Inside VC Firms: The Gender Divide

Johannes Lenhard has been conducting a year’s worth of ethnographic and interview-based research with venture capital firms for my post-doctoral project at the Max Planck Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change. 

While Lenhard initially set out to understand the investment decisions made by these funds, what he observed is an incredible gender divide -- almost every time he entered a venture capital firm in Munich, Berlin, London or San Francisco, he was greeted by a female office assistant who offered me coffee and walked me to a conference room. And almost every time, the partner of the fund I met for an interview was male, white, and over 40 years-old.

Read More
Why it pays to be a male tech entrepreneur

Just two per cent of venture capital (VC) money went to all-female founding teams in Europe in 2018, while in the UK, for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p. Professor Simonetta Manfredi from the Centre for Diversity Research Policy and Practice (CDPRP) at Oxford Brookes University attributes this low investment in women-led companies because they are only a small minority to begin with, and because the majority of venture capitalists are male, with females making up just 13 per cent of VC decision-makers in the UK, creating an unconscious biases.

Merian Ventures is one example of a US and UK VC firm that funds female-led businesses, specifically in artificial intelligence and consumer-facing technology companies. Its founder, Alexsis de Raadt St James, believes VC firms and investors have a role to play in levelling the playing field, and it’s beneficial to everyone. Aside from VCs, there are other paths to funding including university incubators, commercial firms with links to universities, and crowd-funding., which Priya Guha, venture partner at Merian Ventures, says can be used “very effectively” to get traction in a large market by publicity.

Read More
We need more female entrepreneurs. Universities can help create them

Budding female entrepreneurs can overcome the gender funding gap with targeted support from universities. This article, co-authored by Alexsis de Raadt St. James, founder and managing partner of Merian Ventures, explores the gender investment disparity by venture capital firms and how universities are taking responsibility to cultivate and support women entrepreneurs.

Universities have launched programs, such as WE Innovate at the Imperial College London, specifically for student women entrepreneurs to provide access to funding, mentoring and exposure to invest networks.

Read More
Seven Silicon Valley Tech Startups That Are Likely To Succeed In 2019

ImpactVision is one of seven Silicon Valley tech startups identified as likely to succeed in 2019. The selected startups are likely to succeed for a variety of reasons. For example, most of them have invested in niche markets. Others have developed unique solutions for problems in markets that blossom….

Read More
The Year Of The Scooter: The Good, The Bad, And The Road Ahead

Regina Clewlow, CEO and co-founder of Populus, a data platform that helps private mobility operators and cities deliver safe, equitable and efficient streets for the future of transportation, authors this article about the rise of the electric scooter and micromobility in 2018 and the year ahead for this mode of urban transportation and the challenges of coordinating ride-hailing services using valuable curbspace.

This article discusses the pros: municipalities considering the regulations and active management of mobility services as well as a redesign of urban spaces to encourage for movement without cars. The cons: questioning scooter safety and vehicle durability. And the future: How dockless electric bike and scooter companies can partner with cities to take back the streets to move more people, not cars.

Read More
PopulusMarta Bulaich
Populus and Lime team up to share vehicle data with Seattle

Populus and Lime have teamed to share and analyze data that will help Seattle’s Department of Transportation improve the use of city curbs for parking.  Under the agreement, Lime will share GPS data of car-sharing vehicles through Populus to improve use of city curbs.  Under this partnership, Populus will receive real-time data from Lime’s shared card fleet through a standardized format to report on parking utilization and deliver other key insights to Seattle.

Read More
How ImpactVision is using AI to detect unripe or contaminated food

Computer vision is infiltrating just about every industry — to bring analytics to retailers’ shelves, identify early signs of Alzheimer’s, and even help security cameras identify weapons.

ImpactVision is leveraging machine learning and hyperspectral imaging, a technique that combines spectroscopy and computer vision, to automatically assess the quality of food in factories and elsewhere. This article discusses the technology and advances made by ImpactVision, their first commercial deployment at Mexican sugar producer Beta San Miguel, and their recently closed investment round.

Read More
Why Brexit Uncertainty Means Chaos For Britain's Tech Entrepreneurs

Kim Nilsson, Founder and CEO of Pivigo and a Forbes contributor, writes about the chilling effect in the entrepreneur community caused by the prolonged uncertainty of Brexit. Investments from the European Investment Fund have steeply declined while challenges of hiring skilled EU workers have gone up. London’s hard won status as Europe’s start-up hub may be at risk. Even steadfast London-based businesses must make contingency plans and investigate alternatives outside of the U.K. Read more…

Read More
Data and the Future of Mobility: An Interview with Dr. Regina Clewlow

Jimmy O’Dea, a vehicles analyst for Union of Concerned Scientists, recently talked with Populus CEO, Dr. Regina Clewlow, about data and the future of mobility.

While it’s accepted that access to data plays an important role in the design of transportation systems (and is becoming even more important with the advent of autonomous vehicles, ride hailing, bike and scooter-sharing), it’s also acknowledged that task of aggregating and analyzing this critical data is underappreciated.

Read this interview to gain insights into some of the challenges and promise in the world of mobility data sharing…

Read More
Trusting business through transparency and the technology that could drive change

Jessi Baker, founder and Chief Executive of transparency company Provenance, spoke with Business Voice about building business trust and the technology making it happen.  There is a growing movement towards more responsible, ethical shopping. Where customers can see exactly where their products are sourced and who by, not just from the point of origin but through the whole supply chain. This is not just about knowing whether a coffee is fair trade, or if a tin of tuna is dolphin friendly. This is something more.

Studies show that consumers are willing to pay more money for products from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact, yet finding the right information is still not that easy.

Provenance looks to remedy that. It works with brands and retailers to make products traceable, enabling stores to provide information on products that ensure its offerings are ethically sourced and live up to the product claims…

Read More
Ford Acquires Spin Electric Scooter Company For A Reported $100 Million

As a part of mobility portfolio strategy, Ford announced its plan both acquire and invest in Spin, a San Francisco-based dockless electric scooter company. Spin provides customers an alternative for first- and last-mile transportation.

Rising urban transportation costs, parking shortages, traffic congestion and pollution are just a few of the challenges, and opportunities, that solutions like electric scooters tackle, according to research from Populus, a data and analytics company using AI to help cities and businesses plan and monitor shared mobility services. According to “The Micro-Mobility Revolution”, a report by Populus, nearly half of all trips made in the U.S. are 3 miles or less…

Read More
Seven Blockchain Initiatives That Might Change The World

Provenance, a leader using blockchain technology to enable businesses to build trust in their goods and supply chain and empowering shoppers with data to help make informed product selection decisions, was named at the top of a short list of companies poised to make revolutionary changes in the world using blockchain.

With the Provenance platform, people know more about what they are consuming while increasing transparency in businesses they buy from, building trust.  Brands and their supply chain producers, partners, and retailers, use blockchain to share the processes behind their products and what the social and environmental impact is of their offering…

Read More
Transparency In Business Advocate Jessi Baker On How It Can Empower Women

Jessi Baker, the CEO of Provenance, a platform that allows users to understand the ethical sourcing of their clothes and food, talked recently talked with HuffPost about entrepreneurship, inspiring women and why people should care about where their products come from. Jessi did a PhD at UCL in Computer Science, where she started to develop the concept for Provenance. Today, Provenance is one of the first to adopt and utilize blockchain technology to help create dependable, immutable records to enable transparency to exist, without being centralized.

“I’m passionate about more equality in the workplace, and believe that more exposure of who is really behind the brands you’re buying into helps ensure more equality. We encourage initiatives that support both men and women, and many of the smaller businesses want to compete on the fact they’re a women-owned business.”…

Read More
The New Food Movement And How Blockchain Could Solve Food Security Issues

A London-based non-profit, Project Provenance, created a platform that uses blockchain to establish an authenticated food chain with information gathered collaboratively from suppliers all along the supply chain.  Their platform substantiates product claims with reliable, real-time data. With a licensing model in place, stores can license the platform while their app gives consumers the opportunity to track where the meat came from and follow its path to the stores.

Read More
Meet the Woman Using Bitcoin Technology to Transform the Food Industry

The Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, a collective of small-scale livestock farmers in Arkansas, is the first food business in the United States to utilize Provenance, a supply chain tracking system powered by blockchain technology. Founded in 2013 by Dr. Jessi Baker, Provenance is essentially a digital platform that allows consumers to trace the precise history of a chocolate bar or slab of camembert back to the farm from whence it came.

Read More
What’s the Key to Debugging in Today’s Distributed Systems?

Mirroring your staging environment to production for code debugging is a fool’s errand in today’s distributed systems.  Observability is the key because you can’t predict where the next failure will occur. Read more about the remarks by Honeycomb’s Charity Majors at the recent Chaos Conference…

Read More
Walmart is embracing Blockchain technology for food safety

Walmart is investing heavily in Blockchain technology and proactively educating their suppliers of food products on how Blockchain can be used to improve food traceability from the farm to Walmart shelves.  The paper, Food Traceability Initiatives”, specifically addresses the use of Blockchain to provide transparency on leafy greens which have often been the cause of E coli outbreaks.

Read More
The Wild Bunch uses Provenance Blockchain Solution for Conservation

Food, and other industries, are finding uses for blockchain technology, to record encrypted, permanent and unalterable data in digital ledgers. Companies like Provenance deliver solutions that provide data on supply chains that can be trusted by companies and individuals. The food and drink sector is one of the most difficult supply chains to manage.  In this article, The Wild Bunch, a Dutch food importer, and Provenance, are featured. The Wild Bunch employs the Provenance blockchain solution to take food industry block chain to a new level by using its transparency to encourage conservation…

Read More
Pivigo Concludes London Data-to-Data Science Program; CEO to Share Experiences at Predict Conference in Dublin

Pivigo successfully completed its fifth London S2DS program which included 87 graduated SDS Fellows and delivered 23 projects. S2DS London is Europe’s largest data science training program.  In October 2, 2018, Dr. Kim Nilsson, CEO & Founder of Pivigo, will speak at the Predict 2018 Conference in Dublin to discuss lessons and experiences of completing over 120 data science projects.

Read More