10 Facts on How Addictions Treatment vs. Incarceration Cuts Costs for Taxpayers

By Laurel Sindewald

If we’re looking for ways to save national and corporate dollars, then it’s high time we took a look at our criminal justice system. [Read more…]

10 Sobering Facts on the Business Costs of Addiction

By Laurel Sindewald

1. In 2012, 9.2% of Americans 12 or older were current users of illegal drugs and, of 21.5 million current illegal drug users 18 or older, 14.6 million or 67.9% were employed full-time or part-time. SourceSource

2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that drug abuse and addiction from the use of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs cost the U.S. over $524 billion each year. Those costs include health care, productivity loss, crime, incarceration and drug enforcement. Source [Read more…]

Thinking of Opening Your Own Restaurant? Think About These 10 Stats

Always dreamed of opening your own restaurant?  Learn more about the market and your competition by checking out these U.S. restaurant industry statistics.

  1. There are 998,000 restaurant locations in the U.S. Source
  2. Restaurant-industry sales projected for 2013 are over $660 billion. Source
  3. Employees in the restaurant industry number 13.1 million. Source
  4. Restaurants are expected to add 1.3 million new positions in the next decade. Source
  5. The consumers of the U.S. restaurant industry declined from 62.7 billion in 2008 to 60.6 billion in 2011. Independent restaurants accounted for 87 percent of these traffic losses.
  6. Source Thinking of opening your own restaurant?Source

  7. Since 2008, restaurant chains have increased by 4511 units while the number of independent restaurant decreased by 7158 units. Source
  8. In 2007, the full-service restaurants in Washington, D.C. reported the highest sales per business ($1.7 million), while it was the lowest in South Dakota ($565 thousand). The national average was $847 thousand. Source
  9. About 4 out of 10 restaurant customers say they would be likely to use an electronic ordering system and menus on tablet computers at table service restaurants. Source
  10. 76 percent of consumers say they are trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did two years ago. Source
  11. According to a report by Hudson Institute, restaurants that offered more lower-calorie services experienced a 9 percent increase in food and beverage sales from 2006 to 2011. Restaurants that offered fewer low-calorie services saw sales drop by 16 percent. Source (.pdf)

For more information about the Restaurant Industry Forecast in 2013, including graphics and video, visit Restaurant.org/Forecast.

In addition to the aforementioned statistics about the restaurant industry in the U.S. market, those willing to launch their own restaurants may find the following study very interesting.  This study conducted by Parsa at Cornell University, Why Restaurant Fail (.pdf) explores the reasons for restaurant failures in the U.S.

Elmira Hamidi is a researcher for Handshake 2.0, a graduate student in the Virginia Tech Department of Communication, and a marketing assistant at the Virginia Tech Business Services Office.

Crowdfunding: It’s Still Who You Know

From Anne Giles Clelland:

I have been moved and amazed to see who is on the list of contributors to our crowdfunding campaign for our behavioral health mobile app, Cognichoice.

Here are ten facts about our contributors.

Cognichoice Mug - Coffee, Tea and We1.
They're from 10 states in the U.S., plus the District of Columbia: CA, FL, IA, MA, MD, MN, TN, NY, VA, WA, and Washington, DC.

2. To what we think is the Commonwealth of Virginia's first answer to Senator Mark Warner's call to crowdfund a technology startup, 54% of the contributors  are from Blacksburg, Virginia, The Most Wired Town in America.

3. Our deeply appreciated global contributor is from Hyderabad, India.

4. 28% gave $25 to attend the Cognichoice Crowdfunding Success Celebration as their reward. Whether we succeed at our funding goal or not, we're having that party!

5. 11% generously gave $100 each for the Cognichoice mug as a thank you reward. It is a great mug – selected carefully for us by Dana Giesen of Eleven West and, thanks to graphic designer Nancy Brauer, shown how it will look for us when we share a cup of Cognichoice.

6. A whopping 44% chose no reward so the contribution can go directly to continuing to build Cognichoice.

7. Their gifts range from $10 to $500.

8. I personally know 85% of them.

9. Of the contributors I know, they're aged 22 to 83.

10. Among them: startup founders; company founders in business 10, even 20 years; community leaders; public officials; business executives and professionals; professors; neighbors; people who, I know, stretched and gave up something else so they could contribute - teachers! our contractors!; and most heartbreakingly moving, former students I knew when they were in their teens. 

I have big dreams for Cognichoice. With 9 days left in our crowdfunding campaign and, as of this writing, $3,486 towards a $66,297 funding goal, I have to shake my head and, while not laugh, smile a bit at myself. Okay, maybe I dreamed a little too big for crowdfunding.

But I never, ever dreamed that the "crowd" that would contribute to our crowdfunding campaign would consist almost entirely of people I know – my family members, my friends, my colleagues. To have their support is beyond the realm of dreams. I am touched to my essence by their faith and hope. I will gratefully use their belief and their dollars to continue to power my very best efforts on behalf of what I believe - what I know – can help people who are in in trouble change their lives – Cognichoice.  

. . . . .

We are crowdfunding Cognichoice – The App That Helps People Change - on Health Tech Hatch. We invite you to contribute.

I love Bill Holland's scenarios of people – "Keith" and "Patty" – using Cognichoice. You can check those out here.

Questions, feedback, comments?  I welcome them. Please email me, [email protected], or call me, 540-808-6334. 

10 Facts about Health Tech Hatch

From Yasmine Rezai, Vice President of Marketing, Health Tech Hatch:

Health Tech Hatch - crowdfunding for health tech entrepreneursHealth Tech Hatch
(“Hatch”) is a resource dedicated to launching early-stage innovations in health care and putting them into the hands of patients, physicians, wellness professionals and consumers. Hatch provides a platform both for crowdfunding (a groundbreaking method of raising start-up funds for a new business or product) and usability feedback on concepts and prototypes, supporting health care entrepreneurs who have brilliant ideas ready to hatch. 

Hatch also:

  1. is unique among crowdfunding platforms because it focuses on health care and wellness and creates a synergy among a crowdfunding model, concept and prototype testing, and expert mentorship.
  2. vets campaigns and projects for quality.
  3. provides total wraparound, step-by-step support for entrepreneurs running crowdfunding campaigns.
  4. offers a sophisticated, strategic social media team to support campaigns.
  5. provides clinician end-users to test concepts and prototypes that would benefit from expert panel feedback and consumer testers to evaluate concepts and prototypes that would benefit from end-user feedback.
  6. encourages both for-profit and not-for-profit entrepreneurs to post their health-related crowdfunding campaigns.
  7. is featured in more than 14 recent media pieces including MobiHealthNews and Forbes.
  8. ranks on the first page for health-related niche topics and name searches.
  9. has a CEO on the Board of Directors of the National Crowdfunding Association.
  10. will premier its testing platform in a three-way partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Health 2.0. Health Tech Hatch will offer Hatch testers up for free to developers entering the healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge.

From Handshake 2.0:

We are so excited to be getting ready to crowdfund our own health tech innovation, Cognichoice, on Health Tech Hatch: “Cognichoice – The App That Helps People Change.”  The campaign will launch Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

You can follow our crowdfunding story in the Cognichoice category on Handshake 2.0.

Of further interest:

The Who, Why and How of Crowdfunding:  What Is Crowdfunding? 
4 Ways to Increase the Likelihood of Crowdfunding Success, an interview with Patricia Salber, CEO, Health Tech Hatch
Cognichoice Crowdfunding Project on Health Tech Hatch Announcement

Tech Showcase: 10 Facts about Clever Commute

From Clever Commute:

Clever Commute is a mobile app that provides a suite of services for commuters who use public transportation for the trip in and out of major cities.

Also, Clever Commute…

  1. started as a handshake agreement between a few New Jersey Transit train commuters…and has grown into a nationwide network.
  2. offers users alerts via e-mail, text messaging,Twitter, and a mobile website.
  3. works on a “freemium” model and is currently in beta.
  4. provides B2B services for news, traffic and transit organizations.
  5. filters and curates user-generated content to solve a very relevant problem with a patent pending technology.
  6. ranks messages for commuters so they can sure that both good and bad “posters” get the necessary feedback.
  7. reaches an amazing demographic for advertisers.
  8. works on all technology platforms.
  9. is self-funded and has been bootstrapped to revenue, profits and growth.
  10. has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and on CNN, CBS and NBC news (see this link for a list of press coverage).

Clever Commute is developed by Clever Communicator, LLC, a New Jersey start-up.  It is a thriving and profitable alerting service used by over 20,000 commuters in the country’s largest markets. Clever Commute was founded by CEO Joshua Crandall

Fusion Business Accelerator, a Fusion PR CompanyThis edition of the Tech Showcase on Handshake 2.0 is sponsored by Fusion Business Accelerator (BA), a Fusion PR company.  Fusion BA provides business development services, executive recruiting and assistance in helping startups identify sources of strategic, tactical and investment capital.

Fusion Public Relations is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

10 Facts about GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls

From GoldieBlox:

GoldieBlox is a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. GoldieBlox makes construction toys geared towards girls' play patterns that combine storytelling and building as a way to get girls to develop their spatial skills and self-confidence in math and science.

GoldieBlox also:

1. was founded by Debbie Sterling, an engineer from Stanford.

2. raised $150,000 in 5 days on Kickstarter, with 3 weeks left to go!
3. stars a main character named "Goldie Blox," the kid inventor in overalls, a tool belt and mismatched socks.
4. was partly inspired by Debbie's grandmother, Sterling Sturtevant, one of the first female cartoonists at Disney and the creator of "Mr. Magoo."
5. includes an e-book available for iPad and iPhone, giving animated tutorials and narration to enrich the building experience.
6. was originally tested on over 100 children in over 40 homes and 3 schools in the prototype phase.

 7. will become a complete book+toy series, with books two and three already mapped out and set to launch in Spring 2013

 8. is Debbie's second foray into crowd funding , the first being "I Want a Goat," a viral fundraising campaign that helped raise $30,000 for rural villages in India.

 9. has the founder of Pictionary as one of its key advisors.

10. is based off an idea that emerged 2 years ago at "Ideas Brunch," a tradition amongst Debbie's friends where they brainstorm ideas over breakfast.

. . . . .

From Anne Giles Clelland:

I was delighted to learn of GoldieBlox from the Virginia Tech's Association for Women in Computing listserv and enjoyed a conversation with @GoldieBlox and Steve Childers JS_Childers on Twitter

Awesome to see GoldieBlox featured in The Atlantic (commentary on this article as thought-provoking as the article itself), The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Wired!

Eager to assist, I offered a pro bono 10 Facts post on Handshake 2.0.  I was thrilled that GoldieBlox team member Sydney Malawer took me up on the offer!  Love the "Ideas Brunch"!

I scrolled down the Kickstarter pledge choices until I saw GET THE TOY.  That's what I wanted to read!  And here's what happened!

Congratulations, GoldieBlox, on reaching your goal!  Can't wait to see THE TOY!

Tech Showcase: 10 Facts about Cafrino

From Cafrino:

Cafrino is a New York-based start-up that operates Cafrino.com, a legal poker website for the USA, where players compete for large cash prizes without paying any money to participate. Cafrino is built on Node.js, a highly scalable software system, and hosted through Amazon’s cloud compute infrastructure to ensure seamless scalability and failure resilient operations.

Also, Cafrino…

1. has its name from a combination of “casino” and “free.”

2. is legal because it is not a gambling website. Even though there are cash prizes, play is 100% free.

3. is endorsed by World Series of Poker Champion Michael Linn.

4. wants to “bring poker back” to the American people to levels of popularity online poker had at its peak in 2006.

5. has daily guaranteed cash tournaments and constant single-table and heads-up tournaments.

6. held a charity poker tournament in midtown NYC in April 2012; the winner was sent to (and won money in) the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

7. has created an exciting, patent-pending tournament style called SpreeRoll, where players choose how much money they want to compete for by advancing through a tournament at each level of competition.

8. offers heads-up and single table tournament series with top prizes of $12,834.57 and $14,878.71 respectively and has the eventual goal of giving out single-tournament prize pools of over $1,000,000.

9. had a Launch Tournament Tuesday, September 11, 2012 with hundreds of players that gave out a pize pool of $1,000 cash.

10. is a portfolio company of KAYWEB Angels.

Cafrino.com is a US-only, legal, real-money online-poker destination for the over 15 million players who, since the U.S. government shutdown of illegal poker sites in 2011, have lacked a secure way to play poker online.  Using a unique model of pooling advertising revenue from tournament sponsors, Cafrino is able to have cash prize pools in the thousands of dollars while being 100% free-to-play and never taking money from players in any form.  Cafrino is headed by COO Sean Stavropoulos and CEO Jonathan Aiwazian.

Fusion Business Accelerator, a Fusion PR CompanyThis edition of the Tech Showcase on Handshake 2.0 is sponsored by Fusion Business Accelerator (BA), a Fusion PR company.  Fusion BA provides business development services, executive recruiting and assistance in helping startups identify sources of strategic, tactical and investment capital.

Fusion Public Relations is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

10 Facts About The Legends of Blacksburg

From Coldwell Banker Townside, Realtors:

The Legends of Blacksburg, Virginia is now accepting reservations.  Here’s what those in-the-know need to know:

  1. $10K today puts your name on the reservation list.
  2. As of the date and time of this post, 54 units remain from a total of 72.
  3. As of the date and time of this post, units may still be available with the features of your choice on all four floors.
  4. With private balconies, each unit is a condo with a view.
  5. Each unit has approximately 1400 square feet of space in which to live (and play – see #6, #7, #8 and #9).
  6. The Legends is about 200 yards from the Virginia Tech campus.  Think Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum.
  7. The Legends has a rooftop terrace. Think pre-game and post-game tailgates.
  8. The earlier the reservation, the more likely you can pick a unit close to your tailgating friends.
  9. Ownership of a Legends condominium means a parking space on game days.
  10. You get to live by Frank.  (Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer, that is.)

The Legends of Blacksburg is a gated condominium community to be built adjacent to the Virginia Tech campus in the Town of Blacksburg, Virginia.  To reserve a unit or for more information, please contact Coldwell Banker Townside, Realtors, [email protected], 540-552-7074.

How close is close?  Check out the image below showing the distance from The Legends of Blacksburg to Lane Stadium.  Here's a video about The Legends of Blacksburg.

The Legends of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS(R) and LeClairRyan are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

10 Facts About The Business Lounge

The Business Lounge is designed to offer entrepreneurs an innovative co-working space.  It is ideal for freelancers, start-ups and work-remote companies who aren't quite ready for a permanent office space but would like the professionalism of a downtown location.  The Business Lounge is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia.

Samantha Steidle and Anne Giles Clelland

The Business Lounge also:

  1. is a new coworking space in downtown Roanoke that offers small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs a space to work outside of their homes.
  2. is co-owned by Samantha Steidle, owner of Virtual Marketing and Dan McDilda, owner of McDilda Photography.
  3. is affordable! Memberships start at just $100/month.
  4. is flexible. The Business Lounge allows members to have the freedom to plug in and out whenever they want (just like a gym).
  5. creates a physical social network. Members work together creatively, share business ideas and collaborate on projects.
  6. offers a great location and downtown address for members to meet with clients and run their business in downtown Roanoke.
  7. is one of many co-working spaces all over the world. The concept of coworking was invented in 2005 in San Francisco. The Business Lounge is Roanoke’s first coworking space.
  8. offers many resources and amenities: Wifi, printing and office supplies as well as access to an attorney regarding legal questions and marketing advice from Virtual Marketing.
  9. has been featured in the news on WSET’s Living in the Heart of Virginia, the Roanoke Times and by WSLS.  See the Business Lounge's videos and news for links.
  10. is a fun place to be! We have events going every day, including Wine Wednesday by Wine Gourmet,  Viva la Thursday by Viva la Cupcake and Froth Coffee Fridays.

In the photo, Samantha Steidle, founder of the Business Lounge, and Anne Giles Clelland, founder of Handshake 2.0, share a Handshake 1.0.

Photo by Rachael Keshishian

Those interested in The Business Lounge can read more about the Business Lounge on Handshake 2.0, learn more about coworking, view upcoming events, fill out an online application, or call 540-397-4377.