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Robotics Startup Attracts Stellar Cast

robotics startup attracts stellar cast

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A robotics startup developing a “cognitive engine” that would allow industrial robots to operate autonomously on the factory floor announced a $15 million funding round, supplementing earlier bets by high-profile angel investors.
Robot.AI said the Series A round was led by Jazz Venture Partners with participation from previous investors Fontinalis Partners, Liquid2 and Playground Global. The latest funding round announced on Wednesday (Oct. 28) raises the AI startup’s venture total to $22.5 million.
Founded in 2019, the Palo Alto-based automation specialist is developing a software stack that would enable multi-purpose industrial robots that are “semantically aware.” Able to operate in unstructured factory settings, the company’s founders claim their approach would allow manufacturers to deploy robust robots faster, and with more layers of safety.
“The deep-learning, heavy AI approach that many favor today often fails in the real world,” said co-founder and CEO Gary Marcus. “In dynamic environments that change rapidly, current-generation robots can easily get confused, which is why we are still a long way from Rosie the Robot.”
Marcus, co-found of Geometric Intelligence (acquired by Uber) and professor of neural science at New York University, said the startup’s ambitious goal is expanding the robotics industry “by overhauling the software …

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Bucknell teams up with DRIVE to help Danville startups

bucknell teams up with drive to help danville startups

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Lewisburg, Pa. – Bucknell University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a popular destination for local entrepreneurs, specifically its Startup Lewisburg entrepreneurial incubator. Startup Lewisburg has been home to business innovators in downtown Lewisburg for seven years now, providing access to consulting services, broadband internet access, and exclusive networking opportunities.Bucknell SBDC has now teamed up with DRIVE (Driving Real Innovation for a Vibrant Economy), an economic development entity, to replicate its startup incubator model in Danville. The business incubator, which opened in March, is located in the DRIVE office building along Railroad Street at the site of the former Metso Minerals complex.Following initial support from Merck’s Neighbor of Choice program, Startup Danville will soon be scaling up operations with support from a new $99,500 Rural Business Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.“This started out as an experiment to see if we could replicate Startup Lewisburg within this community,” says Denny Hummer, Bucknell SBDC assistant director, business incubation, who oversees both startup incubators. “With the initial support we received from DRIVE and Merck, we welcomed our first tenant in May and haven’t looked back since.”With a location less than a mile from the headquarters …

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Y Combinator’s Startup School Introduces New Course For Future Founders

y combinator’s startup school introduces new course for future founders

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For future founders, Y Combinator’s Startup School curriculum wasn’t quite right for them. It was intended for founders who are already working on building their companies.
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Now, the prestigious startup accelerator is expanding its reach to people who want to start a company in the future with its new course: Startup School for Future Founders.
YC was always about opening up to founders who weren’t part of the traditional startup ecosystem, and Startup School was built on the same idea, according to the school’s director Kyle Corbitt.
“It’s really about bringing this content, curriculum and our knowledge to an even wider group of people,” Corbitt said. “It was an obvious next step as we’re trying to move further upstream and make this opportunity available to more people.”
Startup School is designed for active, early-stage founders who are working on building their companies. More than 140,000 founders have gone through the program to date, and it’s also helped many of their startups make it to Y Combinator’s accelerator program–just over 50 percent of the companies in YC’s batch that just finished came from Startup School, according to Corbitt.

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5 spooky European startups helping you celebrate Halloween this year

5 spooky european startups helping you celebrate halloween this year

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Halloween, or ‘All Hallows eve’’, goes all the way back to a pagan festival called ‘Samhain’. Although it traditionally marked a changing of the seasons, some observers also believed it was a time when the boundary between worlds became especially traversable.
Many European citizens will be confined indoors this year for Halloween, taking festivities like door-to-door ‘trick or treating’ or activities like apple bobbing off the table. Instead, scaled-down indoor entertainment could be the only option, as it was during the hard lockdown. This could act as a further boost for the gaming sector, which has recently gained renewed attention from their regular players, as well as new fans hoping to pass the time spent indoors.
With this in mind, we thought it was apt to bring you some little known and spooky games created by European startups.
Darkside Detective – Founded in 2015, the Irish startup Spooky Doorway created Darkside Detective, an old school micro gaming experience with cute pixelated graphics and a charming story. Darkside Detective is a classic ‘point and click’ adventure game, where Detective McQueen and Officer Dooley investigate 6 bizarre cases. The game has a unique sense of humour and has already built up a solid following of 10 …

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Should your SaaS startup embrace a bottom-up GTM strategy?

should your saas startup embrace a bottom-up gtm strategy?

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Caryn Marooney
Contributor

Caryn Marooney is general partner at Coatue Management and sits on the boards of Zendesk and Elastic. In prior roles she oversaw communications for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus and co-founded The OutCast Agency, which served clients like Salesforce.com and Amazon.

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David Cahn
Contributor

David Cahn is an investor at Coatue, where he focuses on software investments. David is passionate about open-source and infrastructure software and previously worked in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Morgan Stanley.

Many of today’s most successful software companies, from Atlassian and Datadog to Zoom, subscribe to the bottom-up SaaS go-to-market model. In this model, the user purchases software directly from a website, without ever speaking to a sales person. The product essentially sells itself.
The bottom-up model has a few key benefits: Companies spend dramatically less on sales than their peers, allowing them to invest more in product; they can sustain hypergrowth for longer because they are not as reliant on raw sales headcount to win business; and they tend to be more profitable in the long run, leading …

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To Do Politics or Not Do Politics? Tech Start-Ups Are Divided

to do politics or not do politics? tech start-ups are divided

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Rob Rhinehart, a co-founder of nutritional drink start-up Soylent, declared in a blog post last week that he was supporting Kanye West for president.“I am so sick of politics,” Mr. Rhinehart wrote. “Politics are suddenly everywhere. I cannot avoid them.”David Barrett, the chief executive of Expensify, a business software start-up, went in another direction. In an email to his company’s 10 million customers last week, he implored them to embrace politics by choosing the Democratic presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr.“Anything less than a vote for Biden is a vote against democracy,” Mr. Barrett proclaimed.With days to go before the election on Tuesday, Mr. Rhinehart and Mr. Barrett represent the twin poles of a start-up culture war that has openly erupted in Silicon Valley. Start-ups such as the cryptocurrency company Coinbase and the audio app Clubhouse have become embroiled in a debate over how much politics should be part of the workplace. And venture capitalists and other tech executives have weighed in on social media with their own views.“I have never seen another instance like this in my career,” said Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist and political consultant. “There’s no real separation anymore, in …

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BIO-Europe® Digital Startup Slam Winner 2020: KyNexis Medicine Development

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– Eight life sciences startups pitched virtually to an expert judging panel at the Startup Slam competition at BIO-Europe® Digital, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation- Sweden’s KyNexis, the Startup Slam winner, is developing novel therapeutics to help with cognition- UK’s ImmTune Therapies, creating cell therapy without cell manufacture, won the Audience Choice AwardMUNICH, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — EBD Group is delighted to announce that KyNexis Medicine Development was declared as the winner of yesterday’s BIO-Europe® Digital 2020 Startup Slam competition. The Company’s innovative approach to the discovery of novel therapeutics by targeting key enzymes in the kynurenine pathway stood out overall. Additionally, ImmTune Therapies won the Audience Choice Award for its cell therapy process that cuts out complicated bio-manufacturing processes. KyNexis’s CEO, Johan Lund, and ImmTune’s CEO & Co-founder, Bakul Gupta, both receive a complimentary registration to a future EBD Group event.Eight life sciences startups virtually pitched at this popular session, sponsored and moderated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, with complimentary pitch training provided by Scius Communications. As this year’s event was held in a digital format, contestants submitted a five-minute film in advance and then had two minutes each to present, live, about their company and innovation to a jury of leading investors, …

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Apple reportedly bought a video AI startup for $50 million as it tries to improve Siri and other apps

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Apple purchased artificial intelligence startup Vilynx earlier this year for approximately $50 million, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
Barcelona-based Vilynx built AI tools that analyze videos with the goal of “understanding” what’s in them and categorizing that information, which Apple could use to improve Siri and other apps.
Bloomberg also reported that around 50 of Vilynx’s engineers and data scientists will stay on at Apple, which will use the startup’s Barcelona office as a key AI research hub in Europe.
Apple doesn’t disclose the purpose of its acquisitions, but the company has recently bought several AI startups, signaling its intent to expand its footprint in the space.
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Apple added to its rapidly growing artificial intelligence portfolio earlier this year by acquiring Spain-based AI video startup Vilynx for approximately $50 million, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.Vilynx, headquartered in Barcelona, built software that leverages computer vision to analyze a video’s visual, text, and audio content with the goal of “understanding” what’s in the video, which helps it categorize and tag metadata, generate automated video previews, and recommend related content, according to an earlier version of its website.Apple told Bloomberg that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and …

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5 startups get $900K to help travel and tourism recovery

5 startups get $900k to help travel and tourism recovery

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Five teams of entrepreneurs have been awarded $900,000 combined to help the hospitality, entertainment and travel industries recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The five finalists of the Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which ranged from a robotics company to a single-use recyclable linen company, presented their ideas to investors, manufacturers, industry end users and the public at the Global Gaming Expo convention’s virtual Demo Day on Tuesday.
The winners are set to begin work with UNLV’s Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to develop their concepts and bring them to an investor marketplace that includes leading corporations, private equity firms and angel investors. The solutions aim to hit the market within the next year.
“These were the five that the committee felt were the most impactful, had the greatest potential opportunity to succeed,” said Leith Martin, executive director of the Troesh Center. “I think each will be able to build a successful company.”
Promethium Limited: $250,000
This private, Las Vegas-based company is working to provide cleaner air inside stadiums, hotels, casinos, airplanes and homes. Promethium Limited produces air purifiers that use photocatalysts, which are powered by ambient light, to disperse and neutralize harmful airborne impurities. These include toxic …

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The Startups Building A Future Of Zero Fashion Waste

the startups building a future of zero fashion waste

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Guest Post by Lindsay Trombley

The fashion industry produces about 10% of global carbon emissions globally—more than all … [+] international flights and maritime shipping combined.

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Never in the history of the planet has clothing been so cheap and so plentiful. On average, we’re buying five times as much clothing per person as we did thirty years ago. At the same time, average household spend on clothing has plummeted. So how is it that while other consumer prices have risen, clothing prices have dropped so sharply? 
The problem of overproduction in fashion
Over the past three decades, the global fashion supply chain has become ever more diffuse and opaque. As the supply chain has globalized, fashion brands’ ability to take advantage of cheap labor in developing markets has translated into a precipitous drop in clothing prices. Overseas garment factories are incentivized to keep their production lines operating as close to 100% utilization as possible, so they offer fashion brands extreme bulk discounts for booking large order quantity production runs. While it’s very expensive on a per-unit basis to produce 100 units of a single style, the per-unit price to produce 10,000 units is shockingly cheap. 

Recommended For YouMost brands typically overproduce by 30 …

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