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Five things you need to know today, and books, authors and business ideas.

One event I’m looking forward to, in particular, is the annual Authors & Innovators event, the brainchild of business lawyer Larry Gennari, founding partner at Gennari Aronson. Larry is a voracious business-book reader and writes an occasional column in the BBJ about the latest books he’s read.

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People Love Co-Ops But Don’t Really Know What They Are

Greg Brodsky, 42, founder of, a startup accelerator for co-ops, says the interesting thing about co-ops is that people love them but don’t know what they are. He’s working to keep the former and change the latter by helping social entrepreneurs launch successful ones.

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What Is Your Backup Retirement Plan?

You’re happy in your career. You’re earning enough for now and putting money away for later. You feel productive. You like working. When asked, you say you have no plans to retire until you’re at least 65.

click to read more Accelerating co-op businesses to expand ownership for workers and customers:

Greg Brodsky grew up watching his father build a local carpet store into a 2,000-store chain that buys and sells floor coverings on par with Home Depot and Lowes. A key difference: the stores were cooperatively owned by local independent carpet dealers. Later, Brodsky used the same model to create a purchasing co-op for bicycle stores.

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Meet the new startup: It’s a co-op, keen to spread that model:

The term “co-op” might bring to mind a small-town natural-foods store, a commonly owned apartment building, or maybe the bookstores at Harvard and MIT. A start-up? Not so much.

But a Boston program for entrepreneurs is pushing young companies to consider cooperative ownership, nurturing a handful of promising firms with the goal of showing that the model can help them grow quickly while attacking the growing social problem of economic inequality.

click to read more – The Nuts-and-Bolts of Boston’s First Co-op Accelerator:

Startup accelerators are commonplace in the Boston tech/entrepreneurial space, with each of them bringing their own perspective to how to grow a business.

For example, the recently launched focuses on helping companies that are utilizing the co-op model. The organization currently has five startups in its initial cohort that are working in different fields.

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Lawn Care In A Box? It’s Subscription Season:

Entrepreneurs are sometimes inspired to start a company for one or two reasons, but the co-founders behind lawn care subscription box Lawn Serv had a few observations to start their company. After talking with friends, family and co-workers, co-founders Troy Scarbrough and Nick Morwood discovered that people had no idea of the quantity of lawn care products they should buy, because, as Scarbrough told PYMNTS in an interview, “they didn’t actually know how big their lawn was.” So to start, the co-founders built a lawn-sizing tool at My Yard Size that they link to from their Lawn Serv site.

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The Best Things You Can Do for Your Lawn and Garden in Under a Minute:

Americans spend about 70 hours a year on lawn and garden care, ensuring that their lawn is lush and weed-free and their flower bed is brimming with color. But even if you’re short on time, there are plenty of quick tasks you can perform to keep your yard in tip-top shape, and some that take just a minute! Here are the 13 best things you can do for your lawn and garden in under a minute—less time than it takes to brush your teeth!

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How to Make the Most of a Solo Business Trip:

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Yes, “bleisure” is a thing — and now there’s an app for it:

Business travelers know the condition all too well. It’s the last day of meetings and your mind is wandering: Any good restaurants nearby? How about museums, or maybe squeezing in a quick trip to the beach? Speaking of, how can I quickly find out what fun there is to have around here during this two-hour break?

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Why ‘Bleisure’ Travel is Booming Among Millennials:

Millennials mix business trips and leisure travel now more than ever. Anne-Fleur Andrle, co-founder of travel app Jack and Ferdi, joins Cheddar to tell us how her new app helps turn a typical business trip into a travel experience.

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10 great destinations for combining work and play:

Today, destinations aren’t just for work or play. Last year, about 60 percent of travelers took trips that allow them to both do business and explore a new city, according to recent data from Expedia Group Media Solutions.

Experts say the best of these destinations offer co-working spaces, skyscrapers, or work-from-home setups as well as natural surroundings, top restaurants and nightlife, and historical sites. Here are a few places that reward business and leisure travelers alike.

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Are you a ‘bleisure’ traveler? Two Boston entrepreneurs have an app for that:

The app, called Jack and Ferdi, functions as a kind of personal travel assistant for people who extend their business trips for leisure purposes. “We’re helping you balance your lifestyle while being on the road,” co-founder Anne-Fleur Andrle said.

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In Wellesley, new sports center is worth the wait:

Communities often dream of creating new indoor athletic facilities to benefit children, adults, and high school teams.

It took the closing of St. James the Great Church — and several years of planning— for such a dream to be realized in Wellesley. Next spring, a sparkling facility is scheduled to open with two ice rinks, two swimming pools, a strength and conditioning center, and a turf field with an elevated track.

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The Right and Wrong Way to Manage Up at the Office:

It’s an ability that can shape your career more than almost any other—but many employees don’t know how to do it.

Managing up, or building smooth, productive relationships with higher-ups, requires understanding and adapting to your boss’s communication and decision-making style. Many people are promoted because of the quality of their work. But as newly minted managers aim to rise in the ranks, assuming their work will speak for itself becomes increasingly hazardous to their careers.

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New series documents the challenges of private startup enterprises in Cuba:

Starting a business anywhere in the world is always like “swimming upstream,” says the entrepreneur behind a popular Havana restaurant.

But if you’re trying to navigate the private sector in Cuba, it’s like being “in a boat without oars in a current twice as turbulent,” said Sasha Ramos, the owner of El Cocinero, a restaurant located in an old brick cooking oil factory. With a fashionable rooftop bar and small plate specials, El Cocinero could be at home on South Beach.

But because the restaurant is in Cuba, it’s difficult to get enough of the same kinds of plates, glasses and cutlery so the place settings match, said Ramos, one of the entrepreneurs interviewed in a new nine-part documentary series on Cuba’s private sector.

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These are the wealthiest health care executives in Massachusetts:

Want to pull in a big paycheck? You might want to work in the health care field.

According to data released by net worth database Affluence IQ, top earners in Massachusetts working in health care had a combined wealth of $8.37 billion.

While the total wealth was less than some other industries — such as financial services ($41 billion total net worth) and real estate ($23 billion total net worth) — those working in health care earned more than those in the software and IT industries.

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Names and Faces: The richest sports, entertainment, and media moguls in Massachusetts:

We just got our hands on a new list that ranks the wealth of Massachusetts residents who made their fortunes in sports, entertainment, and media.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft tops the list, with a net worth of $4.8 billion. In second place is cable TV pioneer Amos B. Hostetter, and in third place is Red Sox principal owner (and Boston Globe owner) John W. Henry.

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Google Ventures Backs Veo Robotics to Make Factory Robots Human-Aware:

While the debate continues over how much of an impact robotics and automation will have on human jobs, Veo Robotics is betting on a different kind of future: a close and fluid collaboration between humans and machines.

With a system designed to give factory robots awareness of the human workers around them, the Cambridge startup has raised a $12 million Series A funding round led by GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and Lux Capital. The round, which was announced on Wednesday, also included participation from Next47, a venture capital firm created by industrial manufacturing giant Siemens. Bilal Zuberi of Lux Capital and Andy Wheeler of GV have joined the company’s board of directors with the new financing.

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Pillar Technologies Is Wentworth Accelerate’s First Startup to Secure Outside Seed Funding:

Pillar Technologies, a startup bringing sensor technology to the construction space to enhance risk management, announced it has secured $425,000 in seed funding, making it the first venture coming out of Wentworth Accelerate to close external capital. This seed round included investments from the 1517 Fund and Insure.VC, as well as angel investors Anil Jha and Sam Altschuler.

With on-site sensors, Pillar Technologies allows contractors to keep tabs on their job sites. The sensors can detect hostile conditions on sites that commonly cause companies to lose money during construction projects, like high humidity and fires.

Pillar Technologies will equip contractors with real-time data about the environment at their sites. It sends alerts when conditions become dangerous and offers predictive analytics, so contractors can stay on top of their time and budget allocation. It also benefits insurance companies and property owners, who have a stake in a site’s safety.

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The Guide: Social Networks:

Mass Innovation Nights

Why go: To see and be seen with the city’s breakout entrepreneurs and most disruptive companies.

What to know: These monthly events give startups the chance to pitch their products to a critical crowd of tech-centric professionals and social media influencers. No membership is needed, but space is limited, so be sure to RSVP pronto.

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Trilio raises $5M in funding to grow engineering, sales team:

Data protection startup Trilio Data announced today that it has raised a $5M Series A round of funding led by Boston-based .406 Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm that invests in enterprise tech companies.

Trilio, which provides data protection, backup and recovery solutions for OpenStack, said it will use the new funds to grow its engineering, sales and marketing teams, as well as increase channel enablement support for the company’s global customer base and accelerate its technology roadmap.

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Innovation Hub looks to attract new ventures to city, and keep them:

LOWELL — Recent UMass Lowell graduate Rajia Abdelaziz had a job interview scheduled with Google in California, but chose not to go. Tory Thompson was an Oracle marketing professional who decided to leave her comfortable career at the software giant.

Each woman felt the pull of entrepreneurship and rejected easier career paths. On Thursday, other risk-takers joined them at a Mass Innovation Nights event, held at UMass Lowell’s Innovation Hub in the Hamilton Innovation District.

Just as the entrepreneurs felt the pull of starting a company, the university seeks to attract early stage ventures to its iHub at 110 Canal Street. The iHub “is here for a very particular reason,” said Steven Tello, the university’s senior associate vice chancellor for entrepreneurship and economic development.

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Segment 5: Cooking For Geeks:

Cooking food is a science, and Jeff Potter’s book “Cooking for Geeks” has simplified it for us. We chat with Jeff about some of Jason’s cooking blunders and how he could avoid them or learn and improve for the next time.

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Segment 6: Culinary Prudence

Learning how to cook has some major advantages, but it does change your perspective. Jason Masters and Jeff Potter discuss how increasing their culinary skills has given them a more critical palate.

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30 nerdy holiday gift ideas for your favorite geek:

Whether the geek in question is your best friend, dad, or boyfriend, we know the truth — geeks are pretty cool and deserve an awesome gift. These gifts are smart, a little offbeat, and deliciously nerdy.

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Veo Robotics gives industrial robots a sixth sense for safely working around people: 

Everyone knows the robots are coming, so we should probably get to work figuring out how we can coexist. That’s the mission of Veo Robotics, which is working on a system that gives robots spatial awareness of every object and obstacle in their reach, from debris to people and everything in between. People and robots working together can accomplish far more than either one on its own.

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