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  • Batter Blaster – BbB

    Selling like hotcakes!

    Just when it seemed the only new technology with real marketing potential had to be electronic, someone came up with The Batter Blaster; pancake batter in an aerosol can.   It makes perfect pancakes or waffles with the press of a finger.  Not that food in a spray can is anything new; think  Easy Cheese!  Why didn’t anyone think of spray batter before now? Sean O’Connor, a 36 year old co-owner of a café in San Francisco, thought of the idea in 2000.  He didn’t actually test the idea until he met the woman of his dreams a few years ago.  “She loves waffles,” O’Connor said. “And when we started dating, it was like ‘Oh yeah, baby, I’ll make you waffles.’ That’s what got me back into mixing the batter.” Launched a little over a year ago Batter Blaster exceeded sales goals by selling over 400,000 units in the first 4 month’s.

    Joining the ranks of bagged salads, and pre-shredded cheese,  Batter Blaster solves a couple of problems.  It makes pancakes fast and easy to prepare, but it’s also delicious and made of organic ingredients.  This batter is actually more healthful than pancake mix, with-out the mess! It was easy getting the batter into the can, but it wasn’t easy convincing other’s that this was a great idea.  “The biggest challenge of the whole thing was going to raise money,” O’Connor says “Try telling someone, ‘I have this idea. We’re going to put pancakes in a can,’ and not have them laugh you out of the room.”

    Environmentalists are not fond of this new addition to our throw away mentality.  The metal can and plastic lid might add to our landfills if those too lazy to mix up a batch of pancakes might also be too lazy to recycle.  But, in defense of the seemingly lazy cook, I can’t make a pancake to save my life. They end up too heavy and either under or over cooked.    My husband is the pro-pancake maker in our house.  But what if the kids want pancakes and he isn’t around?  Batter Blaster to the rescue.  It makes a perfectly yummy pancake every time, especially when it’s topped off with Ready Wip!

    What type of batter will they blast next? Beth Carroll

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  • Hey Buddy Pet Supply Company

    The Hey Buddy Vending Company is a new and innovative way of making sure you and your k9 have a blast at the local park. The Hey Buddy Vending Machine doggie toys such as a ball, Frisbee, squeak toy, etc., and in case you forgot to bring an item from home it’s supplied with pet food, flea collars, pick-up bags, leashes, vitamin-water, and treats as well. Some unique items include K9 Quencher, BarkBars, Edible Birthday Cards and other unique items.  All Items in the vending machines range between $1-10 dollars. The items must come from Hey Buddy, or an approved vendor; however, because the company wants to be able to let you have a little freedom, each owner is given one shelf in the vending machine to stock with their own customized products (after being approved by Hey Buddy of course).

    This fun and innovative concept was thought up by Carletta Lennox back in 1998. Ms Lennox noticed that while in the Miami park areas, there seemed to be a large need for clean up supplies and other items to help keep the pets entertained. After patenting the concept, the first vending machine was placed in Dallas, Texas in a local park called Bark Park.

    Hey Buddy serves a unique niche within a market that no one else does, and makes money doing it. Products are purchased at wholesale prices, and sold at retail prices. The primary revenue that one could expect to make comes mostly from item sales out of the machine, while the rest of the revenue comes from advertising sales on the side of the machines. Profits vary depending on location and demographics, and I wouldn’t quit your day job. However, with a good location, one can expect to make a decent profit. Hey buddy Machines can be bought as part of franchise with no franchise fees or royalty fees. Click here for more information and to see the website.

    Hey Buddy accepts all major credit cards. :-) By 9am Team 2, Curtis, Courtney, John, Letter and Jeffrey

  • The Village Experience: A Business that Gives Back

    The Village Experience: A Business that Gives Back

    Have you ever had a travel experience where you learned how to cook the native foods of a different country, danced to traditional music, explored ancient landmarks and buildings, experienced the beautiful landscape, and made a difference in peoples’ lives? Most of us probably can’t say that we’ve had an experience in our lives that combines all of these aspects. Thanks to the up-and-coming company, The Village Experience, now anyone who desires embarking on a cultural and humanitarian adventure can do so.

    The Village Experience was started by two young sisters, Kelly and Anne Campbell in April 2008 after they felt they weren’t getting enough joy and satisfaction out of their jobs. Both women graduated from Indiana University and found themselves working jobs in the fashion industry, Kelly at Tommy Hilfiger and Anthropologie and Anne at BCBG. Both women traveled a lot for their job and they soon discovered their love for experiencing different cultures of the world. Kelly said that, “I quickly learned that I loved the international part, but fashion wasn’t doing much for me anymore. I didn’t feel that I was giving back.”So both girls, tired of their jobs in the fashion industry, decided to embark on a new adventure and create The Village Experience.

    The idea behind their company is to plan unique trips that anyone can sign up for. They’re different from your average travel agency in the fact that they travel to impoverished countries rather than your typical tourist destinations and their trips are structured around being immersed in local experiences, adventures, humanitarian work, environmental education and sightseeing. The two sisters put in countless hours of work planning these trips, traveling to the countries themselves and scoping out places to stay and activities to take part in that are worthwhile but also support the local economy. Their hope is that their customers will have a wonderful time and experience a new culture, but they also hope that their lives will be touched forever and that they’ll be moved to give back to these countries that are suffering. Their tours now travel to many countries including, Jamaica, South Africa, Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Thailand and India.

    Along with leading trips, The Village Experience also has a store in Broadripple, Indiana that sells fair-trade products from the countries that they visit. They carry beautiful jewelry, scarves, bags, pottery and much more. You can also purchase items from their online store. www.experiencethevillage.com

    The Village Experience is just one example of a socially responsible business that is doing something to help make the world a better place. Thanks to the passion of Kelly and Anne and their ambition to start this company, people like you and me can now experience life changing adventures like no other. ENTR200 9am Team 5, Molly, Byron, Kyle, Andrew

  • Quantum Dots & You

    From InVisage's web site

    You might logically ask “Why should I know/be concerned about anything quantum, let alone dots?” Because in no more than two short years they will change forever the quality of photos [and movies] possible from mobile devices such as smart phones. As presently designed, expect in excess of 12 mega pixels from an iPhone for instance. Now that’s cool. You can read more about quantum dots here:

    But there’s more to the story. The company that will bring quantum dots to market ahead of the pack, InVisage, has as one of its board members,  Chris Baldwin, a partner in Charles River Ventures (CRV). According to InVisage’s web site, “Chris has a long track record in successful technology startups, both on the venture capital and entrepreneurial sides of the ledger. Among other credits as a venture capitalist, he was the founding investor for Equallogic, a MA company acquired by Dell in 2008 for $1.375B. Other companies from his portfolio have been acquired by Intel, Sun, Symantec and JDSU. On the entrepreneurial side, Chris’ career includes executive management roles at Argon Networks, Cascade Communications and Chipcom Inc. With engineering degrees in electrical engineering and optics, Chris started his career with engineering responsibilities first at Polaroid and then Digital Equipment Corporation.”

    And why should ENTR200 students of mine reading this blog care? Your “finals” in this class include application to CRV for funding and a pseudo presentation to people of Chris’ ilk. Be forewarned and be prepared. Hank

  • Way Entrepreneurs Think

    In our ENTR200 classes @ Purdue University, we stress the fact that entrepreneurs see opportunity where the unwashed masses see whatever their psychic dna dictates. This blog is about an example to drive this point home.

    The world renown author Thomas L. Friedman writing in his Op-Ed column for the NY Times recently posted are article titled “America’s Real Dream Team.”  He started off the article with a long list of  these names:” Linda Zhou, Alice Wei Zhao, Lori Ying, Angela Yu-Yun Yeung, Lynnelle Lin Ye, Kevin Young Xu, Benjamin Chang Sun, Jane Yoonhae Suh, Katheryn Cheng Shi, Sunanda Sharma, Sarine Gayaneh Shahmirian, Arjun Ranganath Puranik, Raman Venkat Nelakant, Akhil Mathew, Paul Masih Das, David Chienyun Liu, Elisa Bisi Lin, Yifan Li, Lanair Amaad Lett, Ruoyi Jiang, Otana Agape Jakpor, Peter Danming Hu, Yale Wang Fan, Yuval Yaacov Calev, Levent Alpoge, John Vincenzo Capodilupo and Namrata Anand” then went on to develop a convincing case that these largely ethnic Chinese-India high school finalists in 2010 Intel Science Talent Search represent the future of the United States and will be able to solve any future problems the current generation leaves behind. Of course, that remains to be seen and is not the lesson herein. [How about that for a really really long sentence?]

    Buried in Friedman’s article was this tidbit: “Local San Jose realtors are running ads in newspapers in China and India telling potential immigrants to “buy a home” in[the] Lynbrook school district because it produced “two Intel science winners.”” This boys and girls, is an example of an entrepreneurial mind-set on the part of San Jose realtors. Opportunities often don’t come knocking as such, but are what you make of what the vast majority see at best as “interesting.” Hank

  • Have a Happy Friday: The New Dork

  • Educational Opportunities in Second Life

    The week before Spring Break, my ENTR200 students were provided a briefing and assignment involving virtual worlds such as Second Life and/or WoW. This Summer Semester I’m scheduled to teach a Krannert MSIA course [MGMT690] named Sustainability Strategies, where we will investigate how companies may accrue competitive advantage through sustainability initiatives. Virtual worlds are being used by sustainability educators also, and virtual worlds are an open gold mine for entrepreneurs of all ilks. See video below. Hank

  • Lulu’s Sunset Grill

    Parrotheads know that Jimmy Buffet has sustained a successful career as a singer/songwriter and entrepreneur.  For nearly 35 years his concerts, CD’s and T-shirts have sold like they’re “going out of style”.  Jimmy started his own restaurant and gift shop on the Florida Keys over 20 years ago.  Since then his Margaritaville Café (http://www.margaritaville.com/) concept has spanned the globe with nearly a dozen touristy locations from Niagara Falls to Jamaica. [We had a cool one in Grand Turk at one during our cruise - Hank]  He also co-developed the successful Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chain.

    Maybe entrepreneurship runs in the Buffet gene pool because his sister Lucy is an extremely successful business owner, too.  Or maybe their environment had something to do with it.  The Buffett kids grew up in Mobile Alabama with deep roots in the shipping industry.  Their father worked long hours in the shipyard and their grandfather was a tough captain of his own ship.  Their families’ strength and love of the sea has influenced both the Buffetts, not only in Jimmy’s lifestyle and music, but in Lucy’s cooking and artistry.   Lucy could have successfully opened and managed a Margaritaville in Gulf Shores, but Lucy had her own vision.  Ten years ago when she first opened LuLu’s Sunset Grill she said, “I thought … hey, a little place on the water to get a cold beer and a good burger, just like my daddy would have loved after a long day of fishing.”  But, this isn’t just a little beach dive with great food.  Today Lulu’s Homeport Marina (http://www.lulusathomeport.com/index-live.php) encompasses acres of waterfront property.  Customers wait over two hours to get one of the 400 coveted seats in her restaurant.  While waiting they can spend money in her artsy gift shop, play volleyball or horseshoes on the sandy beaches on the property, or sit at the outdoor bar overlooking the water and listen to live bands.  It’s a party all the time!  Lulu’s isn’t easy to find.  It’s located underneath a very tall bridge surrounded by a marina.  Even with its challenging location, once you’ve spotted the pink glow of Lulu’s you can’t wait to check it out.  I had never heard of Jimmy Buffett’s sister until I read her menu.  The food, the atmosphere and the experience were memorable.  Lulu’s is lucky to have Jimmy in her network. With all of his experience he has certainly helped advise her along the way.  But Lucy’s business is a success because of her amazing vision and ability to execute.  Cheers! Beth Carroll

    [Lulu's sponsors a monkey named Lulu also. A cute video clip of Lulu visiting Lulu's is below. Enjoy. Hank]

  • Kids With Tablets

    Today’s blog is the first from teams in my two ENTR200 classes at Purdue University. What do readers think? BTW, I have an iPad 16 on order for April 3 delivery, along with a VGA adapter for classroom use :-) Hank

    Penguin’s vision

    When the iPad was presented a few months back, the hype was within the realm of adult users and those with a bit of computer literacy. However, Penguin sees it differently. Penguin sees the potential in edutainment, “But the iPad is perfect for kids in a lot of ways–its larger screen is much easier for kids to manipulate than an iPhone or other smartphone, and the full-color screen and fast processor allow for bright, colorful apps with motion, which eBook readers like the Kindle can’t handle.” Check the video here and at bottom.

    Some Stats for Apps

    According to 148Apps.biz, approximately 40,000 Apps are categorized as Books or Education, which is over 25% of the total Apps in store. With an average price of $2.70 (including games), that is a total of $108,000. Let’s be conservative and say that of the 3Bn App downloads, 25% are paid. This means that 750,000,000 downloads, at $2.70 average price per App, this is a whole lotta money that is available to be made by an entrepreneurial soul.

    Read a bit about App stats here and here. All that needs be said is $17.5 Billion by 2012!!!

    A few perspectives on iPad and Education:

    According to PBS.org, “Tablets will change education this year and in the future because they align neatly with the goals and purposes of education in a digital age.” Read an interesting blog post here. Additionally, a marketer’s perspective supports the previous observations of the sweet spot in Education as a profitable market. Also supporting that perspective is this analysis.

    A Final thought on Target Market

    Take the thought of Children as a potential for lucrative business, and instead change your perspective on the Boomers and elderly. This link does a great job at telling the elegance and beauty of making things simple. If you can see the possibilities, you are one step closer. – Justin de la Chi(cago)-

  • SoyTabs is a winner

    The team I served as marketing faculty adviser won the 2010 Soy contest and are $20,000 richer as a result. Their web page (Wix of course) is here: Basically they developed a soy-based filler for pills, the stuff that carries the good chemicals for delivery in your body. More specifically, “the Soy Tabs team, which took first place, included Ryan Fox, a nuclear engineering major from Rising Sun, Ind.; Krista Eakins, a biological engineering and pharmaceutical sciences major from Connersville, Ind.; Danielle Carpenter, a biological engineering and pharmaceutical sciences major from Plainfield, Ind.; and Brittany Phillips from Monroe, Wis., who graduated with degrees in biological engineering and pharmaceutical sciences. Using soy, they created a substance known as an excipient that binds powdered drugs into pills. The soy allowed for a dry, roller compaction method of production, which eliminated a drying step.” Quote from here:

    Here’s several internet articles about the competition provided by Danielle:

    * Purdue Newsroom article (about the winners)

    http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/students/2010/100309NordlandCompetition.html (can also get to from www.purdue.edu – we’re on the main webpage!)

    * Purdue Exponent from today (about the winners)

    http://www.purdueexponent.com/?module=article&story_id=20431

    * Purdue Exponent from Tuesday, March 9th (about all the teams)

    http://www.purdueexponent.com/?module=article&story_id=20404

    * Journal and Courier from Tuesday, March 9th (about all the teams)

    http://www.jconline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20103090326

    What have readers of this blog accomplished lately? Hank

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