Westfield Labs & R/GA Ventures Hold Demo Day for their Connected Commerce Accelerator

More than 90% of the startups fail within the first two years of operations. The reasons for failure can be multi-fold. However, the most common mistakes made by startups are bad financial planning, an unclear roadmap, poor vision for success, lack of experience in executives and managers, not understanding markets & future trends, and lack or mentorship. However, tomorrow’s big companies are today’s startups and it is very important to keep the startup ecosystem healthy and prosperous. Startup accelerators such as R/GA play this pivotal role of mentoring and training fledgling startups and bringing them up to speed. Their business is to grow their clients’ business.

Westfield Labs was opened with the vision of unifying online and physical retail in order to give the customer a complete shopping experience. In the digital age, a large number of customers browse products online before the make purchases in the store and vice versa. Thus a holistic experience makes a lot of business sense and ensures a larger share of wallet. Co-CEO of Westfield Corp (Westfield Labs’ parent company) Peter Lowy stated recently at a UCLA economic summit  that “consumer behavior habits have changed dramatically and permanently” and he promoted the power of mobile and other technologies to draw consumers to physical locations and to streamline their experience with retailers both in person and remotely.

R/GA recently concluded the R/GA Connected Commerce where they joined hands with Westfield Labs as partners. The aim was to mentor 10 start ups looking to redefine the retail experience with the help of Westfield Labs as well as other sponsors including industry bigwigs like Verizon, Walmart, BOA, Macy’s, Intel, and Makerbot. The Startups benefited from the numerous round tables conducted with these industry leaders as well as the guidance and consulting from R/GA. With the help of this program, the startups are expected to take an accelerated and well defined path to market.

The startups that participated include companies with varied interesting offerings. Agent Q’s offering is artificial intelligence for customer care executives while AxleHire provides superfast delivery service to online and physical retailers alike. Clarifai offers AI using visual recognition, Cordial provides a machine learning powered messaging system and Darkstore solves more inventory and logistics problems by optimal utilization of the brick and mortar space. Happy Returns is another one that tries to marry e-commerce with physical shopping by providing in person return facility to online shoppers. Myagi is making the life for sales executives easier while Oak Labs is trying to connect multiple stores on a single platform. Percolata utilizes sensor data to decide on sales force requirements and reply.ai is a bot management platform.

After the three month long program, all 10 participating startups took center stage on October 26th to showcase the products and services offered by them to investors and partners.



Marriott has Launched a Digital Magazine Focused on the Millennial Audience

When Arne Sorenson became Marriott’s CEO in 2012, he shifted the brand strategy to target next-gen travelers. A year later, the hotel giant created a website built for millennials, TravelBrilliantly.com, and now Marriott has evolved that site into a digital magazine of the same name.

“Travel Brilliantly is something that millennials may not think of instinctively” when thinking about Marriott, said Michael Dail, vice president of global brand marketing for Marriott Hotels at Marriott International. “The whole mission of the brand is around our guests being innovative, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. Our role is to help them on their journey.”

The site will feature long-form quarterly content that aims to give readers insight on travel through an editorial lens. “We’re not trying to be Buzzfeed; we’re not trying to always be on social content providers,” said Dail. “We want to have a purpose and some thought leadership that’s appropriate for the brand.”

In its inaugural edition, dubbed “The Curiosity Issue,” readers will find interviews with Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as partner content from TED, art/tech company VSCO and female entrepreneurial firm Create & Cultivate. The brand partners will also host the content on their sites.

Source: Campaign US

Designer Rebecca Taylor Opens Boutique in Miami’s Aventura Mall

Aventura Mall in Miami will be welcoming a new luxury boutique to its glittering roster: that of designer, Rebecca Taylor. The mall is run by Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates and is located on Miami’s affluent Biscayne Boulevard, is home to many high-end retailers, and is one of the largest shopping centers in the country. The addition of a Rebecca Taylor boutique is exciting news, both for Aventura and for Ms. Taylor.

Though this will be Rebecca’s first store in Aventura’s Miami complex, it is the ninth such endeavor for her. She is the proud owner of three stand-alone boutiques in New York, along with locations in Atlanta, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and White Plains. Taylor had had the desire to launch a store in Miami, previously considering Bal Harbor Shops and Miami’s Design District, as possible locations.

The shop will be on the first floor, close to Macy’s, and will feature 1,400 square feet of retail space. It will offer the designer’s ready-to-wear collection, along with products sold exclusively at the Biscayne Boulevard location, her collaborations in limited-edition, along with her newly-launched line of denim-wear and casual — LA VIE Rebecca Taylor.

According to Kristin Mueller, the Chief Retail Operating Officer for JLL, Miami is home to one of the most, ‘coveted retail markets in the nation’. This is because the revenue earned per retail square foot, Mueller adds, is the highest anywhere in the country, averaging at $768 per square foot.

The mall is currently undergoing a building project to expand its size by an additional 241,000 square feet, an undertaking that will also include a parking garage. This is not the first such addition, as the center originally, in 1983, was only half the size of what it became in 1997, with the addition of a Nordstrom and a three-tiered wing.

Overall, the center boasts a total square footage of 2.7 million and in the United States is the third largest mall, behind Minnesota’s Mall of America and Pennsylvania’s King Of Prussia Mall. Aventura features both fine cuisine and sweet shops and is home to a Godiva Chocolatier, and a Sugarfina. Diners can enjoy succulent steaks at The Grill On The Alley, sushi at Sushi Siam, or Pasta at Bella Luna. Brands like Givenchy, Cartier, Brooks Brothers, Porsche Design, Tiffany & Co., and Emilio Pucci are all featured at Aventura.

NY Times Names A.G. Sulzberger Deputy Publisher

The New York Times brought a new generation of the Sulzberger family into its top ranks on Wednesday, naming Arthur Gregg Sulzberger the deputy publisher. The appointment positions him to succeed his father as publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company.

Should he ascend to that position, Mr. Sulzberger, 36, would represent the fifth generation of his family to serve as publisher since the family patriarch, Adolph S. Ochs, purchased the newspaper in 1896.

The selection of Mr. Sulzberger comes at a crucial moment for The Times, converging with a shake-up in the newsroom leadership and the impending release of the so-called 2020 Report, a blueprint for reconfiguring the company for a digital and mobile future. Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, is currently reviewing a draft of the report and is expected to release it in some form in a matter of weeks.

Continue reading here.

Source: nytimes.com

Are Man-Made Lakes the Next Big Thing in Real Estate?

Less than two decades ago, a golf course was a must have for every real estate developer that sought to raise the value of their property. Nevertheless, their proliferation in almost every neighborhood has reduced their significance in the market. But Crystal Lagoons, a Miami Based Company, seeks to replace this golf course saturated market with a more interesting feature, the man-made lakes.

This idea seems to have been well adopted by some of the leading real estate moguls. For instance, earlier in the year, Steve Wynn expressed plans to convert the more than 38-acre golf course behind his two luxury hotels in Las Vegas into a man-made lake using Crystal Lagoon’s technology. This ambitious plan also involves the erection of a 10-story mountain at the middle of the lagoon to be used as a launching base for nightly fireworks.

Turnberry Associates is the latest addition to the list of large companies that have announced plans to employ Crystal lagoon’s technology. Just recently, Jackie Soffer, the company’s co-chairman and also wife of real estate developer, Craig Robins, hinted that the company’s wish is to build two 10-acre pools in their next mega mixed-use property project in Miami. Jackie Soffer is optimistic that the pools will attract luxury home buyers seeking change in the golf course saturated market.

Crystal Lagoons was established about a decade ago by a bio-chemist cum real estate developer, Fernando Fischmann. According to Fischmann, the idea was as a result of frustration by the Pacific coastlines that rendered beaches useless as the constant rough tides turned swimming to a dangerous affair. Initially, Fernando hoped to create an ocean front to his Chilean community. However, realizing the viability of the project, he decided to commercialize it effectively bringing beaches and oceanic feel to the cities.

So far the company has built over 60 lagoons all over the world. It is important to note the appreciation the technology has received considering the huge number of deals the company is closing even at the relatively huge costs of $250,000 per acre of the man-made pool. Currently, the company reported that it has more than 250 such projects underway with more than 40 in the U.S alone.

Fischmann is also seeking to expand this project to new markets, especially hoping to reach out to the power companies. He hopes to have them on board by adopting the Lakes as a source of cooling water from the turbines while using the energy generated to desalinate the natural water bodies. With a projected demand of over 14,000 artificial lakes around the world, one might add that the sky remains the limit for Fischmann and company.

An Australian Mall Business’ Success in the U.S.

The Westfield Corporation was founded by John Saunders and Frank Lowy in the western suburbs of Sydney Australia. Their first development was launched back in July of 1959 in a place called Blacktown. After going public on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 an additional five centers were built in New South Wales and later expanded to Victoria and Queensland by 1966 and 1967. As the company began to gain momentum, they later expanded their developments into the United States launching their first center in 1977 by acquiring the Trumbull Shopping Park located in Connecticut. Their development continued throughout various areas in the United States, including developments being launched in New Jersey, California, Long Island and New York within a span of approximately 9-10 years. They later purchased an additional 19 centers by combining their efforts with General Growth and Whitehall Real Estate. They went on to create further developments in other parts of the US and New Zealand.

The Westfield Corporation has a portfolio of over 40 shopping centers throughout the United States and Europe, which equates to approximately 7500 retail outlets, with total assets in excess of $28.5 billion which is managed by the Corporation. Their total combined revenue was roughly $635.5 million at year-end in 2014.

They eventually formed Westfield Labs, a global digital lab that concentrates on linking social media and digital technology users with the physical shopping experience. Located in the Westfield San Francisco Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, Westfield Labs plans to launch new partnerships, products and services that can become commercialized on a global level. They also have plans to take emerging ideas and technologies and transfer them into viable businesses.

The Westfield Corporation is in both the real estate development and the shopping center management industry. They are a publicly traded corporation on the Australian Stock Exchange and their Chief Executive Officers are:

Peter Lowy (Co-CEO)
Steven Lowy (Co-CEO)

The Lowy Family Group (LFG) is the largest shareholder in Westfield Corporation. Some of their most prominent world’s leading shopping iconic destinations consist of London, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

LFG is also a private investment group based out of their corporate offices in New York and Sydney. The LFG’s Investment Business has a great focus in the area of owning a portfolio comprised of well-managed, listed equity businesses.



How to Get a Stranger to Read Your Business Emails

Liz Wessel was just 24 years old when she and cofounder JJ Fliegelman started their company, WayUp — a site used by hundreds of thousands of college students to find jobs at places like Microsoft, Uber, The New York Times, Disney, and Google, where Wessel previously worked.

“We had a combined four years of full-time work experience, so there were often times that employees would ask us questions that we couldn’t answer or would ask us for advice that we didn’t want to get wrong,” she says. “So, we started encouraging the team to cold email people who would better know the answer.”

Wessel says to this day, she still “dares” her employees to reach out to those they admire.

During a trip to California in early 2015 she challenged her entire team to take advantage of the fact that they were surrounded by some of the greatest minds in tech.

“I told everyone to cold email one expert in Silicon Valley who they normally wouldn’t have the guts to email and who they wouldn’t be able to meet in New York City, where we’re based,” she says.

She shared 6 solid tips to get someone to open your email…

To read these tips visit: BusinessInsider

Get to know Top Regional Mall Holding Firm, WP Glimcher

Washington Prime Glimcher is one of the largest and most exclusive regional mall holding firms in America. They own a large battery of regional shopping centers that are beautiful, tailored to each community and provide the utmost in quality customer service. Their company is awash with brilliant leaders, excellent properties and beautiful landscapes, and their firm is characterized by a forward-looking vision that includes some of the finest retail establishments in the world. This article explains why shopping with Washington Prime Glimcher is a wise decision.

Company Leadership
Louis G. Conforti is the Interim CEO of Washington Prime Glimcher, and he works in the executive suite with a large group of seasoned professionals. There are men, women and people of color working in the executive offices, and they represent every segment of America that one could possibly imagine. The leadership makes sound decisions when acquiring properties, managing properties and inviting new retailers.

WPG in the News
Washington Prime Glimcher has transitioned to Louis Conforti as their interim CEO, and they are considering changing their corporate name to something that is a bit more friendly to American shoppers. Mr. Conforti also serves on the board along with Jackie Soffer, Robert Laikin, and Marvin White. The company itself is not a household name, but their regional shopping malls are visited by millions every year. Changing the name of the company may produce quite a large infusion or name recognition that is needed for their firm to progress.

Giving in Every Community
WPG is deeply-committed to helping the communities where their shopping malls are located. Every shopping mall has funds earmarked for use with community organizations, and the management of each mall is free to host events that bring the community together. The community is free to come to a WPG mall for fundraising events, and the stores within each mall are free to offer fundraising support to the community.

The Washington Prime Glimcher corporate culture is one of solid decision-making, corporate giving and keeps an eye on what the American public wants. The company itself is primed and ready to make a change that will help it become more-recognized than before, and they will continue to acquire gorgeous shopping malls that offer guests the best experience possible. Shoppers who come to Washington Prime Glimcher are seeking out amazing experiences, better products and shopping malls that are beautiful on the outside and the inside. The brilliant combination of all three makes WPG a premium shopping destination in every community.

Get The Perfect Executive Placement In DC For Your Corporation

Why Hire Executive Placement For Your Company?

A prominent position in DC will require a well educated and qualified individual (Gary Burnison). Hiring a president or vice president of a company can take expertise in recruiting top professionals. Hiring a placement company for your executive positions can ensure you get the most talented and qualified candidates. The executive position and the company receive the best opportunity to grow with each other. In fact, some companies guarantee their recruits or they will find another candidate at no cost to you. It will also allow corporations to focus on the top issues involved with their organizations because hiring is designated to a company.

The Benefits of Hiring An Executive Recruiter

Time & Cost Effective

Human resources can be flooded with resumes and it can be hard o determine a qualified candidate from the list of applicants. It is also a lengthy process to go through all of the paperwork to find a potential client. However, an executive recruiting company has already done the interview process and their ready to match a reliable, trained candidate with a good position. Human resources can focus on what other aspects of the office.

Industry Professionals

Executive recruiting companies have their eyes and ears in the market on a daily basis. They know what it takes for their candidates to possess the top skills in the industry. You’ll have some of the best trained and qualified recruits in your field of expertise. Recruiting companies know the top talent and are able to match them with the best position according to their capabilities. You’ll always have someone qualified for the position because beforehand they were thoroughly researched.

Executive Recruiting Companies In he DC area

JDG Associates is a well known recruiting firm in DC that partners with government, corporate, and associate clients to help you find the top professionals for your corporation. They have been established since 1973 and committed in finding the leaders of tomorrow.

Boyden doesn’t limit their recruits to a certain area. They are willing to find top candidates from all over the world with offices based in DC. Their executive candidates have the most impeccable talent in the industry. In fact, they have been serving the local DC area for over 60 years.

Hire your next professional with an executive recruiting company.

As Clothing Consignment Migrates to the Web, Here’s What Investors Need to Know

With the continued growth of digital consignment shops such as ThredUp, Poshmarkand The RealReal, it’s safe to say the secondhand apparel market is having a moment.

It’s easy to understand why consumers find consignment shopping so appealing. For one, buying secondhand clothing and reselling your own duds is good for the environment. According to a report from ThredUp, if just 1% of American households shopped for secondhand clothing, it would save more than 1.1 billion pounds in carbon dioxide emissions and more than 99 billion gallons of water per year. A recent Nielsen study found that 67% of consumers are extremely concerned about increasing access to clean water, and 63% are extremely concerned about ensuring environmental sustainability. As such, the secondhand apparel market’s social good aspects are likely to resonate very well with consumers.

Read the complete article.

Originally published on: TheStreet.com