Google Announces 4 New Indian Startups for Fresh ‘Launchpad Accelerator’ Batch

Google Announces 4 New Indian Startups for Fresh 'Launchpad Accelerator' Batch

Google on Friday announced the four shortlisted Indian startups for its hands-on mentorship programme ‘Launchpad Accelerator’. With this batch, a total of 30 Indian startups have so far joined the class.

The shortlisted startups – BabyChakra, m.Paani, NIRAMAI and SocialCops – will join a group of startups shortlisted from all over the world at the Google Developers’ Launchpad Space in San Francisco in the US.

Class 5 of the mentorship will kick off on January 29 and will include two weeks of all-expenses paid training, as part of the the full six-month programme.

“These startups have been shortlisted based on their unique value proposition and use of latest technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Google Developers Launchpad, said in a statement.

BabyChakra is a trusted care companion to Indian parents, from pregnancy to parenting.

m.Paani powers real-time, direct to consumer engagement, marketing, loyalty and insights for mass market consumers and retailers.

NIRAMAI is a healthtech startup that has developed a novel breast cancer screening solution while SocialCops empowers organisations to make better decisions through data.

Launchpad Accelerator is Google’s six-month programme that includes an intensive two-week boot camp in San Francisco and mentoring from over 30 teams across Google and expert mentors from top technology companies in Silicon Valley and globally.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Who are the virtual reality and augmented reality startups in the UK? Meet 28 of the country’s best

AR and VR startups: Blippar

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) revenues are set to rocket from £4.2 billion in 2016 to more than £130 billion in 2020 according to research from the International Data Corporation.

The UK plays home to a number of emerging players in the industry hoping to cash in on the boom. A recent report by GrowthEnabler estimated that of more than 800 companies working in the segment worldwide, more than 150 are based in the Britain.

Here’s our pick of the ones to watch out for.

[Source:- Techworld]

 

How to tackle bro-culture in tech startups

Uber on mobile phone

Susan Fowler, an engineer who used to work at Uber, says the company prioritised bro-code over her complaints. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

March is Women’s History Month and if you’re a journalist writing about women and work, your inbox will be inundated with press releases from corporates. They all want to tell you about the amazing programme they run for women, the targets they have set, or the new female board member they have just appointed. If you believed everything you were told you would think the average workplace was female nirvana. And then you read a blog post like the recent one from Susan Fowler, an engineer who used to work at Uber, and you realise how far there is still to go.

In case you missed it, last month Fowler blogged about why she left the tech giant. She explained that despite registering complaints about sexual harassment and discrimination, the company prioritised bro-code over behaviour. According to Fowler, reporting any sexual harassment issues resulted in her being told that either she was overreacting or that the man in question was a high performer so his behaviour would be ignored.

As a response to this, Uber opened an investigation, with its CEO, Travis Kalanick, claiming he wants justice for everyone at the company. Perhaps it’s just me but his statement has the ring of defensiveness about it. Whatever the results of the review, it’s important to remember that Uber is not alone is this behaviour. There are a good many tech firms currently counting the number of women in their engineering teams and worrying that they might be next. As Sarah Lacy, founder of Pando Daily, tells Vox, the culture of Silicon Valley and the entire tech industry has changed.

The sort of bro culture seen at Uber recently might be expected in banking, a hangover from the Wolf of Wall Street days, but there’s an assumption that tech companies should be more enlightened. However, as more money has poured into tech startups, the culture has changed. The alpha male bro is reigning, and it’s not good for women.

In the spirit of generosity, here is some advice for tech companies. If you’re concerned that your organisation is about to be submerged by a sexual harassment scandal, this is what you should do:

  • Ask your female employees to tell you honestly what it’s like to work there. Whether you like their response or not, believe them. Don’t try to deny it, don’t try to explain it, and definitely don’t try to tell the women they have misunderstood the situation. Accept it and start to think about how you can fix it.
  • Institute a zero-tolerance policy to any form of sexual harassment or discrimination. In an ideal world this would have been the status quo for every company, but we know it’s not.
  • Take a serious look at your HR team. All too often HR is a second consideration for startups, something they have to do as they grow and when the founders get bored of managing people. Look at how you treat your HR team, do you listen to them? If not, start. Equally, look at how they behave with you. Do they tell you honestly what’s happening in the company? Are they more concerned with minimising issues than dealing with them? If you don’t have a HR director who will happily tell you when you’re wrong, then you need a different one.
  • Write to all the women who have previously worked for you and ask them for their help. Ask them to be honest about what working in your company was like, why they left and what they would change. Pay them to do this.
  • Grow with your business. Maybe you started a tech company because you had a great idea, thought it would be fun to be an entrepreneur and set your own rules. That’s great but, like humans, companies eventually have to grow up.

Looking for a job? Browse Guardian Jobs or sign up to Guardian Careers for the latest job vacancies and career advice

[“Source-theguardian”]

Few Americans Invest in Startups

Few Americans finance new companies, particularly those founded by non-relatives, recent studies by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and Babson College reveal. That’s part of the reason why entrepreneurship advocates are frustrated by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) failure to write the rules for equity crowd funding in a timely fashion. Many in the entrepreneurship community hope that crowd funding will boost the fraction of Americans putting their money in start-ups.

Few Americans have invested in other people’s newly founded companies in recent years. The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a representative survey of American adults directed by Babson College, finds that only 5.3 percent of Americans “personally provided funds for a new business started by someone else, excluding any purchases of stocks or mutual funds” during prior three years. Moreover, the typical amount invested by those providing funds was only $5,000.

Few American households hold equity investments in private businesses operated by someone else. The 2010 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances – a representative survey of the financial position of American households conducted every three years by Federal Reserve Board of Governors – shows that only 1.9 percent of American households holds equity in a business that no member of the household actively manages.

Many other assets are much more commonly held than equity in other people’s companies. According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, 68.6 of American households own their own homes; 17.9 percent hold stock in publicly held companies; 14.4 percent have equity in another residential property (rental real estate, a vacation home or time-share); 13.6 percent hold stock in a business they manage; and 8.1 percent have an ownership stake in a non-residential property.

The share of Americans who make informal investments — investments in private businesses belonging to friends, families and strangers — has changed little in recent years. In 2007, 4.5 percent of those surveyed as part of the GEM said they had invested in a new business started by someone else, a fraction little different from the 5.3 percent who reported doing this in 2012.

The majority of informal investments go to a relative of the investor — 50.2 percent according to the 2012 GEM study. The next biggest fraction goes to friends, neighbors, and coworkers, which the 2012 GEM indicates received 35.3 percent. In 2012, only 11.4 percent of the investments went to a “stranger with a good idea,” the survey reveals.

Given that there are approximately 235 million American adults, the GEM survey percentages translate to about 470,000 Americans making an investment in a stranger’s business every year.

The number of Americans who make angel investments is of similar magnitude. The Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, which conducts quarterly surveys of angel investors, estimates that there were 268,160 active angels in this country in 2012.

Entrepreneurship advocates hope that equity crowd funding will help to boost these numbers. The Jump Start Our Businesses Startup (JOBS) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in April 2012, allows non-accredited investors to buy equity stakes in private companies through online crowd funding portals, once the SEC writes the rules governing such transactions.

Whether the outcome will be as advocates hope remains to be seen, however. As of the date this column was written, the SEC has still not yet finished writing the crowd funding rules, despite a December 2012 deadline imposed by Congress.

Money Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]