Jeff Bezos Invests In African Payments Startup Chipper Cash – Technology Times Pakistan
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News
Clalit Health Services announces a $ 3,419,910 grant received from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to clinically evaluate the efficacy of real-time AI decision support technology. Clalit Health Services will conduct the research at its Schneider Children’s Medical Center’s Jesse Z and Sara Lea Shafer Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, a national referral center for childhood diabetes in Israel. The research will evaluate people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes undergoing multiple daily injections. The program will include a series of clinical studies aimed at validating a new technology provided by DreaMed Diabetes with the goal to empower people with diabetes to achieve better self-management of their condition and provide personalized real-time insulin dosing recommendations. The protocol aims to improve glycemic control and enhance diabetes treatment satisfaction for people affected with the condition.
Read more here.
The post [DreaMed in Odessa American] The Helmsley Charitable Trust Awards Clalit Health Services $ 3.4M to Evaluate Closed-loop AI Technology at Schneider Children’s Medical Center for People Requiring Insulin Injection Therapy appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.
The coronavirus pandemic has sent a shockwave across the world, taking an unprecedented toll on our lives including mental health since the majority of us are confined to work and exercise from home.
According to a report by WHO Euro (World Health Organisation Europe), in many western countries, mental health disorders are the major cause of disability, accounting for 30% to 40% of chronic sick leaves, and costing nearly 3% of GDP.
Also, the Health at a Glance: Europe report states that mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and drug use disorders affect over one in six people across the European Union. Embracing the opportunity, many startups have started using various technological advancements to improve mental healthcare.
In this regard, Berlin-based ATAI Life Sciences is a biotech platform founded in response to the clear and growing unmet needs of mental health patients worldwide. In the latest development, the German company announced a $ 125M (approx €105M) funding in the Series C financing round, including $ 32M (approx €27M) of its 2020 convertible debt that converted in connection with the Series C.
Who led the funding round?
The round was co-led by Apeiron Investment Group, the family office of ATAI’s founder Christian Angermayer, Peter Thiel, and Catalio Capital Management. Other existing investors – Future Ventures and Galaxy Investment Partners, as well as new investors – Falcon Edge Capital and Pura Vida Pro, LLC – also participated in the round.
How will the funding be used?
The German startup will use the proceeds to fund pre-clinical and clinical development of ATAI’s existing mental health programs, to expand its drug candidate pipeline, and further advance ATAI’s platform technologies.
According to the company, this funding will provide the necessary runway to accomplish several key clinical milestones including Phase 2 data readouts for arketamine in treatment-resistant depression at Perception Neuroscience and ibogaine in opioid use disorder at DemeRx. Also, the financing will be used in the completion of Phase 1 and the initiation of Phase 2 trials at four other programs.
Treating mental health
Founded by Christian Angermayer, Florian Brand, and Lars Christian Wilde in 2018, ATAI is dedicated to acquiring, incubating, and efficiently developing therapeutics to treat depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health disorders. The company’s business model focus on psychedelic therapy and other drugs with differentiated safety profiles and therapeutic potential.
Florian Brand, CEO & co-founder of ATAI Life Sciences, says, “We believe that our psychedelic and non-psychedelic compounds have compelling therapeutic promise based upon a growing body of scientific evidence.”
Headquartered in Berlin, with offices in New York and San Diego. To date, the company has raised $ 232.1M (approx €195M) in funding with backing from various investors.
Main image credits: ATAI Life Sciences
Hacker houses are making a comeback for entrepreneurs as remote work drags on. While founders are adapting to quarantine in style, a group of college women in their 20s aren’t waiting until they are done with undergraduate to plunge into the lifestyle themselves.
Started by college juniors Coco Sack and Kendall Titus, Womxn Ignite is a house for female and non-binary college undergraduates studying computer science. The idea was born out of Sack and Titus’s exhaustion with remote school at Yale and Stanford respectively. After too many boring Zoom lectures, they took gap semesters and searched for a productive way to spend their time off.
“There are a lot of [programs] that target younger women to get them into coding in high school, and there’s a lot of syndicates and founder groups for women late into their careers,” Titus said. “But there was nothing for anyone in the age range of 20 to 25 where you’re trying to find your way, raise your voice, and hold your ground.”
So, they started their own program. The duo rented out a wedding resort space in California and searched for other women who would experiment the lifestyle and take a gap year. As over 40% of students consider a gap year, the demand became apparent very fast: over 500 people applied for a spot in the house, and just 20 were chosen.
Womxn Ignite is organized as a live-in incubator. Participants are sorted into teams based on their interest areas, and are then pushed to solve a certain problem.
To do so, teams go through a variety of mentor sessions. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, Womxn Ignite sets up mentorship sessions from a revolving-base of female entrepreneurs. There are also guest speaker talks sprinkled throughout the week for high-profile entrepreneurs, including Melinda Gates and bumble’s Whitney Wolfe Herde.
At the end of each week, a team gives a presentation on their progress around problem statements, solution, customer validation, and product development.
Titus says that the goal is not for everyone to come out with a company, but instead to leave with more people in your network and ideas on how to approach starting your business. One participant is writing a TV show about being a Black woman in tech; another is creating a company meant to make programs like Womxn Ignite easier to launch at scale.
In between those sessions is largely spent on team-based collaboration and networking. There are themed-dinners and “platonic date nights” where participants are paired up and encouraged to explore the area or do an activity together to get to know one another. On weekends, women are invited to talk about their niche obsessions, whether it’s the ethical concerns of facial recognition or materials at the nanoscale.
Titus and Sack say that they charge no more than $ 5,000 for entrance into the program, but over half of participants are on scholarships given by unnamed investors.
Diversity of a cohort matters when trying to create a community that will systemically empower women of all backgrounds. Racial diversity of Womxn Ignite ranges from majority white, but is closely met by Black and LatinX, followed by Middle Easter and Asian Indian. The participants came from all top-tier schools, including Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth and MIT.
The community of women, many of whom plan to return to school, aren’t focused on classic accelerator tropes like Demo Days or first checks simply because of the stage of life they are in. Instead, the program ends with an optional-ask: will each participant dedicate 1% of their annual income for the next 5 years into a syndicate fund? So far, most have signed yes, the co-founders said, even though the majority will return to school in some capacity.
The fund will be used to invest in other female founders, and grow as Womxn Ignite members grow in their careers, too.
“That number will hopefully grow,” Titus said. “We’ll have pooled what we can collectively think about how we want to spend and invest to help elevate other female founders like ourselves.”
Clara Schwab, a participant in Womxn Ignite, said that the contract will help women get more involved in venture capital, a male-dominated field, earlier in their careers.
“And I don’t know any other environment or situation in which myself and 19 other really talented and smart and ambitious women who are all interested in tech, we come together and like, discuss such a thing,” she said.
The co-founders plan to host another cohort in February, and then focus on building out a digital community for the participants.
I am the cofounder of a tourism & activity startup that is going live this January, & we are currently piecing together our initial marketing plan.
A bit about us: We bring a platform that allows any kind of local tourism & activity business whether it be a local food scene tour or an exotic animal encounter or a nice kayaking adventure to host on our site, & we handle everything from marketing to booking management to transaction fees & more. What’s more is we are doing this at absolutely no cost to the business! I won’t go into detail about our business plan, for it’s not needed here. We’ve been in contact with several investors who, in their words, are “ready to invest,” but they want to see it in the market first. Our competitors, such as TripAdvisor, have failed at creating a platform dedicated to the local experience, & instead have become to broad. TripAdvisor for example has over 10 million listings on their site, & over 8.5 million of them are freaking restaurants. That’s ridiculous. Our competition also takes anywhere from 20-40% in commission fees where as we take nothing. We’ve already tested our market with consumers, business owners, & even investors, & they have all given fantastic feedback. Our existence, in our opinion, has been validated.
Now, we are getting ready for launch coming into the new year. We have about 100 experiences lined up for our launch, & we are planning on using various outlets such as Facebook & Instagram for demographic targeting along with SEO methods & optimizing Google Adword campaigns. We have an initial budget of about $ 2,000 a month for our marketing expenses, & I wanted to hear from you all on what you think would be best to optimize our outreach!
Artificial Intelligence or AI is one of the most promising tech sectors which is being used in multiple areas. Women in AI is a global non-profit organisation, which launched its Dutch chapter back in October 2018. Since February 2020, it has executed its flagship program WaiACCELERATE, which encourages more women to step into the field of AI. The program recently concluded with the ‘Ultimate Game Changer’ winner and two runner ups announced.
Virtual WaiACCELERATE and the winning team
Like most events this year, the WaiACCELERATE program went completely digital. It was held in the VR or Virtual Reality environment of VirBELA, a virtual world platform. The event aims to bridge the gender gap in the AI industry and targets female entrepreneurs in the fields of AI, Machine Learning and Data Science. WaiACCELERATE was organised in partnership with StartupAmsterdam, Smart Health Amsterdam, Amazon Web Services, IBM, VirBELA, Oracle for Startups, and Inspired Minds.
The final pitch event of WaiACCELERATE, “ACCELER-AI-TE,” took place on November 25. As part of the final pitch event, over 20 impact and AI-powered early-stage startups acknowledged their female founders’ courage to build the startup of their dreams, enable it with AI, and their commitment towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 by creating a positive impact with their businesses.
The Netherlands-based Food For Gut, led by Jeanet Lin, won the ‘The Ultimate Game Changer’ award. The startup offers an AI-powered digital health app with a data-driven solution.
“Food For Gut help people who suffer from this chronic disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome – which is yet another health condition that has not been talked about or taken seriously but decreases the quality of life significantly of almost 1 billion people in the world and is still somehow stigmatised. Being recognised as the ultimate game-changer and receiving this award is a proof that the time has come to address this issue, reduce the suffering it causes and reduce the social and financial burden it carries with it,” says Lin in an exclusive conversation with Silicon Canals.
“The prizes from this award will provide the right resources and expertise to support building Food For Gut. I’m confident that having this award will also attract the right talents to join us on this important mission,” she adds.
This app learns from a users’ behaviour to offer real-time tailored recommendations to IBS sufferers. The app’s advice is tailored to different factors to manage both the gut and the brain. The startup also helps people better understand what IBS is, customised educational tips, how to cope with it, and more. AI is utilised for analytics and to provide personalised recommendations in real-time.
Alongside the AI-powered solution, sustainability was an important factor for startups that participated and were selected in WaiACCELERATE. “Sustainability is crucial to Food For Gut, not only for the solution that aims to help the patients but also benefit society as a whole due to the high costs related to IBS financially and socially. As an IBS patient myself, I’ve personally gone through the whole journey and realise that we really lack the (financial and medical) support and tools to help us deal with IBS in our daily lives. Food For Gut aims to provide an effective and affordable solution that is easily accessible for the IBS patients,” explains Lin.
The nine-month-long WaiACCELERATE program has helped all participants receive hands-on online training on various aspects of entrepreneurship. Notable and accomplished industry, tech and business professionals offered their expertise throughout WaiACCELERATE, which was spread into over 20 workshops that covered a variety of topics.
Meet the other two winners
Alongside Lin’s Food For Gut, two other women-led companies displayed great potential over the course of the WaiACCELERATE program. The first runner up was Ekaterina Stambolieva led Nina Space from Portugal. The startup is an alumnus of the European Space Agency Incubator in Portugal. It employs AI-powered solutions to help local governments implement wildfire mitigation measures since the private forestry industry has not yet evolved to offer wildfire risk reduction services.
“You know the old saying – ‘I will believe it when I see it’ – well, yesterday ACCELER-AI-TE! helped us see 20 high-tech female-led businesses. I like to believe that this might change perceptions and biases (if any) and lead to equality in the business, in STEM, in tech and in investment,” says Stambolieva.
Each year, 1/45th of the total land area on earth is gulped up by forest fires. This affects the overall carbon being pumped into the atmosphere and the planet’s ability to sequester carbon. Nina Space helps government agencies monitor and mitigate such forest fires via its platform that leverages satellite images to automatically monitor the implementation of defensible spaces, detect changes in vegetation, and identify strategy zones, which, when treated, protect many more hectares against wildfire.
Nina Space is also big on sustainability. “We believe that businesses should make a commitment to future generations and fight a global issue. Ours is wildfires. We do this from space. We started the business so we can solve a massive environmental problem. We aimed at working on SDG 13 – Climate Change from the very beginning. We know we need to become and be sustainable so we can work on solving this problem year after year after year – as it takes time and dedication,” says Stambolieva.
The 2nd runner up is Netherlands-based Which Plant!? Led by the co-founder, Kim Taylor, the startup is focused on bringing more greenery into city spaces. The startup is a family business, and Kim has previously worked on the introduction and commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell cars, sustainable advertising, electric cars, renewable energy storage & backup power, and solar panels.
With the AI-powered Which Plant!?, one can easily find the correct plants based on their wishes in combination with their current environment’s soil, location, climate, and orientation of their balcony or garden. Additionally, users can also receive assistance with what they want to do with their plants. This includes maintaining balcony privacy, attracting bees, permaculture, food forest, vegetable patch, flowers or plants, and more.
“I think it is wonderful to show that 20 women have established 20 AI companies in 2020! I could not be more proud of all these women and myself. What an achievement and impact on the gender gap in the industry!” Taylor exclaims.
Image credits: Women in AI