Kickstarter Shadow Project Finds its Way into Sci-Fi Original

A while back we wrote about the Shadow project on Kickstarter. Now fully funded with 30 hours to go, this amazing app will reportedly help you record and remember your dreams.

As a writer, I was so intrigued with the possibilities of Shadow that I decided to weave it into my latest Sci-Fi original story, The Observer Effect.

This video trailer is a teaser for The Observer Effect, which is featured in the PrintN’Fly Guide to SC13 Denver.

Tagline: A scientist uses Big Data to try and prove the existence of God.”

Sponsored by Mellanox, the PrintN’Fly Guide to SC13 Denver will feature interviews on Exascale, high performance networking, and the 25th anniversary of the conference as well as restaurant and bar reviews for downtown Denver. Look for it right here in early November!

Download The Observer Effect (PDF).

A $20 Social Impact Fund to Power Startups Focused on Reducing Suffering

Carolynn Duncan said the new fund will make investments of up to $250,000 in social impact companies.

Over at Sustainable Business Oregon, Lee van der Voo writes that a new $20 million social impact fund will focus on bringing engineers, entrepreneurs, and fund managers to bear on world problems.

Our focus is: How can we reduce suffering in the world through market-based solutions?” said Duncan, adding the fund will look for great technical and business talent on the West Coast. She added the fund will seek companies that really go after, tackle and solve a world problem, but don’t settle for lower returns in exchange.

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Why Formidable Founders Get Funded

Paul Graham writes that investors tend to fund Startups with founders who have “formidable” qualities.

The foundation of convincing investors is to seem formidable, and since this isn’t a word most people use in conversation much, I should explain what it means. A formidable person is one who seems like they’ll get what they want, regardless of whatever obstacles are in the way. Formidable is close to confident, except that someone could be confident and mistaken. Formidable is roughly justifiably confident.

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Podcast: How General Catalyst Partners Sparks Big Data Innovation


 
In this podcast, Deepak Jeevan Kumar from VC firm General Catalyst Partners describes his efforts to help entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas in big data, cloud computing, data center infrastructure, cyber-security, and clean energy.

Deepak Jeevan Kumar has been with General Catalyst since 2010, first in Boston and later in the firm’s Palo Alto office. He specializes in incubating and launching big data and cloud computing startups. Deepak has been closely involved in General Catalyst’s investments in AltiScale, DataGravity, ParElastic, Push Computing, Sunglass.io and Virtual Instruments. Prior to joining GC, Deepak led Sun Microsystems’ high performance computing work in the Asia-Pacific region. He has the distinction of being a key architect of a few top 10 supercomputers in the world. He also had a short stint at the Yale Investments office. Deepak is a graduate of the National University of Singapore, earning a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering; the Singapore-MIT Alliance, earning a S.M. in Computer Science; and the Yale School of Management, earning an M.B.A.

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Startups Can Now Advertise That They’re Fundraising

Over at TechCrunch, Gregory Constine writes that the SEC has lifted the ban on general solicitation and permits startups, venture capitalists, and hedge funds to openly advertise that they’re raising money in private offerings. The rule change washes away some limitations on advertising of fundraising that have been in place for 80 years.

With General Solicitation it will be much easier for investors to find companies they are passionate about supporting,” writes Mike Norman of crowdfunding website, WeFunder, to us in an email. The new rule will hopefully open up the capital-starved startup market to the majority of investors. According to WeFunder’s website, only 3% of the US’s 8 million accredited investors are active in the tech startup space.

Constine goes on to say that the ability to advertise fundraising could spawn high-impact startups that never would have existed, and they might even spring up in areas where there are no investors within earshot — aka outside of Silicon Valley. Read the Full Story.

Fred Wilson on the Product > Strategy > Business Model

Over at the AVC Blog, Fred Wilson writes that one of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is moving to a business model before locking down strategy.

I remember back to the 2009 time period at Twitter. The service had most certainly found product market fit. And the team turned its attention to business model. There were all sorts of discussions of paid accounts, subscriptions, a data business, and many more ideas. At the same time, Ev Williams was articulating a strategy that had Twitter becoming the “an information network that people use to discover what they care about.” And so the strategy required getting as many sources of information on to Twitter and as many users accessing it. It was all about network size. That strategy required a business model that kept the service free for everyone and open to all comers. That led to the promoted suite business model. Twitter executed product > strategy > business model very well.

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