Flipboard expands its local coverage to more than 1,000 cities and towns

News aggregator Flipboard‘s local coverage is making what product lead Brian Gottesman described as a “quantum leap,” expanding from 60 topics (a.k.a. cities, towns and communities that you can follow) to more than 1,000.

While Flipboard has allowed users to follow stories focused on major cities like New York for years, it launched a broader initiative around local news at the beginning of last year. The company says it’s now bringing together news coverage in locations across the United States and Canada, including all 210 Designated Market Areas tracked by Nielsen.

This comes as local newspapers continue to struggle and shut down, creating what are known as news deserts. But Flipboard’s data quality analyst Marty Rose said that its local news sections don’t just rely on traditional newspapers — they can aggregate stories from travel blogs, publications aimed at diverse audiences, TV stations, regional/national publications that do stories of local interest and more.

“Our aggregation could create a local paper where in communities they don’t exist,” Gottesman added.

Flipboard is now tying these local topics to GPS locations, as well. Users will be asked to share their location with the app (Gottesman noted that to protect user privacy, Flipboard is only using “coarse precision” and doesn’t retain user location data), then presented with a list of nearby cities and local topics of interest that they can follow. This will allow them to keep up on everything from local political news to COVID-19 updates, weather forecasts and dining recommendations.

“This is such a key part of informing our users,” Gottesman said. “They need to know if there’s a natural disaster in their area … they need to know if there’s a new place to go and get vaccines. Their community is more important than ever.”

Conversely, Rose said that by building relationships with local news organizations, Flipboard could also “elevate” their coverage to non-local sections when it might be relevant to a broader audience.

Asked how publishers’ subscription strategies and paywalls might affect the stories that appear in these local topics, Rose acknowledged, “Some local publications do have paywalls. It’s entirely up to them, we have no problem with that whatsoever … We provide the headlines and if the user clicks through and they’re presented with some kind of paywall, it’s unfortunate for them, but it’s not really our call.”

At the same time, he said that local TV coverage isn’t paywalled, and that a growing number of local blogs and digital publications are relying on more of a donation or membership model: “I really hope that they stick around and we can push those a bit more.”

Startups – TechCrunch

How to get coverage for your startup without hiring an agency

Hi all,

I’ve not been on reddit long, but I've enough karma to write a post so thought to contribute some knowledge about how to get media coverage.

For background, I'm a journalist and PR professional with years of experience working for startups.

Over the years, many entrepreneurs have told me how fed up they are with being ripped off by larger agencies. Often, they would end up paying huge retainer fees for little to no results. I think this model worked back in the day when it wasn’t possible to access the gatekeepers (unless you were a Very Important Person). Now, it’s perfectly possible to contact anyone you want. The old agency model no longer holds the cards it once did.

Now, of course if you have funds and zero time, an agency could work for you. But if you’re bootstrapping, this won’t be possible. I’ve noticed a lot of founders are very smart but lack the confidence to do their own PR. Personally, I think at the early stages, founders are best-placed to do it – because they know what they want to achieve and understand their companies inside out.

One thing I’ve discovered that many are particularly concerned about is approaching journalists. The good news is pitching is an art, not a science and you can learn! As a former journalist, I know what made me accept some pitches and disregard others. And normally it came down to how I was approached/how the pitches were written.

So here are five steps you can take to pitch your way to success (taken from a longer guide I wrote on my site).

Step one: Choose the right story

Don’t even think about contacting anyone before you’re sure the story flies. The story matters MORE THAN EVER. Because anyone can contact journalists these days, the story needs to stand out. Here’s how to make sure it's ready to go:

– Ask yourself ‘Who cares’. Why would the journalist’s audience care? If you can answer this properly, you’re starting from a good place. Remember, just because YOU care about your business doesn’t mean anyone else does. The story needs to work.

– Work out what type of story it is. Is it a feature? Fresh research? A direct review by the journalist?

– What kind of stories have your target publications covered before? How does your pitch fit into this picture? Does it offer another angle? Is it a unique, standalone product? Get this right and you’re over halfway there.

Step two: Pick the right journalist.

It is important to target the right journalist if you want to get your story published. Here’s how to do this:

– Choose five to ten journalists from your ideal publications.

– Rank them one to five/one to ten in preference order.

– Find out everything about them – use Google News, social media sites to work out their style, tone and how they like to be contacted (top tip: use hunter.io if you can’t find their email).

Step three: The pitching process

The pitching process is a delicate operation of balance and determination. Always be polite – but don’t be scared to use the art of persuasion. I recommend using the focus and scatter approach – let’s start with focus:

– Craft an email to the first journalist on your list and send it around 10am on a mid-weekday (9am is a little early)

– You should attach your press release, relevant videos, quotes, Q&As, backgrounders etc (I will put together some press release templates soon for readers)

– Look at the last time they published a story and see if you can ‘hook’ your email around this – e.g. you offer an alternative point of view in comparison to someone they’ve recently interviewed/an angle they’ve recently covered.

– If they don’t answer your email immediately, follow up the same day after lunch at around 1pm, but on the phone this time. This way, they will have had some time to read your pitch and mull it over.

– If the journalist isn’t in, try later. If you can’t get through to them after a couple of days, re-forward the original email and offer them a deadline. This means you can rule them out or in, move on and not waste time.

– If it’s a YES great! If it’s a no, get them on side so you can pitch future stories to them now they know who you are. Don’t burn any bridges. Add them on Linkedin/Twitter so you’re on their radar.

Step four: Work your way down the list until someone says YES!

Just remember to give them deadlines each time to avoid the tricky situation where two people get back to you but you’ve not given hard deadlines and you have to let one of them down (this happened to me once and the journalist was not happy).

If you’ve gone about the pitching process in the right way this process should work. But if not, the SCATTER approach works as a backup. This involves using a press release service such as Cision, ResponseSource (there are other cheaper options too) – or even better, building your own database (this can take time but is worth it in the long-term).

Step five: Share your coverage

This may sound obvious, but you need to leverage your coverage as much as possible.

-Put the story on your social media channels.

-Send out an internal memo asking staff to share content.

-Send the coverage out in an email/newsletter to clients.

-Add it to your website.

-Repurpose the content and use it for blogs on your site or externally – good for SEO!

Most of all, don’t give up and be nice. Niceness scales. And remember, journalists can be busy and a bit abrupt. Don’t take it personally. The point is, to position yourself as a source of great stories now and in the future.

Happy pitching! And if you’ve any questions message me below.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

[NSLComm in Times of Israel] Israel’s mini-satellite startup offers big coverage at low cost

NSLComm’s jack-in-the-box antennas unfold in space, aiming to serve the half of the planet without internet access

Read more here.

The post [NSLComm in Times of Israel] Israel’s mini-satellite startup offers big coverage at low cost appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Berlin-based Tier Mobility raises €211M to extend its coverage & install charging stations across Europe

Tier Mobility

The smooth mobility of the micro-mobility sector was severely hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. However, Berlin-based Tier Mobility managed to achieve profitability and has raised a whopping  $ 250M (approx €211.2M). 

E-scooter provider raises €211M

Tier Mobility is a startup that provides electric scooter ride-sharing services, has raised $ 250M (approx €211.2M) in its Series C round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 – this is the largest funding round for a European e-scooter company to date.

Existing investors also participated in this round, including Mubadala Capital, Northzone, Goodwater Capital, White Star Capital, Novator, and RTP Global.

According to Financial Times, Tier Mobility is now valued just below $ 1B after the latest round.

Use of the funds

According to the company, it is already profitable and will use the raised capital to accelerate its vision to change mobility for good.

The fresh funds will help Tier Mobility expand its services in Europe and accelerate its ambitious expansion into strategic growth markets and to fast track its Tier Energy Network; an innovation that, according to the company, will see thousands of charging stations installed in cities across Europe to power electric vehicles in the most efficient and sustainable way. 

In addition to the closed series C investment round, the startup is also in the process of securing a significant debt facility to fund vehicle expansion.

About Tier Mobility

Founded in 2018 by Lawrence Leuschner, Matthias Laug, and Julian Blessin, Tier Mobility is a provider of sustainable micro-mobility sharing-solutions. The startup aims to significantly reduce car traffic in cities by providing people with a wide range of electric vehicles.

Image credit: Tier Mobility

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company has adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework and has set a clear agenda for reducing and offsetting emissions. Tier Mobility claims to have been a climate-neutral company since January 2020.

Currently, Tier Mobility has deployed 60.000 e-scooters across 80 cities with about 500 staff members and is looking to expand its operations to 32 European cities in the next 9 months. Through its platform, the startup allows for the integration of all micro-mobility assets. This enables it to enter strategic partnerships with public transportation providers, and other mobility providers such as Sixt – a German multinational car rental company.

Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of Tier, says, “After achieving profitability with our e-scooters, we have in place the foundations to lead the way towards seamless and sustainable mobility. Our vision is a completely new way of how we will move in cities in the future: all-electric, shared and affordable, and with different vehicles powered by one energy network. Together with, city and national government, we will build the best solutions to ensure safe, highly efficient, and sustainable movement from A to B.”

Safety measures taken by the startup

According to Tier Mobility, it is taking extensive precautionary measures by following WHO guidelines as well as local policies. According to the company’s website, “All measures are under constant review by its internal COVID-19 Taskforce, who monitor the latest information and local regulations to update protocols as needed.”

Image credit: Tier Mobility

To increase safety the company has developed and implemented the following key measures for its e-scooter and e-moped service:

  • Every vehicle that undergoes a battery swap and health check is simultaneously disinfected on all areas where a rider’s hands come into contact with the vehicle
  • Vehicles undergoing maintenance and repairs at warehouses are cleaned and disinfected before being approved as safe to re-enter the active fleet and thereafter redeployed

In cities that have e-scooters with helmet boxes or e-mopeds:

  • The helmet box or compartment is disinfected, so is the helmet
  • Helmet boxes and compartments are equipped with hair nets that are refilled whenever the battery is swapped
  • Hand sanitiser sachets are available in the helmet box 
  • The company also communicates the health and safety guidelines and relevant updates to riders via its in-app notification messaging and social media

Availability of e-scooters

“As we continuously monitor the situation, we see a need for safe forms of transportation in cities during these times of social distancing. There are still people who have to commute, in particular people in the healthcare sector or people working in stores that provide necessary goods.” 

Image credit: Tier Mobility

Currently, the startup is active in all of its cities, and have also launched operations in an additional 25 cities during the COVID-19 lockdowns, extending safe mobility to local communities.

Image credit: Tier Mobility

Startups – Silicon Canals

#EndSARS Protests: FG insists Channels, Arise, AIT acted irresponsibly in coverage – Nairametrics

#EndSARS Protests: FG insists Channels, Arise, AIT acted irresponsibly in coverage  Nairametrics
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Health Insurance Coverage Declines (Episode 126)

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in February of this year, an estimated 12 million people have likely lost the health insurance coverage that they would otherwise receive if they were currently employed, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Researchers arrived at that figure by analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics data and found that 6.2 million workers who previously received their health insurance coverage by way of their employment have now been laid off, and as a result, find themselves without coverage.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear more from Jeff:


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in February of this year, an estimated 12 million people have likely lost the health insurance coverage that they would otherwise receive if they were currently employed, that from a new paper from the Economic Policy Institute.

Researchers arrived at that figure by analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics data and found that 6.2 million workers who previously received their health insurance coverage by way of their employment have now been laid off, and as a result, find themselves without coverage. And given that an average of two people are covered under one employer-sponsored health plan, think spouses or children, those 6.2 million people now uninsured translates to more than 12 million people without insurance coverage.

Now, some who have lost their employer-sponsored coverage have opted for coverage, alternatively, under a spouses or parent’s health plan, or even to pay for COBRA coverage themselves. Nonetheless, this is another sign of how the global pandemic is creating crisis on many fronts with the accelerating loss of healthcare coverage now another sign of the tough times likely ahead for many.

So, what do we do? At StartupNation, we believe that everyone should have a business of their own, whether they’re part-time or full-time, big or small, having one’s own business is another way to support oneself and family by bringing in either a supplemental or even primary income, rather than depending entirely on what used to be referred to as “job security.”

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Health Insurance Coverage Declines (Episode 126) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

[Insightec in Mass Device] Insightec wins Medicare coverage for incisionless neurosurgery platform

Insightec announced today that it has secured complete Medicare coverage across the U.S. for its MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment of medication-refractory essential tremor.

Read more here.

The post [Insightec in Mass Device] Insightec wins Medicare coverage for incisionless neurosurgery platform appeared first on OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

Hong Kong insurtech startup OneDegree launches its first product, medical coverage for pets

OneDegree, the Hong Kong-based insurance technology startup, launched its first product today, a line of medical plans for pets called Pawfect Care. The company will introduce other products, including cyber insurance and medical coverage for humans, all available completely online, over the next 12 months.

Founded in 2016, OneDegree raised $ 30 million in Series A funding last year, and its investors include BitRock Capital, Cyperport Macro Fund and Cathay Ventures.

Co-founder and CEO Alvin Kwock told TechCrunch that it took OneDegree two years to launch Pawfect Care because of the stringent regulatory approval process required to get an insurance license in Hong Kong.

The first two virtual insurance licenses issued by Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority went to companies owned by existing insurance providers (Sun Life’s Bow Tie and Asia Insurance’s Avo), in an effort to encourage more legacy players to go digital. OneDegree was the first independent insurance company to start online to be granted a license.

OneDegree will gradually launch cyber and human medical insurance plans over the next year. Kwock said the COVID-19 pandemic has created a “paradigm shift,” because face-to-face activities have declined dramatically, and the Insurance Authority is now issuing new virtual insurance licenses and allowing more products to be sold online.

The company decided to start with pet insurance because the company estimates that even though there are about half a million pet dogs and cats in Hong Kong, only about 3% of them have medical insurance despite the high cost of veterinary care. OneDegree lets customers buy and manage policies and file claims through a mobile app. It says that about 90% of approved claims will be paid within two working days.

In response to the pandemic, Pawfect Care’s pet insurance includes coverage of medical costs related to COVID-19. OneDegree emphasizes that there have only been a few known cases of pets testing positive for the virus so far and no evidence of them acting as carriers so far, but added the coverage for customers’ peace of mind.

Startups – TechCrunch