Fashion tech startup raised funding round entirely over Zoom during Covid - Tech Insider

Fashion tech startup raised funding round entirely over Zoom during Covid - Tech InsiderFashion tech startup raised funding round entirely over Zoom during Covid - Tech InsiderPosted: 26 May 2020 03:30 AM PDT E-commerce platform Blackcart is set to launch later this month having raised $2 million in venture funding, solely over Zoom, during the coronavirus pandemic. The try-before-you-buy fashion startup has fast-tracked its launch process with Covid-19 closing physical clothes stores across North America."We were going to keep the platform in beta for a few more months, but then Covid came along," Blackcart founder and CEO Donny Ouyang told Business Insider in an interview. "We messaged all potential investors to fast-track the fundraising process to launch, it was five weeks of back and forth, 100s of emails and five or six meetings every day." Click here for more BI Prime stories.E-commerce platform Blackcart is set to launch later this month having raised $2 mil…

A lulu of an expansion: California online apparel merchant opens fulfillment site in Lehigh Valley, pledges at - Allentown Morning Call

A lulu of an expansion: California online apparel merchant opens fulfillment site in Lehigh Valley, pledges at - Allentown Morning Call

A lulu of an expansion: California online apparel merchant opens fulfillment site in Lehigh Valley, pledges at - Allentown Morning Call

Posted: 17 Apr 2019 01:48 PM PDT

Denise T. Ogden, a marketing professor at Penn State Lehigh Valley, said Lulus especially reaches millennials who are looking for high-end, reasonably priced fashion. Company spokeswoman Rachel Rogers said much of the brand's success has been due to social media, fostering a loyal shopper base. The company has 1.7 million Instagram followers, she said.

Redesigned MBA program helps working students | Business - The West Volusia Beacon

Posted: 17 Apr 2019 01:45 PM PDT

Stetson University's School of Business Administration Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has undergone a comprehensive redesign that allows unprecedented flexibility, personalization and program accessibility for students with differing lifestyles.

Three major curriculum changes taking effect for the fall 2019 semester help students intentionally plan a personalized course of study that will translate into success in the real world.

"The transformation of the MBA program addresses two very critical student needs," explained Giovanni Fernandez, Ph.D., executive director of graduate programs and associate professor of finance. "First, a majority of our students are working full time while taking classes, so an online format is essential for their busy lifestyle. Shifting to this model of delivery also allows students with different learning styles the ability to shape the courses to their own mode of learning, promoting a successful experience for each student."

The most significant change is tied to the recognition that many students who pursue an MBA do not have an undergraduate business degree. Instead of going back to school for the undergraduate degree, these students are able to begin their MBA experience by taking two foundation courses designed to prepare students of all backgrounds with both the business acumen and graduate-level rigor needed to succeed in the 36-credit-hour MBA program.

Following completion of the foundation classes, students dive into their core MBA courses and more elective offerings, giving them the ability to focus their program of study in the areas they are most interested in.

The redesign also broke the course into two, eight-week terms per semester, giving students flexibility to respond to life's demands. This is particularly useful for working professionals who in the past may have had to take a break from school for work commitments.

In addition, the coursework will now be 100-percent online with a combination of prerecorded lectures and live online sessions.

"This redesign of the MBA is an important step in enhancing the accessibility of Stetson's business graduate programs to meet the goals of students in Central Florida and beyond who want to build their business acumen," said Neal Mero, Ph.D., dean and professor of management in Stetson's School of Business Administration. "We are thrilled to add this online option for pursuing an MBA to our portfolio of graduate programs, and believe these students will experience the superb business education for which our business school has been known for well over a century."

The redesigned MBA program will be offered to both full-time and part-time students.

The Stetson University School of Business Administration offers several distinct graduate programs for students looking to expand their career opportunities in the business world. In addition, Stetson's hybrid MBA is being restructured and is expected to relaunch in spring 2020.

Small businesses turning far more often to online lenders: Fed - American Banker

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:05 PM PDT

Small-business owners are turning to online lenders for financing much more frequently than they did even two years ago, the Federal Reserve Banks found in a new survey.

Last year 32% of credit-seeking small businesses applied to an online lender, up from 19% in 2016, according to the survey, which was released Tuesday. Over the same period, large banks, small banks and credit unions all saw either steady application rates or a slight decline in interest from those same small businesses, which typically had fewer than 10 employees.

Those business owners are relying more heavily on online lenders even though they ultimately tend to be relatively dissatisfied with their choice, the survey found. Respondents pointed to high interest rates in the online lending sector as a key source of unhappiness. Annual percentage rates in the online business lending sector often exceed 25% and can be much higher.

Approval rates on small-business loan applications by large bank, small bank, online lender

Still, the findings suggest that more traditional lenders risk being left behind if they do not match the faster processes that many online lenders offer. Among small-business owners who applied to an online lender, the top reason cited was the speed at which they anticipated receiving either a loan decision or the requested funding.

"We can tell from the factors that they cite in their choice of lender that they prioritize speed far above cost and interest rate," a Fed researcher who worked on a report that summarized the survey's findings said during a call with reporters. The session with researchers was granted on condition they not be quoted by name.

By contrast, speed was not among the top three factors cited by business owners who applied to either large banks or small banks.

The survey, conducted in the third and fourth quarters of 2018, yielded 6,614 responses in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The respondents spanned a wide range of industries.

Nearly three in four of the firms had fewer than 10 employees, while 71% reported $1 million or less in annual revenue.

In their advertising pitches, online business lenders often emphasize their speedy decision-making. "Business funding in as little as 10 minutes," proclaims the website of the online lender Kabbage.

Meanwhile, traditional lenders offer annual percentage rates of 10% or less to small businesses with good credit profiles, but borrowers may have to wait more than a month to receive the funds. In response to the gap in customer experience, some banks have taken aggressive steps in recent years to offer a digital application process that matches what online lenders provide.

In the Fed survey, respondents who represented a medium or high credit risk reported being far more likely to apply to an online lender than those who posed a low risk. Many loan applicants pointed to expectations about their chances of being approved as a key reason that they chose an online lender.

And prospective borrowers are right to assume that they are more likely to be approved by an online lender. The approval rate at online lenders was 82%, compared with 71% at small banks and 58% at large banks, according to the survey.

The Fed's data also suggests that online business lenders have loosened their lending standards, since their approval rate rose by 13 percentage points in two years.

"What we're seeing over time is really what I would call a sorting of prospective borrowers," a second Fed researcher said during the call Tuesday.

"We're seeing essentially low-credit-risk firms going to very conventional channels, and lower-risk channels, ones that might have a longer wait time, but do offer better rates."

The survey also contained new findings about the relative popularity of different kinds of online business lenders. Among small-business owners who applied to an online lender, 66% said that they chose a direct lender such as Kabbage or OnDeck Capital.

Companies such as PayPal and Square, which offer business financing to firms that use their payment processing services, proved less popular. Some 17% of business owners who applied to an online lender said that they chose a payment processor.

City to launch online permitting portal this summer - Pittsburgh Business Times

Posted: 17 Apr 2019 04:48 AM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]City to launch online permitting portal this summer  Pittsburgh Business Times

Residents and contracts will be able to get permits from home under the new program.


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