A weekly news roundup from the world of startups
Startup News and Ideas
Canadian Startup Visa to become Permanent – The Canadian government announced that the Startup Visa program would now become a core part of the country’s immigration policy starting in 2018. Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen made the announcement at the DMZ in Toronto.
VCs to Trump: Don’t lock out our meal tickets! Save startup visas! A gang of venture capital firms and startup funds has asked the Trump administration to save an immigration rule that allows foreign startup founders to come to the US in order to build their companies. Exactly 60 companies and organizations on Thursday signed a letter [PDF] asking the President to scrap plans to rescind the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule before it can go into effect next March. Also known as the “Startup Visa,” the rule would allow temporary residency for foreign nationals who enter the US expressly to found or grow a company they have started or want to start. It was proposed by the Obama administration in August of last year.
Corporate – startup news and M&A
Google’s Autumn Adopt A Startup Opens Up for Irish Applicants – Google is inviting high potential start-ups to apply for its Autumn Adopt A Startup programme as it opens applications from today. This is an opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs to receive hands on mentoring from experienced Google employees over a 12 week period and attend an exclusive programme of lectures and workshops at the company’s Dublin HQ, learning insights and strategies to position your company for new growth opportunities.
Facebook acquires AI startup Ozlo – Facebook continues its corporate acquisition spree with Ozlo, a startup based in Palo Alto, California. This time, the team and the technology that comes with the purchase will be added to the popular Facebook Messenger.According to the announcement published on Ozlo’s website, “Our world-class team has built a knowledge graph containing over 2 billion entities and created amazing AI technology that uses this data to understand real-world nuances.” At Facebook, the Ozlo team will work “on building experiences powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” reveals the same source.
GE Digital Acquires Startup IQP To Boost Predix And Help Partners Build IoT Applications – GE Digital on Monday announced it has acquired Japanese startup IQP to help bolster its investments in the industrial Internet of Things.”By adding IQP to Predix Studio, our integrated workflow for rapid application development, more average industrial developers, including IT, operations and finance professionals, can now create their own IIoT applications – giving our customers the tools they need to build customized applications that make sense for their business,” said Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital, in a statement. “This integration makes Predix Studio the only high productivity application development tool purpose built for the IIoT.”
Coke’s Bridge Program Cultivating Tech Startups – With the rapid influx of world-shaking technologies being released at the consumer level today, entrepreneurs from all industries must be asking themselves a key question: How do you intelligently build a “smart” company?When it comes to food and beverage, information technology is impacting all levels of business from product to management. For a large conglomerate like The Coca-Cola Company, which has the means to cultivate the technologies that could shape the future of an industry, it’s about sowing the seeds today.
Startup Shutdown: RIP
Fin-tech startup Finomena shuts down after failing to raise funding – Finomena, a startup which provided small ticket loans to students and young professionals, has shut down after failing to raise pre-Series A funding round.Finomena, a finance technology startup which provided micro loans to students and young professionals, has shut down its operations. The company has shut down as it was not able to attract investors for its pre-Series A funding round. The company is now no longer accepting new users on its website. In March 2016, the company had raised its seed funding round from notable private equity firm Matrix Partners. Apart from Matrix Partners, it was backed by angel investors from industries like banking, NBFC, MFI and global hedge funds.
Amid Slow VR Growth, Virtual Hangouts Startup AltspaceVR to Shut Down – Despite advances in virtual reality technology and plenty of hype, the medium has yet to take off in the way its advocates envision. The latest reminder is the demise of AltspaceVR, a Redwood City, CA-based startup that hosts social experiences in virtual venues. The four-year-old company announced in a blog post Friday that it will shut down on Aug. 3. “The company has run into unforeseen financial difficulty and we can’t afford to keep the virtual lights on anymore,” the company wrote in a blog post.
DVR Startup Simple TV Shuts Down – Really Simple Software, the Bay Area-based startup best known for making Simple TV , a DVR that catered to cord cutters, is shutting down. The company informed Simple TV owners with an email Saturday that it will wind down the service by August 4.”Unfortunately, we are unable to move the company forward or continue to operate the services required to keep our systems online,” the email reads in part. “This means that you will no longer be able to record or play content using your Simple.TV device.”