CNN Money: Top business headlines for May 23

    5:27 AM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Thursday, May 23.

    HomeDx places second, wins pitch contest at Tri-State Governor's Cup
    University of Arkansas startup HomeDx won the elevator pitch portion and finished second overall in the graduate-level division of the 2013 Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Governor's Cup business-plan competition Tuesday in Las Vegas. Four Arkansas teams -- the top two winners in the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Arkansas DWR Governor's Cup -- competed against the top winners from Oklahoma and Nevada. Teams from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma took home top honors. Picasolar, the UA graduate startup which won the Arkansas event and had experienced a successful run at national competitions this spring, didn't place in Las Vegas.

    Crowdfunding sites raise thousands for Oklahoma victims
    Crowdfunding websites are seeing donations pour in following the deadly tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla. More than a dozen separate campaigns popped up on crowdfunding site, Fundly, less than 24 hours after the tornado swept through the Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 24 people, injuring more than 200 and destroying hundreds of homes. The 2013 Midwest Tornado Relief campaign, which was launched on Fundly by nonprofit Mercury One, has brought in more than $1 million from over 13,000 donors -- significantly more than its original goal of $50,000. Another crowdfunding site, HopeMob, has received $41,000 from more than 300 donors.

    Memorial Day travel to dip this year
    The volume of travel during Memorial Day weekend is expected to decline slightly this year, said AAA on Wednesday, due to a steep drop in air travel amid a shaky economy. The motorist organization forecasts a decline of 0.9% in overall travel compared to last year, with 34.8 million Americans making a journey of 50 miles or more. AAA President Robert Darbelnet blamed the decline on "an up and down economy" and "the impact of the end of the payroll tax holiday on working families." A steep decline in projected air travel dragged down the overall forecast. AAA expects holiday air travel to decrease 8%, to 2.3 million travelers this year.

    Insanely durable smartphone ... from Caterpillar?
    Watch out Apple and Samsung? Caterpillar launched a drop-proof, water-proof, dust-proof smartphone Monday that you actually wouldn't be embarrassed to carry around with you. The B15 Cat Phone isn't the first "ruggedized" smartphone and isn't even the first to be designed by Caterpillar. But it is probably the first that you'd want to use. Most phones meant to withstand punishment have a silly amount of heavy-duty rubber casing around them, and their functionality is an afterthought. Contractors, construction workers and other people with dirty jobs have typically been stuck with giant, ugly, and subpar phones.



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