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screenshot from video of ProBatter pitching simulator
screenshot from video of ProBatter pitching simulator

Small Business Briefing

ProBatter a hit in the major leagues Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz. Download our app here.

ProBatter a hit in the major leagues

Batting cages are so 2011. For those looking to step up their game before the summer season, check out ProBatter: a sophisticated new pitching simulator which combines computer and video technology to recreate the experience of facing live pitching in a closed environment.

It's so "startingly real" that professional clubs like The Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates currently use the systems in their training regimen, the company said in a press release.

The virtual reality-meets-simulator lets hitters face the life-sized image of a pitcher on a video screen, with an actual ball being delivered at speeds up to 100 mph. You can also customize pitches, curves, sliders, change-ups and slurves.

"It's kind of bizarre the first time you see it," says Adam Battersby in a promotional video, "but then you realize it's a really good training tool."

ProBatter Sports, LLC was established in 1999 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kent Communications, Ltd., a diversified publishing and communications company that has been operating since 1982. It was founded by a group of former baseball players and youth coaches who always believed that there had to be a better way to teach and practice hitting.

Trend spotting 101

Want to forecast business trends before their happen? In an interview with Inc.com, Panos Panay, founder and CEO of Sonicbids, a social music marketing service that connected bands with more than 95,000 gigs in 2011, offered the following advice:

  1. Stop talking and listen.
  2. Look beyond your own business.
  3. Visit your alma mater.
  4. Kill your products before anyone else does.
  5. Think 'yes' not 'no.'


And for those who are looking to plug into the latest tech trends affecting small businesses, here's a top ten list from Entrepreneur.com.

After three years, Twitter dumps LinkedIn

LinkedIn announced this week that its users will no longer be able to post tweets via their profiles.

Product chief Ryan Roslansky wrote in a blog post that LinkedIn users will no longer be able to sync their accounts with Twitter.

The news follows Twitter’s recent announcement that outlined new goals for creating a "core Twitter consumption experience through a consistent set of products and tools."


Social Mix

On July 26 in Toronto, join Gary Vaynerchuk and Amber Mac for this day-long event to help businesses better understand how to use social to drive result. The Social Mix conference aims to teach you what it means to engage, share, and build relationships; the importance of strategic online personal branding; and why ‘one-on-one’ relationship building with consumers is crucial to business success. For more click here.

eLuminate Pitch CrowdFunding Conference

Starting July 30 in New York, the two-day eLuminate Pitch CrowdFunding Conference will focus on how entrepreneurs can scale their businesses and leverage crowdfunding resources to expand and launch new products and services. Through crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can raise small amounts of capital from supporters in exchange for product or service rewards.

Gain access to actionable content, resources, financing, exposure, networking. Learn more here.


Video: Every day brings new surprises to exotic animal clinic

In this video for The Report on Small Business’ Professionals Week, Karen Regan discusses the challenges, myths and rewards of being a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of High Park. The full-service clinic attends to the needs of cats, dogs as well as exotic companion animals such as birds, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, snakes and a variety of reptiles


Treat ex-employees right and they'll come back

Courting and bringing former company alumni aboard again has its advantages

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