Entrepreneurial

PixSpree lets you dress like a Kardashian

When Joshua Lopour’s girlfriend spent an hour online searching for a dress she saw worn by a celebrity, he thought there had to be an easier way.

“That was our ‘a-ha’ moment; that’s when we said people need this,” said Lopour, who created Orange County, California-based PixSpree, a software tool that allows users to scroll over a photo of a star and instantly find out what they’re wearing, how much it costs and where to buy it. “It’s basically a roadmap of saying you can go find this here, you can go buy this here. You don’t have to sit there and spend an hour of your valuable time trying to find something; why don’t we just tell you where to get it.”

Lopour is not a programmer, but spent 10 years working in entertainment news, predominantly as a television producer for CBS where he worked closely with a number of celebrity bloggers and photographers. After enlisting friends to design the code, something Lopour said took a couple months to complete, PixSpree struck deals with a handfull of popular Hollywood bloggers, including Perez Hilton, and photo agencies such as Fame Pictures and Pacific Coast News, among others.

“I think early on we knew that being in the celebrity field was a win-win,” said Lopour, adding when he was in TV news the first question they often asked stars was about what they were wearing. “We knew people were interested in that kind of information.”

Photo publishers download PixSpree’s JavaScript plug-in that automatically embeds their code on the photos, displaying a “Shop” logo at the bottom of the pic that opens a pop-up window when users click on it. On a Kim Kardashian photo, the pop-up window shows the cost of her dress ($168), purse ($269) and even her fake eyelashes ($15).

Entrepreneur creates green bed bug spray

bed bug magic

Fred Feldman likes to show how safe his bed bug treatment, Bed Bug Magic, is by spraying it on his hand and then licking it off.

“Most people go ‘eww,’ but I do it 90 percent of the time,” said Feldman, who sells the bug treatment as part of a line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products offered by his company Green Blaster. “(It shows that) it’s non-toxic, you can drink it and not have to have your stomach pumped.”

Feldman realized during the development of his other cleaning products that bed bugs are an epidemic and a solution was needed that was safe for kids (he has five grandchildren) and pets.

Entrepreneur says youth must create their own jobs

When Brown University student Walker Williams had difficulty finding part-time job listings, his response was to launch his own job-search website, Jobzle.com. But a crucial factor in transforming the website from a hobby to a business was the funding it got through startup accelerator Betaspring.

“It gave us the money, the offices, resource space and mentorship to focus on the product 100 percent,” the 22-year-old Williams said.

The Young Entrepreneur Council is one organization that aims to support entrepreneurs through ways such as education. Given the high youth unemployment rate – more than half of Americans aged 16 to 24 were unemployed according to a July 2010 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – founder Scott Gerber is a firm believer that youth must create their own jobs.

Startup develops astrological algorithm to predict romance

moonsharon

If astrology can be used to predict such things as stock market crashes, surely it can help people make love connections. That was the thinking behind New York-based startup Moonit.com

After careers in financial services, Dana Kanze and Mason Sexton Junior decided to create Moonit.com as a way of using astrology to help people like them and their friends with their relationships. Sexton Junior’s interest in astrology came naturally as a result of his father, Mason Sexton Senior, an astrologer and investment manager. Sexton Senior, also a co-founder of Moonit.com, used astrology to predict market events (such as the stock market crash of 1987) and market timing.

The website uses astrology to determine relationship compatibility between two people (romantic, professional or friendships) by using an astrological algorithm. After entering the birth dates, users get a compatibility score and a relationship assessment.

Online sports gaming startup eyes Super Bowl boost

Nic Sulsky hopes this weekend’s anticipated record Super Bowl television audience helps boost traffic to his online sports gaming startup.

InGamer Sports, the Toronto, Canada-based company he co-founded in 2008, lets users choose a team of players from live games and awards points based on how they actually perform on the field.

Sulsky said it fuses the three dominant screens in our lives: television, computer and mobile.

Cloud storage company Cirtas raises $22 million

– Alastair Goldfisher is the Editor-in-Charge of the Venture Capital Journal, a Thomson Reuters publication. –

Venture capitalists and cloud storage companies are picking up in 2011 where they left off in 2010.

San Jose, California-based Cirtas Systems, a provider of cloud storage hardware, announced on Tuesday it has raised a $22.5 million Series B round that was co-led by Shasta Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners and included previous investors New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Amazon.

12 steps toward reinventing yourself in 2011

SecondAct contributor Michelle V. Rafter covers business and workplace issues for a variety of national publications. She is based in Portland, Oregon. The views expressed are her own –

Reinventing yourself at midlife is no simple undertaking, especially if it involves switching careers. It takes equal parts planning, stamina and guts.

But everybody’s got to start somewhere. Here are a dozen first steps, based on advice from SecondAct interviews with authors and other experts on careers and midlife transitions.

How to market your company with 5 simple videos

Jon Hyatt is a 22-year-old producer/director based out of Boston, Massuchusetts. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. –

Regardless of what type of company you have, or what type of product you’re selling, there are always online videos that can be used to up your marketing and sales.

“Every company can affordably increase marketing and sales with the help of online videos,” said producer/director Jon Hyatt, who is most recently filmed a Boston-based reality show called “Making Moves“. “Nowadays more companies are starting to see the advantage to having online videos right on their website or Facebook pages.”

Entrepreneur trades bestsellers for bracelets

– Melinda F. Emerson, known as the SmallBizLady, is an entrepreneur, professional speaker, small business coach and the author of “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months“. In 2010, Forbes magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter. This article originally appeared on Second Act. –

Until three years ago, Janet Hill Talbert worked as a vice president and executive editor at a major New York publishing house. It was challenging work, and Talbert enjoyed nurturing her writers, including many bestselling authors.

But the stress of the job took its toll, and she started making jewelry as a way to unwind after hectic days.

Health insurance advice for entrepreneurs

– Ryan Hanley is a Commercial Account Executive for Guilderland Agency Inc and author of the “Albany Insurance Professional” blog located at www.RyanHanley.com. This article originally appeared on Under30CEO. The views expressed are his own. –

For an entrepreneur, skimping on insurance – especially health insurance – is like playing Russian Roulette with your future.

At no time in your business’s growth will the health and wellness of employees be more important than the startup years. Think about the set-back in growth if the founder of a second year business became ill and had to miss a month. A terrifying scenario for most young businesses.

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