Archive for the ‘launch’ tag
Ed-tech entrepreneurs are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing an accelerator or incubator program, given the resurgence of interest in the sector.
But in just two years, Imagine K12 has established itself as one of the most well-respected programs in part because of its efforts to reach teachers. Thirty-nine startups have graduated from it, and these have gone on to raise approximately $30 million in funding.
Imagine K12 is focused on helping entrepreneurs develop technology for students from kindergarten to high school.
Today, the accelerator announced that it will increase its initial funding for startups from $20,000 to $100,000.
This additional funding is available from the newly established “Start Fund,” backed by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, Yahoo! co-founder David Filo, Angela Filo, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, NewSchools Venture Fund, and GSV Asset Management.
Each startup accepted into the program will receive a $20,000 check from Imagine K12 and $80,000 from the Start Fund.
“The funds will give entrepreneurs enough time to get the right market fit so it can take root in the educational system,” said Imagine K12 founder Tim Brady by phone. ”And our startups have built products that are used in hundreds of thousands of classrooms.”
Brady claims that the accelerator’s alumni have launched products deployed by 10 percent of teachers. Some of the most well-known graduates from previous batches include behavior management software ClassDojo and open-data startup LearnSprout.
Interested in applying? Applications are now open for the official program, which begins in September in Palo Alto, Calif.
Filed under: Business
DataHero, the startup that would do away with Excel, has just launched its free product to the public.
DataHero’s tool can spin up a data visualization in a matter of minutes. Anyone who’s been tasked with creating a pesky pivot table for work will breathe a sigh of relief.
“We have a lot of intellectual property around making sense of the data before the user has to do anything — way before they ask a technical person for help,” cofounder Chris Neumann (pictured above, left) explained in a phone interview.
Register for free, and you’ll be invited to peruse sample data sets, or upload your own data set. The technology integrates with Excel — so you can upload a CSV file. Then you can use the tool to create nifty visualizations that will impress the socks off your colleagues and boss.
DataHero will initially offer a free service to consumers. However, businesses that require integration with existing business tools, such as Stripe, Dropbox, and Salesforce, will need to pay a fee. The payment model is not yet concrete — Neumann said the company will soon be introducing an enterprise subscription service.
DataHero’s competition includes Tableau Public, Microsoft’s Excel, and business dashboard Chartio, but Neumann believes it is one of the few startups designed for individuals with little or no technical expertise. “We see ourselves as data visualization for the 99 percent of people who don’t work with statistical queries everyday,” he said.
Thousands of people have used the beta since it was released last year. The Palo Alto, Calif. startup has grown to a team of five (all designers and engineers) and has raised a seed round of less than a million dollars in funding. DataHero intends to raise an institutional round of funding this year and is hiring engineers as it preps for growth.
Filed under: Business
A beautiful film produced by Ms. Chie Morimoto, genius female artist in Japan.
This promotional film is for celebrating new collection launch of Kumikyoku: women’s apparel brand called Onward.
When I watch the film, I wish I could be wind. I wish I could touch and feel in the air of Hawaii.
The music also perfectly fit to the film, played by Takagi Masakatsu feat. Bobby Womack.
We’ve seen a lot of leaked iPhone 5 parts, including a new battery and longer cases, but so far we’ve had to imagine how they would all fit together. Thankfully, a new diagram from the folks at iFixYouri makes sense of the madness.
Using what’s supposedly a leaked version of the next iPhone’s motherboard, the repair firm was able to make educated guesses of where many of the other leaked components would fit in, 9to5Mac reports. While it’s far from conclusive evidence that any of these parts are legitimate (especially since it’s not scaled for size), the diagram certainly hints at some interesting connections.
Or maybe we’re just reading way too much into images of mystery hardware.
Don’t expect the iPhone 5 rumors to slow down anytime soon. The closer we get to the phone’s announcement, currently expected for September 12, the more gadget geeks will scoop up any crumb of new information. And the potential for juicy revelations will be huge, since the next iPhone will likely be a major revamp on the iPhone 4′s design.
The next iPhone (which will likely just go by “iPhone,” like the new iPad) will likely sport a longer screen around 4 inches (compared to the standard 3.5-inch screen), as well as a thinner body. Sharp has said that it will begin shipping displays to Apple this month, which should be enough time for Apple to make a September launch. Sprint has also lowered the price of its iPhone 4S models, which is a sign that it needs to clear out stock to make room for something new.
The site will be Huffington Post’s answer to news networks like CNN — but with a major twist. Unlike the major news networks, HuffPost Live was created around viewer engagement. This is clear from the site’s design, which prominently features options for users to submit comments, tweets, and video.
HuffPost Live will also prominently feature viewers in its programming, offering them the ability to talk back to hosts and guest in real-time.
In short, it’s network news made created with the Internet generation in mind.
HuffPost Live will initially stream content 12 hours a day, five days a week, though Huffington promises that the site will offer 16 hours of daily content as soon as next year. Eventually, the operation hopes to broadcast twenty-four hours a day — though that day is probably a long way off.
But while the site hopes to herald the next generation of video news, its backend struggled to keep up. Video streaming was spotty during the site’s introductory broadcast, oftentimes dropping out multiple times per minute. Hopefully, these sorts of performance issues get ironed out as time goes on.
Filed under: media
You can see the full list on the Google Search blog but here it is broken down by category, excluding some of the more user interface or smart answer options.
- ng2. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] Better ordering of top results using a new and improved ranking function for combining several key ranking features.
- Ref-16. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] Changes to an “official pages” algorithm to improve internationalization.
- Bamse. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- Bamse-17L. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- GreenLandII. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] We’ve incorporated new data into the Panda algorithm to better detect high-quality sites and pages.
- #82353. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This change refreshes data for the Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- komodo. [project codename âQuery Understandingâ] Data refresh for system used to better understand and search for long-tail queries.
- #82367. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- Lime. [project codename âFreshnessâ] This change improves the interaction between various search components to improve search results for searches looking for fresh content.
- #82666. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This launch helps you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
- #82541. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
- PandaMay. [project codename âSearch Qualityâ] We launched a data refresh for our Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- Hamel. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] This change updates a model we use to help you find high-quality pages with unique content.
- #82301. [project codename âIndexingâ] This change improves an aspect of our serving systems to save capacity and improve latency.
- Panda JK. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] We launched Panda on google.co.jp and google.co.kr to promote more high-quality sites for users in Japan and Korea.
- rrfix4. [project codename âFreshnessâ] This is a bug fix to a freshness algorithm. This change turns off a freshness algorithm component in certain cases when it should not be affecting the results.
- JnBamboo. [project codename âPage Qualityâ] Weâve updated data for our Panda high-quality sites algorithm.
- NoPathsForClustering. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] We’ve made our algorithm for clustering web results from the same site or same path (same URL up until the last slash) more consistent. This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our clustering system better and simpler.
- bergen. [project codename âOther Ranking Componentsâ] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
- Zivango. [project codename âRefinementsâ] This change leads to more diverse search refinements.
Snippets & Sitelinks
- gas station. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change removes the boilerplate text in sitelinks titles, keeping only the information useful to the user.
- Manzana2. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This launch improves clustering and ranking of links in the expanded sitelinks feature.
- yoyo. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change leads to more useful text in sitelinks.
- Challenger. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This is another change that will help get rid of generic boilerplate text in Web results’ titles, particularly for sitelinks.
- #80568. [project codename âSnippetsâ] This change improves our algorithm for generating site hierarchies for display in search result snippets.
- SuperQ2. [project codename âImageâ] We’ve updated a signal for Google Images to help return more on-topic image search results.
- CapAndGown. [project codename âImageâ] On many webpages, the most important images are closely related to the overall subject matter of the page. This project helps you find these salient images more often.
- Vuvuzela. [project codename âSafeSearchâ] We’ve updated SafeSearch to unify the handling of adult video content in videos mode and in the main search results. Explicit video thumbnails are now filtered more consistently.
- ItsyBitsy. [project codename âImagesâ] To improve the quality of image results, we filter tiny, unhelpful images at the bottom of our image results pages.
- Labradoodle. [project codename âSafeSearchâ] We’ve updated SafeSearch algorithms to better detect adult content.
A 60-second television spot created in the months leading up to the early 1984 launch of Apple’s original Macintosh was shelved and never aired publicly due to concerns that it would be seen as “too self-congratulatory.”
The funding comes in the form of convertible bonds raised from Icelandic institutional investors, according to Chief Financial Officer Joe Gallo. Founded in 1997, CCP previously raised $20 million in equity financing.
Back in February, CCP executives told me that EVE Online saw $66 million in revenue last year. Chief Marketing Officer David Reid says the company is now gearing up for the launch of its next title, the first-person shooter DUST 514, which is currently in beta testing and is supposedly on-track for a 2012 release on the Playstation 3.
With DUST, CCP is experimenting with a new model for console-based first-person shooters — the game will be free to play, with players instead paying for in-game goods. Perhaps even more impressive than the business model is the fact that the planet-based action of DUST will be integrated with the space setting of EVE Online, so that player activity in one game can affect the world of the other. The two games were kept separate for the initial player testing, but Reid says CCP is currently in the process of merging the two worlds, allowing players in both games to chat with each other and EVE players to cause some havoc in DUST through orbital strikes.
In part, the funding will be used to promote the DUST launch. Reid acknowledges that it’s going to be a crowded fall for video games, with a number of big releases like Halo 4 on the schedule. CCP doesn’t intend to “go head-to-head with EA and Activision,” but since the success of an online game doesn’t depend on driving a massive amount of first day sales, Reid says the company can take a more patient, long-term approach to its marketing campaign.
The launch is also coming after the disappointing performance of the highly anticipated MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. Reid points to The Old Republic as a sign that “players by-and-large are consuming the content of triple-A games faster than anybody is able to develop them.” He contrasts that design- and story-heavy approach with CCP’s philosophy in EVE and DUST, where the universe is more of a “sandbox” and “the players become the content in the end.”
In addition to launching DUST, Reid says the funding will allow CCP to prepare for an IPO. The company doesn’t have any immediate plans to go public, but he says the money “allows us is to do some of the things you need to do for IPO preparedness,” such as building greater redundancy into its computer systems, so that it’s ready to go public when and if the time is right.
And this is just the beginning.
Startup Stay is a global community for entrepreneurs that travel. It is aimed at people going on business trips who are interested in tapping into the local startup community.
As opposed to staying in a hotel or an AirBnB where the opportunities to network are slim, Startup Stay offers a model similar to Couch Surfing. Local residents open up their home to travelers in an effort to promote cultural exchange and forge meaningful connections. However, the community on Startup Stay is vetted and comprised of entrepreneurs. Accommodation can become about more than just a place to sleep, it can represent business opportunities.
“The value proposition is simple,” said founder Fred Caballero. “You stay with a host who is a like minded entrepreneur. You avoid accommodation costs, but also connect, exchange ideas, use your skills to help each other, and tap into their business network as part of the full travel experience.”
To be accepted into the fold, members must be approved. “Entrepreneur” is a fairly ambiguous label which means different things to different people. Startup Stay does not only target people who have founded companies, but also wants to ensure that each member contributes value to the community.
“We think of entrepreneurs as those folks who are actually making stuff,” Caballero said. “It could be the typical case of someone who has started a company or it could be someone who shows initiative and spirit.”
Every person brought into the network is given five invitations to bring others in as well, pending approval. Once membership is granted, travelers can search for accommodation on the site, as well as send messages about coworking opportunities, set up meetings, and request introductions.
Startup Stay also provides a way to get more out of the travel experience. Guests can benefit from their hosts’ local expertise and gain deeper insight into a destination. However, the mutual understanding that the arrangement is centered around business can eliminate the social pressure for both and the guest and the host, and allows people to get work done.
“Couch surfers aren’t always happy having startup people stay with them,” said Uldis Leiterts, the founder of Latvian startup infogr.am. “We go to conferences, meet VCs and partners, and can’t always be flexible with time to dedicate to the host. We can be called freeloaders. Most startups travel a lot, which isn’t cheap, and network a lot. This way combines both.”
Most of the people on the platform are technology entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35. Startup Stay is based in TechHub, a London based tech community and coworking space. It was founded by Caballero and his partner Facundo Villaveiran. The two met at the University if Buenos Aires in 2000. Since then, they have each traveled to over 20 countries and started multiple companies.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Here’s why you need to come to DEMO, the big product launch event set for Oct 1-3.
Whether you’re a company launching a product, or an executive wanting to stay on track of the latest big technology trends and conversations, DEMO is the place to be. This is one of the best places to get deals done. Entrepreneurs can sync at a single event with dozens of tech writers, investors can find promising teams to back, business development and IT officers can see what’s coming next.
DEMO is just eight weeks away, and our class of presenters is already taking shape. Some awesome companies are lined up and ready to go, but we’re always looking for more, so if you’re working on a new tech product or service that will be ready to launch in October, we want to hear form you now. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 17th.
This upcoming DEMO is going to be a big one. Thought-leaders like Ray Kurzweil and Evan Williams will be just part of the full roster of experts who will address the biggest opportunities in technology today, what’s coming up next, and how best to go after them. They’ll also offer tips on how they they saw earlier trends and built great companies around them. Kurzweil, one of the most the most respected tech futurists, has invented things such as the CCD flat-bed scanner, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, and the first text-to-speech synthesizer. He was founder of the company that became Nuance, the $7 billion market-cap company that drives much of the speech recognition technology today, and which powers Apple’s Siri.
Williams was at the forefront of some of the biggest web technologies of the past decade, i.e, little things like blogging (he founded Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google and became Blogger), podcasting (he founded Odeo, one of the earliest podcasting companies), and micro-blogging (he co-founded Twitter).
But the main star of the event is still you, the entrepreneur. DEMO has an unrivaled history of launching companies (Salesforce, Netscape, Tivo, Fusion-io, VMWare, WebEx, Sun’s Java, the list goes on), and we’re continuing that tradition this fall.
One of the biggest draws is that launching at DEMO is incredibly efficient. The word’s tech press is highly represented at the event (many of the leading technology reporters are based in SF, a short drive away from the event), and so a company can save time by hitting them all up at the event, either at its station during the breaks or in the hallways during the show. And then of course, for companies coming from outside of Silicon Valley, it’s a great time to schedule a trip up to Sand Hill Road to raise funding from the big venture capital firms here. Many venture capitalists attend the event. Many deals are started on the spot, at the event. And of course, if you’re a company launching at DEMO, you can use the pending event as leverage with partners or investors to make the move faster (they’d better move to invest you in, because after DEMO, your product will be known to the world). It gives company engineers a nice deadline to work toward: Get that product out now, or else!
If you’re interested in coming, fill out the online form, and we’ll be in touch with more details. If you’re selected to present at DEMO, we can get start getting your company ready for the event right away. We do a lot more to make sure everyone has a successful launch: We have a great DEMO speaking and presentation coach, Nathan Gold, who works with all of the companies leading up to the event (he’ll help you devise a sizzle-reel that you use to blow away investors, partners and others), a PR team that can offer PR support, social media advisors, and the best A/V team in the business.
The deadline to apply is August 17th. Hope to see you on stage in October!
Filed under: DEMO