7 Low-Cost (or Free!) Ways to Make Your Kitchen Better, According to Professional House Stagers

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7 Low-Cost (or Free!) Kitchen Staging Ideas Professionals Swear By

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Automated low-cost malaria diagnosis

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Adafruit 2019 2123

Octopi: Open configurable high-throughput imaging platform for infectious disease diagnosis in the field | bioRxiv vi a Twitter

… a low-cost ($250-$500) automated imaging platform that can quantify malaria parasitemia by scanning 1.5 million red blood cells per minute.


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Nine Low-Cost Growth Hacks To Help You Scale Your Business

Every successful business starts with a great idea. However, if you want that idea to turn into cash in your pocket, you’ll need to find a way to achieve strong business growth.

While you can spend a ton of money on advertising, there are much more cost-effective ways to grow your small business. That’s why we asked the experts of Forbes New York Business Council to share some great growth hacks that won’t break the bank. Their best answers are below.

Forbes New York Business Council experts share key strategies for growing your business without breaking the bank.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Be Genuine

Being genuine obviously doesn’t cost anything, but it will generate so much business if you act with integrity consistently. Clients always say how they appreciate the straightforward and transparent process we incorporate, and they share this with other prospects. This is just an easy and free way to market yourself! – Maurice Harary, The Bid Lab

2. Build Your Network

When looking for low-cost, low-barrier ways to build your business, it has never been easier to get out and spread the word about you and your business through Meetup groups and other networking opportunities. Using these groups is more farming than hunting, but it is an effective method to grow. – Steven Libman, Integrity Capital Group

Forbes New York Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners in Greater New York City.
Do I qualify?

3. Seek Out Public Speaking Opportunities

Start public speaking. I was terrified of it until I tried it and I actually enjoyed it very much. Speaking in public is the best way for people to learn about you and what you do or believe in. Also, when you go to a conference, you meet people in your industry and you might interact with potential clients. Overcome your fears and start sharing your knowledge with others. – Sergio Mannino, Sergio Mannino Studio, we design interiors and we create brands

4. Automate Your Lead Generation

Lead generation tools, such as Sales Navigator and Orca, are a low-cost way to approach a high volume of potential clients consistently with the goal of scheduling an in-person meeting or phone call. This alleviates the pressure of constant networking and allows you to focus on the individuals who are truly interested in learning more about your business. – Jill Strickman, GENUINE: The Real People Company

5. Share Your Story On Social Media

Leverage social media and create a human story—why you do what you do and how you impact people’s lives in a positive way through your products and community presence. Participate in local events. This will raise your personal profile and credibility, which will spur new connections and referrals. People seldom refer businesses to people they haven’t met or heard about through trusted sources. – Karthik Krishnan, Britannica Group (Britannica, Merriam Webster, Britannica Knowledge System and Melingo)

6. Offer Flexible Payment Options

One low-cost way to grow a small business is to offer customers payment flexibility. Installment payments, for instance, have been found to motivate consumers to make purchases. A survey we conducted found that 67 percent of shoppers would be more likely to purchase large electronics or furniture if they were able to pay for them in monthly installments. Payment flexibility leads to increased sales. – Gil Don, Splitit

7. Leverage User-Generated Content

Enlist customers to provide you with content. User-generated content helps to build trust in your brand, keeps your advocates happy and makes them feel like they’re part of the company’s growth and success. Studies are showing that Millennials put a premium on customer opinions. Small things like comment functions, forums and star ratings can go a long way toward establishing customer loyalty. – Don Daszkowski, International Franchise Professionals Group – IFPG

8. Do Your Own PR

In the early days, you don’t have the money for a PR agent. Even if you did, nobody knows what you do like you do. Find buzzworthy stories, then stand on the tallest building and tell the whole world how great you are. Be on the lookout for ways to tie to a newsworthy angle that can connect back to you. Social media is great but not the only way. There were startups before Twitter and Instagram. – Nic Faitos, Starbright Floral Design

9. Engage In Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing tactics are great for growth hacking. Potential strategies can include canvassing the market in your branded vehicle, passing out flyers, attending networking events, and engaging with fellow business owners. These are effective because they are unconventional. You have a better chance of getting noticed among a stream of typical advertisements. – Josh Cohen, The Junkluggers

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Every successful business starts with a great idea. However, if you want that idea to turn into cash in your pocket, you’ll need to find a way to achieve strong business growth.

While you can spend a ton of money on advertising, there are much more cost-effective ways to grow your small business. That’s why we asked the experts of Forbes New York Business Council to share some great growth hacks that won’t break the bank. Their best answers are below.

Forbes New York Business Council experts share key strategies for growing your business without breaking the bank.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Be Genuine

Being genuine obviously doesn’t cost anything, but it will generate so much business if you act with integrity consistently. Clients always say how they appreciate the straightforward and transparent process we incorporate, and they share this with other prospects. This is just an easy and free way to market yourself! – Maurice Harary, The Bid Lab

2. Build Your Network

When looking for low-cost, low-barrier ways to build your business, it has never been easier to get out and spread the word about you and your business through Meetup groups and other networking opportunities. Using these groups is more farming than hunting, but it is an effective method to grow. – Steven Libman, Integrity Capital Group

3. Seek Out Public Speaking Opportunities

Start public speaking. I was terrified of it until I tried it and I actually enjoyed it very much. Speaking in public is the best way for people to learn about you and what you do or believe in. Also, when you go to a conference, you meet people in your industry and you might interact with potential clients. Overcome your fears and start sharing your knowledge with others. – Sergio Mannino, Sergio Mannino Studio, we design interiors and we create brands

4. Automate Your Lead Generation

Lead generation tools, such as Sales Navigator and Orca, are a low-cost way to approach a high volume of potential clients consistently with the goal of scheduling an in-person meeting or phone call. This alleviates the pressure of constant networking and allows you to focus on the individuals who are truly interested in learning more about your business. – Jill Strickman, GENUINE: The Real People Company

5. Share Your Story On Social Media

Leverage social media and create a human story—why you do what you do and how you impact people’s lives in a positive way through your products and community presence. Participate in local events. This will raise your personal profile and credibility, which will spur new connections and referrals. People seldom refer businesses to people they haven’t met or heard about through trusted sources. – Karthik Krishnan, Britannica Group (Britannica, Merriam Webster, Britannica Knowledge System and Melingo)

6. Offer Flexible Payment Options

One low-cost way to grow a small business is to offer customers payment flexibility. Installment payments, for instance, have been found to motivate consumers to make purchases. A survey we conducted found that 67 percent of shoppers would be more likely to purchase large electronics or furniture if they were able to pay for them in monthly installments. Payment flexibility leads to increased sales. – Gil Don, Splitit

7. Leverage User-Generated Content

Enlist customers to provide you with content. User-generated content helps to build trust in your brand, keeps your advocates happy and makes them feel like they’re part of the company’s growth and success. Studies are showing that Millennials put a premium on customer opinions. Small things like comment functions, forums and star ratings can go a long way toward establishing customer loyalty. – Don Daszkowski, International Franchise Professionals Group – IFPG

8. Do Your Own PR

In the early days, you don’t have the money for a PR agent. Even if you did, nobody knows what you do like you do. Find buzzworthy stories, then stand on the tallest building and tell the whole world how great you are. Be on the lookout for ways to tie to a newsworthy angle that can connect back to you. Social media is great but not the only way. There were startups before Twitter and Instagram. – Nic Faitos, Starbright Floral Design

9. Engage In Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing tactics are great for growth hacking. Potential strategies can include canvassing the market in your branded vehicle, passing out flyers, attending networking events, and engaging with fellow business owners. These are effective because they are unconventional. You have a better chance of getting noticed among a stream of typical advertisements. – Josh Cohen, The Junkluggers

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Low-cost toothbrush for use in rural India wins 2019 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix

Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

Top prize at this year’s DBA Design Effectiveness Awards has been awarded to a toothbrush developed for the rural Indian market.

The Sensodyne Daily Care toothbrush uses 45 per cent less material than standard toothbrushes and retails for just 30 pence.

It was created by UK design consultancy DCA to help multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline establish itself in this nascent market.

The main aim of the project was to provide people with sensitive teeth across rural India with access to the Sensodyne brand’s soft sensitivity bristles and range of specialist toothpastes.

GlaxoSmithKline also wanted to achieve a significant market share amongst a population whose awareness of oral health is increasing, but whose low household income means that price is a major barrier.

Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

“To persuade target consumers to buy into the Sensodyne brand, the challenge was to create a toothbrush that would retail at an affordable price of no more than 30 rupees (about 30 pence),” said the toothbrush’s creators.

“The strategic approach to the project was defined by finding a low-cost way of designing and manufacturing a toothbrush, without compromising on quality.”

The design process focused on identifying possible efficiencies in the manufacturing process that would enable the toothbrush to be as cost effective as possible.

The amount of material used for the handle was minimised, which makes the featherweight product more efficient to produce and transport. The overall weight of just 9.4 grams is more than seven grams less than the industry standard.

The minimal and constant thickness of the plastic handle also helps it to cool more quickly in the mould, which enables a manufacturing cycle that is 37 per cent faster than that of a typical toothbrush.

Cost savings resulting from the holistic design approach are passed on to the consumer at point of sale and help to persuade the proprietors of small, rural stores to stock the toothbrushes.

The product is merchandised using a simple point-of-sale hanger that attaches to existing shelves in the general stores where it will typically be sold.

The simple handle is available in four vibrant colours that are relevant to the market and help the product to stand out in this visually cluttered environment.

Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

“Feedback from our trade partners is that the product’s value proposition – a quality Sensodyne toothbrush at such an affordable price – is attracting our target customers,” claimed representatives from Sensodyne’s branding and design teams.

“The overall design package successfully communicates this and is a key driver of successfully helping millions of people manage their tooth sensitivity.”

Founded in 1989, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible affect on business and societal success.

The awards are run by the UK’s Design Business Association, which promotes the strategic and economic value of design to business and government. Previous winners have included a brand design for a sealant company that raised sales revenue by 744 per cent.

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Toward a low-cost industrialization of lithium-ion capacitors

Combining two additives instead of one to facilitate the incorporation of lithium within capacitors: that is the solution proposed by researchers from l’Institut des matériaux Jean Rouxel (CNRS/Université de Nantes), in collaboration with Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (University of Münster, Germany), in order to promote the low-cost, simple, and efficient development of the lithium-ion capacitors used to store electrical energy. This research, published in Advanced Energy Materials on 5 June 2019, will enable the mass marketing of these components.

Electrochemical storage systems for electricity play a central role in the integration of renewable energy sources, and are about to take over the electro-mobility sector. There are two solutions for storing this energy: lithium-ion batteries, which have the advantage of large storage capacity, and capacitors, which have less capacity, but can charge and uncharge very rapidly a great number of times. Lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) combine the best of both worlds.

The materials that make up lithium-ion capacitors do not contain lithium ions (or electrons), unlike batteries. It is therefore necessary to proceed with a prelithiation stage in order to add them, so that the device can function. Two broad strategies are used today: either one of the capacitor’s constituent materials is prelithiated before its integration, or an additive high in lithium ions will redistribute them among the capacitor’s materials during the first charge. Yet these methods are costly and complex, and can diminish the device’s capacity. What’s more, the majority of prelithiation additives available deteriorate when in contact with the air and/or the solvents used to manufacture lithium-ion capacitors. In short, even though some of the solutions that have been proposed function today, there is no “miracle recipe” that is high-performance, sturdy, simple, and inexpensive.

Researchers from l’Institut des matériaux Jean Rouxel (CNRS/Université de Nantes), in collaboration with Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (University of Münster), met this challenge by using not just one but two additives coupled through consecutive chemical reactions. Their analysis shows that the primary barrier for earlier approaches was their use of a single additive, which had to not only provide lithium ions and electrons, but also meet all of the conditions of price, chemical stability, and performance. The use of two additives each with a specific role, with one providing lithium ions and the other electrons, offers much greater latitude, for they can be selected independently for their price, chemical properties, and performance. When a lithium-ion capacitor is charging, the first additive (pyrene, naturally present in certain types of coal) releases electrons and protons. The second additive, Li3PO4 (mass produced in the glass industry, for instance), captures these protons, and in turn releases lithium ions that are then available for prelithiation.

An additional advantage of this approach is that after prelithiation, the residue of one of the two additives used, pyrene, contributes to the storage of charges, thereby increasing the quantity of electrical energy stored in the device. The efficiency and versatility offered by this new approach opens the way for an inexpensive solution for prelithiation, resulting in lithium-ion capacitors that can store more energy. The breaking of this technological barrier should therefore enable a quicker commercialisation of these devices.

Story Source:

Materials provided by CNRS. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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IKEA is bringing its low-cost modular housing units to the UK

Seventy Agency

Affordable developer BoKlok, which is co-owned by IKEA and Skanska, has signed a deal with Worthing council in West Sussex to build low-cost housing in the south of England.

Worthing council has approved plans for the IKEA subsidiary to build 162 apartments on land it owns, reported the Worthing Herald.

The first apartments will be available from early 2021.

The council will be given 30 per cent of the 162 homes at cost value to be used as social housing, in return for use of the land.

The remaining 70 per cent will be sold according to the developer’s “left to live” model.

This means that BoKlok sets prices at a level designed to leave families with money left to live on, and promises that a single parent would be able to afford to buy a two-bedroom house from the developer.

To calculate the figure, BoKlok takes the average salary of someone in full-time employment then calculates a 25-year mortgage that would be manageable after tax and monthly living costs have been deducted.

Only one house is available per buyer and time restrictions are in place for selling them on, in order to prevent people using them as investment properties.

Market sale homes will be allocated to potential owners using a ballot system.

According to council documents, the development will act as a “pilot scheme” for a “strategic relationship” between Worthing council and Boklok.

If it is successful, the two will enter into a “collaboration agreement” to deliver 500 more homes in the area.

They will work together on the acquisition of land, pursuit of planning permission and development of sites as well as delivering the apartments.

These homes will be available to local people at affordable rents – meaning the cost will be set at up to 80 per cent of the market rate. The council will lease the land for these additional homes to BoKlok, which will pay an annual ground rent.

BoKlok claims to have already delivered 11,000 homes across Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

It achieves its low price-points by prefabricating structures off site. It typically builds its homes from timber, a low-carbon material, and recycles any offcuts to make its developments more sustainable.

All its houses come with a built-in IKEA kitchen plus flooring and tiles.

Although the prefabricated dwellings are sometimes called flat-pack houses, in reference to the Swedish design giant’s self-assembly furniture, the homes are not self-build, although they are modular.

BoKlok previously attempted to bring its housing model to Tyneside in the north of England in 2007, but the project was hit by the 2008 financial crisis.

Other future-forward projects involving IKEA include a series of home accessories that harvest energy from the sun, and robotic furniture designed to help people living in small homes maximise their floorspace.

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Lyft’s low-cost Shared Saver rides come to six more US cities

Lyft’s frugal Shared Saver option is now available to many more people. The ridesharing service ahs trotted out its most affordable option to six more large US cities, including Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. The principle remains the same: if you’re comfortable with both sharing a ride and walking short distances, you can save a bit of cash versus demanding exact pick-ups and drop-offs.

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Low-cost intervention boosts undergraduate interest in computer science

A recent study finds that an online intervention taking less than 30 minutes significantly increased interest in computer science for both male and female undergraduate students. However, when it comes to the intervention’s impact on classroom performance, the picture gets more complicated.

“Our focus was on determining how and whether a ‘growth mindset’ intervention would affect student interest and performance in computer science, so we developed an experiment that would allow us to explore those questions,” says Jeni Burnette, first author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University.

“We knew from previous work in other contexts that a growth mindset — the belief that human attributes are malleable — can have significant consequences for self-regulation and goal achievement,” Burnette says. “In this instance, the growth mindset is that people can develop their computer science ability. Put another way, it’s the opposite of thinking that some people are talented at computer science and other people aren’t.”

For the study, researchers worked with 491 students taking introductory computer science courses at seven different universities. One group of 245 students was shown four online growth mindset modules over the course of the class, with each module focused on what growth mindsets are and stressing that anyone can learn computer science if they apply themselves. A control group of 246 students was shown four online modules that focused on student health, such as making sure to exercise and get enough sleep. Each module was fairly brief, with the total running time for all four growth mindset modules coming in at about 27 minutes.

All 491 students were surveyed before the intervention and after seeing all four modules. Surveys assessed each student’s interest in majoring or getting a job in computer science.

The researchers found that students who received the growth mindset intervention were more interested in computer science than students who received the control group intervention, even when accounting for their interest level prior to the intervention. What’s more, the increase in interest was identical for both male and female students who received the growth mindset intervention.

However, the intervention alone did not appear to have a direct impact on student performance in the computer science course. Though it’s not quite accurate to say that there was no effect.

“We did not get an immediate effect of the intervention on performance,” Burnette says. “But we did find that the growth mindset intervention led students to place more value on the course, meaning they thought the course was more important. And, we found that value correlated with students’ final grade in the class. So, there is a positive, indirect effect of the intervention on performance.”

The paper, “A Growth Mind-Set Intervention Improves Interest but Not Academic Performance in the Field of Computer Science,” is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. The paper was co-authored by Crystal Hoyt and Barry Lawson of the University of Richmond; V. Michelle Russell of the University of North Carolina Greensboro; Carol Dweck of Stanford University; and Eli Finkel of Northwestern University.

The work was done with support from the National Science Foundation, under grant number 1327561.

Story Source:

Materials provided by North Carolina State University. Original written by Matt Shipman. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Uber expands low-cost ride subscription service to 17 more cities – CNET

Uber expands low-cost ride subscription service to 17 more cities – CNET
Android Portable Device Application

Uber is expanding its subscription service.


Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Uber’s subscription service is coming to more US cities.

The ride-sharing company said Tuesday that it’s expanding Ride Pass, which starts at $15 and limits the cost of fares.

The new locations include New York City, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orange County, Baltimore-Maryland, New Orleans, Nashville, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Memphis.

When Ride Pass was introduced back in October, it was only available in Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Miami and Denver. Your subscription won’t cover fares, but ensures you won’t have to pay surge pricing at peak times or in bad weather.

It applies to UberX and UberPool trips. The standard $15 per month cost jumps to $25 in LA, New York City (Bronx and Staten Island), Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, San Antonio and Nashville because you also get 30 minutes a day to ride Uber’s electric bikes and scooters for free.

“Signing up through the app is simple, and once riders get rolling they can track their savings on every ride with real-time updates,” wrote Dan Bilen, Uber’s product manager, in the post.


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First published at 4:48 a.m. PT.

Updated at 5:37 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

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