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9 Ways Virtual Reality Will Affect the Startup Scene

9 Ways Virtual Reality Will Affect the Startup Scene | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

t sounds like science fiction, but virtual reality technology is taking off. Not even the sky’s the limit for imagining what could be done with this technology. Just ask Google I/O 2014 attendees and their cardboard VR systems.With applications ranging across the board, the potential for startups to capitalize is huge. With this in mind, I asked 12 entrepreneurs from YEC the following question:Facebook recently acquired Oculus VR. Practically speaking, how do you think that virtual reality technology will affect the startup space in the next five years?Here are the responses:

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Sci-fi is becoming reality quickly. More and more amazing new stuff is being developed.

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GoPro founder Nick Woodman: The fabulous life and career of a surfer-turned-billionaire

GoPro founder Nick Woodman: The fabulous life and career of a surfer-turned-billionaire | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Nicholas Woodman, 38, is a self-made billionaire.

He created Woodman Labs, the maker of GoPro cameras, in 2002. Now the company has more than 500 employees and it generated US$986 million in 2013.

It started trading on public markets on Thursday. It’s currently valued at US$2.6 billion.

Woodman married his college sweetheart and has two children. He’s also an adrenaline junkie.

Here’s the fabulous life and career of Woodman, the surfer-dude-turned-billionaire.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Fabulous story. Want to be there too? Act, draw up your business plan and start your own company.

Growing too fast? Get some funding.

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com has a lot of ideas.

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Aging In The Startup World

Aging In The Startup World | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
There’s a funny thing about age in business. It swings quickly between being your greatest asset and seemingly overnight, a major liability.

pment, There’s a funny thing about age in business. It swings quickly between being your greatest asset and seemingly overnight, a major liability. It’s a factor on all sides of the table. Despite the lesson that we learned in Kindergarten about “not judging a book by its cover,” we all do it. Age impacts fundraising, business develosales, hiring and more.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Age is not important, however, as this article illustrates, you have to be aware of who you are presenting to.

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One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush | Business | WIRED

One Startup’s Struggle to Survive the Silicon Valley Gold Rush | Business | WIRED | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The story of one Silicon Valley startup struggling to survive a modern gold rush.

It was an unseasonably warm December, and somewhere nearby a rising tide in the San Francisco Bay was lifting all kite-surfers, but Nick Edwards and Chris Monberg were crouched at opposite rented desks in a shared coworking space near the Caltrain station in SoMa wondering if, by the middle of February, they would still have a company. At the moment Boomtrain, as the startup was called, technically had something like negative dollars, because it owed the state of New York a $30,000 fine after its payroll company had been six weeks late in telling them about a $400 unemployment-insurance bill for one of their remote engineers. Boomtrain also had no revenue, though that was hardly a hurdle to raising investment capital in Silicon Valley. Somewhat more problematically, it didn’t have a single customer, though there were several pilots in the wings. Almost inadvertently, Nick and Chris had found themselves building a business of enormous complexity—a personalization engine, based on machine-learning algorithms—and they were in over their heads.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's a long story, but as you read it you will start to understand what it is like to be a startup in Silicon Valley looking for funding. Take your time reading.

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Here's a look inside a typical VC's pipeline (a must-read for entrepreneurs)

Here's a look inside a typical VC's pipeline (a must-read for entrepreneurs) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
While it may seem that one percent represents depressing odds for a founder to secure VC funding, in reality, the process tends to help entrepreneurs refine their strategy.

When I meet with entrepreneurs, I am often asked about the VC “pipeline.”

How many deals do we see? How many meetings? How often do we conduct due diligence? How many of those companies do we invest in?

I thought it would be helpful to provide visibility about the VC pipeline, while also outlining what helps a company move from an intro meeting into a closed investment.

In order to make 10 investments, the average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 companies.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This VC explains in plain and simple language why they pick certain companies over others. Lots to learn.

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Acing The Investor Presentation | CEO.com

Acing The Investor Presentation | CEO.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Acing The Investor Presentation

Shark Tank venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary recently said, “It’s all about the money, all the time.” O’Leary is right. When you are asking for money from an angel, VC, PE or IPO institutional or individual investor the key message is about how the investor will eventually make money by supporting your company or idea.

On the other hand, you can’t walk into a pitch like Cuba Gooding in Jerry McGuire and shout, “Show (give) me the money.”

Pitching to investors is hard work and fraught with risk. It can make or break a company. The challenge for the actual presentation vs. a written pitch book or slide deck is when you are seeking capital you must prepare and rehearse for a variety of settings – the 10 minute pitch at a bake-off contest, the full 45 minute presentation with Q&A to an investment committee, the one-on-one when the investor just asks questions before you show a single slide.

While there are no foolproof secrets – and you need to be flexible to adapt to the presentation format – if you understand the Triangle of Persuasion, you will increase the odds of a favorable outcome. The Triangle of Persuasion forces you as the presenter to adapt your content within three variables – The Audience, The Stickiness of the Message and your own skills as a Presenter.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'Triangle of Persuasion' is a great tool and explanation on how to make good presentations. Recommend reading in case you have to make a pitch, and don't we do that all the time?

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Should Friends and Family Invest in My Business?

Should Friends and Family Invest in My Business? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Are you wondering if you should ask friends or family to invest in your new business? Learn the good, bad and ugly about this business financing strategy.

Finding the right type of business financing – or any financing for that matter – is one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face. Unfortunately, a brilliant business plan (or idea) won’t help you much unless you have the money to launch the startup.Asking your friends and family to invest in a business is a common way to get a startup funded. We are going to discuss the good, the bad and the downright ugly of this strategy.

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Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Like walking on thin ice! The solution: treat them like professional investors, start with a great business plan!

Learn more here: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/free-business-plan-template.html

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Ravi Bhatia's curator insight, March 4, 12:56 AM

Should Friends and Family Invest in My Business?

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Boulevard of Broken Ideologies | The Venture Company

Boulevard of Broken Ideologies | The Venture Company | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Broken ideologies break the spirit and the opportunities for all people. They are omnipresent, but can be fixed in one fell swoop.

We are all born into systems created by our ancestors. Systems designed to guide our behavior vis-à-vis others, and to prevent uncontrollable chaos. Courtesy of the paradox of freedom. These systems guide, or attempt to guide, anything from finance to production to trade, and the diverse swath of social interactions within them.

 The ideology of a system

However, the problem with many systems is that they age, run out of applicability, and fail to continue to properly address the needs of a changing society. They become dislodged from their founding ideology, had an improper ideology or worse, were never attached to one.

Try this: ask anybody you know about the top-level ideology of The United States, and the stunned silence or confused answers will astound you. With the hesitation of an employee not being able to convey the business model of the company he works for. A bad sign, that will define his and everyone else’s contribution.

Without a good understanding of what ideology these systems support, why they exists, or how they must change to meet the needs of change, they have been feverishly copied around the world, and made pervasive and undeniable.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

About treating all people with the respect they deserve, and maintaining a healthy equilibrium with Nature.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 25, 2013 9:29 AM

About treating all people with the respect they deserve, and maintaining a healthy equilibrium with Nature.

Great article. Let's get back to basics and put energy in what works.

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Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers

Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
A common excuse that entrepreneurs make for not being able to innovate is the lack of venture capital in their region.


A common excuse that entrepreneurs make for not being able to innovate is the lack of venture capital in their region. They argue that because investors are not ready to take a risk, they can’t succeed. Policy makers all over the world make the same excuse. Access to venture capital may have been a problem as recently as a decade ago, but is no longer an inhibitor. The cost of developing world-changing startups has dropped dramatically. With the exponential advances in technologies such as computing, storage, and sensors, entrepreneurs can do what only governments and big research labs could do before: solve big problems.

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Via Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow! Great article, must-read for startups and entrepreneurs. There is no more excuse for waiting to get the big funding check. Just do it!

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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, November 22, 2013 5:48 PM

Several good examples that show how dramatically the cost of creating breakthrough innovations has decreased.

Alba Redin's curator insight, December 1, 2013 4:07 AM

Successful entrepreneurship, who succeed? THose companies who are different, Game changers (they aim to compete on different terms), market entry and tey are in essense guerillas.

Ranjit Kovilinkal's curator insight, December 2, 2013 8:08 PM

The culture of big risk taking has to fall in place in India for something really big to emerge! Any comments?

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Startup Couples - When Is It Time To Ask For Help? - Feld Thoughts

Startup Couples - When Is It Time To Ask For Help? - Feld Thoughts | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Last summer, Amy and I spent a long, wonderful lunch in Paris with Cliff Shaw and Christy Clark. Cliff is CEO of Mocavo, a company that went through Techstars that we’ve funded, and I deeply enjoy our friendship, even though we don’t see each other that often. I remember our lunch with great pleasure, so when Christy and I had a brief conversation about her reaction to Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur, in encouraged her to write a guest post with her thoughts on the entrepreneurial couple and when it’s time for couples counseling. 

Christy is a licensed professional counselor with a private practice focused on intimate relationships and sexuality based in Boulder, Colorado. Her post absolutely blew me away with its power, clarity, and intimacy. She’s brave to put her and Cliff’s struggles – and their solutions – out there. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

Navigating an intimate relationship is never simple; doing so with an entrepreneur adds a whole additional layer of unique challenges. I’ve come to think of it as a somewhat advanced maneuver: the triple axel of relationships, if you will.

This is a subject I am particularly passionate about. Not only have I been partnered with an entrepreneur for the past eighteen years, but I am also a psychotherapist with a practice focused on intimate relationships and sexuality. Much has been written on the topic of entrepreneurs and their partnerships, including “Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur.” Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor, a couple I know and respect tremendously, packed their book with great information and ideas about navigating your partnership in the context of a startup. I imagine many couples are able to incorporate the thoughtful ideas and tips on their own with great success.


However, I want to talk about the couples who cannot.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This article is excellent, and certainly it brings up some issues that just about everyone in the startup scene is experiencing: being in a relationship when starting a company is hard for everyone around you, especially your most intimate partner.

Go ahead and read the article, it is brutally honest, sincere and intimate. Highly recommended.

Truly interested investors will ask questions about your personal life, they need to know how stable you are in your shoes and your relationships.

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3 Startup Hiring Lessons from 'Duck Dynasty'

3 Startup Hiring Lessons from 'Duck Dynasty' | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Behind those bushy beards lie quite a bit of business savvy. So what startup hiring lessons can you learn from tuning into a Duck Dynasty marathon?


"Duck Dynasty, a reality show on A&E, might seem like an odd place to acquire tips to hire a great startup team. The reality program focuses on the backwater Robertson clan as they juggle a multi-million dollar duck-call-making business with their own natural inclination to just spend all day hunting."

Last season, the finale of Duck Dynasty drew 9.6 million viewers, putting it on the charts as the third most-watched show on television — even the broadcast networks. More impressively, in viewers ages 18 to 49, the little reality show could beat out Fox’s American Idol. The Robertsons have arrived in a major way.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some good Startup tips from these hairy guys. Take a look.



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Are we beginning to over-indulge, over-romanticise and over-glamorise failure? | ventureburn

Are we beginning to over-indulge, over-romanticise and over-glamorise failure? | ventureburn | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
This week, I read a very insightful piece in the Guardian about failure and the culture of failure that currently exists in Silicon Valley. In the startup
This week, I read a very insightful piece in the Guardian about failure and the culture of failure that currently exists in Silicon Valley. In the startup community, the concept of failure has both positive and negative connotations depending on what continent or country you are in.The Guardian’s piece talks about Silicon Valley’s need to not just invoke failure but celebrate it as well. The oft repeated phrase most entrepreneurs have begun to live by is: “Fail fast, fail often.”To read the full article, click on the title or image.Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km
Marc Kneepkens's insight:
Failure is ok, for the right reasons. But making it into a culture creates a lot of questions.
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7 Tips To Make a Kickass Elevator Pitch !

7 Tips To Make a Kickass Elevator Pitch ! | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Everything Is Damn Simple, Until You Make It Complicated.
Sometimes it is a completely different feeling when you are sitting across the table as a mentor, judge or with a group of investors to judge some elevator pitches of hopeful startups.

It is however an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ball game when you have to pitch it yourself (as a startup), seriously and if a startup has to ever get this right he or she has to think smart, learn from the people who have done it and keep it simple and easy.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

As one of the experts pointed out in the discussion "The pitch is not about cramming your whole business model into two lines. It's about giving just a peek to make the listener curious to ask more about it."

Excellent read, get ready for your pitch!

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4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Venture Capital

4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Venture Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Venture capital plays a pivotal role in the startup economy, providing vital funds to high-potential early-stage companies. Not surprisingly, it’s also a constant topic of conversation within the startup community — who’s receiving it, how much they’re getting, and how long it took them to capture the interest of VCs.

During my 19 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I have founded 3 venture-backed companies, and I know firsthand that navigating venture funding can be incredibly confusing. As the founder of Fundable, I talk to startups daily about their approach to investors. I’ve put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and topics of discussion amongst our community of founders. If you’re thinking about raising capital, here are a few things to keep in mind before you dive headfirst into the venture funding pool.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Via Ivan Berlocher
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Before thinking about Venture Capital, try to understand what it can do for you. This article explains a few important points.

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Three Colossal Mistakes Founders Make When Pitching Investors

Three Colossal Mistakes Founders Make When Pitching Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
For founders, every idea seems like the next big thing. Now, imagine sitting on the investor side of the table.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you start a company, build a product, and try to sell it to some customers, only to find out that you need more money. You need to hire more staff; perhaps you can’t afford to build the product the way that you originally imagined; or maybe, you are just simply running out of money.

I have launched a few companies and found myself in that exact situation: i.e., needing investors. If you need to raise money to keep going, you can’t afford to make a mistake — but many entrepreneurs do anyway. Before you get started, here is a list of the 3 biggest mistakes I made when first pitching to venture capitalists (VCs) or angel investors:

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Think like VC's if you want money from them.  This article sure makes this point. Entrepreneurs have no idea what they are getting into presenting their 'fantastic business' to a VC company. Great article, highly recommended.

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9 Lessons From A 10-Time Startup Failure

9 Lessons From A 10-Time Startup Failure | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

“Nine out of ten businesses fail; so I came up with a foolproof plan — create ten businesses.”— Robert Kiyosaki

Well spoken by Kiyosaki.

But what’s it like to live through 10 failed startups and still come out with a 3 million dollar company?

Meet Kurt Theobald, Co-Founder and CEO of Classy Llama.

Yes — Theobald started 10 businesses over the span of 5 years. Each one a failed mess. But herein lies the beauty from ashes — he nailed it on his 11th try.

Now ranked at #454 on Inc’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. for 2013, Theobald’s latest creation (with the help of co-founder Erik Hansen and a team of 23) is on target to reach $3 million in revenue this year.

As luck would have it, Theobald and I were able to sit down for a 60 minute rapid-fire chat where I did everything I could to extract the secrets of his success.

Pull up a chair and take notes, because Theobald reveals 9 valuable lessons you can take to the bank today, which I now gift to you:

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Michelle Mink
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Fabulous. Please read, don't let failure get you down.

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Michelle Mink's curator insight, January 15, 9:21 AM

Some good insights from not so successful experiences.

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Five rules I learned from 7 years of coaching Launch Festival & TechCrunch50

Five rules I learned from 7 years of coaching Launch Festival & TechCrunch50 | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

I’ve been coaching companies like Yammer, Dropbox, SpaceMonkey, Brilliant.org and Mint for the past seven years for the LAUNCH Festival and previously TechCrunch50 (RIP!).

Over 350 startups have been on the stage, including the 40 who will join us on Feb 24-26th at this year’s LAUNCH Festival. Our event has grown from 400 folks packed into the Palace hotel to 9,000+ at the Design Center Concourse.

9,000 people, wow. Might even hit 10,000!

In this time I’ve defined five things about what makes for a great presentation at a conference:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These tips are real practical examples. Take a good look.

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How to nail your seed round

Primer on raising seed capital for first time and experienced startup founders and employees.

Click on the title to see the Slideshare deck.


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Via Guillaume Decugis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is a great deck including all the steps of raising seed funding for a startup. It's very detailed, and presented by a venture capitalist. It's the most complete step-by-step guide that you'll find. Of course, guidelines like this are not going to create it for you, but at least, you get some idea of the process and what it involves.



Read more about funding at www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

  • Tools and articles to help get funded
  • Free Listing of your Investment Proposals & Crowdfunding Campaigns
  • Learn what investors are looking for
  • Deal Flow
  • Free Business Plan Template
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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, February 3, 2:02 PM

Lots of very useful insights in that must-see very detailed slideshare by Steve Schlafman from RRE Ventures.


I wish it described a little more the conditions that a startup need to reach to become interesting for VCs. To build on slides 58-60, I would add:


1. Team: there's little hope in seeing seed VC's with the hope they'll help you complete it.


2. Growth model: traction is cool but mean different things to different people. I'd rather talk about a growth model that explains how the company will grow fast and that is backed by min 8-12 weeks of solid data. 


3. Market ambition: while business plans are mostly useless at seed stage, it's important in my opinion to show there are adressable markets within reach if #2 works well to justify raising from VC's and providing them with a return.

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What I’ve Learned in My First Month as a VC

What I’ve Learned in My First Month as a VC | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

After 13 years at startups—the last four at Twitter—I’ve made the transition into venture capital as a partner at Redpoint Ventures. It has been just over a month since I began spending my days on Sand Hill Road and in that short time, I’ve learned quickly about working in a tight, seasoned partnership as well as having listened to some of the smartest, most interesting startup pitches.

Thus far, my transition from an operating role into an investing and advisory role has been a rapid, intense education. Some parts of the job are as I expected but others have been surprising. Before it all becomes a big blur, I thought I’d share some of the most interesting and unexpected lessons I’ve learned —so far:

To continue reading, click on the title of the article.



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Looking for VC capital? Learn from the best, watch this presentation by the CEO of Growthink: 'VC Pitch Formula'



Via Guillaume Decugis, Marc Kneepkens
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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, December 4, 2013 11:27 PM

A candid list of lessons learned from Ryan Sarver that gives interesting insights on how VCs will look at an investment opportunity. Useful to craft the perfect pitch. 

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 7, 2013 8:17 AM

Whether you are a Startup looking for funding, or an investor, looking for the right investment, there is a lot to learn from this article. It's and inside viewpoint that examines the process of funding the right idea and team.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 23, 2013 7:30 AM

It's great to learn from what others have tried and experienced so that you can be better prepared.

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Intel Capital Invests $65M In Startups Ranging From Interactive Video To Wireless Electricity | TechCrunch

Intel Capital Invests $65M In Startups Ranging From Interactive Video To Wireless Electricity | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Intel Capital has announced investments in 16 companies, totaling $65 million. The investments spanned cloud services, datacenter technologies, mobile and..

Intel Capital has announced investments in 16 companies, totaling $65 million. The investments spanned cloud services, data-center technologies, mobile and consumer-related services.

The investments are as follows:

  • CloudFX of Singapore is a cloud strategy consulting company that helps companies re-architect IT infrastructures, operations and helps institute DevOps style practices.
  • Cloudian of Japan and the United States, is an object storage platform that is compatible with Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and other cloud services.
  • CSDN is a Chinese company that provides a community website and services platform for IT professionals in China. According to Intel Capital, it has 27 million registered users and 500,000 enterprise partner members. The company owns several Chinese IT communities such as CMDN, a mobile developer community and IT recruiting website Pongo.
  • DotProduct provides software for real-time capturing and processing of 3-D data on Android tablets. Use cases include documenting crime scenes to imaging movies sets for gaming and entertainment applications.
  • Wayz Japan is a service to store, manage, access, share and organize files anywhere on any device.
  • Interlude is an Israeli platform provider to create interactive videos that allows viewers to determine what happens next in the viewing experience.  Its authoring platform.-Treehouse, allows video creators to map, build and publish Interlude videos on Web, mobile and social platforms. Pretty cool.
  • Lintes Technologies, is a Taiwan-based company that makes the Thunderbolt peripherals that provide high-speed data transfer. According to the company website, Thunderbolt was developed by Intel, and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple.
  • Perpetuuiti TechnoSoft Services of Singapore and India, offers advanced data recovery technologies that help businesses in complex  IT environments, orchestrated across virtual and physical computing resources in different data centers.
  • Prism Skylabs, which today received $15 million in funding, helps companies use footage from existing security cameras to provide retailers and other businesses with “web-style analytics.”
  • Reduxio Systems, of Israel, boasts it offers infinite data recoverability through real-time primary storage deduplication and protection technologies.
  • Rocketick, also of Israel provides software simulation acceleration for chip verification, helping reduce time-to-market of new designs.
  • Savaari Car Rentals is an online car rental company that offers car rentals across 60 cities in India to both retail and corporate customers.
  • SBA Materials develops “nano-porous dielectrics” that for example, can help improve the performance of advanced chips used in mobile devices while reducing their power consumption.
  • SkySQL, of Finland, announced it has raised $20 million to deepen its support for MariaDB, the fast growing open-source relational database and the emerging database of choice for Wikipedia.
  • WiTricity specializes in wireless electricity. The company was founded in 2007 with clients in consumer electronics, automotive, medical devices and defense.

Intel Capital is an active venture group. According to CB Insights, it is the third most active investor in security technology companies. The analyst group reports that it has recorded the highest number of security exits among investors since the start of 2012. Among Intel Capital’s recent security exits include FireEye and Palo Alto Networks.

For links to each of those companies, click on the title to see the original article on TechCrunch.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

More and more VC capital is coming from cash rich companies like Intel.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, December 9, 2013 3:11 PM

About time the motheship spent some $$

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India's attempt to ignite a startup boom - Fortune Management

India's attempt to ignite a startup boom - Fortune Management | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
It has come in fits and starts, but India is slowly building a startup world.


FORTUNE – Most entrepreneurs remember vividly when they decided to strike out on their own. For Siddhartha Ahluwalia, the moment came over breakfast, in 2009. Then 22 years old and an engineering student at the Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management in Gwalior, he was interning at India's premier graduate business school -- the Ahmedabad campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A). An IIM-A student sat down at Ahluwalia's table and started to talk about his own business -- a tech platform that served TV ads at train stations.

"IIM-A is full of energy regarding entrepreneurship," Ahluwalia remembers. "You meet a lot of new entrepreneurs." The fired-up Ahluwalia enlisted three friends as co-founders, and they started work on an advertising platform for doctors' offices.

Ahluwalia went door to door in his hometown of Meerut -- an industrial city 50 miles from New Delhi -- trying to get doctors excited about the product. Ranked as one of India's fastest-growing cities, Meerut is frequently cited as a hub for future growth in India -- an international airport and a major Delhi-Meerut highway are in the works. More importantly for Ahluwalia and his friends, Meerut has several pharmaceutical companies and medical schools.

After receiving feedback from doctors, the team switched its focus from advertising to electronic medical records. They won first place in a business plan competition at an engineering college in a neighboring state. But then graduation hit, along with the harsh realities of the working world.


"We were students, so no one would give us funding," he says. And then there was the matter of family. "In India, when parents fund a child's education, the expectation is that he or she will then get a job and settle down."

So that's what he did. Ahluwalia moved to Delhi and got an IT job at a company that created and managed operational software for companies overseas. He lasted for 11 months before the monotony of it got to him. This time, he went to a relative -- for many years, family savings have provided seed funding for most Indian startups -- and asked for an initial investment.

By April 2012, Ahluwalia was knocking on doctors' doors again, but this time, he noticed an attitude change. "A lot of media attention has been given to entrepreneurship," he said, noting that his parents, who initially balked at his plan, had turned into supporters. "Also, several companies had successful IPOs and exits."

Local success stories have boosted the credibility of entrepreneurship in India. In late June, RedBus, the country's largest online bus ticket vendor, was acquired by a joint Chinese-South African venture for around $125 million. The deal, which is the biggest acquisition to date of an Indian Internet company by a strategic overseas investor, validated the notion that Indian entrepreneurs could create valuable online businesses catering to the domestic market.

Entrepreneurship is a potential boon to a country wondering how exactly to employ its rapidly growing population, especially in towns like Meerut. According to the most recent census in 2011, Meerut has a population of 3.4 million -- but job opportunities lag consumption, as suggested in a 2011 Morgan Stanley report tracking Indian urbanization.

Startups -- particularly tech companies – have been touted as a possible solution, if an ecosystem is built to support them.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great article about India's start up scene. Something is brewing there, and it'll be great.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, July 31, 2013 6:18 AM

Great article about India's start up scene. Something is brewing there, and it'll be great.

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The Startup Universe | Visual.ly

The Startup Universe | Visual.ly | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

A visual guide to startups, founders and venture capitalists. Search and view by category or term.

The piece was a collaboration between Visually, Accurat, and Ben Willers.



Here is an article on SiliconAngle by Melissa Tolentino with more information on how this works: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2013/07/11/visualizing-the-startup-universe/

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great information. Find out how Founders, VC's and Startups are connected.



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