Target Global launches €100M fund focused on early stage startups in Europe and Israel


Target Global — an international VC firm based in Berlin — has announced today the first closing of a new €100 million fund.

Focused on early stage startups, the firm’s Early Stage Fund I will invest in both seed and A rounds. It is expected to invest in up to 20 companies throughout the life of the fund.

Run out of Target Global’s main office in Berlin, the fund will concentrate on investing in startups located in Germany and Israel. While the lion’s share will go to early stage startups in those two regions — which are personified by the fast-growing and important startup hubs in Berlin and Tel Aviv — it will also allocate some capital for investments across the EU.

“Both cities are dynamic tech hubs and each brings a unique skill-set to the table,” Shmuel Chafets, general partner at Target Global, said. “Target Global’s ES Fund will Continue reading "Target Global launches €100M fund focused on early stage startups in Europe and Israel"

Local tech ecosystems: Stop comparing yourselves to Silicon Valley


From Silicon Alley to Silicon Beach, existing tech hubs and emerging ones long to be seen like the Valley: the self-proclaimed epicenter of all things tech. But why is that? When did living in San Francisco become a necessary prerequisite for being a startup founder or employee? As a New Yorker, I’m a bit biased to the Big Apple — the hustle and bustle of the city and the intrinsic drive that people have here opposite of our laid-back counterparts in the Bay. There are hundreds of tech companies that make up our local ecosystem, yet we still seem to come second to San Francisco. A big blow to the empire state, but an even bigger blow to cities on the horizon. Emerging hubs like Miami, Raleigh/Durham, Dallas, Nashville, Cincinnati, Detroit and others deserve the same effort, education, and access that we pour into the Bay. Tomorrow’s next tech leaders and talent Continue reading "Local tech ecosystems: Stop comparing yourselves to Silicon Valley"

Local tech ecosystems: Stop comparing yourselves to Silicon Valley


From Silicon Alley to Silicon Beach, existing tech hubs and emerging ones long to be seen like the Valley: the self-proclaimed epicenter of all things tech. But why is that? When did living in San Francisco become a necessary prerequisite for being a startup founder or employee?

As a New Yorker, I’m a bit biased to the Big Apple — the hustle and bustle of the city and the intrinsic drive that people have here opposite of our laid-back counterparts in the Bay. There are hundreds of tech companies that make up our local ecosystem, yet we still seem to come second to San Francisco. A big blow to the empire state, but an even bigger blow to cities on the horizon.

Emerging hubs like Miami, Raleigh/Durham, Dallas, Nashville, Cincinnati, Detroit and others deserve the same effort, education, and access that we pour into the Bay. Tomorrow’s next tech leaders and talent Continue reading "Local tech ecosystems: Stop comparing yourselves to Silicon Valley"

Founder Institute wants to launch a generation of space entrepreneurs


As kids, becoming an astronaut is a great aspiration for many of us. By the time we grow up, though, the dream of exploring space fades, and we learn that the vast majority of the things being launched into space are satellites.

In coming years, the dawning of a new space age could change that. Aspiring astronauts who never achieved their childhood dreams may find a nice consolation prize: creating a space exploration startup.

The Founder Institute is ready to help. It announced today its Star Fellow program to offer training and mentorship to entrepreneurs looking to launch space-related companies. The program will offer access to the Institute’s startup-launch courses, support from mentors in the space exploration industry, and a shot at pitching investors such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Formed in 2009, the Founder Institute serves aspiring entrepreneurs in more than 170 cities across 60 countries. The nearly 3,000 graduates of its program have Continue reading "Founder Institute wants to launch a generation of space entrepreneurs"

Founder Institute wants to launch a generation of space entrepreneurs


As kids, becoming an astronaut is a great aspiration for many of us. By the time we grow up, though, the dream of exploring space fades, and we learn that the vast majority of the things being launched into space are satellites. In coming years, the dawning of a new space age could change that. Aspiring astronauts who never achieved their childhood dreams may find a nice consolation prize: creating a space exploration startup. The Founder Institute is ready to help. It announced today its Star Fellow program to offer training and mentorship to entrepreneurs looking to launch space-related companies. The program will offer access to the Institute’s startup-launch courses, support from mentors in the space exploration industry, and a shot at pitching investors such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Formed in 2009, the Founder Institute serves aspiring entrepreneurs in more than 170 cities across 60 countries. The nearly 3,000 graduates of its program have Continue reading "Founder Institute wants to launch a generation of space entrepreneurs"

3 challenges facing enterprise chatbot developers looking for investors

Greed
Chatbot companies have raised over $140 million in the past six years. Over 60 percent of the funding came in 2015 and 2016 as the chatbot craze quickly took over Silicon Valley. The media remains optimistic about the potential of bots, but venture capitalists and other investors are increasingly wary of the proliferation of startups in the space.

1. Entrepreneurs underestimate the complexity of enterprise bots

“These days, every other pitch I get is some kind of bot company,” said Ping Li on an enterprise bot panel at the recent O’Reilly Bot Day conference. Li is a partner at Accel, which previously invested in Facebook and is now an active investor in Slack. Joining him on the panel were executives from Verizon, Kohl’s, and Jet. Their collective complaint? Bot entrepreneurs building for the enterprise often fail to understand the complexities of the workflows they’re trying to automate away. While Slack Continue reading "3 challenges facing enterprise chatbot developers looking for investors"

How this game company boosted profits sixfold without needing venture capital

War Robots from Pixonic.
We’ve come a long way since the soft launch of our mobile game, Walking War Robots, on iOS in 2014 — our monthly revenues have grown to $1.3 million, and we released on Google Play. Over these years, we repeatedly encountered problems that allowed us to get where we’re at now. Based on our previous experiences, we developed a methodology for creating and evolving our game that relies heavily on rigorous re-evaluation of data and analytics, but on on constant  experimentation within the game that allowed us to test new hypotheses and make it more fun. As such, we split the game’s releases into several categories while developing WWR:
  • Content-releases to improve user experience;
  • Content-releases with new types of robots and other staff that affected the economics and meta of the game;
  • Tweaks to the gameplay and interface;
Each content type brings us a step closer to making Continue reading "How this game company boosted profits sixfold without needing venture capital"