A compilation of important international news from the startup world:
DCM Ventures is a venture capital firm with over $2.8 billion under management. Since 1996, they have invested in more than 280 technology companies across the U.S. and Asia. With offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tokyo, DCM Ventures empowers their entrepreneurs with hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources. As per the latest information, US-based DCM Ventures, venture capital firm has raised $770 million for its various investment funds. Of this amount, $500 million will be used for DCM’s eighth flagship global investment fund, $100 million (A-fund) for early-stage startups, and $170 million (Turbo Fund) for growth-stage companies. Till date DCM Ventures has invested in more than 280 technology companies such as 58.com Inc, KakaoTalk, YikYak, Eaze, Jawbone, Tuniu Corp. and Vipshop Holdings Ltd.
More than 22 million travelers use Indian Railways’ 1,15,000km network every day, crossing the country to get to work, to get home, to reach family, and to take holidays. It’s one of the largest railway networks in the world but it’s probably also one of the most frustrating to use — everything from booking a ticket to finding a good meal on board can be hard. It’s these 22 million people’s problems that a clutch of startups is targeting by applying technology to make train journeys less arduous. Startups are applying technology to help passengers find confirmed tickets by predicting availability, track PNR numbers, and even have a hot meal by delivering it to their seat. And it’s not just the private sector that’s recognized the need for innovative solutions to make the 163-year-old Indian Railways more agile. In his recent Budget speech, railway minister Suresh Prabhu announced a 50 crore innovation fund for startups set up by its employees to solve problems unique to the organization. The ministry is also mulling setting up an incubator.
Innovation and entrepreneurship in China. It’s either going to change the world or it will mire Chinese technological development in a sea of useless junk. Chinese tech companies are regularly accused of copying and intellectual property theft , but there is a wave of individual inventiveness happening in Shenzhen and other cities that cannot be ignored. And when you visit these entrepreneurs it is an experience that could fundamentally distort reality where the laws of science do not apply. Big Chinese internet companies like Alibaba, Tencent, JD and Baidu dominate broad swathes of the e-commerce market. But their success has inspired countless numbers of individuals to seek their fortune on new ideas.
CNET notes that the Detroit car company is already deeply involved with these types of investments, but its portfolio is broadening with an investment in a firm that creates maps for self-driving cars. Like other automakers, Ford is testing its self-driving vehicle tech in Michigan and California, where engineers are checking the sensors that identify and track objects in the car’s view. The investment move would give Ford Motor Company an edge in the race toward autonomous driving. According to Tech Times, the Albany software startup revealed that the recent injection of fund will go straight to product development and implementation of its tech into the automobile manufacturing sector. Wired notes that the biggest advantage of autonomous vehicles over humans is the ability to tune out distractions. No yelling children, buzzing mobile phones, or lovely daydream will divert their focus from the main task.
Virginia Tech is talking to large pharmaceutical firms about cooperating with the university on research projects and opening offices inside Roanoke’s new health care innovation district. Michael Friedlander, founder of Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and a driving force behind the city’s growing health care industry, said that sort of partnership is only a concept, but affirmed that conversations are underway. City Manager Chris Morrill said Roanoke currently doesn’t have a major pharmaceutical company. Landing one would be the kind of payoff that city and university officials promised when they unveiled grand plans for a new health care hub in March. “That would be huge,” Morrill said. “It moves us closer to being that health science center on the east coast that we want to be.” Speaking to a crowd of entrepreneurs at a Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council event on Thursday at The Inn at Virginia Tech, Friedlander said the university is in the middle of “at least three very active explorations” with the goals of partnering with pharmaceutical groups and convincing them to come to Roanoke.
Signers of the letter come from some of the most powerful tech companies including Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Qualcomm, Ebay, Tumblr and Apple, as well as startups, venture capital firms, nonprofits and universities. “He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people,” the collection of tech power players says in the letter. “His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.” The letter focuses on immigration, which is a hot topic for the tech industry that sources much of its top talents from other countries. According to the letter, 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.
The two-day Hackathone witnessed surging of ideas and innovations with startups and hackers presenting unique technology products and solutions that would make immense impact in the business world. The event concluded here last evening. ‘Read and Share’, a virtual library concept developed by Team CodRack, headed byNihas PL, Sanu K. Soman and Shan K. Paul won the first prize of Rs 1lakh. The second prize of Rs 50,000 was won by the team ‘Knights watch’, which developed anadaptive learning platform to make learning a fun and Team ‘Entangled’ from CUSAT,which developed a smart earphone with electrodes that could read the brain waveswon the third prize of Rs 25,000. A host of prominent entrepreneurs and CEO’s from across the country finalised winners at a brain-storming session. The prizes were distributed by Dr M K.Muneer, MLA and N Prashanth IAS, District Collector, Kozhikode at a glittering function held at Cyberpark.