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Toy rental service targets businesses with waiting rooms

Add / Remove Toy rental is a concept we’ve already seen implemented on more than one occasion, including one in Texas and one in France. Just recently, however, we came across another contender in Canada that targets not just consumers but also businesses that keep toys in their waiting rooms. Serving Vancouver, B.C., Lucky Duck […]

Giant-screen social games for crowds at large events

Add / Remove There’s no doubt sports matches and other large events offer advertisers the potential of an engaged, enthusiastic crowd of consumers; how to make the most of that potential, however, is much less clear. Finnish Uplause has developed a series of social games for use on giant stadium screens that aim to entertain […]

In Paris, a community brunch festival pops up monthly

Add / Remove We’ve seen numerous examples of pop-up restaurants in recent years, including the Müvbox, the Yellow Treehouse and Charlie’s Burgers. Recently one of our spotters alerted us to a monthly event in Paris, however, that starts with a community brunch and offers a whole day of eco-minded activities. Founded by Nadege Winter—who, incidentally, […]

Five new business ideas for musicians and their fans

Add / Remove Tolstoy said “music is the shorthand of emotion” and, as marketing gurus insist, people buy emotionally. With an audience that extends to just about everyone, the music business can be a great source for new business ideas. Here are five we spotted recently: 1. MOOD TRAXXER — Traxx.fm’s Mood Traxxer aims help […]

iPhone app enables CAD on the go

Add / Remove For architects, engineers, surveyors and others who depend on computer-aided design, working remotely typically means gathering data offsite by hand and then bringing it back to the office for input and use with the CAD software installed there. SitePAD is a new iPhone app that aims to change all that by allowing […]

Bars use technology to blend online and offline interaction

Add / Remove We’ve already seen a few uses of interactive technology in bars—both at the Adour Wine Bar in New York and in iBar installations around the globe—but until recently, we hadn’t yet come across a bar that incorporates an online component in its patrons’ interactions. That’s exactly what South Africa’s MiWorld does, however, […]

Hotel targets expectant mothers with ‘birth tourism’ packages

Add / Remove For most expectant parents, travel is something to be minimized during the final weeks of pregnancy so as to increase the chances of giving birth close to home. For “birth tourists,” on the other hand, delivering on foreign soil is the ultimate goal—primarily to obtain foreign citizenship for the newborn. Therein lies […]

British retailer issues bonds with returns paid in chocolate

Add / Remove British high-end chocolate maker and retailer Hotel Chocolat, which currently operates over 40 stores in the UK, the Middle East and the US, wants to expand even further. But rather than turning to banks or big investors for money, they’re inviting customer to buy bonds. Bonds that will pay chocolate returns. Two […]

Professional product shots for $112

Add / Remove There’s nothing like a global recession to spur the launch of countless low-price innovations, and photography seems to be no exception. First we saw the arrival of We Shoot Bottles and sister site We Shoot Cans; then, just recently, we came across USD 79 profile photo shoots from Minnesota photographer Noah Wolf. […]

Disposable coffee cup is fully compostable

Add / Remove The quest for a better coffee cup continues apace. Even as participants in the Betacup contest wrack their brains for a paradigm-busting alternative, Australian Planetware has quietly proposed its own solution: a fully compostable cup and lid. PLAnet cups are not just made using forest-friendly paper, they’re also lined with biofilm instead […]

Niche travel tours for late sleepers

Add / Remove With all the variations that already exist in the world of guided tours — we’ve even seen them offered for teddy bears, after all — it almost seems difficult to believe that another niche could possibly be found. Sure enough, though, in a testament to the virtually limitless nuances that can distinguish […]

Biodegradable cigarette filters feature sproutable plant seeds

Add / Remove Exacerbated by the increasing prevalence of indoor smoking bans, cigarette butt litter is on the rise, with an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts becoming litter every year worldwide. Aiming to counter the impact littered cigarettes have on the environment, Greenbutts have developed an all-natural, biodegradable cigarette filter that, when placed under a […]

iPhone app lets users earn cash for small tasks

Add / Remove We’ve seen numerous efforts to let mobile phone users earn cash for performing small tasks, but it wasn’t until recently that we had seen an iPhone app dedicated solely to that purpose. Now joining the ranks of CloudCrowd, Fiverr, Samasource and others, Field Agent is a free iPhone app that gives users […]

Charity shop invites young designers to upcycle donated clothing

Add / Remove We’ve written about companies who engage in upcycling to create scarves, bags, teddy bears, and more. Similarly, our latest spotting breathes new life into cast-off clothing, but adds a charitable twist. Launched by the Ted Noffs Foundation, Sydney-based One Noffs offers local aspiring fashion designers the opportunity to rework donated garments into […]

High-tech drivers ed for digitally savvy teens

Add / Remove Regular Springwise readers may recall Brightstorm, the company we covered back in 2008 that offers an online video network designed to help teens prepare for college. Aiming to update drivers ed with a like-minded dose of technology for today’s digitally savvy youth, New York-based Fresh Green Light combines simulators and online tutoring […]

Pop-up public urinal serves late-night revelers

Add / Remove Indiscriminate urination is a widespread problem in urban areas, and often it’s caused by a shortage of public toilets in the parts of town frequented by late-night revelers. Designed to provide a just-in-time solution, so to speak, the UriLift is a public urinal that can be stored underground during the day and […]

Shipped to the door, freshly mixed cocktails in 3-liter boxes

Add / Remove Catering to consumers who don’t want the hassle of buying ingredients and following recipes, Cocktailbox is a London-based venture that offers ready-mixed cocktails freshly made by a professional bartender,and home delivered in fridge-friendly boxes. Launched in October, CocktailBox takes online orders for four popular cocktails—margarita, mojito, cosmo and strawberry daiquiri—and dispatches the […]

Fitness club replaces dues with charitable fundraising

Add / Remove Back in 2008 we covered Plus 3 Network, the California-based site that lets fitness enthusiasts raise funds for charity with each workout. Picking up on a similar idea, Can Too is an Australian fitness club that provides professional training sessions and support in exchange for charitable fundraising. Interested consumers begin by paying […]

Five new business ideas for urban gardening

Add / Remove More than half of humanity now lives in cities, according to the United Nations Population Fund. This rapid and ongoing change presents a raft of new challenges, many of which create opportunities for resourceful entrepreneurs. Here are five concepts that target consumers’ increasing interest in growing their own food in the city: […]

Water-bottle refills at cafés, now with a charitable twist

Add / Remove There are few things more satisfying than seeing a good idea spread, and that’s just what we had occasion to witness recently. Just as TapIt lets New Yorkers refill their water bottles for free at participating cafés, so GiveMeTap does much the same for those in the UK. Beginning in Manchester, GiveMeTap […]

Butcher shop installs vending machine for service 24/7

Add / Remove It’s no longer uncommon to see vending machines used to sell fragrances, bathing suits and shoes—or even farm produce and health foods. Not until recently, however, had we seen one installed at a butcher’s shop—and a 100-year-old shop, at that. With three stores in Northern Spain, Izarzugaza has been operating for four […]

In-flight entertainment, starring the iPad

Add / Remove The iPad applications continue to come fast and furious. We’ve now seen a hotel chain and a trend forecaster incorporate the device into their offerings, and now it looks like UK-based Bluebox Avionics could be first to include the iPad in an in-flight entertainment system. Bluebox’s namesake system already offers wireless in-flight […]