Trading in your Soul for Venture Capital

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In the tech industry, we celebrate raising money as a victory second only to that of a successful exit.

And while I recognize that venture capital is often an unavoidable requirement for growing a business, most entrepreneurs, and the tech community at large — who often seem to push people into raising VC — would be better served viewing it as a necessary evil as opposed to an absolute win.

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Internet of Things Innovations in Agriculture

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Venture capitalists invested a record amount in agriculture and food startups in the third quarter this year, totaling $269 million across 41 deals. Conservis, for example, raised $10 million to offer farmers a real-time view of operations. FarmLogs raised $4 million to deliver apps that help farmers increase their productivity and profitability by identifying the crops most likely to sell. In November, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Flextronics Lab IX launched Farm2050, a collective to support “ag-tech” startups whose solutions boost global food production.

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Coding Education & Tech Trends of 2014

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Audrey Watters:  “The business of ed-tech” is also the “politics of ed-tech.” The business and the politics of ed-tech together dictate almost all the other trends that I’ll cover in this year-end series. MOOCs. Big data. Learning analytics. Privacy. Competency-based education. Buzzwords.

One way to identify the dominant ed-tech trends is to look at what venture capitalists are funding. Another is to look at what government policies are demanding. The state of Maryland, for example, said this year that it would need to invest $100 million in technology upgrades in order to be ready for the new online testing mandated by the Common Core State Standards.

New hardware. New infrastructure. New curriculum. New expenditures.  So… who benefits?

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The Venture of Agriculture

agriculture

Venture capitalists invested a record amount in agriculture and food startups in the third quarter this year, totaling $269 million across 41 deals. Conservis, for example, raised $10 million to offer farmers a real-time view of operations. FarmLogs raised $4 million to deliver apps that help farmers increase their productivity and profitability by identifying the crops most likely to sell. In November, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Flextronics Lab IX launched Farm2050, a collective to support “ag-tech” startups whose solutions boost global food production.

Continue reading… “The Venture of Agriculture”

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