Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
The tech response to Japan's earthquake. After a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan this morning, Google has launched its person finder application, which helps victims of natural disasters share and access information about loved ones. According to Fast Company, the company launched the app in 2.5 hours, while other local techies set up a version of the Ushahidi crisis platform. Fast Company writes, "Crisis mapping's reach only goes as far as it is utilized, so the key now is getting the word out that online tools are available to help report the missing."
YouTube adds jobs. According to Mashable, YouTube is expected to have its biggest hiring year in 2011, and plans to expand its staff by 30 percent, the equivalent of 200 additional positions. The company currently employs 650 people. In addition to adding employees, YouTube continues to make acquisitions, the most recent being the web production company Next New Networks. It seems that YouTube and its parent company Google are doing their part to boost the economy.
Senator Kerry to aid Egyptian and Tunisian entrepreneurs. In light of the political revolutions in both Egypt and Tunisia, several top U.S. senators have announced a plan to boost both countries' economies. According to the Boston Globe, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry will file legislation to set aside millions of dollars to aid new businesses in Egypt and Tunisia. The two funds the legislation will create will take existing funds from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development and send between $40 and $50 million to Egypt and between $10 and $20 million to Tunisia. Kerry, who believes the funds are "an investment in the future of the Arab world and in the future of America's national security," also says this effort is not an interventionist move. Instead, he says, "It's a matter of capital, and they need capital in these various countries."
Start-up competition brews at SXSWThe New York Times has noticed a common theme for start-ups debuting at this year's South by Southwest festival: group messaging. The Times reports that more than a handful of start-ups have developed apps that allow multiple people to participate in the same conversation using their mobile phones. The challenge these start-ups face is competition from companies like Facebook, who could easily get on the group messaging band wagon. Check out our list of other start-ups launching at SXSW.
A pop-up on the roof of the Louvre? It's possible. Fast Companyreports that Electrolux, the Swedish appliance firm, has commissioned two pop-up restaurants that will travel across Europe, stopping along the way to set up shop atop historic monuments, dazzling cliffs, and other famous buildings. The first "Cube," as it's being called, will open on April 1 on the arc of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Belgium, and will feature a dining room with room for 18 and panoramic views. "The point?," FastCo asks. "Like most pop-up shops it's a marketing scheme. The kitchen will come equipped with Electrolux appliances, on which chefs will whip up what the press release bills as a 'show-cooking service.' 'Electrolux' will be emblazoned on the wall...turning the whole thing into a big, shameless billboard (ick)."