Wintrust Business Lunch 3/5/20: TCL’s new foldable phone, Hero Power for affordable clean energy, CEO/Founder of MyStrongCircle Borislava Baeva, & Illinois trending business stories

Wintrust Business Lunch

PHOTO: Ji Suk Yi along with Borislava Baeva, CEO/Founder of MyStrongCircle.com. (WGN Radio/Jasmine Cooper)

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Ji Suk Yi hosts today’s edition of the Wintrust Business Lunch for Thursday, March 5th.

Segment 1: (At 0:00) Jason Hiner, Editorial Director for CNET, has today’s dose of tech news regarding foldable cell phones. Triple folding phone prototype, TCL’s DragonHinge opens up to a 10-inch tablet with a large plastic display. It can be folded so that only one or two screens are open, with the unused portion either tucked away or used to prop the device. Future tech eyes taking folding screens beyond cell phones and tablets to wearable watches, headsets, and game consoles.

Segment 2: (At 5:33) Want to switch to clean energy if it doesn’t cost you time or any more money? Co-founder and CEO, Ty Benefiel, of Hero Power discusses the current renewable electricity supplier marketplace. After developing an energy efficiency software platform that better-informed customers, Benfiel and his co-founder, Yan Man, were surprised to discover that retail electricity suppliers weren’t interested. When Yan discovered he was overcharged for his electricity in Chicago, they decided to enter the market by founding Hero Power. Signing up for Hero Power switches the responsibility of your power supplier to them– they use your money to buy renewable energy certificates to help fund the production and innovation for renewable energy– and promise to never charge you a cent more than you already pay your current supplier (for example ComEd). Learn more at www.myheropower.com

Segment 3: (At 15:01) Former finance executive, Borislava Baeva, noticed a gap in the fitness marketplace and decided to do something about it. Her new fitness startup has built an online marketplace for users to bundles their three favorite workout studios for a set price. What differentiates her service is that MyStrongCircle grants unlimited access (unlike other services like ClassPass). Pricing depends on what bundle you choose but customers can expect to save around 60 percent.

Segment 4: (At 21:35 ) WGN Radio business reporter Amy Guth joins Ji to discuss trending business stories. Recreational weed sales for the month of February are out– 41 dispensaries sold 831,600 pot products last month worth $34.8 million. Guth reports this number is down from the $39.2 million of sales in January. Starbucks will pause the use of personal cups over concerns about coronavirus. Tito’s vodka tweeted that using vodka in lieu of hand sanitizer is not effective. Parent company Nordstrom will be closing down Trunk Club stand-alone stores and folding them into their department stores.

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