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Maker Bre Pettis talks about the way forward for tech in this new century

On this week’s episode of Technotopia I talked to Bre Pettis, former CEO of Makerbot and the founder of Bre&Co. Pettis has been thinking about new manufacturing chains, the rise of the local maker, what what happens when a country falls into disrepair. Show More Summary

8 Success Drivers Define A Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Until the recession a few years ago, market research indicated that as many as 90 percent of the roughly 20 million American small business owners were motivated more by lifestyle than growth and money. More recently, the desire for extra income has become the key driver in new startups, according to a 2015 study. Show More Summary

FLYR raised $8 million to change the way we buy plane tickets

Travel tech startup FLYR raised $8 million in Series A funding for technology that predicts the price of airfares by applying artificial intelligence to a database of both open industry data and a proprietary collection of year’s of past prices and fluctuations. Show More Summary

FishTaco can analyze your microbiome before or after you eat a fish taco

Our microbiomes: who understands them? Scientists? The bacteria colonizing our guts? The guy who made the Mexican food we just ate? Wrong. It’s our computers. Researchers have tasked them to create a new way to analyze and understand our microbiomes electronically. Show More Summary

Quixey alums launch Sigma, a platform to bring merits and certifications online

A new company named Sigma, founded by alumni of mobile app search engine Quixey, aims to take records and certifications currently trapped in the analog world and bring them online. To do so, the company has raised $4.35 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and other investors. Show More Summary

In a tech-saturated world, customer feedback is everything

I’ve found that the most valuable design tool in the 21st century is rather old-fashioned: customer feedback. Technology has produced huge breakthroughs in design. A product can be ideated, prototyped and finalized with little more than a keyboard and code. But the ingenuity of modern design often leads to product teams neglecting the basics. Read More

Buzzvil acquires Slidejoy for a lockscreen ad consolidation

New York City startup Slidejoy has been acquired by a South Korean competitor Buzzvil. Both companies offer a way for Android users to earn rewards in exchange for allowing ads on their lockscreens — in Buzzvil’s case, that’s both through its HoneyScreen consumer app and through its BuzzScreen platform for publishers. The financial terms are not being disclosed, but… Read More

7 Work Ethic Elements Will Get You Investor Funding

Starting and running a business is hard. Don’t believe the old myth that with a few hours of work a day and a great web site, you can get rich while you sleep. I have found that the most successful entrepreneurs and business executives have an impressive work ethic, and they surround themselves with a team of comparable commitment. Show More Summary

The Blockchain: Ending Data Hacks

Remember when we were scared to buy things online? It wasn’t all that long ago when we swiped plastic cards in person for everything we bought, Black Friday meant toe-to-toe battles with every other holiday shopper in the mall, and the...Show More Summary

Meet Alchemist’s class XIV startups making everything from smart beer taps to a faster internet

Enterprise tech startups unveiled their products and pitched investors at Alchemist Accelerator’s 14th demo day in Santa Clara, Calif. today. The companies ranged from a Stanford AI labs spinout, Eloquent Labs, to the hardware-makers like Amber Agriculture and PubInno, to lots of software-as-a-service and cybersecurity developers, more like you’d expect from an… Read More

Founderkit taps founders to suggest the best tools to get a company off the ground

While running Yardsale, a previous Y Combinator startup based around essentially making it easy to sell your old stuff, Ryan Mickle had the benefit of talking to alumni and colleagues to figure out what to use to build it. But one of...Show More Summary

XNOR.ai frees AI from the prison of the supercomputer

Machine learning and AI are incredible tools, but they also require a similarly incredible amount of computing power. If that requirement could be cut by a couple orders of magnitude, AI would be unfettered from its banks of parallel...Show More Summary

Snapchat embraces offline purchase ad targeting its CEO called “creepy”

Snap Inc’s quest to earn enough money to IPO sees it flip-flopping after pledging not to use “creepy” ad targeting. Snap will now allow advertisers to use a Oracle’s Data Cloud (formerly Datalogix) third-party data about what users buy offline to target ads on Snapchat, according to the Wall Street Journal. Show More Summary

Tandem is a messaging app where language learners chat

Shortly after downloading the Tandem app I’m trying to explain the finer points of using the English auxiliary verb ‘will’ in a messaging chat with Juan, 35, from the Dominican Republic… Read More

With a $1.5M seed round, Eloquent Labs mixes AI and Mechanical Turk to fix customer service

Keenon Werling would be the first to agree that conversational AI is regularly overhyped. So instead of taking the traditional approach and gloating about a glitzy new deeper learning algorithm to pitch his new venture Eloquent Labs, Werling...Show More Summary

Brazil: A look into Latin America’s largest startup ecosystem

Brazil is the most populous country in South America, as well as its largest market. Internet penetration and use are high — Brazil trails only the US in total Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users — and the country has more mobile devices than human inhabitants. Show More Summary

Deliveroo begins UK trial of subscription service for restaurant food delivery

Restaurant food delivery company Deliveroo has begun trialing a subscription service in the U.K. — presumably targeted at its most frequent and loyal customers. Read More

Report: $12BN invested in European startups last year, but fewer $30M+ deals

Investment in European startups held up last year despite fears of a slowdown, with some $12 billion invested during the year, according to an annual report compiled by French investment advisors Clipperton, working with Digimind’s WhoGotFunded database. Read More

SeatGeek’s new Pano feature gives ticketbuyers a 360-degree view of the stadium

SeatGeek is launching a new way to give ticketbuyers a better sense of exactly what they’ll see from a given seat. The new feature, called Pano, offers a 360-degree view of the empty venue — you can look around in all directions, Street View-style, and you can also jump to different parts of the stadium to compare the view from the different seats. “It’s super… Read More

Founders, don’t trust your venture capitalists… or should you?

When should you trust a venture capitalist, and when should you prepare for battle? Read More

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