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December 22, 2016

[re]CodeCommerce & #InclusionSV: time to team up

As we near the end of this god-forsaken year entitled 2016, there is certainly a lot to reflect on (or retract from depending on your disposition). This month has felt pretty surreal if not 100% in-conflict coming off last. I mean how is one supposed to feel merry with cheer given the defacement that is now set to be in control of America, not to mention all the other horrible developments around the globe? Santa is 100% happy he lives in the non-nationalized North Pole, except of course all his polar bear friends are dying from starvation due to climate change. There is that. Nonetheless (or perhaps despite the lessening), the two events in about as many weeks that caught my [...]

 
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December 20, 2016

Have you heard of Rainmaker Fundraiser? If not, you should.

Join us to mark the culmination of our charities’ accelerator journey by taking part in our Rainmaker Fundraiser on the 30th January.

We will be bringing together the most exciting business minds from our Rainmaker community and groundbreaking charities from our accelerator, for a live crowdfunding event to launch our graduates into their next stage of growth.

10 charities will come together to give 3 pitches on their collective impact to empower women, support young people and disrupt the criminal justice system. In just six minutes of live crowdfunding we will touch the lives of all their beneficiaries and inspire generosity across the Rainmaker [...]

 
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December 5, 2016

VR PR I am: #VRt

Come as you are.

Upload VR did not disappoint. In some ways it felt like what I picture the first dot.com to have been like: one part young-and-talented, one part tech-junkie, and one part rebel-yell. The artistic aspect of The Collective was the most notable, and part of that was certainly to be expected given the name of the event was ‘Art & VR’, but the more permanent components of the space were easy to decipher and just as intriguing as the art exhibits themselves. The work of the artists invited in for the evening was very good, but in the physicality of this co-working space itself, dedicated to the creation [...]

 
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November 10, 2016

Oh [#LeanStartup], Where Art Thou?

TAKE NOTICE: build-test-learn

So once upon a time a guy named Eric started a movement. Truth be told, like most of us he was probably trying to start something that would decrease his probability of financial hardship in the future, and in the process possibly make a bit of a name for himself. It would appear it worked and his insights have been well received, by BOTH startups starting out AND mega-corporations interested in a given decade’s operational ‘botox’. But whatever the path that leads you to Lean, it can be an incredible learning experience. So yea, build-[test+]measure-learn is EXACTLY it, and the take-home is that [...]

 
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November 9, 2016

The FinTech Investor Forum — 24 November 2016, London

The FinTech Investor Forum brings together over 100 of Europe’s most active FinTech investors and deal-makers along with the leaders of 100 of the most exciting start-ups and scale-ups.

The Forum provides a unique opportunity to connect with people who can make a difference to your business.  If you’re an investor or deal-maker you’ll get valuable insights on which sectors, companies and deals are likely to get funded over the next year.  If you’re a senior executive at a financial institution, you’ll get essential intelligence on what your competitors are doing and on which companies and technologies you should be partnering with or acquiring.  If you’re a new or established [...]

 
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November 4, 2016

Tech Inclusion: the Diversity of an Open Mind

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts was born out of an Exhibition intent on demonstrating that San Francisco had rebuilt itself. So the fact this year’s Tech Inclusion conference was held in the neighboring Innovation Hangar (previously the Exploratorium) is quite appropriate. In a sense, the goal here is to rebuild SF’s crown jewel: Tech. Young and not so young white guys hold a majority stake at present, but in the years to come, it seems to me that the tech sector is going to incur some well-deserved growing pains of a different variety. We’re not talking 4-5x the national GDP growth rate, no, this is something more like [...]

 
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November 3, 2016

Intuit Connect? Turns out I’m into it.

Shaq (early Google investor, Dad, Hall-of-Famer)

I’m on the VTA chugging along, in search of the right convention center. You see, I used to work near Santa Clara’s, so it comes naturally. And let’s face it, there are a lot of arrows and trails of initiative’s presence leading to and exuding from Great America Pkwy these days. But no, today it is San Jose’s that beckons my attention. So I chug.

The first reaction in mentioning to a couple people that I’m headed to the S.Bay is: ‘why?’. SF has become insular. I am a job seeker amongst other things right now, so the Peninsula is a treasure trove of [...]

 
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September 30, 2016

Crowd- and OpenSourced Cybersecurity: an oxymoron no more

The most telling aspect of the Structure Security conference came in the form of back-to-back panels on Tuesday afternoon. The first comprised of Qualcomm, Intel, and ARM; and the second: Facebook, Uber, and Slack. The contrast in these two panels titled ‘Defining what it Means to be Trusted’ and ‘To Secure It, Open It Up’ respectively, embodies the massive changes that are underway in cybersecurity. It was incredibly noticeable how differently companies like ARM and Intel think about and approach security as compared to the Facebook’s and Uber’s of the world. Granted, right out of the gate there’s a huge distinction between hardware and [...]

 
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September 26, 2016

Minority Report: #SOCAP16

Impact investing, race relations, practiced inclusion, social capital.  While my first piece on SOCAP came from a more tactical topic (they invited me to startup pitches, I was grateful to attend), this piece came from a much larger issue consuming minds these days, both in tech and in the nation at large: racism, sexism, and discrimination in all forms. In fact, my interest when registering for SOCAP was chiefly two-fold: 1) impact investing 2) impacting culture. That is to say, attendance was tied to this issue that shows itself relentlessly in the United States, in its cities with bullets, in its companies with comfortable stereotypes, and sadly even in its presidential politics. [...]

 
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September 23, 2016

Foundational Capital: #SOCAP16

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

Vodafone Nations

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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