Startup Roundup February 29, 2016


Why Startups Don’t Need An HR Department – Forbes

Startups are hard. You are faced with uncertainty and you pull all-nighters. You lack resources and you feel like you’re making it up as you go. Your direction seems to change every other day. With so many challenges, how can one argue that startups don’t need an HR department? Well here are my three reasons: 


What Budget 2016-17 should have in store for startups

The Government of India will present its Union Budget for 2016-17 on February 29, 2016. The upcoming budget is expected to unveil the current economic issues, with focus towards Goods and Service Tax (GST), taxation, infrastructure segment and related impact-creating factors in view of ease of doing business. 


San Francisco startup Zenefits lays off 250 workers after banning parties | Daily Mail Online

Incoming CEO of Zenefits, David Sacks, laid off 250 employees on Friday
Layoffs, which he said were not due to performance reasons, come after he banned alcohol in the office
Sacks also said in an email sent to staff Friday morning that the reduction ‘enables us to refocus our strategy’ and ‘grow in a controlled way’
The alcohol ban, which Sacks announced last week, is a move to clean up the company’s corporate culture
Zenefits has raised more than $580 million in venture funding and was valued last May at $4.5 billion 


Google to accelerate Brazilian startups | ZDNet

Brazilian startups have until March 31 to submit applications to the second edition of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program.

The acceleration initiative includes six months of technical support and training, as well as up to $50,000 in equity-free financing to startups and a couple of weeks at Google’s offices in Mountain View. 


How Etsy’s Talent Pool Seeded A New Kind Of Cybersecurity Startup | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Several former Etsy employees have pulled off the ultimate cybersecurity startup dream: leaving to form their own company and then hiring their former employer as a client. The startup, Signal Sciences, produces a dashboard and firewall to help security teams and developers work together, and already counts companies like Etsy, Yelp/Eat24, Under Armour, Taser, and Shutterstock as clients. 


Successful Serial Entrepreneur David S. Rose: The Business Model All Startups Need to Be Using

Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and New York Times-bestselling author David S. Rose is a strong fixture in the startup community.

He is the founder and CEO of Gust, a platform that links up founders with interested investors in more than 80 countries. To date, more than $1.8 billion has been invested through the connections made by the company. 


India start-ups seek assurance on funding needs | The National

Start-ups in India are hoping to benefit from the union budget on Monday amid the recent focus on the sector demonstrated by the government.

“The current government has placed immense faith and hope in Indian start-ups and digital ventures,” says Ankita Tandon, the chief operating officer of CouponDunia, a discount coupon start-up based in Mumbai.

The announcement of a US$1.5 billion start-up fund as part of Startup India, the prime minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to support the sector, “is definitely a boost, though we would like to see how these funds are channelised towards us, and would want a clear and quick way to access them, with minimal government or bureaucratic intervention”, she adds. 


Cantillon: Usheru gets start-up award, but has it started up yet?

When has a start-up started up? That was one of the questions folks were asking themselves after the recent Digital Media Awards.
The decision to give the award for best Irish start-up using digital to Usheru caused a stir among the digerati. The problem, as commentators eagerly noted, is that the firm is not fully up and running in Ireland. Moreover, it lists its headquarters as being in the UK.
The Usheru app makes movie recommendations and offers discounted cinema tickets. It was launched in London last year. However, as of now, Irish users can’t buy tickets or fully avail of offers. 


Broken earbuds led to startup inspiration for Wayzata junior – StarTribune.com

Bharat Pulgam had gone through three pairs of earbuds in six months before he had a eureka moment: If just a piece of a headphone is broken, that doesn’t mean music fans have to replace an entire headphone set.

“I was like, why are people throwing away their earbuds if just the wire frays at the very end?” said Pulgam, a 17-year-old junior at Wayzata High School. 


Startup Spotlight: StormSensor helps cities and businesses track stormwater contamination – GeekWire

After spending 12 years as an environmental consultant, Erin Rothman became familiar with the inefficiencies around how companies and government organizations stayed compliant with regulations. Inspired to build a better solution, she teamed up with Anya Stettler to start StormSensor.

The Seattle-based co-founders have spent the past year developing a platform that automates the stormwater monitoring and reporting process for cities and businesses. 


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