A Housing Solution For People With Mobility Issues

July 16, 2018

Success Story, Vermont SBDC –

Wheel Pad L3CIn 1988, Architect Joseph Cincotta and Julie Lineberger, started LineSync Architecture, an award winning firm currently with 9 employees. Wheel Pad L3C, their second enterprise, evolved from an accident in 2010 that rendered their Godson quadriplegic and forced to live isolated in an accessible hotel room for eight months after rehab until he could find appropriate housing.

While designing the universally accessible renovations for a home their Godson eventually purchased, Joseph came up with the idea for Wheel Pad and started building the prototype in 2015: A 200 sq.ft. accessible bedroom and bathroom that can be attached to an existing home. It provides eco-friendly, temporary, accessible housing for people with mobility issues, allowing friends and/or family to provide support until permanent accessible housing can be arranged. Permanent models are also available.

Wheel Pad L3C offers a housing solution for disabled Veterans, Seniors, people with spinal cord injuries, and multiple diseases (ALS, MS, etc.) who have mobility issues and/or use wheelchairs, who want to remain in their currently inaccessible homes. It is an elegant solution that alleviates the need for a 6-12 month process of planning, designing, and constructing an addition. Additionally, it is local; it serves a social issue as well as an economic one. Their plan is to manufacture Wheel Pad units in economically depressed Wilmington, VT, with the end goal of an employee-owned enterprise.  (more…)

The Biggest Risk to Your Business: Inadequate Cybersecurity

July 9, 2018

By Linsey Knerl –

Cyber SecurityMost consumers today have been a victim of theft. While not everyone has had the harrowing experience of a home burglary or stolen car, a compromised email password or Social Security number has affected almost everyone. The FCC reports the theft of digital information has surpassed that of physical theft in the U.S. to become the most rampant type of fraud today.

As a small business owner, your risk is even greater. Any commercial task you conduct through the internet is especially prone to exposing your customers to this often-devastating criminal activity. How then, should a responsible company approach cybersecurity? Here are some of the best practices that wise entrepreneurs are implementing today.

Understand the Value of Data

While no single piece of stolen information can be damaging on its own, fraudsters are experts at aggregating data to create whole online “personas” that can then be used to make purchases, wire money, or even claim benefits. An email here and a password there can result in a major headache for customers, if in the wrongs hands.  (more…)

How to Use Snapchat to Boost Your Sales

July 2, 2018

By Jennifer Lobb –

smartphoneSnapchat may not be the social media site with the most users, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a powerful tool for companies with a specific audience – namely, millennials. With over 180 million daily users, many of whom are under the age of 34, Snapchat, when leveraged properly, can help boost sales and grow brand awareness.

Not intimately familiar with Snapchat? Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Snapchat’s longevity is, in part, based on its fleeting nature. The social platform allows users to send images and short videos to each other, but unlike other social platforms, the Snapchats expire after they’re opened.

Though some may find an expiration date to be burdensome, businesses can cash in on its time-sensitive nature, which can promote engagement backed by urgency and exclusivity.

Is Snapchat right for your business?

Before you dive into a Snapchat strategy frenzy, it’s best to take a good hard look at your audience. Unlike Facebook, which has an eclectic user base, Snapchat, as mentioned above, appeals to a younger demographic.  (more…)

Do Schools Kill Entrepreneurship?

June 25, 2018

By Gerri Detweiler –

Lecture Hall“Do Schools Kill Creativity?” is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time. In his entertaining and provocative presentation, Sir Ken Robinson says (referring largely to the state of education today) that “..if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.”

Robinson doesn’t address entrepreneurship directly in his talk, but plenty of other people question whether our educational system helps prepare students to run their own businesses, often against the backdrop of stories like that of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg dropping out of college to start their businesses.

As one example, Andrew Yang wrote in Forbes, “Schools don’t tolerate failure. Our students can’t accept it. The best entrepreneurship course would give everyone who enrolls an F. Whoever takes it probably has the makings of a decent entrepreneur.”

He’s referring specifically to university-level entrepreneurship education programs, and goes on to say: “The best programs push students out of the classroom, get business people with real problems, and give strong teams an actual chance to launch and operate with access to real angel investors. Go out and get some customers.”  (more…)