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Inquirer Daily News

Small Business

POSTED: Monday, May 9, 2011, 11:20 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

While every week is small-business week here in The Inquirer’s Business section on Mondays, the real thing will be held May 16 to 20.

That’s when the U.S. Small Business Administration will hold several events in Washington to acknowledge the diversity and importance of the nation’s 27.2 million small businesses. (I don’t think they’re all invited to attend.)

The week culminates with the naming of the national Small Business Person of the Year. But no need to hold your breath: The winner won’t be a Philadelphia-area company for the umpteenth year in a row.

POSTED: Monday, May 2, 2011, 11:47 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

Let me confess up front that the 13th Wharton Business Plan Competition had me squirming at times as the business students gave their pitches.

Flipables wants to sell low-cost, disposable flip-flops to gyms to help reduce the chances of picking up foot fungus, athlete’s foot, or worse from the shower floor.

Cyrano Nasal Sciences L.L.C. views shots of botulinum toxin in a patient’s nasal passages as a once-a-season treatment for allergies.

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 9:27 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

A company that promises to help clothing makers better understand what customers wear and why proved to be the big winner of the annual Wharton Business Plan Competition Wednesday.

Stylitics picked up the $30,000 grand prize after an afternoon of presentations by eight student-developed companies before a panel of four eight judges.

Team leader Rohan Deuskar told those gathered in Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus that Stylitics hopes to become the "Nielsen for clothing," referring to the company best-known for its television ratings system.

POSTED: Monday, April 25, 2011, 2:00 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

It seems only natural to hold the first Philly Tech Week during the ongoing Philadelphia Science Festival.

Technology and science seem like inseparable twins, after all. But let me disabuse you from thinking that organizers of Philly Tech Week, which starts Monday morning, were inspired by the two-week-long science celebration.

No, the three founders of the two-year-old Technically Philly tech-news blog were thinking about beer - more specifically, Philly Beer Week, which has helped draw attention to the region’s suds scene in its three years.

POSTED: Monday, April 11, 2011, 12:10 PM

For the better part of a decade, the Neat Co. has been trying to help people live with less paper through its line of scanners.

Now that it’s moving offices from West Philadelphia, the company is trying to live what it preaches. Its 52 employees have been told they may take just one box of personal items and paper files with them.

“We are not buying more filing cabinets,” said Neat chief marketing officer Kevin Garton.

POSTED: Monday, April 4, 2011, 11:19 AM

Angel investors may indeed be all around us, but I’m beginning to wonder if these wealthy investors have enough time to belong to all of the groups that want them as members.

That thought occurred to me last week as I watched the inaugural meeting unfold of the Philadelphia chapter of the Keiretsu Forum, an international angel network based in San Francisco.

After months of work, due-diligence expert Howard Lubert and financial adviser Vincent Leusner have brought the 21st chapter of the Keiretsu Forum to Philadelphia. Lubert, who is the brother of prominent local investor Ira Lubert, has been an angel investor with other groups over the years, but said he was impressed by how Keiretsu Forum’s process works.

POSTED: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 3:00 AM
Filed Under: Small Business

I think all of us would love to see a blowout month for job creation one of these first Fridays when the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its widely watched employment report.

The consensus forecast among economists is that the U.S. economy added 185,000 jobs in March. If that figure holds, it's no blowout, but it's better than a year ago.

And that's what many of the various surveys that track employment and hiring expectations are saying -- things are slowly improving. On Thursday, Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group issued its semi-annual economic outlook survey of small and mid-sized business owners that suggests "cautious optimism" is replacing "fear of falling sales."

POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011, 11:38 AM

Big Pharma has been shedding all sorts of assets in recent years - human as well as intellectual property.

While that poses big risks for an area like Philadelphia that is home to so many large pharmaceutical companies, it can be an opportunity for new company formation.

An announcement last week involving brand-name GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. and no-name AltheRx Inc. shows how.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
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