#Brandneu – 6 neue Startups: Arive, Tornado, Field, FutureBens, Vamos, MinQi

deutsche-startups.de präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Arive aus München bringt das FastAF-Konzept nach Deutschland. Das Startup möchte Retailern mit Hilfe von Micro Fulfilment Centern und einer Marktplatz-App eine günstige Option für Lieferungen unter 60 Minuten anbieten. Dabei geht es gezielt nicht um Lebensmittel, sondern andere E-Commerce-Produkte.

Hinter Tornado verbirgt sich eine lokal-basierte Kommunikations-App. “Ein bisschen wie Twitter, ein wenig wie Instagram, mit dem Unterschied, dass die Posts von Usern aus deiner Umgebung sind”, schreibt Gründer Gabriele Negro, der zuvor schon kietsy, ein soziales Netzwerk für die Nachbarschaft, gegründet hat.

Die Jungfirma Field “hilft Unternehmen, die Komplexität digitaler Produktentwicklung und strategisches Alignment zu managen”. Das Motto dabei lautet: “Smart Maps für Produkt­teams”. Das Hamburger Startup wurde von Michael Schieben, Klaus-Peter Frahm und Marius Wilms gegründet.

Das Berliner Startup FutureBens, das von Jasper Huesgen gegründet wurde positioniert sich als “digitale Plattform für nachhaltige und zukunftsorientierte Mitarbeiterangebote zu reduzierten Preisen”. Die Jungfirma verspricht dabei “nachhaltige, gesunde Produkte zu attraktiven Preisen”.

Vamos, ein Projekt des Company Builders DDG, setzt auf ki-basierte Lösungen für die Medienbranche. Die Hessen schreiben zum Konzept: “Unser leistungsstarkes Framework aus KI-zentrierten Geschäftsanwendungen ermöglicht es Vamos.ai, Ihre Daten zu minen, zu analysieren und zu optimieren”.

MinQi aus München kümmert sich um das “Wohlbefinden am Arbeitsplatz”. Kurze Sessions und Trainings sollen dabei Helfen, die mentale und körperliche Gesundheit von Mitarbeiter:innen zu stärken. Die kurzen Einheiten sind dabei auf die Bedürfnisse des heutigen Berufsalltages abgestimmt.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #arive, #berlin, #brandneu, #ddg, #field, #frankfurt-am-main, #futurebens, #hamburg, #health, #hr, #medien, #minqi, #munchen, #quick-commerce, #remote-work, #tornado, #vamo, #wellness, #zurich


Fresha raises $100M for its beauty and wellness booking platform and marketplace

Beauty and wellness businesses have come roaring back to life with the decline of Covid-19 restrictions, and a startup that’s built a platform that caters to the many needs of small enterprises in the industry today is announcing a big round of funding to grow with them.

Fresha — a multipurpose commerce tool for independent wellness and beauty businesses such as hair, nail and skin salons, yoga instructors and more, based first and foremost around a completely free platform for those businesses to schedule bookings from customers — has picked up $100 million.

Fresha plans to use the funds to expand the list of countries where it operates, to grow the categories of companies that use its services (mental health practitioners is one example; fitness is another), and to build more services complementing what it already provides, helping customers do their work by providing them with more insights and data about what they do already. It will also be making acquisitions to expand its customer base.

General Atlantic is leading this Series C, with Huda Kattan, Michael Zeisser of FMZ Ventures, and Jonathan Green of Lugard Road Capital also participating, along with past investors Partech, Target Global and FJ Labs.

Fresha has raised $132 million to date, and it’s not disclosing its valuation. But as a point of reference, when it closed its Series B (as Shedul; the company rebranded in February 2020), it was valued at $105 million.

Chances are that figure is significantly higher now.

Fresha’s current range of services include a free-to-use platform for booking appointments; free software for managing accounts; a payments service that includes both a physical point of sale and digital interface; and a wider marketplace both to provide goods to the businesses (B2B); and for the businesses to sell goods to customers (B2C).

The London-based company has 50,000 business customers and 150,000 stylists and professionals in 120+ countries (mostly in the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe), with some 250 million appointments booked to date.

And while many businesses did have to curtail how they operated (and in some countries had to stop operating altogether) Fresha found that it was attracting a lot of new business in part because of its “free” model that meant customers didn’t have to pay to maintain a booking platform at a time when they weren’t taking bookings, but could use Fresha to generate revenues in other ways (such as through the sale of goods, vouchers for future services, and more.)

So in a year when you might have thought that a company based around providing services to industries that were hard hit by Covid would have also been hard-hit, in fact Fresha saw a 30x increase in card payment transactions versus the year before, and more than $12 billion worth of booking appointments made on its platform.

In a market that is very crowded with tech companies building platforms to book beauty (and other) services and to manage the business of independent retailers — they include giants like Lightspeed POS, as well as smaller players like Booksy (which also recently raised) and StyleSeat but also players like Square and PayPal, and many others — the core of Fresha’s offering is a booking platform built as a totally free product.

Why free? To attract more users to its other services (such as payments, which do come at a price), and because co-founders William Zeqiri (CEO) and Nick Miller (product chief) — pictured above, respectively left and right — think this the only way to build a business like this in a crowded market.

“We believe that software is a commodity,” said Zeqiri in an interview. “A lot of our competitors are beating each other on price to the bottom. We wanted to consolidate the supply side of the software, gather data about the businesses, how they use what they use.”

That data led, first, to identifying the need for and building out  single all the time and launch its B2B and B2C marketplaces, and the idea is that it will likely lead to more products as it continues to mature, whether its better analytics for its current customers so that they can better price or develop their services accordingly; or entirely new tools for new categories of users.

Meanwhile, the services that it already provides like payments have taken off like a shot, not least because they’ve served a need for any virtual transactions like selling vouchers or items.

Miller noted that while a lot of its customers actually interface with tech with a lot of reluctance — they are the essence of “physical” retailers when you think about it — they also found themselves having to use more digital services simply because of circumstances. “Looking back at what happened, tech adoption accelerated for our customers,” said Miller. He said that current customers usage for the point-of-sale systems and online payments is roughly equal.

Looking ahead, Fresha’s investor list is notable for its strategic mix and might shed some light on how it grows. Kattan, a “beauty influencer” and the founder of Huda Beauty, is investing by way of HB Investments, a strategic venture arm; while Zeisser’s FMZ focuses on “experience economy” investments today, but he himself has a long history working at tech companies building marketplaces, including years with Alibaba as head of its U.S. investment practice. These speak to areas where Fresha is likely interested in expanding its reach — more marketplace activity; and perhaps more social media angles and exposure for its customers at a time when social media really has become a key way for beauty and wellness businesses to market themselves.

“Fresha has emerged as a leader powering the beauty and wellness industry,” said Aaron Goldman, Global Co-head of financial services and MD at General Atlantic, in a statement. “William, Nick and the Fresha team have built a product that is resonating with the market and creating long-term value through the intersection of its payments, software and marketplace offerings. We are thrilled to be partnering with the company and believe Fresha has significant opportunity to further scale its innovative platform.”

“I’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact Fresha has for beauty entrepreneurs,” added Kattan. “The company is a force for good in the growing community of beauty professionals around the globe, who are increasingly adopting a self-employed approach. By making top business software accessible without any subscription fees, Fresha lets professionals focus on what they do best — offering great experiences for their customers.”

#beauty, #ecommerce, #europe, #fresha, #funding, #health, #marketplace, #tc, #wellness


Mental health app Wysa raises $5.5M for ’emotionally intelligent’ AI

It’s hard enough to talk about your feelings to a person; Jo Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of Wysa, is hoping you’ll find it easier to confide in a robot. Or, put more specifically, “emotionally intelligent” artificial intelligence.

Wysa is an A.I powered mental health app designed by Touchkin eServices, Aggarwal’s company that currently maintains headquarters in Bangalore, Boston and London. Wysa is something like a chatbot that can respond with words of affirmation, or guide a user through one of 150 different therapeutic techniques.

Wysa is Aggarwal’s second venture. The first was an elder care company that failed to find market fit, she says. Aggarwal found herself falling into a deep depression, from which, she says, the idea of Wysa was born in 2016. 

In March, Wysa became one of 17 apps in the Google Assistant Investment Program, and in May, closed a Series A funding round of $5.5 million led by Boston’s W Health Ventures, the Google Assistant Investment Program, pi Ventures and Kae Capital. 

Wysa has raised a total of $9 million in funding, says Aggarwal, and the company has 60 full-time employees and about three million users. 

The ultimate goal, she says, is not to diagnose mental health conditions. Wysa is largely aimed at people who just want to vent. Most Wysa users are there to improve their sleep, anxiety or relationships, she says. 

“Out of the 3 million people that use Wysa, we find that only about 10% actually need a medical diagnosis,” says Aggarwal. If a user’s conversations with Wysa equate with high scores on traditional depression questionnaires like the PHQ-9 or the anxiety disorder questionnaire GAD-7 Wysa will suggest talking to a human therapist. 

Naturally, you don’t need to have a clinical mental health diagnosis to benefit from therapy. 

Wysa isn’t intended to be a replacement, says Aggarwal  (whether users view it as a replacement remains to be seen) but an additional tool that a user can interact with on a daily basis. 

“60 percent of the people who come and talk to Wysa need to feel heard and validated, but if they’re given techniques of self help, they can actually work on it themselves and feel better,” Aggarwal continues. 

Wysa’s approach has been refined through conversations with users and through input from therapists, says Aggarwal. 

For instance, while having a conversation with a user, Wysa will first categorize their statements and then assign a type of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy, based on those responses. It would then select a line of questioning or therapeutic technique written ahead of time by a therapist and begin to converse with the user. 

Wysa, says Aggarwal, has been gleaning its own insights from over 100 million conversations that have unfolded this way. 

“Take for instance a situation where you’re angry at somebody else. Originally our therapists would come up with a technique called the empty chair technique where you’re trying to look at it from the other person’s perspective. We found that when a person felt powerless or there were trust issues, like teens and parents, the techniques the therapists were giving weren’t actually working,” she says. 

“There are 10,000 people facing trust issues who are actually refusing to do the empty chair exercise. So we have to find another way of helping them. These insights have built Wysa.”

Although Wysa has been refined in the field, research institutions have played a role in Wysa’s ongoing development. Pediatricians at the University of Cincinnati helped develop a module specifically targeted towards COVID-19 anxiety. There are also ongoing studies of Wysa’s ability to help people cope with mental health consequences from chronic pain, arthritis, and diabetes at The Washington University in St. Louis, and The University of New Brunswick. 

Still, Wysa has had several tests in the real world. In 2020, the government of Singapore licensed Wysa, and provided the service for free to help cope with the emotional fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Wysa is also offered through the health insurance company Aetna as a supplement to Aetna’s Employee Assistance Program. 

The biggest concern about mental health apps, naturally, is that they might accidentally trigger an incident, or mistake signs of self harm. To address this, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) offers specific compliance standards. Wysa is compliant with the NHS’  DCB0129 standard for clinical safety, the first AI-based mental health app to earn the distinction. 

To meet those guidelines, Wysa appointed a clinical safety officer, and was required to create “escalation paths” for people who show signs of self harm.

Wysa, says Aggarwal, is also designed to flag responses to self-harm, abuse, suicidal thoughts or trauma. If a user’s responses fall into those categories Wysa will prompt the user to call a crisis line.

In the US, the Wysa app that anyone can download, says Aggarwal, fits the FDA’s definition of a general wellness app or a “low risk device.” That’s relevant because, during the pandemic, the FDA has created guidance to accelerate distribution of these apps. 

Still, Wysa may not perfectly categorize each person’s response. A 2018 BBC investigation, for instance, noted that the app didn’t appear to appreciate the severity of a proposed underage sexual encounter. Wysa responded by updating the app to handle more instances of coercive sex. 

Aggarwal also notes that Wysa contains a manual list of sentences, often containing slang, that they know the AI won’t catch or accurately categorize as harmful on its own. Those are manually updated to ensure that Wysa responds appropriately. “Our rule is that [the response] can be 80%, appropriate, but 0% triggering,” she says. 

In the immediate future, Aggarwal says the goal is to become a full-stack service. Rather than having to refer patients who do receive a diagnosis to Employee Assistant Programs (as the Aetna partnership might) or outside therapists, Wysa aims to build out its own network of mental health suppliers. 

On the tech side they’re planning expansion into Spanish, and will start investigating a voice-based system based on guidance from the Google Assistant Investment Fund. 


#ai, #apps, #artificial-intelligence, #funding, #health, #healthcare, #mental-health, #startup, #tc, #wellness


The Global Iron-Deficiency Crisis

Some two billion people don’t get enough of this essential mineral in their diets

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Unmind raises $47M for a platform to provide mental health support in your workplace

Mental health has been put into the spotlight in a big way in recent times. For many of us, our lives and lifestyles have changed massively in the last year, and alongside that, we’re collectively facing pandemic-fueled mortality on a global scale in a way that hasn’t existed for generations, a perfect storm of sorts that has inevitably had an impact on our state of mind and our moods.

Today a startup that has built a platform to help people think about and respond to this situation is announcing a big round of growth funding, specifically to help address all of this and how it plays out in one of the more stress-inducing aspects of our life — our workplaces.

Unmind — a London startup that has built a mental health app for the workplace — has raised $47 million, a Series B that it will be using to continue investing in its research and development and also to expand its business reach. The funding is being led by EQT Ventures –- a very active investor at the moment in UK growth rounds — with participation also from Sapphire Ventures and previous backers Project A, Felix Capital, and True.

The core of Unmind’s service is an app built around a set of questions to help employees explore their own states of mental health, which could include depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a host of other manifestations. It provides advice and content to begin addressing the results of that — exercises, advice, podcasts, links for further reading, and links to seeing further help from professionals (not more machine interfaces, but humans). It also provides a service to the employers, sharing anonymized data from the app with them so that they, too, can consider how better to respond to their employees’ needs.

The app has seen some notable traction especially in the last year, a time when the conversation about mental health has become much more commonplace and critical, given the environment we’ve been living in.

Unmind does not disclose user numbers, nor how they have grown, but it tells me that uptake and adoption of its app ranges from 15% to over 60% of an organization’s workforce (this varies by size, and the emphasis that the organization itself puts on using the app, among other things). It said that of those employees who are using Unmind, 88% have said they experience an improvement in mental wellbeing, work, or relationships, while 92% report higher confidence, awareness, and understanding of mental health.

The company also said that revenues grew by more than 3x in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, its customers include major retailers like John Lewis and M&S, high street bank TSB, Uber, Samsung, Virgin Media, British Airways and Asos — a list of companies that have strong degrees of customer service around them, have been greatly impacted by the lockdowns, and you can imagine must have a lot of people working in them pretty stressed out as a result of being on the front lines of interfacing with a stressed-out wider population of consumers.

The company was co-founded by Dr Nick Taylor, who previously had been a clinical psychologist and worked for years in mental health care (and before that was a classically-trained singer), who said he came up with the idea after feeling like he was seeing too many people only for the first time at a stage when their issues were already very advanced.

“I kept encountering the same frustration time and again: I wish I’d met this person six months ago,” Taylor said in an interview.

As with all kinds of preventative healthcare, it’s always better to identify and work on issues before they grow big and more urgent, and so he set out to think about how one might approach the concept of a preventative check-up and check-in for mental health.

The workplace is not a bad place to base that effort. Not only is it often a source of stress for people, but it’s a regular place for them to be every day so creating a way of assessing mental health through that implicitly creates a kind of routine to the effort. It also potentially means a closer connection to the employer to work on issues more collectively when and if they emerge, in a way that the employer might not do (or ever discover) through other means.

The connection between work and mental health is a longstanding one but has perhaps been proven out more than ever before in the last year.

“I didn’t know what would happen with mental health during Covid,” Taylor recalled. “I actually wondered if it would be demoted,” given all of the other conflicting priorities. “But the prevalence of mental illness has escalated. It’s out of control. And in the workplace, it’s a leading cause of absenteeism and turnover.” And given how full-on everything has become, including likely more hours spent working since now it all has merged with our home lives, we all know (and may well be among) many people who are feeling incredibly burned out right now.

Taylor said that in fact quite the opposite has happened to his early skepticism: mental health has become front of mind, “and the shackles of stigma are falling away.”

This is part of what has really caught the eye of investors: technology that is not just effective, but very relevant to right now. “It is now universally recognized that our Mental Health is as important if not more important than our physical health – but has long been neglected. That is now changing rapidly,” said Alastair Mitchell, a partner at EQT Ventures. “As a result there has been a massive rise in the popularity of consumer mental health apps which is now being matched by surging demand from employers and employees for the same in the workplace. Unmind is the leading mental health app for the enterprise and we are so excited to work with Dr Nick and the team to support their scaling globally.” EQT is also a strategic investor, not just a financial one: it’s rolling out Unmind across its own workplace and its many portfolio companies.

Unmind, it should be noted, is not the only company that has identified this “opportunity,” if you could call it that. They include other startups like SF-based Ginger — which has also built a platform that partners with employers, but also healthcare providers and other stakeholders, to help people identify and manage their state of mind. Ginger has been well-capitalised over the years. Others in the same space include Welbot in New York, Spill also out of London and a host of others providing different aspects of mental wellness like Calm and Headspace, the meditation apps.

I’m inclined to think that, given the size of the problem and that mental health should not be a bunfight but something that takes a village to address, the key will be in how each company approaches its remit, and how people respond to it, and whether what people do ultimately use results in better bridges for employees to getting the help and peace they need, whether it’s from the app or a professional.

“We have a responsibility to connect with our mental health in the same way that we do when it comes to healthcare,” Taylor said, likening the effort to how it takes a number of skill sets sometimes to work on the complexities of a health issue. “Great healthcare integrates across a number of systems.”

#europe, #funding, #health, #healthcare, #mental-health, #therapy, #unmind, #wellness, #workplace


#Brandneu – 9 neue Startups aus dem wunderschönen Hamburg

deutsche-startups.de präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es jede Woche in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Die Hamburger Jungfirma Hamburg Cauliflower kümmert sich um Kundenfeedback. Das Team möchte seinen Nutzern helfen, ohne Vorkenntnisse im Bereich Data Science und vor allem ohne großen Aufwand wichtige Informationen aus Online-Textdaten herauszulesen.

Die Hamburger Jungfirma Zeitgeist positioniert sich als “Second Hand Shop”. Der Pitch der Hanseaten ist simpel: “Wir wollen eine Alternative zu Fast Fashion sein. Daher bieten wir unseren Kund*Innen ein differenziertes Angebot und verantwortungsbewusstes Shopping-Erlebnis”.

Immo Rente
Das Hamburger PropTech Immo Rente ist im Segment Immobilienverrentungen (Leibrente, Teilverkauf, Immobiliendarlehen), einem kleinen Boomsegment, unterwegs. Zielgruppe sind Menschen, die älter als 65 Jahre sind und noch zu Lebzeiten vom Wert ihrer selbstgenutzten Immobilie profitieren möchten.

Das Hamburger Startup Leadbase positioniert sich als “Digital Event Showroom”. Über die Plattform ist es möglich, ein Unternehmen und seine Produkte zu präsentieren und so in direktem Kontakt mit seinem Kunden so kommen. Die Jungfirma wird von Edgar Dyck und Rene Sulski geführt.

Das Hamburger Startup Smartmark bietet eine smarte Regattaboje an. Diese mit zwei Elektromotoren angetriebene Bahnmarke lässt sich per Tablet steuern und hält dabei die festgelegte Position – und zwar ohne den Einsatz eines Ankers. So soll das Einrichten einer Regattabahn zum Kinderspiel werden.

Future Stories
Das Hamburger Startup Future Stories möchte “Plastikmüll aus allen Badezimmern verbannen”. Dafür setzen die Hanseaten auf Duschgel und Handseife aus Pulver, das jeder Zuhause anrühren kann. Gegründet wurde die Jungfirma von etepetete-Gründer Carsten Wille, Mark Lübcke und Martina Ponath.

Bei Teppana dreht sich alles um Teppiche. “Mit unseren zweiteiligen Teppich-System ermöglichen wir Teppiche in jeder Größe in der Waschmaschine zu waschen – ein wahrer Problemlöser für junge Familien und Haustierbesitzer”, teilt das junge Hamburger Startup in eigner Sache mit.

Bei craftsoles finden Onliner handgefertigte orthopädische Einlagen. Das Startup, ein Ableger von meevo, einem Online-Sanitätshaus, schickt die benötigten Sets zur Vermessung dabei zu den Kunden. Danach fertigt das craftsoles-Team die Einlagen und schickt diese zum Kunden. 

You Candy
Das Hamburger Startup You Candy setzt auf leckere Fruchtgummis mit Zusatz! You Candy kombiniert nämlich klassische Fruchtgummis mit angesagten Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln. Die Hanseaten nennen dies “Genuss mit Schutz, Schönheit und Gesundheit”.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #beauty, #brandneu, #cauliflower, #craftsoles, #food, #future-stories, #hamburg, #immo-rente, #internet-of-things, #leadbase, #proptech, #second-hand, #smartmark, #startup-radar, #teppana, #wellness, #you-candy, #zeitgeist


#Brandneu – 7 neue Startups, die garantiert groß raus kommen werden

deutsche-startups.de präsentiert heute wieder einmal einige junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind, sowie Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind. Übrigens: Noch mehr neue Startups gibt es in unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar.

Das Berliner Startup bearcover, bisher als thing bekannt, entwickelt Roboter für den Hausgebrauch. “Wir setzen Roboter ein, die die Sicherheit und Kommunikation für ältere Menschen Zuhause verbessern”, heißt es in der Selbstbeschreibung der Jungfirma, die von Ben Duffy, Fernando Torales und Daniel Flynn gegründet wurde.

Auf Timeless können Onliner ab 50 Euro in Sneaker und Luxus-Objekte wie Uhren investieren. “Mit der Tokenisierung dieser Collectibles ermöglicht Timeless den Zugang zu diesen Luxusartikeln für eine breite Zielgruppe”, teilt das Berliner Startup mit. Das Team betreibt mit Gapless bereits eine Blockchain-Plattform für Fahrzeuge.

Bei Curaya handelt es sich um einen Marktplatz für alternative und komplementärmedizinische Heilmethoden. Das Angebot reicht von Hypnose, über Atemtherapie bis zu Reiki. Die Berliner schreiben: “Wir wollen Aufklären und ein Umdenken anregen”.

Das Berliner Unternehmen Trisor setzt auf digital verwalteten Tresorräume. Seinen Kunden stellt das junge Startup an “repräsentativen Standorte in besten Innenstadtlagen einen digitalen 24/7-Service zur Aufbewahrung ihrer Wertgegenstände zur Verfügung”.

Das Berliner Startup mittekind setzt auf Geschenkboxen mit ausgewählten sowie selbst hergestellten Lebensmitteln aus kleinen Berliner Manufakturen. Das leckere Unternehmen wurde von Julian Russak, zuletzt Küchenchef von Cookies Events & Catering, ins Leben gerufen.

SimplyLCA aus Berlin kümmert sich um das wichtige Thema Life-cycle assessment (LCA), also die Lebenszyklusanalyse. “Get Primary Life Cycle Inventory Data from all your suppliers with ease. Or offer your Life Cycle Inventory Data to LCA practitioners worldwide”, heißt es aus dem Startup zum Konzept.

Das junge Berliner Unternehmen Teamwise möchte Firmen bei der Zusammenarbeit untereinander unterstützen. Auf der Website heißt es: “We provide tools for teams to generate high impact and continuous learning. We help small teams create a culture around feedback & intrinsic motivation, regardless of location”.

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #bearcover, #berlin, #blockchain, #brandneu, #climatetech, #curaya, #food, #mittekind, #pflege, #remote-work, #simplylca, #startup-radar, #teamwise, #thing, #timeless, #trisor, #wellness


#Brandneu – Unser Startup des Tages: GetSteps

Jeden Tag entstehen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz neue Startups. Im März präsentiert deutsche-startups.de jeden Werktag – garniert mit einem Einhorn – ein junges Startups, das zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind.

Hinter GetSteps verbirgt sich ein Startup für maßgefertigte orthopädische Einlagen. Die Jungfirma, das von Vincent Hoursch und Annik Wolf gegründet wurde, will in den kommenden Jahren zum Online-Marktführer für Fußgesundheit aufsteigen. GetSteps funktioniert dabei mit einem Abdruckset, das die Nutzer nach ihrer ersten Bestellung nach Hause geschickt bekommen. Home24-Gründer Felix Jahn und Helpling-Gründer Benedikt Franke investierten bereits in GetSteps.

Social Media-Profile von GetStepsFacebookInstagramLinkedin, Twitter

Startup-Radar #6 – GetSteps

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Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über neue Startups. Alle Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der Startup-Szene. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar abonnieren und 30 Tage kostenlos testen!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #berlin, #brandneu, #e-commerce, #getsteps, #wellness


Plant-centered prepared food delivery startup Thistle raises $10.3 million

Eating less meat is the easiest way for anyone to lower their carbon footprint and the prepared food delivery startup, Thistle, has just raised $10.3 million to make that choice even easier for consumers. 

The company delivers plant-based full menus (with meat options available for customers that want them) for its customers along with a range of juices and sides.

That pitch of making tweaks to customer behavior for more conscious consumerism and healthy eating was enough to attract Series B funding from PowerPlant Ventures, with participation from Siddhi Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, and the venture arm of Rich Products Corp.

The company said it would use the financing to expand geographically — setting up a production facility on the East Coast to bring its healthy prepared meals to potential customers along the Eastern seaboard.

“With this funding, we’ll be able to support even more people through scientific, evidence-based principles of nutrition that lead to optimal wellness, enjoyable eating, and a healthier planet,” said Ashwin Cheryian, Co-Founder and CEO of Thistle in a statement. 

Since its launch seven years ago, Thistle has served over 5 million meals and is intent to not just launch in new geographies, but provide more robust services for its customers. Those services will include virtual consultations with an in-house registered Thistle dietitian who can give customers guidance on the best diet for their needs, the company said.   

The new offering was born from customer feedback, according to chief operating officer and Thistle co-founder Shiri Avnery.

“We tested the program last fall, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive. We’re excited to be able to officially roll out the program to our customers this month, with the primary goal to further support our customers along each stage of their wellness journey,” Avnery said. 

The husband and wife duo offer menu plans starting at $42 a week or $11.50 per meal, according to the company’s website and all meals are gluten and dairy free (with vegan options available).

The financing for Thistle comes during a plant-based food boom that’s been sweeping the nation — and the nation’s investors.

“Eating a plant-forward diet is the single most impactful way to reduce your overall environmental footprint, reducing climate change, pollution, resource consumption, and species extinction,” said Dan Gluck, Managing Partner of PowerPlant Ventures, in a statement. “Consumer demand for plant-based foods is outperforming total food growth today, and this trend is expected to increase over the next decade as more people realize that eating more plants is a critical component to the long-term health of both the planet and our population.”

#alumni-ventures-group, #articles, #chief-operating-officer, #co-founder, #diets, #east-coast, #food, #health, #managing-partner, #powerplant-ventures, #tc, #thistle, #wellness


Is 70 Really the New 60?

People are aging better but not across the board. Education makes a dramatic difference

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#public-health, #the-science-of-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


PepsiCo signs on to sponsor new founder-in-residence program from M13

The budding venture studio being built inside M13 has signed PepsiCo as its first new corporate partner.

Through the deal, PepsiCo has agreed to bankroll the first founder-in-residence program from the New York and Los Angeles-based firm, which poached former Techstars Los Angeles managing director Anna Barber to lead its new initiative.

The initial M13 Launchpad program will leverage PepsiCo executives and advisors to take entrepreneurs-in-residence on a 12-week long program in ideating and launching a health and wellness-focused startup.

“Today there is a wealth of data available to consumers about their own health, and the movement toward home testing has put ownership over health data more firmly in their hands. This creates exciting opportunities for people to use nutrition even more effectively as a source of consistent, overall health and wellness,” Barber wrote in an email. “This spring, we will be looking at everything from snacks, meal replacement foods, drinks and supplements to software platforms for optimizing nutrition, and connected devices for collecting and managing data.”

It’s a deal that compliments work M13 is already doing alongside corporate partners like Procter & Gamble Ventures, which was instrumental in developing companies like include the premium beauty tech OPTE, Kindra’s menopause products and Bodewell for sensitive skin care.

Independently, the Launchpad program was able to build up Rae, which sells affordable women’s wellness products available at Target, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.

Under the 12 week virtual Launchpad program, entrepreneurs will receive a $10,000 monthly stipend and enough cash for testing product market fit when they graduate. Upon leaving the program, each company will also receive a small seed round to ensure that they can continue to grow the business, M13 said.

#advisors, #anna-barber, #articles, #business, #companies, #launchpad, #los-angeles, #m13, #new-york, #rae, #target, #tc, #techstars, #wellness


Eating Turkey Does Not Really Make You Sleepy

Don’t blame the tryptophan in your Thanksgiving turkey. The post-dinner drowsiness probably results from carbs and alcohol

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #chemistry, #the-sciences, #wellness


Election Science Stakes: Technology

We wrap up our pre-election series with Scientific American senior editor Jen Schwartz, who talks about the possible effects of the election results on technology development and use. 

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#behaviorsociety, #mind, #policyethics, #tech, #the-sciences, #wellness


Election Science Stakes: Medicine and Public Health

Scientific American’s senior medicine editor, Josh Fischman, talks about issues in medicine and public health that will be affected by this election.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #medicalbiotech, #medicine, #mental-health, #policyethics, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


#Brandneu – 6 neue Startups, die ihr euch anschauen solltet

Jeden Tag entstehen überall in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz neue Startups. deutsche-startups.de präsentiert an dieser Stelle wieder einmal einige ganz junge Startups, die zuletzt, also in den vergangenen Tagen, Wochen und Monaten an den Start gegangen sind sowie einige junge Firmen, die zuletzt aus dem Stealth-Mode erwacht sind und erstmals für Schlagzeilen gesorgt haben.

Bei Flexcavo aus Rosenheim, das von Picus Capital angeschoben wurde, dreht sich alles um das MIeten von Baumaschinen. “Wir kombinieren unsere Mietflotte mit innovativer Technologie, um gemeinsam mit Ihnen den Einsatz von Baumaschinen zu optimieren”, teilen die Jungunternehmer mit.

URL: www.flexcavo.de
Hashtags: #eCommerce #B2B
Ort: Rosenheim
Gründer: Leonhard Fricke, Benedict Aicher

Die Kölner Jungfirma wirbauen.digital positioniert sich als “praxisnahe Online-Plattform, um Architekten, Handwerkern und Bauherren lästige Verwaltungsarbeit abzunehmen”. Dafür bildet das Unternehmen, das von Daniel Grube geführt wird, die Bauprozesse digital ab.

URL: www.wirbauendigital.de
Hashtags: #PropTech #ConTech
Ort: #Köln
Gründer: Daniel Grube

Bei Foodiary dreht sich alles um gesunde Ernährung. “Mit dem Ernährungsplan von Foodiary erhältst du einen auf dich persönlich abgestimmten Ernährungsplan mit Rezepten, der dich unterstützt, dein Ziel zu erreichen”, heißt es auf der Website. Die kostet dabei ab 4,99 Euro pro Monat.

URL: www.foodiary.app
Hashtags: #Food #Wellness
Ort: Waiblingen
Gründer: Felix Mergenthaler

Mit flair drängt eine “HR-Lösung für Salesforce” auf den Markt. Das System des Münchner Startup ist nach eigenen Angaben in der Lage “ jeden Prozess der HR-Abteilung von der Lohnabrechnung über Recruiting bis zum Spesenmanagement und DocuSign zu automatisieren”

URL: www.flair.hr
Hashtags: #HR #Software
Ort: München
Gründer: Evgenii Pavlov, Thiago Rodrigues de Paula

Das Startup Audiopedia positioniert sich als “offenes, kollaboratives Projekt, um hörbares Wissen zur Verfügung zu stellen”. Zielgruppe sind Menschen, die nicht lesen können und keinen Zugang zu vielen Informationen haben. Das Projekt wird bereits vom Wikimedia Accelerator gefördert.

URL: www.audiopedia.org
Hashtags: #Audio
Ort: Gräfenhausen
Gründer: Felicitas Heyne, Marcel Heyne

Das junge Münchner Startup jesango versucht sich als “Fairfashion Shopping Community” zu etablieren. Die Bajuwaren wollen dabei vor allem “coole, stylische und aufstrebende Brands” in ihrem Shop versammlen. Auch eine “Fair Fashion Shopping App” ist bereits geplant.

URL: www.jesango.de
Hashtags: #eCommerce #Nachhaltigkeit
Ort: München
Gründer: Catja Günther, Sophia Wittrock und Larissa Schmid

Tipp: In unserem Newsletter Startup-Radar berichten wir einmal in der Woche über junge, frische und brandneue Startups, die noch nicht jeder kennt. Alle diese Startups stellen wir in unserem kostenpflichtigen Newsletter kurz und knapp vor und bringen sie so auf den Radar der bundesweiten Startup-Szene und im besten Fall auf die Agenda von Investoren, Unternehmen und potenziellen Kooperationspartnern. Jetzt unseren Newsletter Startup-Radar sofort abonnieren!

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #audiopedia, #brandneu, #flair, #flexcavo, #foodiary, #jesango, #startup-radar, #wirbauen-digital


How Good a Diet Is Intermittent Fasting?

The popular fasting diet regimen can work well for weight loss, but many other claims about its benefits remain to be proved

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #the-body, #the-science-of-health, #wellness


Our Health Depends on Our Homes and Work Spaces

A new book looks at the science of how our buildings affect our bodies and minds

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#anti-gravity, #health, #wellness


Funding for mental-health focused startups rises in 2020

Turning away from the public markets, IPOs, SPACs and Palantir for a moment, would you like to talk about startups again? I would.

This morning, I pored over venture capital funding patterns for wellness-focused startups. Broadly, according to a new report, these startups raised less money in the first half of 2020 than they did in the first two quarters of 2019. Deal volume fell from nearly 600 in H1 2019 to just under 500 in H1 2020, and dollars invested slipped from $6.1 billion to $4.6 billion in the same timeframe.

But, if we peer a bit deeper and look at the subcategories of wellness startups, interesting hotspots become clear.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Inside the sub-categories of wellness startups that CB Insights dug through while compiling the dataset, some, like fitness tech and sleep tech, saw fewer deals and dollars than they did in the first half of 2019. But one particular varietal is doing very well this year: mental-health focused companies.

The strong venture results that these startups have recorded in 2020 are not entirely due to a pandemic, a recession and political unrest that’s causing more anguish than usual, though I’d be surprised if those factors didn’t provide a tailwind of sorts.

Stepping back a few quarters, there’s a bit more to the business side of mental-health startups that I want to unpack.

This morning, let’s remind ourselves about how startups like Calm and Headspace proved that their market was large and lucrative, review the venture capital data and see if the pattern of strong investment in the space is continuing in the current quarter.

We should see another unicorn or two out of the group, we reckon, before the eventual tech downturn. So let’s work to understand where the category is today.

#apps, #calm, #economy, #finance, #fundings-exits, #headspace, #health, #mental-health, #startups, #tc, #the-exchange, #unicorn, #venture-capital, #venture-capital-data, #wellness


How Your Homes and Buildings Affect You

Journalist and author Emily Anthes talks about her book The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#artsculture, #behaviorsociety, #biology, #chemistry, #environment, #health, #mental-health, #mind, #public-health, #the-body, #the-sciences, #wellness


How to Boost Your Immunity

Some simple, practical steps can raise your resistance to viruses

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #the-body, #the-science-of-health, #wellness


What if Doctors Stopped Prescribing Weight Loss?

Focusing on body size isn’t making people healthier. Some clinicians are trying a different approach

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#features, #health, #public-health, #wellness


Is Brain Stimulation the Key to Athletic Performance?

I wore a fancy set of headphones during every workout for two weeks to see if it could help me improve my cycling. And it worked (I think) through a concept called neuropriming

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #mind, #neuroscience, #wellness


How Nature Helps Body and Soul

Journalist and author Florence Williams talks about her book The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #health, #mental-health, #mind, #neuroscience, #public-health, #sustainability, #the-body, #the-sciences, #wellness


How to Fight PCOS with Diet and Nutrition

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects as many as 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age, but diet and lifestyle changes can help you overcome your symptoms

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Should You Exercise While Sick?

It’s hard to do much of anything when you’re under the weather. Are there benefits to exercising while sick, or will working out just make you feel worse?

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Is Coffee Flour a New Fair Trade Nutritional Powerhouse?

Coffee flour is a new ingredient making the rounds. Nutrition Diva has the scoop on what it is, how to use it, and whether the nutrition benefits live up to the hype

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


What Can We Learn from Our Sweat?

We wear sensors that track steps, heart rate, and calories burned. Soon, we may measure our sweat, too! What will those measurements tell us?

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Fiber 2.0–Fiber’s New Science of Health-Boosting Benefits

Fiber is so much more than "roughage!" From your heart, to your bones, to your microbiome, the list of health benefits linked to fiber keeps getting longer as nutrition science learns more…

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Helping Kids Cope With COVID Worries

The psychological state of children may need special attention during COVID impacts and isolation.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #mental-health, #mind, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Helping Kids Cope with COVID-19 Worries

The psychological state of children may need special attention during COVID-19 impacts and isolation.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #mental-health, #mind, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Can Whole-Body Vibration Training Make You Fit?

Whole-body Vibration Training promises some impressive fitness and health benefits. But is shakin’ it on a vibrating platform as good for you as regular old exercise?

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


3 Words Mislead Online Regional Mood Analysis

Analyzing keywords on Twitter can offer a loose measure of the subject well-being of a community, as long as you don’t count three words: good, love and LOL.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#behaviorsociety, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Can Pneumatic Compression Help You Recover Faster?

Can fancy-looking air-filled boots play a role in our workout recovery? I asked physiology expert Dr. Jeff Martin to take a deep dive with me to find out

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


What Are the Health Benefits of Yerba Mate?

The impressive health benefits of drinking yerba mate include increased energy and enhanced weight loss. Should you trade your coffee or tea for this traditional South American beverage?

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Kevin Rose on health apps, crypto, and how founders get through this time with their sanity intact

Kevin Rose has been in the spotlight since cofounding the early social news aggregation site Digg in late 2004. A genial whiz kid turned serial entrepreneur, he has since become as well-known for launching a whole lot of slickly designed products, some of them out of his startup incubator Milk (later acquired by Google), and North, an incubator that would later lead him to a site for watch enthusiasts called Hodinkee in New York.

Along the way, Rose has been investing, at times as an angel, for several years as a partner with Google Ventures (now GV), and on behalf of True Ventures, which invited Rose to join as a venture partner three years ago — and where Rose more recently began writing checks as a full-time general partner.

How long it will last is anyone’s guess given Rose’s penchant for chasing the next. But we were able to catch up with him at his home in Portland, Ore., earlier this week to talk about who is managing his newest apps, why he is still bullish on crypto, and what advice he has for founders who might be struggling right now. Our chat has been edited for length.

TC: There has been some fascination over the years with your moves from West to East. Now you’re back on the West Coast in Portland.

I moved to Oregon a couple years ago. We came back to the West Coast from New York. We were going to have our first child, so we knew we wanted to be close to the family, and my family is all up here in Portland. The plan was just to come back, then bounce down to the Bay Area as needed. It’s an hour and 20-minute flight, so it’s really easy to get back down there. and there’s just so much so much to love about Portland.

I have to make a joke here about whether or not there are as many raccoons up there. I’ll never forget seeing footage of you throwing a raccoon off your dog years ago. We had a raccoon in San Francisco that was very determined to scratch our dog’s eyes out.

It’s no joke that there are actually a lot of dogs that are blind because they get in fights with raccoons, and the raccoons immediately go for the eyes. It was a really scary night.

How are you dealing with COVID-19?

I feel very fortunate in that my daily job is intact and I’m still able to back entrepreneurs and take those meetings. So it’s a very lucky position to be in. But, you know, it’s a scary time. We have two little girls and we have one nanny, and today our nanny came down with a fever, and we sent her home early [because] fevers are no joke these days, even a slight fever. It’s just a little unsettling.

How has sheltering-in-place affected how you’re investing with True?

There are a lot of great people out there right now who have free time to think of new ideas. Whereas I would have thought that on the investing side, there would be a slowdown, I’m still continuing to meet with great entrepreneurs that are coming up with their next big idea, and they’ve got the downtime and the extra cycles now to have that focus to really put in some time to build prototypes.  I would say if anything, [the rate at which I’m seeing companies] remains the same or is even a bit higher.

We’ve done a couple deals so far where we have never met the founders face to face, which is a first for us. But it’s all doable. I think you just spend more time on Zoom getting to know the people behind the camera prior to doing a deal.

Have you received any feedback from your LPs saying, ‘Why don’t you guys take a pause while we figure out how our portfolio is shaping up?’

No, we haven’t received any of that feedback. I think that they look at the instruction and the support that we’re giving our entrepreneurs.

One of the things that we do care a lot about is how we can help. We have over 300 different founders who we want to set up support systems and groups to help them get through this — not just financially but, you know, figuring out, for example, how to reopen responsibly. Like, how do you do that? What is the new norm? What does that look like? What are best practices that companies are putting into place?  So we’ve been really doubling down on our education component and creating these weekly gatherings where dozens of founders get together via Zoom and communicate how and what they’re doing.

In terms of going back to the office, what are you hearing from True’s startups?

We have entrepreneurs that have storefronts — like actual physical storefronts. We have others who have distributed teams by default, so for them, it’s work as usual, except for figuring out [how to manage] family life [at the same time]. So it’s all over the place, but I would say that most the people who I’ve had a conversation with are being more cautious. They’d rather kind of sit and wait things out a little bit.

You’ve bounced between founding and investing roles. You most recently founded the fasting app Zero and the meditation app Oak. What’s happening with both of these? 

I had a friend of mine, Mike Maser, who I’d worked with before —  we worked together at Digg —  and he actually created a [fitness coaching app] called Fitstar that he sold to Fitbit, so he was really into health and fitness. Then Mike was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma a little over five years ago, and as part of his treatment with chemotherapy, he was prescribed intermittent fasting; they’re doing fasting now in conjunction with chemo to help the outcomes.

Mike was able to beat back cancer. He is now five years cancer free, which is amazing. And he’s a fantastic CEO and was the perfect person to take on the project and run with it, because it really started growing so fast. Zero now is adding 25,000 new users a day at zero paid acquisition. Millions of people use it a month. And it’s gotten to the stage where it needed someone who could just focus on it full time and build out a team around it.

Mike created [a holding company called] Big Sky Health with that app along with Oak, my meditation app, and he has also launched a third app called Less that’s about tracking your alcohol consumption and being more mindful about the number of drinks you’re consuming week over week and month over month.

That sounds timely, considering that a lot of people are seemingly wrestling with developing alcohol problems at this strange moment in time.

It’s a real thing. For anyone who likes to drink casually and socially, being cramped up indoors and especially with all of the stress around the things that are happening in the world and your savings accounts and your family and friends . . . unfortunately, it can be a trigger for people to consume more alcohol.

I also wanted to talk to you about cryptocurrency, which is now re-entering the mainstream business conversation, with Andreessen Horowitz having just closed its second crypto-focused fund and this Bitcoin halving event. Is it something you’re tracking closely still?

Yeah, it’s something where I have a personal passion . . . I believe that it is still extremely difficult and not mainstream enough to be used as a currency.

That said, I do believe that there’s no doubt that the future of currency is digital. If you had to create a brand new country today, you wouldn’t go out and start buying printing presses to create your currency; you would issue something digitally. So there will be something that comes into existence that is spendable and easy to understand and is based on some type of blockchain technology. Like, there is no doubt that will be the case. The problem is that 99% of the projects out there and a lot of the people who are behind them are just in this for the pure financial gain. And there’s a lot of garbage out there. And that’s unfortunate because it really drags down the high-quality projects, and it muddies the space quite a bit.

As a partner earlier on with Google’s venture arm, you led an investment in Ripple, which has grown controversial, in part because the cofounder has sold some of his shares and because CEO Brad Garlinghouse has sold some of his shares. It’s also not being used as the company intended. What do you think of what XRP has become and its utility in the future?

When I invested in Ripple, it would have been seven years ago, something like that. But Brad was not running the company. There was a different CEO. The original founders were all still in place. There was a very different world when Ripple was first getting off the ground. And the excitement that I had around Ripple was that cryptocurrency was so raw; there was no way for the enterprise to embrace it in any fashion.

Early Ripple reminded me of a company that could come in, put some standards in place, and have these uptime guarantees and work with commercial banks and create a backbone that was based on blockchain. So that was very exciting. I never really saw the use case for Ripple as a currency. I understood that it was going to be used as a way to handle settlement in some capacity. It’s been quite a few years since I was with Google Ventures and I haven’t tracked it closely but those many years ago, the excitement was around creating something that commercial banks could understand and get comfortable with, because they weren’t comfortable with just random blockchain technology created by anonymous founders.

Do you think the number of cryptocurrencies needs to shrink before the cryptocurrency can be accepted in a more mainstream way, or is it possible for all these cryptocurrencies to survive ad infinitum?

It’s early days. I think that  this is going to be a space that will continue to mature over the next couple of decades. There’s a good chance you won’t even know you’re using cryptocurrency. I could see something like a Square Cash moving to some type of stablecoin underneath the covers, to where we’re still using it today, and it’s connected to our bank accounts, and all of a sudden, all the settlements are happening on the blockchain. Things like that will most likely happen in a really simple and easy-to-use interface by a very trusted brand.

I noticed you tweeting the other day about the next iteration of Epic Game’s game engine, which will support VR. Talking about technologies that have gotten a lot of attention but are farther out than anticipated a year or two ago . . .

Yeah, it’s gonna be in the new PlayStation, and the new Xbox. It’s beautiful.

Is VR something that now interests you as an investor?

I got a lot of flack from people because I did a blog post five years ago or so that said I thought the VR was a joke and [I was] basically dismissive of it, and I’ve avoided it altogether.

I don’t want to piss off people [but] It reminds me of when we all got the Nintendo Wii and we had so much fun swinging around the controllers and playing virtual tennis with each other. And then, after a couple weeks, the controllers just ended up in the drawer. You throw on a VR headset, you’re like, ‘Whoa, this is crazy.’ And then you get a little nauseous or get a little sweaty, and all of a sudden, you’re like, ‘I’m just kind of sticky and no one else can see what I was doing, and I look a little awkward.’

I don’t think we should abandon it altogether. I’m not a hater, but look what happened: we went into straight-up lockdown. It was the best possible time for VR sales to go through the roof. And what happened? The Nintendo Switch sold out.

Any advice for founders given that you’ve enjoyed extreme highs and some lows in your own career?

If there’s anything that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur it would be, number one, to seek out mentors and people that you can have an open and honest conversation — and hopefully those should be your investors, as well.

Some of my biggest mistakes [tied to] not admitting that I didn’t know something. I was scared, I thought it was weakness, like, ‘Gosh, they put me on the cover of Businessweek; I should know how to do X, Y or Z.’

But we’re all learning constantly, and that should never end. I’m a big advocate of lifelong learning and admitting when you’re wrong. Admitting that you don’t know something is just actually growing.

There’s also no shame in shutting something down. Some people won’t get through this, and they’ll have to start something new. You know, I’ve had many failed companies, tried a bunch of crazy stuff, but if you flip things a bit, that’s the excitement of this all. We’ve got this life to live and we’re going to die soon. Why not go try a bunch of crazy ideas and then [if it doesn’t work] it’s okay to cut bait sometimes and say, ‘I’m done’ and just move on to the next thing

#digg, #kevin-rose, #ripple, #tc, #true-ventures, #vr, #wellness, #zero


Can High-Intensity Exercise Improve Your Memory?

Exercise like walking, swimming, and even dancing have been shown to be good for your memory, but the optimal intensity of that exercise has been unclear… until now

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #mental-health, #mind, #wellness


Why Exercise Is So Good For You

Health journalist Judy Foreman talks about her new book Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #health, #mental-health, #mind, #the-body, #the-sciences, #wellness


Our 3000th Episode

Some "highlights" from the last 13.5 years of this podcast.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#artsculture, #neurological-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Can Your Microbiome Reveal Your Ideal Diet?

Forget carbs and calories. Your microbiome may hold the key to better blood sugar control

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #health, #the-body, #wellness


Waiter, What’s This Worm Doing in My Sushi

Well, it’s probably there because the odds on it being so have gone way up in the last 40 years. But it’s still much more of a health problem for whales and dolphins than for us.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#biology, #environment, #health, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Sleep Apnea Is Different for Women

The risky disorder often follows a different pattern in women that may get overlooked

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #public-health, #the-science-of-health, #wellness


Separating HIIT Fact from Fiction

It’s easy to get lost in the hype around new workout devices or protocols that promise maximal results in minimal time

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#health, #wellness


Soylent vs. Huel–Can Powdered Meals Replace Food?

Meal replacement products like Soylent and Huel have gained a loyal following. But are these all-in-one powders and shakes really a more optimal way to get your nutrition?

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#health, #wellness


Can Exercising Before Breakfast Dramatically Improve Your Health?

Hot on the heels of National Diabetes Month, a new study has shown that exercising before eating breakfast can improve how your body responds to insulin

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#health, #wellness


COVID-19: Dealing with Social Distancing

Judy Moskowitz, a professor of medical social skills at Northwestern University, talks about ways to cope during this time of missing out on our usual diet of social interactions.

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#behaviorsociety, #health, #mental-health, #mind, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


If You Don’t Sleep, You Will Go Insane

Originally published in March 1880

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Coronavirus Hot Zone: Research and Responses in the U.S. Epicenter

Scientific American contributing editor W. Wayt Gibbs reports from the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Kirkland, Washington. In this installment of our ongoing series, he talks with…

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#biology, #health, #policyethics, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Does Seed Cycling Help Balance Hormones?

A newly trendy nutrition practice called seed cycling is said to help balance female hormones and curb hormonal symptoms. Does science support the claims?

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#health, #wellness


Coronavirus Hot Zone: The View from the U.S. Epicenter

Scientific American contributing editor Wayt Gibbs reports from the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, Kirkland, Washington. In this first of an ongoing series, he looks at why children seem…

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#biology, #health, #policyethics, #public-health, #the-sciences, #wellness


Do Essential Oils Work? Here’s What Science Says

Every time you turn around someone is suggesting aromatherapy. Essential oils are a $1 billion industry, but are they effective?

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#health, #wellness