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Close-up of a hand holding fibre optic cables. (Thinkstock/Thinkstock)
Close-up of a hand holding fibre optic cables. (Thinkstock/Thinkstock)

Small Business Briefing

Google Fiber gives Kansas City a business boost 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.

Better, stronger, faster

Kansas City is on the cusp of a startup movement thanks to the recent introduction of Google Fiber in recent months, a story on the Huffington Post points out. The massive, lightning-quick fibre-optic network is being tested in the area, and it’s designed to appeal to small businesses because it “makes it easier to handle large files and eliminates buffering problems that plague online video, live conferencing or other network-intensive tasks.”

After spending months laying cable, Google now provides a full-service package for $70 (U.S.) a month, in addition to slower-speed options at reduced rates. While the program is currently restricted to neighbourhoods in Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kansas, Google has said it does plan to expand the concept.

Among the centres for entrepreneurs that have sprouted up are State Line Road house, or the “home for hackers” where startup employees can live rent-free while they develop business plans, and the Kansas City Startup Village, where Leap2.com founder Mike Farmer has located and says the addition of Google Fiber spurs talent “because it sort of ignites the imagination about what you can do with that sort of bandwidth capability.”

CYBF names new chair

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), a non-profit that provides people between the ages of 18 and 39 with the resources required to help them launch and sustain successful businesses, has named Julia Deans as its new CEO. Ms. Deans began her career as a lawyer in Toronto and Hong Kong, before becoming CEO of CivicAction, a coalition of senior leaders dedicated to tackling social, economic and environmental challenges. In 2012, she chaired Ontario’s Expert Roundtable on Immigration. “Julia brings with her extensive management experience and a profound understanding of entrepreneurship – through creating and spearheading a business in Singapore, to building a series of successful regional initiatives in Canada,” chairman John Risley says in a press release.

Anonymous hacks MIT websites

The group of Internet activists known as Anonymous hacked websites of the Massachsetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was found hanged in his New York apartment on Friday, The Telegraph reports. The 26-year-old had been charged with stealing millions of MIT articles from a computer archive in 2011. He pleaded not guilty to 14 felony charges, and according to the L.A. Times his court case was due to start in February. Anonymous did not lay blame at MIT’s feet, but the message it posted on the school’s site read, in part: “Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for – freeing the publicly-funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it – enabling the collective betterment of the world through the facilitation of sharing – an ideal that we should all support.”

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

The state of innovation

Research Money Inc. hosts Budget 2013: Checking the Pulse of Canada's Innovation Policies on April 9 and 10 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The event will examine emerging government policies, priorities, and strategies that affect Canada's innovation ecosystem and culture.

A chance to win tickets

Renbor Sales Solutions is looking for the one challenge you have in sales today that you are determined to overcome by January, 2014. Could be better questioning, better prospecting, or call reluctance, as a few examples, and how it will impact your success. If you are a manger or other sales leader, you can apply for your team. Best answers can win tickets to the Art of Sales conference. Applicants must complete the form by the end of business day on Jan. 23, with winners announced on Jan. 24.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Affordable retail space is no small challenge

A solution for savvy small businesses is to look outside core retail areas to emerging districts where landlords are still independents. Those with irresistible concepts and social media prowess have the best shot at making what retail experts call “secondary” spaces – alleys, upper or lower floors – star locations.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Make your password life easier

Do you struggle to remember passwords for your online accounts? Do you ever write passwords on a piece of paper and tuck them under your keyboard? Do you use the same password for everything, even though you know it puts all your accounts at risk if one is hacked? If you answered yes, you’re like most of us. And Toronto-based SecureKey Technologies Inc., featured in this story from November, 2012, thinks it can make your life easier and more secure.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us atsmallbusiness@globeandmail.com.

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Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh

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