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How Brand Transparency Builds Enduring Relationships With Customers

Entrepreneur:Companies that build authentic relationships with their customers are not only rapidly gaining market share, they’re gobbling up mind and heart share by putting buyers in control and enabling them to make better, more appropriate choices.” FlyPunch! CEO Mat Franken on how brands investing in building relationships with consumers are finding more success in the long- and short-term.

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Leap.it thinks that a visual, social approach to search can unseat Google from its throne

Pando: “Kansas City’s Leap.it isn’t the first company to take a run at Google. But Leap.it — which has been open for searches since the end of February — is the first to come my way that I’ve had any fun using. There’s no blue links, for a start, which feels nice on the eye. Why every search engine feels the need to display its links in an identically similar manner, is beyond me.

Leap.it results come up displayed on cards. For each search, it integrates social links, searching into Twitter streams, with real-time news and historical information. It’s like Google, plus Google News, rolled in with a Twitter search.”

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Why Didn’t I Think of That? 7 Creative Business Ideas

Business News Daily included Sprout it in its roundup of seven great business ideas you’ll wish you had come up with yourself:

“If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry: there’s an app for that. Making gardening easier for tech-savvy veggie lovers, Sprout It is a website and mobile app for iPhone that helps novice gardeners plant smarter, healthier vegetable patches.

The app provides useful information about what plants grow best in your location, as well as guides for how to plant, care for and harvest your own veggies and herbs. Allowing you to keep track of all your plants in a ‘virtual garden,’ the app shows you what each of your veggies should look like from seed to harvest time. You can even set the app to remind you when to water your plants.

And if you’re having a hard time choosing which veggies to grow, the site has an array of garden layouts to help you decide. From the ‘Soup’s On Garden’ (potato and corn stew, anyone?) to the ‘Cocktail Garden’ (because vodka tastes better with cucumbers), Sprout It has the right answers for every appetite.”

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Getting Honest About the Trouble with Fresh Foods

Whole Foods Magazine: FlyPunch! CEO Mat Franken shared the scoop on fruit flies and how retailers are addressing the problem: “As the consumer trend toward increased consumption of fruits and vegetables continues, so will the battle against fruit flies. It’s time for retailers to step up and offer consumers better solutions for maintaining their healthy lifestyles and happy homes.”

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How to Boost Virality of Your Next Marketing Contest or Campaign

Business2Community: Together CEO Mike Svatek shared a few simple ways brands can increase reach, participation and “virality” of their marketing campaigns.

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Donatos Pizza rolls out responsive mobile commerce site

Mobile Commerce Daily shared details of the new Donatos.com. Donatos partnered with Dynamit to create the site. “The newly relaunched Donatos Pizza website is one of the first fully responsive mobile commerce sites in the restaurant industry, and comes at a time when consumers’ digital experiences are becoming increasingly imperative in the pizza segment.”

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Donatos Pizza rolls out more responsive website

Nation’s Restaurant News shared features of the new Donatos.com (powered by Dynamit), including “an animated, image-heavy menu interface; instant geolocation that immediately pulls up the nearest Donatos location; and a semantic search function to the customers explore more menu combinations.”

Additional coverage: Pizzamarketplace.com, Columbus Business First, Hospitality Technology

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Aver Informatics raises $8.5M to cure ailing health care billing system

Venture Beat: “For the last three-plus years, we’ve been working hard to create a sustainable change in health care. Today is a pivotal moment for us that will help transform the health care reimbursement process, providing higher quality care to patients at a substantially lower cost to payers.” — Aver Informatics CEO Kurt Brenkus on how its $8.5 million funding round, led by Drive Capital, will transform healthcare payments

Additional coverage: Xconomy

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Fortune Term Sheet: Venture Capital Deals of the Day

Fortune: Drive Capital and GE Ventures led an $8.5 million dollar investment in Aver Informatics, a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based startup aiming to simplify healthcare payments.

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Aver Informatics Raises $8.5 Million To Tackle Healthcare Payments

TechCrunch: “If you’ve ever been to a doctor in the U.S., you know the befuddling bundle of bills that awaits at the end of the road for your treatment. The ugly truth is that those bills aren’t just confusing to you. Even most hospitals don’t know how much a given procedure is supposed to cost, according to a 2013 study.”

TechCrunch shared how Aver Informatics’ latest funding round — $8.5 million led by Drive Capital and GE Ventures — will help simplify healthcare payments.

Additional coverage: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Business JournalGreen Bay Press Gazette, Dow Jones Venture Wire

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