Alleged Russian spy networked in entrepreneurial circles. That's right. Anna Chapman, one of 11 people accused of running a Russian espionage ring in the United States, is not only a Bond girl-esque international lady of intrigue, but appears to be a former Barclay's banker who mastered in economics and is the CEO of an online real-estate business. Chapman seems to have used social-networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn for business networking. On Facebook, she's friends with prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, who is a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, though he told Forbes he doesn't know Chapman. ("So many randoms on Facebook," he said.) She's listed as an administrator of the NYC Rentals group on Facebook, for NYCRentals.com, and is a "fan" of New York Entrepreneur Week. On LinkedIn, Chapman is listed as CEO of PropertyFinder Ltd., and had gotten a personal recommendation from a U.K. real estate company CEO, who called her "an ambitious, forward-thinking professional." The VC and real estate world, to which she seems very tapped into online, isn't exactly freaking out about having online ties to an accused spy, though. One connection, CEO Dan Johnson, told Forbes: "It always brightens up a dull Tuesday to hear that you've been in contact with a potential spy."
The case for taking your time. Foursquare's announcement that it raised $20 million has attracted some attention for how long it took to complete. Fred Wilson, an investor in Foursquare, explains why taking one's time while raising money is often a good move. "[Foursquare] started this process when they had sufficient funds in the bank to operate the business for six months," he writes. "They were not in a hurry...So closing the financing quickly, which is often advised as the best approach, was not necessary..." Wilson advises founders not to get bullied into "making decisions you don't need to make and you aren't ready to make, particularly about very big decisions that you will be living with the rest of your life."
Hey boss, please pass the sunscreen. While Business Week quips that Brooks Brothers has yet to make a three-piece bathing suit, it notes an anecdotal trend of business owners getting stuff done from the comfort of their beach chairs. Thanks to technological advances, the question of how to work remotely from an exotic locale has become a question of why not? Bill Kilburg, the chief executive of Hospitality Performance Network Global, says, "my job is the strategic growth of the company. It's not like I have to be sitting in my office to do that." For an extensive look at whether or not your company should go virtual see our April cover story on the subject.
There's a "wrap" for that. The iPhone has been a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to make money off apps, but one entrepreneur is also cashing in on the latest model's faults. Tech Crunch reports that less than a week after the iPhone 4 launch, an entrepreneur has already developed thin vinyl skins to remedy the model's widely reported antenna issues. (He's got a clever slogan too: "Reception problems? There's a wrap for that.") The cases sell for $9.99, about $20 less than the case Apple recommends you buy to solve the problem.
Hope for abandoned Detroit factories. Though many of the so-called Motor City's factories sit empty and unused, one local real estate mogul is filling his factory with 160 small businesses and counting (via CNN Money). Dennis Kefallinos bought the Russell Industrial Center back in the '90s for $1.5 million as part of his mission to buying "distressed properties." He was under the impression that Detroit's stock was rising, not plummeting precipitously. With no other options, Kefallinos began renting space to local entrepreneurs from the artistic community, and though the factory is still 75 percent empty, the property pulls in about one new tenant every week.
Tesla's long road ahead. Sure, Tesla's first day as a public company was a big hit. But as the San Jose Mercury News explains, Elon Musk's electric carmaker still has a lot to prove. "The competition Tesla faces will be fierce," Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl tells the paper, "and it'll be from people who have been building cars for a long time."
Happy Social Media Day! What's that you say? It's not a real holiday? Not according to Mashable. The site has proclaimed June 30th official Social Media Day. Mashable staff members will be attending meetups in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Austin, while other social media meetups are taking place in at least 74 other countries around the world. So go ahead, get Tweeting and start meeting.
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CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer
Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.