Good news for the hordes of students hopelessly addicted to Facebook and Farmville.
stories by Matt Bowman
What do Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Skype CFO Jonathan Chadwick, Benchmark Capital general partner Bill Gurley and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings have in common, besides the filthy rich tech rockstar thing?
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $500,000 grant to web research startup Scrible, which is launching its public beta today. Scrible’s bookmarklet is meant to facilitate annotation of web pages for the sake of research, archiving and collaboration.
If only schools were addictive like Farmville, maybe we could fix our education system.
The classroom is no place for fighting. Unless it’s between education startups.
Waiting for Superman, a popular documentary about America’s public school woes which drew particular attention from Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial class, comes out on DVD today, February 15. In September, Paramount Pictures announced that NewSchools Venture Fund had committed to investing $5 million in entrepreneurial education organizations if over 150,000 pledged to watch the film.
Knewton, a company that provides personalized help to boost scores on tests such as the GMAT, is taking online education to the next level: It will now power actual university math programs for Arizona State University (ASU) students.
Rupert Murdoch is media’s ultimate contrarian, with a reputation for plunging into new businesses well before others agree on their promise. So could his newfound enthusiasm for education startups give the sector a boost?
We’re excited to announce the finalists of the GreenBeat 2010 Innovation Competition. VentureBeat and its advisors selected these companies for having the most promising ideas for making the next generation of the smart grid — a bionic upgrade we’re calling the super grid that’s the ultimate marriage of infotech and cleantech — a big business.
Why is VentureBeat putting on GreenBeat 2010? The energy revolution depends on two disparate groups. Call the first the pipe dreamers: entrepreneurs, politicians, and pundits. They have great ideas. Then there are the powermongers — the folks who quite literally have the juice, the utilities generating and distributing energy today and tomorrow, who have to worry about billions of dollar of infrastructure.
On Monday, during Steve Jobs’ now-storied connection meltdown during his iPhone 4 demo, he asked for suggestions from his tech-savvy audience. One snarky attendee shouted, “Verizon!”
We’ve gotten over 150 nominations for our MobileBeat 20 Startup Competition, and it’s clear from the submissions that the advent of 4G and superphones is igniting a conflagration of innovation in the startup world. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the early days of Web 2.0, just before the social Cambrian Explosion that gave rise to the likes of Friendster, MySpace, and eventually Facebook and Twitter.
We’re pleased to announce that Phil McKinney, VP and CTO of Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group, will be keynoting at MobileBeat 2010, a conference held by VentureBeat on July 12 to 13 in San Francisco. As the man in charge of HP’s product lines, McKinney stands smack in the middle of a major power shift in the mobile industry.
One of the most useful features of Mac OS is Spotlight—hit “command-space bar,” then type a term into the search field and Apple quickly skims through everything on your hard drive. As more data moves to disparate places online, however, more personal info is escaping Spotlight’s beam.
The real-time web is a hyperactive, fragmented place, and lurkers who want to now what’s happening now have to search through myriad services and filters. Y Combinator-backed Nowmov wants to help the energy-challenged masses stay informed by bringing the real-time web to couch potatoes — in video form.
Startup incubator Y Combinator is hosting its semi-annual Demo Day today. Twice a year, the Mountain View, Calif.-based incubator parades its latest batch of companies onstage to present before potential investors.
A year ago, we published an exposé on Oak Investment Partners, which has become one of largest venture-capital firms by attracting large sums from investors despite a mediocre track record. Of particular concern was the continued support of the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), which manages public money. Neither Oak nor the WSIB were willing to comment at the time, but insiders suggested it was a case of smug relationships in the investment community.
Knewton, an online test prep company that uses adaptive learning to boost scores on standardized tests, announced today the launch of its new SAT prep course. The company already provides prep courses for the GMAT and LSAT, and now hopes to tap the market of high-pressure parents and overachieving high school students.
Juniper Networks upped its offensive against rival Cisco today with the announcement of a $50 million venture fund. The Junos Innovation Fund will primarily target early and growth-stage startups that can help accelerate the speed and variety of network solutions. The company plans to deploy the fund over the next two years.
The Brits invaded Plug and Play’s Sunnyvale campus Monday night to introduce a group of promising European tech startups to Silicon Valley. Six young companies showed themselves off to an audience of potential partners.
If you’re a frequent border-hopper, you may want to check out Truphone. The company announced a service today called “Local Anywhere” that it says can slash up to 90 percent off cell phone bills by providing local voice, data and text rates when traveling abroad.
VCs have, for the most part, steered clear of education startups, save for a few areas where consumers are willing to open their wallets — things like standardized test prep and language learning. However, Lightspeed Venture Partners thinks it’s found a goldmine in nurse training. Today, the firm announced an $8 million round for IL-based Orbis Education, which helps universities web-enable their nursing programs, reduce their per-student costs and meet the country’s growing need for medical professionals.