Big business lending a hand to small business in Augusta

WJBF | April 01, 2020

International company, TaxSlayer, which is also headquartered in Augusta, is hoping it can help small business owners in the CSRA. The company is offering local small business free access to its employee payroll and tracking software called Workful until the end of the year.  The program will allow entrepreneurs to keep track of remote employers and be able to pay them from anywhere at any time. TaxSlayer representatives say, this offer is a testament to Workful’s mission to support entrepreneurs with the tools they need to run their companies smoothly.

Spotlight

This white paper was written with input from inumberable individuals we could never begin to thank. But, we'd like to start by thanking all of the studios who are part of the Global Startup Studio Network. Next, we thank everyone who read and commented on the various drafts of this document, including Chris Collins, Sergio Marrero and others.


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MANAGEMENT

Nuula prioritizes small business owners' wellness with new app features

Nuula | May 18, 2022

Nuula, a fintech company focused on providing small businesses the tools and the capital they need to succeed, announced an initiative to help small business owners improve their overall mental and physical well-being. In partnership with Walnut, Nuula's new wellness feature gives small business owners access to life insurance, plus meditation programs and online fitness classes, all for as little as $9/month. Nuula's focus on the entrepreneur's well-being, in addition to business performance, was driven by insights into how personal stress is affecting small business owners, especially with the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Capital One survey found that 45% of small business owners report that running a business during the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental well-being, and 42% say they are currently experiencing burnout or have experienced it within the past month. "For a small business owner and entrepreneur, work and life are inextricably linked, which is why it is so important to provide support for both, Nuula is taking a new approach to small business financial services by focusing not only on the needs of the business but also on the needs of the small business owner." -Mark Ruddock, CEO at Nuula. Nuula's new health and wellness feature offers access to guided meditation, sleep guides, and mental focus programs through Headspace Plus and online fitness programs through ClassPass Digital. The programs are paired with $10k-$50k of Life Insurance to give small business owners peace of mind. The new feature sits atop of Nuula's existing portfolio of small business tools, including financial health tracking, cash-flow forecasting, 24/7 credit monitoring, as well as updates on rating and reviews, all available in the Nuula app. "Nuula is taking a forward-looking approach to the needs of small businesses, by embedding tools that match the holistic needs of its customers, Mental and physical health are paramount to entrepreneurial success. Walnut is proud to help Nuula empower business owners by allowing them to easily access health and wellness offerings within Nuula's existing ecosystem of critical financial tools." -Derek Szeto, Co-founder and CEO of Walnut Starting today, Nuula users can sign up for a health and wellness membership that includes group life insurance and subscriptions from ClassPass and Headspace. About Nuula Nuula is building the future of small business performance. Launched in 2021, Nuula is a financial services and technology company focused on serving the small to medium-sized business community. Nuula provides real-time data and analytics, allowing businesses to manage their finances, monitor their credit ratings and user reviews, and more. Nuula is an advocate of financial inclusivity and a proud partner to Kiva to create economic and social good. To learn more about Nuula, visit www.nuula.com About Walnut Founded in 2020, Walnut is a Canadian and US insurtech that has built infrastructure to enable multiple lines of embedded insurance for brokers, employers, and financial services coupled with value added benefits from international brands. Walnut's platform makes insurance simple and convenient – creating greater accessibility for underserved audiences. Learn more about Walnut at www.gowalnut.com/businesses.

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TECHNOLOGY

Symphony Technology Group Announces the Launch of Skyhigh Security

Symphony Technology Group | March 28, 2022

Symphony Technology Group (“STG”), a leading Menlo Park-based private equity firm focused on the software, data, and analytics sectors, today announced the launch of Skyhigh Security. The new portfolio company was created to satisfy the growing cloud security requirements for large and small organizations. Skyhigh Security’s unique approach extends security beyond data access to securing how the data is used. Its data-aware Security Service Edge (SSE) is built to meet the needs of the modern workforce with security that follows the data and users wherever they are. Earlier this year, STG announced it would be splitting McAfee Enterprise into two organizations- Trellix and Skyhigh Security- to better focus on the very distinct markets of Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and the SSE. At that time STG also announced that Gee Rittenhouse, who previously led Cisco’s cyber security business, would serve as CEO of the SSE business, bringing deep cloud security expertise. “Skyhigh Security has emerged as a dedicated cloud security company that is laser-focused on propelling businesses forward with a comprehensive and converged approach to data security. We’re committed to investing in this business, which is in one of the most important markets in security, SSE.” William Chisholm, managing partner, STG “With the majority of data in the cloud and users accessing it from everywhere, a new approach to security is needed,” said Rittenhouse. “Skyhigh Security has created a comprehensive security platform to secure both data access and data use via unified policies and data awareness. Organizations can now have complete visibility and control and seamlessly monitor and mitigate security risks—achieving lower associated costs, driving greater efficiencies and keeping pace with the speed of innovation.” “Organizations are at a crossroads navigating the hybrid workforce,” said Frank Dickson, vice president, IDC. “While the ‘work from anywhere’ model creates flexibility and agility, it can also be a point of security vulnerability, challenging perimeters and endpoints and opening new attack surfaces in the cloud. These organizations need a best-in-class cloud-native solution that simplifies the implementation of cloud security to protect data regardless of where it lies.” “Protecting the way data is used is as important as the way data is accessed we must implement a powerful data-centric defense to meet the demands of how work is conducted today,” said Dan Meacham, chief information security officer, Legendary Entertainment. “Skyhigh Security’s platform approach is completely integrated and simple to use. With over 10 years focus on cloud security, they are a pioneer in the SSE space. Skyhigh Security’s innovations have been validated both by analysts and customers alike. It is truly one of the most solid and unique SSE solutions in the market today.” The Skyhigh Security SSE Portfolio includes Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Remote Browser Isolation technology, Cloud Firewall and Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). The company was most recently named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge and recognized in the 2022 Critical Capabilities for SSE for its MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) solution. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. About Skyhigh Security Skyhigh Security protects organizations with cloud-native security solutions that are both data-aware and simple to use. Its market-leading Security Service Edge (SSE) Portfolio goes beyond data access and focuses on data use, allowing organizations to collaborate from any device and from anywhere without sacrificing security.

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TECHNOLOGY

OYO UK partners with PredictHQ to drive more accurate forecasts with AI and data-driven demand solutions

OYO | March 16, 2022

OYO, the leading travel technology brand today announced a partnership with PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, to provide OYO with the necessary data and insights to drive demand and enable smarter pricing and packaging of its rooms. The collaboration will see OYO use PredictHQ's enriched and verified event data and allow OYO to use data and AI, to empower patrons and guests, turning the challenges of a post-pandemic era into opportunities for the future. It will also see OYO become a more data and tech-focused company that makes data-informed decisions, and enables guests to easily research, book and change their reservations and allow patrons to prepare for busy and quiet periods as effectively as possible. "The pandemic blew demand patterns to pieces, but there is a lot for travel companies to be optimistic about if they're armed with the right data. With domestic travel being super competitive and as international and business travel rebound, it's never been more important for accommodation providers to uncover and quickly act adapt to events driving surges in demand, to ensure they are ready to meet very welcome influxes of guests." PredictHQ CEO & Co-Founder Campbell Brown "We work with many of the world's largest accommodation providers, and the partnership with OYO, especially given their focus on providing a cutting-edge user experience for their customers, is one we're very proud of." Welcoming PredictHQ as a partner, Aman Aneja, Director of Revenue Management at OYO UK says, "While OYO has always been a tech-first, data-driven organisation, the collaboration with PredictHQ offers us additional data and deeper insights to deliver more value and solutions to our patrons and guests." He adds, "OYO is accelerating its innovation in travel and hospitality by implementing fresh tech that can accommodate and adapt to new customer expectations. This is a requirement to remain a healthy business in today's reality, but equally important is to offer new technologies that exceed current customer expectations and preferences." "Technology-led businesses have emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position, which is why it was so important for OYO to invest in technology, and learn to do more from less so that we are positioned to be the best partner for our patrons and the best brand for guests," concludes Aman. PredictHQ covers 19 categories of events, including sports, conferences, school and college holidays, and unscheduled events such as severe weather and natural disasters. About PredictHQ PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, empowers global organizations to anticipate changes in demand for their products and services. PredictHQ's demand intelligence API aggregates events from hundreds of sources and verifies, enriches, and ranks them by predicted impact so companies can proactively discover catalysts that will impact demand. With PredictHQ, businesses gain a leg up on the competition and remain confident in their ability to meet customers' ever-changing needs. About OYO OYO is a global platform that empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with hotels and homes by providing full-stack technology that increases revenue and eases operations; bringing easy-to-book, affordable, and trusted accommodation to customers around the world. OYO offers 40+ integrated products and solutions to patrons who operate over 157,000 hotel and home storefronts across India, Europe, Southeast Asia and 35 countries.

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FINANCE

Wells Fargo Introduces Small Businesses to Alternative Options for Financing and Technical Assistance

Wells Fargo | April 25, 2022

Today, Wells Fargo announces the Small Business Resource Navigator, an online portal helping connect small business owners to potential financing options and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country. The portal was launched in collaboration with the non-profit Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, and was made possible by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund. By visiting www.bizresourcenavigator.com and completing a short questionnaire, small businesses may be connected to CDFIs or business advisory resources in their area. “As the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, small businesses continue to need our help. We see a lot of value in supporting a resource like this to help small businesses connect to as many options as possible. The Small Business Resource Navigator connects small business owners to potential capital assistance provided by a CDFI who could help meet their needs, and serves as a major time saver for busy entrepreneurs allowing them to stay focused on their business.” Derek Ellington, head of Small Business at Wells Fargo Since 2015, Wells Fargo has provided more than $500 million in philanthropic grants and investments to CDFIs that help underserved small businesses. Ellington added, “We’ve long understood the impact of CDFIs. They are an important part of our financial ecosystem embedded in communities across America providing small businesses in need with capital and other assistance they may not otherwise qualify for through traditional financing. We are proud to expand our support of the work CDFIs do by helping route small businesses to these vital organizations for lending, technical assistance and support.” "Wells Fargo has been dedicated to helping small businesses for many years, but in particular, getting them through the current environment,” says Patrick Davis, SVP of Strategy with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. "This support is extremely timely as it helps connect small businesses with CDFIs who can potentially provide them access to funding and resources that will help owners get back on their feet. CDFIs are an important part of the financial ecosystem and play a critical role in deploying capital to small businesses with a history of underrepresentation, and it's great to see that Wells Fargo is so committed to the success of small business across the U.S.” In 2020, Wells Fargo announced the Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business relief effort focused on small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, including Black, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, women and many others. Grants were awarded to more than 235 CDFIs and nonprofits serving small businesses across the U.S. The Open for Business Fund is estimated to serve more than 152,000 small businesses and preserve or create more than 255,000 jobs. Roughly 85% of small businesses served by Open for Business Fund grantees are projected to reach racially and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs. Ann Finnegan, president of NDC Community Impact Loan Fund, an Open for Business Fund grant recipient and participating CDFI on the Small Business Resource Navigator network says, “We are excited for the opportunity to connect with more small businesses in need. This platform is an important tool to support our lending mission to minority and women-owned small businesses and non-profits.” About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is a leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy.

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Spotlight

This white paper was written with input from inumberable individuals we could never begin to thank. But, we'd like to start by thanking all of the studios who are part of the Global Startup Studio Network. Next, we thank everyone who read and commented on the various drafts of this document, including Chris Collins, Sergio Marrero and others.

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