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Wedding boutique for gay men

Add / Remove With same-sex marriage now legal in countries like Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada and South Africa, and many more countries accepting civil unions, domestic partnerships or registered partnerships, a whole new bridal industry is springing up to cater to the demands and wishes of gay and lesbian couples. Spotted in Barcelona: BY, […]

Micro-bakery, mega style

Add / Remove Why bother with a dozen roses when you can send your true love a dozen gooey, still-warm-from-the oven cookies? Customers in the Minneapolis area may be asking just that once they discover Tank Goodness—a micro-bakery run by a husband-and-wife team right out of their own kitchen. Having earned a reputation for almost […]

Baby brand space — Update

Add / Remove Acknowledging that travelling with infants can be a strain on both parents and children, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport just opened Schiphol Babycare Lounge by Nutricia. Located in the airport’s main departure terminal, the lounge is (as the name indicates) a co-branding effort by Schiphol and Nutricia, a Dutch baby food brand. Designed by […]

Gum recycling bins

Add / Remove While it may not be at the forefront of even the most eco-driven minds, chewing gum is littering sidewalks, city centers, schools and other public places—and there are better uses for it than collecting on the bottoms of our favourite shoes, according to two new start-ups that are out to solve the […]

Real flowers for virtual pals

Add / Remove As people are stockpiling online friends and contacts through social networks, it makes sense to let them be as giving to their online friends as to their offline buddies. Online flower store Social Flowers spotted a business opportunity, and has created a way for consumers to send flowers to their Facebook friends […]

Web channel for three-minute pitches

Add / Remove Pitching the next great idea to prospective business partners, investors, service providers and fellow entrepreneurs just got easier with—a new venture that combines online video and networking. Based on the proverbial elevator pitch—the notion that you should be able to sum up a new business venture in the few minutes it […]

Light up a short story

Add / Remove Easing the blow of the UK ban on smoking in public spaces that came into effect on July 1st, TankBooks is selling books packaged like cigarettes—right down to the cellophane wrapping on the outside and silver foil on the inside. Despite their diminutive size, the first series of TankBooks aren’t the intellectual […]

Direct searching & selling from vine to table

Add / Remove By way of a friendly search engine, Buyersvine connects consumers directly with wineries. The startup’s mission is to offer consumers lower prices and vineyards higher margins. By dragging and dropping a selection of predefined tags from categories such as colour, type, character, price, food pairing, interaction and recipient, users can look for […]

Table with a view, and a show — Update

Add / Remove Last year, we featured a Belgian company that organizes dinners in the sky, with a table, chairs and guests suspended from a crane. The concept made quite a splash and, over the past year, has travelled across Europe and attained TÜV certification—one of the toughest seals of security. Recently, Dinner in the […]

The appeal of a seasonal gelato

Add / Remove New Yorkers hankering for a frozen treat can head over to Grom, a new transplant from Italy that serves up old style gelato made of only the freshest organic and seasonal ingredients. True to its tagline—Il gelato come una volta—Grom serves up gelato ‘as it once was,’ eschewing mass production for a […]

Facilitating kidpreneurs — Update

Add / Remove Last summer, we wrote about a Dutch bank that’s encouraging children to show some entrepreneurial flair. Postbank’s Bizznizz program is still going strong — new features include free phone calls for calling prospective clients, and an online Bizznizz Club where members can share tips and tricks. Umpqua, an Oregon-based bank, recently launched […]

Selling slogans & rights

Add / Remove Often, we come across new business ideas that sound good on paper, but don’t quite live up to our expectations. When we were alerted to online retailer Pat Pending, it sounded promising: customers can buy exclusive rights to a design, allowing them to resell copies of a garment, or resell their rights […]

Mini size me!

Add / Remove Bucking the trend of ever-expanding dining portions, Chicago-based Minnies is out to prove that bigger isn’t always better. Featuring a wide selection of bite-size gourmet burgers and sandwiches—including traditional favorites such as grilled cheese and Reubens, alongside the more inventive Mykonos (roast chicken, tzaziki sauce and kalamata tapenade) and Thanksgiving delight (roast […]

Integrated auto insurance for teens

Add / Remove Seattle-based insurer Safeco recently launched an insurance policy for teenage drivers: Teensurance. A combined package of insurance and a GPS tracking device (the ‘Safety Beacon’), Teensurance offers parents the ability to monitor their teenage children’s behaviour on the road. Using the Safety Beacon, parents can set how far their children are allowed […]

City bike schemes — Update from Paris

Add / Remove This weekend, Paris placed over 10,000 bikes in just 36 hours, launching an ambitious bike sharing system that is meant to ‘lead a revolution in the way Parisians move around the city’. Dubbed Vélib’ (from velo + liberté), the program aims to help reduce pollution and keep the people of Paris physically […]

Licensing to the grave

Add / Remove In a lively new twist on what you might call a dead industry, Eternal Image is bringing licensing to the afterlife—through branded caskets and cremation urns. Now lifelong supporters of select sports teams and other brands have the option to take their loyalty all the way to their final resting spot. Eternal […]

Free insurance with every suitcase

Add / Remove In case style and craftmanship weren’t enough to lure in suitcase shoppers, customers who purchase luggage from Carpisa stores in Italy during a special year-long promotion get an unusual perk—insurance for their bags against any loss by any airline worldwide. The company is partnering with Italian-based insurance provider Aurora Assicurazioni for this […]

Full provenance sweaters

Add / Remove We’ve featured ‘product life story labels’ before – brands giving detailed information on a product’s sources and background. Another example of this trend was spotted in the Netherlands, where new knitwear brand Flocks gives customers details about the individual animals that provided the wool for their sweaters and mittens. Every item in […]

Effortless e-commerce for minipreneurs — Update

Add / Remove Zlio — the ‘social commerce network’ that lets anyone set up their own web shop in a matter of minutes — just raked in USD 4 million in funding from Mangrove Capital Partners, an early investor in Skype. So what have they been up to since we featured them in February? Two […]

Organic peas & a manicure

Add / Remove After having thoroughly established that shoppers are willing to pay premium prices for natural and organic products, Whole Foods is adding premium services to match: an in-house spa and concierge services that include personal shoppers. A Whole Foods store in Dallas is the first to incorporate a full-service spa. Located on the […]