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Category Archives: Company Focus

Robots are Having their Shining (and Cleaning) Moment

Robots are Having their Shining (and Cleaning) Moment

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for heightened cleaning and hygiene practices in office buildings. Practically overnight, the need for comprehensive, reliable, and regular cleaning became a primary focus. Robots are emerging as cost-effective solutions to the challenge of properly and regularly washing and disinfecting large public areas.

Robotic home cleaners are now being industrialized and developed for office use.

Neo, for example, a four-foot-tall, 1,000-pound robot floor scrubber, is a top-of-the-line high-tech machine capable of navigating large commercial spaces with no supervision. It is a more sophisticated and thorough version of popular robotic home-cleaning devices. Created by  Avidbots, a Canadian start-up, in 2016, Neo has enjoyed burgeoning sales each year; so far in 2020 sales have increased by 100%.

Somatic, a start-up in New York, is developing a robot to clean bathrooms using spray technology. The absence of a human resource cleaning the bathrooms increases safety as fewer germs are spread. Robots have additional benefits as well: they can be scheduled to run frequently without increasing the cost of paid labor; they don’t mind the repetitive and tedious chores of cleaning; they are more water and energy-efficient and use less cleaning supplies. Some robots are being developed to report data like how much cleaning materials were used, space covered, etc.

Robotics have been introduced in many aspects of “back-office” jobs. Dull accounting tasks were replaced by machines years ago, according to a 2018 report from Deloitte.  With more top executives and industry leaders getting involved in the details of maintenance and cleaning, as part of resuming regular in-office work and ensuring the safety of employees, there is more interest in identifying economical and efficient solutions. To most administrators, this is the next logical step in maintaining the “smart office” design.

New York Times Buys ‘Serial’ Podcast’s Production Company Behind

New York Times Buys ‘Serial’ Podcast’s Production Company Behind

The New York Times, building on the success of the “Daily” podcast it parents, is expanding its role in audio journalism. The Times Company bought Serial Productions, the company behind the hit podcast “Serial,” for $25 million. The purchase will facilitate the production company’s capacity to increase the number of shows it makes, and will… Continue Reading

Funding Growth for Oscar Health Insurance

Funding Growth for Oscar Health Insurance

Health insurance company Oscar has raised $225 million in its latest round of funding. Existing investors Alphabet, General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Lakestar, and Thrive Capital, renewed their commitments, while new supporters joined the venture, including Baillie Gifford and Coatue. Oscar, the New York-based health insurance provider, has raised a total of $1.5 billion since its founding in 2012 by Mario Schlosser and Joshua Kushner. It is the first direct-to-consumer health… Continue Reading

How Fintech is Helping Small Businesses

How Fintech is Helping Small Businesses

The current ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to some remarkable business discoveries, including the revelation that fintechs, primarily online financial service companies, are effective liaisons for small business owners as well. The agility and flexibility that most fintech companies have allows them to be responsive in real-time; they experienced fewer policy and bureaucratic hurdles than… Continue Reading

Brooks Brothers Changes Course Due to Corona

Brooks Brothers Changes Course Due to Corona

In March, the Brooks Brothers clothing manufacturer was praised for its quick response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The designer brand transitioned its three US factories to produce personal protective equipment for medical teams and frontline workers. But these same factories are now at risk of becoming casualties of the virus they were working to protect… Continue Reading

A New York Company Surviving Its 2nd Pandemic

A New York Company Surviving Its 2nd Pandemic

Eastman Machine Company in Buffalo makes fabric-cutting machines. It is a fourth generation family owned business that has weathered its fair share of crises. Over the course of the company’s 132-years history has unfolded: World War I, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the Great Depression and World War II. The company’s equipment is used… Continue Reading

Entrepreneur in the Food Field donates to New York hospitals

Entrepreneur in the Food Field donates to New York hospitals

The coronavirus has been ravaging New York City since March, and local food entrepreneurs stepped in to support healthcare workers on the frontlines. Some have offered free meals, others are packaging to-go bags with ice packs for pick up, and some businesses are modifying their business model to accommodate demands. Cole Riley, for example, founded… Continue Reading

Creativity is the Right Businesses Model for Corona

Creativity is the Right Businesses Model for Corona

With the coronavirus lockdown now entering its 10th week, New York City business owners have gotten creative in their attempts to keep customers engaged and buying. Restaurants remain closed for dining in, but almost all eateries have adopted delivery systems to bring food to diners at home. Amy Schiappa, the owner of two hair salons… Continue Reading

Tips from Those Already Working Remotely

The coronavirus has forced many companies, universities, and businesses to transition to working from home. Nearly one quarter of the American workforce already works from home, some partially and others on a full-time basis, and can offer substantial guidance for those workers and managers working apart for the first time. Here are some tips from… Continue Reading

Bicycle Shops: A NYC Essential Business

While most of New York City’s businesses have ceased or slowed operations during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mayor de Blasio designated bike shops as an essential business allowed to remain open. More people have taken up cycling as their transportation method of choice, rather than risk infection on subways and buses. For these commuters, cycling… Continue Reading