NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. Indiegogo is partnering with Google and Stiftung Entrepreneurship. Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo announced a partnership with Stiftung Entrepreneurship, a German foundation that fosters entrepreneurship, and Google (GOOG), to launch the Gründer-Garage initiative -- an online competition for German-speaking entrepreneurs to finance innovative ideas through the Internet.
The competition is part of the broader initiative by Indiegogo to build out its international platform, beginning with Germany. Indiegogo plans to roll out a local website in the German language and will be broadening its funding and payments options beyond the U.S. dollar to include euros for participants of this competition.
Candidates will be offered training materials and coaching by Stiftung Entrepreneurship to develop their idea into a solid business plan and then will seek their own capital through self-administered crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo. Indiegogo's "gogofactor" -- a proprietary merit-based formula which tracks campaign activity -- will be part of determining the winning campaigns. Google will match campaigns that successfully reach their funding goal until 150,000 ¿ (approximately $185,000 by today's exchange rates) in prize money is depleted. The companies will publicly recognize these campaigns at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin in October."This is an exciting opportunity to empower some of the best creative and business talent," said Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo. 2. House votes to extend Bush tax cuts. The Republican-led House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to approve all of the Bush tax cuts, which is likely a symbolic move, given that taxes and spending are top priorities in this year's presidential campaign, according to the Associated Press. The House measure has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate or surviving an Obama veto, AP says. Instead, the vote was to send a message just three months before election day. President Obama is looking to increase the tax rates on the country's highest income earners, which may include small business owners who file their business income on their personal tax return. Republicans are in stark disagreement with the president, rejecting the idea to raise tax rates on anyone as the economy continues to struggle. 3. Is Chick-fil-A's CEO smarter than you think? It may not seem like a wise position to take if you answer this question in the affirmative, but it's all about knowing your customers and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's outspoken remarks against same-sex marriage last month may have been the smartest marketing move of the year, says Charles Gaudet of Predictable Profits. "All too often, companies try to stay away from taking a bold stance, choosing to play it safe by communicating a message that will appeal to the masses. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't make you unique, stand-out or give your customers something interesting to talk about," Gaudet argues. Chick-fil-A, on the other hand, is known for its deep-rooted Christian values and principles (the restaurants are closed on Sundays because employees and customers should be in church). Cathy's opinions essentially stuck with the company's foundation, even with the controversy from opponents and praise from followers, Gaudet says. Either way, the company had tens of millions in free publicity over the past few weeks as mayors spoke out against the fast-food chain's expansion plans and the subject became common household and water cooler debate. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski >To submit a news tip, email: email@example.com.
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