VC Lab introduces free fund formation documents to make startup investing cheaper and easier

There may be plenty of funding for some startups these days. But plenty of companies will tell you otherwise. VC Lab, an accelerator for venture capital firms, wants to create investors who will back the rest of the world.

A basic hurdle to this goal is the standard paperwork you need to set up a new fund. It currently requires specialized lawyers whose time can cost over one hundred thousand dollars per fund formation.

Today, VC Lab is providing a set of freely available boilerplate documents intended to streamline the process, save everyone time and money and make fund governance structures more accessible.

“We have general partners launching funds from all around the world,” cofounder Adeo Ressi explains. “The last cohort enrolled venture investors from 62 different countries, including Central Asia, Africa, and every other place you can imagine.”

Legal costs are the last thing they need.

“The new managers who are getting into venture are coming in with a passion for change — the funds often have a very focused thesis, and they tend to be smaller in size. They really want to help the companies they work with to succeed at any cost. They don’t need 200 to 400 pages of legal agreements governing every small decision that they make. They need lean and light, easy-to-use agreements.”

The package, which VC Lab is calling Cornerstone, is a short 33 pages that include a term sheet, a subscription agreement and an LPA (and this user guide). Similar fund formation documents regularly run into the hundreds of pages.

“There’s been widespread recognition that fund formation docs are ridiculously complex and in need of an overhaul,” says Hans Kim, a longtime startup lawyer in Silicon Valley who co-authored the new package. “I’ve had numerous founder clients who made money and want to put their capital to good use through investing. But if they get more serious than personal angel investing, you refer them to a fund formation lawyer. Then they see the price and have to think twice.

Improvements include a streamlined list of definitions, simplified sections on management fees and triggers for limited operator mode (sample here), according to co-author Rich Gora of Gora LLC. The current document includes details for domiciling the firm in the United States with plans for other popular locations like Canada, The Netherlands and Singapore coming soon.

As a fund formation lawyer who works with a wide variety of investors, he says the goal is to help businesspeople work out business issues in plain terms. Once the parties have talked through what they want to agree to, they can take the product to an expert like himself to finalize.

“Over the last ten months,” he says about the writing process, “we looked at every single industry LP agreement we could find. We took concepts that would be 20 lines and distilled them into three. The concepts are there but the lawyer verbiage is gone.”

Ressi estimates that the new documents can cut legal costs in half or more, depending on factors like how many LPs you bring in. There’s also a shortage of lawyers with fund formation expertise, he notes. Providing standard documents will speed this process up and help the global venture capital ecosystem develop faster.

VC Lab was formed within the Founder Institute, a global startup accelerator that has already made similar contributions to the startup ecosystem. Nearly nine years ago it helped develop the concept of convertible equity, a precursor to the SAFE note, which removes the debt elements from convertible notes.

“We believe that all the bottlenecks need to be done away with,” Ressi says about startup investing. “Then, there will be an explosion of new VCs and new LPs all around the world who are entering the asset class. That will create a real positive change for humanity because, no matter where you are in the world, you can pursue an idea to make the world a better place and find the resources you need to make it a reality. Unfortunately, this is not true today.”

China's Hackers Crack Devices at Tianfu Cup for $1.5M in Prizes

Competitions such as Pwn2Own gives talented hackers the opportunity to crack products from some of the world’s largest technology companies. This weekend is China’s equivalent hacking competition, the Tianfu Cup in Chengdu, China.

The Tianfu Cup is modeled after Pwn2Own in that hackers try to break into the latest devices and systems using original, never-before-seen methods. The competition hosts three concurrent tournaments, to demonstrate vulnerabilities, crack devices, and to compromise operating systems. The device-cracking part of the tournament, where teams have three five-minute attempts to crack a device using an original vulnerability, offers the largest monetary awards.

Targets this year includes Google’s Chrome browser running on Windows 10 21H1, Apple’s Safari browser running on a Macbook Pro, Docker-CE installed on a server running Ubuntu Server 20.04, Linux operating system Ubuntu 20 and CentOS 8 installed on a Lenovo L14 system, Microsoft Exchange Server 2019, Windows 10, VMware Workstation and ESXi, Parallels Desktop, iPhone 13 Pro, Synology DS220j network-attached-storage device, and a ASUS Router AX56U, and others. A “domestic new energy vehicle” is also listed, for a $50,000 prize.

The total prize money for this year’s competition amounts to $1.5 million.

Hacking the iPhone 13 Pro yields the highest prizes, with a $120,000 prize fore a remote code execution exploit, $180,000 for a remote code execution exploit coupled with a sandbox escape, and a $300,000 prize for a remote jailbreak.

The Tianfu Cup is taking place Oct. 16 to Oct. 17 in Chengdu, China.

Read more here.

Hands on with the Nike Apple Watch Series 7 with the new Bounce face


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The Nike Apple Watch Series 7 is very similar to the standard version, but it comes bundled with a Nike-branded band as well as an exclusive new watch face. Here’s how they look in the real world.

Exclusive Nike watch faces

As we touched on in our Apple Watch Series 7 hands-on video, there are three new exclusive watch faces. We have the Modular Duo and Contour faces that come to all versions of the Apple Watch Series 7, and the Nike has a new face called Bounce.

The new Nike Bounce face

The new Nike Bounce face

The new Bounce face has a large design to make full use of the more expansive displays. It reacts to your touch and wrist movements, bouncing around the screen.

Streamlined Nike Run Club setup

Streamlined Nike Run Club setup

This face only has one complication available, located directly below the time. It’s locked in as a shortcut to the Nike app. Just tap the Nike swoosh and it opens the Nike Run Club app.

The other Nike watch faces

The other Nike watch faces

This joins the other Nike watch faces, Nike Analog, Nike Compact, Nike Digital, and Nike Hybrid.

Nike bands

When ordering the Nike version of the Apple Watch Series 7, users can only choose one of the Nike-branded bands. To be clear, all bands will fit the Nike version of the Apple Watch, but only Nike bands can be bundled at the time of purchase.

Crimson Nike Sport Band

Crimson Nike Sport Band

With the new 2021 Apple Watch, users can choose from the popular Nike Sports Band or the new Nike Sport Loop. There are new colors of the Sport Band — Olive Gray/Cargo, Magic Ember/Crimson, and Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy — and the Nike Sport Loop is available for the first time in Cargo Khaki, Summit White, and black. The previous version of the Nike Sport Loop didn’t have the Nike Swoosh logo emblazoned on the outside.

We chose to bundle our Nike Apple Watch Series 7 with the Magic Ember and Crimson fluoroelastomer Sport Band, which looks great with the new Starlight color.

Back of the Nike Apple Watch with the Swoosh logo

Back of the Nike Apple Watch with the Swoosh logo

The only other differentiation between the Nike Apple Watch Series 7 and the standard version is a small Nike logo etched into the back.

Where to buy

The Apple Watch Series 7 is available for purchase from popular Apple resellers, with AT&T knocking $200 off at press time when you buy two Apple Watches.

Daily Crunch: Missouri governor threatens to prosecute local journalist for finding exposed state data

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for October 15, 2021! Happy Friday to you and yours; I am proud of us all for making it through a week that was more than hectic. Up top, discounts end on our space event in very short order. And with no further ado, let’s get into the news! – Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Missouri governor conflates journalism, hacking: The United States is a large nation with many smart and many less-smart people. A story from the latter category ended up in our wheelhouse when a state governor decided that a journalist pointing out security flaws in an official website was malicious hacking. Perhaps stories like this are why so many Gen Z folks are doomers?
  • Instacart shoppers are going on strike: Try to recall a time when some section of the Instacart workforce was happy and not either about to strike or on strike. It’s hard, yeah? This Saturday, “some Instacart shoppers will go on strike, protesting the company’s low pay and lack of communication with its laborers,” TechCrunch reports. Let’s see if this particular piece of the larger Striketober saga ends up with worker-friendly results.
  • Apple yanks Quran app after Chinese regulators ask: The day after Microsoft announced that it was going to pull LinkedIn’s main service from China after failing to reconcile that country’s government and its own views, Apple appears to have complied with a Chinese state request to remove “Quran Majeed, a popular app for reading the Islamic religious text and other prayer-related information” from the Chinese app store. This isn’t a small act, given the Chinese state’s abuse of Muslims inside its borders.

Startups/VC

Let’s take our time today in the world of startups, it being Friday and all.

First up, we have a great piece from Rebecca Bellan digging into a host of startups that are helping emerging middle classes around the world get places. This list includes, and I quote, “Swvl, Treepz, Jatri, SafeBoda, Urbvan, Chalo and Buser,” among others. If you are into the transportation tech beat, it’s a great read.

Next up, Andy Stinnes, a general partner at Cloud Apps Capital Partners, wrote an essay for the blog today discussing that while the present-day venture capital bull market (more here) is a general good for founders, “closer inspection reveals that these trends are a lot more nuanced and apply very unequally across the funding continuum from seed to the late stage.” If you are looking to raise capital, it’s worth your time.

Moving along, our own Taylor Hatmaker did yeoman’s work digging into Core, a metaverse environment where she wandered around, finding the landscape to be both great-looking and “seamless.” If you want a peek into what could be the future of gaming and social interaction, this is for you.

And, before we get to the rest of our startup rundown, I wrote an imaginary interview with a made-up CEO concerning a fictional IPO. For more context, head here.

  • SoundCloud lands Pandora partnership, new radio station: As Spotify grew to become a music behemoth, SoundCloud stuck closer to the underground. And it survived, which some didn’t expect. Today, the upstart music service announced a deal with Pandora that could help bring it a bit more audience.
  • Clubhouse adds “music mode”: Sticking to a musical theme for another measure or two, Clubhouse has built out a way for musicians to better stream their music live on the service. So, I suppose Clubhouse can now also be coffeehouse?
  • And, finally, Spot AI leaves stealth with its security cam search tool: Flush with $22 million and freshly denuded of its “stealth” tag, Spot AI is out in the public view today, which is fitting as its core product deals with security cameras and how they are ingested. The company “reads” footage from the devices, allowing the video itself to be searchable. Which is cool, if vaguely creepy.

Bringing it in-house: What to look for when hiring a general counsel

Experienced lawyers may be drawn away from big firms to join a startup as general counsel for a variety of reasons, LinkSquares’ chief legal officer Tim Parilla writes in a guest column.

“For some, it’s an attempt to find a better work-life balance (whoops!), while others are eager to build and manage their own team or see it as an opportunity to work for a mission-driven company,” he writes.

For founders, it’s an opportunity to snag a seasoned professional who can build in-depth knowledge of your business — rather than relying on a generic (and costly) outside law firm.

Parilla offers detailed tips on what startup leaders should look for in an in-house counsel (as well as a few things that would indicate a lawyer is not fit for your business).

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

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We’re reaching out to startup founders to tell us who they turn to when they want the most up-to-date growth marketing practices. Fill out the survey here.

Read one of the testimonials we’ve received below!

Marketer: Ki from WITHIN

Recommended by: Anonymous

Testimonial: “Ki has been supporting our business for over three years, and every time he finds unique ways to exceed expectations. From launching new products that sell out in days rather than weeks, being able to onboard new members of our team so they can contribute faster, and being someone that can work at a strategic level with our VPs and at the data-driven level with analysts, his range is truly outstanding and I believe he is in the 1% of the 1% of marketers.”

Community

Join Walter Thompson on Tuesday, October 19, at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET for a Twitter Spaces chat as he walks through what TechCrunch looks for in guest contributions.

Cisco Duo Trusted Access Report: More Than 50% of Companies Plan Passwordless Move

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 14, 2021 – NASDAQ: CSCO A new report published today from Cisco’s Duo Security, the leading multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure access solution, confirms that enterprises are taking steps to move away from passwords and adopting low-friction authentication methods to protect the hybrid workforce. While the total number of Duo MFA authentications increased 39% in the past year, biometric authentications grew even faster at 48%.

The 2021 Duo Trusted Access Report analyzed data from more than 36 million devices, over 400,000 unique applications and roughly 800 million monthly authentications from across Duo’s global customer base. It revealed how organizations across all industries are enabling work from anywhere, on any device, by implementing controls to ensure secure access to applications.

Biometrics were enabled on more than 71% of Duo customer mobile phones, illustrating a rise in adoption driven by users’ growing acceptance of non-traditional authentication methods and the accessibility of passwordless hardware that they already carry in their pockets. Further eliminating the need for users to retain a large cache of authentication passwords, Duo also saw a fivefold increase in Web Authentication (WebAuthn) usage since April 2019 when the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) first published the open standard. WebAuthn enables biometrics to be securely stored and validated locally on the device, as opposed to a centralized database.

Duo has been a champion of passwordless technology, driving WebAuthn’s ratification as a member of the W3C working group and launching its infrastructure agnostic passwordless authentication product in March 2021.

Moving away from passwords will significantly improve the login experience for the vast majority of users – in turn leading to stronger security. More than half of organizations are planning to implement a passwordless strategy, according to the new survey of global IT decision makers conducted as part of the Trusted Access Report. Forty-six percent of respondents said security issues related to compromised credentials are the most frustrating or concerning aspect of dealing with passwords in their environment.

“We’ve now reached the point where the user experience is a security control in and of itself,” said Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO at Cisco. “Enterprises are moving toward new, more effective ways of handling access control and seeing in action how democratizing security can go a long way in enabling hybrid workers to focus on their core competencies without sacrificing security.”

The importance of user-centric security that incorporates employee work patterns to keep resources accessible and out of reach for malicious actors is reinforced by the recent Cisco Hybrid Work Index. The report showed that while there was a surge in VPN and secure remote access at the onset of the pandemic, fraudulent access attempts grew 2.4 times during the same time period and remains elevated 18 months later. Due to these threats, organizations are setting stricter policies to verify the trust of users and devices before granting access to applications. The number of authentication failures due to out-of-date devices increased 33% between 2020 and 2021.

These are just a few of many findings in the 2021 Duo Trusted Access Report. To download the report, please visit http://duo.sc/tar-2021.

Additional resources:

Blog: The 2021 Duo Trusted Access Report: The Road to a Passwordless Future

Blog: Want Passwordless to Succeed? Make It Easy

Learn more: Passwordless Authentication by Duo

Report: Cisco Hybrid Work Index

Reference: Cisco Cybersecurity Report Series

How our startup boosted productivity with ‘get s*** done’ day

During the pandemic, we realized that we were swamped with work and overloaded with information. So we came up with an idea to fix that.

At Travelpayouts, we plan a strategy for a year, then each team plans iterations for every quarter, and within a quarter, we plan for two weeks ahead. By doing it this way, every day propels the company towards its goals.

However, unexpected challenges and tasks show up in all areas on a daily basis. For example, managers are sometimes overloaded with meetings that affect their productivity. So it is not surprising that some tasks just fall short of deadlines and accumulate over time.

To improve our productivity, we introduced a Getting Shit Done Day (GSDD): Our employees define clear-cut goals and receive specific, usually non-trivial, tasks with little to no communication involved (we encourage our employees to avoid social media on this day, but we are not looking over their shoulder). The goal of GSDD is to increase the amount of time we spend in deep work by minimizing distractions for one day every other week.

After two months of testing the GSDD in our marketing and business development departments, we’ve seen some results. First, long-term projects, which took weeks before, began to wrap up earlier. Second, we were able to explore a few topics that we never got around to: For example, monetizing our own traffic through affiliate programs, effective outreach methods, and email marketing best practices.

Thanks to the GSDD, we have also delved into tasks that were otherwise sidelined:

Netflix fired the employee who organized a walkout in solidarity with trans workers

Netflix fired an employee who led the company’s trans employee resource group and planned a walkout on October 20, a former Netflix employee with knowledge of the situation told TechCrunch. The termination was first reported by The Verge.

Netflix workers planned the walkout to protest statements that its co-CEO Ted Sarandos made about Dave Chappelle’s recently released special, “The Closer.” The company claims that it fired the employee in question because the company suspects that they leaked internal information.

“We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company,” a Netflix representative told TechCrunch. “We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

The leaked information in question appears to be some internal metrics on “The Closer” that appeared in a story by Bloomberg, which reported that Netflix spent $24.1 million for the one-off special. Meanwhile, the company spent $3.9 million on Bo Burnham’s recent comedy special “Inside” and $21.4 million on the buzzy, nine-episode “Squid Game,” Netflix’s best ever debut.

Earlier this month, as Netflix prepared to release “The Closer,” employees raised concerns about potentially harmful anti-trans jokes in the show — Chapelle goes as far as declaring that he’s “Team TERF,” referring to trans-exclusionary radical feminists, who conflate gender with biological sex and oppose the movement for transgender rights. When Netflix released the special on October 5 anyway, employees and Netflix subscribers alike lashed out against the streaming service.

The day after the special’s release, a trans software engineer at Netflix Terra Field tweeted a viral thread about the impact of anti-trans rhetoric. “Promoting TERF ideology (which is what we did by giving it a platform yesterday) directly harms trans people, it is not some neutral act. This is not an argument with two sides. It is an argument with trans people who want to be alive and people who don’t want us to be,” Field wrote. 

Soon after, Netflix suspended Field and two other employees for attempting to attend a director-level meeting that they weren’t invited to. But Field was reinstated the next day after finding that she didn’t try to attend the meeting with ill intent — in fact, a Director had shared the link, leading her to think she could attend. But some Netflix employees were fed up, especially after co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in an email to them that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” He continued, “we have ‘Sex Education,’ ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Control Z,’ Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.”

A lesbian comedian celebrated for her Emmy-winning Netflix special “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby spoke out against Sarandos’ attempt to paint her as a figurehead for queer inclusivity at Netflix.

“You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted,” she wrote on Instagram. “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”

As Netflix fans the flame by firing an organizer of the upcoming trans walkout, some people are posting links to cancelnetflix.com, which directs users to Netflix’s help page on how to cancel subscriptions.

We have been reading all of your comments and using them to continue advocating for bigger and better queer representation,” tweeted Most, Netflix’s LGBTQ+ account. “Ok you can go back to yelling at us now.”

MagSafe Duo Charger doesn't support Apple Watch Series 7 fast charging


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Apple’s MagSafe Duo Charger, which was released in 2020, can’t fast charge the new Apple Watch Series 7, the company has confirmed.

“MagSafe Duo Charger doesn’t support fast charging with Apple Watch Series 7. To fast charge your Apple Watch Series 7, use the Apple USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable,” Apple wrote in a support document update on Friday.

The MagSafe Duo Charger uses a standard fast charging puck. Getting fast-charge speeds on the Apple Watch Series 7 requires an updated puck. Apple has yet to update the MagSafe Duo with the necessary hardware.

Apple published a support document earlier on Friday detailing some of the requirements for fast charging on the Apple Watch Series 7. The fast charging feature itself is said to be able to charge up an Apple Watch up to 33% faster than standard charging, reaching an 80% charge in just 45 minutes.

The hyperactive open banking market of Latin America: How the region is being APIfied

We are only in the first chapter of Latin America’s long journey to tech growth. But with the region’s thirst for innovation, the market is expected to expand nearly tenfold over the next decade, with open banking through the use of APIs leading the way and acting as digital transformation facilitators.

With LatAm businesses and startups continuously integrating with new-age platforms and services, adopting an API-driven transformation strategy has become essential – as a result, the entire financial system is being “APIfied.”

In other words, this open API ecosystem, in which third-party service providers access consumer data from financial institutions, means financial services will be optimized to lower costs and time spent on transactions and improve user experience.

The advantages of having open communication between different products and services are nearly infinite for credit scoring, moving money between bank accounts, and spanning verticals like the neobanks, credit providers, and personal finance products Latin Americans use every day.

In 2019, API usage was more mature in the financial and e-commerce sectors, but it is now venturing into other areas such as marketing and insurance. Fintech companies are increasingly collaborating with traditional players like banks, payment agencies, insurance providers and stock exchanges. Cryptocurrency trading platforms and companies are also fighting for their space in the spotlight and have adopted API platforms to support crypto-assets since most of their operations are already digitized.

The API revolution seems well underway. So, what’s next for LatAm?

The key to tech penetration in LatAm: APIs

Until recently, many traditional financial institutions and banks in LatAm were gatekeepers, with a bank account being the prerequisite for consumers to participate in the economy. And prior to the advent of fintech, these financial institutions’ back-office infrastructures for risk management, credit decisions, and fraud detection involved manual effort and required cross-departmental coordination.

Each step was carried out by a person, from registering a user to the production of products and services. This often left customer data unexploited, increased transaction costs, impeded innovation and degraded customer experience.

As financial institutions grapple with digital transformation, Andres Meta, VP at Grupo Bind and co-founder of Arfintech, said many banks are partnering with fintechs or accessing technology-based products to create unique business models and stay relevant.

One way to revamp the back-office, lower costs and improve communication is to use APIs. This will enable access to information, improve consumption of products and services, and disrupt and de-structure established value chains.

Check out these startups from Pear’s Demo Day (there’s usually a breakout or two in the bunch)

We can’t check out every investing outfit’s demo day. But one event that we try to catch every year is that of Pear, which is held annually each fall and features (blessedly) just a dozen or so very nascent startups.

Pear, a seed-stage venture firm founded in 2013, has an impressive track record when it comes to identifying promising companies from their earliest stages — including DoorDash, Gusto, Aurora Solar, Vanta, Branch Metrics and Guardant Health. As notably, despite introducing a far smaller number of teams to investors than Y Combinator and more renowned accelerator programs, there always seem to be at least one or two projects in Pear’s Demo Day mix that turn into actual, sustainable, and sometimes sizable companies.

Consider that over seven previous “batches” that featured a collective 69 teams altogether, Pear has helped push into the market Xilis, which uses “micro-organoids” to quickly make thousands of 3D replicas of a patient’s tumor that can then be tested for drug compatibility faster (it closed a $70 million Series A round this summer); the relationship intelligence company Affinity (which announced $80 million in Series C funding last month), and Viz.ai, whose software helps doctors diagnose strokes and coordinate care (and whose funding now tops $150 million after closing its most recent round back in March). It has some others it can, and does, boast about, too.

This year, the event, held this past Wednesday, shined a light on 13 of these very nascent teams. Pear also connected investors in attendance with five of its own portfolio companies that were just coming out of stealth mode. For those of you that might be interested in tracking emerging themes or actual investment opportunities, here’s a quick rundown of who pitched what (with the Pear-backed companies at the end of this list).

Note that we did not write the descriptions below. These were the exact pitches that the teams delivered straight to investors in attendance, so you’ll naturally spot a bit of hyperbole (because, startups).


Burst

URL: http://joinburst.com

Founders: Sameer Kapur (CPO), Vishnu Chakroborty (CTO), Gautam Ajjarapu (CEO)

“Burst is the first DeFi-powered bank for Generation Z – we use DeFi to help our users earn more. Our first product is Burst savings – we give users up to 250x more than typical banks by cutting out the middlemen. Behind the scenes, we leverage DeFi protocols to grow their money safely by up to 10% yearly. Our future product pipeline will allow our users to spend, borrow and invest — each offering is united under the common goal of putting more money in our users’ pockets. Before Burst, the founding team worked together building revenue-generating companies for an audience of over 600,000 Gen Z users. Gautam and Vishnu have experience engineering products at Stripe, Google, and Amazon, and Sameer was the first product manager at Perch Credit, a consumer neobank startup. Now, our team is obsessed with making the benefits of crypto and DeFi accessible to help our generation achieve financial independence.”


Health U

URL: https://teamhealthu.com/

Founders: Emily Stebbins (Co-CEO), Jonathan Siktberg (Co-CEO)

“Health U combines persuasive microlearning with a clinically validated diabetes prevention program to deliver self-directed care at scale. Our mobile micro-learning platform offers bite-sized care programs for pre-diabetes patients that only require 3 minutes a day and provide real-time disease prevention for value-based providers. With high-frequency microlearning and personal health coaching, Health U keeps patients engaged with their health on a daily basis. Our solution is uniquely tailored to deliver significant 3-year ROI for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which include over 10 million pre-diabetic patients. Before Health U, Jonathan experienced this problem firsthand in medical school, and Emily worked in digital product at Bain and in Health Tech at JNJ before joining the GSB. Our team is on a mission to drive disruptive innovation in chronic disease care.”


Bonfire

URL: https://getbonfire.xyz/

Founders: Matt Alston (CEO), Melissa Zhang (CTO)

“Bonfire is empowering creators to turn audiences into communities through easy-to-use tools and a no-code platform powered by their social tokens and NFTs. We’re building the infrastructure to make it dead simple for any creator to manage their token community – including a dashboard, CRM, and community engagement toolkit. Before Bonfire, Melissa was a senior software engineer at Coinbase scaling their internationalization infrastructure, and Matt was a product manager at Uber building out their loyalty program. Matt and Melissa have known each other for 8 years and are passionate about helping creators become owners and achieve independence from rent-seeking gatekeepers.”


Allset

URL: https://allsethq.com

Founder: Justin Clegg (CEO)

“Allset is a mobile messaging company that is driving revenue for the 5 million home service businesses in North America. The typical business in this $800 billion industry has on average 6 employees and their main concern is growing their business. While there are tools like Service Titan for field management, businesses want a low touch solution for marketing and sales. We realized that SMS provides an intimate communication channel to reach those customers. AllSet is a full-service SMS messaging platform that is integrated with home services field management services and that allows businesses to create personalized customer flows such as tipping, offers and promotions, maintenance reminders and subscriptions. We have started reaching out to customers with our tipping flow, where homeowners are prompted with an automated tip request as a text message after an appointment is completed. We launched 6 weeks ago and have been growing at 20% week over week since then.”


Skipper

URL: https://skipperhospitality.com/

Founders: Jason Shames (CEO), Cole Maritz (CRO), Dane Bratz (CTO)

“Skipper is a reservation platform for hotels and resorts that allows them to sell the guest’s entire trip directly through a unified transaction experience, greatly expanding the $285 billion hotel market. For the first time, hotels can allow a guest to book a room, a spa appointment, a dinner reservation, and a third-party activity, all through the hotel instead of costly intermediaries like Booking or Expedia.”


GatherMade

URL: https://gathermade.com

Founders: Mackenzie Branigan (CEO), Joe Sofia (COO)

“At GatherMade, we’re building the trusted sharing economy for family meals. With recent regulation changes, there is a brand new category of supply: home chefs (parents, grandparents, and caregivers) who are able to earn a living by cooking from their own home kitchen. We will win this supply by empowering them with the software and infrastructure to run a profitable business. By focusing on families, our home chefs get better unit economics with family size meals, batched orders for better planning, and consistent demand. We are devoted to empowering modern families through economic empowerment, inclusivity, and community support.”


Parthean

URL: https://parthean.com

Founders: Arman Hezarkhani (CEO), Jason Zhu (CDO), Nikhil Choudhary (CTO)

“Most Americans are not financially literate and it makes lives tangibly worse. In 2020, Americans lost $415 billion to poor money management and thinking about finances causes anxiety for 60% of us. This is because only 17% of us are required to learn any personal finance in school. Parthean teaches personal finance to young professionals. Partnering with finance-focused content creators, we create playbooks that align with critical financial events; like building credit or making your first investment. Users watch our movie-quality videos, engage with our social quizzes and polls, and keep each-other motivated and learning as they progress together. By the end of every playbook, you’ve taken an action that gets you closer to your goals.”


Valar Labs

URL: https://valarlabs.com

Founders: Anirudh Joshi (CEO), Damir Vrabac (COO), Viswesh Krishna (CTO)

“Valar Labs guides oncologists to make more accurate cancer treatment decisions. The founders worked with Professor Andrew Ng in Stanford’s AI lab to leverage medical imaging data for clinically impactful tasks. They are unlocking the potential of untapped imaging data that is already part of routine clinical care to help guide oncologists with treatment decisions. They have brought on top oncologists as advisors and are collaborating with cancer centers like UCSF, UCSD and cancer networks like Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to build their platform.”


Kale

URL: https://kalecard.com

Founder: Isha Patel (CEO), Luis Molina (CTO)

“Kale is the first credit card that empowers creators to translate their social value into economic value. We are creating an algorithm that identifies brands’ super fans, based on their purchasing history and their social activity. Brands reward these customers directly for posting about them, and Kale takes a fee for every match between the brand and content creator. Before founding Kale, Isha and Luis worked together at LinkedIn as product and engineering partners for 5 years, building and launching feed video, short-form video and the camera to 700 million users. We are experts on user generated content and creator communities.”


Aklivity

URL: https://aklivity.io

Founders: Leonid Lukyanov (CTO, John Fallows (CEO)

“Aklivity is an API platform that helps enterprise developers cut down the time-to-market for their latest API initiatives by up to 97%. It supports building, deploying and managing modern streaming APIs, which are fundamentally incompatible with existing API management solutions. With Aklivity, teams are relieved of the hodgepodge of integration frameworks and disjointed manual efforts associated with managing streaming APIs today. Before Aklivity, the team pioneered WebSocket and founded a company that brought the technology to dozens of global enterprises. An established pipeline and key strategic relationships are in place to deliver streaming API Management to over 21,000 organizations and make swift progress on a $2 billion market opportunity.”


SAVVI

URL: https://savviai.com

Founders: Maya Mikhailov (CEO) Alex Muller (President)

“SAVVI is a complete embeddable ML solution empowering a market of 600,000 product teams (U.S.) to efficiently add personalization and intelligence to their products. Product Managers and Developers can quickly start using a machine learning tool that is easy to implement, deploy, and manage – without the need for data scientists or ML experience. Teams using SAVVI have seen a 1,500% ROI over traditional ML methods.”


Transcera

URL: https://www.transcera.bio/

Founders: Hunter Globe (CEO), Wayne Lencer (Academic Co-Founder), Justin Wolfe (CSO)

“Biologic drugs have been one of the biggest revolutions in medicine of the last 30 years. Blockbuster biologics like Humira changed the way we treat chronic diseases, from Crohn’s Disease to cancer, and created a $375 billion market. But there’s a problem. Biologics are large, complex molecules that are not naturally absorbed in the body. The way we get around this today is by injecting or infusing biologic drugs, so they can get more directly to the bloodstream. Many patients won’t stick with an injectable treatment long term. Others won’t take one at all. Pharma companies have been trying to enable oral absorption of large molecule drugs for years. These approaches don’t work well, and result in very low levels of absorption – usually less than 1% of the total administered drug. We developed a better way – a platform that enables greater absorption of biologics following oral administration. After 30 years of research on cholera and how the bacteria infects the human body, Dr. Wayne Lencer, a Harvard Professor and Transcera co-founder, discovered a type of lipid which can carry larger molecules across the body’s cellular barriers. His lab at Boston Children’s Hospital synthesized and simplified these carriers to enhance absorption of biologic drugs. This is a platform technology which we plan to apply to many chronic diseases. But we’re starting with oral peptide drugs for diabetes and obesity.”


Omniscient Labs

URL: https://omniscientlabs.io

Founders: Andrew Fang (CTO), Jon Braatz (CEO)

“Omniscient Labs is building a low-code geospatial data platform allowing developers to easily ingest and procure geospatial data from user-provided and third-party datasets, develop and host analytics capabilities for applications like object classification and feature extraction, and operationalize the resulting data into operations dashboards and other existing software systems without needing expertise in handling geospatial data.”


Recora

URL: https://recorahealth.com

Founder: Abhishek Chandra (CEO)

“One in three of us will die of heart disease – it’s time to change that.Recora is the enterprise platform for cardiac care. We help members recover from home after a heart attack. Right now, patients drive to a hospital to complete a recovery program. These facilities are 40 miles away and have 6 week wait times. So 96% of people don’t finish and quickly get hospitalized again.
Using video visits and connected devices, we’ve designed a virtual cardiac recovery program. We ran a 200-patient pilot last year and showed 3x better outcomes. Today we cover 23,000 patients across 12 hospitals and are enrolling them at 220% month-over-month. Just these three contracts are a $46 million opportunity. We’re on track to close 20 contracts in 26 states over the next twelve months, and corner a $10 billion market. Before Recora, we founded and scaled Spring Health, a $2 billion mental health platform. Now we’re redefining the future of heart health so that everyone can live a long, full, and optimal life.”


Kensa AI

URL: https://kensa.ai

Founder: Nathan Schuett (CEO)

“Kensa AI develops image processing software to automate and improve visual inspections for civil infrastructure (e.g., bridges, dams, buildings, cell towers, etc.). The company’s initial focus is on concrete and steel structures, combining hi-res 3D reconstructions captured by drones with deep learning to detect cracks, spalling, delamination, and other common defects. Kensa AI’s customers are some of the largest owners and developers of infrastructure around the world, and include Class 1 railroads, electric utilities, and multinational engineering companies. With a team of 5 and projected revenues of $800,000 in 2021, Kensa AI is growing quickly and establish a data moat on some of the world’s most important infrastructure assets. The founder and CEO graduated from Stanford, and he’s now raising a seed round to grow the company’s leadership position in 3D digital twins and AI-based inspection for industrial assets.”


FarmRaise

URL: https://farmraise.com

Founders: Jayce Hafner (CEO), Albert Albedi (Head of Product), Sami Tellatin (COO)

“Over half of American farms don’t have the tools or bandwidth they need to identify ways to improve their farms and become profitable. Our API links to the farmer’s bank account where our algorithm assesses the financials to provide a “Farm Read,” scoring the farmer’s financial health. We regularly monitor the farm data to continuously provide clean financials and recommendations on how to improve their farms. We use this farm specific data to connect farmers with capital to improve their score.”


Gatsby

URL: https://gatsby.events

Founders: Zach Rivkin (CEO), Chris Zelazo (Co-Founder), Michael Zuccarino (Co-Founder)

“Great businesses are built on personal relationships, and personal relationships are built on Gatsby — the personal CRM for the future of professional network management. Gatsby is the system of record for your network providing low touch points for you to augment network information and allowing the creation of intelligent workflows for managing it, such as triaging important contacts and bringing the right people to your attention at the right time or managing gatherings and events so the key people show up. We are starting to sell to investing professionals as our initial wedge and plan to expand into all professionals for who managing their network is key.”


Smarty

URL: https://www.smarty.ai/

Founders: Denzil Eden (CEO)

“Smarty is an intelligence layer that connects you to all your data and applications from its one-stop hub. You talk to Smarty wherever you are online, and Smarty automates routine workflows so your focus is only on what matters most. Use pre-built recipes, create custom triggers yourself, or use natural language commands and choose how your data automatically moves between the applications you use. The founder and CEO Denzil, a graduate of MIT and HBS, is the human behind the bot. She created Smarty to empower passionate professionals to shortcut through routine tasks, to utilize known best practices, and to learn from their past personal data on how to be their smartest selves.”