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

How to Find Your Seed Stage Investors

#SeedFund #Fundraising #Investors

How to Find Your Seed Stage Investors!

It can be challenging to find the right investor to get your company off the ground when you are a startup.

Further complicating the process is finding an investor who is interested in your industry, vertical, geography AND round size. This post will provide tips to help you track down the proper investors for your first round of financing.

1. Pitchbook
Pitchbook has been a holy grail for us. We are able to sort investors by over 100 different preferences and fund characteristics such as AUM, dry powder (money left for investment), preferred investment amount, preferred investment stage, etc.

All of this information can then be exported directly to Salesforce or downloaded to an excel file for easy reference and personal filtering. The user interface can be tricky to navigate at times, but the major downside is the cost of the platform: >$5,000 per year.

If you are connected to an analyst or individual with access to Pitchbook, you might save some $$$. And what if you don’t? Here are some free ones!

2. Signal
Signal.VC is a powerful investor search engine. The value to using Signal VC is that they use your LinkedIn network to determine the strength of your connection to specific investors.

The home page by default shows the highest strength connection into specific VC firms. This page also lists the min, “sweet spot” and max check size the firms typically write.

Lastly, this home page shows VC geography preference and other companies they have invested in. All of this is shown without any sorting.

The biggest asset here is the filtering and advanced filter functions.

The basic filter can break down by firm or individual name, investment range, areas of interest and whether they lead rounds.

Using the advanced filter option, position, investment location, past investments, education, and work experience can be narrowed in too.

Finally, a third filtering option would be to select the round you are raising (seed, A, B, C+) within the industry search to ensure you will be finding the right VCs for your company.

VC lists can be populated, and intros can be requested here as well. I have found Signal.VC to be the most user-friendly platform on this list. The only downside is that as a free resource, some data may be limited.

3. VCWiz
VCwiz specifically focuses its efforts on helping startups find investors for their seed round financings.

Here you are able to filter investors by stage, sector, industries, cities, and related startups. Another nice feature is the ability to see each partner in the firm and their most recent news updates, urls, investments, and descriptions.

Similar to social media, you are able to track or follow specific partners so you are alerted when they strike a deal, write a new blog post, leave the firm etc. This is a great automation instrument for tracking investors and their new investments.

Additionally, you can search investors by topics, which has a broader focus than filtering for investor industries.

The last feature is the ability to request introductions and have the platform track and organize all fundraising efforts. This simple to navigate resource offers value to those funding or planning to fund a seed round in the near future.

4. Crunchbase
CB is a well known resource where you are able to gather more information on the investors you are interested in. Here you will be able to search for VCs or investors based on a variety of criteria options.

In its free version CB limits the filtering options to two parameters. While there are dozens of parameter options, the limit of two can be frustrating if you are searching for an investor who focuses on specific verticals, locations, and check sizes.

The premium version, Crunchbase Pro, allows for unlimited filtering parameters at a cost of $29 per month. CB Pro also includes a variety of other in-depth resources such as charts, analysis tools, advanced search options, custom alerts, and excel integration. CB Pro is one of the more reasonably priced resources on the market currently when you consider the astronomical price of platforms like Pitchbook and Capital IQ.

5. AngelList
This resource is more valuable on a personal rather than company level. Here you can sort and filter for specific VC partners and angel investors.
Again, you are able to sort by role, location, market, companies, number of investments etc. What’s most useful about is that you are able to look through your primary connections, secondary connections, and everyone else. This is rather similar to LinkedIn but serves as a smaller and more focused investor portal.

These five websites are truly valuable when searching for investors. If you are connected to a VC firm or angel network already, have conversations with your contacts first to determine who they may know who a good fit might be. The resources above can be great research and outreach tools, but your personal connections will always be number one.

Last tip, this chatbot will find you seed funding 🤖💸
3,150 investors in one place:

Happy fundraising!

Originally published at on September 16, 2018.

Taiwan Is Growing Cocoa? Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island

#TAIWANCocoaBeans #BeanToBarChocolate #TreeToBarChocolate

Taiwan Is Growing Cocoa?
Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island

• Cacao Plantations in Taiwan
• Taiwan Has A Lot of Farming Talent
• Tea-flavored Chocolate Stuns Judges in the Asia-Pacific Region
• Taiwan Winning Nine Gold, 30 Silver and 29 Bronze Medals
• Taiwan “double ferment” method that is unique in the world, fermenting the cocoa beans twice to make “Taiwan No. 9” chocolate, which won a Gold Medal for its strong rosé champagne flavor with red wine vinegar and berry notes
• Won a Gold Medal in the Asia-Pacific Region – The winning tea-flavored chocolate bar Taiwan No. 1 contains 62 percent cocoa grown in Pingtung County, with its Tie Guan Yin Tea-flavored dark chocolate bars. It carries notes of dried tropical fruits such as a slight guava flavor
• Won a Silver Medal in the Asia-Pacific Region – The winning tea-flavored Charcoal Oolong Tea 62% chocolate bar is the favorite of FIH Regent Group Chairman Steven Pan, charms the palate with ripe fruit notes and a smoky flavor
• Tree to Bar Chocolate All-In-One on Formosa Island
• Taiwan cocoa trees are young, at an average of just ten years. Beans from younger trees Do Not Contain Enough Sugar, which is reflected in the acidity of the resulting cocoa powder
• Taiwan cocoa beans has made a virtue of necessity by adjusting the fermentation and roasting process to bring out the local flavor

Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 5.49.21 PM

A Beautiful Formosa Island of Cocoa Beans, Chocolate, Chocolate Lovers
We are not in Central or South America, where cocoa originally came from, but in Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County, an emerging production area on the global confectionery map.

Cocoa trees, which thrive in hot, humid weather in shady spots with little wind, mainly grow in the region spanning about 20 degrees north and south of the Equator. In Taiwan, the Mt. Dawu mountain range, with its clear water, and the Wanluan and Neipu areas in Pingtung County offer good conditions for cocoa cultivation.

The International Chocolate Awards (ICA) are for chocolatiers what the Academy Awards are for the film industry. In last year’s competition, several Taiwanese chocolate brands, including Fu Wan Chocolate and Le Ruban Chocolat, shined with great results.

In September 2018, the ICA held its Asia-Pacific competition for the first time as an independent event in Asia, picking Taiwan as host. This year, more than 700 products from some 100 chocolate companies from 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region were entered. Taiwan’s chocolatiers came away with even better results than last year, winning nine gold, 30 silver and 29 bronze medals.

“Why did the ICA pick Taiwan as its first host in Asia? Martin Christy, judging director of the ICA, explains that most crucial for the decision was that Taiwan boasts cocoa production, chocolate-making facilities, and a market with purchasing power, all in one place.”

A look at the world map shows that the major cocoa production areas are in Africa and Latin America, whereas chocolate production and consumption takes place in countries located at higher latitudes.

Christy remarks that a place like Taiwan that can produce cocoa but also possesses quite mature chocolate-making technology is hard to find. Not hiding his surprise, he recounts a visit to a cocoa plantation in Pingtung, where he saw cocoa beans being dried in the sun in the front of the farm, while sorting, roasting and grinding was done in the back.

Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 5.52.20 PM


“Here is probably the production area with the shortest processing mileage in the whole world,” Christy says.”

On top of that, Taiwan has a large consumer market. The Taiwanese are very open to different culinary cultures and savor the good things in life. It is very rare that a place provides all conditions from production to technology and consumption at the same time.

A complete gourmet environment requires cultivation and production capability, chocolate-making skills and the sensory skills to taste product on a professional level, which requires the devotion of human resources and efforts in each area. Taiwan’s craftspeople and artisans have been shining in various contests in the past. But this time, Taiwan provided the stage for high-quality confectionery, displaying its soft power.

Tea-flavored Chocolate Stuns Judges
Tea-flavored chocolate products from Taiwan did particularly well this year, becoming a hit with jurors.

Monica Meschini, a member of the European Permanent Jury, who is both a chocolate and a tea taster, notes, “This is the first time that I’ve tasted such great chocolate, such good tea.” Meschini fell in love with the great flavors of the tea series.

Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu (Photo by Chientong Wang) Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu (Photo by Chientong Wang)

Last year, Fu Wan Chocolate won a gold medal with its Tie Guan Yin Tea-flavored dark chocolate bars. Fu Wan Chocolate CEO Warren Hsu says he selected suitable tea flavors by taking a sip of tea and then taking a bite of chocolate. As a result, he found that partially or fully fermented teas with a stronger body and fuller flavor such as Tie Guan Yin and charcoal-roasted Oolong teas and Ruby (also known as Red Jade) black tea go particularly well with cocoa.

The gold medal-winning tea-flavored chocolate bar Taiwan No. 1 contains 62 percent cocoa grown in Pingtung County, married with Tie Guan Yin tea from the Muzha region in Taipei. It carries notes of dried tropical fruits such as a slight guava flavor.

As the chocolate slowly melts in the mouth, a subtle orchid flavor evolves in the finish. This wealth of changes in texture and flavor from the beginning to the end fascinates both the Taiwanese as habitual tea drinkers and foreigners who appreciate Eastern culture.

The Taiwan Charcoal Oolong Tea 62% chocolate bar, which won a silver medal and is the favorite of FIH Regent Group Chairman Steven Pan, charms the palate with ripe fruit notes and a smoky flavor.

Pan sings the praises of this chocolate bar, noting that it convinces with natural flower and fruit flavors, while its aftertaste carries a note of roasted charcoal. Pan calls it a “great taste that is unique in the whole world.”

Le Ruban Chocolat, a patisserie in Taipei, won a gold medal in another category with its white chocolate roasted oolong tea truffles, which deftly pair the creamy flavor of white chocolate with Oolong tea from Hualian on Taiwan’s east coast.

Fu Wan Chocolate: Tree to Bar, All in One
“Chocolate is a lingua franca in the whole world. And I want to find a path to the world stage,” remarks Hsu, who used to be a food consultant.”

A trip to Florence, Italy many years ago, where he tasted chocolates, developed a myriad of changing flavors in the mouth, inspiring Hsu to delve into researching the craft of chocolate making. He even flew to London with his wife Lin Wan-ting to gain a thorough understanding of chocolate flavors. They went on to become the first Taiwanese to obtain certificates in chocolate tasting from the International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting (IICT) in the British capital.

As a skilled chocolate taster, Hsu knows how to trigger chocolate eaters’ “taste memory”, which not only helps his products stand out in competitions but also enables them to stand the test of the market.

Hsu notes, “The chocolate-making skills must be flawless; that’s the basic requirement, and then you need to make people remember certain things about the taste.”

Most large chocolate manufacturers buy cocoa butter and cocoa powder directly and mix them based on their formulas. High-end chocolate makers emphasize their “bean to bar” processes, which means they buy cocoa beans and ferment, dry, roast and grind them themselves for their chocolate products. Fu Wan Chocolate controls the entire process from an even earlier stage, the cocoa bean production. Consequently, they call their all in one process “tree to bar.” Only a handful of Taiwanese chocolate brands use tree-to-bar chocolate making.

Hsu observes that Taiwanese farmers are good at taking care of their crops. As a result, the taste of Taiwanese cocoa is “particularly nice and energetic, like the Taiwanese people.” Noting that Taiwanese cocoa carries caramel or berry notes and a very balanced flavor, Hsu believes it is very suitable for seasoning or in combination with other foods.

However, in comparison with traditional cocoa producers in Africa and Central and Latin America, whose plantations are around 30 years old, Taiwanese cocoa trees are young, at an average of just ten years. Beans from younger trees do not contain enough sugar, which is reflected in the acidity of the resulting cocoa powder. Hsu, however, has made a virtue of necessity by adjusting the fermentation and roasting process to bring out the local flavor.

He invented a “double ferment” method that is unique in the world, fermenting the cocoa beans twice to make “Taiwan No. 9” chocolate, which won a gold medal for its strong rosé champagne flavor with red wine vinegar and berry notes.

“Taiwan has a lot of farming talent, and our next step will be to sign production contracts with [cocoa] farmers, while we concentrate on technology development,” explains Hsu.

Hsu has already been experimenting with a host of unusual chocolate flavors such as sakura shrimp from Donggang or chili pepper. He notes, somewhat tongue in cheek, that he will also try adding traditional Chinese medical herbs such as angelica sinensis (danggui) or ligusticum striatum (chuanxiong).

“Who knows? We might see [chocolates with] typical Taiwanese flavors such as pig intestines herbal soup or pig’s blood rice cakes!”

Le Ruban Chocolat: Using Floral Flavors to Interpret the Taste of Taiwan
“What language can we use to communicate with the whole world?” is the question Le Ruban Chocolat chef Hugo Lee, who looks back on 26 years of patisserie experience, has been asking himself all his professional life.

“French confectionery customarily combines hazelnut, raspberries and almonds. In the case of Japan, matcha and yuzu have already become a common language in the international food and beverage scene. But what about Taiwan? I want to use local food ingredients to try to make a chocolate that represents Taiwan, to catch up to the rest of the world,” remarks Lee.

Therefore, Lee uses floral flavors to interpret the taste of Taiwan. Last year, he chose chrysanthemums from Mt. Chike in Hualien County. This year, he tried longan flowers in combination with honey from Taitung County to make dark “longan flower” truffles.
Under the cocoa coating, the smooth and rich floral flavor of the ganache comes across as much more elegant than fresh and sweet longan fruit. So, it should not come as a surprise that the new creation fetched a gold medal.

Read and watch more via:
Bean-To-Bar and Tree-To-Bar Chocolates

Fu Wan Chocolate

Originally published at on September 27, 2018.

Introducing Paige.AI


Introducing Paige.AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the key weapons in the fight against cancer and the many forms and mutations that it takes, and today we have a startup is coming out of stealth and announcing funding and a significant data deal as it seeks to build an AI system specifically to help understand one aspect of the treatment cycle: cancer pathology.

A startup New York-based company – Paige.AI, a health technology company revolutionizing clinical diagnosis and treatment in oncology that applies artificial intelligence to pathology for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Paige.AI has signed an exclusive license with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to gain access to its intellectual property in computational pathology and library of pathology slides, one of the world’s largest tumor pathology archives, recently announced it landed $25 million from a successful Series A funding round to build the leading offering in digital and computational pathology, led by Breyer Capital.

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“Patients deserve and need an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible, yet our current methods are time-consuming, expensive and subjective,” Dr. David Klimstra, cofounder of Paige.AI and chairman of the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in a statement. “The field is ripe for innovation and we are confident that Paige.AI will aid pathologists in detecting disease better and faster. With computational pathology, pathologists can redirect their efforts toward more sophisticated tasks, such as integrating histologic findings with other diagnostic analyses.”

The company said that currently pathologic diagnosis relies on a manual process where pathologists interpret glass slides using a microscope.









An example slide of a Breast Cancer specimen. The image is 2 Gigapixel in size. A patient can have dozens of scans and our large scale studies comprise thousands of patients per cancer. At original resolution, cell nuclei are visible, but the image is too large to be displayed on any computer screen. (Top and down pics)

This new method of computational pathology will incorporate digital pathology, which the company claims will help pathologist make decisions faster and more accurately and at a lower cost. Pagie.AI does this through the relying on a large set of data and reducible algorithms, and the MSK partnership will greatly expand this data set.



(Thomas Fuchs, Paige.AI co-founder and Chief Science Officer.jpg)

The co-founder who is now the CEO, Dr Thomas Fuchs, is known as the “father of computational pathology” and is the director of Computational Pathology in The Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, as well as a professor of machine learning at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

The other co-founder is Dr David Klimstra, who is chairman of the department of pathology at MSK. The company’s chairman, Norman Selby, has been the chairman of two other medical information businesses, Real Endpoints and Physicians Interactive, in a long list of other roles.

Using AI to tackle the challenge of cancer — with all its millions of permutations and variations — is not new. As some examples, researchers have done work into using AI to detect colorectal cancerbreast cancer and lung cancer earlier.

 Two primary goals at PAIGE.AI are:

  1. In the short-term, develop and deliver a series of AI disease modules that enable pathologists to improve the efficacy, quality, objectivity and efficiency of their work.This will enable them to provide better care, at lower cost – the goal all new medical technologies and innovations aim for, but rarely achieve.
  2. In the medium-long term, develop and introduce new treatment paradigms, that build on the promise of computational pathology, and integration of computational pathology with EHR, genomic and other data. For example, the critical Gleason score in prostate cancer was developed by pathologists over 50 years ago, is still used today to make critical medical decisions, but is highly subjective. We believe we can discover new paradigms to improve Gleason and other methodologies that will lead to vastly improved clinical care, and core IP for the company.

Paige.AI’s business and regulatory team brings a wealth of experience from the health-care sector and is preparing for the commercialization of their AI products.

Series A round will be used towards expanding the Memorial Sloan Kettering spinoff’s staff from 5 to 35 this year.

Next month, Paige.AI is moving into offices at Cornell Tech’s Tata Innovation Center in New York City, Fuchs said.

Join PAIGE in the heart of the most exciting city in the world. PAIGE’s offices are located on Roosevelt Island, next to the middle of Manhattan, so you can enjoy an unparalleled vibrant city life. They are hiring talented scientists, developers and engineers who are passionate about building an AI that will fundamentally change diagnostic medicine.

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Top: View from PAIGE’s offices. Top and down: The office building.

Jim Breyer, Breyer Capital CEO, and Julian Robertson, who founded famed investment firm Tiger Management, led the round with other investors, according to Fuchs.

The company will be fully integrated into lab information systems by using the library to develop machine learning applications which is developing computational programs across diagnostic pathology and clinical annotations and anonymized genomic sequencing results such as starting with breast, prostate and other major cancers, according to a company press release.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, Fuchs is director of Computational Pathology in The Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology. He is also a professor at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where he teaches machine learning. Fuchs cofounded the company with Dr. David Klimstra, who is the chairman of the Department of Pathology at MSK.

Prior to Paige.AI, Fuchs worked on the Mars Rover project and autonomous space exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He drew parallels between algorithms used to identify terrain on Mars differentiating cancerous from benign tissues on slides.

This is not the first startup to be spun out of MSK. Drug maker Juno Therapeutics is another; it is now getting acquired for $9 billion by Celgene.

Read more info via: Paige.Ai

Cornell Tech

A New Tech Start-Up “Air Ticket Arena” (ATA) Will Let You Bid On Unsold Airline Tickets

Perfect for that last-minute getaway (picture)


The New App Air Ticket Arena (ATA) Will Let You Bid On Unsold Airline Tickets

  • The app Air Ticket Arena is a new tech start-up that is based in the UK
  • It allows travellers to bid for any empty seats that might be available on flights
  • Up to 48 hours before the flight, customers find out if their bid is high enough

A new tech start-up Air Ticket Arena (ATA) is based in the UK. ATA is new cloud-based IT platform with a mobile application, which aims to enable last minute travelers to place bids on desired flights and jump into unsold seats in just 24/48 hours. Leisure travelers will be able to place bids, 14 days prior departure in advance and only find out if they have a seat on the plane just 48 hours before take-off.

ATA has launched on February 1 and gives you the opportunity to bid for last-minute plane tickets. The app is currently only available on Android in the Google Play store but will be available for Apple users in the coming March.

As a ATA user, you will not purchase an airline ticket. The travelers place bids on airlines, destinations, and desired departure days. The platform will match each traveler’s bid with a requested route, airline’s predefined requirements, and departure date.

Once your preferences are selected, you can place your bid on how much money you are willing to pay for the flight.

One to two days before the flight departs, the airline will see how many unsold seats they have and will automatically book you on the flight if you have bid the same price or higher than the minimum price they are willing to accept for the seat.

Air Ticket Arena is the first fully automated passenger centric solution, which matches unsold seats for scheduled flights with the airline’s profit and performance requirements. (Video on Vimeo)

Successful matches are eligible for further processing on the airline’s ticketing and pricing engines. The winning travelers will receive an e-ticket and flight information at least 24/48 hours before departure flight.

“We are all aware of many empty seats on our last flight. For airliners, every empty seat is complete loss, and for every traveller is an opportunity,” said Kresimir Budinski, founder and managing director of Air Ticket Arena Ltd.

Air Ticket Arena is the first fully automated platform which matches unsold seats on scheduled flights with air traveller’s bids.

AirTicketArena Ltd. (the “Company”) is a private company limited by shares established under Laws of England and Wales on 17th November 2015 with its headquarters registered on 77-79 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9HY, United Kingdom.

They are raising £850.000 in February 2018 for expansion and growth.

The minimum investment per new investor is £25,000 (twenty-five thousand). Please see a “Register for a copy of Investment package” via


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Startup “Ziroom” – Chinese Apartment Rental Service Provider has raised 4 Billion Yuan ($621 Million USD) in a Series A Funding Round Led by Warburg Pincus


#Startup #VC #SeriesAFundJAN2018

Startup “Ziroom” – Chinese Apartment Rental Service Provider has raised 4 Billion Yuan ($621 Million USD) in a Series A Funding Round Led by Warburg Pincus

Sequoia Capital and Tencent also invest in the apartment rental service provider

BEIJING— Ziroom, a Chinese Apartment Rental Service Provider. Founded in 2011, Beijing-based Ziroom leases apartment units, renovates them and subleases them to long-term tenants. It manages 500,000 rooms and serves 1.2 million tenants in nine cities around China. It also operates eight service apartment buildings.  The company plans to increase the number of rooms under its management to 800,000 this year.

Ziroom has raised 4 billion yuan ($621 million USD) in a Series A funding round led by a group of investors including private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, Tencent, and Sequoia Capital China, according to a statement released by Warburg Pincus, as Beijing pushes the growth of a rental market to curb skyrocketing home prices in large cities.

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“Ziroom is China’s biggest professional asset management firm, and has advantages in customer acquisition, big data application and rental management,” said Julian Cheng, managing director and co-head of China at Warburg Pincus. “After interviewing hundreds of tenants, we found Ziroom’s reputation is higher than the industry average.”

Proceeds from the funding will be used to expand the company’s existing businesses in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as adding new operations in cities such as Hangzhou, Wuhan and Guangzhou. It will also upgrade its services to include maintenance and house moving as well as invest in technologies such as smart furniture and big data, according to its CEO Xiong Lin.

This is the third investment made by Warburg Pincus in China’s institutional apartment rental sector. It invested in Mofang, China’s first and leading centralized institutional apartment developer-operator, in 2012, and co-founded Nova to focus on the acquisition of aged and distressed properties in urban infill locations in 2015. The Chinese government has been pushing for the development of the country’s home rental market to address urban newcomers’ housing demand.

With government backing, the sector is attracted increased investments. Last September, Warburg Pincus committed a US$183 million follow-on investment into Nova Property Investment Co. Ltd, a Chinese rental apartment operator and asset manager. Last July, IDG Capital and Chinese hotel management company Huazhu Hotels Group Ltd. led a US$50 million pre-A round in Chengjia Apartment, an apartment rental start-up.

The Chinese government has been pushing the development of the home rental market to address housing demand from urban newcomer. Last August, 12 major cities in China introduced pilot programs that allows tenants of rental properties to enjoy the same access to public services as property owners.

“We strongly believed in the growth potential of apartment rental sector since six years ago and remain committed. We are actively responding to the government’s policy to promote apartment leasing by providing more and better rental properties to the market,” Ziroom chairman Hui Zuo said.Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 3.31.49 AM

The Chinese government has been pushing for the development of the country’s home rental market to address urban newcomers’ housing demand.

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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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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.

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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.

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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

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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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