Congratulations to all the Innovations 4 Entrepreneur’s 30 Regional Winners!
They each demonstrated a great plan to use technology to take their business to the next level. Read about them here!
We currently use technology (social media, mailing lists) to share information about upcoming programs & keep in contact with previous participants. In addition, we use audio, video, & other online resources to make group content relevant & engaging for participating kids and teens. We are working toward a major expansion in 2016 & exploring many possible ways to use technology to improve our customers' experience & expand/enhance our offerings. On a basic level, demand for the Mighty Minds groups has increased dramatically over the past two years. We now are enrolling children & teens by phone; use of an online scheduling system would streamline our enrollment process & increase convenience for parents wishing to enroll their students in ongoing sessions or alumni drop-in groups. At a higher level, students who participate in our groups have asked for additional opportunities to practice & consolidate skills taught in the group; indeed, research suggests that the more students are able to practice these skills, the more easily they can employ them at times of need. We would love to provide online opportunities for skill practice/development (e.g., video or audio tracks) that students can use when at home, & ultimately to work with a software developer around creation of an app that students could access at any time. We also would welcome expert consultation around further ways to put technology to work for us and for our customers that may not yet have occurred to us!
"An economic survey of the court reporting industry suggests that in the next five years there will be 5000 jobs to fill, this is largely in part due to the aging work force as well as low numbers of entrants into court reporting training programs. The ability to meet this need over the next five years will be challenging.
Court reporters are going to be very, very busy as demand increases and supply decreases. And younger court reporters will embrace technology to “work smarter, not harder”. Court reporters make a living capturing verbatim testimony but once that is done and the final transcript product is complete, there’s a whole backend of production that takes place; converting into electronic formats, printing, binding, and finally shipping and emailing the transcript to their clients.
With $30,000, we would create a virtual transcript production service for that court reporters could access from anywhere in the United States, freeing up their time to focus on what they do that generates income and allowing them to use technology to work smarter, not harder.
Budget: 3000 website design - 1000 supplies - 2000 computer - 2000 software - 1000 online repository - 1500 marketing – 500 digital signatures - 1000 Bandwidth - 20000 staff"
"Most of our clients use a variety of devices to access online information.Making it easier for clients to complete the adoption process through the
device of their choice would enable us to complete their adoption more quickly.Preparing them for parenting through an online education process which
can assess their true assimilation of adoption concepts would help them become better parents.Software programs are available for adoption agencies,
but frequently do not have embryo adoption specific enhancements. Making those changes would be helpful. We're all about helping more babies be born
out of frozen storage. There are over 600,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S.They were created to become babies, embryo adoption allows the donor
family to make that possible."
Kidsports would use technology to elevate the customer experience. Today's Family Entertainment Center competes for attention with iPads to afternoons at the Movies. Our challenge is to be on the cutting edge of technology to provide our customers with a unique experience that can only be had at Kidsports. If Kidsports received this prize money we would immediately invest it into the customer experience. The enhancements would begin for customers even before they walk through the door. This would start with the development of a customer relation management system to integrate with the website of our company. This would allow our customers to register for birthday parties, indoor playground admissions, childcare services and special events using our enhanced website. This would also give Kidsports the ability to have customers check-in via smartphones which will reduce wait times and free up staff time to enhance the customer experiences. These improvements would allow us to automate our marketing. For example it would provide parents a money savings coupon if their child's upcoming birthday is booked at Kidsports. Also, weekly Kidsports Indoor Playground special deals would be sent to our membership. The rest of the prize money would be invested to enhance our facility and add new state of art technology for our customers to enjoy. We would like to build an interactive video game theater to play the most popular video games on 15ft HD screens with surround sound!
"Improv Playhouse Theatre places a significant emphasis on entertainment and education. Providing services all over Lake County, Illinois, we pride ourselves in offering a unique training experience for youth and adults with a wide range of interests in entertainment and self-improvement. We are always investigating methods by which we can improve the quality of our program, and many of our desired upgrades are geared towards becoming environmentally conscious.
Online registration and ticketing systems would make the organization and its programing more accessible to its patrons. We’d also like to take more of our marketing efforts online by expanding our media capabilities. These upgrades would help us decrease the amount of paper we currently consume on daily paperwork, posters, flyers, etc.
A new energy efficient LED lighting system would not only upgrade the quality of our productions, but is also an environmentally friendly responsibility that all theatres should be mindful of.
Our film camp is one of our most sought after youth programs. However due to a lack of equipment, we must hire instructors that are willing to offer up the use of their own equipment. We would love to offer enough of our own equipment for all students to have an equal opportunity to have an educational hands-on experience. In addition to cameras, we’d like to offer green-screen technology, light and sound equipment, and editing software.
Thank you, Comcast Business, for this opportunity"
Since the beginning social media has been a crucial asset. 95% of our orders come from our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mydream.cakes.5. Customers are able to view our cake gallery and message us with their order information. Additional technology would greatly benefit our organization. I was taught to make cakes by my great grandmother who passed away. her teachings had a great impact on my life, imagine what it could do for the next person. I’ve dreamed of hosting baking classes where individuals would be able to come to MyDreams and take baking classes. To aid in this request I would like to have a SmartBoard so that I may be able to hold large classes and make the classes more interactive. Any type of interactive whiteboard would beneficial as I would be able to add greater detail to my cake mockups as well. Energy efficient lighting and appliances would be used also. Again, most of our traffic comes from Facebook. Like any business owner I’d like to reach a larger market. I’d love to have a mobile app where we make MyDream Cakes more accessible. This app would deliver a weekly “Top Cakes” list, special promotions, and allow people to submit their favorite cake recipes and etc. With new cameras and a server we’d be able to host a web-series where we’d host a baking reality show. These technology innovations are mere examples that I believe will help transform MyDreams from a small home bakery to an industry standard.
Our vision is to see the our community strengthened, see families built, and to help train leaders for the next generation. The past year we have seen some really great results from utilizing technology to extend the reach of our various endeavors. One major proponent has simply been content syndication online. Atachurch, or Antioch the Apostolic church would use technology to educate the young people in our community. We would purchase personal computers to place in a free computer lab. Children in our city would be able to visit the computer lab after school and on the weekends to complete homework assignments and access the internet to do research. In addition to personal computers we would also install projectors so as to provide public lectures on various self help topics. Next, we would purchase tablets to allow students to answer questions real time during the lectures and to interact with the church community, communicating any needs they might have at home. Finally, we would purchase additional public address systems so as to adequately speak to a large group setting. This technology would help create an amazing space for our community to grow together as we are in the middle of building a Family Resource Center currently, and the financial allocation would greatly assist us in furnishing the center and move our objectives of helping our community forward tremendously!
"We have conducted a series of surveys with our clients, and from what we have gathered; they tend to spend a great deal of time outside of the office. We want to provide access to neighborhood level data while they are traveling in their vehicles our walking through a neighborhood to gain a granular perspective on a particular market.
We would like to utilize the funding from Comcast to develop a mobile application that will facilitate information based on a clients physical location. The mobile application would connect to our database and extend access to information that would ultimately enable customers to gauge the local real estate development pipeline, show data on companies that are engaged within the community, and view market and affordable housing rents within the palm of their hands. This effectively eliminates the need to be at a desk or computer.
In an effort to complement the published information with insights from consumers and feedback from residents, in a later phase we will aggregate and filter feeds from social media to provide customers with an assessment of what people are saying about the community that they are evaluating.
As communities become more urbanized, and as office environments transition from brick and mortar to flexible methods such as teleworking or shared office space, we believe that access to information should be just as flexible. We know that with the help of Comcast we can make the vision that we’ve outlined a reality."
"Our customers often have pets with special dietary needs such as a cat with hairballs which also needs a low-fat food or they are looking for any food containing a specific ingredient or nutritional composition.
My employees and I are knowledgeable about pet food, but we couldn't possibly recall the ingredient lists and nutritional content of every food we carry. So, we have been cataloging these foods and have created a spreadsheet that lists thousands of food along with their ingredient and nutritional content as well as whether the food meets a specific need such as weight control. This spreadsheet is useful but it is not always super-efficient to search and scroll through thousands of foods in an attempt to locate the best options.
I would use the money received from Comcast to hire a programmer to (1) develop a searchable database from my food spreadsheet and (2) create a user-friendly interface to query the database. Instead of a customer having to search through scores of individual web pages or reading labels of the foods we have in the store, with the pet food database, the customer will be asked a series of questions about their pet food needs, and based on their input, will be provided with a list of foods that best meet those needs. In this way, technology can benefit my business by putting the information my customers need to select a food at their fingertips."
The Comcast Business B4H technology grant would be invaluable to our operations. An agricultural drone could monitor water conservation of our irrigation system; enable inspections for healthy crops; and help support the productivity of our employees. Much-needed Timers could be integrated into the irrigation system, and eliminate the current necessity of having them perpetually manually turned on and off. Our winery and retail space is located off a busy highway, and Electronic LED signage could direct customers and tourists to our location, creating larger public exposure. Finally, a detection censored security camera is needed to help keep both animals and the people working here safer. Providing us with this generous grant would help immensely!
Technology plays a crucial role at Westlight Studios. All of our work posted online and most of our interactions are done over the internet these days. This year Westlight Studios will be starting Westlight360.com. It is an online service were we can share the studio photography experience with the whole world online. With the new technology of the 360 degree cameras,we can place a photographer in the middle of a set where they can see where all the lights are and the interactions between the people on set. This is a very valuable experience for one to view. We have tested the technology and it is just going to get better in the next year. We also plan on weekly video releases of new and popular music artist and songwriters. The videos will be called Westlight Sessions. There will be some times when we will take them live. This will give studio and artist more visibility. The setting for the Westlight Sessions will be filmed against a very popular wall we have made in our east studio. A wall made if pallets and hanging Edison lights. Along with sharing our knowledge online, we also want to our members and students to learn online. We have a special room at Westlight Studios where our members can go online and use Apple computers to learn how to use editing programs like Photoshop and Premier. We use Lynda.com , YouTube, Creativelive.com and more sources for this.We need a strong and reliable network for this.
"Technology would go far in helping to develop apps that will help our shop grow in its services and capabilities to the community. Customer service is key, which extends past the face to face interactions and extends to the small details, such as cost management, communications, and proper staffing. We would develop a multi-faceted app that is useful internally and for our customers and community. There are many apps and companies that bring tech into our neighborhoods without understanding the people within it, and capitalizing without any real reinvestment. The app would be created within the community to help build the community it serves, while being relevant in the market place and recycling the resources back in.
At first the app and resources would be specific to restaurants. Yes, we would develop it to grow our business, and then deliver it to other established and new businesses to develop as well. This app would help restaurants in many areas such as; local market outlooks, cost controls, waste management, time management, customer service tools, and many other amazing features to help them grow daily. It will all be built with them in mind. It would be very detailed, however very simple for the everyday people that would use the application in managing their business. With that, we plan to see more businesses thriving and staying established longer, which would build clientele, and reinvestment through jobs and more in-community spending opportunities."
"Using software & technology, we generate Live Social Media Impressions for your friends or your brand with instant posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email & Text. Take a picture, tweet it with the world. Make a memory, post it to your Facebook wall, and put a photo strip in your pocket.
Our photo booth is great for wedding, parties and large events because we feature top-of-the-line printers, cameras, and photo booth software, enabling SnapSeat to handle hundreds of guests per event, with super-fast, high quality images.
SnapSeat has great options like Green Screen Booths, Animated Gifs, Step-and-Repeat Booths, Live Marketing Activations, Video Booths, Customized Booths & more. Whether its for your wedding, trade show, conference, or party, we create a photo booth experience at your event that will impress!
A Marketing Activation featuring Photo Booths have emerged at conferences, trade shows, red carpet events, and festival to create instant brand engagement & social media impressions. SnapSeat is a fun, stylish, entertaining way for guests to interact with your brand, and market for you on their social media channels and accounts.
SnapSeat is capable of generating live social media impressions for your brand & sponsors, with Email List Capture & provide analytic reporting on social media impressions, boosting your ROI.
We upgrade hardware & pursue the latest technologies & innovations in our field, and hope to develop a enterprise software and app."
Hall Brands LLC would use technology to overcome process bottlenecks that slow our manufacturing and tracking processes. With the right technology, we could greatly increase our production capacity with the addition of just a few pieces of high-tech equipment. We currently have low-tech steps in our manufacturing processes that greatly increase labor costs and keep us from reaching our productivity goals. Our packaging, coding and tracking processes are very manual, and fail to leverage technological solutions that are available in the market today. We use a semi-automatic packaging machine. Our date and lot coding is done by hand, and tracked manually. We could overcome these bottlenecks with automated packaging equipment and a computer-based product coding and tracking system. First, better packing equipment would allow us to increase our packaging rate ten-fold without any additional cost, and help our overall production line meet its theoretical throughput. Second, better coding and tracking equipment would allow us to track and trace our products on a more granular level, and may provide a sales advantage when approaching large corporate customers. These few technological steps would allow our business to grow into nationwide grocery distribution and hopefully win millions of new customers.
We are growing food using aquaponic technology which we learned from Growing Power and Murray Hallam. We would like to use this money to bring to our HQ site a compact biodigester, built by Impact Bioenergy Horse AD25 model. The biodigester will enable us to heat and cool our systems and produce high value crops to share with our community as well as to teach students from preschool to university level about alternative energy solutions and sustainable food and fish production.
I have been an attorney working with social enterprises for over 20 years. My clients include nonprofits, for-profits, coops, and hybrids. As a securities lawyer, I have devoted my career to understanding all of the strategies available for legally-compliant capital raising. I co-founded a nonprofit called the Sustainable Economies Law Center. In 2010, we petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a crowdfunding exemption to democratize investing. This May, almost 6 years later, the federal crowdfunding exemption will be available. I would like to create an investment crowdfunding platform focused on underserved entrepreneurs raise capital from their communities. I am a member of the SEC's small business advisory committee and am very familiar with the regulations governing investment crowdfunding platforms. Creating a compliant platform requires the services of software developers and other professionals to set up payment processing, due diligence procedures, etc. Because of the high cost and level of expertise needed to set up a platform, there will be very few platforms and they will be run by larger businesses primarily focused on profits. I would like to create a platform designed to serve women, minorities, and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs. I already have a steering committee made up of a diverse group of women entrepreneurs from throughout the country. Our goal is to have the platform up and running before the end of 2016.
"We would like to leverage modern sensor technology and cloud architecture to create an administrative dashboard platform that would monitor and automate control and maintenance tasks within our aquaculture facility and all contract growers through wireless connectivity.
On the fish side, our platform would monitor factors in water such as temperature, pH, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Nitrates; measuring water levels and leakage, deploy actuators that can feed the fish, regulate water heating or cooling, and activate pumps to change water. The sensors would send information using wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, GPRS or 3G, for a perfect solution to monitor a complex aquaponic installation.
For the produce grow beds, we would deploy a suite of sensors to monitor humidity, light intensity, light spectrum analysis, temperature, PH and water flow. Actuators would be used to adjust water flow, activate lights and oxygen pumps."
The organization would use technology to create heightened awareness about the critical deficit and immediate need for support of our veterans returning from combat. Advertising, social media campaigns, education utilizing web based services, autoresponders and marketing campaigns would significantly increase our ability to connect with the community and increase the level of services we are able to provide.
"Critical to the growth of our business, we plan to utilize technology in many ways:
Technology is a great equalizer for small businesses constantly looking for creative ways to find new markets and convert new customers. Whether for communication, education or advertising efforts, technology is essential in all of our plans for the future."
The purpose of this innovation is to enhance healthcare utilization beyond hospital walls by inventing the technologies that would allow doctors, hospital staff, and patients to communicate and share information remotely and more efficiently. Our solution will utilize interactive terminals at patient bedsides to seamlessly connect doctors to patients remotely thus facilitating home healthcare and medical assistance all over the world. The solution will also utilize automated medication-distribution model to share medication order data to provide better visibility into patient care and more control of their workflow. The integrated solution will give patients and staff access to multimedia entertainment, communications tools, Skype technology, and electronic health records. The solution will include a touch-screen, web cam, single-sign-on access to an Internet protocol (IP) network, meal choice technology, and access to electronic health records (EHR). The system would need to integrate well with the hospital’s IT environment and provide a better environment for connecting with healthcare records, specialized applications and emerging technologies. The terminals connect to a worldwide IP network that provides access to the Internet, telephony, healthcare records, hospitality services, and multimedia content.
Over 17 million pet dogs in the U.S. are currently living with cancer and, like their human counterparts,have poor survival rates.Traditional therapies barely make a dent in the war against cancer.We envision a world in which the immense power of an individual’s immune system is harnessed to defeat cancer.Technology from Comcast will allow us to conduct real-time communication with veterinarians across the nation through a dedicated website portal.These lines of communication are vital to help them understand and monitor the dynamic systemic changes of their patient's health in the course of immunotherapy.Information technology plays a critical role in the across the board monitoring of our novel integrated cellular expansion platforms developed specifically for CAVU's Oncolytic LymphoTherapy(COLT),and the patient sample tracking via QR codes through each step of the process.Advanced computer technology will permit the integration and communication between several mechanical systems to streamline manufacturing and optimization of COLT services and ISAV/IHAV,our immune-marker-based big data analysis platforms.By leveraging cloud services (CPU cycles, RAID storage etc.),we could jumpstart our IT firepower to shorten our time to market for web services already in development.Powered by the on-demand scalability, accessibility,speed,and cost savings of the cloud, we anticipate rolling out,ISAV/IHAV,with minimal investment while providing dogs with maximal health benefits.
Our technology vision is to build a “behavioral rehearsal system,” which will allow us to help a wide range of individuals in our community. The system will use virtual reality, along with facial and full-body motion tracking, which will allow our therapists to precisely control characters within the virtual environments we create. For instance, if a teen is having difficulty in school settings, we will be able to place him or her in a virtual school setting where he or she will be able to learn more effective interpersonal skills, with our therapists taking on the roles of other children, teachers, etc. The system will use voice modulation, along with the motion tracking, in such a way that any therapist will be able to control any character within the simulation in real time, mapping all movement and communication in a way that matches the specific character being controlled. For instance, if a female teenager were having difficulties interacting with her peers, our therapists will be able to take on the role of any other teenagers in the simulation, regardless of age, sex, and physical characteristics. In the past, therapists have had to resign themselves to conducting “roleplay” sessions in their offices, but with this technology, our therapists will be able to do what was previously impossible: place individuals in the exact settings they are having difficulties with and then present them with controlled interactions that will help them overcome their challenges.
The High Five Project is designed to be interactive. As we feature each recipient, we also want to share the good work being done in our city. With an interactive website High Five recipients could spread the word about organizations making a difference in the lives of others! When the High Five Project expands beyond Richmond we will need a secure website, reliable email, a virtual place for people to interact and share ideas. Not everyone has time to save the world, but everyone has time to recognize those who are! Funds from Comcast Business would be used to make High Fives available through the mail to anyone, anywhere.
"The current See2B product provides two-way live video communications from any website. Potential customers have asked us to add:
Call switching – this would enable a call to be redirected from one device to another. For example, if a first call is handled by a sales representative and the rep wants to switch the call to the factory floor to demonstrate how something is built.
Multi-way live video communications so that a business can answer multiple calls from customers. This would also enable any number of people to collaborate on a call together as a merged call.
Video call queuing so that multiple video calls may be handled by a business simultaneously. Thus if only two representatives are available and a third video call comes in, the third call would be held until a representative is free.
Specific location determination – this would enable a business to determine the exact location on a web page that a website visitor is viewing. The business could then determine whether or not to “reach out” to the customer and offer them personal service. For example, if a business sold cars and accessories, personal service could be offered to those viewing a car instead of those viewing accessories."
Our complex recirculating systems for filtering our water and monitoring water quality require a robust software system to centrally monitor the entire farm. Today that is done with hand monitors and labor. We would be incredibly more efficient with a central monitoring system and in-tank sensors. We would also link an agriculture based inventory system allowing us to properly manage stock levels within each tank and assisting in the accounting of our fish prior to market. The future of aquaculture will combine known techniques in Biology to raise fish with the technology to properly manage day-to -day operations that allows for advancement in outlay of labor/skill among employees.
Working with children with Autism and other developmental disabilities requires a great deal of specialized software and assistive technology. Some of our children are non-verbal, meaning they do not communicate through spoken language. There is a tremendous amount of resources and communicative devices available that would greatly enhance the lives of our clients. I would also use this money to purchase interactive software for learning that will better engage our children. I would purchase Smart Technology for our Outreach Presentations, Guest Lecturing, therapy and classrooms. The remaining moneys would be used to improve our web site by adding additional interactive features that potential clients may use to fully experience our programs. At the “ACT House” we do a great deal of digital marketing. Some of the proceeds would be used to promote our organization at a national level. We are currently planning and organizing national and local symposiums for parents, teachers, and therapists to attend. The symposium will allow providers, parents, and therapist to interact and gain information at one location. This will require microphones, and other sound system equipment to be utilized at the event.
"Our client side website is in Beta right now but we need to expand to the mobile space, via I IOS and ANDROID apps to better reach a larger segment of our demographic (18-65).
Since out applications are already build as scalable API's all we really need is funding to build the native Android , IOS and possibly windows clients to link to our existing API.
We also need to expand our reach with advertising and marketing campaigns to get the word out to potential members."
We believe that every individual has a say and right to how their shoes and accessories should look and feel that’s why we want to Implement a product design technology that enables our customers to select their desired shoes, handbags or other accessories and customize or personalize them as their need be through changing the product style, materials, color and other features and we custom made the product and have it shipped to them. This technology will be of great benefit to our business and increase our clientele more especially when it comes to our luxury shoes, many individuals have different shapes of feet and our shoes being handmade and handcrafted upscale luxury shoes, this technology will eliminate the high rise of product returns. It will also provide our customers the options to upload their feet sketch or scan for us a create a personal shoe mold for that specific customer/client which eliminates the need for the customer to repeat the process each time he/she wants to place an order through our store. We will implement other resources towards hiring the best tech fashion employees to take our business to the next level as well as investing in digital marketing to increase brand awareness and to remain competitive and relevant within the luxury footwear & accessories market.
"WHH is currently piloting in New York, Oregon and Washington. We support patients with recent changes in health status. This includes, but is not limited to surgery, cancer treatment, chronic diseases, premature birth, and senior’s aging in place. Our most senior patient is 94.
Upon admission, patients are provided a video enabled tablet with a single button push that accesses Video Health Advocates who are ready to assist 24/7/365 with any health care concern, triage or immediate need. If a health care resource is required, the health advocate contacts our physician who is brought into the video call. The patients care team receives secure text messages when medicine reconciliation is completed and when patient exceeds care plan thresholds. All interactions are secure and HIPAA compliant.
A $30,000 grant, will allow us to ramp by adding 25 tablets with software and network, translating to 600 patient months of care in the next 12 months. This will provide further data on the importance of care coordination with a single point of contact for the patient and provider community informing us on how this affects quality of care, outcomes, patient engagement, and utilization of health services. The ROI should result in reduced costs for the patient and the health care system.
Please see attached video- Welcome Home Health - Colleen."
We would use technology to improve our online training experience, and add recordings. We would increase bandwidth and speed so that when we did training featuring interactive applications there would be no downtime or lag. Our website would be upgraded with short videos, and more interactivity. A members only section of the website would be added to add additional services to those companies that hired us on a term basis. We would upgrade mobile applications allowing us to be accessible to our clients at all times.
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