The world’s eyes are shifting toward India as the next big market to watch, especially for those of us who keep tabs on the global tech scene. It was inevitable, then, that people would start comparing startup ecosystems of the archetypal United States and this fast-emerging powerhouse. Almost like a right of passage, every major startup scene in the world gets stacked up against Silicon Valley as a bellwether for how far it’s come and how far it has yet to go. Whether a direct comparison ultimately benefits India or not is debatable, as many would argue India shouldn’t model its startup ecosystem after Silicon Valley, but it’s still interesting to see the contrast solely based on statistical evidence. That’s what TiE, a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives with roots in the Indus region, has done with its latest infographic. TiE’s graphic compares four major startup hubs in India with their theoretical counterparts in the US; Bangalore versus Silicon Valley, New Delhi versus New York City, etc. Each comparison shows the cities’ 2013 population, number of startups, amount of investment capital, number of IPOs, and average valuation per startup.
Y Combinator’s new head macher has taken to the blogosphere to renew a call made roughly five years ago for the U.S. to create a “founders visa.”
Initially proposed by Paul Graham (Y Combinator’s original honcho) as a way to bring 10,000 new entrepreneurs to U.S. shores, Sam Altman is proposing a more modest 100 visas to be granted to Y Combinator to select founders that would be eligible to launch startup companies in the States.
The world's largest food and beverage company has joined the ranks of marketers establishing a presence in Silicon Valley.
Nestle, which is headquartered in Switzerland, has been quietly operating its "innovation outpost" in the Bay Area for about a year. But the company has only recently begun to talk publicly about the program, which is designed to get the marketer closer to startups. Executives plan to share more details at the upcoming Ad Age Digital Conference, held April 1-2 in New York City.
• Newsweek magazine identified Temple City, California resident Satoshi Nakamoto as the elusive founder of Bitcoin in a cover story published today
• But the 64-year-old model train enthusiast denies having anything to do with the digital currency
• He led a pack of reporters on a car chase to the Associated Press headquarters in Los Angeles today where he told his side of the story
• Nakamoto says he never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say that he had been contacted by reporters
The man Newsweek claims is the founder of Bitcoin led reporters on a car chase today after denying he had anything to do with the digital currency.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, was described as 'the face behind Bitcoin' in a Newsweek cover story published today, but when reporters showed up at his home, a confused-looking Nakamoto dodged their questions before speeding off to the Associated Press offices in Los Angeles to tell his side of the story.
Nakamoto spoke with reporters at the AP for two hours, telling them that he had never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say he had been contacted by a reporter.
Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek's report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor. But he strongly disputes the magazine's assertion that he is 'the face behind Bitcoin.'
Since Bitcoin's birth in 2009, the currency's creator has remained a mystery. The person —or people— behind its founding have been known only as 'Satoshi Nakamoto,' which many observers believed to be a pseudonym.
But Newsweek's story alleged that Nakamoto was not a pseudonym but instead a real man.
They tracked Nakamoto down to his modest home in Temple City, California, after a two-month investigation in which they unearthed shadowy dealings with US military technology contractors, his mysterious work for the FAA in the aftermath of 9/11 and claimed that he could be potentially sitting on a $657 million fortune from his invention that he mysteriously refuses to touch.
The reclusive and secretive Nakamoto, whose own brother described as 'an a**hole', was interviewed on his doorstep - as Newsweek appeared to solve one of the largest mysteries of the digital age.
Is this the face behind Bitcoin?
'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,' he said to the magazine's reporter about his connection to the now troubled online currency. 'It's been turned over to other people,' he said without specifying who. 'They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.' In a later AP interview, Nakamoto said he was misunderstood in a key portion of the Newsweek story, where he tells the reporter on his doorstep, 'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.' Asked by the AP if he had said that, Nakamoto said, 'No.' 'I'm saying I'm no longer in engineering. That's it,' he told the AP.
'And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that's what I implied.' 'It sounded like I was involved before with Bitcoin and looked like I'm not involved now. That's not what I meant. I want to clarify that,' the AP reported him as saying.
The Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group promoting the adoption of the digital currency, said '...We have seen zero conclusive evidence that the identified person is the designer of Bitcoin.'
'Those closest to the Bitcoin project, the informal team of core developers, have always been unaware of Nakamoto's true identity, as Nakamoto communicated purely through electronic means,' it said in a post on its website.
Describing his appearance as he answered the door, the Newsweek reporter said that anyone would have trouble believing this was the man whose creation could potentially revolutionize the financial system and could be a multi-millionaire.
'He’s wearing a rumpled T-shirt, old blue jeans and white gym socks, without shoes, like he has left the house in a hurry.
His hair is unkempt, and he has the thousand-mile stare of someone who has gone weeks without sleep,' wrote investigative reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
Startled by his apparent discovery, Nakamoto called the police to intervene - claiming that he would be in danger if he spoke to the reporter.
'So, what is it you want to ask this man about? one of the officers asked the Newsweek reporter.
'He thinks if he talks to you, he’s going to get into trouble.'
'I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto,' said reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
Y Combinator's a US business launched the first Female Founders Conference which brought approximately 500 women together last Saturday afternoon to hear discussions of startup struggles and stories of success. G8FMFJG2AJ2V
YC co-founder Jessica Livingston said they were please with the turn out and plan to repeat the conference again next year, Saturday's event took place in California’s Hahn Auditorium at the Computer History Museum. Keynote speakers included several female startup founders who shared their views including business inspiration, successes and also failures, but the key message was trial, error and persistence are the common keys to a successful business
Adora Cheung’s journey stood out. She is founder of Homejoy, an online platform for home services. For years, Cheung and her younger brother Aaron tried several startups unsuccessfully before finally getting it right with their current business. Their latest endeavor has been a big success and is now established in 30 markets nationwide across the U.S. The business boasts 100 employees, with offices in San Francisco and New York City. Cheung successfully raised around $40 million in venture capital, and has now exceeded a monthly revenue in millions. But she described their first 1,000 days as "the dark ages," eventually stumbling upon the realization that its not worth working on draining projects and best to focus on those that can be developed rapidly and effectively. Interestingly the idea for the business came when the siblings worked out of bachelor Aaron's apartment, which Adora said, was a mess with a bathroom so disgusting that she refused to use it. That led to a frustrating experience of looking for a house cleaner, then the realisation, "There's actually a problem here we can work on," she said and Homejoy was created.
Aaron and Adora Cheung of Homejoy
Adora Cheung, Founder, Homejoy
Michelle Crosby, Founder, Wevorce
Diane Greene, Founder, VMware
Julia Hartz, Founder, Eventbrite
Elizabeth Iorns, Founder, Science Exchange
Ann Johnson, Founder, Interana
Jessica Livingston, Founder, Y Combinator
Jessica Mah, Founder, inDinero
Kathryn Minshew, Founder, The Muse
Danielle Morrill, Founder, Mattermark
Elli Sharef, Founder, HireArt
Jamie Wong, Founder, Vayable
fundedflow looks forward to seeing the lineup for next year, for more information please visit the website
Li Ka-Shing who is ranked as Asia’s wealthiest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $28.8 billion, was recently photographed scrambling artificial eggs. For a man with that much money you may indeed be asking yourself why, but these eggs have been produced by a company called Hamton Creek, a Silicon valley startup. The CEO in the photo pictured with Li Ka-Shing is Josh Tetrick who has just received US$ 23 million in a round of investment from Li. The company is now planning a major expansion into the Asian market. The company aims to reduce costs significantly in the egg market by introducung the lower cost substitute. The interesting thing about this deal is not just the nature of the business but the growing trend in which Silicon Valley start ups are now going over to Asia to seek new funding and tap wider markets. This trend happened over the last 10 years in which startups from the valley targeted Europe and European investment.
In this weeks feature Fundedflow takes a look at Reaction Inc, a US company based in Austin, Texas. The company who launched in July 2013, develops and produces emergency housing shelters in the form of mobile accommodation units. There initial products is called the Exo Housing System, and is a portable shelter made out of a lightweight composite. The shelters can be moved by had but are robust enough to stop bullets. The units also incorporate a unique shelving and bed stacking system which allows for a dynamic use of the unit dependant on situations. The Exo also flat packs and can be stacked like a set of plastic cups for storage and transportation. The units can be set up within 2 minutes and are not dependant on any tools or machinery.