News from around the world – May 21

What's happening around the world!

A compilation of important news from the startup world: 


High-tech startups dominate in 2016 MassChallenge Boston cohort
Dominating this year’s cohort are high-tech startups, which represent 32 percent of the total number of finalists, or about 40 startups. About 30 percent are health care and life sciences startups, 20 percent are general, retail and consumer goods, and the rest are social impact, clean-tech and energy startups. “We received consistent feedback from our judges about the quality of applicants this year, and I’m confident we’ll have an incredibly high ­caliber class of entrepreneurs joining us in Boston,”said MassChallenge Boston’s Managing Director Scott Bailey in a statement. “These entrepreneurs will be challenged throughout the program to impact communities and provide disruptive solutions across a wide range of industries.” The program will culminate on Nov. 2, at an annual ceremony where founders will pitch their businesses for the chance to win $1.5 million in awards.

Israeli tech pioneer starts $100 million fund for startups
One of Israel’s most successful high-tech pioneers has co-founded a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in Israeli startups in the field of cloud computing, the internet of things and artificial intelligence. Dov Moran, whose company M-Systems invented the USB stick and expanded the use of flash memory that today drives most electronic devices, is the managing partner of Grove Ventures, which on Thursday announced an initial closing of $30 million.

UAE Expo 2020 organisers call for tech startups to help drive job creation
Rising levels of investment in regional technology start-ups has made them more attractive to big corporations looking to collaborate, a key driver for job creation, according to organisers of Dubai’s Expo 2020. At a summit in Dubai yesterday, companies both old and new were urged to find more ways to engage and help to tackle the Middle East and North Africa’s unprecedented jobs crisis. Tens of millions of new jobs are forecast to be needed by 2020 to meet a growing labour force in the region. According to the World Bank, start-ups are one of the main engines of job creation in the Mena region; “in Lebanon, about 177 per cent of net job creation from 2005 to 2010 was generated by micro start-ups; in Tunisia, small start-ups created 580,000 jobs from 1996 to 2010, 92 per cent of all net job creation”.

Vietnamese startup community showcases solutions at FPT Tech Day
Held Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City, FPT Tech Day 2016 enabled Vietnam’s startup community to meet with and showcase their solutions to local and international tech experts. The event, organized by Vietnam’s leading tech firm FPT, also attracted a number of young visitors, seeking to discover the latest made-in-Vietnam apps and technologies. Among the key foreign guests were Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google Southeast Asia and India, and Kirsten Gilbertson, public and private cloud sales lead with Microsoft in Asia-Pacific.

Japan’s IMJ Investment Partners scouts for more deals in Vietnam
Seed to series A Japanese investor IMJ Investment Partners, which has already made one venture funding in a Ho Chi Minh City-based startup, is scouting for more investible bets in Vietnam. While 40 per cent of its Southeast Asian portfolio come from Indonesia, IMJ is sourcing for more opportunities in Vietnam. As exits have been a pain point in the Vietnam startup scene, the Japanese investor is prepared for different options for exits, even helping investees tap the IPO route. IMJ Southeast Asia investment manager Ryu Hirota says, there is no clear pattern for an exit plan, but IMJ can consider an exit after five years of investment. The firm typical invests in the region of $100,000-300,000. Founded in January 2012, IMJ originally focussed on Japan and Silicon Valley but started looking at Southeast Asia following setting up of an office in Singapore in February 2013.

$58 Million In Funding For Detroit’s Venture-Backed Startups
Detroit’s in the news again, and it’s good. Next week is the first ever Detroit Startup Week from Techstars (the Boulder-based tech incubator and accelerator), a five-day celebration of Detroit and its entrepreneurial community, with events, speakers and exhibits focused on entrepreneurship, led by entrepreneurs and hosted in their spaces. It comes on the heels of the 2016 annual research report from the Michigan Venture Capital Association, which found that Detroit is one of the fast growing entrepreneurial communities in Michigan, a state with one of the fastest growing venture capital communities n the U.S.

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