[Nanomedic in Israel21c] Revolutionary spray-on skin is better than a bandage for wounds

Electrospinning may sound like something to do with disco music, workouts or pop art. Actually, it’s an electrostatically charged method to produce nanofibers for items such as layered filters. The Israeli startup Nanomedic is using this technology to revolutionize wound care.

Read more here.

The post [Nanomedic in Israel21c] Revolutionary spray-on skin is better than a bandage for wounds appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Grasshopper Review

With over 135,000 users, Grasshopper is one of the most trusted phone service providers for small businesses on the market. Grasshopper stacks up well against the other products on our list of best phone services, as it offers more customer support and no restrictions—making it an excellent choice for small businesses.

Priding itself on separating personal work from business work at a low cost, Grasshopper is the best phone service provider for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs.

With multiple product offerings that help users improve their phone service, the system can transform your business and increase clientele by providing a more professional phone service with custom greetings and extensions.

Grasshopper Pros and Cons


  • High mobile functionality
  • Affordable at $ 26 per month
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Unlimited calls


  • Voicemail transcription issues
  • Fewer app integrations
  • No video conferencing capabilities
Compare The Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems
We reviewed dozens of cloud-based phone systems and narrowed them down to the best options.

See Top Picks

How Grasshopper Compares to Top Virtual Phone System Software Providers

Compared to the top five other best cloud-based phone systems, Grasshopper comes in at number three, because it offers unique features for small teams at an affordable price.

Grasshopper takes this position in our top list because most of the other phone systems offer better packages for office settings and are a tad cheaper. However, this doesn’t mean that your business won’t benefit from Grasshopper. With a focus on small businesses or solo side businesses, Grasshopper is the easiest way to find a unique variation of phone numbers and make unlimited calls, unlike our top picks for phone service providers.

In terms of our top picks, we think Nextiva and RingCentral are excellent alternate options. Nextiva is the best enterprise-level phone system that offers supportive features and hardware for your business space, whereas RingCentral is the most popular with more than 350,000 users with specifically designed plans for small businesses.

Grasshopper’s Remote Access

In the past year, working remotely has seen a shift and increase due to the pandemic. Now, it’s crucial for all business models to include remote tools that are reliable for teams to work from home, in a more virtual space. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a phone service provider that offers extensive remote access, Grasshopper is an excellent option.

Grasshopper offers comprehensive mobile and desktop apps that seamlessly sync up to your phone service system. The mobile app is easy to use and displays all your business calls and text messages in one place. The great thing about this mobile app is that your personal calls and texts stay completely separate from your business ones, while still being on one phone. It’s a lot more convenient for small business owners or solo entrepreneurs to operate with the least amount of tools and equipment to avoid overworking and stress.

The desktop app is just as helpful, with an intuitive interface—so even the least experienced user can find their way around. The app lets you use your internet connection to make and receive VoIP calls and text messages. So, you really can do business anywhere under any internet connection, whether that be at a library or local cafe.

What makes this app even more efficient is that you can also view your voicemails and call history, so you can continue to respond to clients and follow-up on missed calls efficiently and professionally.

With such supportive remote access for small teams, you can experience the freedom and flexibility of working anywhere without the stress of being unorganized. Compared to other phone service providers, we think Grasshopper has the most simple remote tools that will suit most business owners.

There are no additional costs to download both apps, but to install the desktop app, you will need:

  • 64-bit macOS 10.9 or later
  • 64-bit Windows 7 or later
  • Minimum 4GB RAM

Grasshopper’s Audio and Video Connection Quality

Having high-quality audio and video connection is certainly one of the most significant roles of a phone service provider. Luckily, Grasshopper’s audio connection quality is impressive, and they offer a few alternative options for users having trouble with poor connection or weak signal. In terms of video connection, Grasshopper currently does not offer video conferencing–one of its few major weaknesses compared with other cloud-based phone service providers.

As stated above, Grasshopper lets you make business calls using VoIP and WiFi. Straight away, it’s quite substantial that Grasshopper offers two ways to make calls, where users can utilize either option if one of them happens to drop out. The difference between these options is that VoIP is commonly used to make calls through an internet connection, whereas users will use WiFi calls through any WiFi network.

But what happens if your internet or WiFi connection is weak? Well, Grasshopper has a solution for that. While using the mobile app, if Grasshopper identifies any weak signals, it will automatically transfer your inbound or outbound call to its normal calling network. There’s no notification or interruption when this happens so call quality will remain at its highest. Subsequent calls will revert to an available WiFi network once your signal strengthens.

However, if you do experience poor phone quality, the Grasshopper team over on the support forum has an in-depth guide on how to troubleshoot both the mobile and desktop applications with ease. This just goes to show how much Grasshopper cares about the user’s experience.

As for video connection, since Grasshopper is yet to offer this service, we think RingCentral or Vonage are great alternative options for anyone looking for video conferencing. RingCentral offers a service called Glip, which uses carrier-grade infrastructure to operate high-quality video calls for up to 100 people. On the other hand, Vonage offers a video call feature that’s similar to Zoom, with a highly intuitive interface.

Grasshopper’s SMS and MMS Texting

Being able to connect with and keep in touch with your clients is paramount for success. And most business owners don’t want to rely on just phone communication. So, many phone service providers will offer either SMS text messaging and MMS texting, or a mix of both or none—however, Grasshopper offers both that are easy-to-use channels, which will make communication better.

Unlike other phone service providers we reviewed, Grasshopper offers unlimited texts for no additional cost, which is an enormous benefit for small businesses on a budget. To make it even better, business texting is free for all virtual phone numbers when you sign up for a seven-day free trial—which is an excellent option for beginners who are looking for a phone service provider as a starter.

The most beneficial feature of Grasshopper’s SMS texting tool is called the instant response. If you miss a call, the instant response feature will automatically send an SMS message to your new client, letting them know you’re unavailable. The caller can even write back with their details and let you know why they’re calling.

This feature can potentially eliminate the risk of losing future clients by responding promptly and professionally and will save you time while you’re busy. You can also use this feature to your full advantage and create a text that provides new callers with information about your business.

Grasshopper also offers MMS for picture and video messaging, however, it is currently not possible from toll-free numbers and is only available for local numbers. Group texts are also possible from local numbers. International SMS and MMS are only available between the United States and Canada, so Grasshopper may not be ideal for remote teams working internationally.

Grasshopper’s Responsive Customer Support

Prioritized support is so important for phone service providers because no calls mean no profits or new clients. If your phone lines go down because of technical issues, it’s crucial for a support team to immediately jump in and help. This is where Grasshopper shines because it happens to have the best responsive customer support of all the service providers on our top list.

Grasshopper offers 24/7 US-based live customer support in every plan, which is a great option for a distributed company, working remotely all over the United States. What’s so great about Grasshopper’s support is that it’s also responsive and active on its social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This means you can contact the support team on these platforms for a quicker response, rather than through an email query.

Not only does it offer 24/7 live chat and telephone support, but Grasshopper also has an updated and relevant support forum that has frequently asked questions, knowledge-based topics, case studies, and a ‘how-to’ section. This support forum is a great way for users to save time instead of waiting on a phone call or waiting a couple of business days for an email about an issue you can solve by reading through its helpful forum.

Grasshopper’s Product Offerings

Grasshopper offers a few products that relate to phone services, which give a variety of options for different user needs. Here is an in-depth look at the different products Grasshopper offers for phone services:

Vanity Numbers

If you want to make your business number more memorable, Grasshopper offers local and toll-free vanity numbers at no additional cost. You have the freedom to choose up to seven letters or numbers that relate to your specific business niche with the number lookup tool. It’s important to note that some numbers may already be taken, and according to Grasshopper, it suggests opting for a shorter term to return a match.

Creating a custom phone number is a great way for people to easily remember your number in advertising, which might generate more leads and increase your clientele. Apart from seeming more identifiable, using a vanity number will make your small business look larger and more established. It’s also a great option to address what your company offers while aiming for consistency across your business cards and website.

Grasshopper lets you make business calls and texts with your US-based toll-free vanity number. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support text messaging for toll-free or local vanity numbers in Canada or internationally—so you may be better off choosing a provider like Phone.com in that regard.

The good news is that Grasshopper allows you to port your existing vanity phone number for free, so you don’t have to lose the number you love. The transfer process is straightforward because Grasshopper does all the nitty-gritty behind the scenes once you sign up, and it will confirm with you once the transfer has gone through.

Toll-Free Numbers

If vanity numbers aren’t for you, you can still maintain your professional appearance by choosing a toll-free number instead. Grasshopper lets you specify digits or select a number at random using its lookup tool. All the toll-free prefixes are assigned by an entity known as ‘Responsible Organization’ and include the numbers 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833.

The major benefit of a toll-free number is the fact that it is free for the caller, even if you happen to call from a long distance in the same country. Grasshopper makes sure that you aren’t charged for these calls, however, charges will apply if you call an international toll-free number, even when it costs nothing to receive an international call.

Just like Grasshopper’s vanity numbers, you can send unlimited texts and calls with your toll-free number. Some other benefits of using a toll-free number include:

  • Customized business greeting
  • Be available to your clients everywhere with a national presence
  • Professional image
  • Better for customer service

Again, there are no additional charges to add a toll-free number to your plan with unlimited calls and texts—and porting your number is also available.

Ruby Virtual Receptionists

As a unique function, Grasshopper introduces the new Ruby virtual receptionists add-on that can help improve your business while you’re busy. Ruby will help small business owners look more professional, as a US-based receptionist or an auto-attendant system answer all your calls by greeting new callers with a personalized message based on your instructions and needs.

With Ruby, you can boost business by operating during extended business hours. You can also save a lot of time and money by trying to find and pay for a full-time hire that suits your every need. Speaking of saving time, Ruby is a great opportunity to take up more work and focus less on daily administrative tasks.

Another significant thing about the Ruby service is that the receptionist can transfer calls to your mobile or home phone—under any number you wish. Additional fees may apply for phone lines outside of North America, however, Grasshopper recommends to provide multiple phone numbers, so there are a variety of ways to reach you.

There are three Ruby pricing plans that are 35% off under Grasshopper, these include:

  • Starter: $ 130 per month with 50 receptionist minutes
  • Grow: $ 195 per month with 100 receptionist minutes
  • Elevate: $ 370 per month with 200 receptionist minutes

These prices may seem a little expensive, but if you are a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, sometimes a little help is all you need—and we think it is worth the price to boost your business and save you time.

Compare The Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems
We reviewed dozens of cloud-based phone systems and narrowed them down to the best options.

See Top Picks


Overall, Grasshopper is an excellent phone service provider for small business owners. It’s affordable starting at $ 26 per month, and it offers reasonable products at no additional cost like vanity and toll-free numbers. It also offers a great mobile and desktop app for remote teams and high-quality VoIP and WiFi calls. With unlimited texts, calls, and 24/7 live support, anyone using Grasshopper is sure to improve and transform their business and call system.

Quick Sprout

After 200% ARR growth in 2020, CourseKey raises $9M to digitize trade schools

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced educational institutions to go virtual, many were scrambling to develop online or blended curriculums.

That struggle was particularly challenging for trade schools, many of which were not designed to teach online and were mostly paper-driven. 

CourseKey, a San Diego-based trade school management SaaS startup, was in a unique position. Demand surged and its ARR grew by 200% in 2020. And now, the company has raised $ 9 million in a Series B led by SignalFire and with participation from existing backer Builders VC to help it continue its momentum. 

Founded in 2015 by Luke Sophinos and Fadee Kannah, CourseKey’s B2B platform is designed to work with organizations that teach some of our most essential workers — from automotive mechanics to electricians to plumbers to nurses, phlebotomists and dental assistants.

CourseKey founders Luke Sophinos (left) and Faddee Kannah (right)

CourseKey founders Luke Sophinos (left) and Fadee Kannah (right)

The goal is to help those organizations boost revenue by improving student retention and graduation rates, helping them maintain regulatory compliance and generally streamline processes. 

“Things really took off last year when the coronavirus hit,” Sophinos said. “So many schools had to adopt a digital arsenal. We saw a massive acceleration trend that was already going to happen. Every industry had been eaten. We just found a space that wasn’t yet.”

CourseKey currently works with over 200 career colleges, including the Paul Mitchell School and the Institute for Business & Technology, among others. Over 100,000 students use its software.

For Sophinos and Kannah, founding CourseKey was more than just a business opportunity. Kannah, who had fled Iraq as a refugee, saw family members going through trade schools that were lacking technology infrastructure and modern software tools. He architected the CourseKey platform. 

Sophinos, frustrated by his own college experience, applied for The Thiel Fellowship – a program that supports students in company building instead of university attending. However, he recognized that not everyone who doesn’t want to go to traditional college has that option.

“While looking at alternatives, our early team began recognizing a market that we felt no one was paying attention to. It was occupied by our friends and by our family members,” Sophinos said. “It was a space that, for some odd reason, was largely being left out of the education conversation.”

In 2017, CourseKey partnered with a large vocational education provider to build and launch what Sophinos describes as “the world’s first trade school management system.”

“We focused on automating daily classroom procedures like attendance and grading, enhancing the student experience through communication tools, helping to identify at-risk students, and simplifying compliance,” he said. “We also visualized data for retention purposes.”

CourseKey also does things like track skill attainment, run evaluations and exams and integrate third-party tools.

Image Credits: CourseKey

The startup’s goal with its new capital is to scale the platform to serve “every trade school in the country” with the mission of changing the narrative that four-year college is the “only option.” It also plans to add new features and capabilities, largely based on customer requests. CourseKey also plans to nearly double its current headcount of just over 50 employees to nearly 100 over the next two years.

“This is a massive market and massive business opportunity,” Sophinos said.

CourseKey has an impressive list of supporters beyond SignalFire and Builders. Steve Altman, former vice chairman and president of Qualcomm, led its $ 3.5 million seed round which also included participation from Larry Rosenberger, former FICO CEO. Dennis Yang, former CEO of edtech giant Udemy, and Altman now serve on its board.

SignalFire Managing Director Wayne Hu, who also took a seat on the startup’s board with the new round, said his firm recognized that vocational schools and their administrators, instructors, and students “suffer from a lack of purpose-built software.”

“Student Information Systems and Learning Management Systems are optimized for traditional K-12 schools and university workflow, but vocational schools are stuck relying on pen and paper or trying to shoe-horn in solutions that aren’t built for them,” Hu wrote in a blog post.

CourseKey, in SignalFire’s view, is reimagining a new education operating system built specifically for experiential, hands-on learning models, which continues to evolve with hybrid/distance learning.  

Hu also pointed out that since many of the jobs that vocational schools are preparing people for “have life or death consequences,” they are highly regulated.

“Not only does CourseKey improve trade school business KPIs, it serves as insurance against this existential risk,” he added.

Startups – TechCrunch

Structural Bearings Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027 – NeighborWebSJ

Structural Bearings Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027  NeighborWebSJ
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Equity finance Market– A comprehensive study by Key Players: Blackstone, Carlyle, KKR – NeighborWebSJ – NeighborWebSJ

Equity finance Market– A comprehensive study by Key Players: Blackstone, Carlyle, KKR – NeighborWebSJ  NeighborWebSJ
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Digital TV Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027 – NeighborWebSJ – NeighborWebSJ

Digital TV Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027 – NeighborWebSJ  NeighborWebSJ
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Mint Oil Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027 – NeighborWebSJ – NeighborWebSJ

Mint Oil Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Reviews, Segments, Revenue, and Forecast to 2027 – NeighborWebSJ  NeighborWebSJ
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Nigeria Cassava Starch Market 2021 By Manufacturers, Regions, Type And Application, Forecast To 2028 – South Florida Theater Review – South Florida Theater Review

Nigeria Cassava Starch Market 2021 By Manufacturers, Regions, Type And Application, Forecast To 2028 – South Florida Theater Review  South Florida Theater Review
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

The Power of Crafting a Brand Story as an Entrepreneur

Gone are the days when the founder of a company was completely faceless and unknown. Over the last decade or so, there has been a greater call for transparency in the way businesses operate. The individuals who start and run these businesses, regardless of industry, are being called into the spotlight, as more and more consumers want to know exactly who is behind their favorite brands.

And more than that, they want to connect with the people behind these brands on an emotional level. They want to know that the humans behind these brands are just like them.

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Consumers don’t just want to be sold more “stuff,” they want the story that goes with it. They want to know exactly who they are supporting and the types of businesses they are giving their hard-earned dollars to.

The bottom line is, people need to buy your story first before they will buy your products or services. And as the face of your business, it is your responsibility to share that story.

It doesn’t matter what stage of business you’re in or what business model you’ve chosen; you have an important story to tell. Many entrepreneurs think they should wait until they are more successful or established before they share their story. They are hesitant and think people won’t care.

But the fact is, if you aren’t sharing your brand story, you are doing you and your business a huge disservice. You are missing out on the chance to develop real relationships with your existing customers and potential customers. Relationships that go far beyond the sale.

Each one of us has a completely unique story, and even though your story is unique to you, there are plenty of other people who can relate on some level because of their own similar life experiences.

The story that you choose to share could come in many forms. It could be a major life challenge that you overcame, which led to your reason for starting your business. Share your passion and what changes you want to see in the world, and how your business works to reach those goals.

As entrepreneurs, we need to remember that we are dealing with human beings, not just dollars. Human beings are the ones who are spending their money with us. So, it’s time to put a (temporary) pause on the marketing spin and trying to figure out the best formula for Facebook ads. It’s time to stop thinking of your customers and clients in terms of how much money they will spend and prioritize making the time to connect with them on another level.

You can do all the marketing you want, but the best way to build a base of loyal customers is to connect with them on a human level by developing a relationship. Even if some potential customers aren’t ready to buy from you right now, they may come back to you when they are ready to make a purchase because of that personal connection. In the meantime, they may also recommend your business to their family and friends, all because you took the time to see them as a human and relate to them in a more in-depth way.

When sharing your story, you should weave it into every piece of content you put out into the world. Don’t just throw it on your website’s “About” page and call it a day. There should be pieces of your brand story present throughout your website, woven into your social media posts and present in the topics of your blog posts.

Your brand story needs to be interwoven to show your authenticity. Your customers and potential customers will find you in many different ways, so it is important that your story is consistent and wide reaching.

The future of business is all about connection, not on a superficial level with likes and follows, but something much deeper. There are humans on both sides of business, so it is time to focus on a more human-centric connection, rather than crafting the best sales pitch.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

How to craft your unique brand story

Think about your why

Take some time to really think about why you started your company. Be honest with yourself and list all the reasons. These could stem from your own personal life experiences or changes you wish to see in the world. Then use this list to start developing your brand story.

Be honest

Don’t shy away from any of the messy details, including the struggles, the failures or the pain you have endured or witnessed in life. Your story doesn’t have to be shiny and perfect. Customers are looking for relatability, not someone who is a superhuman. So don’t be afraid to show a certain degree of vulnerability.

Weave in your values

Use your brand story to illustrate what you stand for as a person and as a business. Think about what really matters to you in life and what values are most important to you. Your brand story is a great way to communicate your ethics and appeal to people who share the same values as you.

Share your story everywhere

Your brand story is not just a one time message. This is part of the core of your business and it underpins why your business exists. Make sure all of your content on your website and on your social media is consistent with your brand story.

Don’t compare your story to others

This is so important. When you are first crafting your brand story, you may feel tempted to research the stories of your competitors. However, this is one instance in which a competitor analysis could be detrimental. Although it can feel like you are a little exposed when you are sharing your own personal story, it is important that you ensure the uniqueness and honesty of your story and what you choose to share. Write your story first, then research how other businesses are utilizing their brand stories, rather than focusing on the story itself.

The post The Power of Crafting a Brand Story as an Entrepreneur appeared first on StartupNation.