Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

Coursera adds 12 more prestigious universities – free online education grows

As we wrote back in April, there’s no doubt that the Internet is revolutionizing education, as more and more companies continue to emerge and alter the way we learn. We’ve kept a close eye on edX, Khan Academy, Academic Earth, P2PU, Skillshare and Codecademy, and rounding out that list is Coursera, one of the youngest of the bunch, which recently raised $16 million to launch with 37 undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Now, since starting off with the likes of Princeton and Stanford, Coursera is announcing 12 new university partnerships, $3.7M in equity investments from Caltech, Penn and existing investors, and a total of 1.5M student users from 190 different countries.

More specifically, here’s a list of the company’s 12 new partnering universities, following Coursera’s original four launch partners (Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania):

  • Georgia Tech
  • Duke University
  • University of Washington
  • Caltech
  • Rice University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Toronto
  • EPFL – Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • Johns Hopkins University (School of Public Health)
  • UCSF
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Virginia

 

If you’re interested, these courses are free and here’s a list of all the new classes available:

The Next Web - Education startup Coursera partners with 12 new universities, raises $3.7M and hits 1.6M enrollments

 

 

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Switzerland – Silicon Alps – joins the start-up ecosystem

Ah, Switzerland. The land of chocolate, cow-bells, skiing and prices that make you want to cry. A place that has built a global brand on providing a safe, risk-free haven for other people’s money and not being disruptive or belligerent. Clean, orderly and wonderfully peaceful — yes, the clichés are true.

Not then, you might think, a country especially suited to launching a startup — but you’d be wrong. Long a hub for high-tech and medical sciences, Switzerland now boasts an ecosystem of Internet entrepreneurs that’s blossoming as fast as the proverbial Edelweiss in spring.

“I don’t know any other country on Earth that is so good at seed funding,” enthuses Johannes Reck, co-founder and CEO of GetYourGuide. His story is illuminating — after founding GetYourGuide in 2008, his team was approached by a local bank with a seed funding offer, an out of the blue reversal of roles that typifies what’s happening here.

“In literally every other country in the world I’ve been to, entrepreneurs struggle so hard to get their first seed funding,” he says. “In Switzerland you have a lot of institutions who provide money, literally for free, very early on.”

 

via TNW Europe

 

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Read about start-ups scenes in L.A. and Berlin:

 

And, some beautiful photos of Switzerland:

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The Copreneur Competitive Advantage

Recently, with great honor, 1X57 was named to Washingtonian’s 2011 Tech Titans list as an Entrepreneurial Couple. It got me thinking about the growing “copreneur” phenomenon as more women embrace the role of entrepreneur and more people start their own businesses following what Richard Florida describes as the rise of the “creative class.” Entrepreneurial coupling is certainly not new. There have been very successful businesses started by couples – like Cisco’s Len Bosnak and Sandy Lerner, or Rina and Will Stein of Philip Stein. But there seems to be a stigma about mixing business with pleasure or putting all your proverbial eggs in one basket (Wall Street Journal did a good write-up of the perils of running a business with your significant other).

It’s always puzzling when people discover Steve and I are not only business partners but also “romantic partners” (or vice versa). I encounter a mixture of surprise, skepticism, and an element of “Are you crazy?” followed by a “How’s that working out for you?” People seem genuinely shocked when I respond with how much I love it. But I do. And to be honest, I’m always a little taken aback by the dubious responses I receive from strangers.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It can take its toll on you – physically, emotionally, psychologically (I love The 11 Harsh Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur). Getting a business up and running takes a lot of time and energy. If it fails, if you don’t succeed, you have no one else to blame but yourself. And when you do succeed, you’re the one steering the ship – success only brings bigger waves, stronger winds and less chartered waters.

I would hate to go at it alone. I love that the person I trust and respect and admire the most in the world is the person I get to work with every day – that no matter what challenges we face, we’ve got each others back, for better or for worse. Yes, we have our ugly moments, times when it literally feels like laser death-beams are shooting out of my eyes or Steve is conjuring the power of the robot overlords to have lightning bolts strike me down from the sky whenever we have a disagreement. But we work through it. And to be honest, I’ve always been an advocate of “fishing off the company pier.” As a workaholic, loving what I do, it just makes sense. There are only so many hours in the day. The separation of business life from personal life seems like a very inefficient approach to time management.

I think of other entrepreneurial couples I know in DC, like Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas of Jess3 or Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber of TechCocktail, who like Steve and I, genuinely seem to be having fun growing their business, embarking on their entrepreneurial adventures together. I can’t imagine Jess3 without Leslie’s business acumen and sheer ‘fire in the belly,’ or TechCocktail without Jen’s savoir faire and diplomacy. Then I think of friends who are going at it alone and how they genuinely seem to crave companionship and suffer from not having it. I think of the final line in Clay Christensen’s award-winning HBR article: How Will You Measure Your Life?

Think about the metric by which your life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.”

Love, companionship, family, intimacy – these are the things that make life worth living, at least for me. All the fame and fortune in the world seems utterly worthless if I don’t have someone to share it with.

Steve and I are best friends first, business and sexual partners second. If anything, this anchors and strengthens the latter because at the core is trust, commitment and communication, qualities essential to any business relationship. And we complement each other. There are things that come naturally to Steve that I struggle with and things that I do really well that he doesn’t. Some of the best and most successful companies in recent  history involve “Founder Pairs” – Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. So I see our copreneurship not as a liability but a competitive advantage.

I’m curious what others think or have experienced. What are the keys to successful copreneurship? What makes it fail? What are the biggest risks? Is copreneurship more a competitive advantage or a liability?

Press Release: Call For Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, & Inventors

Are you an entrepreneur, inventor, or working for a start-up?

If so, here is an opportunity for you to get in front of 1,000 influential futurists and an online community of over 35,000.

We are pleased to announce the Futurists: BetaLaunch in partnership with the World Future Society, a 45-year old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing ideas of the future.

This launch platform will take place in July at the World Future Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The audience will be an enthusiastic and sophisticated group of customers, investors, forecasters, political figures, early adopters, engineers, and more!

To participate visit our website: Futurists: BetaLaunch website

Submit your innovation/invention, due by April 15!

We are looking for a wide range of entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, artists, educators, manufacturers, etc.


Official press release from the World Future Society

World Future Society – Futurists: BetaLaunch

Bethesda, Maryland

The nonprofit World Future Society has issued a call for inventions and innovations to showcase at the first annual Futurists: BetaLaunch, this summer in Vancouver. The Futurists: Beta Launch or F:BL will serve as a sort of technology petting zoo where engineers, designers or others can present their inventions to the 1,000 futurists expected to gather for WorldFuture 2011, the Society’s annual conference.

“Recently, the global community of the World Future Society was polled about what futurist ideas they would most like to examine. The results confirmed what we suspected; futurists love ideas, innovation and look to us [The World Future Society] to help them keep on top of coming technological breakthroughs,” says Jennifer Boykin, World Future Society director of development.

WorldFuture 2011

Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than 80 countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.

The Society holds a two-day, international conference once a year where participants discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006) and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2010). Others in attendance typically include business leaders, government officials, scientists, corporate planners, and forecasters from across the globe.

“Because of their passion, conference attendees are key purchasers and influencers for markets serving innovation, inventions, learning, and new technologies of all kinds,” according to Boykin. She hopes that F: BL will allow inventors “to connect in a very personal way with an audience of people who can help you launch your idea.”

Where and When is the Event?

The Futurists: BetaLaunch showcase will be held in conjunction with WorldFuture 2011, the Annual Conference of the World Future Society at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre hotel in Vancouver, Canada on July 8-10, 2011. You can learn more about the conference by visiting www.wfs.org.

F:BL will be physically located in the conference exhibits area. The call for inventions will close on April 15, 2011. The World Future Society will notify all entrants of selection decisions by May 1, 2011.

All inventors selected for the conference will receive a complimentary registration to the conference ($750 value.) Travel costs are the responsibility of each inventor. Learn more about Futurists: BetaLaunch at http://wfsbetalaunch.com/ or contact Jennifer Boykin at jboykin@wfs.org or call 301-656-8274.

Press Release: Call For Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs, & Inventors

Are you an entrepreneur, inventor, or working for a start-up?

If so, here is an opportunity for you to get in front of 1,000 influential futurists and an online community of over 35,000.

We are pleased to announce the Futurists: BetaLaunch in partnership with the World Future Society, a 45-year old non-profit organization dedicated to advancing ideas of the future.

This launch platform will take place in July at the World Future Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The audience will be an enthusiastic and sophisticated group of customers, investors, forecasters, political figures, early adopters, engineers, and more!

To participate visit our website: Futurists: BetaLaunch website

Submit your innovation/invention, due by April 15!

We are looking for a wide range of entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, artists, educators, manufacturers, etc.


Official press release from the World Future Society

World Future Society – Futurists: BetaLaunch

Bethesda, Maryland

The nonprofit World Future Society has issued a call for inventions and innovations to showcase at the first annual Futurists: BetaLaunch, this summer in Vancouver. The Futurists: Beta Launch or F:BL will serve as a sort of technology petting zoo where engineers, designers or others can present their inventions to the 1,000 futurists expected to gather for WorldFuture 2011, the Society’s annual conference.

“Recently, the global community of the World Future Society was polled about what futurist ideas they would most like to examine. The results confirmed what we suspected; futurists love ideas, innovation and look to us [The World Future Society] to help them keep on top of coming technological breakthroughs,” says Jennifer Boykin, World Future Society director of development.

WorldFuture 2011

Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than 80 countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.

The Society holds a two-day, international conference once a year where participants discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006) and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2010). Others in attendance typically include business leaders, government officials, scientists, corporate planners, and forecasters from across the globe.

“Because of their passion, conference attendees are key purchasers and influencers for markets serving innovation, inventions, learning, and new technologies of all kinds,” according to Boykin. She hopes that F: BL will allow inventors “to connect in a very personal way with an audience of people who can help you launch your idea.”

Where and When is the Event?

The Futurists: BetaLaunch showcase will be held in conjunction with WorldFuture 2011, the Annual Conference of the World Future Society at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre hotel in Vancouver, Canada on July 8-10, 2011. You can learn more about the conference by visiting www.wfs.org.

F:BL will be physically located in the conference exhibits area. The call for inventions will close on April 15, 2011. The World Future Society will notify all entrants of selection decisions by May 1, 2011.

All inventors selected for the conference will receive a complimentary registration to the conference ($750 value.) Travel costs are the responsibility of each inventor. Learn more about Futurists: BetaLaunch at http://wfsbetalaunch.com/ or contact Jennifer Boykin at jboykin@wfs.org or call 301-656-8274.