Kellogg Starts Venture Fund to Find Growth Amid Cereal Slump

Kellogg Co., struggling with slumping U.S. cereal sales, will invest about $100 million in a venture fund, a bid to use a Silicon Valley approach to find the food industry’s next growth engine. The fund – named Eighteen94 Capital, a nod to the year the company’s flaked cereal was invented – will look to take minority stakes in startups developing new packaging, ingredients, products and technology. Read More>>

BGI’s incubator enabling innovation in gene science sector

BGI, one of the world’s biggest genomics companies, is making efforts to promote innovation in the industry by creating Miracle Light, the only incubation platform in the world that focuses on the genetics industry. The incubator, which is located in an industrial park in Shenzhen’s Nanshan district in Guangdong, aims to provide an open and innovative platform on which scientific research, technological development and industry resources can be integrated together to promote development of the industry. Read More>>

Airbnb Adds $1 Billion to War Chest for Expansion

Airbnb Inc. secured a $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest U.S. banks to help the home-sharing company develop new services and fund growth initiatives, people familiar with the matter said. The financing gives Airbnb more money to spend on global growth strategies and expansion beyond home-sharing. The San Francisco-based company is building add-on travel services, Bloomberg reported in March, and it’s running a TV ad campaign right now, a particularly pricey form of customer acquisition. Read More>>


As a company scales it’s easy for teams to lose sight of who they’re building for. With siloed teams and a lack of communication, customer empathy becomes so diluted that it’s just another poster on the wall. But for today’s software companies, customer support teams can keep everyone intimately connected to the problem you’re solving. Provided they’re set up in the right way, they can make sure the right kind of features are on your roadmap, and the right kind of insights are driving your research team. Read More>>

Startup Valuations, Mutual Funds, And The Saga Of Blue Bottle

Everybody in Silicon Valley loves Blue Bottle Coffee—except the mutual funds that have invested in it. Morgan Stanley’s Multicap Growth mutual fund, which bought $2.68 million of Blue Bottle in 2014, has recently marked down the company’s shares nearly ten percent to $16.84, according to disclosures required by the SEC. Since Blue Bottle isn’t publicly traded, aside from leaked financial data mutual fund valuations are one of the few hard data points the public has to assess what the company’s shares are worth, or at least what mutual funds think they are. And that’s important—more than it has been historically—because of changes introduced by a 2012 law: the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Read More>>

The Backfire Effect – How you can persuade even your toughest customers

I realize my persuasion Jedi techniques won’t always work. But having a breakfast with my two year old, opened my eyes to the “backfire effect” and how it feels better when someone confirms it’s ok to feel the way I do. And even better, when they feel the same way. Now instead of heated and angry, I’m listening again. And maybe I become a little more open minded. Read More>>

Valuation For Startups — 9 Methods Explained

A startup is like a box. The box has a value. The box is also magic. When you put $1 inside, it will return you $2, $3 or even $10! Amazing!. Problem is, building a box can be very expensive. So you need to go and see people with money — let’s call them investors — and offer them a deal that gives them X%. But how much should “X” be? It depends on the Pre-Money Valuation. But calculating the Pre-Money Valuation is tricky. Here are some methods. Read More>>

Apple To Use ‘Differential Privacy’ To Collect Data From iPads, iPhones

Companies have inconspicuously begun collecting mounds of location and use data from mobile phones through snippets of code embedded in operating systems and beacons in physical stores that send targeted text messages based on online searches or location. Similarly, when Apple releases an update to its iOS for iPhone and iPad in fall 2016, it will begin using a technology it calls “differential privacy” to gain insight into user behavior. Read More>>

Facebook offers details on how it handles research

Facebook Inc. published on last Tuesday new details on how it conducts research using the personal information it collects on its users, amid a flurry of efforts to create privacy and ethical standards for corporate research involving human data. Facebook collects data, which it uses to look for behavioral patterns such as voting habits, relationship status and how interactions with certain types of content might make people feel. Read More>>

Investors Warn Unicorns: Share Info Evenly or Get Sued

Listed companies must give all investors the same important information at the same time. Private companies have more leeway. But an explosion of “unicorn” startups valued over $1 billion and more opportunities for smaller investors to buy and sell stakes has made the market for pre-IPO companies more like the public equity market. As a result, investors are pushing for startups to behave like their publicly listed counterparts. Even the Securities and Exchange Commission is starting to poke around. Read More>>