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The latest news on Startups from Business Insider
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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    rapid ramen cooker $7.99

    Nine seasons in and hundreds of products later, the show "Shark Tank" continues to entertain us as well as the panel of celebrity investors with creative pitches. However, that doesn't always mean the products are actually good. Some end up being a little too creative or out-there and border on plain gimmicky or "Who would even use that?"

    We looked through all the "Shark Tank" products available for purchase and came away with a selection of star products for the home that made us curse and ask ourselves, "Why didn't we think of this earlier?"

    Many solve for the wasteful design of many common products you already use, while others address the annoying inconveniences that everyone experiences. 

    Check out the "Shark Tank" home products that are worth buying below.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best gifts that got their start on ‘Shark Tank’

    A spring-loaded laundry hamper

    This hamper drops down as you add clothes and rises as you remove them, meaning doing laundry will no longer be that uncomfortable chore you never look forward to. It eases the strain on your lower back, so it's especially great for expecting mothers, people with bad backs, and the elderly. 

    Household Essentials Lifter Hamper, $29.99, available at Amazon



    A self-cleaning dog potty

    If you've already tried many indoor potty training systems, your search ends here with the world's first self-cleaning dog potty. You can adjust the timer to automatically change a dirty pad one, two, or three times a day, or manually change it with a push of a button. The machine will wrap and seal the waste, keeping your home clean and odor-free. It's best for dogs under 25 pounds. 

    BrilliantPad Self-Cleaning & Automatic Indoor Dog Potty + 1 Roll, $149.99, available at Amazon

    Note: Currently only available through third-party sellers



    A rapid ramen cooker

    Granted ramen is already a pretty convenient meal to make, this tool makes the process even easier. The water line stops you from overfilling the bowl, the bowl doesn't get overly hot, and you don't need to use a pot and stove. It's perfect for anyone who doesn't have access to a kitchen, including students living in dorms and office workers. 

    Rapid Ramen Cooker (Red), $6.99, available at Amazon

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    2_1200x628px_20171002

    • Filippo Loreti is Kickstarter's most funded watch brand ever, and one of the platform's 20 most successful initiatives to date across all categories.
    • Every watch Filippo Loreti makes is purchased online and shipped directly to the customer, a direct sales model that cuts out middlemen and greatly reduces overall costs.
    • What strikes me most about the trio of Filippo Loreti watches in my collection is the fact that, although ostensibly similar, each piece has a look and feel all of its own.
    • Nearly all under $300, these watches are more than worth their price.

    To quote vaunted 19th Century French novelist Victor Hugo, "There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come." And though today I'm writing primarily about the upstart luxury wristwatch brand Filippo Loreti, it's not in reference to that watchmaker that I invoke this famed quote. (Wristwatches have been commonplace for more than a century, after all, and are hardly a novel concept.)

    In this case, the "idea" in question is the use of online crowdfunding to help launch and scale a product or service. And even more specifically, I'm referring to Kickstarter, the luminary of the slate of new public-benefit corporations that help raise capital for ventures that would likely never have lifted off via traditional business growth models.

    For if anyone has ever made good use of Kickstarter, it's Lithuanian-born brothers Danielius and Matas Jakutis, who were in their mid-20s when they launched their first Kickstarter campaign back in 2015.

    Their funding goal for their fledgling watch brand Filippo Loreti was $20,000. Within a single month, they raised almost a million dollars. Then, the next year, as the second line of Filippo Loreti watches was unveiled, the company commenced another round of online fundraising. This time, they raided more than five million dollars, again in less than a month. These wildly successful crowdfunding sessions would mark Filippo Loreti as Kickstarter's most funded watch brand ever, and as one of the platform's 20 most successful initiatives to date across all categories.

    Jakutis Brothers

    For the consumer, what this crowdfunding success would ultimately mean is the ability to buy watches for which other brands might charge $1,000 or more between $225 and $315 in most cases. Even their priciest watches currently sells for $609, a bargain in the luxury timepiece category. With quick cash in the coffers, Filippo Loreti could devote less time (and expense, ironically) to raising funds or to establishing partnerships and marketing materials, and could instead get down to the production of chronometers.

    Unlike other luxury watch brands, the pieces the company makes won't be seen in jewelry store display cases or in the pages of catalog. Every watch Filippo Loreti makes is purchased online and shipped directly to the customer, a direct sales model that cuts out middlemen and greatly reduces overall costs. In fact, according to Filippo Loreti's own website, the markup costs associated with wholesalers, retailers, advertising, and other expenses associated with traditional luxury watch sales result in a customer paying as much as a 4,000% increase in sale price over production costs. With that figure in mind, you can appreciate how a wristwatch can sell for just a few hundred dollars yet can still be called a luxury item.

    PA VM BlackG 1.1

    I own and wear three Filippo Loreti watches, so you can consider me something of a lightweight collector, but I'll posit that I'm quite familiar with the brand. What strikes me most about the trio of Filippo Loreti watches in my collection is the fact that, although ostensibly similar, each piece has a look and feel all of its own.

    My Filippo Loreti watches include the Venice Moonphase Silver, the Venice Moonphase Rose Gold Blue, and the Venice Moonphase Black Gold. Each has a case measuring 40 mm across and nine mm thick, each features a single dial on the right side of the body, and each has a band made of fine Italian leather. On each face you will find three small subdials that track the date, day of the week, and month, and a richly illustrated moonphase set behind a half-moon-shaped cutout. There is an hour hand and a minute hand, though no second hand. The bands are fastened with a simple metal buckle.

    Smartwatch_KS_PPC_Ads_FB_Close_up1_1200x628px_20171002

    As noted, for all their similarity, these three watches look strikingly different and work with different outfits for different occasions. I could wear the Moonphase Silver with faded jeans and a T-shirt, while the Moonphase Blue Gold would look just fine sneaking out beneath a French cuff shot forth from a tuxedo jacket. The Black Gold watch would look at home accentuating a business suit or resting on the bar at an upscale, well, bar.

    While I have not had any of my Filippo Loreti watches long enough to see how they last over the years (and neither has anyone else; this brand is brand new in the scheme of things), I can tell you this:

    So far, at well under $300, these watches are more than worth their price.

    View the entire Filippo Loreti catalog on their website here.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    silicon valley

    The tech startup gold rush continues, and there's no stronger sign of the times than the amount of venture capital money being raised by these young companies.

    In the first quarter of 2018, US venture capital funding across all industries grew 49% from the year before up to $22.1 billion, according to the Goldman Sachs Views from the Valley report, which is based on data from CB Insights.

    Deal sizes grew dramatically as well, with investors funding seven unique mega-deals, valued at over $500 million each, during the quarter. In all of 2017, there were only two such mega-deals, according to the report.

    While US investments were up 21% from the fourth quarter of 2017, the number of deals was nearly stagnant — up just 5% from the quarter before. The average deal size in the first quarter was $14.1 million, up from $12.3 million the quarter before, and far above the historical average of $8.2 million per quarter, according to the report.

    Click here to go to BI Prime and read all about the biggest deals in internet and software in Q1 2018.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a $9 billion startup deceived Silicon Valley


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    terminator genisys

    • The startup Fresno Unlimited says it can make web series that have a better chance at being hits — thanks to artificial intelligence.
    • The company says its proprietary tech can also be used to distribute these shows directly to audiences who are most likely to watch.
    • Fresno has already worked with Jimmy Kimmel on a web original, and it plans to announce three new shows this summer. The firm has also just tapped a former Hulu executive, JP Colaco, as its new president of revenue and media.

    There are dozens of production companies in Los Angeles that promise some sort of unique knack for making shows that connect with those younger consumers who live on digital platforms.

    But one startup claims it knows exactly what people want to watch and how get it in front of them — thanks to artificial intelligence.

    The venture-backed Fresno Unlimited has built a platform that pulls data from social media and other digital outlets to help content creators figure out which genres and topics are ripe for potential series. It has raised $8 million, with investors including the famed former Facebook engineer Chamath Palihapitiya, via his firm Social Capital.

    Fresno also uses that same AI platform, which it calls PCH, to help isolate individual consumers on social-media platforms and push that AI-informed content straight to them.

    It's the kind of pro-machine, Silicon Valley thinking that would seem to be at odds with Hollywood, known for its dedication to artists as well as the many gatekeepers who use connections, research, experience, and their gut to decide which shows and movies get made.

    To help bridge that gap, Fresno is tapping someone with experience speaking both languages. The firm has just tapped Jean-Paul "JP" Colaco as its new president of revenue and media. Colaco spent six years building Hulu before leaving the online video outlet for stints at the now-defunct short-form-video startup Vessel and, most recently, the virtual-reality entertainment venture Jaunt VR.

    Despite its less proven premise, Fresno Unlimited says it is attracting serious Hollywood interest. Last year the company produced a Facebook series featuring Jimmy Kimmel, and it expects to announce three more original series featuring big-name talent sometime this summer.

    "We think we've found a better way," Fresno founder and CEO Rob Goldberg said. "We can use machine learning, data, and insights to minimize the failure rate and even predict what people want."

    Goldberg said he could not yet fully explain exactly how Fresno's AI works, or where it pulls all of its data from, without spilling secrets. Some of it comes from publicly available sources and some is proprietary, he said.

    OK, but how exactly does AI help make a better show? Goldberg mentioned a series that is in the works with a popular actress who was originally interested in producing a web show about art collecting.

    Fresno Unlimited's tech found that only few people were predisposed to watch something that niche. But a much larger potential audience, while intimidated by the art-gallery world, associated art with cool Instagram images and the like. So the company is now working with the actress to produce a show with a broader appeal.

    For his part, Colaco said he was drawn to Fresno by the idea that data and science could actually make content more predictable and distribution more precise.

    "You're potentially increasing the likelihood that you can create a hit — you're making it easier for people to consume," he said. "It's harder and harder for marketer and creators to find audiences. If we do this right, brands should be able to align with super-premium content, and the engagement for their ads should be higher."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How one trilogy ruined action movies forever


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    impossible foods meatless burger 0151

    Bill Gates is known for his philanthropic contributions to health, education, and anti-poverty organizations through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    But the billionaire founder of Microsoft has also made a number of more under-the-radar personal investments.

    From fake meat to blood tests that could detect cancer early, take a look at a few Silicon Valley initiatives that Gates has supported in the past decade.

    SEE ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump asked him the difference between HIV and HPV

    Grail, a startup aiming to detect cancer when it's still curable.

    Founded in 2016, Grail is a life sciences company working to develop technology that could spot cancer before it's incurable. Grail says on its site that it believes a special type of blood screen could be the key.

    Grail was funded in 2016 by its former parent company (the gene-sequencing giant Illumina) and a group of high-profile investors including Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Google Ventures. The Series A round totaled $100 million, and Grail has garnered $1.2 billion in investments to date.



    EtaGen, a startup developing highly-efficient power generators.

    EtaGen is a startup producing ultra-efficient generators that supply power for companies, buildings, and microgrids. In 2012, CEO Shannon Miller told MIT Tech Review that EtaGen's engines use on average 25% less fuel (like natural gas or diesel) than traditional gas-powered generators.

    Founded in 2010, the company has raised $133 million to date. Bill Gates and others invested $83 million in a Series C funding round in early 2018. 



    Change.org, a company publishing online petitions.

    With over 150 million users in 196 countries, Change.org is a popular site where people can start petitions for specific causes. Current US-based petitions include one to strengthen gun laws and one supporting farmworkers' rights.

    In a Series C funding round in 2014, Change.org received $30 million from Gates and others. The company has raised $83 million to date.



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    New York

    When it comes to building a company, choosing the appropriate location to launch is an important decision, but also a daunting one. While entrepreneurs have traditionally swarmed to Silicon Valley to kick off their companies, more and more founders are thinking beyond California's borders .

    Among their top choices is New York, where the city is leading the way when in terms of both venture capital spending and female entrepreneurship.

    If you're considering launching a company, here are the top 6 reasons why you should consider launching in the Big Apple:

    1. You'll have access to top talent.

    In a recent interview with The Verge's Casey NewtonZola co-founder and CEO Shan-Lyn Ma said that she chose to build her company in New York because of its talented workforce.

    "New York is now at a point where we’ve had multiple rounds of successful startups exit," said Ma. "We’ve built up a critical mass of tech startup talent across engineering, product design, et cetera," she said. 

    There's a compelling financial incentive in building a company in New York as well: It's often cheaper to employ tech talent in the Big Apple. Employers in Silicon Valley typically pay more for the average engineering position than in New York. Glassdoor estimates that entry-level software engineering jobs in Silicon Valley typically command around $10,000 more than their New York City counterparts. 



    2. If you're building a company that has anything to do with finance or fashion, starting up in New York just makes sense.

    New York isn't considered the world capital of finance and fashion for nothing.

    In the past few years, several finance and fashion-focused companies have taken root in the city. Among them are health insurance company Oscar Health, Shan-Lyn Ma's own wedding-centered startup Zola, and popular low-cost online glasses store Warby Parker.

    According to Ma: "If you’re in fashion, if you’re in the financial services, or you need access to financial services partners, or any industry that happens to thrive in New York, then you want to be here, because it’s a 10-minute ride to anyone you would ever want to meet, and you could set up a meeting that morning and meet them that afternoon."



    3. There's lots of venture capital.

    While Silicon Valley might be renowned for blue-chip firms like Andreessen-Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Sequoia Capital, there's a number of New York-based firms that are equally important. 

    Firms like Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, and Greycroft are all known for their smart investments and high-profile portfolio companies. 

    Additionally, New York is quickly becoming a top contender when it comes to investing in new companies: Last year, the city beat out the San Francisco Bay Area for the amount of venture capital deployed by around $50 million. 



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    FoundersCard

    • FoundersCard is an exclusive membership for startup founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone with that "innovator" mindset.
    • In addition to getting access to private networking events, FoundersCard members get VIP perks, discounts, and extras from retailers and services ranging from airlines and hotels, clothing brands, and gyms to office services.
    • Until June 1, FoundersCard is offering a discounted rate exclusively for Business Insider readers, and a waived initiation fee. To get the discount, you'll have to apply through this page.

    If you're an entrepreneur, an innovator, a startup creator — in other words, a founder — there's a unique and exclusive program that you might be interested in joining. Beyond personal benefits, it can provide direct, tangible benefits to the business or project that you're trying to grow.

    FoundersCard is a private membership club for — well, founders — designed to provide members with various elite statuses, VIP treatment, and top benefits. In addition, FoundersCard fosters an ambitious, social community of similarly driven people from different industries, helping to facilitate networking opportunities, connections, and more.

    Despite its name, the FoundersCard isn't a credit card and doesn't involve transactions, which means that anyone can apply, regardless of what country they're from.

    FoundersCard was founded in 2009 by Eric Kuhn, a new Austin-based venture for a veteran entrepreneur of the 1990s and early-2000s. While the card initially grew its network and offerings slowly — and had a few early bumps in the road — it's made leaps and bounds over the past few years as an organization. Since running into a few issues in its early years, it has bolstered its membership, and made connections with a lot of travel, lifestyle, and business services companies.

    If FoundersCard sounds like something that could be useful to you, read on to learn more about how it works — and to take advantage of a discounted rate of $395 per year (compared to the normal $595) with a waived initiation fee (usually $95). This rate is a special exclusive for Business Insider readers who apply through this page.

    FoundersCard Rolex

    How it works

    To join FoundersCard, you have to complete an application — because the organization is designed to be exclusive and especially curated to be useful and enjoyable for members, everyone isn't always accepted. The process is fairly subjective, 

    You can apply for a preview membership to get a better sense of which benefits are currently active. From there (or right away, if you don't care about the preview), you can fill out the complete application. You have to enter your personal details, including your company name and your title — FoundersCard is open to people other than strictly company founders — as well as your contact and billing information. If you're approved, your payment method will be charged the first year's annual dues — $395, with FoundersCard's exclusive offer for Business Insider readers, or $595 without — and a one-time $95 initiation fee — waived for Business Insider readers. 

    Benefits of FoundersCard membership

    FoundersCard offers a wide range of benefits that can be loosely broken into three categories: savings and discounts, VIP treatment and perks, and exclusive events.

    FoundersCard hosts an ongoing series of networking events in cities with high concentrations of members — thanks to business travel, though, there are often different people and new faces at these mixers, even if you go to two in a row in the same city. Usually with 100–200 members, the networking events offer attendees an opportunity to mingle, make connections, and share experience with members from a wide spectrum of industries.

    Other benefits tend to change as promotions become active, things become available, or FoundersCard negotiates a new partnership or improvement to an existing one, so it's difficult to share a comprehensive picture of what membership entails. There are also a ton of different benefits — this is a deliberate move to appeal to the widest possible cross-section of member, so that there are appealing things to many different people.

    The following are examples of some perks available at the time of publication. FoundersCard provided Business Insider with a temporary active account in order to access the full benefits portal.

    JetBlue Mint

    Airline discounts and elite/VIP perks, including:

    • Cathay Pacific offers 5-25% off flights, as well as a complimentary upgrade to Silver elite status. That status includes priority check-in, complimentary advance seat reservations, access to business class lounges while traveling on the airline in any class, and an extra baggage allowance. The status is valid for a year, after which you'll need to re-qualify through normal methods.
    • British Airways offers FoundersCard members up to 10% off most round-trip fares between the US or Canada and the UK.
    • Alaska Airlines offers 5% off fares within the Continental US, Hawaii, and Canada.
    • JetBlue features preferred flat fares for Mint (business class) transcontinental flights, plus up to 5% off coach and business class tickets. Mint fares are as low as $800.
    • American Airlines offers a changing list of benefits, including extra frequent flyer miles, elite qualifying points, or the opportunity to receive complimentary Platinum status for three months, with the chance to keep it by flying a certain required amount within three months.
    • Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, offers a whopping 10–25% off flights from the US to Australia or New Zealand.
    • Emirates offers 5–10% off US originating fares. The airline serves more than 125 destinations around the world, and offers particularly useful routing for those traveling from the US to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
    • Singapore Airlines discounts US originating flights up to 5%.
    • JetSmarter, a service that helps members find available seats on private and chartered flights as an alternative to flying commercial — but for a much cheaper price tag than flying private normally carries — offers FoundersCard members a free three-month trial.

    Rental car and chauffeur service discounts and elite statuses, including:

    • Complimentary Preferred Plus membership at Avis, and up to 25% off rentals.
    • Platinum membership at 15% off rentals at Sixt Rent a Car.
    • 20% off all Silvercar reservations — the founder of Silvercar is a FoundersCard member.
    • Credits and discounts with major car services including GroundLink, EmpireCLS, Carey, and Getaround.

    Exclusive FoundersCard rates, elite statuses, and perks at various hotels brands, including:

    • Starwood
    • Marriott
    • Kimpton
    • Hilton
    • Park Hyatt
    • The Standard
    • Mandarin Oriental
    • Kimpton
    • Omni Hotels & Resorts, and more.

    Lifestyle and retail discounts, including:

    • Discounts when you buy or lease a new Audi.
    • 20% off at John Varvatos.
    • Up to $10,000 off when you buy or lease a new BMW.
    • A complimentary $100 credit at Trunk Club— the founder and CEO of the company is a FoundersCard member.
    • Complimentary Diamond Total Rewards status at Caesars resorts and casinos, plus 20% off most rooms.
    • 20% off at 1-800-Flowers.
    • 15% off headphones, speakers, and more from Bang & Olufsen.
    • Discounts at other retailers including Adidas, Reebok, Indochino, Rent The Runway, Cole Haan, Tommy John, Todd Snyder, and Jonathan Adler, and more.
    • Discounts or credits at gyms, fitness studios, and wellness centers, including Equinox, Crunch, SoulCycle, Bliss Spa, Peloton, CorePower Yoga, and more.

    Business discounts, including:

    • 15% off voice and data plans with AT&T Wireless.
    • Up to 47% off UPS.
    • Up to 50% off Dell computers.
    • 20% off business card and stationary orders from MOO — the company's CEO is a FoundersCard member.
    • A free year of service from the Phone.com virtual office service.
    • A flat 20% discount off products and services from LegalZoom.
    • Loyalty pricing at Apple.
    • 40% off Lenovo computers.
    • 25% off classes at General Assembly — one of the co-founders is a FoundersCard member.

    This is far from a conclusive list. FoundersCard has hundreds of benefits, discounts, and offers available, and can offer enough value to outweigh the annual fee even if you're a sole proprietor just getting your idea off the ground, or even an individual who can take advantage of the retail and gym discounts.

    If your small business has grown a bit, though, you can get tremendous value from discounts on shipping, IT services and gear, travel, and more.

    Between that, and the opportunity to network with like-minded and similarly focused entrepreneurs, FoundersCard presents a unique and potentially valuable opportunity — whether it's worth the $395 annual fee (with the Business Insider discount) depends on you. 

    Click here to learn more about FoundersCard's offer exclusively for Business Insider readers.

    SEE ALSO: Every small business owner should consider signing up for this credit card — even freelancers

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Barbara Corcoran

    • Barbara Corcoran has appeared on "Shark Tank" for years, and has invested in many startups through the show.
    • She is a successful entrepreneur in her own right: In 2001, she sold her real-estate company, The Corcoran Group, for about $66 million.
    • Speaking with host Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of podcast "So Money," Corcoran said the most successful companies in her portfolio are run by "partnerships"— two people instead of one.

    Barbara Corcoran started her real-estate business, The Corcoran Group, with a $1,000 loan, and built it into a behemoth that sold for $66 million.

    Then, she became a "Shark" on ABC's hit business show "Shark Tank," evaluating and investing in startups looking for funding over the course of nine seasons.

    So you could say she knows what she's talking about.

    On an episode of podcast "So Money," Corcoran spoke with host Farnoosh Torabi about money, from her childhood lessons to her present-day investments.

    Torabi pointed out that Corcoran's fellow Shark, Kevin O'Leary, has said in the past that he sees a commonality among his most successful companies: They tend to be run by women.

    Asked by Torabi if she sees the same, Corcoran said she hasn't observed that pattern, but she has found another one. The most successful companies in which she's invested tend to be led by "partnerships"— as Corcoran puts it, "two people for the price of one."

    In fact, among her own investments, she finds those led by two men have been the most successful so far. "Isn't that weird?" she asked Torabi. "I'm going to have to trade businesses with [O'Leary]. I'd much rather be working with the girls and the guys."

    Corcoran didn't name the startups she's talking about, but she's told Business Insider in the past that her most profitable investments from "Shark Tank" have included online cake company Daisy Cakes, women's apparel company Grace and Lace, gourmet popcorn company Pipsnacks, women's swimwear company Raising Wild, and food truck company Cousins Maine Lobster

    Out of the admittedly small sample size, Cousins Maine Lobster is the only one run by two men, cousins from Maine who moved to California. Corcoran told Torabi the cofounders "are like dream entrepreneurs."

    Cofounder Jim Tselikis told Business Insider's Richard Feloni that some of the best advice Corcoran ever gave them was, "Everything that comes your way isn't a good opportunity."

    Corcoran has also told Business Insider in the past that her most successful entrepreneurs tend to be people who are "street smart" and who take responsibility for their own failures. "When they're slammed they don't feel sorry for themselves," she said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast, "Success! How I Did It." She continued: "Every one of my successful businesses are run by entrepreneurs who are so good at taking a hit and getting back up."

    Listen to the full episode of So Money »

    SEE ALSO: After getting a brutal rejection, Barbara Corcoran spent 8 minutes writing a powerful email defending herself — and it changed the next 9 years of her life

    DON'T MISS: 3 of the 6 'Shark Tank' investors are dyslexic — and they credit it for their success as entrepreneurs

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'Shark Tank' star Barbara Corcoran: How I went from a 10-kid household and more than 20 jobs to become a real estate mogul


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    made in saucier main

    • When you're making sauces, gravies, and other thick foods, using a saucier is preferable to a saucepan because it lets you stir, whisk, and reduce ingredients more efficiently. 
    • Kitchen cookware startup Made In's saucier ($99) is even more rounded in shape than a typical saucier and is perfect for serious home cooks looking to improve their sauce-making. 
    • Though the saucier used to be more of a professional kitchen mainstay, Made In's well-designed, durable, and accessibly priced saucier deserves a space in your own kitchen. 

    In every home cook's kitchen you're likely to find a saucepan, the small round cooking pot with tall sides that's used for making sauces and gravies or warming up liquids.

    You're less likely to find a saucier, a similar type of pot that has a rounded bottom and slightly flared top. If you don't frequently make sauces, risottos, custards, and other types of foods that require frequent stirring or whisking, a saucier will just be another extraneous piece of cookware taking up space in your cabinet.

    However, if you are a sauce enthusiast and are frustrated with the flaws of a traditional saucepan, you should consider investing in a saucier. 

    I recently tested Made In's saucier, the shape and design of which made me question why I've put up with making sauces in a traditional saucepan for so long.

    Made In is a made-in-America, direct-to-consumer kitchen company that first wowed me with its nonstick frying pan, and it makes a variety of other quality cookware essentials.

    Its three-quart saucier, in particular, was designed based off customers' feedback, and because Made In can control all of its production processes, it was able to make a more "curated" saucier that specifically addresses these customer needs. 

    saucier productMade In's saucier is more rounded in shape than a traditional saucier, making it even easier to stir ingredients around. It's also more flared in shape at the top to encourage better evaporation when you're reducing sauces and gravies. 

    I made a variety of sauces, including a chunky tomato sauce filled with vegetables and a creamy alfredo sauce, in the saucier and the processes were so much smoother thanks to the design of the pot.

    Because it doesn't have hard edges like a saucepan, ingredients didn't get stuck in tricky-to-reach places and I could stir everything in smooth, continuous motions. The handle is sturdy and made me feel supported as I turned the pot and also stayed cool throughout the cooking process. 

    Reducing sauces and gravies makes more sense in a saucier instead of a saucepan with tall sides because there's more surface area to let the liquid reduce and condense faster. As a busy person who likes cooking but has many other tasks to get through during the night, I liked that the saucier made cooking more efficient. 

    As with the nonstick frying pan, what especially impressed me was the value I was getting from this well-made cookware.

    The saucier has a five-ply stainless steel and aluminum construction (the extra layers make it more durable), is induction compatible, and is dishwasher- and oven-safe. A three-quart All-Clad saucier has nearly all the same specifications — it's actually only three-ply — and is sold for double the price. With a lid, Made In's saucer is $99, while All-Clad's is $163 on Amazon and $195 at other major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond

    Savings like this combined with a product that was carefully designed for the actual cooking task in mind only further convinced me that Made In is a kitchen company you should be watching

    Shop the Made In Saucier (with a lid) for $99 or without a lid ($85) here.

    SEE ALSO: 7 high-protein pastas that are healthier for you and still taste great

    DON'T MISS: These super-sharp chef's knives got their start on Kickstarter — and they're perfect for home cooks

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Neha Singh

    • Obsess is an online virtual shopping platform that lets users shop in a discovery-oriented context.
    • Its founder, ex-Googler Neha Singh, hopes to create the e-commerce platform of the future, where users will some day shop as online avatars in lush, 3D environments.

    "You can't sell fashion and art the same way you sell toothpaste," says Neha Singh. "But on the internet, that's exactly what we do: Toothpaste is sold the same way as beautiful clothes."

    Singh is the founder of Obsess, a new online shopping platform that seeks to reinvigorate what she describes as the "boring and tedious" business of online shopping. Singh hopes to usher in a new era of online retail, where currently, items are almost always presented as two-dimensional thumbnails on a uniform scroll-through grid.

    "In real life, shopping is a form of entertainment," says Singh. "It's driven by discovery and inspiration and fun. That's not happening online."

    Singh, a self-described fashion fanatic with experience working at both Google and Vogue, has developed an online platform that presents items in "virtual stores" where users can browse retail goods in discovery-oriented environments that mimics real life.

    When you take your first virtual step inside Obsess's online outpost of Carmon Sol, an Italian luxury retailer, you're greeted with an eye-popping display of handbags inside a sun-drenched, airy shop. Peppy, Spanish music plays in the background.

    Inside the virtual space, you can "walk" around to get a closer look at the shoe-filled shelves in the back. If an item interests you, you can "pick it up" by clicking over it, which brings you to more details on the item and an online shopping cart. A poster on the wall of a bikini-clad model reveals that the items she's wearing are available for purchase as well. 

    Carmen Sol Obsess

    While Carmen Sol's online store is animated, other Obsess offerings draw from 3D imaging of real spaces. For instance, Obsess's virtual store for boutique fashion retailer Farfetch brings you to the company's Brown East, London shop. Upon entry, you can browse items during a virtual walkthrough. 

    Singh says Obsess lets online shoppers browse products they might not otherwise have discovered, which gives an opportunity for companies to steep their customers in a unique and personalized branding experience. 

    The store presentations are only the beginning, says Singh. With a computer-generated store, the possibilities of Obsess's online platforms are limitless, she says. 

    Farfetch Obsess

    In the future, Singh hopes to create virtual in-store shopping assistants, avatars that are true to a customer's size and shape who can virtually try on clothing, and a myriad of different shopping contexts: Anything from beachside resorts to rock concerts. 

    "Our goal is to recreate the ecommerce interface for categories that aren't search-based," says Singh. "The whole point is to increase engagement in order to increase customer conversion."

    As more retailers move to ecommerce, Singh hopes to provide a platform where they can fully express their brand identity. Obsess, which recently graduated from New York's incubator program Techstars, is currently raising funds to build what Singh describes as the e-commerce platform of the future.

    "For us, the market potential is huge," says Singh. "Home and retail fashion alone is a $2.4 trillion industry, and more and more sales are moving online every day. We want to capture those online sales. We want to be the next e-commerce category for the huge companies moving into this space."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's why coating our streets white could help lower temperatures in the summer


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    sallie krawcheck

    • Sallie Krawcheck is a former Wall Street exec.
    • Now, she is the CEO of the startup she founded, women's investing platform Ellevest.
    • When asked for her definition of success, she said that it's "impact"— and that there's just as much opportunity, if not more, to have an impact at a startup as at a huge company.

    After years as "the most powerful woman on Wall Street" holding executive positions at multiple major banks, you could say Sallie Krawcheck knows a lot about success.

    And when Business Insider's Richard Feloni asked her how she personally defines success during an interview for our podcast, "Success! How I Did It," Krawcheck didn't mention the corner office.

    "Success is impact," she said.

     

    Krawcheck is now the founder and CEO of women's investing platform Ellevest, worlds away from her roles running huge firms.

    "I thought about this a lot," she said. "After I left Bank of America, I spent the better part of a year trying to decide what was important to me. Success is impact."

    She continued: "I could have gone back to a big company. I could have had a much bigger office. I could've been more comfortable on a day-to-day basis."

    But she thinks that the business world has changed in recent years, and there are just as many opportunities for success at a small company or startup as there are at a huge corporation — perhaps even more.

    "The great thing about what's going on in business today is you can have an impact, maybe even a greater impact at a small company, whereas historically it had to be at a big company," she said. She continued:

    "If you have a great idea, you can get it out there for free. For free. You head on to Twitter, head over to Facebook. It doesn't necessarily have to go viral. By being out there with that idea consistently, and if it's a good one, people will listen to it, gravitate toward it, and there are many more press outlets as well so that you can find places that are interested in something that may not have been as interesting for a broad audience.

    "Combine that with at a startup you can move so much more quickly, so much more quickly than a big company, all of a sudden I can make the argument you can have a greater impact on people's behavior from a startup than you can from one of the big guys."

    SEE ALSO: Sallie Krawcheck, once the 'most powerful woman on Wall Street,' says her startup Ellevest doesn't 'empower' women — because that's not what they need

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 'Get It In Writing' Is Sallie Krawcheck's Biggest Takeaway From Her Wall Street Career


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    bird scooter

    • Just weeks ago, electric scooter-sharing startup Bird snagged $150 million in a Series C funding round, giving the startup a $1 billion valuation.
    • Now, the company is reportedly raising again and seeking a $2 billion valuation.

    On the heels of a funding round that gave electric scooter-sharing startup Bird the elusive "unicorn" status, the company is reportedly raising again and seeking a $2 billion valuation.

    This is a first for the tech industry, Axios reporter Dan Primack reported on Tuesday. Bird snagged $150 million in a Series C funding round just weeks ago, giving the startup a $1 billion valuation. That's on top of the $115 million it raised in March.

    Primack wrote that tech investors have "never before participated in such a rapid and rocketing price spike."

    He credited Bird's explosive valuation to a popular investment theory: Ride-hailing giants like Didi, Uber, and Lyft are all making moves in the electric sharing scooter market, which could make Bird an attractive acquisition target in the near future.

    Bird faces stiff competition from rival Lime, a bike- and scooter-sharing startup that's backed by Alphabet's venture arm GV and Andreessen Horowitz. Last week, Axois reported that Lime is raising $250 million in new funding at a $750 million valuation.

    In San Francisco, city officials voted to regulate the glut of shared electric scooters that startups are putting all over the city. San Francisco now requires those startups to apply for a permit before operating in the city, and has the authority to impound any scooter from a startup without a permit. At least seven companies, including Bird, Lime, Uber, and Lyft, are vying for a maximum of five scooter permits in San Francisco.

    The city has received numerous complaints since the scooters first descended on San Francisco. Residents have complained of the scooters routinely blocking sidewalks and building entrances, causing people to trip, and making sidewalks less accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Residents have also reported people riding the scooters, which can reach speeds of up to 15 mph, on sidewalks, which is illegal in the city.

    SEE ALSO: Uber's next battle with Lyft could be over the electric scooters that are slowly taking over the country

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Uber created a fake 'city' to test out its self-driving cars


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    starsky robotics self driving trucks

    • Starsky Robotics, a San Francisco startup that makes self-driving semi-trailer trucks, wants to put driverless big-rigs on the road in 2018.
    • That would put the startup well ahead of Tesla's timeline. The electric-car juggernaut predicts its hauler, the Semi, will go into production in 2019.
    • Starsky Robotics' CEO says: "I don't think Tesla's in the race."

     

    You've probably never heard of Starsky Robotics, the San Francisco startup that wants to put driverless semi-trailer trucks on the road later this year.

    The company faces significant competition from transportation juggernauts such as Waymo, Uber, and Tesla, who are also working on big-rigs that drive themselves.

    But Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, the 28-year-old cofounder and CEO of Starsky Robotics, says he isn't worried, simply because he doesn't think trucking is a priority for his rivals.

    "I don't think Tesla's in the race. Honestly, I think Waymo, Tesla, and Uber all have their leftover people working on trucks, or maybe their up-and-comers who are trying to make a name for themselves on a less important team," Seltz-Axmacher said.

    Founded in 2015, Starsky Robotics — named for the trucking slang term for when drivers work in teams, like the title characters of the 1970s TV series "Starsky & Hutch"— aims to have driverless semi-trailer trucks on the road before the end of 2018, Seltz-Axmacher said.

    It could be a first, beating all of those rivals.

    The system they're building has big-rigs drive themselves in simple highway conditions, and has human drivers take remote control from miles away when the trucks encounter anything weird or complicated. The plan is to eventually hire dozens of drivers, who will each monitor several trucks at once from the safety of a computer screen.

    Before the year's end, Seltz-Axmacher says Starsky Robotics will beat Tesla to putting self-driving semi-trucks on the road — without a human in the driver seat.

    The company may already be halfway there. Starsky Robotics has been hauling freight for other companies and making money since April 2017, with a small number of self-driving, but manned vehicles operating in southeastern parts of the US.

    Starsky Robotics employs seven drivers and its trucks cover about 150 miles every day, according to Seltz-Axmacher.

    starsky robotics self driving trucks stefan seltz axmacher 3And while its competitors are focused on ride-hailing, electric vehicles, and self-driving cars, Seltz-Axmacher says Starsky Robotics has eyes on long-haul trucking only.

    "Saying that we're better than Tesla is like an average baseball player saying that they're better at baseball than Michael Jordan," Seltz-Axmacher said. "I don't know if we're going to be better at basketball, but I don't really care about basketball in this case."

    'Least qualified person in this entire industry'

    The entrepreneur describes himself as the "least qualified person in this entire industry" to disrupt long-haul trucking. He became interested in trucking as a college student and intern at a manufacturing company based outside Philadelphia.

    One day on the job, he learned that buying a new, diesel semi-trailer Class 8 truck  will set you back around $150,000, and that most drivers buy their own vehicles. By comparison, some Lamborghinis start at $200,000.

    The cost of getting into the business, combined with poor working conditions, solitude, and life-threatening job hazards, makes long-haul trucking one of the least desirable jobs in America. For these reasons and more, there's a dire shortage of truckers nationwide, pushing up freight costs and, in turn, raising retail prices.

    Seltz-Axmacher thinks self-driving semi-trucks can help.

    Starsky Robotics employs regular truck drivers, who are familiar with operating these vehicles, to drive using a remote-control steering wheel and pedals from inside a Starsky Robotics office. For now, the company also puts a human in the driver seat.

    The goal is not to replace the human behind the wheel, but to relocate them to a driving simulator. Seltz-Axmacher hopes those drivers will spend more time with their families and friends — and avoid the accidents and injuries that befall long-haul truckers all too often.

    Trucking rivals

    Starsky isn't the only one working on building this future.

    tesla semi

    Rival Uber's self-driving trucks have been hauling freight on Arizona highways for several months now. The ride-hailing giant said in March that it's not ready for driverless.

    Tesla revealed its hulking hauler, which has electric motors and a 500 mile range, at a splashy unveiling in November 2017. The vehicle made its first cargo trip in March, carrying battery packs from Gigafactory 1 in Nevada to Tesla's Fremont factory in California.

    The all-electric truck, called the Semi, isn't supposed to go into production until 2019.

    starsky robotics self driving trucks stefan seltz axmacher 2

    Meanwhile, Tesla has hit something of a rough patch. The electric car juggernaut announced plans to lay off about 9% of its employees on Monday, amid efforts to restructure the organization in order to turn a profit. Tesla has already slashed its Model 3 production targets for the year as it struggles to fill orders.

    Even so, Seltz-Axmacher says he has no desire to bad-mouth Tesla's Elon Musk.

    "It's all fun to talk about how Goliath sucks when Goliath's doing great, and you're the little David," Seltz-Axmacher said."But when Goliath is like on their knees and can't walk and is using a cane, picking on them — that's not the best use of my time."

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk said the 2 things that stress him out most are Tesla Model 3 production and the dangers of AI

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk show off Tesla’s first electric semi — which can go from 0-60 mph in five seconds


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    30 under 30 innovators 4x3

    Changing the world takes vision, grit, and hard work.

    And it takes just enough crazy to believe you might actually pull it off.

    That's what makes the young generation of innovators so important. Chock-full of fresh ideas and optimism, today's crop of up-and-comers aren't wasting time waiting in line; they're building the companies and products of the future right now.

    We've rounded up a list of those ahead of the curve: The entrepreneurs, CEOs, and product gurus, ages 30 and under, who are driving innovation from Silicon Valley to South Africa. To be eligible for this list, the person had to have done something awesome in tech in 2018.

    Business Insider combed the tech landscape, from startups and tech giants to venture capital firms and investors, to find the most interesting and noteworthy rising stars. Here they are:

    SEE ALSO: Meet the rising stars in New York tech who find hot startup deals and manage millions of dollars

    Shruti Merchant's startup takes the hassle out of finding affordable housing in California's ritziest markets.

    Title:Cofounder and CEO of HubHaus

    Age: 24

    As millennials continue to move in droves to expensive cities, startups are hatching creative solutions for helping them find affordable housing. HubHaus leases large homes, typically with five to 10 bedrooms, from owners and finds community-seeking renters to fill them.

    Launched by Shruti Merchant and her cofounder Kerry Jones in 2016, the company has expanded to 82 properties in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. It's eyeing an expansion outside California in 2018, thanks to a recent round of $10 million in funding, according to Merchant.



    Vitalik Buterin created the blockchain technology for ethereum when he was only a teenager.

    Title: Founder of Ethereum

    Age: 24

    Vitalik Buterin first began working on ethereum when he was still a teenager. Today, the cryptocurrency built on ethereum's blockchain technology, ether, is considered one of the most influential cryptocurrencies in the world— spiking to nearly $1,500 in early 2018. 

    Buterin, who stepped away from venture capital earlier this year, has remained an active figure in the cryptocurrency community.  In January, Buterin said that he expects 2018 to be a landmark year for ethereum: Already, the project's technology has spurred numerous blockchain applications and decentralized apps. 



    Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone have plans to print rockets on the planet Mars.

    Title: Cofounders of Relativity Space

    Age: 27, 25

    Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone left their jobs as engineers at Blue Origin and SpaceX, respectively, to start their own company, Relativity Space. The pair have developed an enormous 3D printer for manufacturing rocket hardware which they hope will make it possible to build rocketships in just a few days. 

    In the future, Ellis and Noone hope their technology will be used to print spacecrafts on the planet Mars. Already, the pair has engineered the largest metal 3D printer in the world, which they say can currently manufacture 95% of the materials for a functioning rocket. In three years, they hope to launch a 3D printed rocket into space.

     So far, the company has raised $45.1 million from investors including Mark Cuban, Social Capital, and Y Combinator. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kathryn minshew

    • The Muse CEO Kathryn Minshew started the company to give people the kind of career guidance she wished she'd had early on.
    • For example, the first time she tried to negotiate a raise, she felt extremely uncomfortable — and threw up afterward.
    • So far, The Muse has helped over 50 million people find the right jobs and companies.


    Kathryn Minshew was telling me about why she started The Muse, the career-advice and job-search platform she cofounded in 2011.

    Mainly, she said, it was the desire to "help unlock some of the mysteries of navigating your career," like finding your dream job or petitioning your boss for a salary bump.

    "I also," she confessed, "have my own experience."

    Minshew is The Muse's 32-year-old CEO. She's incredibly poised: Her answers to my questions were both thoughtful and easy to understand, and I found myself nodding along, vigorously, as we talked in a tiny conference room at The Muse headquarters in New York City.

    The experience Minshew was referring to is the time she tried to negotiate a raise early in her career — which has included stints at McKinsey & Company and at the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

    "I was so uncomfortable," she said. "I felt nauseous for the entire day before it happened."

    She and her boss were located in different cities, so the exchange took place over the phone. "To go into a conversation with my boss and say, 'Thank you, but I think I'm worth more' — I had no idea how to do it. I didn't really know anybody who could coach me through or walk me through how to do it."

    She did not get the raise.

    "Afterwards," she said, "I threw up in a toilet."

    "Luckily, I learned that the sky doesn't fall when you don't get the raise," she added. "So that was useful."

    But the experience stuck with her, and made her realize that even someone smart and competent could completely fumble a standard step in building her career.

    Over time, she realized that "a lot of what the modern workplace considered the marks of success were just learned behaviors. Do you know how to stand up, look someone in the eye, and give them a firm handshake when you meet them? Yes or no?"

    And she began to consider: "Is that really a marker of 'are you a good professional?' Or is it a marker of 'you've been privileged enough to have someone in your life that told you exactly what to do and how to show up in a way that made you seem like a young person of potential?'"

    Minshew realized she wanted to give other young professionals the kind of career guidance she wished she'd had

    An idea took root. "I just got fascinated by how the internet could democratize access to career information."

    That idea originally manifested in PYP Media, which Minshew described in The Wall Street Journal as "a community platform for career-focused women." But disagreements between the cofounders soon led to the dissolution of the company. One of the other PYP cofounders, Alex Cavoulacos, went on to become a cofounder of The Muse.

    As Minshew wrote in The Journal, The Muse reached 20,000 active monthly users in their first month — it had taken PYP a year to hit the same milestone.

    Minshew focused on giving young professionals the kind of career guidance she wished she'd had. Today, The Muse features advice on answering interview questions and getting a promotion, as well as personal essays on quitting a job to travel. According to Entrepreneur, the site has also helped over 50 million people find the right jobs for them.

    By sharing this kind of information, "you can take an individual and give them a leg up, and give them a better shot at being seen for their skills and their abilities in an interview," Minshew said, "not being seen for how well they know how to play the game."

    SEE ALSO: A startup founder who was rejected 148 times before raising almost $30 million made 2 small changes to get investors excited

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A woman who's worked in HR for over a decade shares the No. 1 sign it's time to leave your job


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    Tom Bender Greg Horsuch Dreams

    • Dreams is a new company that's reformatting TV for smartphones.
    • It got $5 million from investors including Box Group, NEA, SV Angel, and Ronny Conway's A Capital Ventures.
    • It's made watching TV on your smartphone an intuitive experience by reformatting it to fit a mobile frame.

    When you first enter the spare, airy office of Dreams, a new media startup, the first thing you notice is a mid-sized television that's been turned on its side. Propped upright against a wall, the TV plays shows that have been reformatted to fit its new vertical orientation.

    There's something about this setup that's deeply disorienting: After all, it's the opposite of just about every other TV you've encountered in your life. It looks different. It looks weird. It looks like it might come from the future.

    "Longform, professional vertical video is the next trend in television," says Dreams cofounder Tom Bender, a former Google product manager.

    Dreams has so far taken in $5 million from investors including NEA, Box Group, Ronny Conway's A Capital Ventures, and SV Angels, as it works to bring that future to the present. 

    But why would anyone go to the trouble of turning TV on its side? The answer to this question lies in Bender's hand. Literally. Bender holds up his smartphone.

    "In the future, this is the only device that will matter."

    Bender and his cofounder, former Instagram engineer Greg Hochmuth, are betting that television viewership is going to switch to mobile. The issue is that so far, no one's figured out how to do it the right way. For the past two years, Bender and Hochmuth have been re-thinking traditional television. To build a TV app that worked for mobile, they decided to start from the ground up. 

    Dreams Greg Horsuch

    In their first few months of research, Bender and Hochmuth found that despite the continued success of YouTube, Netflix, and all similar apps, people don't really like turning their phones on their side to watch video.

    "It's not comfortable for your wrist to hold a phone on its side," said Bender. "When we started thinking about TV for the phone, we decided that it has to be vertical. It has to be formatted for the way that you hold your phone."


    When you enter Dreams app on your smartphone, you're greeted with a series of a familiar channels: HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, all reformatted into a vertical display. There's no commercials. The design is sparse: A network logo that first appears at the top of the screen and a schedule of upcoming shows at the bottom. You can swipe through channels with your finger, almost like channel surfing with traditional TV. 

    On Dreams' app, gratification is instant. Unlike other video streaming platforms, there's no scrolling through hundreds of content options as you try to decide what you're going to watch. The content is already there, you just have to tune in.

    dreams screenshot animalplanet

    "We wanted to lift the burden of choice," said Bender. "Television is such an important medium — it's one of the most important mediums. TV deserves its own home screen icon."

    To reformat traditional television programs, Dreams' team of video editors resize content from broadcasters before it airs. There's plenty of challenges in refitting traditional TV for a mobile format, said Bender. 

    "We've had to get creative, if there's a horizontal plane or a boat or something," said Bender. "We have to adapt everything so that it works for the device."

    Some of Dreams' programming, like its Bloomberg news channel, is reformatted in real time. A video editor is tasked with taking a vertical slice from the newscast and adding captions. 

    "We have software that we wrote that takes their signal, figures out who's talking, and then adapts it to the frame and redissolves the graphics," said Bender. "The outcome of that is something that feels really made for the phone."

    While plenty of shortform video content has taken over smartphones with apps like Snapchat and Instagram, there's few video options available that have been built with the smartphone in mind. 

    "We wanted to give people a form of entertainment on their phone that's not screaming and thirsty for someone's three seconds of attention," said Hochmuth. "We felt that was missing on the phone. All you can do on your phone is scroll through and refresh and see more ephemeral, shortform stuff. Moving into longform video content feels interesting and fulfilling."

    Ultimately, while the rest of the world worries about reinventing the media industry, Dreams is trying to expand the experience of watching TV itself — and getting ahead of what it sees as a global trend.

    "This is different from YouTube TV or a skinny bundle. We wanted to make new mobile channels for a world where billions of people carry smartphones," said Bender. "The goal for this is international."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    google slide happy googler engineer employee

    For the fifth year running, Google is the number-one company that college students from leading universities want to work for.

    That's according to new data from education software company Piazza, which surveyed 150,000 students from more than 600 schools in North America, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, about where they most wanted to work.

    Getting a job at Google isn't easy: It's commonly said that it's easier to get into Harvard than it is to get a job at Google. Indeed, the company is notorious for its intensive application process, putting applicants through several rigorous rounds of interviews as it tries to suss out the best of the best. 

    And yet, the top tech talent of the future wants to work at Google.

    Here's what Google is doing right, according to Piazza: 

    It presents a clear mission.

    "Students have a very clear idea of what they will do at Google," Piazza vice president of client relationships Sean Celli tells Business Insider. "They know the type of impact they'll have. The mission of the organization is a magnet brand for attracting talent."

     



    Its brand resonates with young people.

    Google is twenty years old, but its brand still resonates with college students.

    For years, the company has maintained its colorful, quirky branding that's withstood the test of time and continued to attract prospective employees.

    "It's a challenge for other companies to compete with that," said Celli. "Some of the older-world companies are not clearly defining their brands, and what we're seeing is that a clear brand presence is really important when you want to interest people in working for you."

     



    Working for Google is more than just a job.

    Today's graduates are looking for careers that are both personally and professionally enriching, said Celli.

    Google's mission appeals to millennials, who tend to be more idealistic when it comes to picking out their career path, said Celli. 

    "What they're focused on as a company really resonates with students," said Celli. 

    This has proved especially true when it comes to deeply competitive industries like autonomous vehicles. With Uber, Tesla, and Google spinout Waymo all attempting to attract the same pool of talent, Piazza's data shows that Waymo is still the top choice for engineering students with that specialty. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    college graduates

    The race to snag top tech talent from prominent schools is competitive. Typically, tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are all vying for the same pool of graduates. 

    A recent from study from software company Piazza rounded up the companies that computer science students from schools like MIT, Harvard, Stanford, University of Texas Austin, and Georgia Tech are most interested in working for. Piazza extended its questionnaire to more than 600 schools across North America and surveyed around 150,000 students.

    Here's where they said they most wanted to work: 

     

    30) Ebay



    29) Visa



    28) Samsung



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    Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

    • Coinbase users allege that the company has stolen funds and not responded to their complaints, according to complaints filed with the SEC.
    • Coinbase says that it's addressing the complaints, and that it has hired more support staff to respond to user inquiries.

    Coinbase has long positioned itself as a trusted trading platform among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, but a series of complaints filed with the SEC reveals that the cryptocurrency exchange is not without its troubles.

    According to 164 pages of complaints obtained by Mashable, multiple Coinbase users say that they've had issues with the platform. Among the most egregious allegations are the claims that Coinbase "stole" cryptocurrency holdings from its users, repeatedly ignored customer complaints regarding missing funds, and systematically defrauded its customers.

    Here's are a few of the complaints filed with the SEC against the company:

    • "I have lost...5000$ [sic] of my investment because they never tried to solve my issue."
    • "Coinbase has not credited [$21,000 wired to my account], and has not responded to my multiple attempts to contact them to get this issue resolved. I now believe that they are acting criminally."
    • "Coinbase suddenly and erroneously froze...my account [containing more than $100,000 of bitcoin] without explanation more than one month ago...Coinbase does not get back to you...Coinbase effectively cuts off consumers from their rightful property and forces risk of loss and lost profits."
    • "Coinbase accepts money from users under the pretense of being able to return gains, but systematically disallows that ability once tested...and then cuts [off] all contact with its customers."

    That Coinbase is experiencing issues handling its users' funds isn't all that surprising: Cryptocurrency trading platforms are notoriously difficult to scale, and Coinbase has acknowledged that it's been slow to respond to customer inquiries in the past. 

    In an email, a representative for Coinbase told Business Insider that the company was proactively tackling any issues with customer complaints. In the past few months, Coinbase has hired more people for its support team, decreased its average time to respond to inquiries, and addressed a backlog of complaints, the representative said. Now, the company estimates that it responds to users in less than ten hours. 

    Read the full story over at Mashable here.

    SEE ALSO: The top 30 companies where Ivy League graduates who studied computer science say they most want to work

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    While some startups are bootstrapped, many others seek external funding to help with operating costs and growth plans. Big venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz or Sequoia Capital and accelerators like Y Combinator dominate most people's conceptions of the "typical" investor. 

    A number of popular retail startups, however, have investors who you might recognize from ventures that couldn't be more different from the world of Silicon Valley: movies and TV, music, and sports.

    When they're not starring in your favorite shows, singing on stage, or winning championships, these celebrities are funneling their money into up-and-coming companies. They see potential in and care about the startups that are helping people live the lives they want to lead.

    Learn more about each startup, its total funding amount, and its celebrity investors below. 

     

    Casper

    About the company: Casper is an undisputed leader in the online mattress world, with the sales, funding, and name recognition to prove it. Aside from making really comfortable mattresses, it also makes sheets, pillows, and even dog beds

    Total funding amount: $239.7 million 

    Celebrity investors: 50 Cent, Kevin Spacey, Kyrie Irving, Shaun White, Andre Iguodala, Tobey Maguire, Adam Levine, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scooter Braun 

     



    Stance

    About the company:Stance was the NBA's official on-court sock for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons, so it's not surprising it counts an NBA player among its investors. Its athletic socks are specially designed to help you perform your best, but it also has plenty of comfortable, stylish casual socks you can wear during everyday life. 

    Total funding amount: $116 million 

    Celebrity investors: Will Smith, Dwayne Wade, Nas, Jay-Z 

     

     



    Daily Harvest

    About the company: Daily Harvest makes sipping on delicious, healthy smoothies easy by sending you pre-portioned cups of ingredients that you can just throw in the blender. Unique flavor combos like Dragonfruit and Lychee, Acai and Cherry, and Pineapple and Matcha confirm these aren't just any smoothies you'd ordinarily put together yourself. 

    Total funding amount: $43 million 

    Celebrity investors: Bobby Flay, Haylie Duff, Shaun White 



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