Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

CNBC Anchor: Apple Wants Beats for Its ‘Hip Hop, African-American Cool’ Factor

Monday, May 12th, 2014

(Mediaite) On Thursday night, news broke that Apple is in talks to acquire the Beats Electronics brand for $3.2 million. Beats is perhaps best known for its Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, but also recently launched a streaming Beats Music subscription service. But why does Apple, which has historically stayed away from major acquisitions like this one, want to buy the company for such a large sum?

This was the question CNBC’s Squawk on the Street panel was attempting to answer Friday morning when host Simon Hobbs threw out a surprisingly frank hypothesis.

But first, corespondent Jon Fortt argued that Apple was making a mistake in buying Beats because a competing hardware company has the potential to “dilute” their own solid brand. “There’s actually potentially negative value here,” Fortt said. “Apple should buy either the biggest or the smartest in the space. Beats is neither.”

Full story…

Trader Joe’s Drops Plan To Open Store In Historically Black Neighborhood In Portland, Ore.

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

(AP) — The Trader Joe's grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city's historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.

The grocer, whose stores are found in urban neighborhoods across the nation, said Monday it wouldn't press its plan, given community resistance, The Oregonian ( ) reported.

"We open a limited number of stores each year, in communities across the country," it said in a statement. "We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe's, we understand, and we won't open the store in question."

The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.

Critics said the development would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the nation.

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Silicon Valley: Budding African-American scientists learn from both success and failure

Monday, January 27th, 2014

(San Jose Mercury News) Attention, Tesla Motors: Your next budding engineering genius lives right in your backyard and has a question and a hunch about aerodynamics for you.

Ayinde Olukotun, 11, was intrigued by the electric car company's decision last year to raise its new Model S higher off the ground after a series of well-publicized battery fires.

"As a car guy, I wondered if this small change would alter the aerodynamics of the car," said Ayinde, a sixth-grader at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto.

He was among about 100 young scientists explaining their displays Saturday at the 12th annual Greene Scholars Program Science Fair.

The fair is part of the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program, aimed at nurturing African-American students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math — often called the STEM fields. The program offers workshops, enrichment, a summer institute, a career fair and other activities to the 110 students in third through 12th grade, Program Director Gloria Whitaker-Daniels said.

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Giant ad with white woman welcomes Howard University students

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

(USA Today) A Giant store ad featuring a white model to target Howard University's predominantly black student body is raising eyebrows.

Nearly 87% of Howard's undergraduate and graduate students are black, according to the university. White students make up less than 3% of the student population.

The ad appeared in Giant's circular specific to the new store near Howard's campus. Tweets criticizing the ad started appearing Saturday.


In a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY Network, Giant said, "Unfortunately, an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad, and we apologize for this oversight. We wish all Howard University students a successful semester."

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Obamacare Removes Barriers For Women, Latino Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

(Tech Crunch) Two months ago Luz Rivas walked away from her job to work full-time on her startup, DIY Girls. As the founder and executive director of the group that is teaching girls about engineering and technology, Rivas had to solve for many variables as she transitioned to her dream job. Health insurance was at the top of the list.

On October 1 open enrollment for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare,” began. A studypublished in May predicted that the ACA would have the effect of creating 1.5 million more entrepreneurs nationwide, but how many of those will come from populations that traditionally are under-represented in the entrepreneurial world?

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Asian Americans are the most prolific spenders in U.S., survey shows

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) Asian Americans have emerged as the most prolific and impulsive buyers in the nation, according to a Nielsen survey released Thursday.

They prefer Costco over Wal-Mart, brand names over generics and lead the nation as a demographic in online buying. As a group, their spending power outpaces the coveted millennials — those in their 20s and early 30s, according to Nielsen's "Significant, Sophisticated and Savvy: the Asian American Consumer 2013."

Asian American households, on average, boast incomes of $100,000 or more — earning more than general U.S. households and representing the highest among cultural groups, according to the findings.

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Will Latino Entrepreneurs Help Rewrite California History?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

(Forbes) Recently, a colleague of mine and I drove down Highway 101 – a scenic route that runs roughly parallel to the historic El Camino Real, the royal Spanish road – from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, absorbing all the differences between north and south. There are different climates, different cultures, differentvibes. Midway down the coast – at Pismo Beach, a beautiful, hippyish, run-down beach town – we stopped for a meal.   It felt neither here nor there, but somewhere awesome in between.

I was reminded of that trip a couple of days ago when I learned there are two events this week that challenge our notions of north and south.  The first, in San Francisco, was Hispanicize HX, a technology event that – with the help of the super socially savvy LAM network – had a Hollywood kind of vibe.  And later today, the folks at Manos (a new accelerator serving the Latino tech community) are gathering a pretty big crowd in Hollywood for an event that has a subtle Silicon Valley vibe.   The manner of transport also helps to tell the story.  The Manos team hired a bus to take them from San Jose down the coast, exporting their IP via the path once used by the Spanish court.

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Macy’s Says Its Employees Not Involved in ‘Shop and Frisk’ Allegations

Friday, November 1st, 2013

(ABC) Two New York department stores are defending themselves against allegations of racial discrimination from shoppers, who say they were wrongly accused of shoplifting because of their race.

Both Macy's and Barneys are facing lawsuits from customers, who say they were either arrested or detained shortly after legally purchasing an item at the stores.

The most recent accusation comes from "Treme" actor Robert Brown, 29, who filed a lawsuit against Macy's that alleges he was "paraded" through the store in handcuffs after he purchased a $1,350 watch for his mom.

"I believe that I was profiled," Brown, who is black, said during a press conference on Friday. Brown's lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages, although his lawyer John Elefterakis said, "This is about justice, not money."

According to court documents, Brown alleges that three undercover police officers or detectives detained him after he made a high-price purchase on a credit card. Although he said he showed them his I.D. to prove that the credit card was his, they initially accused him of fraud before he was "paraded while handcuffed" through the store.

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Former Hooters Waitress Claims She Was Target Of Racial Discrimination Over Hair

Monday, October 28th, 2013

(CBS) The popular restaurant chain Hooters is accused of racial discrimination by a former employee in Baltimore. And it all centers around her hair.

Derek Valcourt has more on her complaint.

Specifically, the complaint alleges white waitresses are allowed to have highlights in their hair, but black waitresses are not.

Farryn Johnson’s blonde highlights are now at the center of a complaint filed with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

“My other co-workers, they all had different colors in their hair, like red and blonde highlights. I didn’t think it would be an issue,” she said.

Full story…

Indiegogo campaign seeks to break the ‘white guy entrepreneur’ mold

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

(Venture Beat) Social Venture Network, a non-profit comprised of socially conscious business leaders, wants to inject a bit of diversity into today’s pool of (mostly white, mostly male) entrepreneurs.

Yesterday, the 25 year-old organization launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help women and minority entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground.

The odds are stacked against entrepreneurs who happen not to be white males: women-led social enterprise startups are 40 percent less likely to be funded than their male-led counterparts, even though they generate 15 percent greater revenues, according to an Emory University study. And minority-led companies are 35 percent less likely to receive venture capital financing than non-minority-led companies, it continues.

“Investors tend to go with what they know and look in familiar circles for investment opportunities,” SVN executive director Deb Nelson told VentureBeat. “Women and people of color often get missed.”

To counteract this funding bias, SVN provides scholarships and support services to women and minority entrepreneurs. Its Indiegogo campaign will help fund those initiatives.

“Every $1,000 we raise provides a scholarship to another emerging entrepreneur,” said Nelson.

Full story…

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