Category Archives: Startups

Uber DCI can’t tell you how much I love riding Uber. Ever since I’ve moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve been hanging out downtown and other neighborhoods until late at night when there’s either no bus service readily available or a scarcity of cabs and in desperate need to get home. My problems continue when there are cabs available and either (a) don’t stop, or (b) do stop and tell me that they can’t take me to my destination. Why? I have no idea…but while some might decide to wallow in their desperation about just how they can get home, thankfully I have Uber to come in and save my day. While I’m not enjoying the fact that it’s quite expensive over the course of time, every now and then, I find it necessary and that even worth spoiling myself over just to call on Uber to get me home or wherever I need them to take me.

So you’ll understand my excitement when I travel to another city and discover that Uber is there as well–just this past weekend, I was in Los Angeles and decided to venture out from my hotel to a bar to hang out with my friends. Normally I would probably hop in a cab, but after finding out that Uber was servicing the area, I decided to go that route and was pleased with the response.

Unfortunately, my experience with this great disruptive service isn’t necessarily shared by everyone–not every really cares for what Travis Kalanick and Ryan Graves has done, and there are some that are trying to stifle it in favor of continued promotion of a traditional system and favored industry. In Washington, DC, a town with a growing tech community, the city council recently debated over an amendment to their city that would revolutionize their dilapidated cab service, but punish Uber’s DC service. Why? No one really seems to know the truth to why the DC city council would go that route, but some may speculate that the taxi industry is a powerful lobby in the city. Even politicians have tried to punish the startup–in early January, DC Taxicab Commission chairman Ron Linton used a sting to try and claim that Uber’s operations in the nation’s capital were illegal. Other cities have been hammering on the service as well. But what do they have to fear? Another method for people to get around? Something ingenious that uses technology to help provide better response? An even easier method that would help expedite payments? Who knows, but it seems to have gotten worse for Uber…

Yammer founder David SacksThe world of business has just drastically changed and one of the most established enterprise companies in the world just gained one of the most liberal and rebellious to have ever emerged onto the social scene in the past decade. Ever since Yammer, a well-funded social collaboration company, first came on the scene after taking the top prize at TechCrunch 50 in 2008, there has been a shift in the business paradigm. And now, on the heels of their recent announcement of Yammer’s acquisition by global software giant, Microsoft, this popular startup is poised to achieve even greater success and help disrupt the way people are doing business.

Perhaps commonly known in its beginnings as the “Twitter for Enterprise”, Yammer has come a long way in its short four year history to become the de facto service for millions of customers, many of whom are represented in companies that make up the Fortune 500 group. Under the terms of the acquisition, Microsoft will purchase the social business company for $1.2 billion in cash and will join the Microsoft Office Division, which is led by the division president, Kurt DelBene. When asked why they purchased Yammer, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, responded withThe acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love.” It seems that the software giant saw some great potential that Yammer had versus what they could have possibly mustered using their own social enterprise software called Sharepoint. We’ll explore that a little bit later on, but suffice it to say, according to the announcement, Yammer won’t be integrated into the collective of software right away:

Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.

Parisoma’s Mixer Series

Each month PariSoma host a Mixer on various topics such as Education, Health, CleanTech, Gaming, and now Social Entrepreneurship! Each Mixer features 15 of the hottest startups demoing their products and vision. PariSoma brings together upwards of 200 attendees, including VC firms, startups, journalists and professionals eager to stay on the cutting-edge of their industry.

There will be food and drinks and a lot of great networking!

Note: As an inhouse mentor to PariSoma, I am able to off our Bubblicious readers a 25% discount off ticket prices with code “Krystyl”.  Just click here for more information

Demoers

Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of partners, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
The One Percent Foundation makes philanthropy accessible to Millennials+. We educate, organize, and mobilize young adults to become generous, committed, and strategic philanthropists. Our goal is to empower every young adult to give away at least one percent of their annual income to philanthropy.
embrace is advancing maternal and child health by providing innovative solutions to the world’s most vulnerable populations.
d.light design‘s mission is to deliver safe, reliable and cost-effective renewable energy solutions to the 1.3 billion people without access to reliable grid power. We will begin by replacing every kerosene lantern with clean, safe and bright light. By 2020, we aim to have improved the lives of 100 million individuals. Our products are now being distributed in 40 countries with over 7 million happy customers.
GoodWillion is a charity dating auction. Auction a date with yourself, bid and win a date with someone you like. The money will go to charity. We launched in Belarus as www.maesens.by. Over 17000 active users joined and over $30k were sent to charities in less then 3 months.

Community Partners

Pete Cashmore (Photo by Harry Benson for Forbes)A few months ago, one of the biggest surprises hit the tech community–Mashable, the digital lifestyle publication and is one of the largest websites on the known Internet, was rumored to have sold to news channel giant, CNN. That seems to not have matriculated and for the most part, many of us seemed to have simply not given it a second thought…well until now.

Business Insider is reporting that the deal is still moving forward and two sources have said that the executive team at Mashable is prepping documentation and files to give to CNN’s operating company, Turner. But we’ve heard these wild rumors before so what makes it different this time? Nothing is for sure, but Business Insider is saying that one of their sources “speculates” that the deal is “80% likely to close”. But what makes this update a bit different is that VentureBeat is hearing reports that the sale price will be under the rumored $200 million that was thrown around just three months ago.

Buy This Book Before You Buy Facebook cover #1Nearly three weeks ago, one of the biggest IPOs in the tech industry, hit the public market and many expected the company to create instant millionaires and be a rousing success.  That company, Facebook, had so many people rooting for its success. Unfortunately as we know now, due to some transactional issues that occurred within the NASDAQ system, there were a few trades that didn’t get through, which spoiled the social network’s debut on the public market. On top of that, the overall price of Facebook fell dramatically and now it’s slowly trying to work its way back up to something where people will start to care about it.

Who knows what exactly is the reason for where Facebook is today–it could be a variety of factors including things like there being too much hype about Facebook going public that caused its unfortunate predicament it finds itself. Some might speculate that investors found themselves a bit “put off” at the lack of care given to them by Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the IPO roadshow, or that Facebook is pursuing opportunities without concern for the shareholders (e.g. purchasing Instagram for $1 billion). Whatever it exactly was, no one will really know.

But if you disregard all of the media hype and speculation, what would be the right reasons for someone to purchase a share of the social network? Is Facebook even worth it? Sure, you have tons of analysts and pundits who hypothesize about Facebook’s worth and a bunch of could have, would have, should have, but is there any factual basis about the company that would lead people to invest their money? Historically, has Facebook become a company that has people jumping out of their seats eager to throw money at or has their actions over the past eight years been shoddy and while many people think Facebook is worth the quick sell, they don’t believe in its viability in the long term? What exactly makes Facebook so much damn better than all of the other social networks and its predecessors that shows its success?