All posts in “business”

This tool will help you find the perfect social good boost for your startup

Image: EtiAmmos / Shutterstock

Incorporating social good into your business model is no longer just a nice idea. Consumers have come to expect it and are even willing to pay more for a product from a company that has impact, accountability, and ethics at its core.

But launching a successful social impact startup, like any new business, requires financial support and guidance. Now, a new tool is helping social entrepreneurs find the right business accelerators to get their ideas off the ground.

The Accelerator Selection Tool, created by nonprofit Conveners in collaboration with Sphaera, ImpactSpace, and other partners, weeds through the hundreds of social impact accelerators out there in order to find the right one for you. It launched this week at the Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP) in San Francisco.

Users can search for accelerators by name or location, but the truly helpful feature is the ability to choose from a variety of filters in the top menu: Impact Region, Impact Focus, Program Offering, Corporate Form, Stage, and Travel.

For example, if your idea is to help women in Kenya gain access to financial services and empowerment, and you’re primarily looking for mentorship in your startup’s nascent stage, the accelerator Spring could be the perfect choice.

Conveners calls the tool “the first aggregator of its kind,” and it could cut down hours of work searching for the right accelerator — time that, for a new startup founder, is better spent elsewhere.

“Many of the entrepreneurs I talk to said that one of the things that took a lot of their time — sometimes as much as 100 hours — was figuring out what accelerator to apply to,” Avary Kent, executive director of Conveners, told Fast Company. “I feel like entrepreneurs should be spending time building their businesses, not figuring out which program can provide the right support.”

The Accelerator Selection Tool has 750 accelerators in its database. People who work at accelerators, incubators, fellowship programs, and competitions can add themselves to the search results by creating a profile in ImpactSpace’s database.

A lot of entrepreneurs probably know several popular incubators and accelerators in this space by name. There’s Benetech Labs in California, Echoing Green in New York, Uncharted (previously the Unreasonable Institute) in Colorado, IMPACT in Europe, and even Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator, which has a wider scope but a growing focus on social impact startups.

But just because an accelerator has name recognition doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for all social enterprises, especially at different stages of development.

The Accelerator Selection Tool is poised to be a startup founder’s best chance at cutting out the time-consuming process of finding an accelerator and getting started on what really matters: changing the world.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f2147%2fcd5f31b0 fc6f 445d b0d7 08a2c84be9ff

Twitter explains why Rose McGowan’s account got suspended

Actress Rose McGowan attends a premiere.
Actress Rose McGowan attends a premiere.

Image: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Twitter is finally breaking its silence on why Rose McGowan was temporarily suspended from its platform.

The actress — who has been vocal about Harvey Weinstein amid dozens of other women alleging he sexual harassed and assaulted them — announced on Instagram Wednesday night that Twitter suspended her account for 12 hours for violating the platform’s rules.

Though it was unclear at the time which tweet violated Twitter’s rules, the official Twitter Safety account clarified McGowan had included a private phone number in one of her tweets, which is prohibited in the site’s Privacy Policy.

Twitter’s account explained the company has been in touch with McGowan’s team and temporarily locked the account as a result of the tweet that included the phone number. 

The site’s policy reads: “Posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation of the Twitter Rules.” And goes on to list personal phone numbers as an example of private information.

However, Twitter claimed McGowan’s account has since been unlocked and the tweet has been removed.

McGowan reached a settlement with Weinstein in the late ’90s, but had been especially vocal about the Hollywood producer since other women came forward with their own similar experiences.

McGowan didn’t hold back condemning Weinstein on the platform, so when Twitter suspended her account without explanation it led to a great deal of backlash.

Many felt the suspension further discouraged women from speaking up about sexual assault, but Twitter explained it is “proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power.”

“We stand with the brave women and men who use Twitter to share their stories and will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices.”

In the future, Twitter claimed it would be “clearer about these policies and decisions” and the site’s CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged the team needs to be “a lot more transparent in our actions in order to build trust.”

The way Twitter enforces its own rules has come under fire many times before, most notably in reference to President Trump’s negative behavior — such as when he threatened violence with North Korea

Last month Twitter announced that though it holds all accounts to the same rules it assesses the “newsworthiness” of a tweet that’s been reported.

It seems Twitter will have to work a lot harder to ensure their rules are upheld equally in the future.

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2017%2f10%2f601f02c0 6f8c 60be%2fthumb%2f00001

Two global investors will talk token sales at Disrupt Berlin


Token sales, also called ICOs, are the new normal when it comes to early stage cash. Originally envisioned as a way to create new and unique rails for payments, customer interaction, and peer-to-peer networking the token is now both an integral part of most companies and a great way to fund a great (or awful) idea.

This year at Disrupt Berlin we’ll be joined by Zoe Adamovicz of Neufund and Kavita Gupta of Consensys. Both of these folks are seasoned blockchain investors with millions at their disposal and they’ll be talking about how investors should sail the rocky shoals of regulation, how token sales are changing the way VCs interact with companies, and how these tools will change in the future.

Token sales are here to stay but they will morph. In this Disrupt panel we’ll discuss what that means to startups, investors, and most important, the world.

Get your Disrupt tickets right now to save 30 percent off of your tickets and meet luminaries in the token space. You’ll also see the Startup Battlefield competition, in which a handful of startups pitch our judges with the hopes of winning the coveted Disrupt Cup and a cash prize.

You’ll get to chat with plenty of promising startups in Startup Alley, see amazing talks on the main stage, and unwind after a long day at the show with a cocktail and some new friends at the Disrupt after party.

Do you run a startup? The Startup Alley Exhibitor Package is your best bet to get the greatest exposure by exhibiting your company or product directly on the Disrupt Berlin show floor.

On top of everything else, Equifax hackers got 10 million driver’s licenses

It turns out, we’re still not done talking about Equifax. 

Sources told the Wall Street Journal that last month’s breach compromised the driver’s license data of around 10.9 million Americans. 

The breach, which was announced Sept. 7, gave anonymous hackers access to personal information, including the social security numbers, of 145.5 million Americans. At the time, the credit reporting agency noted that some driver’s licenses were accessed, but did not disclose how many. 

Equifax customers provided driver’s license information to verify their identities in credit-report disputes. The hackers exploited a vulnerability in the dispute portal to access the driver’s license information, which can include personal details such as its owner’s full name, date of birth, home address.

And it gets worse. According to WSJ, Equifax CEO Richard Smith stated in congressional hearings that a company employee knew of the vulnerability prior to the breach, but failed to notify others. The hackers had access to Equifax’s systems for more than four months before the company caught wind. 

The information included on a driver’s license can help hackers to commit fraud, and particularly to verify fake identities and create fake IDs. 

To find out how afraid you should be, you can contact Equifax to see if your personal information was compromised by the breach. Just be prepared to fork over even more personal information. 

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f82043%2fcaef07cc a17a 4d83 8efb 23ebb74c68b7