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‘Social IQ skills’ are the X-factor that women bring to tech companies

‘social iq skills’ are the x-factor that women bring to tech companies

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The business case for diversity and inclusion in technology has never been more clearer for companies as they chug back to normalcy in a post-Covid world, and look to tackle an increasingly diverse customer base.From redefining recruiting practices to driving mentorship and building a culture of inclusion, HCL Technologies, the country’s third-largest software services firm, has been bringing more women into the tech ecosystem to help create a wave of innovation.“Research shows that gender diversity brings different perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions and better performing companies. If 50 per cent of the population is absent from the conversation, we miss opportunities and leave markets untapped,” said a HCL spokesperson.The official continued: “We are all less well-off with anything that restricts innovation and creativity…we are missing out on the potential benefits of those ‘lost’ great ideas.”Noting that there is plenty of evidence that increased participation by women improves the innovation performance of organisations, the official said: “In part, this is simply a question of numbers: by widening the pool of talent, one increases the chances of emerging valuable new insights.”Pointing out that women can also bring a different perspective to the workplace, the …

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Some San Antonio startups making it despite coronavirus downturn

some san antonio startups making it despite coronavirus downturn

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At the beginning of the croronavirus pandemic, startups and investors took a cautious approach. Two months later, they say the crisis might breed more innovative — and profitable — companies.

Adaptation has been the key, they say.

Companies that have shifted to building cloud-based software and products to help people work from home have thrived compared to firms that rely on travel, events or face-to-face contact to drum up sales.

Still, the economic uncertainty wrought by the pandemic has some investors waiting and holding onto their cash for now.

And with fewer active investors, companies will have to be in a strong position to attract new funding, said Pat Matthews, founder and CEO of Active Capital, a San Antonio-based investment firm.

“The bar has really been raised for companies that are raising capital,” Matthews said. “A lot of investors are looking very specifically for how companies are going to operate in the new world. Not just whether they’re going to be more capital efficient … but also what’re you building? And how relevant is it in the new world we’re going into?”

Matthews’ firm has remained at work, and in April invested in eight of its portfolio companies and three …

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Startups working on interdisciplinary convergence of biology, digitalisation and medication will be leaders of future – Express Healthcare

startups working on interdisciplinary convergence of biology, digitalisation and medication will be leaders of future – express healthcare

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Zone Startups India is a startup accelerator accredited by NSTEDB, under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. Hemant Gupta, Managing Director, Zone Startups India explains how COVID-19 has accentuated the dire need for health innovation and the role of health and pharma startups in the battle against the pandemic. He also outlines how startups need to adapt and transform to not only tide over these tough times but also emerge stronger, in an exclusive interview with Lakshmipriya Nair
What have been the most significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s startup ecosystem?
I believe that in order to understand the impact of the pandemic on India’s startup ecosystem, you actually need to separate the pandemic and the lockdown. While the two are interlinked in many ways, the pandemic is a long-term phenomenon, the lockdown is a short-term one.
Let us look at the lockdown first – amongst the wide-ranging impacts has been the sledgehammer blow that has been dealt with the revenues and growth trajectories of startups in sectors as diverse as travel and tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, logistics, food etc. etc.. An estimated 60 per cent of startups in the B2C space are facing …

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It’s Time for the Defense Production Act’s Digital Transformation – War on the Rocks

it’s time for the defense production act’s digital transformation – war on the rocks

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President Donald Trump’s invocation of the Defense Production Act (DPA) marked an important step in the fight against COVID-19. Doing so allowed the president to order 3M to make millions of N95 masks, initiate a 30,000 ventilator contract with General Motors, and force meat processing plants to remain open. Despite these efforts, the administration’s use of the DPA has received mixed reviews.
Behind the scenes, America’s capacity to leverage the DPA is running up against a modernization problem. American leaders are flying blind as they attempt to manage this pandemic equipped with antiquated digital technology, spotty datasets, and inaccurate models. Even more challenging, the tools required for a digitally driven federal response strategy do not exist, nor do regulations to enforce compliance with emergency data management. That gap exists because the 1950s authors of the DPA could not have foreseen today’s digital reality.
The United States should modernize the DPA’s authorities, invest in digital infrastructure, and enhance private sector collaboration. Specifically, Washington should amend the DPA to reflect the critical role data plays in proactive government response efforts, expand bilateral data sharing with the private sector, and challenge norms around digital talent in government.
The Defense …

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How Europe’s scooter startups plan to win in the UK | Sifted

how europe’s scooter startups plan to win in the uk | sifted

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If you thought the scooter wars were over thanks to Covid-19, think again. They’re heating up once more and, now, they have a fresh battlefield to fight on: the mean streets of the UK. 
In May, the UK government announced that it would be enabling trials of e-scooters across the country from June — surprising nearly everyone — and the scooter startups leapt into action.
Voi, the Swedish scooter startup, this week announced that it has nabbed Richard Corbett (previously of rival US company Bird) to oversee its UK launch. Meanwhile Dott, the smaller Amsterdam-based scooter startup, has Duncan Robertson, a bike-sharing expert leading its UK efforts. And Berlin-based Tier has also appointed a UK lead — but won’t say who just yet. 

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Richard Corbett, head of Voi in the UK.
All the usual suspects — Voi, Tier, Lime, Bird and Dott — are now hoping to win over multiple cities across the UK, and much sooner than they expected at the start of the year. 
“It was a huge surprise when the government announced the trials would be moved to next month,” says Corbett, who spent two years trying to make the case for legalising e-scooters while at Bird — and expected …

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The Eight Commandments of Data, Data Science and Digital Transformation Failure

the eight commandments of data, data science and digital transformation failure

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The explosion of ‘Data Science or AI as service’ has brought all organizations to the forefront of the AI world. However, many organizations are unable to generate economic impact despite leveraging these emerging technologies. Today, a huge number of papers and companies talk about the success of models etc., however, the economic value remains elusive. 

Satyam Priyadarshy who is the chief data scientist at Halliburton with over 20 years of experience in academia and industry, shared his experiences on how companies are claiming they have achieved digital transformation but have essentially failed in generating impact. He takes us through the journey of some of the commandments of failure in this journey. 

Digital Transformation In The Current Age

Satyam believes that while the industries are trying to be data-driven and are using various tools to bring it into action, people are taking too much about it without showing actual results. He says that for companies to show results in continuous transformation, it is required for them to work in the real-time. Stressing on the need to have a digital maturity, he says that people are keen on using these trending terms but what we should be actually looking at is if it …

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Job losses indicate we are in a ‘she-cession’

job losses indicate we are in a ‘she-cession’

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The Labor Department said Thursday that another 2.1 million people filed for unemployment last week. And most of the workers who lost their jobs last month were women — 55%, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Think about the job losses right now. Clerks at retailers, restaurant servers, office assistants. This is work done mostly by women. And these jobs aren’t all coming back. Forty-two-year-old Adriana Lona lost her event-planning position at a nonprofit near Chicago.

“Given everything that happened, I would most likely have to give up that role, yes,” Lona said.

Industries that mostly employ men — think manufacturing, construction — haven’t lost as many jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the exact opposite of what happened during the 2008 financial crisis. Jasmine Tucker, director of research at the National Women’s Law Center, said that was called a “man-cession.”

“Construction stopped happening on new homes. We saw a lot of production and manufacturing halting. That’s also a male-dominated job,” Tucker said.

According to her research, we’re in a she-cession. And women could have a harder time getting back into the workforce than men did after the Great Recession — especially women who have kids. Like Amy Gergely, in …

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These agritech startups managed to raise funding despite coronavirus-led lockdown

these agritech startups managed to raise funding despite coronavirus-led lockdown

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The agricultural sector is one of the primary contributors to the Indian economy. Around 58 percent of the population’s livelihood is dependent on this sector. Over the last two months, the farm sector was badly hit by the nationwide lockdown which halted logistics and transportation. As a result, the production couldn’t reach the fruit and vegetable mandis, thus, impacting the supply chain.But during Lockdown 2.0, the rules were eased out and a slew of measures were introduced so that this sector could survive the pandemic and the country’s food supply don’t get impacted.However, the absence of delivery fleet and truck operators, restricted interstate and intrastate movement of agricultural machinery, dearth of other inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, and seeds, as well as various obstacles in the procurement of fresh produce, have disrupted the chain. To keep the supply chains functional, agritech startups have stepped up and are helping the farmers to connect with buyers, including through retailers, ecommerce, and by even directly selling the produce to consumers. Startups working in this area include AgriBazaar, DeHaat, BigBasket, MeraKisan, Ninjacart, and many more.With the help of Artificial Intelligence, remote sensing, data analytics, and various Internet of Thing (IoT) devices, India’ …

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How 5 Birmingham startups are working now—why it matters | Bham Now

how 5 birmingham startups are working now—why it matters | bham now

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Kerry Schraeder, co-founder of Mixtroz. Photo via Mixtroz

What happens when Birmingham startups are told to slow down? They don’t—at least not this crew. Over two months after the state shut down, here’s how Magic City startups are navigating the decision to return to work, hosting pre-pandemic events and sustaining company culture (A.K.A killin’ the game).

1. Mixtroz

Like Bham Now, as a tech company, the Mixtroz team is able to more or less work remotely 24/7. Their biggest business shift, however, was to accelerate the development and launch of Virtual Mixtroz. The badass company did just that and now the new feature is already being used and available in the Apple and Google Play app stores, as well as online.

“In a nutshell going forward at Mixtroz, we will be very flexible in work locations. We’ll do it where it, and for roles that, makes sense. We will ensure that money is spent on client acquisition, marketing and technology—not on rented space that is not driving money to the bottom line.  I do believe we will return to an office within the next 6-8 months, when it becomes obvious we need to do so, …

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Diverse students display inventions at HBCU showcase

diverse students display inventions at hbcu showcase

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Students present their talents as they pitch their innovations at the third annual HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase in Washington, D.C., in February 2020.PHOTO: MICHAEL J. COLELLA FOR AAASA social media platform for online education, a smart cane that warns visually impaired users of objects along their path, and a mobile app that connects customers to restaurants eager to distribute surplus food were just a few of the inventions that student innovators from historically black colleges and universities displayed at a recent showcase.The American Association for the Advancement of Science, with support from the National Science Foundation, hosted the third annual HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase in February 2020 in Washington, D.C. The event, held in conjunction with AAAS’s and NSF’s Emerging Researchers National Conference, brought together 80 students and faculty members from HBCUs for 2 days of interactive workshops and training on invention and entrepreneurship. The conference culminated with 18 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from 13 colleges and universities pitching their innovations.“Entrepreneurial thinking and an invention mindset are critical to address the challenges that affect communities around the world, and in our own backyards,” said Neela White, a project director in AAAS’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program. “As we look …

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