AT&T snaps to it on Snapchat

AT&T snaps to it on Snapchat

AT&T is launching episodes of its new SnapperHero TV series exclusively on Snapchat. The format will lean heavily on social and feature online stars from the likes of YouTube, Instagram and Vine, among them Freddie Wong and Anna Akana. And in the spirit of crowdsourcing, these online celebs will work to plotlines submitted by their followers – they have already issued social media calls to action.

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PJ's Somerset cool

PJ's Somerset cool

Somerset House has taken on a lot of London cool. Let go of that wintertime skating image, the Courtauld Gallery (excellent though it is), and think instead of the Thames-side location being the home of fast-growing cab app firm Hailo and a host of start-ups, Skye Gyngell’s new eatery, Spring, and the new Mapping the City exhibition of 50 artists working in the urban environment. Most of all think PJ Harvey.

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The rise and rise of Bayern

The rise and rise of Bayern

Bayern Munich’s economic power is becoming evident as the German Bundesliga champions grabs third spot in Deloitte’s latest Football Money League with revenues of €488 million in the 2013/14 season. Bayern is looking to follow the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in increasing its international footprint and has moved beyond the borders of Bavaria and Germany - last season, the club even opened an office in New York and launched a dedicated US website, while its 26 million Facebook likes along with 1.8 million Twitter followers are global. 

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Heart for Twitter

Heart for Twitter

Twitter is not only a dashboard indicator of a community’s psychological well-being but can also predict rates of heart disease. In fact, the microblog captures more information about heart disease risk than many traditional factors combined, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania. It seems expressions of negative emotions like anger, stress and fatigue in local tweets are associated with higher heart disease risk. On the other hand, researchers say positive emotions like excitement and optimism are correlated with lower risk.

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Powering Welsh life sciences

Powering Welsh life sciences

Tredegar-based specialist pharmaceutical services provider Penn Pharma looks set for further expansion following its recent sale to leading US drug development company Packaging Coordinators, Inc. Already highly internationalised – two thirds of Penn’s business is with clients outside the UK – PCIs global footprint will provide the fast-growing Welsh company with the opportunity to expand further and to better support its existing client base.

Penn’s expertise was clearly a big draw for its acquirer. “Our specialist capabilities will add huge value to PCI,” says John Roberts, commercial director at Penn Pharma. “And for us, we now have the benefits of being part of a significant US group.”

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Feed me fast

Feed me fast

Start-up watch: Is $350 million enough to feed China’s hungry food-delivery market? That’s how much start-up Ele.me has picked up in it is latest funding round from the likes of Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners China, Tencent and China-based group-buying outfit Dianping. Ele.me’s name translates as ‘Hungry Now?’ and the company offers online and mobile booking and delivery services in over 200 Chinese cities, focussing on feeding the student population. It was able to boast RMB110 million worth of orders last year, most of them made via Ele.me’s mobile apps.

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A degree of disruption

A degree of disruption

While ‘vape’ and ‘disruption’ were leading buzzwords in 2014, you can’t get a degree in the former but you can snag a qualification in disruption at the University of Southern California, writes Maria Stadtmüller. The course focus is on invention and conceptual thinking, drawing on cross-industry talent ‘to empower the next generation of disruptive inventors and professional thought leaders’. Students need to demonstrate academic excellence as well as a proven ability for original thought to be accepted on the world’s first disruption degree programme. The university say successful graduates will leave USC with a qualification befitting an educational experience which is constantly asking the question, ‘why not?’.

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No exec red tape, pls

No exec red tape, pls

What keeps business leaders up at night? It's that old, and tired, bugbear over-regulation, or red tape if you prefer. In fact, 78% cite this very thing as the very top threat - really? - to business growth prospects in the latest Global CEO survey from PwC. And that represents a spike of 6% on last year, which is a decent bunch of sleep minutes to lose in a night. Clearly, more light-touch regulation would keep them slumbering under their duvets for far longer.

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Asia tech powers urban strength

Asia tech powers urban strength

Tech hubs dominate the latest JLL City Momentum Index, a measure of a location’s competitive and dynamic drivers, as well as of change indicators for their future. London grabs top spot ahead of Silicon Valley’s San Jose, while Boston places seventh and San Francisco ninth (not that we’ve detected any Anglo-Saxon bias here). In addition, newcomers to the CMI Top 20 include Sydney, Bangalore, Dublin, Nairobi and Melbourne, each helped by their respective technology sectors.

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Cash for cabbies

Cash for cabbies

You know we’re not talking about Uber when a cab-booking outfit sets up a welfare fund for taxi drivers as a reward for them doing their jobs well. But GrabTaxi has done that very thing with the launch of its $2.8 million Provident Fund which it has financed via investments received in the last year or so, which amounts to some $340 million. That cash hasn't come from softy social ventures either – in fact, $250 million has been handed over by Japanese investment giant SoftBank Group. 

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