Nov 20

Next Billion-Dollar Startups: How Two Young Entrepreneurs Used Relentless Online Marketing To Build Away Into A …


en Rubio was rushing through the ­Zurich airport when her suitcase broke. She stuffed her clothes back inside and duct-taped the mess. Then she asked her 2,600 Facebook friends for advice on what suitcase to buy. No one had a good answer.

Rubio was an early employee of Warby Parker, the company that upended eyeglass retailing by cutting out the middleman. “I started thinking, How do we do what Warby Parker did for glasses?” she says. “How do we take something really simple, and make people care about it?” If a direct-to-consumer business can displace opticians, surely it can displace luggage stores.

And so was born Away (formally known as JRSK Inc., for Rubio and Korey), a firm that has carry-ons manufactured in China and sells them via the internet and in six company-owned stores. Rubio’s airport mishap was less than four years ago; this year the privately held firm is on target to do $150 million in revenue.

Rubio, Away’s president and chief brand officer, and Steph Korey, its chief executive officer, met at Warby in 2011 when that company was just getting started. Both alumni of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and both now 31, they launched Away in 2015. The company’s roughly $700 million venture-capital valuation—Accel, Comcast Ventures and Forerunner Ventures are investors—makes the two founders’ stakes worth more than $80 million each. Away, based in New York City, earned a spot on our Next Billion-Dollar Startups list this year.

The November 30, 2018 issue of Forbes featuring Away's Steph Korey.

The November 30, 2018 issue of Forbes featuring Away’s Steph Korey.

Its first product, a four-roller hard-shell bag that can be squeezed into an overhead rack, comes in ten colors and costs $225, including standard shipping in the U.S.; a similar item from Tumi goes for $525.

Away turned profitable in 2017, a year after it launched its first product. How did Rubio and Korey pull that off while offering low prices?

For one thing, they are not splitting the revenue with high-overhead department stores. Away does the vast majority of its volume online, while stores in high-traffic locations serve as marketing billboards to drum up online sales. The stores, open until 7 p.m. or later on weeknights, host low-budget events like palmistry and tarot readings. Away puts its marketing effort into things that deliver a lot of mileage for the money spent. Its digital presence includes a custom travel magazine. There are 1,000 influencers who push it on Instagram.

Away’s success comes at a time when the luggage market, which the analysts at NPD Group estimate at nearly $3 billion in the U.S. and which may be as large as $35 billion globally when defined more broadly, has been in flux as companies scramble to sell direct to consumers amid consolidation. LVMH acquired the German luxury brand Rimowa in 2016 and has been giving it a makeover under the leadership of 26-year-old Alexandre Arnault, the son of LVMH’s billionaire chairman. Industry leader Samsonite paid $1.8 billion for high-end Tumi, now one of its fastest-growing brands, with sales last year of $678 million.

Selling wanderlust: Away's half-dozen stores, including its flagship in New York's NoHo neighborhood, feature travel books and tarot readings.

Selling wanderlust: Away’s half-dozen stores, including its flagship in New York’s NoHo neighborhood, feature travel books and tarot readings.

Other so-called smart luggage startups have come and gone—while Away, focused more on brand than on technology, gained a foothold. “Away is definitely making an impression on the market,” says Beth Goldstein, an analyst at NPD. “They are taking share away from established players.”  

Rubio—born in Quezon City, Philippines, raised in Branchburg, New Jersey, and living in London until Away’s launch—once thought she would become a lawyer. But at Penn State she studied supply-chain management. A talkative extrovert who dyes her short hair blonde, she spent her college’s co-op program at Johnson Johnson, extending the program multiple times rather than return to campus.

At 20, Rubio was working for JJ’s ­Neutrogena division in Los Angeles. Realizing she wouldn’t get into the marketing department without an M.B.A., she quit and started going to meet-ups, ­presenting herself as a social-media consultant. “It was fake it till you make it,” says Rubio, an early adopter of Twitter and Facebook. She made it, talking her way into a digital agency in New York, where she worked with Ford, Disney and Estée Lauder.

Korey grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, the daughter of immigrants from Romania and Lebanon. She studied international relations at Brown and assumed she would work in nonprofits. But after a short stint writing research reports about Middle East conflict resolution at the Carter Center in Atlanta, she went to work for Kate Spade in New York as an assistant buyer.

Korey and Rubio joined Warby Parker on the same day, when Warby had but a few dozen employees. When Korey met cofounder Dave Gilboa, she asked how the company was analyzing its sales data to make product purchase decisions. “He said, ‘I’m pretty sure we’re not doing that, so why don’t you come work here for a month?’ ” says Korey, who became head of supply chain. Rubio was hired as Warby’s first social-media manager. The two became friends. By the time they left two years later, Warby Parker had raised more than $110 million at a valuation of $500 million.

Rubio moved to London to work for the fashion retailer AllSaints; Korey left to get an M.B.A. at Columbia. When Rubio’s suitcase broke, she called Korey. Luggage had become staid—wasn’t there an opportunity to create a brand consumers would love? Korey, who consulted for bed-in-a-box startup Casper, realized that luggage was a lot like mattresses: Markups were high and shopping was frustrating. “You the consumer are being failed at every angle,” Korey says. “There is no reason at all that nobody is doing this better.”

Rubio crashed on the couch of Korey and her boyfriend (now husband) in New York, while they raised $150,000 from friends and family. “At that stage we did a thing that a lot of female founders do: We only asked people who we thought would say yes,” Rubio says. The money was enough to hire an industrial designer and take a digital blueprint to China. “I went from my last class of business school to JFK to Asia,” says Korey, who completed her exams at night in a hotel room.

They found a factory in southeastern China willing to make a few thousand suitcases for two young women with a lot of ambition but not much experience. Korey and Rubio visited the plant eight times in 2015.

The first carry-ons were delivered to customers in early 2016. Luggage may look boring, but small touches matter. Away’s polycarbonate shell suitcase has four Hinomoto 360-degree spinner wheels and YKK zippers that can stand up to abuse. It includes a 10,000-milliamp-hour lithium-ion battery for charging phones, removable in order to comply with a safety rule forbidding such objects in checked bags and some airlines’ subsequent requirements that they be removed in carry-ons. A compression pad helps travelers squeeze in more stuff by strapping over clothes and smashing them down.

Boring? Away started filing patent applications within months of its product launch and has filed more than a dozen worldwide.

Read More | Next Billion-Dollar Startup: Entrepreneurs Create $750M Bra Business By Exposing Victoria’s Weakness

Since then, Away has expanded to a variety of travel products and accessories, including an everywhere bag and a backpack. A slightly bigger carry-on—which Away designed after ­discovering that most airlines’ printed maximum measurements are slightly smaller than the size box at the check-in counter—debuted in October 2016 and is now its bestselling item. To turn it around, Korey spent three days at the Chinese factory. Her strategy: “I’m just going to hang out till it’s done, I’m going to drive you all insane till it’s done.” 

Away has Nike-style partnerships with celebrities, like model/entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and actress Rashida Jones, for limited-edition products. In September Away introduced a wine case in partnership with Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, which sold out within weeks. 

Julia Beaty, 28, who manages military recruiting at the furniture retailer Wayfair in Boston, started following Away on Instagram (it has 297,000 followers) even before she bought a suitcase last April. Now she notices Away bags when she travels. “I never would’ve thought of a Tumi, and seen it at the airport, and thought, ‘Oh that’s that type of bag,’ ” she says.

Korey and Rubio hope to build on that cultlike following. They opened a pop-up Chez Away hotel in Paris during Fashion Week last year and see potential in everything from skin care to apparel to travel booking. It’s not clear that Away’s customers want any of these things, but Korey and Rubio say they’ll choose what to do—in the manner of any analytics-tracking, direct-to-consumer company—based on customer feedback.

For now, they will be adding to their European presence (currently only in London) and showcasing what they see as the Away lifestyle. Rubio, who has traveled to more than 50 countries, says: “We didn’t get into this because of an obsession with luggage but because of an obsession with travel.” So far, that obsession is paying off.

Reach Amy Feldman at Cover image by Jamel Toppin for Forbes.

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Nov 19

Business Ideas and Opportunities For Amazon, Ecom, Affiliate and Facebook Advertising

MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW

Times Square Chronicles

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Nov 18

Where To Obtain Car Insurance Quotes

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — has released a new blog spot explaining where to get car insurance quotes.

The internet has changed the way we shop for products and services.  Getting online quotes has become a necessity for our modern times. Drivers do not longer have to make visits directly to companies or to spend endless minutes on the phone. Getting quotes online is easier and faster. Use to get free quotes and find affordable coverage!

There are 3 ways to get car insurance quotes: via phone, talking with an agent face-to-face or using online quotes. Each method has pros and cons.

  • There are several disadvantages of getting quotes via phone. First of all, a client has to wait for someone to answer. Then, the talks can be pretty lengthy. Overall, it can be really time-consuming. And the task must be repeated several times, Plus, not hearing correctly some details and questions may ruin the quote.  
  • Talking directly to agents. Working with really good and pro agents is really beneficial. But not all agents are the same, and many carry their own agenda and try to sell a policy that is not quite suitable for the client. Keep in mind that some agents may be really cunning. After all, they work for a company and try to sell as much as possible.
  • Using websites is the best way to get quotes. A potential customer can get quotes from either each insurer’s website or from specialized brokerage websites. Brokerage websites will redirect the user to multiple insurers. The user will get a better view of the market and will select the best offers.

 “Getting online car insurance quotes is a necessity in our modern world. Time is valuable and it should not be wasted. Why lose hours, or even days, when you can get results in just a couple of minutes?” said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc.

For more information, please visit

Media Contact:Russell Rabichev, Internet Marketing Company, 8183593898,

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:



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Nov 17

GOED approves 10 compaines, creating more than 420 Jobs

James Loudspeaker, LLC is a designer and manufacturer of custom installation loudspeaker products. For nine years, the company has been designing, manufacturing, and marketing specialized and very high-performance loudspeaker products for the custom home installation market. Using the latest in material technology and patented designs, the company produces a wide range of products. James Loudspeaker, LLC designs all of its products from the ground up, using aircraft aluminum backboxes and baffles for a full range in walls, in ceiling, and in wall woofers. Most of the full range products include a patented adjustable crossover network that allows the user to tune the speaker to the room as well as make the systems impervious to over powering. The company’s unique products include ‘power pipe’ subwoofers for concealed bass indoors, subterranean outdoor subwoofers for high output bass with very little intrusion into the environment, unique outdoor satellites for distributed sound to match the powerful subs, 1.5” thick on-wall system, and many more unique and patented products.

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Nov 16

Shazam! Some Experts Fell For a Fake Product From A Nonexistent Company In A Fraud Test

Cyber security pros and risk analysts should be better than the average person at detecting fraud, but a little over three percent submitted their personal identification information to sign up for an app described as “Shazam for voice identification.”

Credit Trulioo, a global identity and business verification company, which launched an online fraud experiment to evoke some interest around International Fraud Awareness Week. (It was also National Nurse Practitioner Week and Dear Santa Letter Week and almost overlapped with Intimate Apparel Marketing Week.)

Trulioo said that despite the abundance of online resources and press coverage on fraud and fraud prevention, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  received nearly 2.7 million fraud complaints in the United States last year.

So Trulioo set out to learn whether fraudsters, under the guise of a fake company, offering a fake product, could convince internet users to disclose their personal information.

It created a web page for a fictitious company called Agile ID Technologies, offering a fictitious mobile app, “Aurdentity”. Marketed as “Shazam for voice identification”, the fake mobile app claimed to use voice recognition technology to not only identify people when exposed to their voice, but also retrieve background information about them.

Shazam for voice identification — not there yet.  Photocredit: GettyGetty

Trulioo ran a week-long campaign that delivered ads to compliance professionals, fraud and risk analysts, and other individuals who showed an interest in data privacy, cybersecurity and technology, and may even have had credentials. They were directed to a fake company’s web page where visitors were asked to sign up for Audentity by providing their personal information including name and email addresses. None of the information was recorded or stored, unfortunately eliminating the possibility of followup interviews.

The campaign resulted in a total of 2,139 unique visits to the fictitious company’s website. Of those visitors, 66 people completed the sign-up form.

“Had this campaign been an online scam, 3.1% of the targeted individuals would have become victims to it, putting themselves at risk,” Trulioo said in its release.

The average conversion rate for an email promotion is around 2.35%, but that’s for real businesses, not fictitious companies promoting a phony product.

“It’s eye-opening to see this experiment result in 30% more sign-ups than the industry average conversion rates, especially given the tech-savvy audience targeted,” said Zac Cohen, general manager at Trulioo. “Awareness is a critical piece to reducing fraud and protecting users online.”

A simple Google search could have shown there was no information on an app called Aurdentity. Presumably at least a portion of the individuals who were invited to sign up did take a look for more information and decided not submit their personal information.

Trulioo suggests other ways to determine whether a site is legit such as checking the website’s related social media accounts, looking for comments by users, and other social media activity. One can also make an assessment based on the encryption status of the website: an HTTPS website is more secure than a plain HTTP site which is often vulnerable to data theft.

Another step is to check out the company that owns the app. A Google search would have shown that Agile ID Technologies doesn’t exist.

“The results from this campaign show that people are so accustomed to communicating and transacting online that they often become vulnerable to new and sophisticated fraud schemes,” added Cohen. “It’s not just individuals that are susceptible; even businesses are increasingly at risk of being exposed to fraud. In fact, according to the 2018 ACFE Report to the Nations, companies lose an estimated five percent of their revenue annually, on account of fraud.”

Trulioo said it was inspired by the SEC’s bogus coin offering.

The SEC set up a website,, that mimics a bogus coin offering to educate investors about what to look for before they invest in a scam. Anyone who clicks on “Buy Coins Now” will be led instead to investor education tools and tips from the SEC and other financial regulators, it said in a release.

“The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors,”said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud. I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions.”

“The website features several of the enticements that are common to fraudulent offerings, including a white paper with a complex yet vague explanation of the investment opportunity,” the release added. Of course, complex but vague descriptions are pretty common in both finance and technology. However the website also has promises of guaranteed returns, a clear violation of both law and common sense, and a countdown clock that shows time is quickly running out on the deal of a lifetime.


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Nov 15

The Unintended Consequences of the ‘Free’ Internet

Three weeks ago, Apple Inc. chief Tim Cookripped into technology companies that “carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold” then “weaponized” their users’ data. “These stockpiles of personal data serve only to enrich the companies that collect them,” he told a receptive audience in Brussels.

If executives at his unnamed targets—Facebook Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.—rolled their eyes, you can understand why. Mr. Cook is, after all, talking his book: Apple makes its money by charging premium prices for its products….

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Nov 14

Skyworks Ramps LoRa-based Solutions for High Growth Internet of Things Applications

MUNICH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), an innovator of high
performance analog semiconductors connecting people, places and things,
today announced that Semtech (NASDAQ: SMTC) is leveraging its newest
suite of low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) products. Specifically,
Semtech is integrating Skyworks’ advanced front-end solutions with their
next generation LoRa®
and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology)
for picocell gateways. Skyworks’ industry-leading modules quadruple the
operating range, supply maximum power and improve sensitivity versus
alternative architectures – all in a compact form factor.

“Through our collaboration with Skyworks, we are expanding the
availability of innovative LoRa options,” said Vivek Mohan, director of
IoT for Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Skyworks’
powerful wireless engines coupled with Semtech’s LoRa Technology will
deliver easy to deploy, proven and flexible platforms with unprecedented
efficiency and range to new markets for a more connected world.”

“Leveraging our global scale and expertise across diverse wireless
standards, Skyworks is ramping breakthrough devices in support of
exciting LoRa network deployments spanning a wide range of smart end
markets,” said John O’Neill, vice president of marketing for Skyworks.
“Together, we are enabling the world’s most energy-efficient ecosystems
for the Internet of Things.”

LoRa is quickly emerging as a leading wireless standard for IoT across
energy management, smart agriculture, industrial automation, security,
the connected home and more. According to industry estimates, the global
LPWAN market is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2016 to more than
$24 billion by 2021, a compounded annual growth rate of 89 percent. In
addition, IDATE projects that LPWAN unit shipments will more than triple
from 109 million in 2017 to 339 million by 2025.

About Skyworks’ LoRa-based Solutions for IoT

Skyworks’ high-efficiency front-end modules for LPWAN applications
include the SKY66420-11,
and SKY66423-11.

Please visit Skyworks’
Front-end Modules for IoT
for more information about the complete

Skyworks at Electronica

Skyworks representatives will be in Hall C3, Booth 120.

About Semtech

Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC) is a leading supplier of high
performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced
algorithms for high-end consumer, enterprise computing, communications,
and industrial equipment. Products are designed to benefit the
engineering community as well as the global community. The Company is
dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the
environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through
material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and
designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is
listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For
more information, visit

About Skyworks

Skyworks Solutions, Inc. is empowering the wireless networking
revolution. Our highly innovative analog semiconductors are connecting
people, places and things spanning a number of new and previously
unimagined applications within the aerospace, automotive, broadband,
cellular infrastructure, connected home, industrial, medical, military,
smartphone, tablet and wearable markets.

Skyworks is a global company with engineering, marketing, operations,
sales and support facilities located throughout Asia, Europe and North
America and is a member of the SP 500® and Nasdaq-100® market indices
(NASDAQ: SWKS). For more information, please visit Skyworks’ website at:

Safe Harbor Statement

Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are
intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking
statements include without limitation information relating to future
events, results and expectations of Skyworks. Forward-looking statements
can often be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “expects,”
“forecasts,” “intends,” “believes,” “plans,” “may,” “will” or
“continue,” and similar expressions and variations (or negatives) of
these words. Actual events and/or results may differ materially and
adversely from such forward-looking statements as a result of certain
risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our ability to
timely and accurately predict market requirements and evolving industry
standards and to identify opportunities in new markets; our ability to
develop, manufacture, and market innovative products and avoid product
obsolescence; our ability to compete in the marketplace and achieve
market acceptance of our products; the availability and pricing of
third-party semiconductor foundry, assembly and test capacity, raw
materials and supplier components; the quality of our products; and
other risks and uncertainties identified in the “Risk Factors” section
of Skyworks’ most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K (and/or Quarterly
Report on Form 10-Q) as filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (“SEC”). Copies of Skyworks’ SEC filings can be obtained,
free of charge, on Skyworks’ website (
or at the SEC’s website (
Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made
only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update or
revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.

Note to Editors: Skyworks and the Skyworks symbol are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. or its subsidiaries in
the United States and other countries. Third-party brands and names are
for identification purposes only, and are the property of their
respective owners.

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Nov 13

How AI Is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

AI and digital marketingGetty

Artificial Intelligence and digital marketing are beginning to go hand in hand. With the ability to collect data, analyze it, apply it and then learn from it- AI is transforming digital strategy. As it continues to advance, so will the capabilities to use it to improve digital marketing strategies and valuable customer insights for companies.

Here are 3 ways AI is changing digital marketing for the better.

Better User Experience

The most important aspect of a successful digital marketing strategy is great customer experience. When the content is relevant to the user, they are more likely to convert and become recurring customers and have brand loyalty. Artificial intelligence can significantly help with that in its ability to collect data and decide which content is the most applicable based on things like location, historical data and past behavior. When doing so, it gives the user the impression that the brand was built specifically for them.

For retail, AI can be a game changer for online shopping experiences with new advancements in augmented reality where customers can actually “try” a product before making a purchase. There are now apps where you can actually “try on” clothes to see how items will look on you without ever stepping foot into the store. This means less dissatisfied customers, lower returns and higher engagement online for a brand.

Voice search technology is also a great addition of AI in digital marketing that can get faster results. Companies can now write their site to coincide with virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Home and SIRI. If you do it correctly, you can move your brand to be the first result on a voice search which can really help with brand recognition.

Predictive Customer Behavior

Not only can AI personalize a customer experience on past behavior, but it can also predict behavior for new and existing users. With the help of data management platforms (DMP) collecting second and third-party data now, AI can collect information about your users across the internet and not just in a session on your site. This can help personalize to their needs automatically through journeys and profiles enabling you to target your potential leads and eliminating those unlikely to convert enabling you to concentrate on formulating and executing effective marketing strategies.

While it is far from perfect, AI is constantly collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to get smarter at utilizing it. With new algorithms, all the time, accuracy of customer journeys will get more efficient and help determine sales forecasting and ROI so that your business can provide the best experience for customers and right tools to help your business succeed.

Real-time customer support

One of the biggest things customers look for in a good digital experience is quick resolutions and response. With the introduction of AI chatbots, an automated tool that gives the impression of talking to an actual customer service person in real time, AI can deliver that experience in real time.

Chatbots can use terms to seem more “human-like” and can answer basic questions, track and fulfill orders and help solve simple issues. Facebook messenger has integrated the chatbot feature for company Facebook pages to help improve customer service for businesses. These bots can be available 24/7 and can reduce call wait time for customers having issues which can increase customer satisfaction overall.

Artificial intelligence continues to grow and improve and won’t slow down for a while. Implementing AI into your digital marketing strategy will help customers have a better experience and give your business the insights it needs to succeed.

Artificial intelligence continues to grow and improve and won’t slow down for a while. Implementing AI into your digital marketing strategy will help customers have a better experience and give your business the insights it needs to succeed.

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