CBIC Blog

Entrepreneurs – The Real Time Travelers

Take a random cross-section of the technologies around us. Smartphones, tablets, coffee machines that connect to the internet, thermostats that can be controlled from halfway around the world, cars that can parallel park themselves.

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PowerSole: Energizing the World

PowerSole is a shoe that creates electricity when you walk by converting the kinetic energy produced from movement into electrical energy, which can be used to power electronic devices, such as cell phones and iPods.

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PocketSonics' Success Since “Breakthrough of 2006”

For over 17 years, CBIC and the local tech community has bestowed honors on Charlottesville’s most interesting tech companies and entrepreneurs.  We thought it was time to check in with some of these award-winning ventures to find out what they’re doing today.

Our first story features the very successful PocketSonics, a company that won the CBIC Breakthrough Award in 2006.

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People.

The most important part of any business is the customer. As cliché as this may sound, it’s something that entrepreneurs have to remind themselves of constantly. It doesn’t matter how good your technology, service, and/or product may be; at the end of the day, it’s worthless unless it adds meaningful value to your customers’ lives.

Similarly, you can’t ever do it on your own. Whether you’re selling gluten free baked goods or a web app, you need to connect meaningfully with others in your field to engage your audience. In the process, you build a narrative of cooperation and co-creation that, at the end of the day, is your most potent asset.

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Patenting Computer Software Applications: The New Wild West

When it comes to protecting “apps” or computer software with patents, the current state of patent law could be considered akin to the Wild West.  This article provides a very recent history of courts’ perceptions on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, as well as offers guidance on the characteristics that are more likely to render an invention not only eligible for patent protection, but also more likely to provide an ability to successfully enforce patent protected rights in the long-run.

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Bootstrap Marketing: Naming a Company

This is the first post in CBIC’s series, "Bootstrap Marketing for Startups", featuring Birch Studio’s David Robinson

So... you have a new business. Statistically speaking, you also have a lack of funds to spend on marketing. But fear not—good ideas come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s a quick guide to set you on your way to looking like a real company in 2015. The essentials are a name, logo, website and business card. I'll cover each in a series of posts.

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Pear: The Anti-Tinder

This is the second post in CBIC’s series, “Grounds for Innovation: Student Entrepreneurship at UVa”

Pear, an app that inspires matchmaking between friends, just made its debut on the App stores for both Android and iOS. Joshua Choi, the frontman and the originator of the idea, explains the unmet need that Pear addresses. “Other matchmaking apps, like Tinder, may work for a lot of people, but I knew that there was an audience for something like Pear, an audience whose needs weren't currently being met by existing products.” 

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Caribé Juice: Pressing Passion(fruit)

This is the first post in CBIC’s series, “Grounds for Innovation: Student Entrepreneurship at UVa”

You may have seen these bright bottles of delicious exotic fruit juice at some well-known retail locations around Charlottesville, such as Little John’s, Whole Foods and Greenberry’s Coffee. But what is Caribé? As its co-founders describe it, “Caribé is juice done right. Nutritious, really fresh, and helping fruit growers: the three things every juice should have.”

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Branding on a Budget

You know what your startup does but how do you now tell that story to the world? And how do you do it on a budget?

The answer: PRIORITIZE

As a startup, you will need to get to the public quickly, and likely, cheaply. By prioritizing your needs to get out the door, you can save money up front. Logo? Yes. Branded mugs? Maybe not totally necessary out of the gate. Necessity is king, so do what you can on your own and then start appropriating your budget to the priorities as needed. Most branding firms will work with you a step at a time, as you are able. Over time, you can build the brand of your dreams without having blown it all in the first 5 minutes of your business when you need funding the most.

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