FroZenYo, the District-based frozen yogurt chain, is trying to go worldwide.
The firm, started by entrepreneur Chuck Rendelman and two fellow investors, has signed a five-year contract with Franchise Freeway to grow the self-serve chain.
“Our object is to bring the concept to 1,000 franchise units worldwide,” said Mike Halpern, chief executive of Franchise Freeway. “We are setting up mini-franchise companies that allow development. It’s what Subway did to get so big.”
Fairfax-based Franchise Freeway, founded by Halpern as Franchise Consulting in 2006 and renamed in 2012, helps companies expand by marketing and selling franchises. It has sold more than 1,000 franchises worldwide.
Halpern said the company is having conversations with potential FroZenYo development agents in India, China, Canada and Europe.
In the United States, development agents will be able to buy the FroZenYo rights within a state for $85,000. They will split the 5.5 percent royalties on gross revenues between FroZenYo and the developer. Franchisees can buy their first franchise for $25,000; the second franchise would cost $15,000.
FroZenYo has nine local stores, including seven owned by the company and a pair of stores owned by a franchisee. There are 15 additional franchises in the pipeline.
Bethesda-native Katy Gathright, 22, who graduated from Williams College in June, has started an online retailer called Designed Good, which she owns with a couple of fellow alumni from Williams.
Gathright is the daughter of Fiona Gathright, founder and chief executive of Wellness Corporate Solutions.
“We sell clothing, gear, artwork and accessories, which we select based on innovation, design and ethical criteria,” said Gathright, whose company has a tiny $4,000 in revenue since its April start. The “ethical criteria” includes how it was made, whether the materials are environmentally sustainable and if a product is associated with a socially-minded message.
Gathright, who graduated from Holton-Arms in 2008, won a $15,000 start-up award from Williams. Designed Good, which is currently located in Williamstown, Mass., is moving to Bethesda in February and is talking to Williams alumni to recruit as angel investors.
Andreas Widmer, 46, has joined Catholic University of America as director of entrepreneurship programs. Swiss by birth, he was previously the co-founder of Seven Fund, a philanthropic organization run by entrepreneurs who invest in original research, books and films to further enterprise solutions to poverty.
He is the author of “The Pope & The CEO: Pope John Paul II’s Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard,” a book exploring leadership lessons that Widmer learned serving as a Swiss Guard (at age 20) protecting Pope John Paul II.
Silver Spring-based Cooperative Housing Foundation has had an image makeover, announcing it has changed its name to Global Communities. Begun 60 years ago, the nonprofit has been a housing microfinance pioneer, working in more than 20 countries.
Eastham’s Exxon, which has graced Bethesda since 1929, back when Exxon was known as Standard Oil, closed Sept. 30, shutting down one of the highest-volume service stations in the oil giant’s fleet.
The property, at the corner of Wisconsin and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda, consisted of two parcels. The Eastham family owned one parcel, while SBS Partnership owned the other. When the lease expired last month, SBS chose not to renew its lease so it could develop the land.
Rubenstein for Treasury secretary? Reuters reports that Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein defended President Obama. Obama’s Republican opponent Mitt Romney — who, like Rubenstein, made his fortune in private equity — has criticized the president’s business views.
“Obama had reached out to the business community, they just haven’t liked all of his decisions and some of his rhetoric,” said Rubenstein, a former White House aide in the Carter administration. “But generally, I think the administration is quite open and accessible.”
Rubenstein offered the comment in an interview with Reuters television host Robert Wolf, himself a businessman who is described by Reuters as an “outside Obama adviser.”
31MThat’s the number of hours students (and parents) collectively spend filling out college loan applications. Georgetown-based Personal, which has bigwigs such as Steve Case and foreign affairs expert Morton Abramowitz as investors, started “Personal for Education” last week to save a family’s application data, at an event coordinated by the White House and the Education Department to showcase tech innovation. “This will allow a meaningful percentage of those hours to be reclaimed by individuals who won’t have to spend time filling out the same [loan application] form over and over,” Personal co-founder Shane Green said.