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Seth Berger Leads Sixers Innovation Lab In Camden

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Seth Berger

Entrepreneurs are flooding into Camden, including Seth Berger, University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business alumni, best known as the Founder and former CEO of AND1. Seth Berger is managing the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball, which is housed in the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex Business Operations Facility. Seth Berger has years of experience as an entrepreneur includes acting as a consultant and CEO in the gaming, technology and sports industry over the past decade. With a life long career in sports, Seth Berger provides opportunities for companies to grow using resources that are invaluable to business.

The Sixers Innovation Lab supports startups by providing individualized, industry-leading consulting and investment opportunities. Companies that are selected by Seth Berger and the Innovation Lab team will receive office space at the Innovation Lab, access to industry leaders, third-party branding, marketing and legal services, as well as free meals and housing in the Philadelphia area. There will also be unique opportunities to pitch to industry-leading investors and venture capitalists. Seth Berger is overseeing each startup that enters the facility along with advisors from StubHub, DraftKings, Rothman Institute, First Round Capital, Maven Creative and more.

With a unique set of skills and lifelong achievements in the sports industry, Seth Berger is passing on his knowledge on growing your company into something incredible. Seth Berger tells us about what it takes to be an entrepreneur today, making a lasting impression in business, and how you can be a part of the Sixers Innovation Lab.

Seth Berger

Describe your career.

I started a business in grad school at 25, which is now known as AND 1. It started as a T-shirt company in NYC, where I am from. Then, in seven years it grew to a basketball apparel, sports illustrated company. I ran two companies at that time. In the middle of AND1, I also ran hoopstv.com and made all of the mistakes I could. Made a couple of deals with retailers, but ultimately sold AND 1 in 2005 to American Sporting Goods. My kids at that time were six, three, and one years old. The goal then was to just be super dad, take them to school, and to see them everyday. I had part time jobs, I didn’t want a full position. I managed a few companies along the way but, my career basically had three parts: running AND 1, coaching basketball at Westtown School, an independent international school, and consulting and advising at Innovation Lab. Working at Innovation Lab combined all of my skills as a coach, consultant, and CEO. As a coach, it helped me become a better consultant and CEO to help identify and recruit really talented CEOs.

As an entrepreneur, what are some surprises that come your way?

Whether I was running AND1 or the Innovation Lab, there were always surprises. I’ve never run anything before, so doing AND 1 and the Lab were the biggest surprises. I was never really good in school, I was only a good test taker. Memorization is the only skill I had and my biggest strength is admitting that I don’t know and I need help. That’s how I got so far. If you’re always curious, you’ll always grow.

From ‘93-’05, old businesses had to make a lot of guesses when it came to prices and consumers. Nowadays, with technology, you can test everything. You can have consumers telling you a price, likings, and etc.

I’m also really surprised with how fast things move now. Businesses would take three-five years to grow, now it can be successful in three-six months.

What are some of the risks you took to get to where you are?

When I decided to start AND 1, I was maxed out of student loans and lived off of five Visas. If AND 1 didn’t work out, the alternative was to take on a job that I didn’t like and find incredibly boring, nothing I looked forward to. I took a risk as in if it didn’t work, I was going to be really broke, but the thing was, I was broke anyway so I didn’t really care. The actual risk or the biggest risk for anyone is time. Time is your most valuable resource. My risk here at the innovation lab is can I help manage five to six companies at the same. I have the mentality of, ‘I think it’ll work.’ But if I spend three to five years here and it doesn’t work, it’ll be a really big waste of time. As an entrepreneur though, you’re comfortable with mistakes.

How do you make a lasting impression when you get into a new business?

By offering significant day to day support to our companies. If all of what you want is a check and a network, then there are lots of places to get that. In the Bay Area especially, there are tons of them but that’s not us. If you want help to figure out your business, what you do on a day to day basis or annual basis, then that’s what we provide.

What recommendations do you have to aspiring business owners?

Know your consumer really well and focus on them, one of the biggest mistakes in entrepreneurship is people who say, ‘I don’t want to focus on consumers in our market because then my business won’t be really big.’ I say to them, ‘Build a small business before you have a big business, it shows you already have a business, then continue to build and expand.’  With all of our companies, we end the day with these questions: Who’s going to watch our videos? Who’s going to use our service, buy our products and be as specific as possible with those answers? 

Entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting versus entrepreneurs who have already started. Those who haven’t started aren’t afraid of failing because everyone fails eventually. It’s actually because they don’t know how to take charge. When you are your own CEO, it’s like getting a blank piece of paper for an essay but with no question. Everything is already set, what time you go into the office, the dress code, etc. with your business, no one is there to tell you. Don’t be afraid to get help.

What are some benefits the 76ers Innovation lab offer that can’t be found anywhere else?

I think Rhyan Truett, Innovation Lab Director of Operations, and I make a great team, along with Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, and other people on our team can be really insightful for your business. We also offer free housing, free food, and free office space for about three months. In which there’s also access to free snacks and the gym. Also, we have a marketing agreement with strategy branding for companies, possible free legal services, and lastly, you can play basketball here.

How does startup apply for the opportunity to pitch?

Interested applicants can submit an application form through www.sixersinnovationlab.com.

What industries have you seen so far?

Everything, from cyber security, foot apparel, you name it. Our owner has a really broad network. If we can add value to your company then be let’s be a part, but if we can’t help you then it doesn’t make sense to apply.

Tips for entrepreneurs who are interested in being at Lab?

Always be willing to learn, companies who are in here are different from when they first came in. Be interested in improving. Companies who just need a check are not for us. There are three things we look for: first is what you take in, how smart, how focused, and how intense you are. Your team is a major aspect. For me, a team is the most important. I have members who studied in Wharton and are way smarter. Second, is the idea. Something you can protect and is unique. Lastly, how can we help you? If the company already had parts one and two, then how can we support you.

What is the piece of advice that helped you throughout your career?

In the fall of ‘93, when we were selling team shorts. I met Michael who owned a record company. He started his business by doing 45s. Back in the day, they used to do single records of songs of TV show songs like The Flinstones, The Munsters and all of the sudden his business blew up. He asked me, ‘Why do you want to be in business? Why do you wanna make a difference in kids’ lives?’ I said, ‘I think this business can reach kids and I can make a little money on the way, I also get to spend time with friends.’ He assured me then that you’re in business to make money, you’re not in it for your ego, you’re not in business to make friends, and you’re not in business to change who you are. And he was right. For awhile we thought we served kids as opposed to our consumers. When I got with our accounts, I asked, am I going to make enough and do I need more? If I bring in people who are around me and they get a piece of what I have or more, it’s okay. If you’re giving them pieces of yours, then they’ll eventually give more back to you. If you’re not giving your team a piece and think you have to be more in control, then it won’t work out. Like I said before, teamwork is the most important aspect of a business. Be willing to give.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company’s proposed Fort Lauderdale transit loop receives mixed reactions

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Elon Musk is the one guy you can turn to for the craziest ideas. But is his proposed transit loop in Fort Lauderdale really happening? 

Boring Company, the brainchild of Elon Musk, provides low-cost transportation, fast-to-dig, freight, and utility tunnels. To date, the company has only dug three tunnels, one of which is the Los Angeles test tunnel. The other two are the underground 0.8-mile Las Vegas Convention Center tunnels. 

Now, Boring Company is looking into building another transit loop connecting Fort Lauderdale’s downtown to its beach. Passengers will be brought from point A to B in standard Teslas. Although Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said it’s an “innovative and unprecedented” way of alleviating street-level traffic, many people are still skeptical about Musk’s proposed transit loop.

It appears that this transit loop project called the “Las Ollas Loop” is just one out of the many proposed tunnels by Musk. The Boring Company had announced projects such as the Chicago loop system and the DC-to-Baltimore tunnel. However, both have seemingly been cancelled, with the latter eliminated from the company’s website. 

This makes everyone wonder: Is the proposed transit loop hot air?

Transit loop drew flak

Although the Boring Company and Fort Lauderdale are in the works of materializing the said plan, engineers, experts, and people concerned are still dubious of the tunnel due to Florida rising sea levels. In addition, many people fear that due to the city’s location, the “Loop” might cause flood risks. 

Climate change might have a huge impact on the fulfillment of the transit loop. Some say if it indeed pushes through, then engineers would have to find a way to use technology and features that fight the impact of climate change. This would have to involve extensive investigation from an engineering and structural perspective. 

Another concern is Florida’s limestones, which make it hard to optimize tunnelling machines due to the natural holes. Moreover, the city dons many underground aquifers, which experts claim need to be protected as well. However, the Boring Company is open to studying the geological aspect on which path to dig that leads to the beach. It can avoid risks and drastic environmental impact.

But one of the valid concerns from transportation planners is why Fort Lauderdale would settle for standard Teslas? With that, they’ll need to drive hundreds of passengers from downtown to the beach when a bus or train can accommodate more. 

Mayor Dean Transalis stays positive

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Transalis is nothing but excited about Musk’s proposed transit loop. Aside from solving traffic in the most congested streets in the city, this project will also relieve parking stress at Fort Lauderdale’s beaches. 

The city of Fort Lauderdale is now seeing an expected $30-million budget for this transit loop. This is despite the Boring Company’s promise of faster construction times and lower costs. However, this promise received criticism from tunnel industry experts and engineers. They say the company doesn’t have new technology for building tunnels. 

Talks from Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor and Governor are now looking into opening the transit loop by the end of 2022. 

Regardless of the skepticism from transportation and tunnel experts, the Boring Company remains optimistic about the project. They said a ride in standard Teslas that brings people from downtown Fort Lauderdale to the beach would cost each person $5 to $8. This is in comparison to a similar route with Uber, which will cost $10 per person. 

But Mayor Dean Transalis hasn’t yet closed the deal on the Boring Company’s proposal. Instead, he offered other tunnel-digging companies to submit better and more innovative tunnelling methods within 45 days.

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Top 10 Best Meal Delivery Services to Try

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Many people have been trying to stay at home amid the coronavirus disease pandemic and grocery delivery services have come to save the day. But if you want to take it up a notch and also save chopping and meal prep time, meal delivery services will be more your jam.

Here are the best meal delivery services to check out the next time you want a convenient home-cooked meal.

1. Freshly 

First on our list of best meal delivery services is Freshly. This platform offers single-serve fully-prepared meals. That means you won’t have to saute, boil, or anything else that would require more than three minutes to do. The plan costs $11.49 per meal for four meals per week but if you order 12 meals per week, the price goes down to $8.49 per meal.

2. Dinnerly 

If you want to feel like a cooking whiz, Dinnerly is one of the best meal delivery services to try. Instead of delivering cooked meals, the platform offers meal kits with all the ingredients you need. The best part is, they offer it for as low as $4.69 per person. Their products cost a lot less than other providers because they use digital recipe cards and spend less on marketing.

3. Sunbasket

If you can’t decide between fully-cooked meals or meal kits, Sunbasket can give you both. They have fresh and ready meals that you can buy and heat up. Or if you want to flex your muscles in the kitchen, you can also try their meal kits. Their dinners start at $8.99 per serving.

4. EveryPlate 

EveryPlate is a good choice for those who want to practice their cooking skills without tiring themselves out too much. The meals only take six steps to make and are ready within 30 minutes.

5. Gobble

If you can only handle 15 minutes of cooking, then check out Gobble. Their chefs do all the tedious work, from peeling and chopping to marinating. So you’ll spend less time preparing and more time enjoying your meal.

6. Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh says it’s “America’s Most Popular Meal Kit” and it’s surely worth checking out. Each of their boxes contains pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes with nutritional info. The kit also fits perfectly in the fridge so you can order it in advance.

7. Blue Apron

If you’re the type of foodie who likes to keep things exciting, this service is for you. Blue Apron keeps dinner interesting by offering a wide variety of meals – from healthy options to premium plates. The service costs $9.99 per serving for two recipes per week (each one serving two people).  

8. Purple Carrot

Who says meat-eaters have all the fun? Purple Carrot offers plant-based meals that are good for you and good for the planet. Best of all, their menu options are anything but boring – you’ll get all the flavors and nutrition you need sans the guilt.

9. Green Chef

Green Chef is another favorite for foodies trying to eat clean and stay lean. They offer three menu categories – balanced meal, plat-powered, and keto + paleo. That means you won’t have to go astray from your diet to enjoy delicious meals.

10. Home Chef

Last but not least on our best meal delivery services list is Home Chef. This platform offers weekly meal kits starting at $6.99 per serving. Whether you’re cutting down on carbs, calories, or animal byproducts, they have the plan for you. You can also upgrade, double up, or swap items according to your preferences.

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Coinme: Financial Services Crypto-Enabling Legacy Raises $10M Funding

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Coinme, a cryptocurrency startup based in Seattle, raked in $10 million worth of funding from investors. Although fluctuating, cryptocurrency is still a powerhouse this 2021. It’s no wonder why Coinme managed to raise a $10 million grant from its existing investors.

What is Coinme?

Coinme is a cryptocurrency startup founded in 2014. Since day one, the company has made it its mission to be one of the world’s trusted cryptocurrency gateway. The legacy started with the most well-known digital currency— Bitcoin. Using the most relevant digital currency back then, Coin me started a few Bitcoin ATMs. It offers an enterprise “application programming interface” or API to provide Bitcoin’s secure sale. 

Between 2017 to 2020, Coinme experienced an overwhelming 2,200% revenue growth. Due to the consumer’s demand for bitcoin and the pandemic’s uncertainty, their revenue skyrocketed. 

Fast Forward to 2021, Coinme managed to build up and grow thousands of kiosks. The company believes that cryptocurrency provides an equal opportunity for everyone. Therefore it needs to be more accessible.  

Coinme is supported by the following: 

  • Pantera
  • Blockchain
  • Digital Currency Group
  • Xpring
  • Coinstar
  • Hard Yaka
  • Nima
  • Percival Capital

How to Use Coinme

For those who are not aware of how to use Coinme, you can buy Bitcoin with four simple steps. First, you’re required to create a Coinme account. Next, you must be able to locate the nearest kiosk to your place. After that, you can insert cash into the kiosk. 

However, it would be fantastic if you kept in mind that coins are not accepted for Bitcoin transactions. Finally, you can redeem and receive your Bitcoin in an instant. Another thing you need to remember is Coinme’s daily purchase limit.

‘Crypto-enabling’ Feature

Coinme allows the buy and sell of bitcoins with cash for its customers. Currently, the startup has more than 15,000 locations through partnerships such as Coinstar and Moneygram. Coinme had its bitcoin ATM. However, it’s focusing on its cryptocurrency cash network. 

Using the digital currency cash network allows financial services such as Moneygram to be “crypto-enabled” via an enterprise API. 

Although the market is volatile, most of Coinme’s consumers are not speculating about its price. Instead, they take advantage of Coinme to acquire cryptocurrencies at store value. There are a lot of ways to take advantage of Coinme’s services. It includes using cryptocurrencies as payment for services and goods or sending it to your friends and family.

$10 Million Worth Funding

As the largest licensed cash network for cryptocurrencies in the US, Coinme raised $10 million for strategic funding. The funds were raised by Coinme’s existing investors, including Digital Currency Group, a capital market company.  

Coinme Expansion

The startup plans to expand internationally in the upcoming months. Currently, the company has 58 people in total and managed $30 million to date. Neil Berquist, Coinme’s CEO and co-founder shared expansion plans later this year. He announced that the company would dive into various markets, starting with Latin American.  

El Salvador recently became the first country to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender formally. Yes, that means history was marked during cryptocurrencies’ most crucial time. Meanwhile, politicians of Latin American countries share support for bitcoin’s adoption as legal tender. The politician’s active support drives a more favorable opinion of locals. 

Specifically, politicians from various nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, and Panama have expressed their interest and support for cryptocurrency. 

Other than penetrating the international markets, Coinme plans to add multi-coin support to its system. It means we get more digital currency offering aside from Bitcoin. It also plans to add a type of payment to buy and sell digital currencies on Coinme’s products. 

According to Bergquist, people want different types of payment. Consumers want to buy using their bank account. He especially pointed out how consumers expressed their demands to access different cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Well, now, all your demands are being fulfilled by Coinme, one step at a time.  

Final Thoughts

According to PR News Wire, by 2023, the blockchain market, as expected, will rise to $23.3 billion. With the continued growth, investors are sure to spread investment to promising cryptocurrency startups. Since 2017, cryptocurrency startups like Coinme have raised funding. Overall, startups reached a whopping number of $20 billion to date.

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