Startup Roundup March 10, 2016

Meet the 25 startups that pitched at Entrepreneur First’s latest Demo Day | TechCrunch

By all accounts, the London startup scene was abuzz with Entrepreneur First‘s latest Demo Day today, as 25 startups — up from nine! — took to the stage to pitch their wares. The so-called “talent first” investor targets the best technical graduates in Europe and beyond to put them through a six-month program where they form teams and in turn found startups.

This “pre-team, pre-idea” approach is what sets EF apart from other accelerators, while the emphasis on technical talent — 95 percent of the cohort who presented today have a technical background — is producing some very interesting results. “This could be game changing for the U.K. ecosystem,” is how one serial entrepreneur put it to me prior to the event. 

3 female founders on what it’s like to run a startup when you’re under 30

It is well known the global technology industry is woeful when it comes to female representation and diversity. Youth, on the other hand, has real currency in this brave new world. But what is it like to be both a woman and young while working on your own startup?

Mashable Australia spoke with three female founders from Australia and New Zealand, all under 30, who are in the trenches, growing their own businesses and leading international teams. 

Young startups like NoBroker, NestAway Technologies now eliminating brokers in real estate transactions – The Economic Times

After companies like 99acres, and CommonFloor changed how people search for properties, a clutch of young startups are now solving a bigger problem: how to eliminate the broker or the main intermediary involved in real estate transactions who charges a hefty fee per transaction and often fail to win trust. Startups such as NoBroker, NestAway Technologies and Grabhouse allow landlords to directly list their properties on their portals while using technology to keep brokers away. 

Startups seek slam dunk in front of Sacramento Kings fans – CNET

The fate of your startup may rest in the hands of more than 17,000 basketball fans.

Four lucky companies will pitch themselves to Sacramento Kings fans next month as part of “Capitalize,” a startup beauty contest sponsored by the NBA franchise and Velocity Venture Capital, a local investment firm. Fans will vote on the pitches via Twitter, when the Kings play the Portland Trail Blazers at Sleep Train Arena on April 5. 

Intel Acquires Israeli Virtual Reality Startup – WSJ

Intel Corp. said Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire Replay Technologies, an Israeli virtual-reality startup specializing in the digitization of sports, a business the Silicon Valley giant is eager to grow. 

Inside China’s Historic $338 Billion Tech Startup Experiment – Bloomberg Business

China is getting into the venture capital business in a big way. A really, really big way.

The country’s government-backed venture funds raised about 1.5 trillion yuan ($231 billion) in 2015, tripling the amount under management in a single year to 2.2 trillion yuan, according to data compiled by the consultancy Zero2IPO Group. That’s the biggest pot of money for startups in the world and almost five times the sum raised by other venture firms last year globally, according to London-based consultancy Preqin Ltd.

The money’s in what are known as government guidance funds, where local and central agencies play some role. With 780 such funds nationwide and a lot of experimentation, there’s no set model for how they’re managed or funded. The bulk of their capital comes from tax revenue or state-backed loans.

By any measure, Phantom Cyber is a David in a world of security Goliaths. Yet it scored top honors as the Most Innovative Startup of RSA 2016 Innovation Sandbox contest. It has raised less money than most of other contenders. Yet it’s offerings were seen as novel, even ground breaking.

At a standing room only event at Moscone North, 10 startups pitched. Each had precisely 3 minutes, and a nerve-jangling buzzer cut them off if they exceeded the time. 

Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups Sets Sights on Vietnam – Digits – WSJ

Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups is starting a fund to pump money into Vietnam, a sign that some foreign investors believe the communist state’s technology scene is set to blossom.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based seed investor and startup incubator said Tuesday that it aims to invest $10 million in some 100 to 150 startups in the fast-growing country.

“I’ve been watching the tech scene here since 2010, and back then it was way too early” to invest, Eddie Thai, a 500 Startups venture partner, told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday at an event to launch the fund in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Over that period of time, the macros [macroeconomic conditions] improved,” said Mr. Thai. “Internet access improved, smartphones became ubiquitous,” and the teams running startups in Vietnam have gotten “stronger and stronger every year,” he said. “This is our call to everybody to say we’re investing, come to us.” 

‘Brexit’ Nerves Cost This London Tech Startup $142,000 Already – Bloomberg Business

“Brexit” is already happening for Rich Pleeth.

The co-founder of friend-finding app Sup was trying to secure funding to grow his London-based startup and thought he had good news when an offer came from a German firm to kick in 100,000 pounds ($142,000). Then British Prime Minister David Cameron called a referendum on membership in the European Union for June 23. With polls showing the result could be close, the investor backed out. 

India Startup Cut off From Facebook After U.S. Rival’s Protest – Bloomberg Business

Houzify, a one-year-old home-decor startup backed by leading Indian technology industry names, said Facebook Inc. pulled the plug on its page after Sequoia Capital-backed rival Houzz Inc. complained of trademark infringements.

A copyright dispute between the interior design sites burst into the open after Houzify — backed by Naveen Tewari, founder of Indian mobile ads platform InMobi Pte. — said Facebook had wiped its presence without warning. As of Wednesday, the link to its page had been replaced with an error message saying it was broken or had been removed.

Startup founders have since expressed concern over Houzify’s assertion that Facebook acted unilaterally. The social network had already riled Internet companies in India earlier with its Free Basics service, which offered access to a limited swathe of pared-down Internet websites to users. Startups protested that such a plan would disadvantage smaller services. 


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