Friday, January 18, 2019

NDSU Students Let Business Ideas Flow to Kick Off Innovation Challenge - KVRR

Startup Visa program hopes to attract immigrants with business ideas, capital - Winnipeg Free Press

Dmitry Zvonov's hometown of Barnaul in Siberia is city close to the same size as Winnipeg and has a similar climate.

Speaking from downtown Winnipeg on Friday afternoon with temperatures around minus 26, Zvonov, 44, was likely one of the few recent immigrants to the province who could say honestly that "the weather is fine today."

In fact, he is partly here precisely because of the extreme cold winter temperatures like the city is currently experiencing.

Zvonov has been qualified to participate in a newly revised federal government program to attract immigrants with startup business ideas, called the Startup Visa program.

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Dmitry Zvonov's hometown of Barnaul in Siberia is city close to the same size as Winnipeg and has a similar climate.

Speaking from downtown Winnipeg on Friday afternoon with temperatures around minus 26, Zvonov, 44, was likely one of the few recent immigrants to the province who could say honestly that "the weather is fine today."

In fact, he is partly here precisely because of the extreme cold winter temperatures like the city is currently experiencing.

Zvonov has been qualified to participate in a newly revised federal government program to attract immigrants with startup business ideas, called the Startup Visa program.

He has developed an all-natural solid fuel that burns with no residue, is light weight, odorless, smokeless, environmentally friendly, water resistant and perfectly capable of igniting and burning in temperatures as low as minus 70. He believes the product has many applications and is starting by targeting the leisure outdoor market.

The Startup Visa Program expedites immigration to Canada for people with viable business ideas and the financial resources necessary to get them going.

Depending on the size and of the enterpirse participants in the program need to have support from a qualifying organization — either a venture capital firm, an angel investor organization or, as in Arctic Fire's case, a business incubator. They also need to have cash to support themselves and their family. (Zvonov has moved here with his wife and three children.)

Arctic Fire is being supported by Manitoba Technology Accelerator, which is the only organization designated by the federal government to participate in the program in Manitoba.

The MTA is a business incubator that has helped technology companies in Winnipeg scale up for several years. (It was the incubator that helped Skipthedishes grow from a tiny startup from Saskatoon into what is now an international operation with close to 2,000 Winnipeg employees.)

The MTA's Marshall Ring, believes that if his group does its job and helps immigrant entrepreneurs launch successful businesses, there is a chance that the Startup Visa program could become a strategic avenue for growth for the city.

Without any marketing, the MTA has already received 200 expressions of interest since October which resulted in 44 applications about 20 of which have been accepted. Five of them have made it through the immigration process (which is handled by the normal federal government immigration bureaucracy) and are signed up with the program. Participants pay market rates for business consultants.

Ring said the MTA is looking for companies with disruptive technology that already have revenue of about $500,000, no more than 10 employees and have the expectation to generate rapid growth that would let them double in size every year.

They hope to have 30 clients signed up by the middle of the summer. The operation has leased new space in the concourse under the Centennial Concert Hall to house the ventures.

"There is no limit on how many we can bring in. There is no quota," Ring said. "We think it will intensify as we get success. We have to crawl, walk then run. But as we start gaining a national reputation as being a good landing place for the Startup Visa program... we think this will really help."

Gord Blaine, the manager of MTA’s Starup Visa program stream, will manage a team of 10 to 15 business consultants who work with the immigrant entrepreneurs.

He said, "Arctic Fire will initially target the outdoor camping busines, but secondary markets include tourism, military, restaurant, catering and home emergency applications."

Zvonov said the decision to come to Canada to develop the business — he has production in Russia where the product is patented — is because the low cost of oil and gas in Russia detracts from the value of alternative fuels like Arctic Fire.

"In Russia oil and gas is much cheaper than green technologies," he said. "Canada is a country that takes care of its environment. People are happy to pay a little more to save nature. And we came to Winnipeg because of the climate. It's the same as where I live in Siberia."

MTA has also already signed up entrepreneurs from Brazil, China and India.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

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Entrepreneur Calvin Brock punches above his weight with business ideas - Charlotte Post

PHOTO | UNC CHARLOTTE
Charlotte native and former heavyweight boxing contender Calvin Brock is also an entrepreneur.

Boxing and business are dual passions that fuel Calvin Brock’s life.


The entrepreneur-pugilist knew from an early age that one day, he would compete for a world championship, and he would come to appreciate the lessons learned along the way, especially from UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.


Brock’s dream began one Christmas morning. A typical 8-year-old, he excitedly opened a gift from his uncle. As he ripped away the wrapping paper, Brock discovered two pairs of boxing gloves.


“I couldn’t figure out why he gave me two pairs, because my sister was my only sibling, and back then, girls didn’t train to box,” said Brock, a 1999 UNCC graduate. “But with the gloves, I started boxing with kids in the neighborhood, and I loved it. I begged and begged my parents to let me start training, and they finally relented when I was 10. But the gym's trainer said to come back when I was 12.”


And return he did. He began with the North Charlotte Boxing Club (now the Charlotte Boxing Academy) and also trained with the Police Athletic League. The young fighter struggled, losing his first four contests, and just when he thought he would have to leave Charlotte to train, his father stepped in.


The senior Brock ordered instructional boxing videotapes and became his son’s trainer. After enduring two more losses, Brock won his seventh boxing match, and his aspirations started to materialize.


“I started going on winning streaks, winning second place in the National Junior Olympics at age 15, which ranked me the No. 2 amateur boxer in the country,” said Brock, who continued to compile titles statewide and nationally, including the Silver Gloves. He would win the national Golden Gloves heavyweight championship in 1998. As a senior at West Charlotte High School, Brock vied for a spot on the 1992 U.S. Olympic team; it would take eight years, but he won a spot on the 2000 squad and competed in Sydney, Australia.


Although dedicated to boxing, Brock knew that his chosen sport was part of the entertainment business, and success, in part, hinged on branding and promotion. A scholarship to Northern Michigan University, home of the Olympic Training Center for Boxing, evaporated due to funding cuts. So, the budding entrepreneur did what many others have to do when faced with adversity – be prepared to change course. Brock enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College, and later transferred to UNCC, where he majored in finance.


“I owe a great deal of my success to UNC Charlotte and the Belk College. All along, I knew that to build a boxing career, I would need to learn the finer points of business,” Brock said. “Belk College taught me the marketing, accounting, the economics that I needed. College makes you a well-rounded individual, and in business school, there were lots of team projects that enabled me to learn how to communicate, delegate and negotiate – all key skills needed in the entrepreneurial sport of boxing.”


Following graduation, Brock worked briefly for Bank of America, but he continued to train and compete professionally.


Calvin Brock, the Boxing Banker, became his own franchise and he assembled the team to advance his career, which meant selecting a trainer, promoter, publicist and corner personnel.


“Boxing is the most entrepreneurial sport there is,” Brock said. “I was the living, breathing embodiment of the product, so all my decisions had to be very strategic.”


And all his planning and discipline enabled Brock to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport. The crescendo came in 2006 when he lost to Wladimir Klitschko in a world heavyweight championship bout. Subsequent retinal damage from a 2007 match against

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Singapore online businesses tackling challenges in new markets - The Straits Times

It will come as no surprise that Singapore's limited market size has made local start-ups the regional leaders when it comes to venturing into new markets.

But as a new survey shows, that sense of adventure can also hit major hurdles when it comes up against foreign business cultures, different payment systems and regulations.

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Quiz: Which online business course would suit you best? - Study International

With the rise of online business education, an increasing number of international students are choosing to transfer their data, analytical and accounting skills over to virtual syllabi.

Thanks to today’s digital dimensions, we now have the freedom to opt for a diverse assortment of disciplines and obtain an appropriate qualification.

So, if you’re struggling to find out which business course is best for you, take the quiz below and find out!

Do you enjoy working with people?

What's your opinion of digital advertisements?

Do you want to own your own business one day?

Do you think a business thrives by numbers or images?

Are you someone who likes to be in control of business projects?

Is marketing or management more important?

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

Quiz: How well do you know these UCAS terms?

Quiz: Architecture students, can you name these trends?



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The Latest: Giuliani denies report Trump told Cohen to lie - Seymour Tribune

WASHINGTON — The Latest on a report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney to lie to Congress (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

Donald Trump’s personal attorney is denying that the president told his former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about the details of a Trump business proposal in Russia.

Rudy Giuliani says in a statement that “Any suggestion— from any source— that the President counseled Michael Cohen to lie is categorically false.” Giuliani is responding to a Buzzfeed News report saying that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress.

The report was based on information from two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The officials are not named in the story.

The report says Cohen said Trump directed him to lie and investigators have additional documents and testimony backing that up.

__

10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing his former personal attorney of “lying to reduce his jail time!” after BuzzFeed News published a report saying Trump had asked his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress in 2017.

BuzzFeed said Trump directed Cohen to lie about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

Trump tweeted that Cohen is “Lying to reduce his jail time!” even though he’s already been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax crimes, bank fraud and campaign violations.

On Fox News Channel, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that the BuzzFeed story was “absolutely ludicrous,” but he repeatedly refused to deny the central allegation: that Trump directed Cohen to lie.

One of Gidley’s interviewers noted at one point: “That was not a denial of my question.”

The Democratic chairmen of two House committees pledged Friday to investigate the report, which cites two unnamed law enforcement officials.

The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the report.

__

8:23 a.m.

The House intelligence committee chairman said he will “do what is necessary” to confirm a published report that President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations over a real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 election.

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff of California says the allegation that Trump asked Cohen to lie “to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date.”

The report by BuzzFeed News, citing two unnamed law enforcement officials, says that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress and that Cohen regularly briefed Trump on the Moscow project. The Associated Press has not independently confirmed the report.

An adviser to Cohen, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.



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Planning Board to consider four Rockport business proposals - PenBayPilot.com

ROCKPORT — On Jan. 23 the Rockport Planning Board will consider proposals and review the progress of local businesses that aim to expand on their current sites or open new locations.

The board will review an application by Aphiwat Raklittikul, who formerly operated the restaurant Mr. Wat on Commercial Street, to establish a takeout restaurant in an existing commercial building at 148 West Street., opposite the Anchor Church.

The board will also consider applications of Buck Holdings LLC (Plants Unlimited), which has submitted a pre-application to build a 2.6 acre work access road at its Commercial Street location, and an application by Ben Pratt to expand an existing home occupation automotive garage at 495 Rockland Street to a tradesman usage.

The Planning Board will also continue a development/site review of an application submitted by Steve and Jacqueline Laite to operate their towing business from 314 West Street and their proposal to construct a 40’x60’ storage building on their property.

According to documents filed at the Rockport Town Office, an application was received from Raklittikul to operate a takeout pizza restaurant from 148 West Street, a building which once housed a Floor Magic retail store and was recently a shipping and storage location for Herbal Revolution.

A Planning Board meeting to review the application had been scheduled for Dec. 26 of 2018, but was rescheduled to Jan. 23 due to a lack of a quorum. 

The proposal includes no exterior structural changes. The parking area can currently accommodate 16 vehicles although only eight cars at a time are anticipated by the restaurant, which is referred to in renderings as “Spice Herbal Pizzeria.”

The site is located within the town’s 907 District, which permits restaurant use.

The restaurant is expected to operate with one employee and will not have customer seating inside because it is designed as a takeout location only. The only proposed changes to the outside of the property are lighting for the parking area, signage and a dumpster for trash removal.

A Jan. 4 memo to the Planning Board from Gartley & Dorsky Engineers explains that the 2.6 acre work yard proposed by Buck Holdings LLC would include an access road.

The project at 629 Commercial St. would result in some 5,000 square feet of grading, and the yard would be used to Plants Unlimited to store trees, shrubs and other plantings.

The work combined with existing development on the site would result in a total of 33 percent lot coverage, which is below the 50 percent coverage allowable in Rockport’s Land Use Ordinance.

According to a site review summary prepared by acting Town Planner Bill Najpauer, Ben Pratt has operated his automotive repair garage from 495 Rockland Street as under the home occupation usage for the past three years.

As business has grown, Pratt seeks to change the status of the shop to a tradesman operation. The garage currently has one or two employees at any time, and no additional building expansion is proposed. The board will also review a landscaping and planting schedule for Steve Laite’s towing company which operates from 314 West Street.

The Planning Board meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Rockport Opera House.

See previous articles:

Takeout-only pizza restaurant may come to Rockport

Tomi’s Sushi and Noodle Bar to replace Mr. Wats’ in Rockport

Mr. Wat celebrates one-year business anniversary in Rockport



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