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Small Factories Embrace Automation Because They Can’t Find Enough People

Robotic arms on display.

If you look up at the night sky and happen upon some little lights on the move it might be a shooting star. Likely it is not a UFO.

The better bet, of course, is that the lights belong to an airplane. And the odds are very high they come from Astronics Luminescent Systems Inc (LSI).

These ingeniously designed, extra-durable LED exterior lights are made at Astronics LSI’s flagship factory in East Aurora, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. The facility, utterly nondescript from the outside, though a sprawling, bustling workshop inside, employs 300 mostly blue-collar workers.

With its motto of “innovation at 30,000 feet,” Astronics LSI is well-known in the industry for aircraft lighting. It’s also a major supplier of cockpit instrument panels. The company’s hundreds of products are subjected to rigorous quality control measures as dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Cockpit lights need to be bright, but not too bright. And they can’t ever suddenly go out.

Image result for small industry big size gif advertisementsDemand is usually sky high with new jet fleets being rolled out regularly. Astronics products are custom-crafted. They are tested and re-tested. Nothing is rushed.

Still, the company is eager to ramp up production. And they would, too. If only they could hire more people.

“It’s been a continual challenge for us,” Astronics CFO David Burney said. “We can’t find enough qualified workers.”

The company needs machinists and engineers and assemblers – careful, not easily distracted people who like working with their hands.

Astronics is not alone.

The National Association of Manufacturers has sounded an alarm, estimating some 2.4 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2028 due to labor shortages.

Somewhere along the line, over the past several generations, high school shop courses fell out of favor as communities steered their youths toward college degrees tied to white-collar work. New forces are at now reshaping the labor market.

Automation, as well as AI technology that takes robotics closer to sci-fi levels, has and will continue to reconfigure work as humans have known it. At risk, it seems, are people who weld, fabricate, mill, join, lathe, wire, cut, hoist, assemble, package and load stuff.

“AI could affect work in virtually every occupational group,” said the Brookings Institute in a new report. And while manufacturing and production workers will be among the most affected, white-collar workers are seen as equally vulnerable.

Most big companies, such as those in the automotive industry, already have become mostly automated; smaller companies, not so much.

Robotic arms have become nimbler, safer and less expensive. It has never made more sense for so-called “SMEs” (small and medium-sized enterprises) to automate.

Image result for small industry big size gif advertisements

Advanced manufacturing has a chance to transform smaller manufacturers like Astronics, and hundreds of others like them in the Western New York region.

Written off by some as a rust-belt relic, Buffalo tried to reinvent itself during the 1980s and ‘90s as more of a white-collar hub. But its blue-collar roots run deep, going back to the early part of the nineteenth century.

The first waves of Irish immigrants, many of whom helped build the Erie Canal, found work unloading grain shipments from eastbound lake freighters hauling barley, wheat and rye across Lake Michigan, by way of the Detroit River, to Buffalo. In the latter part of the 19th century, that task was automated. Grain elevators (buckets fastened to steam-powered conveyor belts) may have displaced some Irishmen (who became “scoopers,” going down into hulls to shovel the corner piles that the buckets couldn’t snag) and, as more Irish (and German and Polish and Jewish and Italian and black Southerners) poured into Buffalo, they found abundant employment. Bethlehem Steel and Curtiss-Wright and GM and Ford plants at one time all ranked among the most productive manufacturing sites on the planet.

By the 1970s, most of the large manufacturers were gone, leaving behind empty, too-massive-to-knock down facilities most of which still stand today like “the ruins of a manufacturing empire,” as one local business leader has said.

In 2014, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, through his Buffalo Billion initiative, opened Buffalo Manufacturing Works. It runs an ambitious nonprofit program to help revitalize the area’s manufacturing base through technology, including robotics and also additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing.

Related imageBuffalo Manufacturing Works (and don’t ever call them “BMW” if only because the German multinational has that trademarked) was born of a vision by state and local leaders to reinvigorate the city’s manufacturing base. Because Buffalo had few, if any, automation consultants and no real robotics industry of which to speak, the state partnered with Columbus, Ohio-based technology innovator EWI.

For more than three decades, EWI has been providing advanced manufacturing support to companies across the rust belt and throughout the country. Expanding on what EWI has done in Ohio, Buffalo Manufacturing Works serves as a central resource for Western New York manufacturers as they tip-toe toward innovation, including automation.

The Buffalo area is still home to more than a dozen large manufacturers, including Moog, Sumitomo Rubber, Fisher-Price/Mattel and Dresser-Rand. Two GM plants still make engines here. And there is a Ford stamping plant.

Tesla’s controversial factory in South Buffalo, originally SolarCity, employs about 300 people making energy storage products for electric cars. Panasonic Corp, which makes solar panels, has about 400 employees. Whether the Tesla-Panasonic partnership creates hundreds more jobs remains to be seen. (Based on the amount of subsidies provided, New York State believes it will).

Despite the dramatic reduction of large manufacturers over the decades, there are roughly 1,600 small- and medium-sized factories based in Western New York (a region also often dubbed Buffalo/Niagara) still making stuff – aircraft lights and radio antennas and countless other items. Mostly we are talking about small parts and components of other products. To stay competitive, these small companies, many of them run like family businesses, will need to invest in the future.

“Only about 20% of the small factories in the Buffalo area have some form of automation,” said Mike Garman, Senior Engineer-Automation, Buffalo Manufacturing Works. “The rest are just starting out down this road. A lot of these companies know they need to automate but putting in a robotic arm? That’s overwhelming to them – they don’t know where to begin.”

If Buffalo is ever to regain past manufacturing glory, the companies calling it home might have no choice but to automate.

“We project more than 20,000 advanced manufacturing job openings in Western New York in the next 10 years,” said Stephen Tucker, President and CEO of the Northland Workforce Training Center, another key player in the region’s advanced manufacturing initiative. The openings owe to an aging workforce and pending retirements, Tucker added.

“[The training center] is working to prepare local residents with 21st century technical skills necessary to fill those jobs,” he said.

Related imageAbout a 15-minute drive north from Astronics’ East Aurora factory is one of Buffalo’s best-known suburbs, Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Bills.

In a bland corporate complex, not that much more than a Josh Allen deep ball away from New Era Field, is a company called STI-CO. They make mobile radio antenna systems. STI-CO’s customers include law enforcement agencies and the military which need customized covert equipment. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the company’s products to outfit low-profile overseas operations and in natural disasters.

Additionally, STI-CO engineers antenna systems for freight and passenger railroads that communicate critical Positive Train Control data such as how fast a train is moving and if it needs to be remotely controlled to slow down.

“We recognize that we need to automate and have allocated the resources to do it,” said CEO Kyle Swiat, whose late father, Robert Kaiser, a machinist, founded the company in 1967. “But we are involving all of our people in the conversation.”

They’ve added CNC machines and a 3-D printer to speed up processes.

“Our employees are excited about the technologies,” she said. “They want to see the company invest in future growth.”

Today, STI-CO produces hundreds of products and is keen to stay competitive in a global market. That means exploring alternatives, including, eventually, robotics.

She also confirmed the challenge of finding qualified, reliable workers and sees automation as inevitable and a win for her 45 employees.

“This is a family,” she said. “Even if we could automate the whole operation we wouldn’t ever do that because we believe that people still make the difference.”

One of the worst jobs at the STI-CO plant had been the dreaded taping and labeling detail. Each set of antennas come with sets of color-coded wires (like when you hook up a stereo). STI-CO’s process for packaging and marking the wires not only was tedious but woefully inefficient i.e. done in an outdated manner the way they’ve always done it – by hand.

So in something of a baby step into the future, STI-CO, about ten months ago, invested in a computer-enabled system. While not a robot, the creatively engineered set-up was a modern machine that took on the bundling and labeling tasks previously done by humans, freeing up those workers to focus more on quality control.

“When a company looks to automate, the first project should be an easy win,” Garman said.

Simply automating for the sake of automating, without fully thinking it through, creates more headaches, not less, he warns; a robot deployed without a clear problem to solve is just “a hammer in search of nail,” Garman explains. “We always say, ‘start slow, start small and keep it simple’ and then move from there to something more ambitious.”

As far as its first foray into actual robots, STI-CO is still coming up the curve with help from Garman and the team at Buffalo Manufacturing Works, as well as from a host of robotics industry people: advisory professionals; robotic arm distributors; systems integrators and consultants. These firms form a village of advanced manufacturing enablers supporting smaller factories in their efforts to automate more activities.

In the next installment, we’ll take a deeper dive into this robotics ecosystem and the work they are doing to reboot the Buffalo area.

(Part two of this three-part series will run tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 27.)

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I’ve covered Wall Street for nearly 25 years, focused mainly on asset management, working for publications such as ABCNews.com, Trader Monthly and Institutional Investor. Lately, writing as a freelancer, I’ve been focusing on machine learning and automation. I am also the author of three nonfiction books, including “The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up,” currently being adapted into a motion picture. I do NOT have a podcast.

Source: Small Factories Embrace Automation – Because They Can’t Find Enough People

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60+ Small Business Statistics That You Can’t Afford to Ignore & Top 10 Website Hosting

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9% of the business population in the U.K. This totals around 5.9 million businesses.

Transforming your dream into reality by starting up a new small business can be both exciting and challenging. However, it’s entirely possible to do but requires some knowledge about what and how small businesses succeed.

Familiarising yourself with recent trends is a great starting point. We’ve put together these small business statistics, including the latest trends in 2019 just for you.

Facts & Statistics

  • Small and medium enterprises represent more than 90% of the business population
  • It is estimated that there are up to 445 million micro and small and medium enterprises in emerging markets around the world
  • 99% of all businesses in the European Union are classified as SMEs
  • 96.4% of manufacturing exporters in the US are SMEs
  • There are currently 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S.
  • 75.3% of private-sector employers are micro-businesses or those with less than ten employees
  • 69% of American entrepreneurs start their businesses at home, and 59% of businesses continue to be home-based even after three years of operation
  • The fastest-growing small business industries in 2018 (with the most number of startups) were business services and food/restaurant tied at 11%
  • The majority of small business owners are over the age of 50, a fourth is in the 40-49 age range, and the rest are between 18 to 39 years old

U.K. Small Businesses

  • There were 5.8 million small businesses at the start of 2019
  • SMEs account for 60% of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector
  • In 2019, there were estimated to be 5.9 million UK private sector businesses
  • 1.4 million of these had employees and 4.5 million had no employees
  • Wholesale and Retail Trade and Repair accounted for 14% of all SME employment
  • London (1.1 million) and the South East (940,000) had the most private sector businesses, accounting for 35% of the UK business population
  • Nearly 1/5 of all SMEs were operating in Construction
  • Between 2018 and 2019, the total business population grew by 3.5%
  • Turnover in 2018 was estimated at £2.2 trillion for SMEs
  • It takes roughly 13 days to start a small business in UK and Ireland

U.S. Small Businesses

  • On average, it takes 6 days to start a small business in the U.S.
  • 56% of small businesses think finding great talent is their biggest challenge
  • 37% of business owners offer higher salaries to make their business more appealing
  • 26% of people say their biggest motivation to start a small business is to be their own boss
  • In 2018, there was a 34% increase in health, beauty, and fitness industries
  • 73% of small business owners are male
  • Only 26% of small business owners have a college degree

Small Business Growth

  • Each month an average of 543,000 new businesses are started
  • As of 2018, 99.9% of US businesses are small businesses
  • Small businesses employ more than 47.5% of the private workforce in the US
  • Businesses with less than ten employees are the most common, accounting for 75.3% of all private-sector employers
  • 50% of small businesses survive five years or more
  • The Small Business Association has stated that only 30% of newly founded businesses are likely to fail within the first two years
  • 66% of small businesses will survive throughout the first ten years
  • Every year 1 in 12 businesses closes
  • 4 out of 100 businesses survive past the 10-year mark
  • 82% of companies fail because of cash flow problems
  • 50% of small businesses are home-based
  • 60.1% of firms are without paid employees
  • 81% of small business owners work nights
  • 70% of small business owners said they work more than 40 hours a week with 19% working over 60 hours
  • 86.3% of small business owners take less than $100,000 a year
  • Technology, health, and energy are the most popular industries to start a small business in
  • Real estate, retail, and hospitality are also among the industries that are set to have the most substantial growth in jobs in the future

Small Business Financials

  • In 2018, the average SBA loan was $417,314
  • 26.9% of small business loans get approved
  • 12% of employer firms and one-third of non-employer firms use no startup capital whatsoever.
  • The average amount of small business starting capital is $80,000 a year
  • 1/3 of small businesses are founded with up to $5,000 of startup capital

Women-owned Small Businesses

  • In the U.S., 12.3 million businesses are owned by women
  • In 2018, 207,900 of women-led businesses (1.7%) generated more than $1 million
  • 17% of all women-led businesses are Latinas
  • 48% of women business owners are between the 45-65 age range
  • 31% are age 25-44

Small Business Marketing

  • 70-80% of people research a small business before visiting or making a purchase from them
  • 64% of small businesses have a website
  • 61% of small businesses invest in social media marketing
  • 39% of small businesses use email marketing
  • Nearly 50% of small businesses spend $10,000 or less on digital marketing each year
  • 80% of small businesses don’t use content marketing
  • 89% of small business owners believe that using SEO helps drive business
  • 92% of small business owners think that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy
  • 10% of small businesses engage in AR and VR technology for digital marketing

References

https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/smefinance

https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/16-surprising-small-business-statistics-infographic-190434232.html

https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en

https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/2018-Small-Business-Profiles-US.pdf

https://sbecouncil.org/about-us/facts-and-data/

https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/2018-Small-Business-Profiles-US.pdf

https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/07/home-based-businesses-startup.html

https://www.guidantfinancial.com/small-business-trends/

https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/29-small-business-digital-marketing-statistics

https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-small-business-loan-amount

https://www.biz2credit.com/small-business-lending-index/november-2018

https://www.wbenc.org/blog-posts/2018/10/10/behind-the-numbers-the-state-of-women-owned-businesses-in-2018

https://about.americanexpress.com/files/doc_library/file/2018-state-of-women-owned-businesses-report.pdf

https://www.merchantsavvy.co.uk/uk-sme-data-stats-charts/

By: Anna Foster

Source: 60+ Small Business Statistics (That you Can’t Afford to Ignore) – Top 10 Website Hosting

44.5K subscribers
►Bluehost – https://tinyurl.com/y4gqmko9 ►SiteGround – https://tinyurl.com/y2pgzajn ►Flywheel – https://share.getf.ly/d26a9l ►DreamHost – https://tinyurl.com/y5cd3ock ►HostGator – https://tinyurl.com/yxakdnbo We have just laid out the six best web hosting services available right now. BlueHost is first on our list and offers a very respectable uptime record as well as a variety of hosting plans. It also gives you cPanel to make managing your site easier. Next up we have SiteGround, which has servers all over the world and a 99.9% uptime record. It is a great choice if you are an online merchant in need of hosting services. Flywheel is another great hosting service. They have an outstanding reputation and offer customizable plan configurations, so you get exactly what you need. DreamHost is another excellent hosting choice. You can easily build a new website with their proprietary site builder tool, and you definitely get your money’s worth overall. GreenGeeks is the best choice for those who want an eco-friendly hosting solution. They only use renewable energy, and their customer support is top rate. HostGator is last on our list, but it’s definitely not least. This hosting company is highly reliable and offers an impressive 45-day money back guarantee. It is a great choice if you are looking for a dependable web host with scalable options that will grow with your website. ============================================= → Disclaimer Portions of footage found in this video is not original content produced by Too Much Tech. Portions of stock footage of products was gathered from multiple sources including, manufactures, fellow creators and various other sources.

This Former Engineer Retired At 33 With Zero Passive Income Streams And His Net Worth Nearly Doubled In Six Years

Justin McCurry doesn’t like much on his schedule. At most, he sets one thing to do a day. On Monday, that might be volunteering. On Wednesday, it’s likely grocery shopping. On Friday, there’s a good chance he’ll be playing tennis with his wife.

The rest of the time? It’s up to him. Pursuing a hobby, playing video games, doing yard work. It’s not the typical schedule for a 39 year-old with three kids. But that’s what McCurry has done since officially retiring as a transportation engineer in 2013.

In about a decade, he and his wife, Kaisorn, saw their portfolio balloon from a few thousand dollars to $1.3 million, yet neither of them had a job that paid close to six figures. And what’s particularly unusual about McCurry’s journey: He never had a passive income stream – other than his investment portfolio – that helped buffer his paycheck, boosting his ability to save. Instead, he did it all through cutting back and finding intelligent ways to squeeze savings, without sacrificing his lifestyle.

“I realized I had more paycheck than expenses,” said McCurry. “I just knew that saving money was probably a good thing,” as he tried to figure out what to do with the leftover funds each month.

When bloggers and FIRE (financially independent, retire early) voices talk about stepping away from the day job in their 30s and 40s, it’s also often coupled with side gigs that bring in dough, such as real estate or businesses that they built. It serves as a much-welcomed security blanket when managing a retirement that could stretch 50 years or more. For McCurry, though, it wasn’t about passive income streams or growing a sizable real estate portfolio. From 2004 to 2013, he and his wife lived on one income while essentially stashing away the other.

In the meantime, they had three kids, bought a house and have traveled the world.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed by the Size of It All

When McCurry first started saving, he looked at how long he would need to retire, and came up with a number that would let him step away from the job 20 years later. Even though he never was a big spender, the number seemed daunting.

“Knowing I would have to chug away for a decade or two,” said McCurry, “it’s almost like a pie in the sky.”

It made it difficult for him to see the benefits at first because that number was so large and the timeframe so long. This isn’t much different than when people set out for retirement on 40-year timeframes.

Researchers have found that the more someone connects with their future-self, meaning can view their future self with the same empathy and concern as their current self, the more they will save.

This ability to connect with the future self may be easier on this shortened timeframe. But it’s not guaranteed.

For McCurry, it became easier to handle as he continued to refine his plan, saving more than he and his wife ever expected they could. Then, after a few years, he started seeing the impact of compound interest.

He would place around $60,000 in the portfolio in a year, while the investments would return $100,000. McCurry soon realized that his 20-year plan had shrunk in half.

Cut Your Taxes

One of the most important ways McCurry saved was on taxes. At one point, he took the family’s joint income of $150,000, and managed to realize a tax hit of just $150.

His wife maxed out her 401k as well, while also doing the same in a health savings account and a flexible spending account. He then used a series of deductions, from the standard one to exemptions to child credits to reduce that income line to $28,950, leaving just a $150 tax liability.

McCurry took the approach that the tax breaks providing a discount to his savings. At the time, he would invest around $60,000 a year in tax-advantaged accounts. With that money, he locked in about $15,000 in tax breaks. That $60,000 investment, in actuality, only cost him around $45,000 if you count the tax break.

“It’s a little easier to save $45,000 versus $60,000,” McCurry said.

Design For the Worst Case Scenarios

One reason that McCurry’s timeframe shifted from 20 years to 10, despite lacking an additional income source, was simply because of the amount of buying he did when times looked bleak in 2007 through 2009.

He’s not like many in the FIRE world, constantly checking the portfolio, feeling the joy as the dollars increased, bringing him one step closer to quitting the day job. Instead, he mostly checks the accounts once a quarter, figuring out where he stands and if he needs any adjustments to his contributions.

“The last quarter in 2007, I noticed huge drops in our net worth,” remembered McCurry.

It didn’t deter him.

“I put as much as I could into the stock market each month, knowing I’m buying these shares at half or a third from where they were,” he added. “It was a buying opportunity of a lifetime.”

When the stocks began to turn in 2009, then his net worth went into hyper-drive. Since stepping away with $1.3 million, he’s now worth over $2.1 million, largely due to the fact that he now earns a little income from his blog, RootofGood.com (which means he doesn’t have to tap as much investment income) and the performance of his investments through a decade-long bull run.

But McCurry is savvy enough to realize the market will pull back at some point.

That’s where he taps his engineering muscle. As an engineer, you always prepare for the worst-case scenario. If what you’re building works under that scenario, then it will work, theoretically, in all other cases. When he looks at his portfolio, if the market drops 40%, then it would reach the levels he started with when he first retired.

He might spend a little less, but with a 3.25% rate of withdrawal from his investments, his family would be “totally fine,” he said.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’ve written about personal finance for Fortune, MONEY, CNBC and many others. I also authored The Everything Guide to Investing in Cryptocurrencies.

Source: This Former Engineer Retired At 33 With Zero Passive Income Streams And His Net Worth Nearly Doubled In Six Years

French Billionaires Pledge $680 Million to Restore Notre Dame

(Update 10.16 a.m., ET) – France’s leading billionaires and companies have rallied to pledge $670 million (€600 million) to restore Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral following a devastating fire on Monday evening.

Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman of Kering (the parent company of Gucci), and his billionaire father, Francois Pinault, announced on Tuesday they would donate $113 million (€100 million) via their family investment company, Artemis. The Arnault family, owners of luxury goods group LVMH, also pledged $226 million (€200 million) after French President Emmanuel Macron called for donations to rebuild the French national icon.

“The Arnault family and the LVMH Group, in solidarity with this national tragedy, are committed to assist with the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” the family said in a statement.

François-Henri Pinault, chief executive of Kering Group, and his wife Salma Hayek. FilmMagic

“This tragedy is striking all the French people, and beyond that, all those attached to spiritual values,” Francois-Henri Pinault said in a statement. “Faced with this tragedy, everyone wishes to give life back to this jewel of our heritage as soon as possible.”

The Arnault family, which Forbes estimates is worth $91.7 billion, also offered the design and architectural resources of the LVMH group to the restoration of Notre Dame.

The Bettencourt Meyers family, which owns one third of the L’Oréal cosmetics empire, announced it would donate $226 million (€200 million) via its Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, sits on the L’Oréal board and is the world’s richest woman.

French charity Fondation du Patrimoine has launched an international appeal to raise funds for the UNESCO World Heritage site that was partially destroyed in Monday’s fire. Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive of Total, tweeted the French oil giant would contribute $113 million (€100 million) to the fund.

Billionaire Henry Kravis, cofounder of private equity group KKR, and his wife, Marie-Josée Kravis, also announced on Tuesday that they planned to donate $10 million towards the rebuilding.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo thanked firefighters for their work saving the cathedral’s famous bell towers and announced plans for a “major international conference of donors” to raise funds for the rebuilding work. Hidalgo also said Paris already had $90 million (€80 million fund) for the restoration of the city’s churches

The fire that ripped through an area of the 800-year-old cathedral that was already under reconstruction was extinguished in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

I joined Forbes as the European News Editor and will be working with the London newsroom to define our coverage of emerging businesses and leaders across the UK and Euro…

Source: French Billionaires Pledge $680 Million to Restore Notre Dame

Eduardo Saverin’s VC Firm B Capital Raises $406 Million In First Close Of New Fund, Filing Shows

Eduardo Saverin raises new fund

Eduardo Saverin and his VC firm B Capital just filed a $406 million first close of their new fund.Bryan van der Beek for Forbes

The venture capital firm cofounded by Facebook billionaire Eduardo Saverin and partner Raj Ganguly has raised hundreds of millions in new funding to invest in startups.

B Capital has raised $406 million in a first close of its second fund, according to a new regulatory filing with the SEC obtained on Friday. The firm, which wrote in the filing it had raised that amount from 62 investors since late March, indicated that it planned to raise more than that amount, which already tops the $360 million it raised for its first fund.

B Capital declined to comment on the filing or its funding plans.

Earlier in March, Forbes published a wide-ranging interview with Saverin, the cofounder of Facebook who moved to Singapore in 2009. In that article, Saverin and Ganguly revealed a strategy to invest in companies with an international focus—B Capital maintains offices in California, New York and Saverin’s Singapore—and ones that can benefit from a “special relationship” with Boston Consulting Group, the consulting firm that is one of the anchor investors in B Capital’s initial fund.

At the time, B Capital had made about 20 investments from that fund, using up much of its “dry powder,” as the industry sometimes refers to money available to invest in startups. A source told Forbes at the time that B Capital would look to raise a second fund of approximately twice the size of its first later in 2019. That remains the goal after this first filing, the source says now.

At the time, B Capital had recently expanded to bring on a seventh partner, Karen Appleton Page, a former executive at Box and Apple. With seven investment partners and check sizes that can run into the tens of millions, it’s not surprising that B Capital, still just four years old, would seek out so much money so fast.

“No matter how lucky or blessed I might be, I will never retire on a beach,” Saverin told Forbes in early 2019. “We are still so early into making the technologies that will impact the world.”

Read more of Saverin’s views—and see how B Capital is looking to stand out in a crowded venture capital market—check the full feature story here.

Follow Alex on Forbes and Twitter for more coverage of startups, enterprise software and venture capital. 

I’m an associate editor at Forbes covering venture capital, cloud and enterprise software out of New York. I edit the Midas List, Midas List Europe, Cloud 100 list and 3…

Source: Eduardo Saverin’s VC Firm B Capital Raises $406 Million In First Close Of New Fund, Filing Shows

American Express, Amazon, And Barbara Corcoran Partner To Help Small Businesses – Jaime Catmull

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As of 2016, there were approximately 28.8 million small businesses, which accounted for 99.7% of all U.S. businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. That’s a tremendous economic force that is fueling the country’s growth and framing opportunity for more entrepreneurs and freelancers to join the ranks. Even with positive signs that point to the ongoing growth in small businesses, challenges remain. For those already operating a business, the National Small  Business Association found that growth can be slowed by economic uncertainty and limited access to credit…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaimecatmull/2018/11/03/american-express-amazon-and-barbara-corcoran-partner-to-help-small-business/#2c358b413403

 

 

 

 

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