What hardware investors want to see in 2018 (and what they don’t)

As hardware startup investors, we spend a good part of our lives looking at hardware projects and predicting winners and losers. Naturally, we’d like to see more entrepreneurs in the “winners” pile. So for anyone working on a hardware product, here’s our best advice on what types of projects are worth attempting in 2018 and what types you’d be better off avoiding — if you’re hoping to get funded, that is. Read more>>

Does Your Startup Have a Spending Strategy?

nov17-30-119326521-Catherine-LednerStarting a new business involves a host of challenges, and chief among them is knowing what to spend your money on—and how much to spend. You have to consider salaries, marketing budget, office size, technology services, and on and on. These spending choices require tradeoffs, so entrepreneurs must first develop a strategy for allocating limited resources across a wide range of available options. Too often, assumptions about the potential market and its clients can cloud our judgement about expenses. Let’s examine two cases, one a former colleague and the other a close friend. Read more>>

New Study Sheds Light on Angel Investors in the US Economy

BOSTON—“The American Angel,” a new comprehensive national study released yesterday, provides a detailed picture of angel investors–who they are, where they live, and how they make investment decisions.  Andy Wu, assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, said they are excited to share the findings of this first large-scale survey of its kind in this country, shedding light on the identity of the ‘American Angel,’ and how that is rapidly changing. Read more>>

Are ICOs The New Startup Lifeblood?

Tech company Hanson Robotics is using SingularityNet, a token-based marketplace, to help fund the development of advanced artificial intelligence. This kind of crowdfunding campaign is known as an initial coin offering (ICO). A video promoting the ICO sale features Sophia explaining SingularityNet’s marketplace. An ICO is a virtual coin or token that is sold to investors in an effort to raise capital for a new company. Depending on the terms of the ICO, the token sold to an investor can represent either an investment security, or a form of currency within a company’s application. And while it might sound a little too futuristic, ICOs are a key tool for launching a business or entrepreneurial effort. Read more>>

There’s an implosion of early-stage VC funding, and no one’s talking about it

Amid record amounts of capital raised by VCs worldwide, and a sharp rise in the number of private “unicorns” valued at $1 billion-plus, there has been a quiet, barely noticed implosion in early-stage VC activity worldwide. Since 2014, the number of VC rounds in technology companies worldwide has nearly halved, from 19,000 to 10,000, according to PitchBook. During that time, the drop in VC funding amount has been nowhere near as dramatic, highlighting that VCs are concentrating investment into fewer later-stage companies. Read more>>

Forget Facebook, Amazon or Google. Up-and-coming top tech talent is opting for startups.

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — the aptly named FANG companies — are coming under increased scrutiny for their total market dominance. In their respective but more frequently overlapping areas of focus, these giants have collected enough information to hold an alarming amount of global influence. Chief among that, and perhaps most concerning, is the amount of data collected on us, the everyday users. Well past their inflection points, and with every single usage, these companies are woven deeper into the fabric of our lives. Some might even say more emphatically that they have becomeour everyday lives. Read more>>

6 ways to increase your conversion rate using behavioral data

When you start to unpick the visitor behavior on your website, one thing is apparent: Everyone has a limited amount of tolerance for frustration before they drop off. Last week’s Masterclass with SessionCam and Subway—How to Convert Your Website Visitors into Customers—covers the optimization tactics that work to stop this bucket spilling over and maximize your conversion rates. Only 19.2% of webinar attendees are satisfied with their conversion rates, which highlights what a key challenge this is for marketers; 42.6% of attendees are dissatisfied with their conversion rates. Read more>>

Researchers create a light-based key distribution system for quantum encryption

Researchers at Duke University, OSU and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have solved one of the biggest problems with new forms of quantum encryption: quantum key distribution. QKD is the process of distributing keys during a transmission and in a way that will tell both sides of the conversation that someone is eavesdropping. The new system, which uses lasers to transmit multiple bits at once, can be used to connect and secure quantum computers in the future. Read more>>

 

Predicting success in startup consumer brands

dollar shave clubNearly three years ago, Saar Gur and Matt Heiman wrote about how early-stage consumer product companies were overlooked by venture capitalists, but had the potential to create breakout success. At the time, VCs largely shrugged off the category by pointing to the lack of sizable outcomes in the consumer vertical and the difficulty of predicting which brands would be successful. These startups are taking advantage of not only the changing habits of millennial consumers, but also the ability to reach those consumers and build brand awareness through under-exploited digital marketing channels. Read more>>

Blockchain: Reshaping advertising, removing fraud, rebuilding trust

In part two of our four-part guest series from marketing veteran and blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein, we highlight four companies that are at the forefront of disrupting the $532 billion advertising industry. Awareness is critical and advertising is a necessary component to driving consideration. You also know that the current model does not optimize your effectiveness or your return on marketing investment. For every dollar you invest in advertising, you only get 44 cents of value. Read more>>

Weekly Newsletters on Marketing , Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation