Category Archives: MIT

Beyond costs, what else can we do to make housing affordable?

Daniel Wu Contributor Dan Wu is a privacy counsel and legal engineer at Immuta. He holds a JD from Harvard University, and is a PhD candidate for Social Policy and Sociology at The Harvard Kennedy School. More posts by this contributor Market map: the 200+ innovative startups transforming affordable housing Innovations in inclusive housing This week on Extra Crunch, I am exploring innovations in inclusive housing, looking at how 200+ companies are creating more access and affordability. Yesterday, I focused on startups trying to lower the costs […]

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Dear Hollywood, here are 5 female founders to showcase instead of Elizabeth Holmes

Joseph Flaherty Contributor Joe Flaherty is director of Content & Community at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Why the ‘end of the startup era’ could be great for entrepreneurs Invisible unicorns: 35 big companies that started with little or no money There’s a seemingly insatiable demand for Theranos content. John Carreyrou’s best-selling book, “Bad Blood,” has already inspired an HBO documentary, The Inventor; an ABC podcast called The Dropout, a prestige limited series starring SNL’s Kate McKinnon, was just announced; and Jennifer Lawrence is reportedly going to star in the feature […]

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How tech entrepreneurs think of Universal Basic Income

As tech has grown, policy debates have become an important pastime. Today’s tech industry aspires to replace human drivers with self-driving cars, secretaries with AI assistants, permanent jobs with gigs — and as a result, the human impact of tech has become an everyday conversation. No other idea is as emblematic of this as Universal Basic Income, a policy that would distribute a monthly sum to every adult regardless of their income or employment status. The conversation is widespread. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have said that […]

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Index Ventures, Stripe back bookkeeping service Pilot with $40M

Five years after Dropbox acquired their startup Zulip, Waseem Daher, Jeff Arnold and Jessica McKellar have gained traction for their third business together: Pilot. Pilot helps startups and small businesses manage their back office. Chief executive officer Daher admits it may seem a little boring, but the market opportunity is undeniably huge. To tackle the market, Pilot is today announcing a $40 million Series B led by Index Ventures with participation from Stripe, the online payment processing system. The round values Pilot, which has raised about $60 […]

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Innovation Endeavors debuts Deep Life, an incubator focused on the intersection of life science and computer science

Innovation Endeavors, the fund backed by Google’s Eric Schmidt, has for years now been taking a novel approach to working on difficult and still-evolving problems, like cybersecurity and food shortages: it sets up incubators that bring together different stakeholders to identify, develop and fund ways of tackling these issues. Today, Innovation unveiled the latest of these: a new project called Deep Life, which aims to identify tricky problems in the world of life sciences, and figure out how to use computer science — specifically innovations in areas […]

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Fabula AI is using social spread to spot ‘fake news’

UK startup Fabula AI reckons it’s devised a way for artificial intelligence to help user generated content platforms get on top of the disinformation crisis that keeps rocking the world of social media with antisocial scandals. Even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has sounded a cautious note about AI technology’s capability to meet the complex, contextual, messy and inherently human challenge of correctly understanding every missive a social media user might send, well-intentioned or its nasty flip-side. “It will take many years to fully develop these systems,” the Facebook […]

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How students are founding, funding and joining startups

Shawn Xu Contributor Share on Twitter Shawn Xu is a managing partner at The Dorm Room Fund. There has never been a better time to start, join or fund a startup as a student.  Young founders who want to start companies while still in school have an increasing number of resources to tap into that exist just for them. Students that want to learn how to build companies can apply to an increasing number of fast-track programs that allow them to gain valuable early stage operating experience. […]

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Engineers can now reverse-engineer 3D models

A system that uses a technique called constructive solid geometry (CSG) is allowing MIT researchers to deconstruct objects and turn them into 3D models, thereby allowing them to reverse-engineer complex things. The system appeared in a paper entitled “InverseCSG: Automatic Conversion of 3D Models to CSG Trees” by Tao Du, Jeevana Priya Inala, Yewen Pu, Andrew Spielberg, Adriana Schulz, Daniela Rus, Armando Solar-Lezama, and Wojciech Matusik. “At a high level, the problem is reverse engineering a triangle mesh into a simple tree. Ideally, if you want to […]

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Alumni Ventures Group is the most active venture fund you’ve never heard of

Alumni Ventures Group’s (AVG) limited partners aren’t endowment or pension funds. Its typical LP is a heart surgeon in Des Moines, Iowa. The firm has both an unorthodox model of fundraising and dealmaking. Across 25 micro funds, AVG is raising and investing upwards of $200 million per year for and in tech startups. Tucked away in Boston, far from the limelight of Silicon Valley, few seem to be paying attention to AVG. There are a few reasons why, and those seem to be working to the firm’s advantage. Today, […]

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Tim Berners-Lee is on a mission to decentralize the web

“I’ve always believed the web is for everyone,” wrote Tim Berners-Lee, the well-known (and knighted) creator of the World Wide Web. “The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas,” he added. “Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible — and necessary.” Late last month, he published the above in a blog post announcing inrupt, a startup that would finally execute on his […]

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