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Minority Report: #SOCAP16
 
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Startup of the Month: Future Start Technology
 
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Foundational Capital: #SOCAP16
 
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Startup of the Month: AimBrain
 
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Comfy Robotics, a Wholehearted CRM, and the [VR] Space of Sound
Entrepreneurship
 
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Minority Report: #SOCAP16
 
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Foundational Capital: #SOCAP16
 
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Comfy Robotics, a Wholehearted CRM, and the [VR] Space of Sound
 
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If I lose you at ‘Devops’ … you’re missing the point.
 
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The Payment Methods That All Online Businesses Should Offer
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September 23, 2016

Foundational Capital: #SOCAP16

[DISCLAIMER: this post is in no way associated w/ the VC firm Foundational Capital.]

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My first SOCAP was illuminating to say the least, and not just because I was excited to see what the world of Impact [Investing] was all about, but also because I got to hear firsthand what young companies in countries with little to no venture capital do to get off the ground. What do they do? What they have to. It turns out a big piece of that equation is working with private foundations and government entities, and so perhaps appropriately, I was keenly interested when the World’s second largest Telco invited me to their startup pitch [...]

 
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September 20, 2016

Comfy Robotics, a Wholehearted CRM, and the [VR] Space of Sound

   Sometimes we’re so set on finding a theme, that the most important ones evade our recognition. Well, I decided to do one on people in our age of ‘underlying tech’, more specifically, those at Disrupt this year and [un]knowingly at the heart of the underlying-business therein. The following 3 companies have people that caught my attention, not because they’re arrogantly aware of their SeriesA from TopVCx, or even because they’re beyond confident their particular value-add is going to cause a HUGE shift in their industry/sector, but because it was easy for me to see they’re happy-beings doing good. It is the happiness that we seek. In seed- and [...]
 
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September 19, 2016

If I lose you at ‘Devops’ … you’re missing the point.

 [But then again, the Title drew you this far, so perhaps you’re onto something.]    Disrupt SF did not disappoint this year. Yes, the Secretary of Defense, both Marc’s (Benioff & Andreessen), and Steph Curry all made headline appearances, in the same day no less; but I would like to take a moment to highlight the lesser-sung heroes of the conference [and our industry and World for that matter]: DEVOPS. Let’s break IT down: Development Operations, as in Software Development and IT Operations. A match made in tech.haven no doubt, and that’s even before you drop some of that crazy QA into the mix. DEVOPS deserves more respect. I intend to convince you. Who [...]
 
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August 31, 2016

Krzana to the rescue

When a fire broke out at Motiva Enterprises’ oil refinery in Convent, Louisiana, there was more at stake than the safety of the 300 workers located there. Within seconds, oil traders anticipating a prolonged halt in production drove the price of motor fuel products soaring. But the first news of the blaze didn’t come from the established business wires like Bloomberg, Dow Jones or Reuters. Instead, it was a South Louisiana and Baton Rouge based newspaper, The Advocate, that tweeted about the flames. Four thousand miles away in London, that tweet was flagged up on a new search tool using advanced information processing techniques to scan social media called Krzana – a Sanskrit word [...]

 
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July 30, 2016

Student Entrepreneurs: KOMPAS

As the number of people travelling is increasing worldwide, we are looking for a way to understand a city’s history, see its true personality, and understand cultural differences.

Travel platforms are becoming quickly outdated, and many are looking to blogs or personal views as an alternative. As a result, too much time is being wasted searching on where to go, and how to get there. That’s why we’ve creating KOMPAS: the pocket guide to the world’s urban jungles. From a blog that started in Munich, we’re now building travel recommendations based on interests and locations, and we’re using disruptive technologies such as machine learning and narrow intelligence to do [...]

 
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July 29, 2016

Node has finally grown up

Perhaps it’s that the Qualcomm (Mkt cap $92B) speaker told me about a partnership with United Healthcare (Mkt cap $147B) in which the two were aligning to drive adoption of wearable IoT, or maybe it was Joyent front-and-center as a/the major Node contributor having freshly been acquired by Samsung (Mkt cap $195B), but the overarching theme of NodeSummit this year was most certainly: Node has [finally] grown up. The extended theme was ‘Node.js is ready for primetime’ and ‘every company is a tech company’, and the former is due in large part to massive corporations trying to wrap their head around the latter. Javascript’s client and server [...]

 
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June 27, 2016

Why disrupting insurance is hard and too few entrepreneurs are addressing the real problem

The insurance industry has been ripe for disruption for years and yet a quick walk around Leadenhall market where brokers bustle about with paper files under their arms reveals nothing has changed in decades.

Why is this?

From one perspective it’s very simple to answer: every player in the insurance market has been enjoying 10-20% net margins for over a century, so why would they want that to change? Lloyds of London tried bringing into their organisation technology innovation with Kinnect in 2002 but after £70m investment and 5 years, it was shut down. Hence, until the rise of fintech, insurance companies felt very [...]

 
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May 24, 2016

Paper receipts are dead. BillHive has arrived.

BillHive is an app which ensures you never lose a paper receipt again. It allows users to store their receipts directly into their phone at the moment of purchase.  This removes the need to take a picture of the paper receipt or dig through your emails, or more likely junk mail, for the proof of the purchases you’ve made. 

Through the ‘Hive’, which acts as the central repository for receipts customers can access all of their receipts and share them with employers (along with friends and family), thereby aiding the uphill battle with expense reports, while receiving up to date analytics on their spending habits.   

For retailers the benefits include unprecedented marketing [...]

 
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May 5, 2016

Repairly: phone and tablet repairs that come to you

This is that moment. That moment when your phone has a nervous breakdown and decides to leave you alone. That moment when you realise you have to find someone who can repair it. That moment when you realise you’re freaking busy but you have to take your afternoon to go to Whitechapel or further to repair your phone. That moment. When you realise how annoyed you are… 

But wait, there’s some good news, and it’s called Repairly. 

Founded by two cool Uni classmates, Fraser Williams and Tom Young, this ‘white glove’ sexy and cool service comes to you to pick up your phone-tablet-laptop and bring it back within two hours, all brand new. The idea behind it is simple: make [...]

 
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May 3, 2016

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is an app helping blind people in their everyday life. Through video contact, a blind person can ask a volunteer to help him in his daily basis, from knowing an expiry date to navigating new surroundings. 

“Be My Eyes is connecting people like Uber or AirBnB. It’s a service that connects someone in need and someone willing to help” says the founder, Hans Jørgen Wiberg, himself reached with blindness.

After several years of intense work, the concept won an innovative project award and been outsourced from Denmark to San Francisco to be part of the research program of the Silicon Valley University. The app has become global in 2015 and already counts 25 000 blind [...]

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