Monday, February 17, 2014

Startups Go Global

Chicago is known as a city where startups can thrive. Companies that have made it stick around to invest in and mentor other companies just starting out. Chicago's reputation as a startup hub means it's part of a global community, with Chicagoans not only investing in their own city, but around the world as well.

Troy Henikoff, managing director of Techstars Chicago (a startup accelerator), recently traveled to New Zealand to offer seminars on different business strategies and collaborate with startups there. Entrepreneurs in New Zealand reached out to Henikoff after hearing about Chicago's growing start up scene. Henikoff also met with the city council there and spoke at a local idea incubator, CreativeHQ. 

Chicago and San Francisco also work very closely together because it's mutually beneficial. Sam Yagen, a Chicagoan and the CEO of is a mentor for the Founder Institute halfway across the country in San Francisco. Since both San Francisco and Chicago are known as startup hubs, it only makes sense for them to share their expertise.  


Today's world is increasingly global and connected and the start up community reflects that. People can share ideas instantly from halfway around the world and collaborate to make all start ups more efficient. From Chicago to New Zealand, new ideas are popping up and it's an exciting time to start your own company! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Romantic Getaway Hotels

If you're planning a special trip for Valentine’s Day, but don't want to be surrounded by many other couples one of these romantic, secluded hotels could be the place for you.

The Geejam Hotel, in tropical Jamaica, has five secluded villas, making it a favorite of couples and celebrities alike. The beach is just 10 minutes away, a perfect place to watch the sunrise or just relax in the sand. Whirlpools and private decks with gorgeous views of the ocean complete this romantic experience.

The Cap Masion, in St. Lucia is a luxury hotel with plenty of opportunities to relax and be pampered. There's a spa, a gorgeous pool, and couples' activities like nature walks and cooking classes. After a long nature walk, couples can grab dinner at the cliff top restaurant or mingle with others.

The Ventana Inn and Spa in California is located right on the ocean for great views. It has sixty-three stylish rooms and is set back enough from the world so couples can get away from it all. Wine and cheese tasting in the afternoons, yoga classes, and two pools also make this a great hotel for couples.


In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out one of these relaxing hotels with your special someone. 

For more information please visit

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Going for the Gold: Olympic Hotels

Want to go to the Olympic Games, but don't have the time and money to fly all the way to Sochi? Many hotels are offering Olympic themed packages to appeal to guests who want to be part of all the excitement of the Olympics.

The Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah is located just a short distance away from the Utah Olympic park, built for the 2002 Olympics. Today the park serves as a training center for athletes as well as a tourist destination. Skiers can fly down hills and skaters can train with U.S national speed skating member, Patrick Meek.

HighPeaks Resort's claim to fame comes from the 1980 Olympics when the U.S hockey team defeated the Soviets in an intense game. The Lake Placid Olympic Center, where the game took place, is only a 10 minute walk from the hotel. The center isn't just a part of history, professional figure skating and hockey events still take place there. And when there's no one competing, the center also has an Olympic museum.

The Pierre, a hotel in NYC, is located across from historic Central Park and is a gorgeous old hotel. It also has its own lounge so guests can view the opening and closing ceremonies.


No matter where you choose to celebrate the Olympics, there is sure to be a hotel that suits your needs!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gold Medals & Guests: Sochi 2014

The Olympics always increase tourism for the city they're in and Sochi is no different. Sochi  has essentially revamped their hotel industry in preparation for the games.

Other than Moscow, Sochi has the highest concentration of hotels, with around 9,000 new rooms being added by the start, or soon after the end of the Olympics. Prior to the Olympic Games this year, Sochi only had one internationally branded hotel, but over the past 25 months more and more hotels have been opening to handle the influx of tourists. 

Sochi is known as Russia's premier health club destination and for its gorgeous summer beaches. Tourism peeks in both winter and summer, giving it two money making seasons unlike most resorts, which typically have one busy season.

For Sochi to succeed it needs to stay safe and it can't be abandoned once the games are over. Now that Sochi is a competitor in the tourism industry, it needs to continue its growth after the Olympics.

For more information please visit

Friday, February 7, 2014

Paper Makes Facebook Cool Again

Facebook is still a big part of the social media landscape, but it's not necessarily "cool" anymore. When anyone from parents to your puppy can have a Facebook, it's hard to hold on to the cool factor. Paper, a new app that is already number 2 in the App Store, might just change all that.

Paper is an app designed to work with Facebook, and it's visually filled with high quality photos and animations. It combines news with Facebook statuses, and images from your friends for a truly unique and personalized experience. 

It functions like a newspaper; the top has sections such as pop culture, sports, and Facebook. To look more inside a section you simply swipe over it and different stories from that section appear in the lower half of the screen. This app is revolutionary because you don't need a sports app, a news app, and a Facebook app - all you need is Paper.

Paper could easily replace the original Facebook app because it lets you like and comment on friends statuses and do pretty much everything the Facebook app does. Right now Paper is only available for iOS devices, but if it continues to be a success Android phones should have access to it as well. This time next year you might not even need your Facebook app, all you might need is Paper.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tablets Take Flight

When thinking about which airline to fly price, comfort, and duration typically come to mind. In-flight passenger trays however are not typically amongst this list. Airline trays seem like a minor part of the in-flight experience, but some airlines are looking to make a big change by introducing trays with built in tablets.

A company called SmartTray International recently began developing in-flight trays with tablets built into them. Say goodbye to straining your neck to see the nearest TV monitor and hello to your own personal screen!


The company has developed a few different options - one has a groove which works as a stand for the tablet and a second version clips the tablet into the tray. The third option would replace the back of the seat in front of you with a tablet.  With all of these options the airline is able to program each screen to display safety info or play movies during the flight.  


SmartTray International hopes to launch their new technology by next year, so having your own airline tablet may be just around the corner!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Facebook Enters the Data Industry

Facebook is increasingly ubiquitous and in 2014, Facebook will not only have all your data, but they will also manufacture the technology to collect it.

This past Tuesday, January 28th, Facebook launched low energy server technology, which is expected to compete with Intel Corporation. Facebook has a three year plan in motion to help companies design better data center gear.

Some companies plan on launching server chips based off of smart phone technology. Servers run the entire network and keep everything going, so having an efficient, low cost server is an important part of any business. Right now, Intel dominates the server market and has launched its own low power chips in response to internet giants such as Facebook.

Right now the technology is great for massive companies such as Facebook, but smaller companies might have less data to process, and therefore wouldn't need as much power. Facebook has saved over a billion dollars though using new low server technology, so it seems to be a pretty exciting idea!

For more information please visit,0,6074244.story