Winning Thousands in Startup Funds, HPU Students Shine at Business Plan Competition
High Point University hosted a Business Plan Competition on April 12, 2023. The competition was designed to provide startup funds to young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. Five finalists were chosen to compete for a total fund of $30,000. After a rigorous evaluation process, the winners were announced.
Quentin Barriel, the creator of QuickTag, won first place and was awarded $12,000 in startup funds. QuickTag is a personalized tag for luggage that simplifies the identification process. The tag includes the owner’s name, contact information and a scanable QR code that can be used to track the luggage’s location. The judges were particularly impressed with how the product fills a need in the travel industry.
Erin Morrow, the creator of Rossom Robots, was awarded second place and $8,000. Rossom Robots is a robotic car cleaning service that utilizes sustainable cleaning agents. The service is designed to provide a safer and efficient alternative to traditional car washing. The idea impressed the judges who were able to see the potential of the product in busy urban areas.
Reeve Fatuova earned third place and $5,000 for BUSTZ sports bra. The sports bra includes a built-in cooling system that is designed to help women who suffer from skin irritation and other issues. The judges were impressed with how the product addresses a common problem for women who are active in sports.
Savannah Smith and Jake Lagana were both runners-up and were awarded $2,500 each. Savannah Smith created a cannabis-infused skincare line that is designed to heal and soothe different skin conditions. Meanwhile, Jake Lagana created a reusable notebook that is eco-friendly, cost-effective and easy to use.
The competition was judged by a distinguished panel of experts, including Dr. Shanté P. Williams, Global CEO of Black Pearl Global Investments, David Couch, CEO of Blue Ridge Companies, and Malay Shah, Director of Venture South Piedmont. The judges were impressed with the variety of ideas presented and how well the finalists articulated their business plans.
Dr. Williams praised the finalists for their creativity and innovation. “It’s exciting to see young entrepreneurs with bold ideas that have the potential to create lasting change. The winners have demonstrated that they have a clear vision for the future and the drive to make it a reality.”
The participants themselves were thrilled with the opportunity to present their ideas and compete for startup funding. “This competition was a fantastic opportunity to get feedback from experts in the industry and to network with other entrepreneurs,” said Erin Morrow, a second-place winner. “I’m grateful for the experience and excited to continue to develop my product.”
Quentin Barriel echoed these sentiments, “It’s an incredible feeling to be recognized for my work, and I’m excited to continue to develop my product with the funds I’ve been awarded.”
High Point University’s Business Plan Competition is just one way the university is supporting young entrepreneurs in the community. The university hopes to continue to support the growth of these up-and-coming businesses and the innovative ideas they bring to the table.
Netflix’s Password Sharing Crackdown Boosts Subscriber Base and Stock Performance
Netflix’s stock (NFLX) saw a considerable boost of more than 3% last Friday, following fresh data from the analytics platform Antenna. The company recorded an unprecedented surge in US sign-ups following its controversial password-sharing crackdown, which was implemented in May. This was the largest increase in subscriptions in at least four and a half years. Between May 25-28, Netflix experienced the four single biggest days for US signups since Antenna started tracking this data in 2019. Notably, the streaming giant observed nearly 100,000 daily sign-ups on both May 26 and May 27.
Key Figures and Features
- The crackdown, which now extends to the US and over 100 other countries, has seen a significant rise in sign-ups, with the daily average reaching 73,000, a 102% increase from the previous 60-day average.
- Despite a small uptick in subscription cancellations during the same period, the number of new sign-ups vastly outnumbered this, resulting in an overall 25.6% increase in sign-ups compared to the prior 60-day average.
- New features like ‘Transfer Profile’ and ‘Manage Access and Devices’ have also been introduced as part of the new policy.
Restructured Policy and Customer Response
The restructured policy dictates that a Netflix account is to be used by one household only, with the provision to share their account with an external user for an additional $7.99 per month. Since the announcement, Netflix has been informing its customers of this change through emails and blog posts, emphasizing that their accounts are intended for use by the same household members only. While some customers voiced concerns over the new policy, many industry analysts remained optimistic about this initiative, seeing it as a long-term growth driver. JPMorgan, for instance, predicts that Netflix will monetize about 14 million of its password-sharing users by the end of 2023, 26 million by 2024, and 33 million by 2025.
Apart from introducing the password sharing crackdown, Netflix has also rolled out a new, more affordable ad-supported tier to boost its revenue. Analysts believe that Netflix’s ability to drive growth even amidst economic uncertainty stems from its capability to monetize its product better, potentially converting its 100 million plus password-sharing users into paying customers. These measures, along with the ad-supported tier, which attracted nearly 5 million subscribers within six months, are expected to drive the company’s subscriber and financial results.
Despite an initial dip after reporting its first subscriber loss in a decade, Netflix’s stock has been rebounding, reaching a 52-week high last Friday. As the password-sharing crackdown continues to gain traction in other global markets, industry experts anticipate the company to maintain this positive momentum. The company’s pioneering initiatives are expected to not only increase the number of paying subscribers but also influence industry practices.
Overall Impact on Subscriber Base and Industry
The policy change has notably impacted Netflix’s subscriber base, leading to a significant boost in sign-ups. Furthermore, it has sent a clear message to the wider streaming industry about the need for enforcing stricter sharing guidelines to ensure fair usage and revenue generation. With an estimated 100 million households sharing accounts, Netflix’s policy changes aim to convert a considerable portion of these users into paying subscribers. This strategic shift has the potential to transform the subscription model for the streaming industry at large.
Pivotal Research, in particular, believes that the company’s growth is not properly reflected in the current valuation, prompting an increase in their year-end 2023 target on Netflix’s stock from $425/share to a Wall Street high of $535/share. In conclusion, Netflix’s strategic move to regulate password sharing, along with the introduction of an ad-supported plan, has set the stage for a robust growth trajectory. The company’s innovative approaches demonstrate its commitment to maintaining its dominance in the streaming industry while adapting to changing market dynamics and consumer behaviors. As Netflix continues to navigate these new waters, it serves as a benchmark for others in the industry to follow.
Generational Attitudes and How it Impacts Investment Choices
Are you curious about how generational attitudes impact investment choices? Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
First up, let’s talk about Baby Boomers. These folks value stability and security above all else, so it’s no surprise that they prefer traditional investments like stocks, bonds, and real estate. They’ve been around the block a few times and learned that taking big risks can lead to big losses. Owing to this, they tend to only try out ventures and opportunities that are relatively stable. David Rojas, founder, and CEO of Blue Castle Ventures LTD said this about Richard Branson, the business guru “has his fingers in different sectors. And what he does is that he sees a good idea, what’s wrong with it, and makes it better.”
Most times, to make investments like this, Baby boomers rely on financial advisors for guidance, and you’ll often find them at the bank or chatting with a financial planning partner like Blue Castle Ventures LTD.
Next, let’s move on to Generation X. These independent souls are all about taking control of their finances and using technology to do it. They’ve seen how the world has changed and know that the old ways of doing things don’t always work anymore. That’s why they’re big fans of online investment platforms and other tech-based tools that allow them to manage their investments on their own terms. They also use a value investing strategy because they always look for undervalued assets.
Next up are the Millennials. These guys are all about making a positive impact with their investments. They want their money to do more than just grow – they want it to make the world a better place. That’s why they’re more likely to seek out socially responsible financial advisors and use a mix of passive and active investment strategies. They also love getting in on the ground floor of new investment opportunities and are big fans of crowdfunding and other alternative investments. For instance, David Rojas loves to “check smaller companies.” He says, “the type of stocks I focus on are not the regular big-cap stocks.”
Finally, let’s talk about Generation Z. These up-and-comers are the youngest generation and are still exploring their options when it comes to investments. They’re tech-savvy and always looking for new and innovative opportunities. They’re often dabbling in cryptocurrencies and other alternative assets like NFTs. According to David Rojas, these “are a speculative type of assets.” Gen Zs are also more likely to use a growth investing strategy focusing on high-risk, high-reward opportunities.
Drawing Parallels from the different generations
Generational attitudes play a big role in investment choices. Each generation has preferences and strategies, from traditional investments to alternative assets. But it’s not just the types of investments that vary – it’s also how investments are managed.
For example, Baby Boomers may be more likely to use a buy-and-hold strategy because they value long-term stability. On the other hand, Generation Xers may be more likely to use a value investing strategy because they are looking for undervalued assets. Millennials may use passive and active investing strategies because they value stability and social responsibility. Generation Zers, being more open to alternative investments, may be more likely to use a growth investing strategy focusing on high-risk, high-reward opportunities.
Another way that generational attitudes impact investment choices is through the use of financial advisors. Baby Boomers tend to rely heavily on financial advisors and are more likely to seek advice from traditional financial institutions. On the other hand, Generation Xers are more independent and more likely to use online investment platforms and other technology-based tools to manage their investments. Millennials are also comfortable using technology but are more likely to seek the advice of socially responsible financial advisors. Generation Zers, the youngest generation, are still exploring their options and may be more skeptical of financial institutions.
It’s fascinating to see how generational attitudes impact investment choices. Each generation has its own unique set of values, beliefs, and behaviors that can influence the types of investments they’re interested in, the strategies they use to invest, and the financial advisors
Tupperware’s Decline: Failing to Adapt to Changing Consumer Behaviors
Tupperware, once a household name and a leader in the food storage space, is now facing a decline in sales while its competitors are recovering from the pandemic dip. The brand has failed to adapt to changing consumer behaviors, resulting in mounting debt, declining sales, and plummeting stock prices.
According to a spokesperson for Tupperware, the brand has been impacted by the pandemic, inflation, and high interest rates, and is currently collaborating with financial advisers and partners in an effort to fortify the brand. However, the decline may not solely be attributed to external factors. Tupperware has historically only sold to consumers through “direct sales,” but this fell out of favor as consumer habits changed in the decades preceding the pandemic.
To address this, Tupperware moved away from its direct sales model and entered into a partnership with Target, which was seen as an “admission” that their core business model wasn’t working. However, this move was not enough to turn the company’s fortunes around. Tupperware has also failed to innovate in response to changes in competition and consumer behavior, resulting in declining sales for years.
While Tupperware’s decline is not necessarily a sign of worsening economic conditions, other retailers also face challenges such as high debt burdens or the need for support for innovation. However, unlike its competitors who have adapted to new consumer behaviors by offering more flexible purchasing options and embracing e-commerce, Tupperware has remained stagnant.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behaviors, with many consumers opting for online shopping and home delivery services. This shift has presented both opportunities and challenges for companies in the food storage space. While Tupperware has tried to adapt by partnering with Target, the move was not enough to keep up with the changing consumer landscape.
Tupperware’s failure to innovate has allowed its competitors to gain an edge, with companies like Rubbermaid and OXO offering more diverse and innovative products that cater to changing consumer needs. In contrast, Tupperware’s product offerings have remained largely unchanged, leaving the company struggling to compete.
Tupperware’s declining sales and mounting debt have also led to a decline in the company’s stock prices. The once-iconic brand is now facing an uncertain future, with investors and consumers alike questioning the company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
In conclusion, Tupperware’s decline is a cautionary tale for companies that fail to adapt to changing consumer behaviors. While external factors such as the pandemic and economic conditions have played a role in the company’s decline, its failure to innovate and adapt to new market conditions has been the primary driver of its decline. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, companies that fail to innovate and meet the changing needs of consumers will likely face similar challenges.