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Five Coolest Things in Business This Week: 06 July 2018

Business · 4 min read

5 Coolest things in business this week

A new app turns your phone into a tailor, while a Chinese tech giant has taken the driver out of the bus. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week.

The digital tailor

The hardest part about clothes shopping online is knowing whether anything is going to fit. But you can kiss those worries goodbye thanks to a new feature from Original Stitch. The San Francisco startup this week launched its Bodygram service, which can scan your body using front and side photos to create custom shirts fitted to your exact measurements. This digital tailor technology could completely change the way people buy their clothes. Instead of heading into traditional brick and mortar stores, the perfect fit is available right on your mobile device. For fashion brands the world over, that means the ability to provide a far more personal experience to consumers. Moreover, well-fitting items are far less likely to be returned - one more feature of Bodygram that makes the shopping experience so much easier for customers and manufacturers. 

World Cup windfall

It should come as no surprise that the biggest sporting event in the world is a major money-maker. From the players to broadcasters and merchandisers, the World Cup pays major dividends - and that windfall extends beyond the host country. A new study from the Centre for Retail Research estimates that England’s success this year in Russia could generate an extra 1 billion pounds (2.6 billion if they reach the final) in spending back home. With the Three Lions set to face Sweden in the quarterfinals, the center has found every goal in the match “would be worth 165.3 million pounds to England’s retailers and an extra 33.2 million to pubs, hotels and restaurants." However, the economic impact in host nation Russia is less positive, with US ratings agency Moody's predicting back in June that the month-long soccer tournament will have little lasting impact on the Russian economy. 

Swipe right for your new ride

From price negotiations to test driving, the in-person experience of buying a car can often be one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of the process. Startup CarBlip removes that hassle by offering users a list of brands and models available in their area, which they can bid on through an app. Described as a Tinder for cars, potential buyers can literally swipe through their options until they find what they like. Once the details have been worked out, you just simply walk into a dealership to finalize the purchase. Perhaps surprisingly, car dealerships are expected to be most excited about CarBlip, which this week announced $2 million in fresh funding, because it opens up an entirely new avenue for direct sales and reaching customers.

Baidu says bye-bye bus driver

High-profile road testing by the likes of Google and Tesla may be grabbing all the headlines in the realm of driverless vehicles, but a Chinese company is now turning the technology into a commercial reality. This week search engine giant Baidu began mass production of its 14-seater electric Apolong bus, which operates without a driver. About a third the size of a normal bus, the vehicle has no steering wheel, driver’s seat or gas pedal. The Apolong is soon set to enter service at tourist sites and airports in China, and will expand to Japan next year. Baidu envisions the bus as a last-mile transporter in enclosed, often urban areas. With potential applications ranging from deliveries to short-distance people movement, the Apolong marks a major milestone in autonomous transportation.

A Yelp for parenting

Raising children is no easy task, particularly for first time parents, but a new app is trying to make the process just a bit less stressful. Winnie helps mom and dad find out the kind of parenting knowledge they need most - from kid-friendly excursions to restrooms with changing stations, or even just general advice. It’s the kind of information that can be a chore to look up on online, but Winnie puts it all in one place. The startup’s innovative approach to a massively under-served need has helped them to expand rapidly. Winnie now boasts over 1 million users and just this week announced $4 million in new funding. For businesses that cater to parenting in particular, there is no better platform to showcase your product and connect with customers.

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