Archive for July 7th, 2008

Get SEEN in Austin—SOLAR ENERGY ENTREPRENEUR NETWORK

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related, -- Energy/Being GREEN, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


By Molly Greaves

I recently found this group and now I’m happily going to attend as many events as possible in the future.  It’s a great resources for local Austinites, and I even met some folks from down in San Antonio.  Nice.

Austin
Solar
Energy
Entrepreneurs
Network

Meet and discuss opportunities for starting and growing business in Central Texas in the Solar Energy Industry.

 

Vision: To establish Central Texas as a leading center of Solar Innovation

Purpose: Provide networking opportunities for professionals to generate and attract Solar Energy businesses to Central Texas.

Who should attend?

  • Entrepreneurs who are starting, or looking to start a solar-based business
  • Investors looking to invest in the fast growing solar industry
  • Technologists looking to share ideas for new products or services
  • Employers in the solar field looking to hire people
  • People looking to join solar startups
  • Attorneys, Bankers and service providers interested in growing with the solar industry

 

Solar energy, including photovoltaics, solar thermal, or concentrated solar power, is growing at a
rate of over 30% per year and is forecast to be a $70B+ industry by 2012. Central Texas is well
positioned to become one of the nation’s leading centers of innovation for this exciting and
important technology. With resources like Austin Energy, the Clean Energy Incubator, the
University of Texas, and a strong base of venture capital and entrepreneurial talent, Austin can,
and should, compete with other areas in establishing or attracting solar energy startups. It takes
individuals and investors like you with a passion for renewable energy and a willingness to get
involved in starting and growing new companies to make it happen. We welcome you to join us,
network to find people with similar goals, or just be SEEN with solar entrepreneurs.
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Austin drivers MORE accident-prone than others in Texas, report finds

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Austin Related | Tags: , , |


Posted for YOU from Molly Greaves —–Source-Austin Business Journal

When I first moved to Austin, I was in a wreck and my car and body were totaled. Two years later, I still feel the consequences and continue seeing doctors on a regular basis.  Last week, my friend from college who moved to Texas after I did, got hit by a car while she was on her bike. Yep, that was nice. And today, I was at acupuncture and learned my acupuncturist was in a wreck last night too.

All of this comes to me as no surprise since I’ve noticed Austinites can’t drive unless the roads are 100% perfect.  That is, I think, because nobody wants to slow down to accommodate for varying road conditions, because people will not slow down for ANYTHING. As a city, we’ve completely outgrown our infrastructure but have yet to make changes on the roads, and there are way too many cars going way too fast, and they are way too close to each other. THE ROADS ARE DANGEROUS. Remember when Hillary Clinton was in town and her motorcade guy was killed on his way north? That’s just one tragedy.

The accidents and lives taken and lives injured bother me so much in fact, that a few months ago, I met with Texas State Representative Krusee, District 52’s District Relations Manager. At the time, Krusee was in his second term as Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, so I met with his team hoping to be more involved with bringing effective change before Texas loses more lives. I was very impressed with our meeting.

Perhaps my interest stems from back in 2004 when a little old woman was killed crossing the street while on her way back from a doctor’s appointment.  She had the right of way, but unfortunalely someone else also wanted the right of way. A few months later, someone else was killed.  At the time of that accident, I was in grad school and was working for the University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, since they paid for my schooling, and decided that our office need to be change-agents before yet another innocent person was killed. I even made the local city paper! http://www.postgazette.com/pg/04212/354006.stm

Anyhoot, here’s the article for you. Thanks for reading my blog =)

Maybe it’s the near-constant gridlock. Or perhaps it has something to do with locals’ propensity to chat and text behind the wheel. Whatever the cause, a new report suggests Austin’s roads are the least safe in the state.

The national report from Allstate Insurance Co. (NYSE: ALL) examined insurance claims data to determine the likelihood drivers in the 200 largest U.S. cities would experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average.

Austin motorists are 35 percent more likely to be in an accident than the average American driver, according to the report. Those odds are higher than in the other 20 Texas cities in the report. Houston drivers were 23 percent more likely to be in an accident, Dallas drivers 27 percent, and San Antonio drivers 25 percent.

Austinites also have the least time between accidents among Texas drivers. Local motorists average a collision every 7.4 years, more often than drivers in Houston (averaging 8.1 years), Dallas (7.8 years) and San Antonio (8 years).

The report found the safest drivers in Texas in Brownsville, where people are 16 percent less likely than the national average to be in a collision.

Nationally, the safest city for drivers is Sioux Falls, Iowa, where motorists are 31 percent less likely to be in an accident.

Allstate says it insures about 12 percent of the nation’s vehicles.

For more on the report and to see a breakdown of collision data by generation and gender, go to www.allstate.com

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Do rich media, animated experiences really matter to my business? I’ll find out July 22

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , |


By Molly Greaves

Do rich media, animated experiences really matter to my business?

Join us on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. to learn as industry leaders from Eyewonder, Avenue A/Razorfish, Springbox, and Coloring Book Studios share their insights on how to engage consumers by providing an exceptional online experience.

Our panelists will discuss the evolution of rich media, and the move towards increasingly immersive interactive experiences, dimensional design and animation on the web.   Topics will range from new rich media formats, marketing effectiveness, the re-emergence of flash and other technologies, best practice case marketing examples and practical application of the medium for advertisers.

Panelists:

Mike Appel, Senior Vice President and  General Manager Avenue A | Razorfish, Austin

Mike Griffin, EVP Marketing and Strategic Development, Eyewonder

Adrian Taylor, Group Creative Director , Springbox 


When
Tuesday, July 22
6:30 – 8 p.m.
 (Panel begins at 7 p.m.)

Where
Roux Restaurant, 
214 E. Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78701 

Registration
Members: FREE 
Non-members: $30/attendee  CONTACT AIMA for more info…OR ASK MOLLY!

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SEM FOR SMB—Search Engine Marketing for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , |


 

By  Molly Greaves

I’m trying to learn as much as I can about SEM & SEO and this aspect of the internet, so I’ve signed up for this event. I’d like to say THANK YOU to the AMA for providing its members with a nice $50 off voucher. Woohoo, that sure was cool of them, and I know I do appreciate it very much.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE  http://www.semforsmb.com/

SEM for SMB is a two-day business conference with hands-on training, workshops and one-on-one sessions with experts. This conference has been carefully crafted for small and mid-market companies to cover both business and technical topics and give attendees hands-on training with tools, processes and skills needed to deliver more return from online marketing and advertising. Attendees can gain new skills with proper customer-focused web design, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising and this event will serve to enhance your career or business.

The conference serves:

  • Established businesses, non-profits and government organizations looking to improve and grow with online marketing
  • New businesses that want to learn proven strategies and minimize their risks when marketing online
  • Professionals who are interested in becoming self-sufficient with search-engine marketing
  • Entrepreneurs looking for global and regional visibility through the Internet
  • Retail and service businesses who want to capitalize on the local search options that cost nothing, and increase visibility and revenue
  • Individuals with interest in interactive and search engine marketing skills for new career opportunities

Need more?

 

Sponsor: Austin Chamber of Commerce, HubSpot, AustinIMA

When: 2008-07-16 through 2008-07-17, 8a.m. – 5p.m. 

Location: Hilton Austin 500 East 4th Street Austin, Texas 78701 United States Tel: 1-512-482-8000 Fax: 1-512-469-0078 
Cost: $195 till June 29th – $495 after June 29th

Speakers

Mark Dobosz

Vice President of Development
SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business

Johan Jannssens
Founder and Lead Developer of Joomla

Todd Friesen
Visible Technologies

Kent Lewis
Anvil Media, Inc. 
President and co-founder SEMpdx

Ben Finklea
Volacci

Kimi Helton
Yahoo, Inc.

Tina Schweiger
Spoonbend

Brian Massey
Conversion Sciences

Mark Lassoff
NLI Media Group

Jay Moreno
Red Flame Media

Matthew Parente
Aperio Marketing

John Lebowsky
Social Web Strategies

Darby Tober
Apogee Search

Paul Terry
The Spring

Matt Brooks
SARBRO Solutions

Miles Olsen
Apogee Search


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Meet The Lender 2008

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar, -- Volunteering, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , |


 

By Molly Greaves

 

I appreciate the City of Austin for so many reasons, and in particular, for things like this. What I’m talking about is this Meet The Lender conference they hold, free to the public, to help educate our city so we can make the most informed decisions.  So, not only am I going to attend the event, I’m also called and arranged it so I can volunteer.

FREE!
Meet the Lender 2008 – Business Loan Fair
The City of Austin Small Business Development Program is hosting the 5th annual Meet the Lender Business Loan Fair. This is an opportunity to meet, network, and learn from area lenders about the loan process for your small business. Whether starting out or looking to expand your existing business, Meet the Lender is a great opportunity for you! Business Start-up Orientations will be offered at 4:30pm and 6:00pm. Registration is not required, but it is encouraged.
Time: 4:00 PM – 8:00  PM
Location: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd
Fee: Free! Parking is $7
For Information: 512.974.7800    
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City of Austin’s Business Development Class For Entrepreneurs

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar | Tags: , , , , |


 

 By Molly Greaves

Thought I’d check out this event; I have to go on the 15th because this week’s is already full.  Good for the City of Austin for capturing such a large audience =)

Business Startup Orientation
BizAid Business Start-Up Orientations provides basic information and guidance to ensure your small business can soar. The material covers: Personal Preparation, Research and Focus, Determining Structure, Building a Business Plan, and Execution.
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30  AM    JULY 15
Location: Clarion Hotel, 2200 IH-35 South, Exit 232-A
Fee: Free
For Information: 512-974-7800   
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Grow Your Business on the Web—This Should Be A Good Class

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar | Tags: , , , |


by Molly Greaves

I met the folks “throwing” this event, and thought I should sign up. Bet I’ll learn something worth my 30 bucks…

 

Grow Your Business on the Web
Purpose: How to use your website as a marketing tool by combining marketing concepts with web technologies,platforms and methods such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, blogging for business, social networks and other web sites This beginning course is directed at new and existing small businesses who want to learn more about status of web technology
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30  PM
Location: 5800 N MoPac (Compass Bank)
Fee: $30 per person
For Information: 512-928-2425   
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Business Etiquette 101

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- On MY Calendar, -- Uncategorized, -- What MOLLY's Up To | Tags: , , , , , |


By Molly Greaves

As a business grad, I was lucky enough to have my school teach me proper business etiquette. That class though, was over 5 years ago, so it’s time for me to get back up to speed, especially in case there are any new trends I’m not aware of. 

I thought I was really lucky to have stumbled across this class, because I’ve been meaning to get re- acclimated with the finer details I may be accidentally slacking on. I was at a conference last month when a man asked me to help him put on his name tag since I was part of the volunteer staff. He told me that he didn’t care where it went, just that it was straight so people wouldn’t think he was a goofball.  The reality is though, is that name tag etiquette exists, and that it really does matter where you put your tag.

So lucky for you, I’m going to attend the class again so you don’t have to, especially since I doubt you want to roll out of bed on 7am for the fun of it. I’ll do a little networking, a little eating, and hopefully a lot of learning, and I’ll come back and report it all; I don’t want you NOT getting a job or closing a deal because you ate your tomato the wrong way. 

Metropolitan Breakfast Club

 Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Time: 7:00am-8:30am

Speaker: Jan Goss, Director, Austin School of Protocol

Topic: Poor Business Etiquette is a Silent Killer

Etiquette specialist Jan Goss’ top tips to outclass the competition and have fun doing it. These tips translate into a hard-edged practical result: Profit — for you and your company.

About Our Speaker:
Jan Goss is owner and director of the Austin School of Protocol, LLC a leader in etiquette and protocol services. Jan was trained and certified at the Washington School of Protocol in Washington, D.C. and studied International Business at American Intercontinental University.

Born in Munich Germany, a daughter of a military family, Jan and her four siblings traveled extensively in her younger years. A passion for people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds was born and Jan has gone on to dedicate her life to helping others succeed.

An accomplished singer/songwriter and motivational speaker, Jan will soon become a published author as her book, She Scriptures™, is being released in fall 2008.

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Why Refinancing Can Be Surprisingly Tough

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Money Help (in simple terms), -- Real Estate Guide For Today's Market |


 

By  Molly Greaves

Despite low interest rates and plenty of competition among lenders, would-be refinancers are finding it anything but easy to get new loans. According to Money Magazine’s Gerri Willis, here’s why.

HIDDEN CHARGES: She isnt talking about closing costs. As a homeowner, you should already be aware of these costs. She’s talking about the PREPAYMENT PENALTY PROBLEM. 

She says that many people that took out loans in the past few years are on the hook for anywhere from 1% to 3% of the loan value when they refinance. The penalty may gradually phase out, reducing from 3% the first year, 2% the second, 1% in the third.

WHAT TO DO: Total up all of the fees for a new loan, and you can then see how the bill might swap out the savings you get from a lower rate. You can use the refinancing calculator at bankrate.com to see if you’ll come out ahead. If you won’t, you may have to wait a year or two for your prepayment penalty to expire. 

She also adds that one other thing to do is to look at the APR when you shop. This is the effective interest rate you’ll pay on your loan, rolling in one-time fees, and it’s the critical numbers for comparing mortgage offers.

PROBLEM–SHRINKING EQUITY: With every refi comes a new appraisal. You may find that your house appraises for less than you expected. Worse, you find out you owe more than your home is worth. 

WHAT TO DO: The article suggests inspecting the bank’s appraisal carefully. Does it describe your property properly? Remember, some appraisers conduct appraisals from the street (!) and may not be able to see all of your upgrades like a new kitchen since the last time they were in or a refinished basement.

PROBLEM–STEEPER RATES: Lender’s (finally) have tightened credit standards for all borrowers. Plus, some are even now tacking on their own small % to cover their risks.

 WHAT TO DO: Find out what rate you qualify for. (You can do this by getting your credit score)  You can do this by using a tool at myfico.com labeled “The higher your FICO score, the lower your payments” to see what someone with your credit score would likely pay per month. 

Study and look at your credit report VERY carefully to make sure there aren’t any errors. Chipping away at your credit card debt will also help you refi probably. Today, she adds, many lenders are penalizing you if your card balances eat up more than 35% of your available credit compared with 50% recently in the looser times. 

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I Closed My Credit Card, But Did I Really?

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: -- Building Wealth, -- Credit Cards and YOU | Tags: , , , |


 

By Molly Greaves

When you ditch your credit card company via phone, make sure you have them send you a letter in the mail re-affirming the conversation that you’re ending it between the two of you.  Until you receive this confirmation, you should assume you’re still in your “relationship” with them, and that they may be charging you fees or whatnot, and you don’t even know it. 

Also dont forget to call people that bill that particular card automatically. 

If it falls through the cracks, things could turn nasty later on down the road with your credit report. So,  just stay on top of the confirmation note and you’ll be just fine. I put notes in my Outlook calendar of when I should expect certain things like that in the mail.

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