World’s First Luxury Space Hotel – Aurora Station Hopes To Launch in 2022 And The Von Braun Station’s Space Hotel With Artificial Gravity Will Be In Orbit By 2025 With Cruise Ship-Style Amenities

World’s First Luxury Space Hotel Called Aurora Station Hopes To Launch in 2022 And The Von Braun Station’s Space Hotel With Artificial Gravity Will Be In Orbit By 2025 With Cruise Ship-Style Amenities

Californian company The Gateway Foundation has released plans for the Von Braun Station, a cruise ship-style hotel floating among the stars.

1. The Gateway Foundation is building a space hotel, based on the concepts of a Nazi and American rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.
2. The space station is expected to be operational by 2025.
3. The company plans to assemble it in orbit, using robots and drones.

The aim is to get the hotel off the ground by 2025 and make it fully operational for travel by 2027. Terrestrial construction on the Gateway Foundation’s project is set to begin October 1, 2019.

Modern luxury interiors help ground the space, which will have artificial gravity.

The Von Braun station is just one such space-based tourism option in development. Also planning to propel people into space are Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk’s SpaceX company and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin aerospace company, not to mention the International Space Station — which recently announced the possibility of commercial collaborations.

The Von Braun Station is also not the only space hotel design in the works. Earlier in 2019, US-based space tech startup Orion Span released plans for a luxury space hotel called Aurora Station, which it hopes to launch in 2022.

Aurora Station aims to sleep just 12, whereas the Von Braun Station will sleep 352 people with a maximum capacity of 450.

The Von Braun Space Station is the world’s first space hotel.

Among the stars
According to digitally rendered video and images released by the Gateway Foundation, the station resembles a rotating wheel, comprised of 24 modules, orbiting the Earth.

But how would the physics of the hotel work?

Tim Alatorre, a senior design architect at the Gateway Foundation, says the rotating wheel would create a simulated gravity.

“The station rotates, pushing the contents of the station out to the perimeter of the station, much in the way that you can spin a bucket of water — the water pushes out into the bucket and stays in place,” he tells CNN Travel.

“Eventually, going to space will just be another option people will pick for their vacation, just like going on a cruise, or going to Disney World.” Mr Alatorre added. But before you start counting your coffers to ensure a cabin on the station, there have been questions raised about the logistics of the project and its ambitious launch date.

Near the center of the station there’s no artificial gravity, Alatorre says, but as you move down the outside of the station, the feeling of gravity increases.

The Gateway Foundation’s hotel design is named for Wernher von Braun, an aerospace engineer who pioneered rocket technology, first in Germany and later in the United States.

SpaceX Starship and The Von Braun Rotating Space Station

This could be viewed as a controversial move. While living in Germany, von Braun was involved in the Nazi rocket development program. He later worked on the Apollo space program in the United States.

The name was voted for by the Gateway Foundation members because the station is based on designs von Braun sketched out some 60 years ago.

“The basic physics of the station hasn’t changed since the 1950s, the way the station rotates,” says Alatorre.

The main difference is the modern materials — new metal alloys, carbon composites, 3D printing, and launchpad technology that, says Alatorre, make a space hotel more probable in our current era.

Space tourism is an expensive game — Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic plans to launch passengers into sub-orbital space at the hefty sum of $250,000 per person, per trip.

Meanwhile, Aurora Station says a stay in its space hotel will cost an eye-watering $9.5 million.

Price-wise, in the early phases the Von Braun hotel will also be catering to those with dollars to spend, but the foundation is hoping to make it equivalent to “a trip on a cruise or a trip to Disneyland.”

Warm aesthetic
So what will Von Braun Station be like inside?

Alatorre says the hotel’s aesthetic was a direct response to the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” — just maybe not in the way you might think.

“It was almost a blueprint of what not to do,” says Alatorre. “I think the goal of Stanley Kubrick was to highlight the divide between technology and humanity and so, purposefully, he made the stations and the ships very sterile and clean and alien.”

Instead, Alatorre wanted to bring a slice of the earth to space, to avoid a laboratory, overly Star Trek-esque feel.

Onboard, there’ll be warm suites with carpets and stylish monochrome touches and chic bars that wouldn’t look out of place back on Earth, just with star-gazing views.

There will also be plenty of fun recreational activities for guests to enjoy, says Alatorre.

“We’re going to have a number of different recreation activities and games that’ll highlight the fact that you’re able to do things that you can’t do on Earth,” he says. “Because of the weightlessness and the reduced gravity, you’ll be able to jump higher, be able to lift things, be able to run in ways that you can’t on Earth.”

A sport that’s intriguingly called “supersize basketball” is one such concept, according to Alatorre.

‘Starship culture’
If it all sounds like a space-age gimmick, Alatorre is emphatic that the concept will have widespread, enduring appeal.

“People will want to go and experience this just because it’s a cool new thing and they’ve never done it before,” he admits.

“But our goal — the overall goal of the Gateway Foundation — is to create a starship culture where people are going to space, and living in space, and working in space and they want to be in space. And we believe that there’s a demand for that.”

That means having space be a place where thousands of people are “living, working and thriving.”

The Gateway Foundation also intends the space station to be used for research purposes, as well as asteroid mining.

Alatorre says the Von Braun hotel wants to be “the first in orbit,” but that even if the Gateway Foundation doesn’t launch by 2025, the company knows one of its competitors will.

Space tourism is the future, he says, and the Gateway Foundation believes that the future’s imminent.

Sustainability in space
Given the design is still exactly that — just a design — there are some questions that remain unanswered about how the space hotel will function in actuality.

For example, it’s been suggested that living in low gravity for an extended period of time is damaging to the human body. While vacationers will probably only visit the hotel for a few weeks, staff will plan to be there for six months to a year.

They’ll adjust schedules as needed, says Alatorre, but right now, the foundation thinks this proposition would be “perfectly safe.”

There’s also the sustainability question, as people look for more eco-friendly vacations, surely going to space is not the solution?

Alatorre points to SpaceX’s Raptor engine, which uses methane instead of petroleum-based fuel, suggesting “eco-friendly” rocket designs are the future.

He says recycling will be woven into the fabric of the space hotel.

“On the station itself, it’s going to be about the most environmentally friendly vacation you’ll ever have. Because we’re recycling everything,” says Alatorre.

“There’s no amount of water or trash or waste that is going to be discarded, everything will be recycled, reused, stored, converted to some other form.”

From moonshots to Mars
The US government recently vowed to revisit our lonesome natural satellite within five years, but the real action is arguably elsewhere as a trio of companies bankrolled by billionaires – Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX – compete to conquer the final frontier.

The obstacles are formidable; the progress is remarkable. Whether or not we witness commercial space travel take off in 2019 (in both senses of the phrase), the expert analysis of Stanford University’s Professor G. Scott Hubbard – a former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center – suggests that we stand on the threshold of a new era.

After the moonshot, the US wants to send astronauts to Mars. And then? Because we won’t stop there. Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 Command Module around the Moon as Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounded across its sterile surface, expressed this ever so well: ‘It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand,’ he said. ‘Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative.’

Or as another Buzz might say: to infinity and beyond.

The Grand Tour redux
So will my children ever enjoy a Grand Tour of the Solar System, as envisaged in NASA’s charming Visions of the Future posters? (Do check them out.) Will they stand in the shadow of Mars’ Olympus Mons, which rears to more than twice the height of Everest? Will they gape at the raging auroras of Jupiter, hundreds of times more powerful than our own Northern Lights? Will they sail the methane lakes of Titan, Saturn’s most enigmatic moon?

Alas, no. If it comes to pass, such a journey would be the preserve of a privileged few for many generations; just as the original Grand Tour of Europe was restricted to the aristocracy, so a round-trip of our galactic neighbors would remain beyond the reach of all but a coterie of plutocrats for the foreseeable future.

There’s a fair chance, however, that my children’s generation will see the curvature of the Earth from a sub-orbital flight, and some of them might, just might, leave a footprint on the Moon (thanks to Wallace and Gromit, Harvey already spends a lot of time speculating about this possibility).

Will our children's children evolve into a spacefaring species? © James Whitaker : Getty Images

However, the company remain committed to their vision, viewing the Von Braun Station as the first step in mankind’s journey to colonize, and seemingly commodify, space, with the company planning to build further stations (including a hotel that can accommodate up to 3000 people per month), before colonizing Mars and mining the asteroid belt for raw materials.

Find out more about the project on the company’s official website



#AI #李開復KaiFuLee 


Dr. 李開復 Kai-Fu Lee 给大学生的公开课:你该这样做选择

由教育部、创新工场、北京大学联合主办的DeeCamp 人工智慧训练营已经进行两周了。
























Q1:听说博士才能进 AI 公司,那我们不是应该先读一个博士?





比如,CMU(卡耐基梅隆大学)现在已经不是老师选学生,而是学生选老师了,这种机制是超级加分的。在CMU叫做marriage process,你去了以后有大概有五六十个老师给你讲他们的科研,最后你要一个个见他们。五六十个导师抢三十多个学生,学生都是很顶尖的。





想像一下,你本科毕业后要花三四年的时间在一个三流的学校,写一些没有人读的论文,毕业之后也找不到一个好的教职,那还有什么意义?所以当你们找不到一个好的学校时,我建议你可以先在某个学校读个硕士。 (美国读博不一定要先取得硕士学位)




我有个非常要好的朋友就是在美国排名前五的大学毕业的,毕业之后想在美国找一个 Tenure EE professor(电子工程终身教职)多难你知道吗?每年申请CMU、MIT、Berkeley教职的有1000多人,但职位只有几个。所以你即便拿到前十名大学的毕业学位,如果你真的想去教书的话,你最好做好最坏的心理准备。














继DeeCamp之后,8月底创新工场联合搜狗、美团点评、美图发起的AI Challenger2018全球AI挑战赛也将拉开帷幕。从9月上旬开始,我们将在全国多所大学展开“校园行”活动,届时会有AI行业的顶级大咖亲临学校,与学生们现场互动;世界各地也将有参赛选手和爱好者组织的AI技术交流活动哦。具体日程资讯,本月内会公布。

Via Dr. 李開復 Kai-Fu Lee

Public Opening for college students: you should choose like this

The Deecamp Artificial Intelligence Training Camp, co-hosted by the ministry of education, innovation workshop, Beijing University, has been in place for two weeks.

As a lecturer in summer camp, I had an ai class for students last week. I didn’t expect the students to consult me on the most topic after the class: should I work, Entrepreneurship, or read the bo teacher after college graduation? There are also students who ask ai is not foam, we still have to don’t learn to wait.

So I’m looking for time to make a career choice and answer class with summer camp students to help everyone answer questions. The following quiz may also help other students, share it to everyone:

Topic one: do not support fresh birth blind entrepreneurship

Q1: how should college students be created?

I don’t support fresh college students entrepreneurship, every one of them is now getting a business plan book for me, and I won’t collect one. Why? Because Entrepreneurship is not a student who just graduated. Innovative workshops invest more than 300 projects, only two or three are made by students who just graduated, for example, kuang tech face++.

When just graduated, you will have insufficient experience, not enough connections, not understand management, all our concerns, will happen in this process. So, without experience, the odds of success are negligible. Classmates who want to start their business, don’t be so anxious, you join a company, two years fast, three or four years, and we will definitely consider it more carefully when we make a business plan.

Q2: since entrepreneurship can’t rush, what kind of company should we look for?

I think there are several options:

First big company is advantageous because it has data, there are good boss, good system, there is a good boss in ai era very important to see he is not care, understand not understand ai, give not for you Their big data. If these conditions are met, I think these big companies in the country can be considered.

But the problem is, enter the big company, you will be divided into a small and small sector and become a small gear for big machines, for example, you do technology just do technology, you want to know the user experience impossible; or say you Is to do training optimization, you do training optimization, you don’t ask the data how to use, also don’t worry about the product how to use. The big company won’t let you contact the full range of data and industrial operations.

If going to startup company, there can be a few ways to go:

First, looking for a company that has gone into our sight, such as face++, aliexpress soup, under, etc, enter such a company to do ai, you will also learn a lot. Their scale may have been hundreds of thousands, but you still have a chance to see the cross-sector run.

The second option is to go to the companies that are non-AI, the scale though not big, but with the potential of rising, and already recognize the importance of ai.

These companies are characterized by a lot of data, a lot of users, and a few million days after the day, suddenly found that they need ai’s support. When you choose a company like this, you need to be sure that this company is understand ai and cares about ai, for example, the United, the United, or every independence company is an optional item.

The third class is very startups, only dozens of people, such as the king we invest. If you more want to entrepreneurship instead of looking for work, in the small company you will learn more. Any questions of the company, regardless of products, users, competition, market and technology, and so on, you will be contacted.

For those who are going to entrepreneurship, you have to be happy to accept because it is the best training for the CEO, every funny or boring thing you are going to do.

But there is a bottom limit, the company is at least 10 people. Because most of the three-four-person companies are still limited, preferably 10-50 people’s companies.

Last advice, when you’re picking the company, it’s definitely not to judge the company good or bad. I’ve seen a very good founder, but the company has done a mess, and I have also met the kind of people who are very within, talking boring to the people who want to sleep, but the company is awesome. So how to tell?

The answer is simple, see who the investor is. You guys study and see which domestic or international funds can be believed. These funds often appear on various charts, the best individual or agency angel, the best early, or the best ab wheel early mid-term investment agency. You guys go check out the list and see what items they voted for. Innovative workshops are of course one of them, but the funds worth respect are at least 50 more and a lot.

Q3: if ai company unfortunately collapses after i enter, how is the next road going?

It’s really a tradition but scares me. But you don’t have to worry about it, if you guys enter the first 50 VC or angel investment ai company, after two years this company is closed, we definitely help you find a job and even help you make the next home The company.

On the way to entrepreneurship, we didn’t fail the word, only unemployment. The risk of entrepreneurship exists, but engineers do not fail, and the accumulated experience is always added.

Topic Two: work or read bo?

Q1: heard Dr. can enter ai company, then shouldn’t we read a Phd first?

Don’t believe this, don’t rule out some company superstition Dr, but you guys may want to find the company that looks for ai talent, not Dr. Ai, for example, the innovative workshop artificial intelligence engineering.

When Graduate Graduates, whether Phd, Master, undergraduate, strength may vary. Dr. May read a very poor school, and the paper is probably not published at all, undergraduate students have more than Dr. Learn and more powerful, so you guys have to make a glow during the period before graduation, let everyone see You don’t have a Phd, but you’re still good at it.

Q2: if to read the importance of bo, country, mentor, school, how to sort?

First order to pick up mentor, second pick school, third pick geographical.

For example, CMU (Card University of card) is now not a teacher to choose a student, but a student elected teacher, and this mechanism is super plus. In cmu, it is called marriage process, and after you go, there are probably teachers who give you their research, and finally you have to see them all. Fifty-six mentors robbed more than students, and students are very top.

If there is no such system, just teacher pick students, then what can you guys do? Email the teachers. Don’t write too much, because teacher time is precious, you have to write a page to finish it. Tell the teacher in email that you have a concern about him, read his thesis, and finally raise your doubts or views.

The premise of email is that you really read the article. Because teachers usually give you back to the mail to explain, then you can reply,” awww your explanation makes me suddenly ever, exactly I’m going to apply for the Phd class next year……”.

If you are determined to go abroad to read ai’s Phd, several universities in the United States, UK and Canada can prioritize. For most disciplines, the UK and Canada are far behind the us, but in machine learning, there are several very nice schools in Canada and Britain.

Q3: if not in good school, still have to read Dr.?

Imagine, you have to spend three or four years after your undergraduate graduation in a three-stream school, write some papers that have no read, and after graduation, can’t find a good teaching job, then what’s the point? So when you guys can’t find a good school, I suggest you can read a master in a school first. (American reading poh doesn’t necessarily have to get a master’s degree first)

Assuming that we can enter the first schools in the United States, then read the master first, and apply for the first doctors, rather take a little more time to read the Phd degree in the good school.

Also classmate said I can’t read good Dr. I read postdoctoral can not? I’m telling you, there’s no postdoctoral in the world. What position is postdoctoral in America? It is the job of a Phd student who can’t find a job. The General Top Phd has started to do the teaching job after graduation, and rarely do the post-Doctoral, of course, if it is in the world ranked first school to do the post-Doctoral, we

What if you really can’t get in the good school? Also don’t be depressed, in these ranking schools, look for teachers who have no top school graduation. Because the reality you still have to face is that even if you get into a top ten school reading dr, I’m afraid I can’t find a teacher who graduated from the top ten schools.

I have a very good friend who graduated from the top five college in the United States, and after graduation, wanted to find a tenure ee professor (E-engineering lifelong teaching post) in the us. How hard do you know? Every year, there are more than 1000 people applying for cmu, MIT, Berkeley, but there are only a few positions. So even if you get the top ten college graduation degrees, if you really want to go to teach, you better do the worst psychological preparation.

Then if you come to a school in a rank of fifty -, then you will be unlucky in your life, because probably don’t make any results. Have any of you ever seen which great study of the th school in America? Even if he was graduated from the top five universities in the United States, the odds were negligible. Why? Because teacher results are mostly from students, can you find the best students in the th school?

But if in turn there is a chance, if you get into the top 25 school, there’s a teacher who just graduated from a top three school three years ago, follow this teacher for research still very promising The of, that’s the way to read Dr., hope to help everyone.

Topic three: future work with ai

Q1: what is the comparison between the block chain and ai? Compare Worth Investment?

Ai sure is going to change the world, but the block chain is a relatively big possibility to change the world in the future. I’m all better, but it’s hard to compare both, because one is known and one is unknown.

Q2: May I ask if the bubble period of artificial intelligence is coming?

Artificial intelligence will grow in the next 15 to 25 years and change the world, and its entire chain of industry will also go from CV (computer visual) TO NLP (Natural Language processing), towards new areas.

Like 25 years ago, the network just came up, and it was also a lot of twists and downs, and it was finally Retrace the development of the network, after a few wave waves, from before it was pc online, then the flow brought a wave of wave, followed by the portal chance, after the search engine brought advertising, social, and then electricity Aliexpress, mobile internet appeared and gradually became the main.

So the network is foam 25 years ago? In the last 25 years, we can list 12 wave or 15 wave of network development, so whether you employment is 25 years ago or last year, you are all likely to catch up with the next wave tide. The Internet opportunities are not over, how can artificial intelligence end? So the statement of foam is not available.

Does that mean all ai companies have no foam? Also not, now ai company many valuation too high, non ai company also take ai’s aura to fool investors money, and many not understand investors really voted, these phenomena also exist. These phenomena are tired of jī jiǔ and definitely need to be leaked and let it return to normal state before going down. That’s why it will be seen after a successive ups and downs, but in the long term, the next 25 years will definitely be an optimistic trend.

You guys do ai, also have to have a learning attitude with the times, like if you enter the network 25 years ago, you said you’ve been doing the streamer for a lifetime, then it’s not working later! As long as you get in with the times, keep anti-Review, keep learning new knowledge, any industry is without foam. For example, ho peng, who did the UC flow at that time, what are people doing now? People make cars, right? But for him, the car is an extension of the internet!

To make a little more ad, you will see again after another 30 years, and the ai company that we have invested in the innovation workshop must be the highest in the industry, and of course the failure will definitely have. So a really knowledgeable vc, he can see clearly.

Finally to post a trailer:

After Deecamp, at the end of August, the innovative workshop joint search dog, the us review, the ai challenger2018 global ai challenge, launched by the United States, will also pull the curtain. Starting from early September, we will launch the “campus line” event at many universities across the country, which will have the top big curry in the ai industry to come to the school, interact with the students; there will also be an ai of contestants and lovers in all parts of the world. Technology exchange event oh. Specific schedule information will be announced this month.

Via Dr. 李開復 Kai-Fu Lee

What Do You See AI in 2018?


#AI #MachineLearning #DeepLearning #BigData #Analytics #HealthTech #IoT #Tech #Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence (AI) remained the driving force of various industries in 2017. With so many tech giants and startups already delving into the AI ecosystem, it is expected to grow with better use cases in the year 2018. Considering the acceptance, development, and applications of AI, here we are with significant opportunities and perils that this ingenious technology will put forth in 2018.

7 Artificial Intelligence Trends that will Rule 2018

1. AI Integration with Web and Mobile Apps

“Over the next few years every app, application and service will incorporate AI at some level.” — Gartner (Click to Tweet)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is anticipated to be on the quiet in most of the web and mobile applications. This inventive technology would be the battlefront for most of the software and services industry.

AI in the form of machine learning, deep learning, computer vision etc. enable developers to build intelligent apps. Some of the examples that exhibits and justify AI integration of apps includes abstraction of big data, enabling recommendations, smart search, fraud detection, healthcare and fitness management etc. In the following year, we could see expansion in use cases and result in productive intelligent apps, without developers being explicitly coding for it.

2. There will be a Surge in Chatbots Number

Chatbots are another use case of Artificial Intelligence that developers can put to use. Bots are not just facilitating individuals to get anytime support but also helping businesses in augmenting their customer support and utilize human intelligence for more productive tasks.

Considering the acceptance and popularity of these communication channels, a number of tech giants like Facebook, announced platforms and tools to build chatbot for business. According to IBM, 65% of Generation Y prefers interacting to bots. In June 2017, Facebook announced 11,000 bots for Messengers. With such great numbers and positive response, we could see bots becoming the frontrunner of customer service industry in the following time.

3. Intelligent Things will be the Trend

In the year 2018, we could have Intelligent Things ruling, an artistic intersection of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence. So basically, what these intelligent things do is they use AI and ML to interact with the surrounding or people, in an intelligent manner. Or, they can make the existing things intelligent. Example: Turning camera into smart camera or using fitness tracker to not only monitor health but analyzing the user routine (using machine learning) to recommend changes for improving health or avoid risk.

4. AI will back Medical Research/Diagnosis/Treatment

One of the various industries that are disrupted by Artificial Intelligence is Healthcare. Making the most of AI applications like cognitive learning, big data management, deep learning, healthcare industry is pulling off a number of diagnosis, treatment, and research processes.

According to an Accenture analysis, the healthcare market is projected to reach 6.6 billion by 2021. Big brands like IBM (Watson, Medical Seive), Google (Deepmind Health), Atomwise (Drug discovery with AI) are heavily investing in Artificial Intelligence to put forth the finest healthcare solutions. And considering the scope that AI brings in, a number of startups are pulling out the best from AI and will continue to grow in time to come.

5. More Hardware will be Powered by AI

Artificial Intelligence has made us believe in future where complex decisions can be taken faster, automatically through learned experiences. And this is not just possible with the software applications. In the following time, we could see hardware industry paying more attention to AI and its applications.

In Oct 2017, Intel announced about Nervana Neural Network Processor family of chips that is specially designed for Artificial Intelligence use cases. These chips will be shipped by the end of this year. Also, the year 2017 has seen brands and individual developers working on a number of projects that are powered by AI, which includes bit is not limited to drones (Skydio), vehicles (Driverless cars), robots.

6. More AI Based Startups will Launch

AI is evolving and its potential is being realized by businesses and individuals. If Angellist is referred, it reports that over 3,510 companies with 2,562 investors, and 4.9 million average pre-money valuation are listed there. And in the recent past, we have seen tech names like Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon taking over a number of smart AI startups. We can expect this to be followed up in the year 2018, with startups fetching an attractive funding.

7. AI will Impact the Workforce

Amongst the various perils of Artificial Intelligence, it’s impact on human jobs is the most debatable one. Forrester predicts that cognitive technologies (ML, automation, robots etc) will replace the 7% of US jobs by 2025.

However, if the the applications of AI are perceived well, this ingenious technology will augment the human jobs, instead of replacing it. And to be precise, the impact of AI on human workforce will be dependent upon the type of job. For example: If you are a customer service executive, intelligent chatbots might serve your purpose to a business. However, with AI, we can see augmentation in jobs like data scientists, robot monitoring, automation monitoring etc.

What do you see AI disrupting 2018?

Manufacturing, healthcare, entertainment, retail, automotive! AI has caused disruption in almost every industry and with this massive technology growing steadily, the following year could see some better use cases and innovations. AI development services will also experience a consequential rise, resulting in mobile applications of AI, reaching a large share of users.

What you think about AI possibilities in 2018? What could be its best use case according to you? Share your views with us in the comments below.

Originally published at

Fashion Tech Sweater for Winter – Engineers Develop Floating Solar Fuels Rig for Seawater Electrolysis


#FashionTech #MOQIFashionTechActiveWear #ScienceTech


Fashion Tech Sweater for Winter – Engineers Develop Floating Solar Fuels Rig for Seawater Electrolysis

Two mesh electrodes are held at a narrow separation distance (L), and generate H2 and O2 gases concurrently. The key innovation is the asymmetric placement of the catalyst on the outward facing surfaces of the mesh, such that the generation of bubbles is constrained to this region. When the gas bubbles detach, their buoyancy causes them to float upward into separate collection chambers.Image credit: Credit: Daniel Esposito/Columbia Engineering

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 1.48.17 AM

In a single hour, more energy from the sun hits the Earth than all the energy used by humankind in an entire year. Imagine if the sun’s energy could be harnessed to power energy needs on Earth, and done in a way that is economical, scalable, and environmentally responsible. Researchers have long seen this as one of the grand challenges of the 21st century.

Daniel Esposito, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Columbia Engineering, has been studying water electrolysis?the splitting of water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) fuel?as a way to convert electricity from solar photovoltaics (PVs) into storable hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that is currently used to propel rockets in NASA’s space program and is widely expected to play an important role in a sustainable  future. The vast majority of today’s hydrogen is produced from natural gas through a process called steam methane reforming that simultaneously releases CO2, but water electrolysis using electricity from solar PV offers a promising route to produce H2 without any associated CO2 emissions.

Esposito’s team has now developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. His floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a “solar fuels rig” that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs, except that it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor. The study, “Floating Membraneless PV-Electrolyzer Based on Buoyancy-Driven Product Separation,” was published today by International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

The researchers’ key innovation is the method by which they separate the H2 and O2 gasses produced by water electrolysis. State-of-the-art electrolyzers use expensive membranes to maintain separation of these two gases. The Columbia Engineering device relies instead on a novel  configuration that allows the gases to be separated and collected using the buoyancy of bubbles in water. The design enables efficient operation with high product purity and without actively pumping the electrolyte. Based on the concept of buoyancy-induced separation, the simple electrolyzer architecture produces H2 with purity as high as 99 percent.

“The simplicity of our PV-electrolyzer architecture?without a membrane or pumps?makes our design particularly attractive for its application to seawater electrolysis, thanks to its potential for low cost and higher durability compared to current devices that contain membranes,” says Esposito, whose Solar Fuels Engineering Laboratory develops solar and electrochemical technologies that convert renewable and abundant solar energy into storable chemical fuels. “We believe that our prototype is the first demonstration of a practical membraneless floating PV-electrolyzer system, and could inspire large-scale ‘solar fuels rigs’ that could generate large quantities of H2  from abundant sunlight and seawater without taking up any space on land or competing with fresh water for agricultural uses.”

Commercial electrolyzer devices rely on a membrane, or divider, to separate the electrodes within the device from which H2 and O2 gas are produced. Most of the research for electrolysis devices has been focused on devices that incorporate a membrane. These membranes and dividers are prone to degradation and failure and require a high purity water source. Seawater contains impurities and microorganisms that can easily destroy these membranes.

“Being able to safely demonstrate a device that can perform electrolysis without a membrane brings us another step closer to making seawater electrolysis possible,” says Jack Davis, the paper’s first author and a PhD student working with Esposito. “These solar fuels generators are essentially artificial photosynthesis systems, doing the same thing that plants do with photosynthesis, so our device may open up all kinds of opportunities to generate clean, renewable energy.”

Crucial to the operation of Esposito’s PV-electrolyzer is a novel electrode configuration comprising mesh flow-through electrodes that are coated with a catalyst only on one side. These asymmetric electrodes promote the evolution of gaseous H2 and O2 products on only the outer surfaces of the electrodes where the catalysts have been deposited. When the growing H2 and O2 bubbles become large enough, their buoyancy causes them to detach from the electrode surfaces and float upwards into separate overhead collection chambers.

The team used the Columbia Clean Room to deposit platinum electrocatalyst onto the mesh electrodes and the 3D-printers in the Columbia Makerspace to make many of the reactor components. They also used a high-speed video camera to monitor transport of H2 and O2 bubbles between electrodes, a process known as “crossover.” Crossover between electrodes is undesirable because it decreases product purity, leading to safety concerns and the need for downstream separation units that make the process more expensive.

In order to monitor H2 and O2 crossover events, the researchers incorporated windows in all of their electrolysis devices so that they could take high-speed videos of gas bubble evolution from the electrodes while the  was operating. These videos were typically taken at a rate of 500 frames per second (a typical iPhone captures video at a rate of 30 frames per second).

The team is refining their design for more efficient operation in real seawater, which poses additional challenges compared to the more ideal aqueous electrolytes used in their laboratory studies. They also plan to develop modular designs that they can use to build larger, scaled-up systems.

Esposito adds: “There are many possible technological solutions to achieve a sustainable energy future, but nobody knows exactly what specific technology or combination of technologies will be the best to pursue. We are especially excited about the potential of  technologies because of the tremendous amount of solar energy that is available. Our challenge is to find scalable and economical technologies that convert sunlight into a useful form of energy that can also be stored for times when the sun is not shining.”

The study is titled “Floating Membraneless PV-Electrolyzer Based on Buoyancy-Driven Product Separation.”

More information: “Floating Membraneless PV-Electrolyzer Based on Buoyancy-Driven Product Separation,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2017). , DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.11.086

Provided by: Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science


Announcing the $150 Million “Rise Of The Rest” Seed Fund

Heads up!!! Entrepreneurs and Startups!
Announcing the $150 Million “Rise Of The Rest” Seed Fund

The rest shall rise, this is so great for founders outside of Silicon Valley @Revolution – A Bevy Of Billionaires Join Steve Case’s $150 Million ‘Rise Of The Rest’ Startup Fund

“MY TAKE: Why we launched #RiseOfRest seed fund?” said Steve Case.


At Revolution, we believe that some of the most compelling investment opportunities in the next decade will emerge from startups in cities all across the United States — not just in Silicon Valley. With the addition of the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Revolution is now positioned to support startups at every stage of their lifecycle. More on our new $150M Fund…

Via Steve Case

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Famed VC Jim Breyer on finding the next Mark Zuckerberg (and much more)


Famed VC Jim Breyer on finding the next Mark Zuckerberg (and much more)

Connie Loizos
TechCrunch November 8, 2017

Jim Breyer

Yesterday, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, we caught up with Jim Breyer, among the most famous venture capitalists in Silicon Valley thanks to a decades-long track record of smart bets, most notably in Facebook.

Yesterday, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, we caught up with Jim Breyer, among the most famous venture capitalists in Silicon Valley thanks to a decades-long track record of smart bets, most notably in Facebook. Breyer was the managing partner at Accel Partners, which invested $12.7 million in Facebook in 2005 when the company was priced around $100 million, and that returned many billions of dollars to its investors after the company went public in 2012.

In 2013, Breyer segued out of the firm, opening up his own family office, called Breyer Capital, where he has continued to make bold bets. Breyer has also partnered over the years with the Chinese firm IDG Capital Partners, which formerly collaborated with Accel Partners and where Breyer Capital has since become an anchor investor in a series of funds that now manage more than $4 billion.

Breyer will be taking the stage today, but he also sat down with us behind the scenes yesterday to talk about Facebook, Softbank, and ICOs, among other factors playing an outsize role in the startup ecosystem. You can find much of that conversation below, edited for length.

TC: You’ve just come to Lisbon from China. How much time do you spend there?

JB: I’m there four times a year. I probably have 100 partners who are part of IDG China, where Breyer Capital is a sponsor and I’m a general partner on the investment committee and we cover 10 cities in China.

TC: Meanwhile, you’re also overseeing Breyer Capital, your family office. How active is that, and is its focus exclusively on U.S. companies?

JB: We make six to 10 new investments a year, investing in artificial intelligence and deep learning mostly, and how it applies to finance, healthcare, publishing, and other large verticals, and yes, [the investments are stateside].

Breyer Capital, it’s a family office, makes six to 10 new investments a year, starting in 2013. Still a partner in historical Accel funds, investing in AI mostly and deep learning and how it applies to finance healthcare publishing and other large vertical. Breyer stateside investments.

TC: Before sitting down today, I’d seen a CNBC interview you’d given, where you said you expect to see a number of big companies focused around artificial intelligence that are even bigger, much bigger, than Facebook and its ilk today. I think of Google and Facebook and Amazon and Apple as having an insurmountable lead, given the monopoly they have on these huge data sets. Why are you so sure that’s not the case?

JB: Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, [Alibaba founder] Jack Ma, [Tencent founder] Pony Ma, [Baidu founder] Robin Li — these are phenomenal founder-driven companies and I expect the Apples, Facebooks, Amazons, Alphabets, and Baidus will only get stronger in many ways. But the early stages to apply deep learning and true artificial intelligence to large verticals [is immense].

For example, doctor recommendations around cancer research — both in the U.S. and China, where we can pull together data from hospitals, analyze that data in ways that have never been possible before, and provide better potential advice to doctors and nurses — those are just great opportunities for startups.

TC: That sounds great. At the same time, I’m still confused as to how nascent AI teams get very far. It seems that most are either getting pulled into these bigger companies before their companies can really prove themselves, or else they’re having to focus on very small verticals — like assessing the health of cabbages — and building a data set around them. Can AI teams still build big defensible businesses?

JB: I’m no longer on the board of Facebook, but I have these conversations with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg all the time, and it’s interesting. Facebook continues to grow dramatically but they’re also optimistic about startups and building new companies than ever before. Yes, there are strong founder-driven companies, but I don’t think it’s about fringe opportunities.

TC: You mentioned AI in healthcare. Where else do you see these bigger opportunities?

JB: I’m an investor in [the publicly traded video distribution platform] Bright Cove, and out of Brighcove came Circle Internet, which is a four-year-old blockchain company that’s applying AI to financial services to address how to deliver better payment services around the world, who should receive some lending, and should whether they should receive it it in euros, pounds, dollars, or different coins. A lot of that is AI applied to the blockchain and to digital currencies.

TC: You think we’ll see giant AI companies. Do you think you’ve met the next Mark Zuckerberg yet?

JB: I don’t think I’ll ever find a Mark Zuckerberg. And the combination of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who I helped Mark hire in 2008 – I don’t think I’ll ever find a team like that again. Sheryl’s opportunities to make Mark better, Mark’s opportunities to make Sheryl better – that combination is the best single leadership combination in the world. In fact, they’re two of the key references on so many of the new deals that I do.

TC: You’re getting their advice on potential investments?

JB: Absolutely — and reference checks on people who might be from Google or Apple or Amazon. Not a day goes by when I’m not in contact with Facebook executives about a potential new deal or recruiting. They’ve been a wonderful source of both references on new deals in AI, specifically, or in talent management and referrals of executives who I meet who are potentially future founders or future executives of these AI companies.

TC: Does that put the company or executive or founder on the watch list of Facebook and — for good or bad — does it increase the likelihood that Facebook will try and gobble them up at an early stage?

JB: The experience I have is that when I’m meeting with the top talent, the ability at some point – say 12 or 24 months from now – to speak with Sheryl Sandberg or Mark Zuckerberg or some of the senior people at Facebook, they view it as a big positive.

TC: Are Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg de facto venture partners of yours, or is that overstating things?

JB: That would be too much. But they are very much part of almost every due diligence process that I’ve done.

TC: Do you help them with their diligence? Do either of them make private investments?

JB: They don’t make too many private investments, but I certainly offer them advice and sometimes they listen on either people or opportunities or . . . different elements of Facebook and its global opportunities.

TC: Speaking of Facebook, can you comment on these newly revealed ties between early Facebook investor Yuri Milner and the Kremlin? He’s very well-regarded in Silicon Valley circles. Does this development change anything?

JB: I’m a fan of Yuri. I’ve known him since 2010. I just don’t know more than that. He’s a very good investor. Would it affect your dealing with Milner right now?
[Shrugs.] I just don’t know [what’s going to happen].

TC: I’ve heard you say that according to experts you’ve talked with, AI will have the same self-learning ability as humans by 2050. How does that impact how you proceed as an investor?

JB: I take a 20-year view on investing. With AI, I’m firmly in the camp that the benefits for the next couple decades far outweigh the negatives. Based on the very best computer scientists who I routinely meet with, at Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Tsinghua, Oxford and Cambridge – there is a belief that the pace is extraordinary. But it’s likely not before 2050 where we reach a point of singularity and the robots and the machine learning is potentially more intelligent than what is today human intelligence.

TC: And then? Are you worried about the world your grandchildren will be navigating?

JB: I absolutely believe that philosophically, we should be thinking about the ethical implications long term of artificial intelligence and how it’s applied, and that should be part of what we do as investors and entrepreneurs and academics. Those are discussions that I love being a part of. I don’t think that we can just push that aside and not have those discussions.

TC: Do you think there will be a limited number of companies and jobs? Will people be relying on a basic income? What do you see beyond 2050? What about 100 years from now?

JB: I love that, that’s real long term! [Laughs.] I think the pie will get bigger for almost everyone, [with] the right implementation of technologies. I’m on the board of Harvard University and I’m part of the president’s search, and I’ve been spending a lot of time with presidential candidates. And these are questions I ask many of the academics I’m talking with, and I think we’ll see universities, colleges and education very positively affected by these technologies, because I think we can educate students around the world. Teaching will improve. Most importantly, learning will improve if we all take a long-term view, and I believe many jobs will be created that we can’t predict right now.

TC: Do you think we’ll need to regulate artificial intelligence, as Elon Musk has suggested time and again needs to happen?

JB: I think it would be a huge mistake to actively regulate artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence technologies. I do think there’s a role for government officials to be thinking about jobs as they related to artificial intelligence. But in terms of regulation, it would be a mistake because we’re just at the beginning of innovation [and because] it’s global. In many ways, we’re in a race with other economies – whether China or some of the European centers that are trying to recreate Silicon Valley-like hubs – so I think it would be a mistake to regulate research at this point.

TC: Where are we going to see the most growth in coming decades? In the states? In Europe? In China? Do you think Silicon Valley will lose its place as the power center of tech?

JB: I would never bet against Silicon Valley, having done this for a couple of decades. Silicon Valley and China will remain so much at the center.

TC: And on a par with one another?

JB: I think so. China has five million graduating engineers every year. That’s 10x [the number of engineers graduating each year from U.S. schools]. We have the very best universities in the world. At the same time, China is developing a phenomenal group of technologists, engineers, and mathematicians.

TC: We haven’t talked about Japan, but how does Softbank change the landscape, in your opinion? Does the capital at its disposal change everything?

JB: It does. I know the SoftBank leadership. We’ve co-invested together. We compete at times. The late-stage venture capital business is forever changed by what Softbank is doing.
For the earliest-stage companies, where there might be a group of brilliant scientists and engineers, 20 to 30 people, and they aren’t looking to raise $50 million; they’re looking to raise $10 million. It’s very competitive still and it’s where I love to partner and compete. The opportunity to scale and build a global business is still very high.

TC: Do you think SoftBank is a kingmaker? I suppose there’s a chance they’ll actually drown some companies in capital, but I’d be worried if they funded a competitor of mine.

JB: In certain segments where capital and scale make such a difference, Softbank is going to change the nature of the game. For a lot of industries in a lot of segments, such as AI, you’re trying to find 10 or 20 of the very best medical AI researchers in the world, and that’s where it’s the talent scarcity more than a capital scarcity that plays a central role. But for certain other businesses, SoftBank is making a very big difference.

TC: Before you go, ICOs. Here to say? Short-term phenomenon?

JB: I think they’ll be a part of the overall financing landscape over the next five to 10 years, and that we’ll see ICOs and different coins. It’s very hard to predict: Does Ethereum win? Which other coin might it be? But for sure, the nature of fintech and digital finance will result in more fundraising options for entrepreneurs at all stages. I just don’t think it will change overnight.

TC: You own bitcoin. Have you participated in any pre-sales of ICOs?

JB: Not yet, but I’m looking closely and globally. There are a lot of opportunities that I’m evaluating but I haven’t decided are compelling at this point.
This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.


G-Summit in Pebble Beach on August 23-25th, 2017!

G-Summit in Pebble Beach on August 23-25th, 2017!

Make high-level connections and get the inside scoop on AI’s current state from G-Summit Pebble Beach.

IMG_4121 IMG_4122 IMG_4128

AI’s role in healthcare, autonomous driving, finance, and logistics, we’ll cover hard science perspectives from multiple disciplines to find common ground. Some examples:

In a discovery that concludes an 80-year quest, Stanford and University of California researchers found evidence of particles that are their own antiparticles. These Majorana fermions could one day help make quantum computers more robust.

Nanotechnology is rapidly entering the world of smart materials and taking them to the next level. Will artificial photosynthesis secure a sustainable future? Can we create a real-life invisibility cloak? Two top scientists from UC Berkeley will show you the amazing discoveries by using nanotechnology.

The physical origin of dark energy, which makes up about 70% of the contents of the Universe, may be the most important unsolved problem in all of physics, providing clues to a unified quantum theory of gravity. Learn more from astrophysicist, Alex Filippenko.

These RoundTable topics include:
The Future of Learning in Intelligent AI Assistants (Carnegie Mellon)
Understanding Video (Facebook)
AI, A Curse or Blessing for Cyber Security (Didi)
Deep Learning Isn’t Magic – Assessment of Technology, Research, and Opportunities (Allen Institute for AI)
Autonomous & Connected Cars (Tesla)
AI in Human-Human and Human-Machine Interactions (Amazon)
AI Building AI – Automatic Design of Deep Networks (Sentient)
The Democratization of AI at Google (Google)
The Partnership on AI – Coming Together Around Best Practices in AI (Microsoft)

Guests & Speakers Include:
Chief Scientist, Salesforce
Chief AI Officer, Citadel
Chief Architect, VP of Cloud, Xiaomi
Founding Head of Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University
Chairman, Mail.Ru Group
Partner, Hillhouse Capital
Professor of Physics, Stanford University
Chief Executive Officer, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Chief Strategy Officer, Softbank Robotics NA
Director of AI Research, Apple

The ten companies participating in the AI Startup Top 10 at G-Summit Pebble Beach.

For a full list of guests and speakers attending G-Summit, click here:

A New Startup –BRANDLESS™, an Online eCommerce Platform for Everything You Want to Buy for Just for $3 Raised $50 Million in New Funding Round


Heads Up!!!#Entrepreneur #Startup #Aug2017

A New Startup –BRANDLESS™, an Online eCommerce Platform for Everything You Want to Buy for Just for $3 Raised $50 Million in New Funding Round from New Enterprise Associates, Cowboy Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Ventures

BRANDLESS™ – Based in San Francisco and Minneapolis, BRANDLESS™ was brought to life on July 11, 2017. They’re a group of thinkers, eaters, doers, and lovers of life with big dreams about changing the world. Their mission is deeply rooted in quality, transparency, and community-driven values. Better stuff, fewer dollars. It’s that simple.

Tina Sharkey is the Co-founder and CEO at BRANDLESS™. She is is passionate and curious. The intention for the year that she shared with the team is “WHOLE.” 
Ido Leffler is the Co-founder and Chairman at BRANDLESS™. He is audacious and passionate. The intention for the year that he shared with the team is “LIVE.”

BRANDLESS™ business model acts as the opposite of a model employed by eCommerce giants like Amazon and, where the price varies considerably based on an algorithm and whether you choose free return shipping, respectively. Instead, everything is a reliable, fixed price regardless of when you’re shopping and what experience you’re looking for. Starting today, customers will find everything from dish soap to olive oil for sale on the site. Therefore, BRANDLESS™, pitching itself as the “Procter & Gamble for millennials,” offers a host of essential consumer items for a single low price of $3. Instead of a big logo emblazoned on a product, the actual attributes of the product are listed on the package instead.

Brandless 1

BRANDLESS™ was created in 2016 by Sherpa Capital venture partner Tina Sharkey and entrepreneur Ido Leffler. The brand just closed a $35 million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates, which brought the startup’s total venture funding to $50 million. Investors include Cowboy Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Ventures

The idea, in a nutshell, is “democratizing access to awesome stuff at really fair and affordable pricing,” according to Sharkey.

The name of BRANDLESS™ game is simplicity. There are only two real choices to make on BRANDLESS™ website: What do you want, and how much of it do you want?

BRANDLESS™ Blog- Awesome Strangers

“You might be thinking BRANDLESS™ sounds too good to be true. And trust us, we spoke to lots of skeptics when we shared the stealth BRANDLESS™ story early on. The response was so remarkable we wanted to capture it on film.”

“So, on June 28, 2017, we invited a group of Awesome Strangers to our lab for a blind taste test. They knew nothing about Brandless. As predicted, the responses did not disappoint. Seeing really is believing.” You may want to try this at home and tell us how it went at

Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 9.00.45 AM


BRANDLESS™ is also offering a subscription service called “B.More.” The membership, which runs $36 a year, lowers the free shipping threshold from $72 to $48. For all other orders, a flat shipping rate of $9 is charged. The founders promised more benefits for B.More members, including a donated meal to the nonprofit Feeding America, in addition to the donation that is already made after eachB RANDLESS™ transaction.

Ultimately, Sharkey says that Brandless is about reclaiming one’s identity through “the freedom to allow people to define themselves as who they are, and not what a brand or a society is projecting onto them.”

The future of grocery shopping is online—and incredibly cheap. On the heels of the news that Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, a new company is selling hundreds of pantry staples for $3 or less on its new site, Brandless. The online store, launching today, July 11, is removing most of the markups across food, beauty, and household items, and co-founder Tina Sharkey hopes that you’ll replace your favorite brands with their “products of similar quality.”

“There’s an average savings of 40 percent across our whole Everyday Essentials assortment, but in many cases it’s much higher—up to 360 percent,” Sharkey tells Bon Appétit of the initial 200-plus item collection. They call this price difference “brand tax,” which is essentially paying more for a name you recognize. This doesn’t just apply to the Heinz ketchups and JIF peanut butters of the world—generic brands also have price markups. Customers also won’t be paying a premium for food values with BRANDLESS™. Most of their foods are organic, and all are fair trade, non-GMO, free of any artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors, and fully against animal testing.

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Artsy – Visual Art Online Platform Has Raised $50 Million at $275 Million Valuation in New Funding Round

Artsy – Visual Art Online Platform Has Raised $50 Million at $275 Million Valuation in New Funding Round

New York startup that helps broker art sales online has picked up funding and board members


Artsy has raised $50M to support their goal of creating a larger, more vibrant and diverse art ecosystem. This is a major step for the company and validation of Artsy’s model of partnering with and empowering the art industry–rather than competing with it.

“Artsy excited to use these funds to expand the art market and support a world with more art, artists, and the institutions that support them–a world where art becomes as ubiquitous as music” said Carter Cleveland, Artsy’s chief executive and original founder.

The market for buying, selling and learning about visual art online is getting a significant boost today. Artsy, the New York startup that has positioned itself as the go-to place for all things arty — a platform for people to learn about visual art online as well as explore opportunities to buy and sell work — has raised $50 million in funding.

The company is not disclosing its valuation but deal intelligence service Pitchbook notes that it is $275 million post-money (and $225 million pre-money).

The global art market is currently valued at around $44 billion annually, and about $3.75 billion of that was spent online in 2016, according to The European Fine Art Foundation, a rise of about 15 percent over 2015.

New York startup Arsty charges galleries a subscription fee for connecting them to buyers. It charges auction houses a commission to connect buyers with art work.

Competitors of Arsty include Berlin-based online auction house Auctionata Inc. and New York-based ArtBinder Inc.

Carter Cleveland, Artsy’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview that the plan is to use the investment to dive deeper into auctions, which today are the fastest-growing part of the site after the company secured partnerships with Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, the three leading brick-and-mortar auction houses.

Cleveland said Artsy has seen auctions quadruple in number on the platform in the last year, and now Artsy accounts for one-third of all received bids for auctions it hosts, and 9% of all sales.

Mr. Cleveland was joined at Artsy by co-founders Dasha Zhukova and Wendi Murdoch after the two had made contributions to the seed round, he said.

Artsy enables more than $20 million worth of art sales per month from a user base of 2 million unique visitors per month (who also visit it for its content, which includes an in-house magazine and other informational content) across its businesses that include its more than 1,800 commercial galleries as a member network of art gallery partners spanning more than 90 countries, according to the company.

The Series D, which brings the total raised by Artsy to around $100 million, was led by Avenir Growth Capital, a new firm out of New York, and includes a very long list of investors of 56, according to the Form D we spotted (TechCrunch). They include investment firm Avenir Growth Capital and included Mr. Kushner’s Thrive Capital, L Catterton and Shumway Capital. Mr. Kushner is brother to Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law. New individual investors in the art destination include Mr. Gebbia and Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei. The art dealer Larry Gagosian (founder of Gagosian Gallery), Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, members of the Rockefeller and Acquavella families, Greg Maffei of Liberty Media, Dasha Zhukova (Artsy co-founder, founder of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and partner of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich), board members Wendi Murdoch (also an Artsy co-founder), Sky Dayton (Earthlink, Boingo), and new board members Rich Barton (Expedia, Glassdoor, Zillow) and Bob Pittman (MTV co-founder, iHeartMedia CEO), and “such a proud seed investor” said Jim Breyer founder and CEO of Breyer Capital.

New York-based Artsy, incorporated as Inc., features images of paintings, photography and sculptures, and it enables people to contact sellers. Artsy partners with museums, galleries, art fairs and others behind artists’ work.


IMG_3224Pablo Picasso, “Nature morte au verre sous la lampe” (“Still Life with Glass under the Lamp”), 1962. Auction house Phillips sold this painting via Artsy, a marketplace for art. PHOTO: IMAGE COURTESY OF PHILLIPS / PHILLIPS.COM

“Technology is the next big frontier in the art market,” said art dealer Larry Gagosian, an early and returning investor in the company.

Under the deal, iHeart Media Chief Executive Bob Pittman, Benchmark Capital venture partner Rich Barton and Avenir Growth Capital co-founder Andrew Sugrue have agreed to join the board.

Founded in 2009, Artsy features art offered from galleries, auction houses and art fairs that can be accessed via its website and app. In 2016, Artsy began offering bids in live auctions, in a partnership with auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s , Phillips and Heritage.

The funding signifies an interesting shift in the relationship between art and the internet.

Art was one of the early movers when it came to early e-commerce efforts, with startups in the 1990s building portals to sell work from established dealers and artists, and companies like eBay and Amazon partnering with the auction houses to bring lots and their auction ethos to the web.

Much of that never really went anywhere, though, partly because of skepticism about whether it was possible to be able to authenticate work well enough on digital platforms, partly because the majority of buyers and sellers were not digitially-oriented, and, in the case of services like live auctions, whether the infrastructure was there to make it work. But the art market has evolved. Galleries and artists now directly use the internet to spread the word about their work, buyers are more digitally savvy, the quality of networks and devices has vastly improved; and the infrastructure that goes into making the art market run has caught up with the times: if you look at pictures of works of art on Artsy, you can zoom in to get very granular detail, and there is a long vetting process by way of the dealer connection, much like the relationship clothing site Farfetch provides between high end fashion houses and boutiques and buyers.

Artsy has been one of a group of startups that has reaped the benefits. (Others include Catawiki and Auctionata in Europe.)

“Art is one of the last consumer verticals that has not gone online,” Cleveland said today. “When we first started out, a lot of people asked us, ‘Will you ever be able to convince the industry?’ Well, we did that and then we were asked, ‘Would anyone actually ever bid on expensive artworks on there?’ Now we can definitively say Yes.” Fun fact: Artsy was part of the first-ever Disrupt lineup of startups back in 2010 (its old URL no longer directs to the site, though).

Going forward, there are plans to add in more features as well. One of the sticking points so far has been that Artsy doesn’t have video for their auction streams. The reason, Cleveland said, is because of the transaction distance on its platform: it attracts a global audience and so buyers can be up to 3,000 miles away from where the sale is originating, “one of the furthest of any streamed e-commerce site online,” Cleveland said. That means offering video would have too high a latency and so real-time bidding would not work.

Another is to push more sales, of course, as a way to bringing more turnover and activity into the market.

“Despite an estimated $3 trillion of art assets in the world, only $44 billion trades in a given year—and less than 2 percent of qualified buyers participate in this market due to high transaction costs, long lead times, and limited transparency on pricing and value,” said Sugrue, in a statement.

“We believe Artsy will bring this last major consumer category online and thereby substantially expand the size of the global art market. We look forward to working with Artsy to make a larger, more connected art market a reality.”

Artsy is not disclosing its valuation except to say that it is definitely higher than before. We’re still trying to find out what it is.

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Startup Robinhood, a No-Fee Stock-Trading App — Now is Worth $1.3 Billion


The founders of Robinhood, a no-fee stock-trading app, were initially rejected by 75 venture capitalists — now their startup is worth $1.3 billion

Vlad Tenev, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Robinhood. Robinhood is an app built around one promise: no-fee stock trading.

The app itself is stylish and simple, a big part of why it won an Apple Design Award. It makes stock trading cheap, intuitive, and mobile.

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Robinhood launched in December 2014 and quickly became a favorite among younger people looking to invest without paying $7 per trade. Since its launch, Robinhood has amassed hundreds of thousands of users and facilitated over $1 billion in trades, according to TechCrunch.

The app itself is stylish and simple, a big part of why it won an Apple Design Award. It makes stock trading cheap, intuitive, and mobile.

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