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Month: September 2018

Carpooling service Klaxit partners with Uber for last-minute changes

French startup Klaxit connects drivers with riders so that you don’t have to take your car to work every day. And the company recently announced a new feature with the help of Uber. If your driver cancels your ride home, Klaxit will book an Uber for you. Klaxit is a ride-sharing startup that focuses on one thing — commuting to work. And this problem is more complicated than you might think. You can’t just go to work with the same person every day because you don’t always go to work at the same time. Similarly, sometimes your driver has to leave work early, leaving you at the office with no alternative. As a driver, you want to take the quickest route to work. So you want to be matched with riders who are exactly on the way to work. Klaxit currently handles 300,000 rides per day. In particu...

Relike lets you turn a Facebook page into a newsletter

French startup Ownpage has recently released a new product called Relike. Relike is one of the easiest ways to get started with email newsletters. You enter the web address of your Facebook page and that’s about it. The company automatically pulls your most recent posts from your Facebook page and lets you set up an emailing campaign in a few clicks. You can either automatically pick your most popular Facebook posts or manually select a few posts. Just like any emailing service, you can choose between multiple templates, decide the day of the week and time of the day, import a database of email addresses and more. If you’ve used Mailchimp in the past, you’ll feel right at home. But the idea isn’t to compete directly with newsletter services. Many social media managers, media organizations,...

6 Keys To Maximizing Your Content Marketing Impact

Entrepreneurs have always believed that their product or service must show real value to customers, but today the smart ones are even able to make their marketing valuable. The days are gone when marketing was all “pushing product.” Now customers seek out people who are willing and able to add value, with expertise and insight, even before they have a product. This new approach is often called “pull marketing,” where the idea is to establish a loyal following and draw customers to your content, and eventually your solutions. Customers don’t even see this as advertising. For example, top bloggers today, including Rand Fishkin and Gary Vaynerchuk, find no need to advertise, as customers come to them for value from content alone. The impact of the right marketing content, and the principles o...

Ne-Yo wants to make Silicon Valley more diverse, one investment at a time

Dressed in a Naruto t-shirt and a hat emblazoned with the phrase “lone wolf,” Ne-Yo slouches over in a chair inside a Holberton School classroom. The Grammy-winning recording artist is struggling to remember the name of “that actor,” the one who’s had a successful career in both the entertainment industry and tech investing. “I learned about all the things he was doing and I thought it was great for him,” Ne-Yo told TechCrunch. “But I didn’t really know what my place in tech would be.” It turns out “that actor” is Ashton Kutcher, widely known in Hollywood and beyond for his role in several blockbusters and the TV sitcom That ’70s Show, and respected in Silicon Valley for his investments via Sound Ventures and A-G...

5 Keys To Minimizing The Burn Rate For Your Startup

Cash flow is a basic survival metric for every startup. Investors check your burn rate to assess your efficiency, and project your remaining runway before you run out of money and into a brick wall. Don’t wait until you are almost out of cash before managing every dollar spent, or looking for the next refueling from investors. Desperate entrepreneurs lose their leverage and die young. It doesn’t take a financial genius to recognize that you need to keep your burn rate low. Yet it always amazes me that I can find two different startups, seemingly working on the same problem, with one having a burn rate several times higher than the other. Of course, their answer is that the second intends to get to market faster, but every engine has limits regardless the fuel applied. If your runway is les...

Y Combinator is changing up the way it invests

To keep up with the growing sizes of early-stage funding rounds, Y Combinator announced this morning that it will increase the size of its investments to $150,000 for 7 percent equity starting with its winter 2019 batch. Based in Mountain View, Calif., YC funds and mentors hundreds of startups per year through its 12-week program that culminates in a demo day, where founders pitch their companies to an audience of Silicon Valley’s top investors. Airbnb, Dropbox and Instacart are among its greatest successes. Since 2014, YC has invested $120,000 for 7 percent equity in its companies. It has increased the size of its investment before — in 2007, a YC “standard deal” was just $20,000 — but the amount of equity the accelerator takes in exchange for the capital has...

Block.Party raises $10M, will adapt Settlers of Catan to its blockchain game console

Blok.Party, the company the upcoming PlayTable game console, announced today raised $10 million in new funding. It’s also unveiling a big content partnership, where Blok.Party will create its own version of the popular board game Settlers of Catan. I first wrote about Blok.Party and PlayTable earlier this year, when co-founder and CEO Jimmy Chen first laid out his vision to use blockchain technology to build a console that can recognize real-world objects (like figurines and cards), creating a hybrid between tabletop and video gaming. The idea may have sounded a little abstract at the time, but it got a lot clearer when Chen dropped by the TechCrunch New York office to play a couple rounds of Catan with me. I’ll admit that I hadn’t played in a while, but it was clear from...

Adopt An Entrepreneur Mindset To Enhance Your Career

One of the big differences between an entrepreneur and an employee of a big business is that employees tend to have a very narrow focus on their job, while entrepreneurs have to keep the broader focus on business. Both want personal satisfaction and financial success. In fact, U.S. entrepreneurs consistently claim to be happier, and have a higher net worth than employees. In my advisory role to businesses of all sizes, I have personally found that you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to act like one, and enjoy the result. No matter what your role or level as an employee, if you can keep the big picture in perspective, you will do better in your career, get more positive feedback, advance more rapidly, and get the pay raises you desire more often. Acting like an entrepreneur isn’t a trait t...

Our 3 favorite startups from Urban-X’s 4th demo day

Urban-X, the urban-tech startup accelerator backed by BMW MINI and early-stage urban-tech fund Urban.Us, hosted a demo day today for its fourth cohort of companies at its Brooklyn HQ.  The seven presenting companies offered solutions to issues plaguing modern cities, including toll-road pricing, energy and construction management, and even the inefficiencies of modern cycling helmets. In a day that offered an impressive display of entrepreneurial talent, here are a few of the companies that really stood out to us: Rentlogic In hopes of improving landlord transparency, Rentlogic uses years of city government data to create objective algorithmic letter ratings for apartment buildings.  As CEO Yale Fox pointed out, despite city-dwellers spending half our paychecks on rent, urban housing hasn’...

UK’s most outstanding young entrepreneurs have built million pound business empires

The annual Young Guns list has been announced today, showcasing the country’s top young founders aged 35 and under who’ve made or raised millions for their businesses… Source: Startups

May Mobility puts autonomous shuttles on the streets of Columbus, Ohio

This December a set of autonomous vehicles will start roaming the streets of Columbus, Ohio in an effort to turn this bustling midwestern community into the first smart city. The project, which is part of the Smart Columbus and DriveOhio initiatives, is the first step in launching a fully autonomous shuttle route in the city. “We’re proud to have the first self-driving shuttle in Ohio being tested on the streets of Columbus,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This pilot will shape future uses of this emerging technology in Columbus and the nation. Residents win when we add more mobility options to our transportation ecosystem – making it easier to get to work, school or local attractions.” Michigan-based May Mobility provided the shuttles and the team is training the autonomous vehicles...

Compound launches easy way to short cryptocurrencies

Think Ethereum and other crypto coins are overvalued? Now you can make money when their prices fall via Compound, which is launching its money market protocol for shorting cryptocurrencies today. The Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz-funded startup today opens its simple web interface allowing users to borrow and short Ethereum, 0x’s ZRX, Brave’s BAT, and Augur’s REP token, or lend them through Compound to earn interest. “If/when Compound scales, this will lead to some really interesting improvements in market structure, namely, fairer prices” Compound CEO Robert Leshner tells me. The startup spent the summer completing a security audit by Trail Of Bits and adding 26 hedge fund partners who will trade with Compound, offering liquidity to independent investors l...

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