Editor’s note: Each Thursday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Startup Talk,” a round-up of startup, technology and entrepreneurial news.
USDA UNVEILS ‘URBAN AGRICULTURE TOOLKIT’ FOR CITY FARMERS, AGRI-BUSINESS STARTUPS AND ENTREPRENEURS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recent unveiled its Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by the federal agency’s Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture.
USDA’s Toolkit is an electronic document that helps urban and small farms navigate more than 70 helpful resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. It focuses on some of the most pressing challenges confronting urban producers such as land access, soil quality, water resources, capital and financing, infrastructure, market development, production strategies, and applying for federal, state or private foundation grants.
CONSUMER WEARABLES, WIRELESS AUDIO AND CONNECTION DEVICES SEE LARGEST OWNERSHIP GROWTH IN PAST YEAR
Ownership of wireless audio, wearables and connected devices saw the largest household gains from 2015 to 2016, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association. The 18th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential study’s findings also verify that smartphones are now a household staple, with ownership trends beginning to mirror those of televisions, which remain the most pervasive tech product in U.S. households.
Tech devices experiencing the largest increase in household ownership from 2015 to 2016 include portable wireless speakers (up 10 percentage points to reach 35% household ownership); wearable fitness activity trackers (20% ownership) and wireless headphones (36% ownership) both increasing nine percentage points; and smart TVs (50% ownership) increasing by seven percentage points. The ever-expanding adoption and growth of IoT will also help lead the U.S. consumer technology industry to a record-setting $287 billion in retail revenues ($224 billion wholesale) in 2016, according to CTA’s consumer technology sale forecast.
COX CABLE EXTENDS LOW-COST INTERNET SERVICE TO HUD-ASSISTED HOUSEHOLDS IN COMPANY FOOTPRINT
Cox Communications recently announced a major investment in its efforts to narrow the digital divide through its support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) ConnectHome initiative.
Cox Communications is extending its Connect2Compete low-cost Internet offering to any HUD-assisted household with school-age children within Cox’s 18-state service area. The cable giant is the first Internet service provider within the ConnectHome umbrella to extend such an offering throughout its entire nationwide footprint. The investment has the potential to impact nearly 250,000 students across the nation currently residing in HUD-assisted homes, Cox said.