The Social News Company Ltd. launches NewsBlocks, a blockchain platform for building next-generation news applications, such as trusted news feeds, fact-checking systems and fake news detectors. NewsBlocks starts from the insight that the traditional news article — a form of news designed to be printed on paper and thrown away each day — is not well suited to the digital age of mobile, instant data. The project’s primary goal is to convert all the world’s news articles into data, and store it permanently on a tamper-proof, censorship-resistant blockchain, where it can be searched, sorted, filtered and organised by anyone in new ways to create trusted news applications. Because each piece of data also has a price, NewsBlocks also creates the first global marketplace for news data.
Mark Devlin, CEO:
Once news is data, it can — for the first time — be verified, stored and priced so that anyone can use it to create the next-generation of news products and services.
Carter and Havas launch Smashd Group, an extension of his online news vertical and business accelerator, at Cannes Lions. Carter’s team of 20 Smashd employees at Atom Factory will assist Havas’ global network of corporate clients on brand consultancy, technology strategy and other innovations. Carter, on the difference between large brands and artists social media presences.
We don’t touch our artists’ Twitter or Instagram accounts. [But] when you have multiple people running a digital department, it’s very difficult for that voice to translate throughout the organization into the community…If you’re Coca-Cola, General Mills, one of these big companies, they’re a big inspiration to most of these startups. So when you can marry that thirst for innovation within the biggest companies and the thirst for business development from these young entrepreneurs, we think it’s a perfect match, The idea of being able to do [Smashd] Labs on the tech side, and brand innovation, we can bring these two worlds together.
Carter also talks about the next area he sees that is set for disruption:
Banks are dead. I met with the founder two weeks ago who’s building a platform for music artists, from STEM, and basically they were gonna handle collections for music artists to collect royalties from YouTube and all these other platforms. After the founder showed me an artist’s PayPal account, which contained $250,000, she said, ‘None of the creators are gonna have bank accounts. For these kids, everything is happening on mobile.’ This group aren’t buying cars, so they’re not paying loans. They’re renting and not buying houses, they’re waiting to get married til their mid-to-late 30s. These kids aren’t going to college soon because they don’t want the student debt. So I think banks are ripe for disruption.
Stiklorius leaves Atom Factory to start Friends At Work, her own own management company, where she will work with Lindsey Stirling and John Legend. Carter:
The only thing that I love as much as artists are entrepreneurs, and Ty has the makings of a great one. Although I’m sad to see her leave, I’m grateful for our time together and extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last three years. She and John are going to build a great company that will help other artists and have an impact on the community. They’ll always be a part of our family here at Atom Factory.
Page and Brin found Alphabet to hold all Google-related businesses. Alphabethabet Inc will replace Google as the publicly-traded entity. All shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet — with the same rights. Page:
Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.
All of the businesses that fall under Alphabet will have their own individual chief executives. Page says that with the new structure, the company is planning to implement segment reporting for its fourth quarter earnings results. As such, Google’s financials will be provided separately from other Alphabet’s businesses. Page:
We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products–the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.
Apple Model Management, a Bangkok-based agency, is opening a division in Los Angeles that will cater exclusively to transgender models. The agency’s L.A. director:
Our strong commitment to developing them as successful models is never about quantifying or qualifying their gender. It’s never a question of if they are women or men, it’s about their passion and commitment to being the best possible models they can be.
The Spot Experience and Racebrook Capital are building The ARK — the world’s only animal terminal — at JFK international airport. The ARK is the first USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour, privately owned airport quarantine operation for the import and export of horses, pets, cats and dogs, birds , exotic specialty animals, zoo animals and livestock. The facility is at Building 78 and spreads across 14 acres. The ARK is projected to transport about 70,000 animals a year.
Spot is thrilled to sign on as the exclusive operator of such a cutting-edge animal facility as The ARK at JFK. All airline passengers deserve the highest quality of care, including animals.
Carter announces SMASHD Labs, an LA-based accelerator. SMASHD Labs will take between five and seven young tech companies whose focus is entertainment and culture and house them for 10 weeks in Atom Factory’s office, providing them with $50,000 in funding for 3% of the company, as well as providing a weekly “curriculum” in order to focus and define their idea.
Jonas, de Baubigny, Lucas and Talbot launchBeyond Type 1, a non-profit organization dedicated to “bringing a new level of respect, understanding and support” to the global Type 1 diabetes community. Each of the founders has a personal connection to the disease: Jonas was diagnosed age 13, de Baubigny’s son was diagnosed at the age of five in 2012, Lucas’ daughter was diagnosed in 1998, age seven, and Talbot was diagnosed age 12. Lucas is the organization’s CEO. A website (http://www.beyondtype1.org/) has been set up to raise awareness. Jonas:
Nearly ten years ago my life changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since then, I learned how to manage and live well with this disease and made it my mission to speak openly about it with the hope of helping others deal with the struggles of managing diabetes in their own life. When I share my personal story, the questions I most often hear are, ‘What did you eat that gave you diabetes?’ or ‘Does that mean you were lazy as a kid?’ Although it’s been difficult to deal with the misinformation out there, I always found a way to not let the lack of knowledge surrounding diabetes affect me. I can’t do that any longer, and that is why I’m excited to join Juliet, Sarah and Sam in BEYOND TYPE 1…With BEYOND TYPE 1, we will create a community for diabetics where they can share real-life stories about how they are living beyond Type 1 diabetes, and how they have shown that living with the disease has not slowed them down.
Carter launchesSmashd, (http://smashd.co/) an online news site dedicated to uncovering the personalities and trends in “tech, culture and hustle”. Smashd is the result of a six-month plan hatched between Carter and Kozlowski, a former writer-editor at Forbes who focused on covering entrepreneurs and the L.A. startup scene. Carter:
It came from internal conversations we’d been having around the office about where we get our news and information from in the morning. You’d go through blog after blog, and for us — living between the tech, music and pop-culture worlds — it just didn’t feel like there was one place where we could call home or a hub, especially as told through a very original lens.
The initial content is a mix of stories and videos that meet what Carter calls a mix of “Forbes meets Fader”
It’s very rare when you can get a real glimpse inside the life of an entrepreneur. So for us, most of the stories we’re gonna be covering, like through a series called ‘In Residence,’ will give a glimpse inside their environment.
YouTube turns ten years old. The site was created by three Paypal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who registered the domain name on February 14, 2005. The first video ever uploaded on YouTube on April 23, 2005 was made by Karim’s friend Yakov Lapitsky and titled “Me at the Zoo”. It has since been viewed more than 17 million times.
Lapitsky comments on his moment in internet history:
It’s neat, but I don’t think that much of it.
It is estimated that around 300 hours of video are now uploaded every hour.
Graham officially launches his presidential exploratory committee named ‘Security through Strength’ to look into his prospects for 2016 presidential elections.
I’m going to take a look at the presidential primary on the Republican side. We’ll have an organization up and running today…This organization will allow people to donate money and their time and resources to see if there is a pathway forward for me.
Bush launches the Right to Rise political action committee (PAC) to lay the groundwork for his 2016 presidential run. His allies also form a super PAC which allows to raise and spend unlimited sums of money.
We are setting up Right to Rise PAC which is a PAC to support candidates who believe in conservative principles to allow all Americans to rise up.
Jeb Bush Announces the Launch of Right to Rise PAC via Smart Phone
Gouw and Fonstad start Aspect Ventures, a venture capital fund focusing on the “emerging mobile marketplace.” Gouw and Fonstad have together created $10 billion in public market value, helped lead 15 M&A transactions and over 300 rounds in follow-on capital raised for their portfolio companies. The founders have pooled enough of their own money to back companies for the next couple of years. Aspect will make around a dozen investments per year, ranging from $500,000 to $2 million in seed and Series A funding. The firm will lead investments but also co-invest. Gouw:
We’ve launched Aspect to meet the need in the market for a new kind of firm that can provide investment and advice to entrepreneurs over the long arc of their companies’ growth. From the start, Aspect Ventures is built to partner and collaborate – with entrepreneurs and also other players in the startup world from angels to multi-stage venture capital firms.
Through our diverse perspectives and experience, we work to add value to our companies from Day One, as active advisors, board members, and partners throughout the roller-coaster ride of building important and successful companies.
Over 60 investors come together to start BitAngels, the first multi-city angel network and incubator created to invest exclusively in cryptocurrency startups. Led by Engine.co founder David A. Johnston, SocialRadius and Marketwire founder Michael Terpin and angel investor Sam Onat Yilmaz, BitAngels is a distributed network of angels and entrepreneurs that came together a few days after the Bitcoin 2013 Conference.
At the conference Terpin noticed that while venture capital firms had begun to make big investments in Bitcoin startups, no group of angel investors — who are usually the first to give promising early-stage companies a financial boost — had risen up to support Bitcoin startups. By the end of the conference, there were 50 angels onboard, spread across Austin, San Francisco, and New York.
Johnston: Sunday morning I hacked together the first Bit Angels website, made a post on Reddit about a 12:00 noon meeting and a quick announcement at the conference about doing a first meeting of the Bit Angels. I invited 6 people and more than 20 showed up to the first meeting. Now more than 35 people have joined the group as of this posting. I’ve volunteered to be the Executive Director and things are moving fast. If you are an experienced entrepreneur and have a few BTC to invest come join us.
The angel network pooled together about $6.7 million in Bitcoin, which it will invest in $20K chunks.
Kirk founds Turning Point just after leaving high school. The organization’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.
Levine starts his own record label titled 222 Records. Levine created the record label to sign his first artists Rozzie Crane who is a USC music student and Glee star Matthew Morrison.
Starting my own label has been a long time goal of mine and I am thrilled to be at the point in my career where it is finally happening. I am excited for everyone to hear Matthew’s forthcoming album. Great things are in store for him with this release.
Under the umbrella of Atom Factory, Carter founds A\IDEA, a product development and branding agency, and AF Square, an angel fund and technology consultancy that holds interests in many technology companies at various stages of growth.
Biter and Sarasota Ford operations manager, Matt Buchanan, son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, launch Dealers United. The plan is to build a nationwide network of dealers that will have combined buying power with vendors.
The firm creates deals services common to many dealers, from search-engine optimization to customer management software. Network members decide independently if they want to buy into the deal.
Biter and Buchanan say they will spend at least $1 million in startup costs on the business. Five employees have already been hired and Biter plans to hire at least five more for a Dealers United call center.
Buchanan: We are going to work for the dealers. We’ll be more powerful than any one group.
Duffy launches Entrepreneurial Spark in Glasgow with office space supplied by Haughey, who gives over an entire floor of his City Refrigeration headquarters in the Gorbals, for the project. Duffy:
The whole ethos of the Entrepreneurial Spark is helping start-ups to get to their first and second birthday. We have wrapped around a whole lot of business professionals – we call them ambassadors – legals, accountants, PR firms. The whole idea was that these people would come on board, give free stuff, support Entrepreneurial Spark and then support the start-up chicklets, as we call them, that want to go through our hatchery…A fair number of young companies die very early unfortunately and what we are trying to do here is take away barriers such as cost. Some of these young businesses pay for expensive business plans and for start-up advice and it’s not really what they need…When someone walks in the door, you can tell if they are the real deal, or you can tell if someone has the potential to be that. They will be sparky, they will have an idea, they are willing to collaborate – that’s a big one in Scotland.
A fair number of young companies die very early unfortunately and what we are trying to do here is take away barriers such as cost. Over the years we are probably going to put £1m into this project, but if we get one, two or three decent companies out of here that create 20, 30 or 40 jobs, then it will be money well spent.
Backplane is founded by Carter, Michelson, Lonsdale and Lady Gaga. The seven-person project aims to provide a way to organize and power online communities based on certain interests, such as sports teams, musicians, and also bring in feeds from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Gaga has a reported 20% stake in the business. $1 million has been raised in angel funding from investors including Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures.
Swartz founds Demand Progress, a Progressive Political Action Committee and grassroots activism organization. The group runs online campaigns and lobbies in Washington, D.C. and in various states for progressive causes, such as stopping Internet censorship and issues of privacy.
Carter founds Atom Factory, a “multi-dimensional entertainment and artist management company” based in Los Angeles, CA, where he serves as chairman and chief executive officer. He says the company can be much more than a simple artist-management firm.
It was more about building a platform on top of music—because music, we realized, sells everything but music.
Lynn B. Schramek creates the Parkinson Cafe to provide social, cultural and intellectual interaction for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners.
When my husband Brad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease we started recreating our lives and finding activities that we ‘can do.’ Less became more. Stress-free became a major goal. I decided to create a new program that met Brad’s needs. That’s how the Parkinson Cafe concept was born.
Monthly events running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. take place at three locations in upstate New York. Art, music and dance therapists provide stimulating interactive programming at Lifetime Care on the first Wednesday, at Home Care of Rochester on the second Thursday and at the Pittsford Library on the third Thursday October 2009 through April 2010.
Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick found the company as UberCab – a marketplace that connects riders with private drivers via a smartphone app. Their January 2009 Flickr photostream includes multiple views of a Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan, advertising images and a map of part of downtown San Francisco.
Andreessen and Horowitz launch Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. The two are well known investors, backing half a dozen startups each year, including social investing site kaChing, virtual worlds company Metaplace, mobile video company Qik, online publishing company Crowdfusion, dating site I’minlikewithyou, search company Blekko and media/technology company EQAL.
Georgetown University graduates Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru open their first store in Georgetown. They want to connect with people through food. Because they have nowhere healthy to eat, they decide to start a healthy restaurant that is fun and also promotes their core values. They focus on creating a farm to table experience from food that is locally sourced.
Sweetgreen was born when we were still students. The three of us really bonded over the fact that there was something missing in our life — we had nowhere healthy to eat. . . . We wanted to create something healthy, that was fun. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was someplace that did our values. We shared this passion for creating something and we just decided to close our eyes and do it.
TechStars (website), a mentorship-driven startup accelerator is founded by Brad Feld, David Cohen, David Brown, and Jared Polis. The company is established in Boulder in and holds its first 13-week program in 2007 with an initial 10 companies. TechStars mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, tumblr CEO David Karp, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. TechStars will take a 5 percent stake in each of the companies.
TechStars is the brainchild of Cohen and Brown, who pitched the idea to Feld and Polis.
Feld: I had never met David (Cohen). We had a random meeting and in 15 minutes, I was totally in love with the idea.
TechStars uses the revenue from successful exits to expand to four additional cities: in 2009, in Boston; 2010, in Seattle; 2011, in New York City; 2012, a “cloud” program in San Antonio; 2013 in Austin.
Assange founds WikiLeaks, an international not-for-profit organization, with the launch of their website wikileaks.org. The mission of the organization is to to bring news to the public, by allowing anonymous sources to leak information in a safe and secure way to journalists. The website is run out of Sweden, due to their strong laws protecting a person’s anonymity.
Nintendo of Korea is established to distribute Nintendo titles in the country and localize titles into Korean. Nintendo invests ¥300 billion in this division of the company in hopes to capitalize on the thriving gaming community in South Korea.
Bono and Shriver team up for another humanitarian venture to found (RED) to raise money from businesses to buy AIDS drugs for people in Africa unable to afford them. After setting up DATA, the two noticed that there was still a need for greater private sector funding and created (RED) as a division of ONE, to fill that need. They hopes to generate a sustainable flow of money to aid in their efforts.
Product (RED) has an ongoing relationship with a number of iconic global brands that sell (RED) products and donate a percentage of the profits directly to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Graham, Livingston, Morris, and Viaweb employee Trevor Blackwell offer $6,000 seed capital for a company with one founder, $12,000 if the company has two founders, and $18,000 if the company has three. In exchange, Y Combinator gets around 6% in common stock. Graham publicizes the program on the web:
We give you enough money to live on for a summer, as with a regular summer job. But instead of working for an existing company, you’ll be working for your own; instead of showing up at some office building at 9 a.m., you can work when and where you like; and instead of salary, the money you get will be seed funding.
Arrington starts the blog as a way to learn about new business models.
I was gone in 2004 when Flickr came out and Bloglines and all the cool new Web 2.0 stuff. So half my day was spent researching old startups. I figured at the very least I’d use it as a networking tool.
Together with his wife, Ali Hewson, Bono founds EDUN, a socially responsible clothing and accessories line. The company’s mission is to promote and provide sustainable growth opportunities to African people.
EDUN is building long-term, sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, infrastructure and community building initiatives in Africa. We are actively working toward increasing trade throughout the continent with our apparel and accessories businesses. For Spring 2014, 85% of the EDUN collection will be produced in sub Saharan Africa.
Carney founds Audio Eagle Records, an independent record label dedicated mainly to local Ohio artists. The label’s first release is Gil Mantera’s Party Dream’s Bloodsongs.
Audio Eagle, a new label imprint from Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, is proud to announce Bloodsongs. Known for their live shows, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream demands an audience’s attention. Formed in Youngstown, OH, they show their talent for creating dance-worthy synth melodies on their debut Bloodsongs.
The brothers, along with their friend, Divya Narendra start work on a social network for Harvard students named HarvardConnection, which was to expand to other schools around the country. They hire Sanjay Mavinkurve, who works on the system until Spring 2003 and then Victor Gao, who is paid $400 for his work on the website code during the second half of 2003.
Bono teams up with Bobby Shriver to co-found DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa). The organization is created to raise public awareness of the issues in its name, and influence government policy on Africa.
Newslines is a social news network that aims to give readers the complete unbiased news history of any topic. Newslines is built from NewsBlocks, a blockchain that stores news as data, allowing the creation of trusted news applications.