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Heads up! #Entrepreneur #Startup #VC
Breyer Capital and IDG Capital Partners Raise $1b to Invest in Chinese Startups and Scores 17 Exits, 15 Portfolio Firms Cross $1b Valuations in 2016
Silicon Valley investor Breyer Capital and Chinese venture capital firm IDG Capital Partners have reached final close for their $1 billion funds to invest in startups in China in 2016.
Breyer Capital was founded by Jim Breyer, who had led Accel’s investment into Facebook in 2005. The firm has invested in social media, entertainment, media, digital health, and financial technologies. The new fund III from the IDG Capital Fund will focus on investing in sectors such as technology, media & telecommunications, healthcare, energy, and consumer products, both in China as well as in global companies looking to enter the market.
“I have invested in China with the IDG team for over a decade and have been continually impressed by the caliber, creativity, and drive of Chinese entrepreneurs working across a range of industries. China continues to represent tremendous long-term investment opportunities, particularly in companies applying machine-learning and artificial intelligence,” said Jim Breyer, founder and chief executive officer of Breyer Capital.
IDG Capital started operations in China in 1993 and was the nation’s first technology venture capital and private equity investment firm. It has invested in some of China’s biggest tech companies like Baidu, Tencent Holdings, and Xiaomi. More than 100 of its portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired.
Venture funding in China is still strong relative to rest of Asia, despite slowing down of investments. The country’s startups received a cumulative $40 billion in the first three-quarters of 2015, a record high. But funding started to taper off from Q4 ’15, and the trend has continued in 2016, according to data from CB Insights.
Greater China accounted for the second largest proportion of aggregate deal value, at $17 billion, and was the location of seven of the 10 largest deals in the period, according to a Preqin report.
Ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing raised $4.5 billion in various rounds led by Apple Inc., China Life Insurance, BlackRock and Poly Group. Discount e-commerce startup Meituan-Dianping — formed by the merger of Meituan and Dianping Ltd in October 2015 to form China Internet Plus Holdings Ltd — raised $3.3 billion, the largest venture investment in any Internet startup to date.
China’s government has encouraged the growth of venture capital in the last two years. It has backed funds that raised about $220 billion in 2015, a three-fold increase from the year before.
The VC firm shared these numbers in a WeChat post, without divulging its investment returns. According to a report in Chinese media, including this story in China Money Network, IDG had said that around 36 portfolio companies had raised new funding rounds in 2016. These include artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime, home automation firm Rokid, e-commerce company Mogujie, fashion company Magmode, and online video platform Bilibili.
Among the unicorns IDG has backed are Chinese snack food e-commerce platform Three Squirrels, rollable display developer Royole Corporation, logistics company Best Logistics, and mobile app data tracker App Annie.
The three IPOs were Photo retouch app and social networking firm Meitu and flavored duck neck and leisure snack maker Zhou Hei Ya, who both went public in Hong Kong. Shoe-maker Guangzhou Top Score Shoes had also made its IPO debut on the A-share market.
Legend Pictures, a Hollywood film production house that produced “Inception” and “Pacific Rim”, was touted as one of IDG’s strategic sale exits. It invested $12.26 million in the company and was later acquired by Dalian Wanda Group for $3.5 billion in cash in January 2016.
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MOQIPEOPLE of The Week:
An Italian Architect and Designer Brings His American Dreams to New York
Giorgio Zuffanti, an Italian architect, and designer who’s a proud Sicilian at the hometown in Catania, Italy. Giorgio graduated from School of Architecture University of Catania and realized his master degree in Tsinghua University School of Architecture (Chinese pinyin: Qīnghuá Dàxué) in Beijing, China.
During and after his studies, Giorgio worked as a project designer in diverse places including Italy, China, and the United States where he developed a strong design and graphic skills. He always brings an international design perspective into his work and has been involved with mixed-use, commercial, residential and hospitality projects.
Giorgio has learned a great deal of professional experience in China when he worked for Area-17 Shanghai as Senior Designer for retail for international brands, commercial and residential projects.
Currently, Giorgio is working for Doban Architecture as a senior project designer in Brooklyn NY. As a senior project designer, he can put his background to good use in the design of the projects as well as furniture design in conjunction with Think Fabricate as he has got international design awards. Giorgio has been working with famous international designers ever since. He actives on
various fronts, as a product designer, interior designer, and architect, today Giorgio can count on an extensive CV. He calls himself “A modern nomad architect”.
In collaboration with Think Fabricate, Giorgio designed and made pieces of furniture along with the design for the booth for the last Brooklyn Design Trade Show in NY.
For the Dialogue series, Giorgio in collaboration with Think Fabricate and got the nominations for Best of Year Award 2016. A global design awards program dedicated to the year’s best design products organized to the famous magazine Interior Design.
Dialogue Table and Dialogue Bench are designed and fabricated in Brooklyn, New York, and published in important international Magazines.
The Dialogue Series crafted in maple and walnut with the brass inlaid pattern. “The spirit of the table is to bring people together”.
In his free time, he has a love for the materials and craft technique. He combines the love for design, music, and arts.
Observe, sense and creates. It’s the mantra that has accompanied Giorgio his whole life. From there, his desire to travel, discover the world, get to know other cultures took hold. His passions for art, design, and photography started when he was young, thanks to his painting. He used to watch him paint when he as little and he liked it a lot.
He grew up in Sicily and he has always been inspired by the baroque architecture, but also by the art and graphic design in architecture and the legendary Deconstructivism architects Zaha Hadid. He had the chance to collaborate with the famous architect Kengo Kuma in an international workshop sponsored by the University in Sicily. That meeting was important for Giorgio because it led him to explore the Asia.
Giorgio always brings his international background in his projects. His style is motivated by an attraction and passion to design and his great drawing skills. Giorgio takes inspiration from what is around him, from the countries he has experienced, to his travels and dreams.
Giorgio thinks that New York is still the center of the design and architecture world and for him is a fundamental experience because New York gives special vibes.
He lives in Brooklyn, a place that he really loves. Brooklyn is changing every day and he hopes to give his contribution to his style. For his talent and his love for this city he got the role as Representative Industry Chair for Urban Planning and Design for the Young Professional Brooklyn Chambers of Commerce (The first Italian to receive this position.)
Giorgio is able to satisfy his innumerable skills and passions thanks to a series of cultural events created by him and his firm in collaboration with international design brands. In these events, Giorgio has involved international designers, architects, chefs, with the goal of reflecting how the details can be a unifying element between cross disciplines and generate new languages.
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#Science #Space #Astronauts #SpaceSuit #Design
15 Days Left – How to get involved with NASA? Crowdsourcing ideas for NASA’s Space Poop Challenge – If You know the Best Way to Poop in a Spacesuit, the Agency Wants to Hear It (The Deadline is Dec. 20. 2016)
Got A Great Idea For Designing and Dealing With Poop In A Spacesuit? Space Poop Challenge: NASA Seeks Solutions To Astronauts’ Potty Problems
Since 2011, NASA has been using crowdsourcing to help them solve some of the problems that crop up on the International Space Station (ISS), from coming up with solutions to the difficulties of astronauts exercising in space, and the risks of Galactic.
The space agency is seeking solutions “for fecal, urine, and menstrual management systems to be used in the crew’s launch and entry suits over a continuous duration of up to 144 hours (6 days).”
NASA is asking for everyone’s help making the solar system’s most portable port-a-potty in coming up with new ways they can handle needs the human beings who are astronauts have in terms of waste.
“What’s needed is a system inside a space suit that collects human waste for up to 144 hours and routes it away from the body, without the use of hands. The system has to operate in the conditions of space — where solids, fluids, and gases float around in microgravity (what most of us think of as ‘zero gravity’) and don’t necessarily mix or act the way they would on earth. This system will help keep astronauts alive and healthy over 6 days, or 144 hrs,” NASA explained in a statement.
Currently, astronauts wear diapers during launching, landing and spacewalking. However, diapers are only a very temporary solution, and can’t provide adequate protection for longer than one day. Given that astronauts can find themselves in spacesuits for up to 10 hours at a time — or up to 6 days if something catastrophic happens while in space — a new solution is sorely needed.
The new system would be included in NASA’s Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit that will be used during the first crewed Orion missions. The winners will be announced Jan. 31, 2017, and NASA will award up to three prizes — adding up to a total of $30,000 — for the best ideas.
So, if you think you are up to this scatological challenge, you can submit your proposal here before Dec. 20. After all, as the folks over at NASA helpfully point out: “when you gotta go, you gotta go. And sometimes you gotta go in a total vacuum.”
The “Space Poop Challenge” — that’s what it’s called, we’re not making this up — is the latest project of the NASA Tournament Lab, a program to invite members of the public to help come up with “novel ideas or solutions” for space-related problems. It’s hosted on HeroX, a crowdsourcing platform.
And here’s the challenge: Create an “in-suit waste management system” that can handle six days’ worth of bathroom needs.
The logistics of pooping in space, in general, have long been resolved. Astronauts at the International Space Station, orbiting the Earth for months, have some noisy contraptions with vacuums, fans, hoses and bags that take care of business.
But those space toilets won’t fit in a pressurized spacesuit — and they certainly aren’t hands-free.
“How has NASA handled this in the past? Well, for one thing, they weren’t handling it for 6 days,” HeroX explains.
Basically, when astronauts are in spacesuits they stick with diapers to handle waste. That’s fine for a few hours.
But someday NASA might send an astronaut on a mission that calls for spending days at a time in a suit.
NASA is looking for an idea for a solution that would collect feces, urine and menstrual fluid without relying on gravity, and then keep all that waste away from the body. And the astronaut has to be able to move, sit and squeeze into tight places without a problem. And it can’t take more than five minutes to implement the system. And it can’t cause any air leakage in the pressurized suit. And it has to be entirely hands-free in its operation. And it needs to work for both men and women of “varying size and weight.” And ideally it would be comfortable — physically, emotionally and psychologically — for the astronauts.
There’s nothing on the market now that comes close to achieving this, NASA says.
“Current commercial products that provide urine waste management utilize gravity to route and collect urine away from the body. Some require the use of hands,” the HeroX site notes. “No commercial products have been found that provide fecal waste management for a 144-hour period with or without the use of hands.”
NASA says that out of all the ideas presented through HeroX, up to three will be awarded, with up to $30,000 total in prize money. There’s a possibility that the idea might be implemented and your idea would actually help an astronaut find relief in space, although there’s no guarantee.
The deadline is Dec. 20. You can find more information about the contest here.
Space Poop Challenge
Description: The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks proposed solutions for fecal, urine, and menstrual management systems to be used in the crew’s launch and entry suits over a continuous duration of up to 144 hours. An in-suit waste management system would be beneficial for contingency scenarios or for any long duration tasks.
Sponsoring/Partner Organizations: NASA
Benefits of Participation/Awards Available: $30,000
Open Date: October 11, 2016 Submissions Open
Close Date: December 20, 2016 Submission Deadline
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Facebook announced a new video capture system named Facebook Surround 360 on April 12. The hardware and software video solution provides a professional, end-to-end system that automates the normally complex process of producing 360° panoramic video for 3D Virtual Reality (VR) use.
Like other 360° systems, the Surround 360 consists of an array of video cameras pointing in every possible direction. However, many basic 360° camera systems are “monoscopic” and appear flat because they lack depth. The Surround 360 is a “stereoscopic” system that uses two cameras to simulate the left and right eyes when capturing each location in a scene. This allows for a believable 3D experience because of the increased depth perception to the user.
Brian Cabra, Director of Engineering at Facebook, cited one of the most critical parts of the system to be the stitching software. Stitching video refers to the process of merging video from the various 10-20 cameras pointing in different directions to form a complete picture that appears continuous and as undistorted as possible when viewed through VR hardware. Typically, the this stitching process is done by hand and is labor intensive. The Surround 360 does this stitching process automatically through a series of imaging algorithms.
Another important feature of Facebook’s 3D-360° video capture system is that the camera and the software will be open-sourced to outside developers. Competing video capture systems tend to be proprietary, have very limited availability or be generally unreliable. According to Cabra, open-sourcing the system will:
“Accelerate the growth of the 3D-360 ecosystem… We want others to join us in refining this technology. We know from experience that a broader community can move things forward faster than we can on our own. All the software and hardware blueprints will be made available by the end of this summer. Make it faster, cheaper, smaller. Make it better. We’ll be working to do the same here. We can’t wait to see what you develop and, ultimately, what you create with it.”
The Facebook Surround 360 can produce up to 8K video and works with Gear VR. It is production-ready and is rugged and reliable. The cameras can operate for a long time without overheating.
View Facebook’s promotional video on the technology below:
Source: Facebook. Read Brian Cabra, Director of Engineering at Facebook’s announcement.
Ever wonder what happens each minute on the Internet? How about 2.4 million Google search queries, almost 350,000 tweets on Twitter, and over 700,000 Facebook logins. This is according to Excelacom, Inc.
Check out the fascinating graphic to see the most useful apps and sites on the Internet!
Mr. A: “The data seems to miss all Chinese apps and sites. Where’s WeChat for example? It’s much bigger than most of these.”
Mr. B: “It’s because there’s the world Internet and the China Internet.”
Source: Excelacom, Inc.
John Rogers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have invented a new wearable patch that can measure blood flow. It works by subtly heating the skin and monitoring the heat as it moves through the blood stream. Compared to other similar technologies, the new wearable patch is simpler in design and would be cheaper to produce.
According to an article on MIT Technology Review:
The inventors of the new “epidermal electronic” sensor system say it is ready for use in a clinical setting, specifically for monitoring skin health, for example in patients who have recently had skin grafts. They say down the road it may also be possible to use it inside the body. In a recent demonstration, the researchers showed that the device can record accurate data from human subjects about the flow of blood in larger vessels, specifically veins in the forearm, as well as in the network of tiny vessels near the surface of the skin.
L’Oreal helped fund the research and is producing the wearable device as well as analytical software for it.
Read more about it on MIT Technology Review.
Chaos Theorie, a German pioneer of the vegan cocktail bar concept successfully reached its fundraising goal of €8,000, raising €8,884. On its Kickstarter campaign page, the company said (translated from German):
The small shop is bursting at the seams! It is often so crowded that people have to go back disappointed. And we have hardly any space at all to store so much stuff… We also have so many great ideas that we can not implement in the small room. Therefore, we need more space! And we have now found it. And we now need you!
The new location is not far from its current location; only one street away according to the Kickstarter page and features a much larger kitchen and space for events. The money will be used for upgrading the new space with restaurant necessities such as blenders, freezers and dishwashers as well as more unusual exotic items like pink sofas, glitter and … unicorns(!).
Chaos Theorie opened for business on July 10, 2013 and describes themselves as probably the first vegan cocktail bar world. Their take on vegan food is a bit unusual:
Once upon a time, you could not hear the word “vegan” without thinking about being super healthy and all that. And there we were with our decadent sandwiches, cakes, milkshakes … and of course, the fancy cocktails – with or without alcohol, some with cream, some without, some healthy, some … well, not-so.
People were asking all the time if we therefore had “healthier” stuff to eat. Well, we decided to take a stand, and started with our new motto: FETTUNDBETRUNKEN. In otherwords: FATANDDRUNK .
Read more about Chaos Theorie on their Kickstarter campaign page.