from Pradodesign Drive.ai Brings Its Self-Driving Cars to Dallas Cowboy Fans The startup is launching a service that will cart the public around Arlington, Texas, including to and from AT&T Stadium. https://ift.tt/2S1CVgv https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Lime’s New Scooter Is Hardier, Heavier, and Built for Life on the Streets More range, more robust, more stable, more waterproof. Lime thinks its “Gen 3” scooter is ready to take on the worst the world can do to it. https://ift.tt/2EzdaBE https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Google Wants China. Will Chinese Users Want Google? If it wins government approval to offer its search engine in China, Google won’t have some typical assets, like rich user data and integration with its browser. https://ift.tt/2NQ3XnT https://ift.tt/1P9I4xH
from Pradodesign Reviewed: Friday Likes 263: From Tomomi Maezawa and Takram, Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn, and BDF Team
“From Tomomi Maezawa and Takram, Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn, and BDF Team”
Some simple and fun projects this week, with work from Liverpool, The Hague, and Birmingham.
Lemon Hotel by Tomomi Maezawa and Takram
Lemon Hotel started as an art installation at the Setouchi Triennale 2016, an art festival held on several islands in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, but that has remained open since then. The hotel is a single traditional house set amongst lemon trees, hence the name. The logo, drawn by Liverpool, UK-based Tomomi Maezawa for London-based Takram, blends Japanese scripts with Latin scripts (both of which say “Lemon Hotel”) into the shape of a lemon. It may seem like an obvious concept but the execution is delightful with a great unfinished aesthetic that makes it look very human. There aren’t many applications but the wooded sign alone makes up for the lack of tiny shampoo bottles with the logo on them. See full project
Dutch AeroPress Championship 2018 by Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn
The Dutch AeroPress Championship is one of over 60 country-specific competitions leading up to the World AeroPress Championship in which competitors brew a single cup of coffee all using the same roast and all using an AeroPress brewer, so it’s all about the timing and technique. The local and global competitions are meant to be fun and loose and this year’s identity by The Hague, Netherlands-based Studio Lennarts & de Bruijn captures the spirit with a happy face motif where the mouth is a cup and the eyes are two drips. It’s weird, it’s clunky, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and in constant repetition it’s kind of trippy. The coffee smiley face is so simple that it could be a unifying symbol for coffee lovers worldwide — I could totally see it as stickers on people’s laptops or bumper stickers. See full project
Birmingham Design Festival by Luke Tonge, Ash O’Brien, and Paul Felton
Celebrated for the first time this year, Birmingham Design Festival as its name implies is a design festival in Birmingham organized in part by Luke Tonge, Ash O’Brien, and Paul Felton, who worked together on the identity and based it on jewelry hallmarks — little codes made up of shapes, letters, and numbers engraved on pieces of jewelry. This isn’t the typical Friday Likes project with gold foil or neon signs but instead it’s about the idea and the extension of that idea into event materials. At first glance it might not be that exciting but I love how they have embedded their own hallmarks into all the applications, sometimes using them small, sometimes huge, all anchored by, literally, an anchor monogram made of an unordered and abstracted “BDF” (from top to bottom it reads as “FBD”). The white on blue tote is particularly nice as is the trucker cap. See full project
from Pradodesign Funderbeam CEO to talk about disrupting startup funding at Disrupt Berlin
Startup funding hasn’t changed much in the past decade. Funderbeam is an interesting company trying to turn everything upside down using a marketplace approach, a modern syndication system and a blockchain-based platform. I’m excited to announce that Funderbeam founder and CEO Kaidi Ruusalepp will come to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin.
The first boom of venture capital of the 1980s changed everything in the tech industry. Countless of tech startups managed to get funding, grow and make money down the road. Without venture capital firms, some of the biggest tech firms out there just wouldn’t be around.
Arguably, convertible notes and accelerators turned startups into a mainstream phenomenon. It became much easier to get seed funding and some sort of mentorship.
But it hasn’t changed much since then. Funderbeam has some ambitious goals as the company wants to change everything by adding more transparency and liquidity into private funding.
Funderbeam combines multiple products into one. As a startup, you can use Funderbeam to raise your next funding round. Funderbeam acts as a marketplace so that angel investors can invest in your startup. As a business angel, you can invest in a syndicate.
The startup is also building a secondary market so that early investors in a company can sell shares to newer investors. And Funderbeam also compiles all its data on startups to create a database of financial information on startups.
Buy your ticket to Disrupt Berlin to listen to this discussion and many others. The conference will take place on November 29-30.
In addition to fireside chats and panels, like this one, new startups will participate in the Startup Battlefield Europe to win the highly coveted Battlefield cup.
Founder & CEO, Funderbeam
Founder and CEO of Funderbeam, the global funding and trading platform of private companies built on blockchain. Funderbeam combines three stages of investor journey into one: startup analytics, investing, and trading on the secondary market. Powered by blockchain technology, the marketplace delivers capital to growth companies and on-demand liquidity to investors worldwide.
Member of Startup Europe Advisory Board at European Commission. Kaidi is a former CEO of Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange and of the Central Securities Depository. Co-Founder of Estonian Service Industry Association. The first IT lawyer in Estonia, she co-author of the Estonian Digital Signatures Act of 2000 — landmark legislation that enables secure digital identities and, in turn, the country’s booming electronic economy.
Kaidi was named as an Entrepreneur of a Year in 2018 by the Playmakers Technology Award and as a Person of a Year in 2016 by the Estonian IT and Telecommunication Association. Co-author of #Foundership Playbook and mentor of various girls and women in tech initiatives.
from Pradodesign 40 Beautiful and Effective Responsive Navigation Menus Ease of navigation is one of the biggest keys to the usability of a website. If visitors can easily find what they are looking for they will be more likely to stay on the website rather than leaving…
Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.
from Pradodesign Jane.VC, a new fund for female entrepreneurs, wants founders to cold email them
Want to pitch a venture capitalist? You’ll need a “warm introduction” first. At least that’s what most in the business will advise.
Find a person, typically a man, who made the VC you’re interested in pitching a whole bunch of money at some point and have them introduce you. Why? Because VCs love people who’ve made them money; naturally, they’ll be willing to hear you out if you’ve got at least one money maker on your side.
There’s a big problem with that cycle. Not all entrepreneurs are friendly with millionaires and not all entrepreneurs, especially those based outside Silicon Valley or from underrepresented backgrounds, have anyone in their network to provide them that coveted intro.
Jane.VC, a new venture fund based out of Cleveland and London wants entrepreneurs to cold email them. Send them your pitch, no wealthy or successful intermediary necessary. The fund, which has so far raised $2 million to invest between $25,000 and $150,000 in early-stage female-founded companies across industries, is scrapping the opaque, inaccessible model of VC that’s been less than favorable toward women.
“We like to say that Jane.VC is venture for every woman,” the firm’s co-founder Jennifer Neundorfer told TechCrunch.
Neundorfer, who previously founded and led an accelerator for Midwest startups called Flashstarts after stints at 21st Century Fox and YouTube, partnered with her former Stanford business school classmate Maren Bannon, the former chief executive officer and co-founder of LittleLane. So far, they’ve backed insurtech company Proformex and Hatch Apps, an enterprise software startup that makes it easier for companies to create and distribute mobile and web apps.
“We are going to shoot them straight”
Jane.VC, like many members of the next generation of venture capital funds, is bucking the idea that the best founders can only be found in Silicon Valley. Instead, the firm is going global and operating under the philosophy that a system of radical transparency and honesty will pay off.
“Let’s be efficient with an entrepreneur’s time and say no if it’s not a hit,” Neundorfer said. “I’ve been on the opposite end of that coaching. So many entrepreneurs think a VC is interested and they aren’t. An entrepreneur’s time is so valuable and we want to protect that. We are going to shoot them straight.”
Though Jane.VC plans to invest across the globe, the firm isn’t turning its back on Bay Area founders. Neundorfer and Bannon will leverage their Silicon Valley network and work with an investment committee of nine women based throughout the U.S. to source deals.
“We are women that have raised money and have been through the ups and downs of raising money in what is a very male-dominated world,” Neundorfer added. “We believe that investing in women is not only the right thing to do but that you can make a lot of money doing it.”
Amplifyher Ventures launches to fund startups led by women
from Pradodesign E-moto startup Alta Motors reportedly powers down
Brisbane, California based e-motorcycle startup Alta Motors has ceased operations, TechCrunch has confirmed.
Earlier today Asphalt and Rubber — and several subsequent outlets — reported the company stopped operating this morning, fired its staff, and may be looking for a buyer. Alta has yet to comment on the situation.
“As of this morning I no longer represent Alta Motors so I’m not in a position to speak on it,” a former Alta Motors spokesperson told TechCrunch on background when asked about the shutdown. “I forwarded your request for more info to the board, and they’ll have to comment,” said the former comms rep. Alta’s head office has not respond to requests for comment.
The EV company specializes in producing dual-sport and high performance electric powered off-road motorcycles. The startup had raised $45 million and counts Tesla co-founders Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard among its investors.
Alta made news in March when it entered a co-development partnership with Harley Davidson. This aligned with Harley’s EV push, including the debut of a production e-moto by 2019, an expanded electric line-up to follow, and the opening of a Silicon Valley research facility.
Harley Davidson wouldn’t give a solid “no” to reports its partnership with Alta had concluded but their statement TechCrunch seems a pretty strong indication they’re business with the startup is in the past.
“Our collaborative efforts with Alta Motors were productive and we were pleased with the development work we partnered on,” Harley Davidson Communications Director Patricia Sweeney told TechCrunch.
TechCrunch visited Alta’s facilities, tested its motorcycles, and interviewed co-founder Marc Fenigstein earlier this year. The startup has 70 dealerships nationwide and our reporting flagged it is a potential acquisition target in a motorcycle industry that could be shifting electric.
On the competition level, Alta has been attempting compete with gas bikes by seeking entrance in American Motorcycle Association sanctioned motocross events. In September, the company became the first e-moto to earn a podium spot in AMA competition in another race class, endurocross.
With Harley Davidson’s EV commitment potentially pushing the motorcycle industry to voltage, Alta could be a discounted acquisition and R&D buy for Indian Motorcycle or other major gas companies — Honda, Yamaha, BMW — who have been slow to develop production e-motos.
from Pradodesign The space pen became the space pen 50 years ago
Everyone knows about the space pen. NASA spent millions on R&D to create the ultimate pen that would work in zero gravity and the result was this incredible machine. Well, no. In fact it was made by a pen manufacturer in 1966 — but it wasn’t until October of 1968 that it went into orbit and fulfilled its space pen destiny.
The pen was created by pen maker (naturally) Paul Fisher, who used $1 million of his own money to create the AG-7 anti-gravity pen. As you may or may not know, the innovation was a pressurized ink cartridge and gel ink that would deploy reliably regardless of orientation, temperature, or indeed the presence of gravity.
He sent it to NASA, which was of course the only organization reliably worried about making things work in microgravity, and they loved it. In fact, the Russians started using it shortly afterwards as well.
Walt Cunningham, Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele took the pens aboard with them for the Apollo 7 mission, which launched on October 11, 1968, and it served them well over the next 11 days in orbit.
A 50th anniversary edition of the pen is now available to people who have a lot of money and love gold stuff. It’s $500, a limited edition of 500, and made of “gold titanium nitride plated brass,” and it comes with a case and commemorative plaque with a quote from Cunningham:
“Fifty years ago, I flew with the first flown Space Pen on Apollo 7. I relied on it then, and it’s still the only pen I rely on here on Earth.”
Okay, that’s pretty cool. Presumably astronauts get a lifetime supply of these things, though.
Here’s to the Fisher space pen, an example of American ingenuity and simple, reliable good design that’s persisted in use and pop culture for half a century.