March 23, 2013

Briefcase

Peloton Labs in Portland hosting Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend, a global entrepreneurial program designed to launch new startup enterprises over the course of 54 hours, is coming to Portland's Peloton Labs this weekend.

Organizers expect about 70 participants, including programmers, businesspeople, marketers, designers and tinkerers. A team of private equity investors, business consultants, attorneys and other business experts will also be on hand to give free advice.

The event began Friday afternoon, when participants started taking turns pitching ideas to each other in 60 seconds or less. By the end of the evening, teams coalesce around a handful of the most promising concepts, which will then get developed into actual products over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

Elizabeth Trice, a co-founder of the Peloton Labs co-working space in Bramhall Square, is one of the weekend's lead organizers. She decided to bring Startup Weekend to Portland after attending a similar event in Boston in late 2012.

"It's exciting and chaotic," Trice said. "By Sunday night, you'll see a range from, at the very least, a very well-developed pitch that could be funded by someone, to some teams that will have a functioning product, or sales already made."

On Sunday evening, teams will present their products to a panel of judges (including Lisa DeSisto, the CEO of MaineToday Media, the Press Herald's parent company). Prizes will be awarded to the winning business concept.

The event will be covered with live updates, from Friday evening's pitches to Sunday afternoon's final presentations for the judges, on the Commercial Confidential blog at pressherald.com.

Internet agency approves 27 new non-English suffixes

The agency in charge of Internet addresses says it's given preliminary approval for 27 new suffixes -- all in Chinese, Arabic and other languages besides English.

They are the first approved out of nearly 2,000 bids submitted last year. The Internet Corp. of Assigned Names and Numbers previously said it was reviewing the non-English bids first. ICANN expects additional approvals in the coming weeks.

Winning bidders must now work out contractual and other details. The new suffixes could be available for use as early as June.

Proponents of the new suffixes hope the expansion will lead to online neighborhoods of businesses and groups around specific geographic areas or industries and help non-English speakers avoid typing English domain names like ".com."

Dow rises 90 points, ends week almost unchanged

U.S. stocks rose Friday in light trading, but logged a slight loss for the week, as investors bet that Cyprus will eventually reach a bailout deal with its eurozone partners.

Better-than-expected results from Nike Inc. and Micron Technology Inc. also bolstered investor sentiment a few weeks ahead of earnings season.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90.54 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 14,512.03, for a weekly loss of less than 0.01 percent.

The Dow snapped a four-week winning streak.

-- From staff and news services

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