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Crowd Coffee: April 11

By   /  April 11, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments

Why the Sharing Economy is Here to Stay | SocialCapitalMarketsWhat is making the emergence of the sharing economy possible at scale is that Airbnb and other companies create a social context in which reputation matters, even among people who do not personally know each other. Increasingly, we are asked all the time to rate individuals and companies that we do business with. As more and more people begin to rely on the feedback of strangers to determine where they will shop, who to stay with when they travel, even who they will go on a date with, our online reputation becomes more and more important. Rachel Botsman has even argued that in the twenty-first century your “reputation capital” will become even more important to your daily life than your credit rating is today.

Will The Sharing Economy Be Good For Equality? I’m Still Not Convinced… | ForbesThe second is intriguing, but the problem is that Mila provide no data to suggest that concerns for quality and convenience won’t depress prices so much. I mean, obviously, people are “sometimes” (even often) willing to pay higher prices for perceived higher quality and/or convenience. The question is whether and to what extent this effect will counteract what I see as a massive trend of downward price pressure that Uber-like platforms portend.

10 rideshare apps to crowdsource your commute | TechRepublicOne of the nice things about this brave new world, though, is that there are some creative new ways to get to and from work. The International Energy Association projected in 2012 that there will be 1.7 billion cars on the road by 2035 (and half of them will be clogged up at your least favorite intersection). To help, we’ve got a roundup of rideshare apps, across the US, in various stages of development.

Crowdsourcing requires long-term commitment – brands cannot simply walk away | Marketing MagazineBy definition, if customers are engaged enough to suggest new product ideas, then they are more likely to have higher needs for, and expectations of, further engagement. Involving consumers in a branded innovation process is an approach already being usedby a number of leading brands. For example, Starbucks’ ‘My Starbucks Idea’ scheme canvasses coffee drinkers to find out what new things they would like to see in store.

Crowdfunding real-estate: A tool to combat displacement or another nail in the coffin? | San Francisco Bay GuardianThe recent campaign to save the historic black owned bookstore, Marcus Books, led by the San Francisco Community Land Trust, sought to take advantage of crowdfunding as a way to preserve an iconic cultural location and housing for long-term residents.FundRise, a D.C. based real-estate startup, helped the Land Trust set up a fundraising campaign in an effort to raise $1 million. Although it failed to hit the target, the organization “was able to raise $750,000,” according to Tracy Parent, SFCLT’s Organizational Director. (Marcus Books is hosting a town hall meeting on Sat/12 at 1pm to discuss plans for the future.)

15 Weirdest Kickstarter Campaigns Ever Funded | IFCCrowdfunding has changed the way we make movies, develop tech and just about every other facet of business. But for every can’t-miss like the Veronica Mars movie, there’s a dozen totally bizarre niche products that also raised the money. In this feature, we’ll run down 15 of the weirdest.

Tags: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, sharing-economy


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Drawbridge Says It Now Supports Video In Its Cross-Device Ad Targeting

By   /  April 3, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments


Drawbridge, the Kleiner Perkins- and Sequoia-backed startup that targets ads across devices, announced today that it has added support for video ads too. It sounds like the targeting technology remains the same. Drawbridge is still looking at user behavior to suggest when multiple devices are likely being used by the same person, which in turn allows advertisers to use desktop data to improve… Read More

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BleepBleeps Kickstarts Its First Connected Device For Parents, “Sammy Screamer” Motion Detector

By   /  February 5, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


Founded by ad agency man Tom Evans, BleepBleeps is a new London-based startup that’s creating a range of cute, kid-friendly, connected (or IoT-styled) devices to help with the job of parenting. Inspired by the “simple geometric shapes of kid’s building blocks” and Japanese vinyl toys, with a nod to the Italian kitchen utensil brand Alessi, the company is targeting design literate and tech-savvy parents (and their kids) with multi-coloured hardware, paired to a smartphone and accompanying app.

The first of those out of the gate, via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, will be “Sammy Screamer”, a motion detector that can be placed on a door, in a bag, or on a child’s buggy, for example. Should it detect motion, a push notification is sent to your smartphone and the device itself lets out a scream.

“Sammy” has a magnetised back and loop fixing, and is powered by Bluetooth LE for up to 50 meters range. Early backers who pledge $65 or more can bag the device and iOS app, including worldwide shipping. The company intends to raise a minimum of $20,000 on Kickstarter to help fund production costs.

The “Sammy Screamer” motion detector isn’t the first product of its kind, no doubt, but BleepBleeps is, I suspect, all about the brand’s positioning. And, perhaps, the product road map is where BleepBleeps gets more interesting. It promises to span the gamut of parenting, from conception, birth, looking after your baby, and raising your child.

These will include “Tony Tempa”, a digital ear thermometer, which will relay your child’s temperature reading to your smartphone. The supporting app will also benchmark the reading for safety and provide tips on how to bring your kid’s temperature down.

BleepBleeps also plans to manufacture a GPS bracelet to track your child’s location; a small ultrasound scanner that lets them see your unborn baby on your smartphone; a male fertility tester; an ovulation tester; and a baby video monitor. Each planned device has a face, a name, and a unique bleep bleep sound when activated, hence the BleepBleeps name.

The UK startup is thus far bootstrapped. Along with founder and Creative Director, Evans, the team includes Niall Mccormack, who is said to have been a technical lead for Nike’s Nike+ Fuelband.

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EarlyShares Names Two to Executive Leadership Team

By   /  January 19, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


EarlyShares, a crowdfunding platform that connects passionate entrepreneurs with smart investors, announced that it has added two executives to its senior leadership team. The new hires are Salomon Wancier, Chief Marketing Officer, and Jonatan Alava, Director of Engineering.


Tags: crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdsource, crowdsourcing, earlyshares


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Crowdfunding Paves into India, Exhilway Set to Raise and Invest $1 Billion

By   /  January 10, 2014  /  Business  /  No Comments


The crowdfunding platform – ‘Exhilway Link’ will offer complete assurance to the investors, backed by the assets of the fund raising companies or its own corporate guarantee, in case the invested project fails. Exhilway is trusted by over 90,000 accredited investors worldwide.

“With few dollars in pocket, the investors can fund several companies like today’s Facebook or Google. This is only an asset class which can generate 1000 times’ return when calculative risk is taken. The investor can invest monthly or make one time commitment into the project” said Rahul Kumar, Director of Investments at Exhilway Global.


Tags: crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdfunding-platform, crowdsource, crowdsourcing, equity, investors


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Meet The 2014 Hardware Battlefield Entrants

By   /  January 7, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments


We’re pleased to announce the 2014 Hardware Battlefield finalists, a group of international hardware startups from eleven countries that are about to take the world by storm with some amazing technology, great ideas, and unique business models. Up for grabs is a $50,000 prize, the first ever Hardware Battlefield trophy, a wealth of press exposure and new open doors.

We’ll be running three straight days of exciting presentations live from the CES parking lot. You can watch the event – and all of our live coverage of CES 2014 – live on our special live coverage page and, if you’re in Las Vegas, you’re invited to visit us at our tent out on the LVCC parking lot. You don’t need a show pass to watch the proceedings in the tent and we’ll have giveaways, interviews, and other fun stuff all day.

That said, let’s welcome our fourteen Hardware Battlefield finalists:

Atlas [CrunchBase] – Atlas is a wearable device that tracks and identifies specific activity. Where existing products can only track a single metric, steps, Atlas is smart enough to identify pushups, squats, dead lifts and everything else.

Peter Li, CEO
Mike Kasparian, CTO
Alex Hsieh, Lead Software Developer
Mehdi Mirza, Data Scientist

CubeSensors [CrunchBase] – CubeSensors are small, stylish and connected devices that help you understand how every room in your home or office is affecting your health, comfort and productivity. The Cubes monitor everything that can be measured about indoors, like temperature, humidity, air quality, noise, light and barometric pressure. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can easily blend in any room you want to optimize for leisure, sleep or work.

Ales Spetic, CEO
Marko Mrdjenovic, CTO

Livemap [CrunchBase] – Livemap is a unique high-tech motorbike helmet with built-in navigation system and voice controlled interface. It is a heads-up display for motorcyclists.

Andrew Artishchev, CEO

RHLVision Fin [CrunchBase] – RHLvision Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a group of passionate individuals dreaming of a world where technology is in the palms of your hands, where a mere finger-swipe can bring you resources and functions never imagined.

Rohildev.N, CEO

Health2Sync – Health2Sync takes legacy medical devices and transforms your smartphone into a smart health monitoring machine; connecting users, loved ones, and clinicians. Our first product comes in the form of an app and accessory for smart blood glucose monitoring.

Ed Deng, CEO
Erin Chung, Product Marketing

Adheretech [CrunchBase] – AdhereTech makes smart patented pill bottles, designed to improve medication adherence. These bottles measure the amount of medication in the bottle in real-time. If a dose is missed, AdhereTech reminds the patient via automated phone call or text message – as well as on-bottle lights and chimes.

Josh Stein, CEO
John Langhauser, CTO
Mike Morena, COO

Sentry Scientific Smart Walker [CrunchBase] Sentry Scientific is building smart assistive technologies to make the future safer. Their Smart Walker aims to increase safety, independence, and mobility for seniors by reducing the risk of walker-related fall injuries.

Wilfrid Ngo, CEO
Parth Dave, Hardware Engineer
Ray Zhou, Hardware Engineer

The Eye Tribe [CrunchBase] – The Eye Tribe software enables eye control on mobile devices and computers, allowing hands-free navigation of websites and apps, eye activated log in, enhanced gaming experiences, and cloud-based user engagement analytics. We utilize standard low-cost hardware components that can be integrated into the next generation of smartphones and tablets.

Sune Alstrup Johansen, CEO
Martin Tall, CTO
Javier San Agustin
Henrik Skovsgaard

AirDroids [CrunchBase] – AirDroids designs and manufactures hardware and software for consumers and commercial applications. Our mission is to make advanced drone technology simple and accessible for everyone in the same way that camera phones have taken over the sales of more complex DSLR cameras.

Chance Roth, CEO/Director of Operations
Timothy Reuter, Director of Marketing
TJ Johnson, Director of Engineering

Owlet [CrunchBase] – Owlet provides parents with peace of mind by implementing new technologies to monitor, track, and alert on changes in their infant’s health. Owlet helps parents prevent SIDS and other early infant issues.

Jordan Monroe, CMO
Zack Bomsta, CTO
Kurt Workman, CEO
Tanor Hodges, CFO
Jake Colvin, COO [CrunchBase] – The smart way to conserve water. Driblet its an innovative smart water consumption management solution that tracks water related variables to empower and encourage people, businesses, organizations and governments to save water and money.

Rodolfo P Ruiz, CEO & CTO
Mario García, COO
Carlos Mosqueda, Chief Designer

Blaze Laserlight [CrunchBase] – Blaze are an intelligent biking brand. Launching with the Laserlight, a radical innovation tackling the greatest cause of cyclist fatality – being caught in the ‘blind spot’ and vehicles turning across an unseen bike.

Emily Brooke, CEO + Founder

Alima [CrunchBase] – Airboxlab is taking Quantified Self to another level by implementing Quantified Home with alima, the alarm system for your indoor environment.
Embedding high tech sensors, alima is a standalone device monitoring your indoor air pollution and providing warnings and recommendations for action to keep your living spaces safe.

Jacques Touillon, CEO
Inouk Bourgon, CTO
Olivier Vonet, CFO

Modbot [CrunchBase] – Modbot brings industrial precision and power to consumer assembled robots. Imagine automated manufacturing and consumer robots within reach of everybody, assembled like Lego. Modbot is a system of affordable and re-usable modules that snap together, filling the gap between $100 hobby and $20,000 industrial motion equipment.

Adam Ellison, CEO
Daniel Pizzata, COO

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Ask A VC: Revolution Ventures’ David Golden’s Predictions For 2014

By   /  January 3, 2014  /  Tech  /  No Comments


In this week’s Ask A VC, we sat down with Revolution Ventures’ David Golden to talk about the IPO market, and his predictions for 2014.

Golden, who previously was the Vice Chairman and Director of JPMorgan’s global investment banking practice for technology, media and telecommunications clients, talked about whether 2014 will be a big year for IPOs in the tech sector. Golden also shared his thoughts on whether we are in a ‘bubble,’ and more.

Check out the video above!

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Beta Launch of New Business Plan and Funding Platform

By   /  December 27, 2013  /  Business  /  No Comments

Thumbnail’s mission, therefore, is to provide small business owners not only an easy way to start planning their business, but to navigate the plethora of funding options and quickly secure capital. Edward Huang, Marketing Director at Initial 28 Inc. says, “Business plans has historically been seen as a offline tool for fundraising. We believe there’s a place for it in the new era of small business crowdfunding.“


Tags: crowd-funding, crowdfunding, crowdsource, crowdsourcing, innovation, software


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A New Fintech Accelerator Emerges In London As Techstars Partners With Barclays

By   /  December 9, 2013  /  Tech  /  No Comments


Following last year’s launch of FinTech Innovation Lab, a new fintech accelerator has emerged in London, courtesy of a partnership between Barclays and Techstars. Similar to previous programs run on behalf of Nike and Microsoft in the U.S., the Barclays Accelerator is a three month bootcamp-style programme, “powered by Techstars”, but specifically targeting fintech startups — a first for the international accelerator.

It also means that Techstars now operates two accelerator programmes in the UK capital city, having launched Techstars London in February this year, the first Techstars outpost outside of the U.S. after it merged with Jon Bradford’s UK-based Springboard.

Though based in London’s Mile End, near “Tech City”, startups who meet the programme’s fintech remit — in particular with applications focused on improving the banking experience for consumers — can apply from anywhere in the world. Ten companies will be accepted in total, with applications closing on on March 21st 2014, while the programme itself kicks off in mid-June 2014.

Barclays Accelerator startups get £12.5k of funding in return for giving up 6 percent equity, though it’s the value of the Techstars mentoring and business development support, and the programme’s ties to Barclays, that’s intended to be its biggest draw.

Specifically, mentoring will be provided by executives from Barclays, including Group Chief Information Officer, Darryl West, and Chief Design Officer, Derek White, alongside those from Techstars, including Jon Bradford, Managing Director of Techstars in London and David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars. The programme culminates with a Barclays Executive Demo Day and a Public Investor Demo Day in London.

There are also good commercial reasons for doing this, including being around smart people and innovation from the startup community.

It should also be noted that Techstars are the investors here. Even though Barclays and Techstars have committed to working together to offer six different accelerator programmes over three years, Barclays itself will have no direct ownership, interests, or options in the companies that enter its programme.

Instead, says Techstars’ Jon Bradford, the finance behemoth is “adopting a pay forward model”, which he thinks will ultimately create greater longterm value for Barclays.

“There are also good commercial reasons for doing this, including being around smart people and innovation from the startup community, business development and possible M&A/future investment/partnerships. But it is important to emphasis that all of the above is at the startups’ option and never Barclays.”

In terms of the kind of fintech startups that Techstars are on the look out for, or who might apply to the programme, Bradford says he thinks there will be companies from a broad spectrum of the financial industry and also companies who want early access to the Pingit platform, Barclays’ mobile payments app, as it opens up to developers.

“I’m sure it will appealing to a wide variety of companies who would like to partner with Barclays as well,” he says.

The idea of a major international bank paying it forward is an interesting development in context of the slightly uncomfortable relationship that London’s startups have historically had with the city’s financial sector. Higher wages paid for engineering talent by the banks has always been seen as creating a “brain drain” that many believe has held back the local startup scene.

However, after the global financial meltdown, in which London was particularly exposed, thankfully that’s begun to change.

Projects like the Silicon Milkroundabout job fair, and the general ‘cool’-factor of the East London ‘Tech City’ tech cluster, have also made a good case for startup life over working for a large financial institution.

Fintech, of course, plays to the strengths of both London’s financial district and the neighbouring startup cluster, so it seems natural to see the emergence of dedicated fintech accelerators in the UK capital.

Meanwhile, initiatives like CityMeetsTech are attempting to get the City of London banking community to actually invest in technology startups.

Image credit: Chris McKenna via Wikipedia.

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Senator Michael Bennet’s Crowdfunding Forum Live Stream

By   /  December 6, 2013  /  YouTube  /  No Comments


Senator Bennet’s Remarks: 0:18:28 Doug Ellenoff – CROWDFUND Overview: 0:28:08 Panel Discussion 0:50:27 Streamed live on December 6, 2013 Colorado U.S. Senato…

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