Archive for the ‘tyson foods’ tag
It seems like there are tech accelerators and incubators popping up all over the place, spreading from major tech hubs like San Francisco and New York throughout the U.S. and internationally. But now they’re also appearing outside of major metro areas. Take The ARK Challenge, for instance, an accelerator program that’s just getting started in Northwest Arkansas.
The ARK Challenge is looking to recruit 15 startups, who will get all the same things you can expect from accelerators elsewhere, including funding, coworking space and access to mentors. All chosen to participate will receive $18,000 in funding in exchange for 6 percent of equity, and will have the opportunity to work out of the Iceberg CoWorking Space in Fayetteville, Ark.
They’ll also receive design and developer support, as well as help promoting their ideas throughout the 14-week program. As for the mentors, ARK is touting more than 60 local and national advisers that will be available to participants. At the end of the program, two startups will be chosen to receive up to $150,000 in additional funding.
So why participate in an accelerator in Northwest Arkansas? The ARK program is looking for early-stage startups that are heavily focused on locally supported industries, such as retail, transportation, and food processing. Arkansas has a bunch of big companies nearby, like Walmart, J.B. Hunt, and Tyson Foods, which means a fair amount of billionaires per capita.
But that hasn’t trickled down into a whole lot of technical innovation, which is something that ARK hopes to change. To that end, it’s hoping to bring in entrepreneurs not just from Arkansas, but from anywhere around the world to participate in its startup bootcamp.
The initiative is sponsored by Winrock International, a non-profit focused on rural development, in partnership with University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the NorthWest Arkansas Community College.
The program has received $2.1 million in funding from three federal agencies: Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Employment and Training Administration (ETA). It’s also received cash from Winrock International, Gravity Ventures, and Fund for Arkansas’ Future.
The ARK Challenge will officially kick off on August 6th and go through to early November, with participants announced sometime next month. But if you want to participate, you better get your application in soon — the deadline for applicants is this Sunday, June 17.
Quattro, of course, was acquired by Apple, which used the mobile ad network as the foundation for its iAd program. Albright, who led business development for iAd and is now SessionM’s CEO, describes the startup as an attempt to tackle one of the biggest problems he saw in the mobile industry — engagement and retention. He says that mobile consumers now have “so many choices, so many different options to choose from,” that can be hard for any one app to hold their attention. SessionM’s solution? Game mechanics and rewards.
Specifically, SessionM customers can create different achievements, which are then unlocked by users as they visit an app and perform specific activities. Those achievements confer status within an app’s community, but they’re also worth mPoints, which can be redeemed for gift cards, discounts and other rewards. Initial publisher partners include Viacom Media Digital Networks, The Weather Channel, Demand Media, Fox Sports, and Glam Media.
SessionM works as an HTML5 layer on top of an app, so publishers don’t need to change their designs. Albright says the goal was to make it “lightweight” and customizable for publishers. The publishers decide what kind of activity they want to reward, and they can even integrate it with other mobile platforms like gaming social network OpenFeint.
Albright says he also wants to create a compelling environment for advertisers, offering them units like video ads and branded mini-games. Honda, Tyson Foods, and Volvo have all signed on as advertisers.
That sounds good for publishers and advertisers, but mobile consumers might be less thrilled to find that an extra layer of interaction and ads has been introduced to their favorite apps. Albright says that the initial response has been positive, with high engagement rates. If you don’t like it, you can opt-out, and there are even automatic opt-out capabilities for users who don’t engage with the SessionM features after a certain number of times.
SessionM is backed by Highland Capital Partners (which also invested in Quattro) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (where it’s part of the iFund).
How does the average person know if an urban legend is true or false?
It has happened to all of us. You get an email from a parent, a friend, the guy who likes to send jokes.
Usually it claims that the company in question did something horrible, unAmerican, and insert your own concerns here.
Usually, these types of claims are only partially true or worse yet, patently false.
What if Your brand gets hijacked by an urban legend?
Usually when I get one of these emails, I head over to Snopes.com, a website that does a pretty good job of getting the details of these rumors right. In this case, the email received above had a warning at the end that they checked it out on Snopes, and they found an article from 2008 corroborated their point of view.
However, the article is from 2008, and as I write this it is 2011. This was about a single Tyson’s plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., that was negotiating with its largely Somali refugee workforce. Within a few days, the union negotiated to keep Labor Day and let workers choose between a birthday and the Eid holiday.
What Can Companies Do About These Rumors?
When I received this email, I contacted Tyson directly to get some idea of how they were handling the rumors, something very few people do as they pass on an email, ReTweet a message on Twitter or pass something along on Facebook.
Tyson’s is hardly alone in being caught up in persistent rumors like these. P&G underwent something similar with its Swiffer brand, and many others have done the same. You can see the Top 25 Urban Legends of the moment over at Snopes.com.
Step 1: Get Out Your Own Statement
The first step is to put out a statement out your own media room or blog. It helps to have a balanced view out there when people go to search. You can click on the photo above to see how Tyson handled its Labor Day Rumor.
Step 2: Submit Up-to-Date Info About the Rumor
Snopes.com is the go-to source to learn about the veracity of many rumors. Other sites also deal with rumors, including FactCheck.org, which focuses on political rumors, and even debunked this one about Snopes.com.
The site at Snopes,com has a Contact section, as well as sections to submit a rumor and/or a video. According to those that have done this, Snopes doesn’t necessarily respond immediately, so be persistent.
About.com also has a rumor section called About Urban Legends, so be sure to contact them as well.
Step 3: Get Third Parties to Pass on Correct News
Illustration of David and Barbara Mikkelson by Matt Weems, and used by permission of Yahoo.
Most rumors start with a kernel of truth, Snopes founders David and Barbara Mikkelson say in this interview in the New York Times last year.
There are many people (like me) that always take the time to look up rumors and get back to the person who sent it on to us. It seems that if a few reporters and bloggers tell the real story it leaves electronic breadcrubs for others looking who are reticent to just pass things on by like to get to the bottom of a story – lIke this opinion piece by Stephanie Salter in the Edmondsun.com, which takes chain letter writers to task and mentions several brands that were targeted by this practice.
Some people won’t believer the true versions of facts, but these breadcrumbs allow a brand to point to third-party debunking of the rumor and to minimize damage.
Step 4: Contact People Directly
One way to stop rumors is to respond to emails that are incorrect with up-to-date information. Also, if it is a blog post, to leave a comment as a brand representative with the correct info and a link back to a statement, like the one Tyson Foods has on its site. At that site I might also add a link to Snopes and other third-party and credible information.
Has your brand over faced a rumor like this? What would you recommend that other brands do when they find themselves in a persistent and untrue email chain letter, Facebook campaign or Twitter scalding?