Watch for these investor red flags
5/2/2016 TechCrunch

Entrepreneurs need to perform due diligence before signing term sheets, writes Eamonn Carey of Techstars. Be wary of investors who have no online presence or who seem unwilling to connect you with other companies they have backed. "The right investors should be happy to share this info with you," Carey writes.

Calif. STEM students, others create solar-powered, 1950's-styled golf cart

Students from a California community college's science, technology, engineering and math program collaborated with faculty and staff to transform a golf cart into one that is solar-powered and looks like a 1950's Chevy Bel Air. Students used concepts from multiple disciplines, including auto collision and repair, plus applied technology, to complete the project.

Debt looms large globally and across sectors

Since 2007, 14 countries worldwide have grown their debt-to-GDP ratios by more than half and total global debt has risen US$57 trillion, forming an overhang that threatens stability, writes author and former banker Satyajit Das. Led by Japan with a debt level at 400% of GDP, more than 20 countries have levels topping 200%, and debt has grown globally for households and businesses as well as governments.

New specialty grocers join crowded Iowa market

The grocery market in Des Moines, Iowa, has gotten even more competitive since last fall, with The Fresh Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Natural Grocers opening in an area that was already home to retailers including Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's. "I am not sure the market can support all these places," said Paul Rottenberg, president of Orchestrate Hospitality, which operates Gateway Market in the area.

Study examines link between mortality risk, not eating in hospital

Study data from 56 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand showed about 30% of malnourished patients ate less than 25% of the food served to them, and malnourished patients had a 1.5 times higher risk of death within 30 days of admission than those who were well-nourished. Researchers said about 20% of well-nourished patients ate less than a quarter of their food and had a more than 2.5 times higher risk of death.

Why is Slack running TV commercials?

Business-communications tool Slack has been embraced by small companies and enterprise buyers on its way to a $3.8 billion valuation. The company's initial expansion was driven by word of mouth, and recently it turned to UK agency Nexus to create its first national TV commercial. "In my mind, brand is long-term lead generation; it's a way to establish an affinity with your company but also have a great experience with it and if you get it right then plays right into word of mouth," said Bill Macaitis, the company's chief marketing officer.

Gucci boosts sales with digital innovation
5/2/2016 Glossy

Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele has used the brand's digital channels to tell stories that are resonating with aspirational and luxury shoppers. "They have brought to life their world -- it's curated in a way that it represents the life of the Gucci woman in a very smart and subtle way, while still making the consumer feel that they want to live in this world," said Ian Schatzberg, president of digital creative agency Wednesday.

SAM Labs lands $4.5M to bring IoT learning kits to kids
5/2/2016 TechCrunch

SAM Labs aims to get children ages 7 or older interested in Internet of Things technology with its learning kit, which enables children to build gadgets and explore the world of electronics. The company got its first 800 customers on Kickstarter and has now raised $4.5 million from investors to continue its mission.

Eagle Pharmaceuticals files marketing exclusivity lawsuit against FDA

The FDA is facing a lawsuit from Eagle Pharmaceuticals challenging the agency's denial of a seven-year orphan drug marketing exclusivity for the company's cancer drug Bendeka. The suit argues the FDA violated the Administrative Procedure Act by asking Eagle to show the superiority of the drug to Cephalon's Treanda, which had already been approved. The company is asking the US District Court for the District of Columbia to grant Bendeka orphan drug exclusivity and prevent the FDA from granting approval to drugs within Bendeka's exclusivity until Dec. 7, 2022.

CNN prime-time ratings bounce back with presidential primaries

CNN's prime-time ratings have more than doubled this election season, with the network averaging 435,000 viewers per night, Nielsen reports. "We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices. And I think that we are a much more balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here," said CNN President Jeff Zucker.

Taller fence with concrete foundation proposed for White House
4/29/2016 The Washington Times

The Secret Service is proposing a taller fence around the White House. The 11-foot fence with a concrete foundation would be 5 feet taller than the current barrier and would be outfitted with "anti-climb features" and "intrusion detection technology."

Chicago gets a resilience czar

Chicago has named its first chief resilience officer, former water-management official Aaron Koch. His will oversee some resilience-related infrastructure projects and help plan for climate impacts. "Storms are only becoming larger because of climate change, and our city will need more sustainable solutions than what it's had in the past," Koch said.

Column: Careless air travelers pack guns

Columnist Francis X. Clines writes about the rising number of guns being found nationwide at Transportation Security Administration airport checkpoints. A record was set the week of April 18, when screeners found 73 guns, 68 of them loaded. "In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items," said a TSA blog post.

Expedia talks tough as it mounts direct-booking pushback
5/2/2016 Skift

Expedia is not standing idly by as three major chains work to build direct bookings through lower rates than they give the online travel agency, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. Hotels will fare better if they cooperate with such new Expedia moves as linking users from Expedia to hotel websites, he said.