In The News 7/22

How VCs Aren’t Helping Women Entrepreneurs


The Harvard Business Review found that in venture-capital-financed startups, only 9% of lead entrepreneurs were women, an appallingly low number. But does this mean that there are fewer successful female entrepreneurs or is the issue that there are just not enough female VCs?

The HBR found that having female investors and female partners involved in female-led companies substantially improves the company’s chance of a successful exit. Teams of all male venture capitalists did not adequately support female led startups compared to venture teams with women on them. When women were present on the venture team, there was no difference in how male led startups fared compared to female led ones. The structure of venture capital backers has influenced the “performance gap” between male and female led startups.

Read more about the gender gap here.

Stop Being Busy


No one is saying that running a startup isn’t a lot of work – it is. But do founders make too much busy work for themselves? Cody Musser says, “Yes.” There is one main reason for this.

It feels good to be busy. It makes you feel important. If you have a lot on your plate, if a bunch of people all need something from you, then you must be doing something right. However, are you doing a disservice to your business?

Being busy means you have less time to think thoroughly about your business and business solutions. Sometimes taking that extra second could be what you need to perfect your latest project.

Read more advice here.

Charge Your Phone On The Subway


The subway is going to change. The doors on cars are getting bigger, so you don’t need to push anyone out your way. All subway cars will be equipped with Wifi, so you never have to disconnect, God forbid. There will even be USB ports to charge your phone.

New York City’s subway system is ready for a massive overhaul, according to governor Andrew Cuomo. As reported in Tech Crunch, the way we think about the subway will never be the same again.These updates are part of a $27B, 5-year plan, so you won’t necessarily see these features anytime soon.

Read more here.

PokemonGo Is Great For SMB


If you’re a brick and mortar business, then PokemonGO could be exactly what you need to get more foot traffic to your storefront. At least, that’s what Lure Deals has shown to be true and effective, as reported by Venture Beat.

While businesses can pay for lures, essentially bait to get Pokemon to spawn near your store, Lure Deals makes sure that everyone playing knows where you are and that Pokemon are flocking to you. Businesses have reported a 10% – 20% rise in revenue from days they placed lures compared to days they did not.

So far Lure Deals has launched over 10 pilot programs with businesses to cover some of the most trafficked areas. While Niantic, the company behind PokemonGO, is coming up with an ad model, it could theoretically put Lure Deals out of business.

Read more about Lure Deals and PokemonGo here.

Chatbots To Dominate Social Media


Since AIM, we have all interacted with Chatbots. However, while these bots were initially just for fun and joking around with (or in the case of Microsoft’s Tay spew racist Trump propelled rhetoric). Now though, these Chatbots are moving into the roles of CRMs on social media, as well as disseminating content and performing transactions.

According to Tech Crunch’s report, people are expecting their customer service even faster and are turning to social media to receive it. Bots could usurp the roles of humans in customer interaction online in the next couple of years. Due to machine learning, these bots will also learn from you to provide news or information that you actually want to see. You can also ask technical questions and make purchases from bots. Bots will even provide you with content you want might want to see. Bots are becoming mainstream and are expected to dominate brands’ social media in 3 - 5 years.

Read more here.

Alibaba Invests Heavily In Asian Startups


According to a Bloomberg report, Alibaba is no stranger to investing in startups. The Chinese company has invested in successful startups, such as Lyft and Snapchat. Now, they are looking to get in on the ground floor, investing in earlier stage companies and funding innovation.

Alibaba established a NT$10B fund to support Taiwanese entrepreneurship and HK$1B for Hong Kong. Alibaba is hoping that among the many companies they are investing in, one will surface as a unicorn. This marks Alibaba’s first expansion out of mainland China in investing in early stage startups.

Read more about what they’re up to here.