Top Kansas City startups to watch in 2018

Top Kansas City startups to watch in 2018

But unlike 2017’s tech-heavy list, many of our startups this year are making a physical impact on Kansas City and markets across U.S. from brick-and-mortar operations.    After narrowing the list to about 30, we arrived at our Top 10 by evaluating each company’s team, current traction, potential to create jobs, societal and industry-specific disruptiveness and likelihood to create major news in 2018. It’s also not to say that the local firms that do not appear on this list aren’t or won’t be successful. Rather, this is a list of the area’s most promising companies that we feel are best positioned to have banner years in 2018. Click here to read more about what’s driving Plexpod’s success. Click here to read more about what sets PayIt ahead of its competition. Click here to read more about what’s keeping Bardavon healthy. Click here to read more about what opportunity awaits Rx Savings Solutions. Click here to read more about what’s become cutting-edge experiences for Swell Spark. Click here to read more about what’s giving voice to Mycroft’s growth. Click here to read more about what Super Dispatch is delivering for customers. Click here to read more about what makes Made in KC worth expanding. Click here to read more about what’s developing at RFP365. Click here to read more about what’s giving Ruby Jean’s good vibes. Click here to read more about what Cambrian visualizes for 2018. But regardless of the explanations, Kansas City places significant value on the process of and support for starting up a business. While not unique to Kansas City, such enthusiasm has created wealth and vibrancy for this community, as well as an abundance of stories for Startland.

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Why Gary Vaynerchuk’s Perspective On Meditation Is Everything That’s Wrong With Mindfulness In Entrepreneurship

Why Gary Vaynerchuk’s Perspective On Meditation Is Everything That’s Wrong With Mindfulness In Entrepreneurship

In my search for knowledge and desire to learn from those ahead of me in the Game of Entrepreneurship, I acquired that taste. A "game" implies an end goal, a reward, a desired outcome–which, simply put, is the complete and utter Westernization (similar to what Core Power did to yoga) to a much deeper, and intended to be selfless practice. But I think the people that know me better, or have been around a little bit longer, have a pretty good read in my groundness–I'm balanced in my extremities. I think maybe it was handed to me, or the circumstances handed it to me, but I wish it on everybody. And if meditation is a gateway to that feeling, which I believe, intuitively, it could be, it's going to be a big deal. NOW. Anytime something is a big deal, business people come in. And so you're going to have a lot of people from these parts of the world, India, other places where this has been common culture for a long time, who are going to be mad at the American business DNA of turning meditation into SoulCycle and Coca-Cola–but that is what's going to happen. There were some weeks where my morning ritual began with listening to a GaryVee video while I cooked myself breakfast. And it points at a root issue nobody in business wants to address. As someone who is both extremely competitive (which is where I relate to Gary Vaynerchuk) and someone who also actively practices meditation, I can tell you that what he is explaining, and even "experiencing," is not meditation. Meditation is NOT going into a field, tripping acid, and brainstorming the next iPhone. As I began to introduce my friends to his content, he always inspired the same result. And meditation is certainly NOT walking around with a camera crew following your every move, never giving yourself a moment to sit with your feelings, proclaiming that you were born gifted–the same gift masters of meditation dedicated their entire years to practicing (notice I didn't say "mastering." They became masters in practicing–but there was no desired outcome.). Entrepreneurship is going to do to meditation what we just witnessed happen with yoga. If you meditate so that you can be "better" than someone else, you're not meditating–and to anyone with a remotely tuned sense of self-awareness, it's blindingly obvious. Just like how, if you want to practice yoga so that you can be "more flexible" than the next person, "more grounded, more centered, more spiritual, more balanced," you're missing the point. And he's 100% correct in his business projection of what the western world is about to do to the next "mindfulness fad," commercializing meditation. That's not what meditation is. I'm pretty sure gurus like Rumi would laugh and Osho would roll his eyes and Adi Da Samraj would call bullshit at Gary Vaynerchuk's "I was just born gifted" proclamation. One of my closest friends and fellow Inc columnist, Matthew Jones, and I would spend hours consuming and then debating the new lessons we were learning on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur–a winner of The Game. How we figure out who we are and what we stand for in relation to the rest of this big world. Stop trying to 'unlock' yourself for the sake of achievement. When you can no longer escape into the endlessly fun pursuit of mastering the rules, overcoming obstacles, and proving yourself among your competitors? The 1 thing I always really respected about Gary Vaynerchuk was his ability to stay within his realm of expertise. And in that uncomfortable moment, with nothing else to achieve, you will be left with only yourself. I never watched Gary Vaynerchuk to learn how to improve my personal health, or to get insights on which hockey team I thought was going to win the Stanley Cup, nor did I care to know what his personal beliefs were on controversial topics like politics. And he didn't care to share them–because they didn't have to do with The Game. "I believe meditation is the 'unlock' of the next chapter. Before moving any further here, I'd like to point out the most glaring issue of all.

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Sequoia Capital just closed a giant new seed fund — and here’s how it works

Sequoia Capital just closed a giant new seed fund — and here’s how it works

Sequoia Capital, the top-tier venture firm, has just closed on a $180 million new fund called Sequoia Scout III that’s focused exclusively on seed-stage opportunities. It’s a development startup founders will be watching closely, no doubt, so we caught up yesterday with Bryan Schreier, a Sequoia partner who sits on the boards of Dropbox, Thumbtack and Qualtrics, among others, to ask how the vehicle works. We’ll also be [relying on Sequoia’s network of more than 100] scouts, who come from the Sequoia network [and who are mostly] founders and execs. TC: There has long been fascination over this scouting trend, which Sequoia sort of helped to create and a lot of venture firms now employ. Can you talk a bit more about it? For example, how transparent are these founders when they approach their network on behalf of Sequoia? TC: What kind of cut do they receive, and does the entire network of scouts benefit if one scout finds a winner, or does the person who brought you the deal reap the financial rewards? BS: There’s carry in the fund that’s shared among the scouts, [so] they all benefit from the returns in the scout fund [when a company performs well]. BS: We’ve actually found the most success in following the entrepreneurs. There’s a bit of a virtuous cycle, where you have entrepreneurs who have inspiration of their own and as they’re successful, other founders come to them with their ideas. And it’s a wonderful way for us to double down [on that network]. Perhaps owing to greater transparency throughout the industry, as well as growing competition, including from AngelList — which is increasingly providing founders with seed money to invest in other founders — the firm offered to shine some light on its offerings and approach. It’s meant to empower founders in our network who may not have the administrative support or overhead required to run a seed-investing practice, so they are making decisions together with us. But it’s different from a Sequoia investment in that Sequoia isn’t on the cap table of the company; we aren’t taking information rights or board seats. TC: How much of this new fund will be invested with the help of scouts? Is there anyone at Sequoia who is sort of leading the seed-investing charge within the practice? In fact, we make the same number of seed investments per year as we do A-stage investments, which is one or two per investor. When I’m meeting with an entrepreneur, I highlight that we’re one of the most selective — if not the most selective — firm when it comes to these investments, because we see thousands of companies each year and we only partner with a couple per investor, and about half the time, that’s a seed investment. BS: We’ve pulled data on this and a company that has raised seed funding from Sequoia is three times more likely to raise a venture round — no matter what. I think it shows that company building does matter a great deal at the early stages and that our model is a great fit for startups. BS: Our advice to startups is always to pick a small number of high-impact partners for the seed round. For a long time, we’ve collaborated within the seed ecosystem, so we’re typically one of three or four firms that are partnering [on a deal]. BS: I want to make sure founders understand is that it’s never too early to meet with Sequoia. I think we’re one of the few qualified firms to scale a company from the idea stage to an IPO. With [payments company] Square, we were close to [founder] Jack [Dorsey] for a year and a half before becoming investors. We tend not to get married on the first date, so it’s wonderful to meet as early in a company’s life cycle as possible. It seems like an interesting hobby to get into, but once you’ve waited 10 years for an exit, it becomes a little less appetizing. TC: I’m guessing you’re aware of Spearhead, a new effort by AngelList that gives scouts capital to start their own venture capital funds. Unlike in past years, where Sequoia made seed bets from its main, early-stage funds, it’ll be used to invest directly in seed deals. BS: I’m not as familiar with those efforts, but this is our third scout fund, so this is something we’ve been doing for a while. If we weren’t the first, we were one of the first to empower founders with scout programs, so it’s exciting for others to be doing the same. TC: Before we let you go, what’s one of your most recent seed deals and what about it grabbed your attention? BS: We partnered with Rylo [a next-gen 360-degree camera company whose product is featured above] at the seed stage a little over two years ago. But we think it’s a magical product that’s going to reinvent the way we film video. Sequoia also will be incorporating investments that are being brought to the firm by so-called “scouts.” Is that correct? With this company, we knew that we had the two best people in the world to build such a product, and when you look at Amazon reviews, Rylo is two or three stars ahead of any product on the market. BS: Yes, we have a long-standing seed practice at Sequoia, going back to the very beginning, and this new fund just represents the consolidation of our seed program into a single fund. As with Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe, we’ll be looking for seed investments that we’ll be investing in directly.

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Why millennials are heading for a wilder tech city

Why millennials are heading for a wilder tech city

He started in London, working on a fast-growing video product that eventually took him to the US. But by 2013 Drayson had quit and flown half way across the globe for Kenya’s capital. Women can travel around the city alone and are free to dress as they like but conservative clothing is recommended in some areas beyond the city limits. Most people in the capital however, consider themselves to be ‘Nairobians’ first, and are happy to talk about their country’s history, their tribes and their world views.It languishes at number 186 on Mercer’s Quality of Living City Rankings 2017 which highlights traffic congestion; poor public transport; crime levels; housing; access to good schools and electricity supply, which can be intermittent in the capital. She relocated from Guang Dong Provence in China to work for Shenzen Right Net Tech Co, an ecommerce company that sells Chinese goods to Africa and African goods to China. “I plan to stay in Nairobi for a long time, at least 5 years. The city is good, I especially love the weather, it’s 25 degrees and sunny all year around, and the local people are friendly.” Where I come from [Mumbai, India] the market is very competitive. [In Nairobi] we Indians can apply the skills and technology we use at home more easily. Asked what her family think about her living in Kenya, Peng says, “My family think it’s a good thing I’ve come to Kenya to develop my career, the Chinese believe Africa has a bright future. What happened?“During my time at Google, I was working on building our developer ecosystem in the Middle East and Africa,” says Drayson. “I really enjoyed it and so decided to take a sabbatical, travelling around East and West Africa on a tech tour. [Along the way] I got inspired [by the] big problems that needed solving through technology.” My family think it’s a good thing I’ve come to Kenya to develop my career, the Chinese believe Africa has a bright future. He also moved here because of the opportunities available to him: “Where I come from [Mumbai, India] the market is very competitive. [In Nairobi] we Indians can apply the skills and technology we use at home more easily. High-speed internet, globally-renowned innovation, major funding and the presence of incubators and hubs all appeal to tech talent. “There’s a large amount of brain power focusing on similar challenges [in Nairobi]. The barrier for entry [for new companies] is low because everything is concentrated – if you have all of the people and all of the money in one place it makes it way easier,” says Samir Ibrahim, 29, a US expat and CEO of SunCulture, a company which provides solar-powered irrigation to farmers. Like many millennials, the ex-New York University student wanted a meaningful job, and says a tech start-up in Kenya provided that.Money is being pushed in to infrastructure – from the newly built tarmac road link to Ethiopia, to the new Standard Gauge Railway between Nairobi with Mombasa on the coast. “Kenya is an English-speaking country, its generally safe, western investment has been coming into the country for a long time and it’s a hub for tourism. These are the foundation points of a good hub,” adds Ibrahim.Where to go Situated on the fourth floor of Piedmont Plaza on the Ngong Road – one of the main roads leading east to west across the city – Nairobi Garage, a co-working space for start-ups, techies and entrepreneurs has become a popular place for work. “There are a few main places to hang out and because the expat community is tight – when you’re new in town older expats will invite you along to things. Kenya is an English-speaking country, its generally safe, western investment has been coming into the country for a long time and it’s a hub for tourism. There are very many opportunities for young people and the salaries are higher – Peng Nairobi has the most developed tech scene in East Africa rivalling hubs like Cape Town, Lagos and Cairo. After work drinks are popular at Brew Bistro, a rooftop bar in Westlands complete with picnic tables, AstroTurf grass and home-brewed beers; The Alchemist, an open-air bar with live music most nights of the week, and J’s, a restaurant and bar with outdoor seating and a DJ playing party tunes until the early hours at the weekend.Westlands has long been a popular location for expats to live as well as party due to its central city location and the proximity to shops, restaurants and the Karura Forest, a huge forest with hiking trails and an open-air restaurant called the River Café. Kilimani, Kilileshwa and Lavington are also popular areas in the leafy suburbs, yet a short drive to the central business district. Properties favoured by expats here tend to be plush modern apartments complete with gyms and swimming pools.Spending power Salaries in the tech sector in Kenya vary hugely from company to company and there is little information available for benchmarking one organisation against the next, for example, one start-up may pay a $40,000 salary for an I.T. project leader but according to Glassdoor.com others can be much lower ($15,000-$20,000). Expat luxuries like cheese and wine can be expensive but according to website Expatisan.com, the cost of living in Nairobi is 17% cheaper than Johannesburg, South Africa.The tight-knit community, social scene and outdoor activities that appealed to Drayson on his initial visit. Nairobi seemed like somewhere he could enjoy living. “I figured if I’m going to start a business in a new country where I don’t know anyone, I need to be happy and I felt I could be happy,” says Drayson. “It had the creature comforts of Ribena and Haribo in the supermarkets, and Kenyans have a great sense of humour. I also love the outdoors and camping and the country is great for that.” We’ll keep making a concerted effort to bring people together and to make expats feel welcome. He believes one particular draw could be around the farming industry, which is a huge part of the Kenyan economy and much in need of tech innovation to develop in the coming years. “We expect to see big things in the agritech space [in 2018 and beyond], it’s an optimistic time. Within a year, the Brit had co-founded OkHi, a company working to provide every person in Kenya with an address.Yet, for most of the world Nairobi remains an enigma. “Isn’t it dangerous” and “do people live in mud huts there” are some of the questions expats regularly field from family around the globe. They’re surprised to hear Nairobi is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, with over three million inhabitants.Within eight years it has transformed in to a cosmopolitan hub drawing young people from across Africa and now India and China. There are skyscrapers and shopping malls; hotels and apartment blocks; cinemas, bars, restaurants and even an ice rink.Since 2008, a crop of incubators, accelerators and funders have popped up, propelling many startups in to profit. Last year, for example, Sendy, Kenya’s first on-demand delivery service, hit its $2m funding goal with the support of the Safaricom Spark Fund and XL Africa accelerator, which is funded by the World Bank.A Disrupt Africa report, shows tech start-ups across Africa raised over $129 million in 2016, a 17% increase on the previous year, with Kenya attracting the second highest investment after South Africa. One of the beneficiaries, Moringa, a Nairobi-based coding school that develops African tech talent, has been able to expand globally with this financial support, launching offices in Hong Kong, Ghana and Pakistan since 2014.Still, Nairobi isn’t an obvious choice for a young expat.

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Middle East Venture Partners: investing in the future of tech

Middle East Venture Partners: investing in the future of tech

In a statement, MEVP noted that the fund will invest in early-stage and growth-stage tech companies across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. To date, MEVP has invested in 43 companies that range from e-marketplaces to financial technology firms and even a biotechnology company. Hanna says “a few” of the companies that MEVP has invested in have been exited and investments cashed out. According to Hanna, MEVP’s complete portfolio represents the diversity and potential of e-commerce and technology in ways that few would have considered just a few years ago. Giving examples of this diversity, Hanna recalls one of his favourite success stories: Shahiya (Arabic for “my appetite”) is a user-generated, Arabic-language cooking website that grew to become the largest of its kind in the region. Now, seven years and several funds later, MEVP has $120 million in assets under management and is targeting a $250 million fund with about 25 potential investments. Hanna proudly lists several other “number ones” within MEVP’s portfolio: Altibbi, an Arabic-language website similar to WebMD; Anghami, an online marketplace in which music labels and artists interact with consumers; and Lamsa, a popular website in the children’s “edutainment” space. “The reality is that it’s too early to talk about these innovations in this part of the world,” he says. “It’s unfortunate, but we barely have one of each in our 43-company portfolio. Hanna says that despite the lag he is “very bullish” about the verticals. His confidence is partly driven by the UAE government’s unique approach to new possibilities, which it heartily embraces, as exemplified by the Dubai government’s official Blockchain Strategy and the UAE-wide AI strategy. “The UAE is probably the only place on earth where the players are not just those in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It really is a top-down approach by the government,” he remarks. “And thanks to this fact, the ecosystem is thriving.”A need to play catch-up? For Hanna, this drastic change is no surprise – it’s simply the result of the region’s young, digitally savvy population creating what he terms “a virtuous cycle” for venture capital. If we had research and R&D centres within universities, we would gain in all these areas,” he says. “The best entrepreneurs we invest in today are an average of 38 years-old. The number of computer engineers and computer science graduates out of the UAE and Saudi Arabia is negligible. You find much more in countries like Egypt and the Levant,” he adds. “In the GCC, it’s definitely not good on that side. Hanna points to Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of California in the US as models of what the future can – and should – look like. “There’s a hub there, and the clusters they’ve created to become global innovation hubs is something that we should be doing here in the UAE. In early December, MEVP announced its first – and to date only – MEVP III investment, in Dubai-based One Click Delivery Services. The last-mile delivery start-up connects drivers, points of sale and a call centre with businesses in need of efficient delivery services. In this environment, companies can grow quickly – both in size and in value – before cashing out. Typically, year one of the investment period of any new fund is for small deals, and probably younger companies. Speaking to Arabian Business at MEVP’s quiet and cosy loft office in Dubai Media City, it’s clear that Hanna is a long-time veteran in the world of venture capital, a man whose CV includes a stint as CEO of Dubai International Capital’s venture arm, the Arab Business Angels Network (ABAN), and also the investment-management team of Abraaj Capital. “But in our case you have to build, you have to hold, you have to be patient. Using its technology platform, One Click is designed to allow businesses in various verticals – such as food delivery, apparel, and parcel delivery – to deliver items without having to manage their own fleet of delivery drivers. One Click has its own – and growing – fleet of drivers, and has to-date delivered over one million orders. According to MEVP, the company is growing at 36 percent month-to-month, and is currently eyeing expansion into other cities within the GCC. According to One Click, the company will use its new capital from MEVP to accelerate its growth plans, build the team and work on developing its proprietary technology. In September, this “virtuous cycle” saw MEVP team up with majority stakeholder Mohamed Alabbar to launch its third fund, MEVP III, with a target size of $250 million.

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PM inaugurates National Incubation Centre in Peshawar

PM inaugurates National Incubation Centre in Peshawar

PESHAWAR -  Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday said that he was extremely pleased with the growing synergy between the public and private sectors to promote youth-led entrepreneurship in the country and realize the dream of a Digital Pakistan. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Pakistan’s leading telecommunications services provider, and LMKT, an award-winning full-service technology company based out of Islamabad, announced the formal inauguration of National Incubation Center (NIC), Peshawar, which has been funded by the Ministry of IT&T and Ignite Fund (formerly known as National ICT R&D Fund). Yousuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite said, “A singular opportunity for startups that seek to solve meaningful problems with the help of academia and for corporates that seek to transform and thrive in this age of global competition and pervasive change by partnering with and investing in startups.” President & CEO PTCL, Dr Daniel Ritz, on the occasion, stated, “The National Incubation Center, Peshawar is an important milestone in the burgeoning innovation climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This center is a testimony to PTCL’s promise to empower the people of Pakistan through its ICT and Digital services.” Atif Khan, CEO LMKT, said, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has enormous untapped talent and potential that can become a major driver in boosting Pakistan’s economy. I’m really excited about the prospect of working with inventive local entrepreneurs and startups in our pursuit for creating success stories bigger than ours.” NIC Peshawar’s launch has been received very positively by academia, public and private sectors with significant partnerships and MoUs lined up with leading organizations and universities. APP adds: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa GovernorIqbal Zafar Jhagra, while welcoming the establishment of National Incubation Centre (NIC), said that such initiatives would provide ample opportunities for flourishing entrepreneurship and promote the spirit to creating a positive business momentum in the province. The Governor welcomed inclusion of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the Digital Pakistan Initiative of the Federal Government and said, “our people have immense potential and such initiatives go a long way in creating a positive business momentum in our province”.‘Initiatives for the youth such as National Incubation Center here are crucial for development of our young talent”, he said. The launch ceremony was graced by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as chief guest, along with Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Minister of IT&T Anusha Rahman, and other renowned dignitaries from the public and private sectors. Not only that, he added, business environment also has to be positive provided with back end support from the government – be it provincial or federal.  Therefore, he added, our economy requires mobilizing the youth towards technology drivenstartups which have a high potential growth and we can be in the league of global economic powers through private and public collaborations as we witness today by Ignite, LMKT and PTCL. Page 2 LAHORE – State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rehman inaugurated the National Incubation Centre (NIC) here at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), on Saturday. Addressing the inaugural ceremony and later talking to the media, she said that after Islamabad, opening of another NIC at LUMS Lahore was as per manifesto of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government, which envisages `Digital Revolution' in Pakistan. Anusha Rehman said that National Incubation Centre was an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to improve the business objective and get themselves recognised in the global economy. Anusha Rehman said that the initiative of incubation centre had been launched under the leadership of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif with an objective to enable the young entrepreneurs to run and improve their businesses with the help of information technology. The PML-N government, she said, had matchless public service record, adding that the PML-N would again be elected to the government in the next general election due to its massive development and public welfare projects. Prime minister added that NIC Peshawar is proof of the government’s commitment of extending all kinds of support to relevant stakeholders in developing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s technology landscape and startup ecosystem.” A generous 12,000 sq. ft. facility in the heart of Peshawar at PTCL Training Center has been earmarked and repurposed to incubate more than 25 handpicked startups each year. Skill development in the field of information technology was being carried out as per vision of the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister, asserting that introduction of 3G and 4G technology in Pakistan was a great success of the incumbent government, while 5G technology would be introduced in the country by year 2020. He mentioned that the NIC was an improved structure of LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship (LCE), established in May 2014 to explore companies having greater impact as well as improve and increase their production capacity. On this occasion, IGNITE CEO Yusuf Hussain spoke of the NICs role in the knowledge economy of Pakistan and how these would become breeding grounds for sustainable growth and drive Pakistan's economy forward with 4th Industrial wave technologies. Lahore NIC Director Faisal Jalil Sherjan said the Centre would house the first-ever Makers Lab in Pakistan, a modern facility equipped with the latest technologies and smart equipment to bring ideas to life. Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman, while expressing her satisfaction with the launch proceedings, stated, “National Incubation Center, Peshawar will usher a vibrant new era of entrepreneurship and innovation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, enabling many aspiring tech entrepreneurs and startups in creating game-changing solutions.

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Benjamin Netanyahu in Gujarat Live: Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Jai Israel!, says Israeli PM at iCreate centre in Ahmedabad

Benjamin Netanyahu in Gujarat Live: Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Jai Israel!, says Israeli PM at iCreate centre in Ahmedabad

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his host, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday began their Gujarat visit with a roadshow and a trip to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.The two prime ministers also jointly inaugurated the International Center For Entrepreneurship & Technology – iCreate, and are scheduled to visit a centre for agriculture in Sabarkantha. Netanyahu visited the Taj Mahal in Agra on Tuesday.Here are the live updates: 3.13pm: In his message, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “India-Israel relations are weaved with threads of culture, civilisational values and mutual trust. Israel has proved it to the world that commitment of the people, not size of the nation takes the country forward: PM Modi at iCreate Centre in Ahmedabad.2.43pm: When I launched iCreate a few years ago, I said I want to link it with Israel. Thank you Gujarat, says Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu.2.21pm: PM Modi and I are both very young and both very optimistic, we are young in our thinking & optimistic about the future, says Netanyahu.2.20pm: I am delighted to be here. The world knows about iPads and iPods, there is one more i that the world needs to know about, that is iCreate: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu.2.10pm: PM Modi and Netanyahu interact with people at the iCreate centre in Ahmedabad.2.05pm: Netanyahu tells Israeli reporters travelling with him that he is certain that the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem in the coming year, much sooner than Trump administration officials have estimated, Associated Press reports. He says his “solid assessment” is that the American Embassy “will be moved far faster than what we think … in the course of the year.”1.25pm: PM Modi and Netanyahu inaugurate the iCreate Center at Deo Dholera village in Ahmedabad.12.51pm: Both India and Israel have a connection as they have occupied Muslim territories – India has occupied Kashmir, while Israel is occupying a vast area of Palestine, a Radio Pakistan report quotes Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif as telling a private channel.12.49pm: Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif criticised Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India, saying both India and Israel have an anti-Islam nexus, reports ANI.12.48pm: Pakistan criticises Netanyahu’s visit to India, reports ANI12.35pm: “Gujarat extends a warm welcome to Mrs. We will attend various programmes and interact with a wide range of people, ranging from innovators, entrepreneurs and farmers,” tweets PM Modi.12.30pm: Israel PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu leave a message at Sabarmati Ashram.12.19pm: The two PMs will dedicate a mobile water desalination van to Suigam Taluka of Banaskantha district, through a video link.12.18pm: Modi and Netanyahu will inaugurate the iCreate Centre at Deo Dholera village in Ahmedabad. They will also visit a Startup Exhibition and interact with innovators and Startup CEOs.12.15pm: Modi and Netanyahu will visit the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables at Vadrad in Sabarkantha district, and inaugurate the Centre of Excellence for Date Palms at Kukama via a video link. The two leaders will also interact with farmers.12.11pm: Netanyahu and his wife Sara, along with PM Modi, fly kites along the Sabarmati riverfront.12.10pm: Modi and Netanyahu pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.12.01pm: Netanyahu and his wife Sara garland a photo at Sabarmati Ashram, and spin a charkha.11.58am: Modi and Netanyahu reach Sabarmati Ashram.11.50am: Traditional dancers present glimpses of various states of India all along the roadshow.11.40am: Unlike the roadshow in 2017 in an open vehicle by PM Narendra Modi and Japan’s Shinzo Abe, the prime ministers this time opt for bullet-proof cars.11.25am: Huge crowd gathers to welcome Modi and Netanyahu as the two prime ministers depart from the airport for their roadshow in Ahmedabad.11.18am: PM Modi receives Netanyahu at Ahmedabad airport.11.05am: Netanyahu arrives at Ahmedabad airport; to be received by PM Modi.10.00am: PM Modi arrives in Ahmedabad to welcome Israeli PM#Gujarat Preparations underway for inauguration of icreate center at Deo Dholera Village in Ahmedabad; PM Modi and Israel PM Netanyahu to attend pic.twitter.com/eZRqL71bka— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 20189.26am: Netayanhu will leave for Mumbai in the afternoon. This was an expression of the core beliefs of India’s ancient culture and its people.”3.12pm: In his message to the magazine, PM Modi said, “The deep friendship of the Indian people with Israel is something worth celebrating. The bond between the two nations goes back centuries in time and will continue to grow stronger.”3.11pm: “The magazine is planned to carry forward the great initiative of Modi and Netanyahu to strengthen India-Israel relations and provide a platform for exchanging views between Indians and Jews the world over,” says Ralphy Jhirad, who is also the president and managing trustee of Bene Israel Heritage Museum and Genealogical Centre.3.11pm: The magazine will be launched at the Magen David Synagogue at Byculla in south Mumbai on Thursday, an editorial board member of the magazine, Ralphy Jhirad, tells PTI.3.10pm: The Jewish community will mark Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit with the launch of ‘Namaste Shalom’, a regular monthly magazine on bilateral relations between the two nations, reports PTI.3.01pm: iCreate ka ‘i’ small letter mein hai. Creativity ki sabse badi rukavat hoti hai ‘I’ ka bada hona. (The letter ‘i’ is is in lower case because the word ‘I’ is the biggest hurdle for creativity): PM Modi at iCreate Centre.2.52pm: Four days ago, ISRO made a century in satellite launching. Such energy is filled in our scientists and youth: PM Modi.2.50pm: We are working towards making entire system in our country innovation-friendly, so that ideas are formed from intent, innovations are formed from ideas and new India is formed from innovations: PM Modi at iCreate Centre.2.46pm: The technology and creativity of Israel influence the world.

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3 Crowdfunding Tips Every Company Forgets From a Brand That Raised $800,000 and Got Acquired

3 Crowdfunding Tips Every Company Forgets From a Brand That Raised $800,000 and Got Acquired

Crowdfunding takes a lot of planning, whether you’re gearing up for a launch, a ship date or thinking about the next source of funding you’ll pursue. But it’s crucial to be aware of where you stand in the present, too, as those who have shepherded successful campaigns will tell you.At CES last week, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger moderated a panel titled “Entrepreneurship 202: Bringing a Product to Life.” The discussion followed the steps of a crowdfunding campaign — everything from drumming up initial interest and backers to factoring in distribution costs and communication strategies during and after the campaign.Wearable brand Misfit served as a case study of a success story among the group, which also included representatives from supply-chain company Ingram Micro, Procter & Gamble and Indiegogo. Maybe you’ve been a frustrated backer or just an observer who’s seen budding brands push their ship date back due to unexpected logistical hurdles.You can try to get all of your distribution ducks in a row up front, but, especially for brands just starting out, unforeseen delays and design changes tend to come about.“We had a tendency to want to promise a lot of things,” Moxcey says of Misfit’s campaign. There was a “good engineering reason for this,” Moxcey says, but it is one example of how the natural evolution of product development can be at odds with the impulse to build customer expectations.“Even today, with our announcements with Fossil Group, we’re not announcing anything that’s going to ship in four to five months,” Moxcey says. While these aren’t crowdfunded products, Moxcey makes the point to emphasize that ship dates announced too far in advance are susceptible to delays. “The only things we’re talking about with consumers now are things that are shipping tomorrow. We’re talking about products that are going to ship in January.”If you’ve taken to social media publicly boasting your ship date, but you have some last-minute adjustments or distribution details to figure out, hold off, Meister says. You have to plan ahead even at this stage, which means you can’t dwell on your past success forever.Smart companies will embark upon a crowdfunding campaign with at least a five-year plan that might include ideas about an exit strategy or future products and timelines for them. Unless your goal is just to sell a set number of units to a core base of backers, you have to think about scaling and what’s next.“You get the attention, energy, momentum and then it’s crickets for two and a half years,” Moxcey says. “That, to me, is death. In 2015, Fossil Group acquired Misfit for $260 million, three years after the Misfit Shine activity tracker raised more than eight times its $100,000 Indiegogo funding goal.Related: Live at CES: Indiegogo CEO Predicts What's Next for CrowdfundingReflecting on the brand’s trajectory, Fossil Group Vice President and General Manager Preston Moxcey shared three tips that many entrepreneurs who launch products on crowdfunding platforms (Misfit included) tend to miss.1. You have to have the next thing ready.”“The successfully funded campaign that just cuts off communication with its backer community keeps me up at night,” Meister adds.One of the mistakes Misfit made, according to Moxcey, was sending emails about the Misfit Shine for about 18 months until Fossil advised that it was time to stop marketing the product to the 2.3 million people who already owned it. Rather, the company needed to focus on new products to drive new customers.Another piece of advice Meister shares when it comes to ongoing communication is that it can transcend traditional product updates.“Even if you don’t have an update about when something’s going to be delivered, did you travel this week? The concept of a crowdfunded wearable had already been proven out.While Pebble raised millions more than Misfit, being in the shadow of Pebble was key to Misfit’s success, Moxcey explained during the panel discussion.“That’s what great founders and entrepreneurs do,” Moxcey says. “They don’t try to create energy out of nothing. They take advantage of the momentum of what’s around them and they harness it into something unique.”Speaking of emulating the strategies of other successful crowdfunded companies, Indiegogo’s Manager of Hardware Outreach Sarah Meister emphasizes that Indiegogo has “libraries of examples of campaigns” that entrepreneurs can tap into.“They represent what we think a successful campaign is, not just funding-wise, but how they represent themselves,” Meister says, adding that Indiegogo is eager to be a resource for prospective campaigners. “We’re more than happy to send over the people who you should be paying attention to, who have done really well.”Or, seek examples of successful or compelling campaigns on your own, Meister says, and reach out to say, four of those founders and seek their mentorship.“Most of the campaigners that have launched on Indiegogo are excited to help others, because someone else helped them,” Meister says. “If they don’t respond, reach out to four more.”2.

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Ten Democrats crowd Alexandria council race months before filing deadline

Ten Democrats crowd Alexandria council race months before filing deadline

Ten candidates so far have announced plans to run. (J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post) Alexandria Democrats are lining up to run for City Council seats in the June 12 primary, with more than two months until the filing deadline. The Democratic challengers who have announced their council candidacies also include: Dak Hardwick, 41, former chairman of the local Democratic Party and past chair of the local Chamber of Commerce, who announced his intention to run a business-friendly campaign in October. Amy Jackson, 46, a former Fairfax County teacher who served on Alexandria’s Commission for Women and the boards of the Fund for Alexandria’s Child and Senior Services of Alexandria. Robert Ray IV, 57, owner of an Old Town antiques store, who said he plans to focus on improving connections between the community and Alexandria’s multiple appointed commissions and task forces. He has not yet formally filed his papers with the city’s election registrar, but he has set up a website and social media pages, and told the local Democratic committee that he plans to run. The latest to seek a seat on the six-person council is Canek Aguirre, 32, chair of the local economic opportunities commission and president of the board of Tenants and Workers United. Aguirre, who worked in community relations for a major health-care provider and for local schools with at-risk students, said he wants to “bring a much-needed voice to the council for people who are often not heard.” He will find plenty of competition. Four of the six incumbents, all Democrats, are running for reelection (council member Timothy Lovain (D) announced last fall he will not run for another term, and Vice Mayor Justin Wilson (D) is challenging incumbent Mayor Allison Silberberg (D)). Five other non-incumbents have also announced their intention to run, and that may not be the last of the candidates, Alexandria Democratic Committee chair Clarence Tong said. For the past 14 years, they have been paid $27,500 (the mayor earns $30,500), but the council recently asked the manager to form a committee to study and recommend whether those wages should be increased.

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