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Improve Your Business Working Conditions

– Contributed content –

Meeting around table

(mentatdgt, Pexels)

14 Jan. 2020. You might be sitting there thinking that improving your business working conditions is going to cause you a lot of hassle, but it doesn’t have to. There are simple things that you can do, which will make your employees feel a lot happier without much effort or hassle at all. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of them and seeing how they could help your business. Keep reading to find out more.

Provide a break room

The first, and really a simple thing to do, is to provide your employees with a break room. All you have to do is set aside some space, put in a fridge, a coffee maker, a kettle, sink and a table. It really is as simple as this. It just gives your employees somewhere to go when they are on break, so they are not stuck sitting at their desk if they want to move around. It also gives a more social area for them to talk to each other when they are on their breaks. Improving the amount of social interaction in your business is a great way to improve the overall mood of your employees.

Look at the organization of workspaces

The next thing that you should do is look at the way you have the workspace organized. You might want to think of changing to a hot desk kind of design instead of having everyone crammed into one area, sharing a limited amount of space. In this kind of conditions, people are bound to get frustrated, and this is not what you want. You need your employees to be happy because happy employees are hard-working employees.

Talk to your employees

The final thing that you can do to improve the working conditions of your business is to talk to your employees. See what they want. Find out what kind of things would make them happier. Ask them how they would prefer the workplace to be arranged. Figure out if they have any ideas as to what would help them to help you. Keeping a personal relationship with your employees is important so that they can be open and honest with you. You need to keep the lines of communication between you and them open at all times. You want them to talk to you when they feel like something is wrong without fear that you are going to get angry and fire them.

If you want your business to succeed, this is going to start with your employees. You have got to be taking on board their advice and making them feel heard, rather than just pretending to listen and ignoring everything they say. If they feel like you’re working hard for them, they are going to work hard for you.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see how you can improve your business working conditions with no hassle. Nothing on this list is particularly difficult, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you.

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Venture Philanthropy Funds Rare Neuro Disease Trial

Neurons illustration

Neurons (Laura Struzyna, University of Pennsylvania, NIH.gov)

13 Jan. 2020. A gene therapy start-up is receiving an award resembling venture financing to advance its treatment for a rare inherited neuromuscular disorder to clinical trials. Muscular Dystrophy Association in New York awarded AavantiBio in Gainesville, Florida some $1.1 million to support the company’s treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare progressive genetic disease that causes movement problems and impaired muscle coordination.

Friedreich’s ataxia is caused by a mutation in the FXN gene that codes for the protein frataxin. People inheriting two defective copies of the FXN gene, one from each parent, are likely to develop the disease, which allows nerve fibers in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves to degenerate and become thinner.

As nerve fibers degenerate, damage to the nerves increases, leading to awkward and unsteady movements, as well as impaired sensory functions. The disorder can also lead to damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain coordinating balance and movement, as well as heart and spine.  Friedreich’s ataxia affects about 1 in 50,000 people and is usually diagnosed in childhood.

AavantiBio is a spin-off enterprise from University of Florida medical school in Gainesville, founded three years ago by pediatrics research professor Manuela Corti and Barry Byrne, director of the university’s gene therapy center. Corti and Byrne study therapies that deliver healthy FXN genes to the nervous system and heart using benign viruses, to replace the mutated genes causing the disease.

Corti received earlier funding from Muscular Dystrophy Association for preclinical research with lab mice testing a gene therapy for Friedreich’s ataxia, as well as from the Italian patient advocacy group for the disease known as GoFAR. In November 2019, GoFar also awarded AavantiBio a $600,000 grant to begin clinical trials of the company’s gene therapy.

The new Muscular Dystrophy Association award of $1,076,232 to AavantiBio is made from MDA’s venture philanthropy, or MVP fund. The MVP award supports the first clinical trials of AavantiBio’s gene therapy for Friedreich’s ataxia, or FA. “We’re looking forward to initiating screening for the first clinical study and a pivotal study in FA before the end of the year,” says Byrne in an MDA statement. “The endorsement and investment from the MDA will be key to our programmatic growth.”

The venture philanthropy fund supports promising higher-risk projects that would not otherwise advance without its support. MVP grants fund, for example, research and development hampered by smaller markets, new technology, or an unclear regulatory path. While not seeking an equity stake in the recipient, MVP awards resemble venture capital financing, in that payments are dependent on achieving milestones, and progress is subject to regular reviews and evaluation.

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New Biotech Aims to Bring Down Drug Prices

Pills on money

(TBIT, Pixabay)

13 Jan. 2020. A biotechnology company launched yesterday that plans to discover and develop therapies faster and at lower cost than many of today’s new drugs. EQRX, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also raised $200 million in its first venture funding round that includes top-tier technology investors.

EQRx aims to re-engineer the processes of bringing drugs to market, as well as getting treatments to patients, which reduce the time needed to produce drugs, but also their prices. Alexis Borisy, the company’s founder and CEO, says in a EQRx statement, “society has benefited from unprecedented technological advances and a deeper understanding of disease biology, revolutionizing the way many diseases are treated today. That said, the pricing of new therapeutic approaches is pushing beyond the limits of common sense, preventing people and society from equally benefiting from innovation.”

Accomplishing this, according to Jorge Conde, a major investor in EQRX, requires a focus more on the process than the product. Conde, in an essay on the web site of venture investor Andreesen Horowitz where he’s a general partner, says “the most effective revolutionaries break out from the inside, where they can see the cracks most clearly.” Those cracks, he says, may be where the drug’s targets are already identified, and technology can streamline much of the subsequent product-development process.

“EQRx shifts science risk to execution risk,” notes Conde, “by focusing on known biology, where drug targets have been validated and proven valuable for treating a disease. They remove friction within the system through early and deep partnerships across the health care value chain. And most importantly, they integrate data science and technology end-to-end throughout the discovery and development process.”

In an interview with the health care industry publication STAT, Borisy tells Matthew Herper that EQRx will produce treatments for addressing those targets, but with different mechanisms from high-price drugs already on the market. The company will then sell its lower-priced drugs directly to hospital chains and insurance companies. “The key question,” Herper says, “is whether health insurers and giant hospital systems have gotten desperate enough to want to shake up the system.”

Herper adds that Borisy “calls this ‘a radical proposition.’ In any other sector, it would just be called ‘business.'” Nonetheless, Borisy, with co-founder and company president Melanie Nallicheri, set ambitious goals for EQRx, telling Herper that the company aims to bring to 10 new products to market in the next 10 years, with the first product within five years.

EQRx is raising $200 million in its first venture funding round. The financing is led by technology and life science investor companies Andreesen Horowitz, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and ARCH Venture Partners. Joining the round are Casdin Capital, Section 32, Nextech, and Arboretum Ventures, with other undisclosed investors.

Hat tip: Endpoints News

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Using Data in Your Business

– Contributed content –

Business desktop

(Rawpixel, Pixabay)

12 Jan. 2020. Data can help your business in many ways, and it can influence what happens within the business, and its growth. Using data has become an advantage that many businesses have used to help them to gain success quicker than they would have done without it. And thanks to today’s technology, we can get access to even more of that data than ever before. If you’re looking at ways of using data for your business, then read on.

To understand your audience

Data is mainly generated through who your target audience is. But not only that, it can also be people that aren’t yet your audience but have the potential to be. It can help you learn so much about who they are and defining your target audience and who your company appeals to. Whatever your company does in its profession, being able to get to know your audience is vital. There are plenty of ways to help you get access to data from your audience of their own free will.

The most common one is attaching an analytics program to your website. This can then track every user who comes on to the site and collects data like their age, geographic location, hobbies and interests they have and much more. Email marketing is a good way of getting your audience to share data through feedbacks and questionnaires. When you’re asking the questions, you can ask them pretty much anything that you might be lacking when it comes to data.

Helps you to tailor content

When you know more about your audience, you can help that data tailor what you put out into the world. It might be through the content you put on social media as this can be effective in finding people to follow or to use for paid advertising and helping that advertising reach the right people. It might also be beneficial to use that data to help define your blog content on the website. Knowing what they’re interests are and their age group can even help you change the tone of your writing. For the younger generations, a lot more can be done in the style of content that is written. You could take advantage of emojis and GIFs to help engage with your audience on a more personable level. The better tailored your work is, the more effective it will be.

Makes you better with decision-making

Having data can help in a number of ways, one of them being your decision-making. When it comes to your business, there’s a lot of decision-making processes that happen throughout the day. Having certain details can help make better choices and ones that might have a bigger impact than ones that you didn’t have access to data. Being able to deliver the right choice, whatever the question or task, is going to help bring better solutions. That can help contribute to more success and eventually you’ll hopefully be bringing in more profit and customers for your business as a result. A better decision-maker in business is going to do wonders for business in more ways than one.

Opens doors to more opportunities

Opportunities can come alongside a lot of things within the business, and each one should be seen as a chance for the company to grow. Having knowledge of the data on your audience can help you to pursue more opportunities. That might be through collaborating with other companies that are after the types of audience that you’re reaching or being able to branch out to something new within the business. Having visual reports can help pitch new ideas to those who can help further influence the success of your business. Don’t let data confuse you but start to understand it as a chance to really help open doors that you may not have been able to open before. Those doors might also be ones you’ve never thought to either.

You can build better relationships with customers

It’s no secret that businesses have access to some aspects of your data if it’s running cookies on its site and you’ve accepted them. So when it comes to a company using data properly, it can be good to use it to build better relationships with customers. When a customer purchases a service or product from you, it’s no longer the point for it just to be transactional. Now it’s all about how you can help make that transaction a repetitive action that the individual does because they gain something from your service or product. Whatever your business provides, they want more of it because not only is it good, but because you’re going beyond the transaction and interacting.

So many businesses now are utilizing social media to connect with their audience on a more personal level, and it’s definitely working. Customers like to feel valued, and they feel involved and part of something. Brand loyalty from a customer’s point of view could mean rewards for them in the future if they stick with you. With their data, you’re helping to build that bridge of connection whether it’s the tone of voice used or what you mention that piques their interest more. So make an effort with social media and the perks it can have to engage with your audience. They can be a great help to provide a closer connection with them and to hopefully generate more business in the process.

Data is becoming more and more worthwhile as more people use the internet and involve themselves more in brands and businesses. The scope that data has to benefit your own business is huge, so don’t deny the fact that it can be helping you in so many ways. Start finding ways to gather the information that is available to you and what can be available to you. Figure out how you can turn that data into something useful and to build your company to have more success and growth in the future. Data is a powerful thing right now.

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Infographic – High Momentum Start-Ups to Watch

Game Changers 2020

Click on image for full-size view (CB Insights)

12 Jan. 2020. CB Insights, a technology analytics and intelligence company, published this week its list of start-up enterprises with what they describe as high momentum and world-changing potential. And in its report, CB Insights was kind enough to array its list in a chart, our bonus infographic for this weekend.

The list of 36 companies covers 12 technology categories, including many of the advances we highlight at Science & Enterprise. Six of those 36 start-ups were featured in Science & Enterprise over the past two years, with those companies and stories given below. Just remember, you read it here first.

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Simple Employee Relations in Your Business

– Contributed content –

Meeting, overhead view

(Malachi Witt, Pixabay)

12 Jan. 2020. Over the months and years, you’ll develop a real relationship with your employees. It’s going to be a little too formal when you’re first meeting them in the office. However, eventually, it will become less kind of forced and more natural. Developing a personal relationship with employees is critical to success. Every business has an ethos of getting to know the customer, but so many lack the ethos of knowing each other.

It’s little wonder that businesses are splashing more cash on team-building days, games and exercises. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. But a united workforce is a strong workforce. No matter what you or the world throws at them, they will want to pull each other up together to achieve a goal. One of the things that prevent this from happening is basic employee discipline.

Punctuation is so underrated

The trouble with being a leader is, you have to decide between being a friend and being the boss. You can’t wear two hats at the same time. When you become too friendly with employees, they tend to only see you as a friend and not their leader. Thus, you need to be quick to correct mistakes you see them making. One of the things that can happen when you’re seen as the friend is, normal standards begin to slip.

Not showing up to work on time is one of the more common issues. But using a cloud hr system, you can track and display when employees have shown up for work and or clocked in. they have free access to the system, so they can see for themselves their attendance record and time of appearance each day. This is something that your receptionist can do by seeing who walks through the door in the morning.

Manners and politeness

Every business owner up and down the land wants a camaraderie as no other rival business possesses. Yet, you also don’t want to turn your office into a frat party. Basic manners and politeness levels cannot be afforded to let slip. When thank you and please stop being used, you’re only headed downhill. So, make sure that employees are not taking jokes too far whereby it gets personal.

Make sure that employees are not being careless of other people’s issues. Perhaps an employee is sick and or not feeling well, so if your office has a radio or music playing in the background, it should have the volume lowered if requested. If you have a kitchen where employees can make cups of coffee, hygiene and cleanliness must be maintained to a high standard without asking.

Speaking with respect

Managers and the boss are the chain of command. Employees should not feel as if they can speak to such ranks as they’re talking to one of their fellow-ranked employees. There must always be an air of respect and adherence to orders being given.

Simple discipline should never be lacking in an office. You’d be surprised how it can suddenly occur. It’s a simple matter of keeping a finger on the pulse of the office culture.

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Infographic – U.S. Measles Cases Spike in 2019

Measles cases in U.S.

(Statista)

11 Jan. 2019. The number of new measles cases reported in the U.S. jumped sharply in 2019 to 1,282, more than three times the cases reported in 2018 and nearly twice the number in 2014, the previous high since 2010. The data analytics company Statista displayed the findings this week from data reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for this weekend’s infographic on Science & Enterprise.

CDC says the 1,282 cases is the largest annual number since 1992. Over the last 12 months, measles cases in the U.S. reached their highest points in March and April, with more than 300 reported each month, but the numbers declined for the rest of the year to less than 10 each month in November and December. Nearly three-quarters of the cases (73%) occurred in New York City and State among communities where large shares of the population are not vaccinated.

In fact, says CDC, the majority of measles cases in 2019 occurred in people who were not vaccinated against the disease. The agency says during the year 128 individuals infected with measles, about 10 percent of the total, needed hospitalization, including 61 with serious complications including pneumonia and encephalitis.

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Starting A Medical Supply Business

– Contributed content –

Medical gear

(Rawpixel, Pixabay)

11 Jan. 2020. Every business has an array of tools underneath it that keeps thriving. In the medical industry, there are supplies bought from niche companies. There are many medical supply companies out there, so if you are looking to make an impact in this industry what do you need to know?

Targeting a niche

As with any business targeting a specific niche is a far better approach. There are companies that provide pharmacy refrigerators, which we may not necessarily think to be a money-making venture, but when we start to drill down into the various aspects of the medical industry it’s important that we target niches that are in line with our ethics.

Do you need to be licensed?

If you are selling specific types of medical equipment it may be necessary for you to obtain a license. You should get in contact with the public health department in your state to inquire if you need to be licensed to sell types of medical equipment. This isn’t necessary for every supplier out there it’s far better to undertake the relevant research before being given a hefty fine for improper practices. You also need to remember that your local government will need to provide you with permits. You are operating a retail business, although it’s not in the traditional sense. So that you may need to acquire a sales and use tax permit as well as other essential permits like your Employer Identification Number.

Acquiring the property

Your base of operations is crucial to your inventory. In the medical industry where sterile equipment is crucial, you should lease a property that is able to store your inventory adequately. While medical organizations have their own sterilization processes, you still need to make sure that the facility is free from dust and is clean to stop any supplies from becoming contaminated. When starting out, everything will be on a smaller scale so while you may not need to lease a commercial warehouse you will have to locate a suitable space for the equipment.

Working with medical professionals

You are a part of the supply chain and this means that you will be in contact with medical professionals on a regular basis. Finding the right entryway to a good working relationship is crucial. While it may not be necessary that you become a better business leader overnight you still need to acquire relevant soft skills so you are able to deal with these medical professionals. We can spend so long thinking about our own needs that when we get caught up in the frustration of the supply chain we can forget that what we provide is beneficial to saving lives. This means that we have got to operate with a sensible head on our shoulders but also be professional at all times when dealing with those that are in the business of saving lives.

There are so many medical startups popping up across the country that when we are looking for an entryway into this industry that the medical supply approach is a good route to take.

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Food Banks Shown to Improve Nutrition, Food Security

Food bank volunteers

U.S. air force volunteers sort items at a food bank in Spokane, Washington (Fairchld AFB)

10 Jan. 2020. Surveys of individuals in a food bank’s diabetes prevention program show the program in six months improves diet quality, overall health, and food security of participants. Results of the surveys appear in yesterday’s issue of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, commissioned by the organization Feeding America, aimed to evaluate a program to improve nutrition, food security, and reduce type 2 diabetes among customers at a food bank in Oakland, California. Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in the U.S. that feed more than 40 million people a year. Feeding America seeks to reduce food insecurity — defined as the inability to provide enough food for every person in a household — which the group says affects more than 37 million people in the U.S.

The group says food insecurity is a contributing factor to poor family health, including higher rates of type 2 diabetes. Since people in the target population will likely visit a food bank more often than a health care provider, the research team sought to assess the feasibility of preventing type 2 diabetes through a food bank. The study first screened food bank customers at 12 sites in Oakland, then enrolled customers at high risk of type 2 diabetes in a 12-month program to receive text-based health messages, diabetes-appropriate food packages, and health care referrals.

Between November 2017 and March 2018, food bank workers screened 462 customers at the 12 sites, with 299 eligible for the program, and 244 signing up. Of the participants, nine in 10 (91%) were female, eight in 10 (80%) were Hispanic, and half (49%) had annual household incomes under $20,000 per year. Participants completed questionnaires in English and Spanish at the beginning of the program, then at the six-month point, and after 12 months. The questionnaires asked about participants’ dietary intake, food security, health care status and behaviors, height and weight to compute body-mass index, and symptoms of depression.

The results show of the initial 244 survey participants,192 completed questionnaires after six months. At that point, the percentage of adults saying they skipped meals fell to 29 percent from 44 percent at the beginning, and the share of households considered food insecure fell from 69 to 63 percent. Also at six months, consumption of healthy foods (e.g., salads, grains, fruits, and vegetables) increased, while fried and sugary foods decreased. Likewise, general health indicators and physical activity increased, while depression scores decreased. Plus, these gains largely continued for the next six months. However, body-mass index of participants remained about the same throughout the study.

The authors conclude food banks can serve as a key community resource for preventing type 2 diabetes and improving overall health. “Through this study,” says Hilary Seligman, Feeding America’s senior medical adviser in an organization statement, “we learned that food banks can support food security while at the same time reducing diabetes risk factors for people at highest risk of developing the disease. Participants increased their fruit and vegetable intake, decreased their soda and sweets intake, increased their physical activity, and reported better overall physical and mental health.”

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Career Options In The Financial Industry

– Contributed content –

Tablet screen

(Photo Mix, Pexels)

10 Jan. 2020. The financial industry is a great area to get into if you want a career that pays well. But that’s not the only reason that this industry attracts people. It’s also the ideal place for people that have good analytical skills, a logical mind, and a love of working with numbers. If you want a job that gives you the chance to solve problems on a daily basis, you should consider a career in the financial industry. These are some of the best career options out there right now.

Financial planning 

The best way to secure your financial future is to invest your money wisely and make it work for you, but not everybody knows how to do that. Investing can be complicated and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to lose all of your savings to a few bad trades. That’s where financial planners come in. As a financial planner, it will be your job to give people advice on what the best investments for them will be and also to give general advice on how best to handle their money. If you have a good understanding of how the stock market works and you’re good at money management, this is a great career path for you.

Portfolio manager

When people do start making investments, it’s likely that they will use a portfolio manager. Instead of making all of their own trades on the stock market, they will hand their money over to a hedge fund and a portfolio manager will deal with it. Follow the link to learn more about exactly what you will do as a portfolio manager. As well as hedge funds, portfolio managers can also work for pension companies or other kinds of business, so you have a lot of different career options.

Accountant 

For a lot of business owners, the idea of doing their accounts makes them recoil in horror. They hate spending hours looking over endless receipts and spreadsheets and they worry that they’re going to make mistakes that could damage their business. But if you love problem solving and numbers, being an accountant could be the perfect job for you. There are a lot of different career options for you because you could work for an accounting firm and handle different accounts for large businesses, but you could also be an in-house accountant for a company as well. Once you are more experienced, you could even consider going self-employed and setting up your own accountancy business.

Budget analysts 

A budget analyst applies financial principles to projects and business proposals. It will be your job to analyze the budgets and create reports about the financial impact of those ventures. This is useful for businesses that are looking to expand or companies that are trying to deal with financial difficulty. Government organizations will also use budget analysts before launching projects to ensure that the costs can be managed effectively. If you work as a budget analyst, you have a wide range of career options in the private and the public sector.

If you have an interest in working in the financial industry, these are the best career options out there.

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