GUEST: Corporate venture capital (CVC) is an investment by a corporate (fund) into external startups in order to make a financial return or to gain a competitive advantage. CVC is a polarizing subject and opinions are divided. Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures believes that it’s evil and corporates should not invest in startups but simply buy them. While Marc Andreessen from Andreessen Horowitz on the other hand is co-investing with corporations such as General Electric. Whatever the opinions are, fact is that CVC is on the rise, also in the old continent.
In order to get a good overview ...more
Square Panda is trying to walk the lines between fun and learning, and between the digital and the physical. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has launched a $99 product that combines proprietary learning hardware with games that run on an iPad.
The company has received funding from tennis legend Andre Agassi, who attended CES 2017, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month, with company CEO Andy Butler. I interviewed Butler at CES, and he has some big ambitions for Square Panda. He wants to help reform early education itself.
Asked what is missing from schools, Butler said, ...more
FEATURE: Investment in autonomous vehicle technology entered overdrive in 2016, and 2017 is gearing up for more of the same.
In the last six months of 2016, the first public self-driving taxi service hit Singapore roads, courtesy of NuTonomy, while Uber followed suit a month later in Pittsburgh. The question of self-driving cars becoming a reality on roads around the world is no longer an “if,” it’s a big fat “when.”
Amidst all the hullabaloo over driverless automobiles, another transportation revolution is gaining momentum. Flying cars have been at the center of ...more
Actress Ashley Judd made news today at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., for her performance that skewered President Donald Trump. But she also gave another recent heated speech at a TED conference where she criticized the video game industry.
The TED speech, which was posted a few days ago, called for an end to hate speech, sexual harassment, and threats of violence against women in online venues. Judd said that she is attacked every single day on forums such as Twitter and Facebook.
“Online misogyny is a global gender rights tragedy, and it is imperative that it ends,”...more
For anyone who lives near a major city, you know there are many stress points. Traffic is one of them, but the real hair-pulling exercise happens when you need to find a parking spot.
Ford recently announced a new app called FordPass that will debut in the 2018 Ford Mustang that could solve this problem. For someone like me who hates how much time it takes to find a spot and then find the terminal to pay for your parking, the app is a welcome perk.
Ford is making a big push to become a car company and a mobility company. It makes sense. Your car is already a moving computer with safety feature...more
GUEST: Machine learning has been a constant on tech trend lists for years. This year, it’s time to embrace what humans can learn by interacting with machine learning.
As Google’s head of Machine Intelligence, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, noted in a recent Medium article: “Machine intelligence will expand our understanding of both external reality and our perceptual and cognitive processes.”
In the spring of 2016, Google’s AlphaGo software, fueled by machine learning, beat the world’s greatest human Go player, Lee Sedol. The victory was a major milestone for a specific type of AI, called deep n...more
GUEST: I’ve been talking to some of my banker friends* about their thoughts on the M&A market for 2017 under the new Trump administration. The general consensus is that there will likely be more M&A this year for the following reasons:
1. The Trump administration is projected to be very business friendly and will likely take the following steps that will lead to more cash in hand for larger corporations:
Repatriation of cash trapped overseas in low tax jurisdictions. The idea here is that companies have cash in low tax jurisdictions that they do not want to bring back to the U.S. due ...more
GUEST: Startups in Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Tallinn, Riga, or Vilnius don’t attract as much capital as the ones located in the top hubs in Europe — London, Amsterdam, or Berlin — but these Eastern European tech hubs are on the rise, and early stage investment in the region has surged from $10 million to $283 million in just five years.
This growth should accelerate even further, since new accelerators, coworking spaces, meetups, mentoring opportunities, and reliable VC companies are acting as catalysts.
There are almost 30,000 startups operating in Easter...more
Carnival Corp. unveiled an ambitious plan to use its Ocean Medallion wearables and Ocean Compass Internet of Things Network earlier this month at CES 2017, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas. It was a very interesting example of a non-tech company embracing technology to provide consumers with ongoing experiences, rather than one-time products.
The wearables can do everything from unlocking your cabin door to allowing you to pay for drinks and receive them anywhere on the ship. One of key players behind that plan to install interactive systems and wearables on 100 cruise ships is The Experie...more
This time a year ago, Amazon’s Alexa had a little more than 100 skills. Today there’s more than 7,000, and they’re being added fast. Last November, Amazon launched the Alexa Skills Marketplace to allow the owners of devices that speak to Alexa to share, shop, and enable skills on Amazon.com.
Here are five skills released within the past week worth checking out.
The Late Night Poet
This skill reads you poems that are then sent to the Alexa app in case you want to read it again later. It may sound like a parody and a bit choppy, but a service for late night poems seems like the sort of thing th...more