claimed the lives of at least 26 people.

The Grammys Breaking Records (March)

Records were broken in this year’s Grammys, with Beyonce winning more awards than any in the award-giving body’s history. Along with Megan Thee Stallion, they became the first female artists to win best rap performance, breaking records. BTS also made Grammy history by being the first foreign act to perform solo and the first KPop group to be nominated.

The Free Britney Movement (April)

Pop icon Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship by her father since 2008. In April this year, the hashtag #freebritney gained traction as fans cried for the singer to be free from the legal binding. 

The Friends Reunion (May)

Not really a follow-up to the lives of the Friends character, but a reunion in which the main cast members reminisced about the good ol’ times. The fans were treated to a recreation of the set along with some table reads from scenes that were rehashed. 

Bitcoin Price Plunge (May)

After hitting a record high of $64,829 in mid-April, Bitcoin prices plunged to around $30,000 at one point. All this is in connection with Elon Musk’s Tesla’s suspension of purchase with the cryptocurrency, citing environmental concerns over the mining process.

The End for Keeping Up With The Kardashians (June)

The month of June saw the end of the reality TV show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. After 20 seasons on the air, the show ends with a two-part reunion special. However, this isn’t the end for the Kardashians-Jenner, as they will star anew in a Hulu reality series later this year.

On another note, the year also saw the divorce of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West after six years of marriage.

All Eyes on Simone Biles (July)

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was held in 2021 due to the pandemic. And on this one, all eyes were on Simone Biles as she has proven that she’s not superhuman after all. The celebrated gymnast withdrew from the team gymnastics finals citing the “twisties” and her efforts to focus on her mental health.

Facebook Name Change (October)

From Facebook to Meta, the rebranding was announced in October in an attempt to own the metaverse. The company says that the new name is reflective of their ambitions that go beyond being a social media platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg considers the move as a nod to the metaverse, the concept of a three-dimensional version of the internet.

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