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One of the problems with higher education

12.04.12 2
30 Random Surprising Facts

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12.04.12 0
SEARCHING FOR TECH TALENT IN CHINA

Stephen Bell, a venture capitalist who co-founded Trilogy VC, is betting he will find the next Mark Zuckerberg in China. He tours the country’s top universities in search of fledgling entrepreneurs, offering financing to students “who often have just a kernel of an idea,” Ron Gluckman reports in DealBook. Mr. Bell has more than $2 million a year to invest, with plans to offer financing to 15 to 30 start-ups, DealBook says. It is a highly unusual strategy in China, especially as some fear the market may be overheated. But Mr. Bell says, “I only need to hit one home run among a hundred, and I’m doing fine.” (read more)

12.04.12 0
Inside Elon Musk’s Mars Math

"I do in fact know that this sounds crazy," Elon Musk tweeted this week. “But if humanity wishes to become a multi-planet species, then we must figure out how to move millions of people to Mars.”

Like any big, bold idea, Musk’s plan for colonizing Mars strikes you at first glance as indeed crazy, and it also probably makes your head spin a bit. How on earth, you are probably wondering, could we possibly do that? But let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and assume Musk is able to build a reusable rocket that can efficiently shuttle colonists to the Red Planet. The question is: what then? 

Musk, who told Bloomberg ”I want to die on Mars,” is concerned with the question of how to make a Mars colony self-sustaining. That would require 80,000 volunteers, Musk said in a recent speech to the Royal Aeronautical Society. Then Musk qualified that number on Twitter. We will need 80,000 volunteer colonists per year, he argued, in order to eventually reach a population in the millions. (read more)

11.29.12 0
Looking to Industry for the Next Digital Disruption

SAN RAMON, Calif. — When Sharoda Paul finished a postdoctoral fellowship last year at the Palo Alto Research Center, she did what most of her peers do — considered a job at a big Silicon Valley company, in her case, Google. But instead, Ms. Paul, a 31-year-old expert in social computing, went to work for General Electric.

Ms. Paul is one of more than 250 engineers recruited in the last year and a half to G.E.’s new software center here, in the East Bay of San Francisco. The company plans to increase that work force of computer scientists and software developers to 400, and to invest $1 billion in the center by 2015. The buildup is part of G.E’s big bet on what it calls the “industrial Internet,” bringing digital intelligence to the physical world of industry as never before. (read more)

11.26.12 0
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11.26.12 1
Hatching Ideas, and Companies, by the Dozens at M.I.T.

HOW do you take particles in a test tube, or components in a tiny chip, and turn them into a $100 million company?

Dr. Robert Langer, 64, knows how. Since the 1980s, his Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has spun out companies whose products treat cancer, diabetes, heart disease and schizophrenia, among other diseases, and even thicken hair. (read more)

11.26.12 0
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11.16.12 7
In Europe, Putting the Adventure Into Venture Capital

The life of a European venture capitalist is usually pretty civilized, punctuated by trips to the converted warehouses of London’s trendy Silicon Roundabout neighborhood or Berlin’s stately Prenzlauer Berg district, where entrepreneurs swap ideas in Vietnamese restaurants and faux-dive coffee shops. Dmitry Chikhachev of Moscow-based Runa Capital lives a less posh existence. Visiting cloud-computing software provider Jelastic, one of his investments, means a flight to Kiev, Ukraine’s dusty capital, followed by a 100-mile drive on post-Soviet roads to the provincial town of Zhytomyr—a city best known for its museum of Cosmonaut memorabilia. There, Chikhachev subsists on Ukrainian staples like potato dumplings and cabbage rolls as he helps Jelastic, founded in 2010 by a Russian-Ukrainian programmer duo, expand its business. “There are hundreds of hidden gems far from big cities,” says Chikhachev. “The regional market of startups is only starting to be tapped.”(read more)

11.09.12 2