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Singer Lady Gaga holds the Polaroid G30 digital camera with built-in printer while introducing her Grey Label product line during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 6, 2011. (STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS)
Singer Lady Gaga holds the Polaroid G30 digital camera with built-in printer while introducing her Grey Label product line during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 6, 2011. (STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

Entrepreneur resurrects Polaroid brand Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by theReport on Small Businessteam. Follow us on Twitter@GlobeSmallBiz.

Warren Struhl shakes it up

Ten stores named Polaroid Fotobar are opening across the United States this year, and entrepreneur Warren Struhl is the architect of the rollout, Inc.com reports. The locations will allow customers to print “hangable wall art” from their photos on Facebook, Instagram and other storage media.

Mr. Struhl presented the concept to Polaroid in April, 2012, struck a licencing deal allowing him to use the brand name, and installed himself as CEO of Polaroid Fotobar. He has an extensive entrepreneurial resume, and his CV includes founding or co-founding PaperDirect.com (later sold to Deluxe Corp.), prepopped kettle corn Popcorn, Indiana, and Sheets Brand energy strips that dissolve on the tongue. In all, he has helped launch 30 companies.

Polaroid, which has been through a couple of bankruptcies, is now owned by private equity firms and the name is licenced under PLR IP Holdings. The first Fotobar store opens in February in Delray Beach, Fla.

European Commission banks on entrepreneurs

The vice-president of the European Commission wants to revolutionize entrepreneurial culture on the continent, according to the Bdaily website. Antonio Tajani’s plan is to create an educational system with a greater emphasis on entreprise programs, thereby encouraging more students to form companies when they graduate. He also wants to see schools build more “business ecosystems, partnerships and industrial alliances.” The extensive series of ideas includes microfinancing to encourage greater investment in private companies, removing cross-border barriers, and mechanisms to help entrepreneurs overcome financial problems. “Entrepreneurs are the heroes of our time,” Mr. Tajani says. “Entrepreneurship is also the most powerful driver of economic growth in economic history.”

I’ve got a feeling he likes innovation

“Have you ever thought about the bathroom? The mirror should be a camera with a display system. What the f--- do we have mirrors in 2012 for? Why do you have scales in the bathroom? The floor should weigh you.” Will.i.am was recalling a conversation he had with a contractor as part of a panel discussion at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The Black Eyed Peas star, as this article in TheVerge.com points out, “stole the show with his Jetsons-esque prognostications as a Next Generation of Innovators participant. The musician has also made a name for himself as an early adopter, an “app advocate,” a “Martian explorer,” and a business owner selling iPhone camera accessories.


Prepare to face the Dragons

Dragons’ Den producers hit the road for an audition tour this month, with more than 40 stops in Canadian cities, kicking off in Toronto on Jan. 19. Other tour dates are posted on this page. Interested entrepreneurs should be prepared to pitch their business in under five minutes. In addition to auditioning in-person they can also apply online.

Growtalks makes four stops

Growtalks, a one-day learning conference for developers, designers and marketers, is taking its show on the road, with stops in Montreal and Toronto on Feb. 19 and 21, respectively, and Seattle and Portland on March 26 and 28. Industry experts will share advice on how to improve product design, usability, customer development, acquisition, engagement, and more.


Does this add up?

Knowing his ballet career would not last forever, Charles Berry began a commerce degree while he was dancing. When an injury ended his career early, he writes in a guest column, he was surprised, but prepared to move on. Accounting wasn’t the second career he was expecting. He had planned to have a long, healthy ballet career before moving on to become an artistic director at a ballet company. But fate had other ideas.


Experience pays off

It’s a mistake to entrust social media duties to inexperienced staff members who don’t have adequate business acumen and brand knowledge, says Shane Gibson, chief social officer for Socialized!, a boutique social media agency in Vancouver. He was featured, along with other experts, in this story from September, 2012.

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