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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. The internet is, generally speaking, a terrible place. Yet every so often it will spit out a delightful new meme to remind us that sometimes, when the stars align and the moonlight hits just right, being online can actually be lovely. In the latest trend to justify the internet's existence, Twitter users are pairing animal emojis with emojis for various objects, depict adorable scenes of interspecies harmony. The meme seems to have kicked off when Twitter user @psthursm posted a five-piece animal emoji band. Setting aside the logistics of how a snail would play a violin, the adorable musicians struck a chord with thousands on the website. Read more... More about Twitter, Memes, Emojis, Culture, and Web CultureView the full article
  2. Blossom Capital, the early-stage VC firm co-founded by ex-Index Ventures and LocalGlobe VC Ophelia Brown, is announcing a second fund, less than 12 months since fund one was closed. The new fund, which is described as “heavily oversubscribed,” sits at $185 million. That’s up from $85 million first time around. Blossom’s remit remains broadly the same: to be the lead investor in European tech startups at Series A, along with doing some seed deals, too. In particular, the VC will continue to focus on finance, design, marketplaces, travel, developer-focused tools, infrastructure and “API-first” companies. Its differentiator is pitched as so-called “high conviction” investing, which sees it back fewer companies by writing larger cheques, along with claiming to have close ties to U.S. top tier investors ready to back portfolios at the next stage. And whilst a “bridge to the valley” is a well worn claim by multiple European VCs, Blossom’s track record so far bares this is out somewhat, even if it nascent. Of the firm’s portfolio, travel booking platform Duffel has received two follow-on investment rounds led by Benchmark and Index Ventures; cybersecurity automation platform Tines received follow-on investment led by Accel Partners; and payments unicorn Checkout.com is also backed by Insight Partners. In addition, I understand that about half of Blossom’s LPs are in the U.S., and that all of the firm’s original LPs invested in this second fund, which Brown concedes was a lot easier to raise than the first. That’s presumably down to the up round valuations Blossom is already able to tout. Citing benchmark data from Cambridge Associates and Preqin, Blossom says it sits in the top 5% of funds of 2018/2019 vintage in the U.S. and EU. Although, less than a year old, I would stress that it is still very early days. More broadly, Brown and Blossom’s other partners — Imran Gohry, Louise Samet and Mike Hudack — argue that the most successful European companies historically are those that were able to attract U.S. investors but that companies no longer need to relocate to the U.S. to seize the opportunity. “When we looked at the data it was very clear at the growth stage that, outside of Index and Accel, the most successful European outcomes were driven by the combination of European early-stage investors and top-tier U.S. growth investors,” explained Blossom Capital partner, Imran Ghory, in a statement. “From day one we prioritised building those relationships, both to share knowledge but also provide a bridge for European founders to access the best growth capital as they scale”. View the full article
  3. Nigerian digital payments startup Paga has acquired Apposit, a software development company based in Ethiopia, for an undisclosed amount. That’s just part of Paga’s news. The Lagos based startup will also launch its payment products in Mexico this year and in Ethiopia imminently, CEO Tayo Oviosu told TechCrunch The moves come a little over a year after Paga raised a $10 million Series B round and Oviosu announced the company’s intent to expand globally, while speaking at Disrupt San Francisco. Paga will leverage Apposit — which is U.S. incorporated but operates in Addis Ababa — to support that expansion into East Africa and Latin America. Repat founders Behind the acquisition is a story threaded with serendipity, return, and collaboration. Both Paga and Apposit were founded by repatriate entrepreneurs. Oviosu did his MBA at Stanford University and worked at Cisco Systems before returning to Nigeria. Apposit CEO Adam Abate moved back to Ethiopia 17 years ago for an assignment in the country’s Ministry of Finance, after studying at Brown University and working in fintech in New York. “I put together a team…to build…public financial management systems for the country. And during the process…brought in my best friend Eric Chijioke…to be a technical engineer,” said Abate. The two teamed up with Simon Solomon in 2007 to co-found Apposit, with a focus on building large-scale enterprise software for Africa. Apposit partners (L-R) Adam Abate, Simon Solomon, Eric Chijioke, Gideon Abate A year later, Oviosu met Chijioke when he crashed at his house while visiting Ethiopia for a wedding. It just so happened Chijioke’s brother was his roommate at Stanford. That meeting began an extended conversation between the two on digital-finance innovation in Africa and eventually led to a Paga partnership with Apposit in 2010. Apposit dedicated an engineering team to build Paga’s payment platform, Eric Chijioke became Paga’s CTO (while maintaining his Apposit role) and Apposit backed Paga. “We aligned ourselves as African entrepreneurs…which then developed into a close relationship where we became…investors in Paga and strategically aligned,” said Abate. African roots, global ambitions Fast forward a decade, and the two companies have come pretty far. Apposit has grown its business into a team of 63 engineers and technicians and has racked up a list of client partnerships. The company helped digitize the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange and has contracted on IT and software solutions with banks non-profits and brick and mortar companies. For a decade, Apposit has also supported Paga’s payment product development. Over that period, Oviosu and team went to work building Paga’s platform and driving digital payment adoption in Nigeria, home to Africa’s largest economy and population of 200 million. That’s been no small task considering Nigeria’s percentage of unbanked was pegged as high as at 70% in 2011 and still lingers around 60%, according to The Global Findex database. Paga has created a multi-channel network to transfer money, pay-bills, and buy things digitally. The company has 14 million customers in Nigeria who can transfer funds from one of Paga’s 24,411 agents or through the startup’s mobile apps. Paga products work on iOS, Android, and basic USSD phones using a star, hashtag option. The company has remittance partnerships with the likes of Western Union and allows for third-party integration of its app. Since inception, the startup has processed 104 million transactions worth $6.6 billion, according to Oviosu. With the acquisition, Paga absorbs Apposit’s tech capabilities and team of 63 engineers. The company will direct its boosted capabilities and total workforce of 530 to support expansion. Paga plans its Mexico launch in 2020, according to Oviosu. Adam Abate is now CEO of Paga Ethiopia, where Paga plans to go live as soon as it gains a local banking license. The East African nation of 100 million, with the continent’s seventh largest economy, is bidding to become Africa’s next startup hub, though it still lags the continent’s tech standouts — like Nigeria and Kenya — in startup formation, ISP options and VC. Ethiopia has also been slow to adopt digital finance, with less than 1% of the population using mobile-money, compared to 73% for Kenya, Africa’s mobile-payments leader. Paga aims to shift the financial needle in the country. “The goal is straight-forward. We want Ethiopians to use the Paga wallet as their payment account. So it’s about digitizing cash transactions and driving financial services,” said Oviosu. Paga CEO Tayo Oviosu With the Apposit acquisition and country expansion, he also looks to grow Paga’s model in Africa and beyond, as an emerging markets fintech solution. “There are several very large countries around the world in Africa, Latin America, Asia where these [financial inclusion] problems still exist. So our strategy is not an African strategy…We want to go where these problems exist in a large way and build a global payments business,” Oviosu said. Fintech competition in Nigeria As it grows abroad, Paga faces greater competition in Nigeria. For the last decade, South Africa and Kenya — with the success of Safaricom’s M-Pesa product — have been Africa’s standouts in digital payments. But over the last several years, Nigeria has become a magnet for VC and fintech startups. This trend reached a high-point in 2019 when Chinese investors put $220 million into Opera owned OPay and Transsion backed PalmPay — two fledgling startups with plans to scale in Nigeria and broader Africa. That’s a hefty war chest compared to Paga’s total VC haul of $34 million, according to Crunchbase. Oviosu names product market fit and benefits from the company’s expansion as factors that will keep it ahead of these well-funded new entrants. “That’s where the world-class technology comes in,” he said. “We also take a perspective that we cannot build every use-case,” he said — contrasting Paga’s model to Opera in Africa, which has launched multiple startup verticals around its OPay product, from ride-hailing to food-delivery. Oviosu compares Paga’s approach to PayPal, which allows third-party developers to shape businesses around PayPal as the payment solution. With its Apposit acquisition and plans for continued expansion, PayPal may become more than a model for Paga. Founder Tayo Oviosu sees big fintech players, such as PayPal and Alipay, as future competitors with Paga’s planned expansion into more emerging markets. View the full article
  4. The first taste of the band’s new album Gigaton View the full article
  5. The policy of “complete parity” is effective immediately on CMT and CMT Music View the full article
  6. Brian May: “To have our band recognised and our music celebrated in this way is very touching—a real honour.” View the full article
  7. LumApps, the cloud-based social intranet for the enterprise, has closed $70 million in Series C funding. Leading the round is Goldman Sachs Growth, with participation from Bpifrance via its Growth Fund Large Venture. Others participating include Idinvest Partners, Iris Capital, and Famille C (the family office of Courtin-Clarins). The round brings the total raised by the French company to around $100 million. Founded in Paris back in 2012, before launching today’s proposition in 2015, LumApps has developed what it describes as a “social intranet” for enterprises to enable employees to better informed, connect and collaborate. The SaaS integrates with other enterprise software such as G Suite, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft SharePoint, to centralize access to corporate content, business applications and social features under a single platform. The central premise is to help companies “break down silos” and streamline internal communication. LumApps customers include Airbus, Veolia, Valeo, Air Liquide, Colgate-Palmolive, The Economist, Schibsted, EA, Logitech, Toto, and Japan Airlines, and the company claims to have achieved year-on-year revenue growth of 100%. “Our dream was to enable access to useful information in one click, from one place and for everyone,” LumApps founder and CEO Sébastien Ricard told TechCrunch when the company raised its Series B early last year. “We wanted to build a solution that bridged [an] intranet and social network, with the latest new technologies. A place that users will love.” Since then, LumApps has added several new offices and has seven worldwide: Lyon, Paris, London, New York, Austin, San Francisco, and Tokyo. Armed with additional funding, the company will continue adding significant headcount, hiring across engineering, product, sales and marketing. There are also plans to expand to Canada, more of Asia Pacific, and Germany. “We’re actually looking at hiring 200 people minimum,” Ricard tells me. “We’re growing fast and have ambitious plans to take the product to new heights, including fulfilling our vision of making LumApps a personal assistant powered by AI. This will require a significant investment in top engineering/AI talent globally”. Asked to elaborate on what machine learning and AI could bring to a social intranet, Ricard says the vision is to make LumApps a personal assistant for all communications and workflows in the enterprise. “We see a future where this personal assistant can make predictive suggestions based on historical data and actions. Applying AI to prompt authors with suggested content, flagging important items that demand attention, and auto-archiving old content, are a few examples. Managing the massive troves of content and data companies have today is critical”. Ricard also sees AI playing a big role in data security. “Employees have a high-degree of control with regard to data sharing and AI can help manage what employees can share in the workplace. This is more long-term but it’s where we’re headed,” he says. “In the short-term, we’re making investments in automating as many workflows as possible with the goal of reducing or eliminating administrative tasks that keep employees from more productive tasks, including team collaboration and knowledge sharing”. Meanwhile, LumApps says it may also use part of the Series C for M&A activity. “We’re growing fast and we’re looking at different areas for expansion opportunities,” Ricard says. “This includes retail and manufacturing and some business functions like HR, marketing and communications. We don’t have concrete plans to acquire any companies at the moment but we are keeping our options open as acquiring best-in-breed technologies often makes more sense from a business perspective than building it yourself”. View the full article
  8. ALICIA arrives in March, and her world tour kicks off this summer View the full article
  9. While everyone is stuck in traffic, trapped in the driver seat, banging their head against the steering wheel during the frustrating evening commute, autonomous vehicle company Cruise envisions a serene, shared, comfortable experience for riders in its new robo-taxi vehicle. Some yoga maybe? The Cruise Origin is the brainchild of Cruise, its parent company General Motors, and investor-partner Honda. It's an all-electric six-seater box of a car with no steering wheel, pedals, or any of the usual driver seat buttons and knobs. It's actually really hard to tell which side is the front without the steering wheel. Screens inside the car inform passengers what's going on and who is getting picked up and dropped off. Read more... More about Autonomous Vehicles, Tech, and TransportationView the full article
  10. Sexual harassment, racial discrimination, corruption, and a claim that former Grammy head Neil Portnow is facing an allegation of rape View the full article
  11. Producer/composer/singer-songwriter/session player Jon Brion has worked with everyone from Kanye West to Fiona Apple and Frank Ocean to Beyoncé — but when he was asked to finish up Mac Miller‘s album Circles, he embarked on a brilliant yet delicate musical journey like no other. When the two met prior to Miller’s unexpected passing, he was focused on writing and recording material for two albums that would become Swimming and Circles — with the full concept being Swimming In Circles. Brion jumped in with his expertise toward the end of the Swimming sessions and together they found a flow in the studio. The plan was that Miller would head out on tour, return, and then they were to finish up Circle together. But, it didn’t happen that way. Brion tells all via Vulture: When he died, everyone who knew him basically just … the wreckage is … it’s worthless to put into words. It’s worthless to say how awful it was for anyone else. I was flattened, and I feel like by having to talk about this stuff, I’m reopening the wound. He recalls, track-by-track, how Circles came together: The batch of stuff that became Circles were the things I liked the most and things I heard that had, frankly, little to do with me. I just heard them and was moved by them. “I Can See” is the perfect example. It made me so sad he was gone. It’s one of those moments, like, Oh my God, he’s even better than I thought. And I already thought the world of him. In closing, he writes: The term I found myself using when deciding what to add to Circles was “complete thoughts.” They weren’t thoughts I had to complete for him. This was a guy who spoke very well for himself. I shouldn’t even be here talking about it. In terms of anyone else’s perception, I can’t do fuck all about that. The only thing I care about is people getting to hear it. The people who are affected by it have the benefit of being affected by his insight and his articulation. Everything else doesn’t matter. Read the full article with Jon Brion here, as he gives a play-by-play on the entire production process behind Circles. Source: Vulture This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: The Producer Who Finished Mac Miller’s ‘Circles’ Tells All View the full article
  12. D-Sol aka Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is throwing down at one of the most anticipated A-list parties over Super Bowl weekend. Sports Illustrated heads to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for biggest weekend in sports with its unparalleled VIP Saturday Night Party. During which, D-Sol is set to play alongside star-studded headliners Marshmello, the Black Eyed Peas and DaBaby. Plus, sounds by Irie. With a myriad of top-notch musical performances “The Party” will fuse the world of sports and entertainment in ways only Sports Illustrated can do. Only VIP tickets are being sold for the event, starting at $500. More info and tickets here. Details: Sports Illustrated: The Party Saturday, February 1, 2020 Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL 9:30 PM EST Ages 21 & over Source: Bloomberg | Photo via D-Sol This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Goldman Sachs CEO to Throw Down at Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Party View the full article
  13. The Jonas Brothers are no Rihanna, but so few people are. Still, the three do their best to fill her big, hilarious Fenty x Puma shoes as they join Seth Meyers for one of his Day Drinking specials. You know things are heading downhill fast when they kick off with birth-order-inspired cocktails. The worst is the "Baby" drink, a gag-inducing vengeance beverage for years of parental lenience: Kahlua, Hi-C juice, and rosé ("Mom's favorite, just like the youngest"), chugged out of sippy bottles. Meyers only has one brother, Josh, so he brings in 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer as a ringer. As always, it's amazing and disconcerting watching Kenneth The Page doing normal people things like shotting tequila, screaming at former Disney Channel stars, and toasting Cambridge Analytica for some reason. Read more... More about Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jonas Brothers, Entertainment, Talk Show, and Music View the full article
  14. Miss Americana includes a political track inspired by the 2018 midterm elections View the full article
  15. Trump's impeachment trial has only just begun yet some senators have already broken the rules, bringing electronic devices into proceedings despite being specifically told not to. As spotted by Roll Call, six Republican senators and one Democratic senator wore Apple Watches during the trial's first day on Tuesday, as did an aide to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Usually, this wouldn't be an issue. However, days before the trial began, senators were given a document outlining a few simple decorum guidelines for the proceedings. Among them was a rule that "No use of phones or electronic devices will be allowed in the Chamber. All electronics should be left in the Cloakroom in the storage provided." Read more... More about Politics, Politicians, Apple Watch, Impeachment, and SenatorsView the full article
  16. Cruise unveiled Tuesday evening a “production ready” driverless vehicle called Origin, the product of a multi-year collaboration with parent company GM and investor Honda that is designed for a ride-sharing service. The shuttle-like vehicle — branded with Cruise’s trademark orange and black colors — has no steering wheel or pedals and is designed to travel at highway speeds. The interior is roomy with seats that face each other, similar to what a traveler might find on some trains. Each seat is meant to accommodate the needs of an individual with personal USB ports, CTO and co-founder Kyle Vogt noted during the presentation. Digital displays are located above, presumably to give travelers information about their rides. The doors don’t hinge outward, Vogt added. Instead, he said, “they slide open, so bikers are safer.” Splashy looks aside, the Origin is meant to show Cruise’s muscle and intent to deploy an autonomous ride-sharing service at scale. What and when and how that will happen are the important questions left unanswered. CEO Dan Ammann stressed that the vehicle is not a concept, but instead is a production vehicle that the company intends to use for a ride-sharing service. However, don’t expect the Origin to be on public roads anytime soon. The driverless vehicle doesn’t meet U.S. federal regulations known as FMVSS, which specify design, construction, performance and durability requirements for motor vehicles. For now, the Origin will be used on private, closed environments such as GM facilities in Michigan or even Honda’s campus outside of the U.S, Ammann said in an interview after the presentation. Cruise unveiled Tuesday Origin, a driverless shuttle designed for ride-sharing. Ammann also emphasized the low cost of the vehicle, which he added is designed to operate 1 million miles. “We’ve been just as obsessed with making the Origin experience as inexpensive as possible,” Ammann said while on stage. “Because if we’re really serious about improving life, and our cities, we need huge numbers of people to use the Cruise origin. And that won’t happen unless we deliver on a very simple proposition, a better experience at a lower price than what you pay to get around today.” GM will manufacture the vehicle, although Ammann wouldn’t provide more details on where except to say “you’ll find out in a couple of days.” He did say that the vehicle will be produced “for roughly half the cost of what a conventional electric SUV costs today.” The reveal offered more clues about Cruise’s hardware development, which has been growing in the past 18 months under the leadership of its vice president of hardware Carl Jenkins and Brendan Hermalyn, director of autonomous hardware systems. The vehicle is outfitted with what Vogt called an “owl,” a hybrid sensor assembly that seems to combine camera and radar. The team responsible for developing “owl” was at the event, and seen posing for photos long after the presentation had ended and most revelers had left. View the full article
  17. It’s hard to put a positive spin on terrible situation, but that didn’t stop Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon earlier today. Asked during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos about WeWork’s yanked IPO in September, Solomon suggested it was proof that the listing process works, despite that the CFO of Goldman — one of the offering’s underwriters — disclosed last fall that the pulled deal cost the bank a whopping $80 million. Reuters was on the scene, reporting that Solomon acknowledged the process was “not as pretty as everybody would like it to be,” while also eschewing any responsibility, telling those gathered that the “banks were not valuing [WeWork]. Banks give you a model. You say to the company, ‘Well, if you can prove to us that the model actually does what it does, then it’s possible that the company is worth this in the public markets,'” Solomon said. Investment banks had reportedly courted WeWork’s business by discussing a variety of figures that led cofounder Adam Neumann to overestimate how it might be received by public market shareholders. According to the New York Times, in 2018, JPMorgan was telling Neumann that it could find buyers to value the company at more than $60 billion; while Goldman Sachs said $90 billion was a possibility, and Morgan Stanley — which has been assigned as lead underwriter of many of the buzziest tech offerings over the last decade — reportedly posited that even more than $100 billion was possible. Ultimately, the IPO was canceled several weeks after Neumann was asked to resign and WeWork’s biggest investor, SoftBank — which itself nearly tripled the company’s private market valuation across funding rounds — stepped in to rescue its (at least) $18.5 billion investment in the company. Solomon isn’t the only one defending some of the often cofounding logic of IPO pricing. This editor sat down in November with Morgan Stanley’s head tech banker Michael Grimes, who has been called “Wall Street’s Silicon Valley whisperer” for landing a seemingly endless string of coveted deals for the bank. Because Morgan Stanley pulled out of the process of underwriting WeWork’s IPO (reportedly after WeWork rejected its pitch to be the company’s lead underwriter), we talked with Grimes instead about Uber, whose offering last year Morgan Stanley did lead. We asked how Uber could have been reportedly told by investment bankers that its valuation might be as high as $120 billion in an IPO when, as we now know, public market shareholders deemed it worth far less. (Its current market cap is roughly half that amount, at $64 billion.) Grimes said matter-of-factly that price estimates can routinely be all over the place, explaining that “if you look at how companies are valued, at any given point of time right now, public companies with growth prospects and margins that are not yet at their mature margin, I think you’ll find on average price targets by either analysts who work at banks or buy-side investors that can be 100%, 200% and 300% different from low to high.” He called that a “typical spread.” The reason, he said, had to do with each bank’s or analyst’s guess at “penetration.” “Let’s say, what, 100 million people or so [worldwide] have have been monthly active users of Uber,” said Grimes during our sit-down. “What percentage of the population is that? Less than 1% or something. Is that 1% going to be 2%, 3%, 6%, 10%, 20%? Half a percent, because people stop using it and turn instead to some flying [taxi]? “So if you take all those variable, possible outcomes, you get huge variability in outcome. So it’s easy to say that everything should trade the same every day, but [look at what happened with Google]. You have some people saying maybe that is an outcome that can happen here for companies, or maybe it won’t. Maybe they’ll [hit their] saturation [point] or face new competitors.” Grimes then turned the tables on reporters and others in the industry who wonder how banks could get the numbers so wrong, with Uber but also with a lot of other companies. “It’s really easy to be a pundit and say, ‘It should be higher’ or ‘It should be lower,’” Grimes said. “But investors are making decisions about that every day.” Besides, he added, “We think our job is to be realistically optimistic” about where things will land. “If tech stops changing everything and software stops eating the world, there probably would be less of an optimistic bias.” View the full article
  18. If super expensive phones don't get them, maybe cheaper ones will. That seems to be the thinking of Apple, which Bloomberg reports plans to unveil its much anticipated low-cost iPhone "as early as March." The phone, which will reportedly look like the iPhone 8, is rumored to have a 4.7 inch screen and a Home button. That's right, all you Touch ID fans can rejoice — there will likely be no Face ID on this smaller bad boy. So, what will it have? Well, a beefed up processor to match the iPhone 11, plus the possibility of competing against other smartphones on the matter of price. Who would have thought? Read more... More about Apple, Iphones, Tech, and Smartphones View the full article
  19. Local Miami media has been ferocious about reporting on Ultra Music Festival’s lack of signed contract with the city. The festival responded to reports of a lack of contract in November, stating, “Ultra’s agreement was previously ratified in July and, as is customary, we are working with the City Administration on some final touches.” Still, the Herald doubled down on the lack of contract just last week, while also reporting on a lawsuit filed by the Downtown Neighbors Alliance. Now, sources have confirmed with Your EDM that Ultra and the city of Miami have officially signed a contract. With the news earlier today that Madeon would be added to the lineup, along with Kygo last week, and an imminent phase 2 lineup announcement, Ultranauts should have no worries that this year is going along as planned. See the complete phase 1 lineup and get tickets here. Photo via aLIVE Coverage for Ultra This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: EXCLUSIVE: Sources Confirm Ultra Contract With City Of Miami Is Signed View the full article
  20. The boy band recently announced their new album MAP OF THE SOUL : 7 View the full article
  21. Elon Musk is determined to get humans into space (and eventually Mars) on his SpaceX rockets — and ASAP. But, in the meantime, the space travel company CEO should look into LEGO's latest play set, the International Space Station, to satisfy his spacefaring dreams. Announced Tuesday, the LEGO set is made up of 864 pieces to build the space station, a NASA space shuttle, three spacecrafts, and two astronauts. It'll be available starting Feb. 1 for $69.99, which is cheaper than a SpaceX rocket launch, that's for sure. An out-of-this-world building experience is coming! ️ The LEGO International Space Station is available February 1st! https://t.co/DZwnyE12EN pic.twitter.com/rcNGTeqC2H — LEGO (@LEGO_Group) January 21, 2020 Read more... More about Lego, International Space Station, Spacex, Iss, and ScienceView the full article
  22. When I was in high school, I never would have dreamed of getting a tattoo. Now, I have 11 — 7 of which I got just last year. Part of it probably has to do with growing up, maybe it has something to do with being a millennial, but there’s definitely a part of it that has to do with being surrounded by people who also have them. Tattoos aren’t new to musicians — hip hop, metal, and rock musicians have famously sported tattoos for decades. Electronic musicians, too, are known to sport ink to varying degrees and varying qualities. Some get maybe a couple to signify special events or people in their lives, others get addicted and end up doing full sleeves on one or both arms, maybe neck or face tats, often hand tats too if it gets that far. Below are 10 DJs who have used their body as a canvas, displaying interests close to their heart (Varien, Figure), getting whatever randomly pops into their head one day (Cray), or even as a punchline (Ghastly). Take a look and see if there’s anything that inspires you to get one of your own! Kayzo Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: 10 DJs With Awesome Tattoos View the full article
  23. Deborah Dugan’s suit includes an accusation that former CEO Neil Portnow was quietly removed after an alleged rape View the full article
  24. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially Expanded Access to make it easier for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients to receive MDMA therapy. The popular recreational drug has been known to be extremely effective for treating PTSD. Under the FDA’s Expanded Access program, 10 sites across the United States can apply for approval to administer the drug. This, of course, must happen under a doctor’s supervision. Starting off, 50 patients will be allowed MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment to gain real world results. MORE: MDMA Therapy Sees 76% Success Rate In PTSD Patients Since MDMA became illegal in 1985, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has worked toward reversing the ban. The organization has put millions of dollars toward clinical trials, with the new goal of making MDMA prescription by 2021. MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin said of the recent progress: We commend FDA for recognizing the great unmet medical need of PTSD by allowing access to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on a compassionate basis for people with treatment-resistant PTSD. We are delighted to begin generating real-world evidence about this potential new treatment. Source: Vice This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: FDA Expands Access to MDMA for PTSD Treatment View the full article
  25. Seattle’s Female Founders Alliance, which runs the Ready Set Raise accelerator for women and non-binary founders, has acquired New York’s Monarq, an incubator with similar goals and origins. The latter will be integrated into the former, but it seems to be a happy collaboration rather than a consolidation of necessity. Monarq was founded three years ago by Irene Ryabaya and Diana Murakhovskaya, and 32 companies have gone through its process. FFA has accepted half that number into its program as of the second cohort, with a third underway for 2020. I covered graduate Give InKind in November when it raised a $1.5 million seed round. “Monarq and FFA share a common sponsor that introduced us years ago, and we’ve been connected and supportive of each other since,” explained FFA CEO Leslie Feinzaig to TechCrunch. “This year, Diana and Irena’s side gigs started to take off — Diana raised a $20 million VC fund, and Irena’s startup, WarmIntro, started signing up substantial customers. It made strategic sense for FFA to solidify our national expansion and strengthen our network of investors and mentors that are East Coast based.” Ryabaya and Murakhovskaya will be focusing on The Artemis Fund and WarmIntro respectively, and Monarq’s accelerator will be tucked into the Ready Set Raise brand. The merge will create what FFA claims is the country’s largest network of female and non-binary industry folks, which should prove an asset for those in the program. It’s possible to see this as consolidation within a specialized branch of the startup industry, but Feinzaig said business is booming. “The market for women’s leadership is absolutely growing, and creating a lot of opportunities in the process,” she said. “What’s different now is that there is a recognition that this is good business, not a charitable cause.” The FFA’s stated goal of gender parity among founders only grows more achievable with increased reach. It may be that the increased scale also improves results in an already impressive portfolio. View the full article
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