Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, is auctioning off his invention’s source code as an NFT. Although the groundbreaking code has long been in the public domain, the British computer scientist has now authorized the sale of a single edition of his original time-stamped files. Comprising over 9.500 lines of code, the files contain the basis of the languages and protocols underpinning the internet as we know it: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Universal Document Identified (URI).
The results are in! Our esteemed panel of 83 judges have evaluated the Round 2 submissions. This year our 21st annual Competition, presented by Innovate BC, was extremely competitive, leaving us with 15 ventures moving directly into Round 3, and 27 ventures pitching in Round 2.5. The results are in! Our esteemed panel of 83 judgeshave evaluated the Round 2 submissions. This year our 21st annual Competition, presented by Innovate BC, was extremely competitive, leaving us with 15 ventures moving directly into Round 3, and 27 ventures pitching in Round 2.5. All scores were analyzed by Octothorpe software.
Congratulations to all.
SCOTT GALLOWAY: The US is a country that rewards genius, but our misplaced admiration and lack of empathy for others is vulgar. It’s time we do better.
While the fires of COVID-19 continue to rage around the world, here in the US we’ve turned a corner. The intensity of an emergency doesn’t register until after it’s over, and many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the events of the past year. Inevitably, our pause turns to curiosity … what happens next? What will be different, what will be the same? I took some time this week to look back at where we were a year ago: reeling from the initial shock of the pandemic; facing the long grind of a summer in isolation; and dreading winter’s second wave. In the post we’re revisiting below, from May 22, 2020, I was in an optimistic mood, though with less justification than today. Many crises have birthed periods of exceptional progress — our strength gets buttressed and our vision broadens. First, we need to envision the self we hope to be coming out of this plague.
There’s been a strong pipeline of companies that have gone public either through an IPO, direct listing, or SPAC in the first half of 2021 (hence the length of this list). In past versions of this public offering tracker, we’ve only tracked IPOs, with a direct listing here and there. This time, we’ve broken down the list by IPOs, direct listings and SPACs, though we’ve only included venture-backed SPACs that have completed mergers with target companies and begun trading as a combined company.
Hatzimemos / Libby Ventures was founded in 2009 and built a venture studio model and firm that helps founders start their journey. With its venture studio, the firm invests in companies along with helping to build them from scratch, Managing Partner Oliver Libby told me. Since then, the New York-based firm has invested in more than 30 companies that have gone on to raise more than $1 billion, Libby said. The firm likes to lead and co-lead rounds, and is willing to be the first believer, he added. One of the areas the firm prides itself on is having a portfolio that is diverse. More than 70 percent of the firm’s portfolio companies have diverse teams, and 100 percent of those receiving investment from their later stage fund are female or people of color founders, he added.
BC PNP Tech offers people in 29 tech occupations a prioritized pathway to permanent residency, and an opportunity to contribute to the Province’s shared prosperity and build a great life here in B.C.
The BC PNP Tech Pilot has been extended indefinitely and renamed BC PNP Tech to provide B.C. tech employers with the continued ability to recruit and retain international talent when local skilled workers are unavailable. BC PNP Tech offers people in 29 tech occupations a prioritized pathway to permanent residency, and an opportunity to contribute to the Province’s shared prosperity and build a great life here in B.C. B.C. is developing the highest quality local talent by introducing students to tech earlier, expanding tech training and education in post-secondary institutions and creating work experience opportunities. Beyond accessing the skills and talent of B.C. workers, companies need to be able to attract skilled workers from around the world. Tech entrepreneurs and skilled workers from other countries can help grow B.C.’s technology sector, leading to more jobs for British Columbians. In support of these priorities, BC PNP Tech has supported over 6,000 tech workers to be nominated for permanent residence since its launch in May 2017. BC PNP Tech helps ensure the technology sector can attract and retain the talent it needs to sustain and grow the sector further. BC PNP Tech helps employers address their talent needs by providing a fast-tracked, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students.
Sharktower, the Edinburgh-based AI-driven project delivery platform, has raised a significant investment in a £400K seed round led by Equity Gap and backed by Scottish Enterprise. This new funding will enable Sharktower to expand across additional sectors in the UK, and further expand globally. Fraser Lusty from Equity Gap commented, “Equity Gap is delighted to conclude this seed investment round in Sharktower. Sharktower is redefining project management, bringing innovation to well-established sectors and markets. By blending intuitive project collaboration with AI-driven analytics and real-time reporting, Sharktower gives teams the tools to deliver better outcomes.” Equity Gap is a business angel syndicate actively investing and co-investing in early-stage Scottish-based companies.
TechCrunch is embarking on a major new project to survey European founders and investors in cities outside the larger European capitals. Over the next few weeks, we will ask entrepreneurs in these cities to talk about their ecosystems, in their own words. This is your chance to put Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen on the TechCrunch Map!. If you are a tech startup founder or investor in one of these cities please fill out the survey form here. We are particularly interested in hearing from women founders and investors. This is the follow-up to the huge survey of investors (see also below) we’ve done over the last six or more months, largely in Europe’s biggest capital cities. These formed part of a broader series of surveys we’re doing regularly for ExtraCrunch, our subscription service that unpacks key issues for startups and investors. In the first wave of surveys, the cities we wrote about were largely capitals. You can see them listed here.
In a recent development, Edinburgh-based home security firm Boundary Technologies has raised £3.7 million in funding. Notably, Skyscanner’s co-founder Gareth Williams invested £1.5 million in this round, his biggest angel investment to date. The remainder of the funds came from existing Boundary shareholders Scottish Enterprise and Equity Gap. This funding round comes 10 months after raising £1.7 million through fundraising. The company will deploy funds to expand its business in the coming 18 months, hire more people, develop products and technology.
It’s a busy day in Wise’s world this morning. The cross-border payments fintech has scooped fresh capital from Silicon Valley Bank and been added to the Temenos marketplace to help bring its services to banks across the world. SVB has provided Wise with a £160m capital facility to help the fintech refinance its existing line of credit. “The revolving loan provided by Silicon Valley Bank will offer us flexible and efficient access to working capital, meaning we can continue bringing our service to as many customers as possible, regardless of where in the world they are,” Matt Briers, chief financial officer at Wise, said. Wise will also use the cash for “ongoing working capital requirements,” perhaps for its rumoured upcoming London IPO… “This financing builds on our long-term relationship with Wise and showcases how SVB collaborates with innovation companies throughout the journey. ”Thomas Easterby, director of corporate finance at SVB UK & EMEA, added.
Travel up the sunny shores of Australia’s Gold Coast, 25 kilometers outside of Brisbane, and you’ll find Greater Springfield, a city that’s different by design. You may never have heard of it. Unsurprising; the city is not yet 30 years old. But that isn’t holding it back. In a few years, it could be the next Silicon Valley, says developer Springfield City Group (SCG). “The world has learned a lot from Silicon Valley,” founder Maha Sinnathamby told CNBC. “We said: that’s 85 years old. Let’s design the latest version.” Sinnathamby is the brains behind Greater Springfield, Australia’s only privately built city and its first masterplanned city since the capital Canberra was created more than a century ago. The octogenarian property tycoon — who spent a 50-year career creating residential and commercial developments across Australia — said his latest project, like its inspiration Silicon Valley, is about creating a modern business hub designed around technology, education and health care.
Edge Pathways, the education technology company closing the STEM gap, launches today with $8M in seed funding. The company was founded to give first-year college students from diverse backgrounds an innovative pathway to pursue and complete competitive engineering degrees, at a time when only 50% of enrolled STEM students achieve their education goals. In collaboration with university partners, Edge Pathways offers a supportive, industry-aligned, and for-credit learning experience to drive better educational and career outcomes for students. “We believe it’s time for a new model that widens access to engineering degrees and delivers more industry insight and alignment from Day One. With students too often leaving college with crushing student debt and few professional prospects, we are proud to partner with forward-thinking universities to offer new solutions for gaining an engineering degree and improving long term career prospects,” said Dan Sommer, CEO and Co-Founder of Edge Pathways.
Venture capitalist Ali Tamaseb is working to do away with some classic tech founder tropes. The college dropout. The classic sales-minded and technical co-founder tandem. The visionary who creates a new market out of sheer will. Years of research — and 30,000 data points on today’s herd of billion-dollar companies across 65 criteria — has convinced Tamaseb they’re good stories, nothing more.