Venture Firm 500 Startups Rebrands, Closes Its Largest Fund Ever

Freshly renamed as 500 Global, it is seeking to back more mature companies and sustain its wide-ranging presence in international markets

Venture-capital firm 500 Startups is rebranding and closing its largest fund to date as it seeks to back more mature companies and sustain its wide-ranging presence in international markets.

US student at Edinburgh University reveals the differences between the UK and America including Britons’ love of ‘sweetcorn on pizza’, treating every illness with paracetamol and going to the beach when it’s 59F

An American student who has lived in Scotland for three years has pointed out the differences she’s noticed between the UK and US, including how British people love sweetcorn on pizza and how they have ‘no school spirit’.

Scarlett Attari, who is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and now studies history at Edinburgh University has become a viral sensation sharing the differences across the pond, including how people react to the weather, the way electricity works and university living arrangements.

In one video, the student  who has racked up more than 2.2million likes on TikTok with a 21-part series, discusses how British people use paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat any illness.

Edinburgh University named best place to study fashion

Following the release of exam results, beauty experts, Cosmetify, analysed the top ten universities for fashion students in the UK, and Edinburgh University emerged top of the list.

The research examined the top 50 universities in the UK that offer a fashion course by calculating a score for each based on their rating from (CUG), the average yearly salary in their respective city and the number of registered fashion businesses in the city.

Sequoia Heritage, Stripe and others invest $200M in African fintech Wave at $1.7B valuation

Wave, a U.S. and Senegal-based mobile money provider, has raised $200 million in Series A round of funding. The investment is the largest-ever Series A round for the region, and it values Wave at $1.7 billion.

Four big-name backers jointly led the round — Sequoia Heritage, an endowment-style fund and a separate entity that operates independently under the Sequoia brand; Founders Fund; payments giant Stripe; and Ribbit Capital. Others in the round include existing investors Partech Africa and Sam Altman, the former CEO of Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI.

More than 200 health journals call for urgent action on climate crisis

More than 200 health journals worldwide are publishing an editorial calling on leaders to take emergency action on climate change and to protect health.

The British Medical Journal said it is the first time so many publications have come together to make the same statement, reflecting the severity of the situation.

The editorial, which is being published before the UN general assembly and the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow this November, says: “Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we – the editors of health journals worldwide – call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health.

“Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades.

Steve Blank Lead and Disrupt

You think startups are hard? Try innovating inside a large company where 99% of the company is executing the current business model, while you’re trying to figure out and build what comes next.

Charles O’Reilly and Michael Tushman coined the term an “Ambidextrous Organization” to describe how some companies get this simultaneous execution and innovation process right. Their book Lead and Disrupt describes how others can learn how to do so.

I was honored to write the forward to their second edition.  Here it is in its entirety.

What Is the Lean Startup Methodology?

The lean startup methodology and when it can be beneficial to take this approach.

The lean startup methodology is a method of managing and building a business or startup by experimenting, testing, and iterating while developing products based on findings from your tests and feedback.

This method of business management and product development is designed to deliver products to customers at a quicker pace (often tested in the form of an MVPby focusing on product features that have been validated through explicit customer feedback at various stages in the product development cycle.

Entrepreneur Eric Ries first introduced this methodology in a book that he authored in 2008, which is titled “How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business”.

19 Top SaaS Startups and Companies in Victoria, British Columbia (2021)

This article showcases our top picks for the best Victoria, British Columbia based SaaS companies. These startups and companies are taking a variety of approaches to innovating the SaaS industry, but are all exceptional companies well worth a follow.

We tried to pick companies across the size spectrum from cutting edge startups to established brands.

We selected these startups and companies for exceptional performance in one of these categories:

  • Innovation
    • Innovative ideas
    • Innovative route to market
    • Innovative product
  • Growth
    • Exceptional growth
    • Exceptional growth strategy
  • Management
  • Societal impact

Canadian companies seeing venture capital funding boom, interest in fintechs high

Canadian companies trying to drum up venture capital during the COVID-19 pandemic raised billions more in the first half of this year than they did in previous years.

TORONTO — Canadian companies trying to drum up venture capital during the COVID-19 pandemic raised billions more in the first half of this year than they did in previous years. A new report from business analytics firm CB Insights said Canadian companies have raised US$6.3 billion so far this year, more than double the US$2.9 billion in funding they received throughout all of last year. Companies in the country raised US$4.3 billion in 2019 and US$3.4 billion in 2018. About US$2.1 billion was raised across 197 deals in the first quarter of 2021 and US$4.1 billion across 217 deals in the second quarter, amounting to an 89 per cent increase in funding between the quarters.

Venture capital (VC) and technology experts attribute the funding boom to a strong global market and growing interest in the country’s technology and talent.

Canada lured an increasing number of foreign giants, including Microsoft, DoorDash, Amazon, Google, Wayfair, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Netflix, to open offices and expand their Canadian workforces during the pandemic.

‘Some just say I’ve had enough’: Labour shortage holding back hospitality industry

“Anecdotally, you hear of lots of workers shifting into tech … they’re not all just coders and engineers. There are opportunities in marketing, communications, administration,” said Gunn. “You hear about it across North America, really. People are re-thinking how they work and what they want to do, and there are tools now where you can work from anywhere.”

Tourism’s great awakening is on — visitors are pouring in, and the streets and harbour are getting lively again. Fully vaccinated Americans start arriving on Monday by land and air — and likely within a month by ferries and yachts. But behind the scenes, a labour crisis is brewing in the hospitality industry. Reid James, general manager of the Hotel Grand Pacific — one of Victoria largest and most prominent hotels — puts it like this: “We can’t sell rooms we can’t clean.” There’s a shortage of housekeeping staff across the industry, with many flocking to health care and seniors’ homes for more stable employment. And that means only 80% of the Hotel Grand Pacific’s 304 rooms will be ­available on weekends, and about 50% during the week. It’s the same for front-desk staff, servers, chefs, cooks, dishwashers and table bussers. Restaurants and hotels — already at the mercy of unpredictable supply chains and rising prices — are operating at a reduced capacity because of low staffing levels, said Grant Olson, who runs the Strathcona Hotel and entertainment complex with several pubs and restaurants downtown. While the eateries are open and busy, lineups and wait times are longer and menus reduced and simplified. Fewer cooks mean fewer choices, and fewer servers mean long delays, operators say. The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association estimates about 45,000 workers have been lost since the pandemic began — about 190,000 are needed to operate the province’s restaurants at a normal capacity.