In: Start Ups

The 10 things not to do when pitching a venture capitalist
August 11, 2017

There’s a lot in the press these days about the behavior of some venture capitalists toward women entrepreneurs. The industry –…

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The US Air Force is willing to spend $738 million to solve one of America’s biggest rocket problems
March 6, 2016

For the last decade, Russian-made engines have been propelling US national security satellites into space.

While this has proven to be a good approach in the past, the time has come for a new breed of rocket engine that's American-made.

On Feb. 29, the US Air Force — who runs the national security launch missions — announced that it will invest up to $738 million to put an end to America's reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines.

RD-180 engines currently power the Atlas V rocket, which is owned and run by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) aerospace company.

And over the last 10 years, the Atlas V has helped ferry expensive and sensitive national security payloads into space for the Air Force.

But in recent years, as political tensions grew between the US and Russia, ULA's use of the RD-180 engines has come under fire.

After the Crimean crisis in 2014, Congress called to permanently terminate the Air Force's reliance on Russian-made rocket engines by ..

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Join the BI team as a Research Associate for our subscription research service!
March 6, 2016

Click here to apply for this position

We're hiring a hardworking Research Associate with strong research, writing, and analytical skills to help launch our London-based Fintech team, as part of our growing team at Business Insider Intelligence. Candidates will have 1 year of relevant work experience.

The ideal Research Associate will have a deep interest in tech news, have a combination of solid writing skills and analytical capabilities, and feel comfortable writing about and analysing a wide range of fintech-related topics.

This is a unique opportunity to help launch and define a new division of a fast-growing international research company and an excellent way to begin a research/data-oriented writing career in the rapidly growing fintech industry.

BI Intelligence is a fast-growing research service from Business Insider. BI Intelligence offers insights essential to companies making strategic decisions across the mobile, digital media, e-commerce, Internet of Things, payment..

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff extends an ‘open hand’ to laid-off IBM workers and asks for their resumes (CRM, IBM)
March 6, 2016

After word went out last week that IBM continued its multi-year restructuring by handing pink slips to unknown number of workers, at least one person decided to try and help: Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.

Salesforce has been growing revenue like crazy lately and he once called IBM (along with Oracle and SAP) the “dinosaurs” of the tech world.

On Friday, he tweeted an open call to former IBMers and told them to apply at Salesforce.

More new from @IBM on layoffs. Salesforce opens its hands to help @IBM and any laid off workers send us your cv.
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 5, 2016

As we previously reported, these employees were the first to be subject to IBM new policy that began in 2016 of reduced severance pay. Everyone let go from IBM from now will get one month's of severance no matter how long they worked at the company.

IBM declined to comment to Business Insider about the number of employees affected last week (IBM doesn't disclos..

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Venture capitalist Saul Klein says investors should aim to spot the ‘right surfers’ instead of just trying to ‘ride the wave’
March 6, 2016

Renowned venture capitalist Saul Klein believes technology investors should focus on spotting the “right surfers” instead of just trying to ride the wave.

Speaking to Business Insider ahead of his latest investment, an Estonian startup called Jobbatical that was founded by a pair of siblings and their friend, Klein said it's important to spot talented entrepreneurs building companies in areas where there is market potential.

“It’s not just about spotting waves,” said Klein, pointing to verticals such as cloud, mobile, fintech, and artificial intelligence. “It’s about finding the right surfers.”

He added: “Pick your wave. There will always be 30 plus companies on it. Our job [as investors] is to pick the surfers. It’s about focusing in on the big market opportunities within these waves and finding the right teams.”

Klein — who cofounded movie streaming service LoveFilm, startup accelerator Seedcamp, and computer building startup Kano — left Index Ventures last year to set up a ..

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The CEO of billion-dollar startup Gusto has 75 angel investors and warns other startups: ‘There are no shortcuts’
March 6, 2016

You couldn't find two startup competitors with more starkly different cultures than Zenefits and Gusto — both of which sell similar human resources software to small businesses.

And right now Gusto cofounder and CEO Josh Reeves is looking especially wise given that Zenefits was embroiled in major drama last month.

He has a warning for his competitor and others: “There are no shortcuts. You can't get somewhere faster by spending money,” Reeves told Business Insider.

Zenefits had touted itself as one of the fastest-growing tech startups ever, and, at two years old, raised $582 million investment which valued the young company at $4.5 billion. But it crashed last month amid an insurance-licensing scandal that caused its founder and CEO to suddenly resign, and its new CEO offered some harsh words about its culture.

Gusto (formerly known as Zenpayroll) has also raised a lot of venture investment, a total of $136 million at a $1 billion valuation as of December.


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Going private could save Yahoo the grief of the spotlight but it won’t save the company (YHOO)
March 6, 2016

Is it time for Yahoo to say goodbye to the public stock market?

Yahoo was among the first internet companies in history to go public, and now has a 20-year run living in the public markets.

But the company has been in a constant state of crisis and turmoil for at least half of that time.

The long-awaited turnaround in Yahoo’s business has frustrated a string of CEOs and investors, with CEO Marissa Mayer the latest to try her hand and come up short.

One intriguing idea now making the rounds is whether Yahoo might finally be able to save itself by going private.

The idea was most famously modeled by another tech pioneer that fell on tough times. Michael Dell, the founder of the eponymous PC company, did just that in 2013.

After getting battered on Wall Street for years, Dell hooked up with Silver Lake Partners, ponied up some of his personal fortune, and orchestrated a $25 billion deal that turned the PC maker back into a privately held firm (though the results are still up in the ..

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5 science-backed signs you might be smarter than average
March 6, 2016

Studies have shown that a person who exhibits one or more of these five traits might be smarter than average.

Produced by Zach Wasser. Reporting by Shana Lebowitz and Drake Baer.

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The ex-CFO of bust Powa Technologies claims management were ‘breathtakingly immature and bipolar’
March 6, 2016

The former chief financial officer of failed London tech unicorn Powa Technologies claims “management were the worst I've seen in over 30 years” and claims that the CEO “parked his Bentley in the disabled spot.”

Steven Prowse, who was acting CFO of Powa for three months in 2014, writes in a blog post published on LinkedIn last Friday that accounting practices at Powa were lax when he arrived, with corporate payments requiring only one signature. He also accuses executives of being “breathtakingly immature and bipolar.”

Deloitte, the administrators that now speak and act for Powa, declined to comment. CEO and founder Dan Wagner could not be reached for comment.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing or rule-breaking at Powa. But Prowse's blog post on LinkedIn paints a chaotic picture of upper management at the company, which collapsed into administration last month. Powa was once valued at $2.7 billion and raised at least $220 million from 2013 onwards.

Prowse writes: “T..

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How Richard Branson gets fresh water on his private island
March 6, 2016

Having your own private island is not just about the beautiful views, the privacy, and living the good life.

It's also about some of the more practical things, like figuring out the best way to get water and energy on the island.

Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island, which also functions as an exclusive resort, is part of the British Virgin Islands, but it is quite independent when it comes to producing the energy and fresh water that the island uses.

We spoke to Chief Engineer Adam Simmonds, who showed us how he and his team convert the salt water of the Caribbean Sea into as much as 65,000 gallons of usable water a day.

Originally published in October 2012.

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