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April 12, 2016

Parse.com is shutting down – what next?

Facebook owner Parse.com announced last month that it’s shutting down, and a thousands of app developers were left wondering what to do next.

Parse is an example of an MBaaS or “Mobile Backend as a Service” which can be a cost-effective way to deliver backend for apps. Typically these solutions offer a free entry-level service, and can scale up as users demand it. This makes them perfect for startup app development.

Of course, “cloud” solutions come with their own risks — one being policy changes or, in this case, a complete shutdown announcement, both of which can leave you with a massive challenge.

Luckily, in this case, it’s [...]

 
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April 11, 2016

Are we going Full Circle?

The phone rings. It’s 5pm our time, 9am in SF. I pull my mind back from trying to unravel blockchain, and instead try to pick the brains of Albert Periu, Head of Global Capital Markets, Funding Circle. The global leader in online B2B lending. A Stallion Unicorn with one of the biggest horns in town. I want to find out the big picture, to see inside the intention of the company, what’s it all about. What’s their vision? First of all, what do they do?

“We are doing a very old thing – providing small businesses with finance – in a totally new way. We leverage technology and big data to better underwrite loans and automate processes to help more businesses get [...]

 
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March 31, 2016

Digital Lending. Ok, You’re Fast & Convenient – but Can You Be Trusted?

Life doesn’t stand still, especially not in 2016 when trying to compete in a market like lending. Expectations continue to be raised, and although lenders’ determination to innovate and bring new technology to market may be partly responsible for that rise, this time it’s more to do with behaviour and customer experience than having an app or getting funds over instantly.

By Richard Carter, CEO of Nostrum Group

In December 2015, Nostrum’s Attitudes to Digital Finance Report found that customers increasingly value trust and transparency. With 84% of [...]

 
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March 31, 2016

Easy as pie: the delivery

It feels like everything is getting easier and quicker, doesn’t it? I mean in term of buying things. I can buy pretty much anything form my desk, and it will appear, as if by magic, the next day, or even the same hour in some instances. The wonder of the internet, right? Actually, only half right.

As the ordering process gets more and more streamlined, something else needs to get more on the ball at the same time. The tricky part.

Yes, even when our mice do the talking, it takes a man in a van to do the walking. As it were. And it’s this delivery/distribution/logistics function that is really the very difficult bit. It’s the bit that involves moving physical [...]

 
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October 22, 2015

Is The FDA Holding Back Innovation?

In today’s modern age, technology has been advancing global industries to a point where innovations are happening faster than ever before. With the interconnectivity and shared knowledge of the Internet, new tech inventions, and digital access to people around the world, we’re seeing a much faster growth rate when it comes to constant discoveries being made to help our lives become easier. The healthcare industry is no exception, and for good reason. No matter how much technological advancement occurs in society, a person’s health should remain the most valuable commodity, and these days people are looking for more valuable and cost-effective methods to monitor their [...]

 
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October 1, 2015

Weebly Launches Carbon, The First Mobile Platform For Building E-Commerce Stores

Website building platform Weebly today announced Carbon, the third major iteration of its service. This update is a “complete relaunch of the Weebly platform,” bringing with it a plethora of services to help entrepreneurs build and grow e-commerce stores from any device.

Carbon is reportedly the first platform that allows users to build and manage an online store using only a phone or tablet. Weebly’s new apps for iOS and Android offer an all-inclusive drag-and-drop experience that entrepreneurs can use to manage their businesses from anywhere—no desktop computer required.

Weebly has also launched a new App Center, which offers integrations from [...]

 
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September 11, 2015

TaxiTapp Helps Cab Companies Compete With Uber Using Free Mobile Apps

Over the last few years, services like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the transportation industry, leaving many traditional cab companies in the dust because they’ve failed to adapt to the mobile-centric world of 2015. But it’s not too late.

TaxiTapp is a mobile taxi booking platform that aims to improve the passenger experience and help cab companies better compete with Uber. It’s more important than ever for taxi drivers and fleets to have a mobile presence, and TaxiTapp provides just that.

When users open the TaxiTapp app, they can choose the cheapest, nearest, or highest rated taxi in the area and see an estimated fare before summoning a driver. [...]

 
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September 3, 2015

ChariPick Makes Charitable Giving Simple And Awesome

Chicago startup ChariPick is re-imagining the way charitable giving works. Its new app makes it super easy for people to donate to a curated selection of “small, interesting charities,” using a simple giving model that starts at just $1 a day. The goal is to help charities make a difference while giving donors the satisfaction of supporting causes they’re passionate about.

ChariPick was founded by Stephen Lee, who has 15 years’ experience at the intersection of technology and finance as a partner for a hedge fund, director for a technology division of a Fortune 500 company, and a strategy consultant for private equity and Fortune 500 firms. ChariPick is [...]

 
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September 2, 2015

Hooks Will Send You Alerts About Anything You Care About

Chicago startup Hooks has developed a comprehensive platform to help people stay updated on things they care about. You can use the app to get alerts about almost anything—news, weather, sports, stocks, tweets (by author or keyword), new movies, software vulnerabilities, and more.

Currently, the notifications you care about are driven by a ton of different apps and services. Hooks simplifies this by bringing all sorts of notifications into a single central location.

Behind Hooks are co-founders Oleg Kozynenko, José Luis Pérez, and Miguel Ángel Ortuño. Kozynenko and Pérez also co-founded B2B white label travel guide platform Guiomatic, and Ortuño is a lead iOS developer [...]

 
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July 30, 2015

Dining Discovery App Savoir Launches In Chicago

Last week, Savoir announced the launch of its free iOS app that helps foodies discover a curated selection of nearby restaurants. Now live with 600+ Chicagoland restaurants, the app offers each user a personalized set of recommendations, reviews, and promotions.

Savoir listings include Yelp ratings and up-to-date, complete menus. Beyond that, the service offers three exclusive perks to enhance users’ experience:

FitLens: food reviews from credentialed health and fitness professionals to help customers dine out while adhering to their diet and fitness goals. InnerCircle: reliable reviews from people you trust, like friends and family. Promos: special promotions from [...]
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