Some Good News for Start-Ups as a Tough 2020 Comes to a Close – SEC Changes Crowdfunding Regulation – Increases Maximum Funding

Companies raising money through regulation crowdfunding can now raise up to $5 million, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission announcedMonday.

Previously, entrepreneurs had a limit of $1.07 million for regulation crowdfunding. Regulation crowdfunding provides entrepreneurs with an exemption from the SEC’s registration requirements for securities-based crowdfunding, according to the SEC website. 

This means that entrepreneurs can raise up to a certain amount of their securities without having to register the transaction with the SEC. Before, that amount was $1.07, and now it’s $5 million.

The amendment passed by the SEC comes after there’s been more conversation around expanding opportunities to invest in startups. Last month, the SEC changed another rule, expanding its definition of an accredited investor.

Accredited investors previously had to meet certain income and wealth requirements. Now, the SEC has expanded that pool to other individuals who may not meet the income and wealth requirements, but have other proof of “financial sophistication,” according to Newsday.

Illustration: Dom GuzmanStay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily

Special Note:

Canadian securities regulators are contemplating increasing the Startup Crowdfunding capital raising limit from CDN$250K (twice per calendar year) to CDN$1.5+ million.

Especially in these challenging times, I am hoping that Canadian regulators will follow suit soon and help Canadian private markets capital formation for entrepreneurs and retail investors.

© 2020 Crunchbase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Cleantech ‘Moonshots’ Attract Big-Name Investors

Photo Credit: Makani


Makani won Shell’s support for kite-based wind, and Dandelion nabbed $16 million in venture funding

Two cleantech startups from Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” improved their odds of commercialization this week.

Makani, which makes a kite-based wind power generation device, secured a partnership with Shell’s wind development arm to test the technology offshore.

The deal makes Shell a minority shareholder in the startup, although further details of the terms were not disclosed.

Now, Makani will graduate out of X’s Moonshot Factory and live as an independent entity within the Alphabet corporate structure.

Earlier this week, home geothermal heating company Dandelion Energy raised a $16 million Series A led by Google Ventures (now called GV) and Comcast Ventures.

Back in December, X (formerly Google X) spun out another far-out energy startup called Malta, which converts electricity into thermal energy and back again.

That company raised $26 million from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Concord New Energy and Alfa Laval.

This makes for a solid record of successes for X. All three active projects that dealt primarily with energy have graduated from the lab.

Another energy concept, Project Foghorn, would have synthesized carbon-neutral fuel from seawater, but the team discontinued the effortdue to the challenges of achieving cost-competitiveness with gasoline.

Cleantech investment rebound

The preliminary achievements of the three projects are all the more notable because groundbreaking energy hardware has been anathema to venture investment for years, since the big busts of the first cleantech investment boom.

Investors lost big with expensive bets on thin-film solar and biofuels, technologies which largely failed to overcome their mainstream alternatives.

Investor sentiments are changing, however. New strategic funds have emerged to offer a more direct line from energy startups to well-capitalized potential customers or buyers. Other funds have emerged targeting early-stage cleantech investment, including hardware.

Overall venture and private equity investment in cleantech for 2018 was the highest since 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That total grew 127 percent over 2017.

“There’s both a wave of new innovation in this space that warrants investment, and capital largely available now for good ideas,” said Shayle Kann, senior VP of research and strategy at Energy Impact Partners, on a recent episodeof The Interchange. “Rarely, I think, do we see at this point really good ideas with great teams that just can’t find capital to grow.”

Malta found capital despite the uninspiring track record of technological alternatives to dominant lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.

Dandelion’s raise brings the company’s total funding to $23 million to make geothermal an attractive alternative to gas or oil heating in homes. It faces strong incumbents in a market where high costs have historically limited the penetration of geothermal.

“Dandelion Energy expects to use this round of funding to accelerate growth, invest in research and development, and expand its operations across New York state — opening new warehouses and growing its team,” the company said in the announcement.

Homebuilder Lennar joined the round, raising the possibility that it could include Dandelion systems in new-build homes.

Makani to benefit from Shell’s expertise

Of the three X cleantech graduates, Makani’s technology is the furthest from anything on the market. It’s developing a wind generator without the tower, by putting turbines on a drone kite that flies in circles while tethered to the ground. It has been testing a 600-kilowatt prototype in Hawaii.

If it reaches market, this design could drastically lower the cost of wind power and speed up deployment times, by eliminating heavy construction from wind farm development. It also opens up new territory that may be hard to reach with conventional designs.

Shell wants to help commercialize the kites for offshore deployment, where they could anchor to buoys in deep water with much less effort than it takes to secure a traditional floating turbine.

“We’ll be drawing on Shell’s extensive engineering and operational expertise with floating structures to make this transition,” Makani CEO Fort Felker wrote in a blog postWednesday.

The partners plan to test an offshore Makani system at the Marine Energy Test Centre in Norway later this year, and Felker added that he is working on other partnerships to assist commercialization.

Shell has invested heavily in the cleantech space over the last year, most recently acquiring Greenlots to anchor electric mobility operations in North America.

The oil and gas supermajor separately invested in a different floating wind technology Wednesday.

It acquired a 66 percent stake in the €18 million TetraSpar demonstration project, which will mount a 3.6-megawatt turbine 10 kilometers from the coast of Norway in waters 200 meters deep.


Original Article from Green Tech Media

MIT News – Continuing Progress toward Practical Fusion Energy – “The MIT Fusion Landscape”


Dennis Whyte, director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Images: Gretchen Ertl

In series of talks, researchers describe major effort to address climate change through carbon-free power.

A year after announcing a major public-private collaboration to design a fusion reactor capable of producing more power than it consumes, researchers from MIT and the startup company Commonwealth Fusion Systems on Tuesday presented the MIT community with an update on their progress. In a series of talks, they detailed the effort’s continuing work to bring about practical fusion power — based on the reaction that provides the sun’s energy — on a faster timescale than any previous efforts.

At the event, titled “The MIT Fusion Landscape,” speakers explained why fusion power is urgently needed, and described the approach MIT and CFS are taking and how the project is taking shape. According to Dennis Whyte, head of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), the new project’s aim is “to try to get to fusion energy a lot faster,” by creating a prototype fusion device with a net power output within the next 15 years. This timeframe is necessary to address “the greatest challenge we have now, which is climate change.”

“Humanity is standing on the edge of a precipice right now,” warned Kerry Emanuel, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences, who studies the impacts climate change will have on the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and other storms. Because of the existential threat posed by climate change, it is crucial to develop every possible source of carbon-free energy, and fusion power has the potential to be a major part of the solution, he said.

Emanuel countered the claims by some skeptics who say that climate has always been changing, pointing out that human civilization has developed during the last several thousand years, which has been a period of exceptional climate stability. While global sea level rose by 400 feet at the end of the last ice age, he said, that was a time when humans were essentially nomads. “A 1-meter change today, in either direction, would be very problematic for humanity,” he said, adding that expected changes in rainfall patterns could have serious impacts on access to water and food.

Only three large countries have successfully shifted their economies away from fossil fuels, he said: Sweden, Belgium, and France. And all of those did so largely on the strength of hydropower and nuclear power — and did so in only about 15 years. “We’re going to have to do whatever works,” he said, and while conventional fission-based nuclear power may be essential in the near term, in the longer term fusion power could be key to weaning the world from fossil fuels.

Andrew Lo, the Charles E. and Susan T. Professor of Economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, said that for large projects such as the development of practical fusion power plants, new kinds of funding mechanisms may be needed, as conventional venture capitalists and other traditional sources may not be sufficient to meet their costs. “We need to get the narrative right,” he said, to make it clear to people that investments will be needed to meet the challenge. “We need to make fusion real,” which means something on the order of a billion dollars of investment in various potential approaches, to maximize odds of success, Lo said.

Katie Rae, executive director of The Engine, a program founded by MIT and designed to help spinoff companies bridge the gap between lab and commercial success, explained how that organization’s directors quickly came to unanimous agreement that the fusion project, aimed at developing a demonstration fusion device called SPARC, was worthy of the maximum investment to help bring about its transformative goals. The Engine aims to help projects whose development doesn’t fit into the 10-year expectation for a financial return that is typical of venture capital funds. Such projects require more long-range thinking — up to 18 years, in the case of the SPARC project. The goals of the project, she said, aligned perfectly with the reasons The Engine was created. “It is so central to why we exist,” she said.

Anne White, a nuclear physicist at the PSFC and the Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor in Nuclear Engineering, explained why the SPARC concept is important for moving the field of fusion to a path that can lead directly to commercial power production. As soon as the team’s demonstration device proves that it is possible to produce more power than the device consumes — a milestone never yet achieved by a fusion device — “the narrative changes at that moment. We’ll know we are almost there,” she said.

But getting to that point has always been a daunting challenge. “It was a bit too expensive and the device was a bit too big” to move forward, until the last few years when advances in superconducting magnet technology made it possible to create more powerful magnets that could enable a smaller fusion power plant to deliver an amount of power that would have required a larger power plant with previous technology. That’s what made the new SPARC project possible, White explained.

Bob Mumgaard, who is CEO of the MIT spinoff company CFS, described the next steps the team is taking: to design and make the large superconducting magnet assemblies needed for a working fusion demonstration device. The company, which currently has 30 employees but is growing fast, is in the process of “building the strongest magnets we can build,” which in turn may find applications in other industries even as the group makes progress toward fusion power. He said within two years they should have full-scale magnets up and running.

CFS and the MIT effort are far from alone, though, Mumgaard said. There are about 20 companies actively involved in such fusion research. “This is a vibrant, evolving system,” he said. Rather than a static landscape, he said, “there’s a lot of interplay — it’s more of an ecosystem.” And MIT and CFS, with their innovative approach to designing a compact, lower-cost power plant architecture that can be built faster and more efficiently, “have changed the narrative already in that ecosystem, and that is a very exciting thing.”


Update EV News: Volvo buys a stake in electric charging firm FreeWire Technologies

Volvo and MOBI

Oct. 24, 2018

Volvo Cars has acquired a stake in electric car charging company FreeWire Technologies via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, deepening the company’s commitment to a fully electric future. (See Industry Announcement Below)

While Volvo Cars’s electrification strategy does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations, the investment in FreeWire reinforces its overall commitment to supporting a widespread transition to electric mobility together with other partners.

FWire mobisLeafsFreeWire is a San Francisco-based company that has been a pioneer in flexible fast-charging technology for electric cars. It specialises in both stationary and mobile fast charging technology, allowing electric car charging to be deployed quickly and widely. (Check Out FWT’s website – Featuring ‘MOBI’)  FreeWire Technologies – Electrification Beyond the Grid

Installing traditional fixed fast-charging stations is usually a cost- and labour intensive process that requires a lot of electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the main electrical grid. FreeWire’s charging stations remove that complication and use low-voltage power, allowing operators to simply use existing power outlets. This means drivers can enjoy all the benefits of fast charging without operators needing to go through the hassle of establishing a high-voltage connection to the grid.

Volvo Cars has one of the auto industry’s most ambitious electrification strategies. Every new Volvo car launched from 2019 will be electrified, and by 2025 the company aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its overall global sales.

“Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range,” said Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank. Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”

“FreeWire’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos,” said Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars. “With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to develop new markets and business models around our EV fast charging and ultra-fast charging technology,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire. “Having a car maker with both the legacy and future vision of Volvo is going to give us access to technology, testing, and new strategies that will really accelerate the growth of the company.”

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was launched earlier this year and aims to invest in high-potential technology start-ups around the globe. It focuses its investments on strategic technology trends transforming the auto industry, such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous drive and digital mobility services.

Earlier this year, the Volvo Cars Tech Fund announced its first investment in Luminar Technologies, a leading start-up in the development of advanced sensor technology for use in autonomous vehicles, with whom Volvo Cars collaborates on the development and testing of its LiDAR sensing technology on Volvo cars.

Companies benefit from participation by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund as they may gain the ability to validate technologies, accelerate market introduction, as well as potentially access Volvo Cars’ global network and unique position in the Chinese car market.


 Volvo Car Group in 2017

For the 2017 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 14,061 MSEK (11,014 MSEK in 2016). Revenue over the period amounted to 210,912 MSEK (180,902 MSEK). For the full year 2017, global sales reached a record 571,577 cars, an increase of 7.0 per cent versus 2016. The results underline the comprehensive transformation of Volvo Cars’ finances and operations in recent years, positioning the company for its next growth phase.

About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 571,577 cars in 2017 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

In 2017, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 38,000 (30,400) full-time employees. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu, Daqing (China) and Charleston (USA), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).

About Volvo Cars Tech Fund Volvo download

Volvo Cars Tech Fund is a new venture fund under the Volvo Cars umbrella, and is dedicated to advancing Volvo’s mission of ecology, safety, and technology across its vehicles. The fund was established in 2018, and is based out of Volvo Cars R&D Tech Center in Mountain View, California. Read more here.



Industry Announcement

Volvo is the latest business to take an interest in FreeWire.  Swedish luxury vehicles company Volvo Cars has bought a stake in FreeWire Technologies, a California-based electric car charging business. 

The acquisition has been made through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, which was launched earlier this year. In an announcement Wednesday, Volvo described FreeWire as a “pioneer in flexible fast charging technology for electric cars.”Volvo becomes the latest major business to take an interest in FreeWire. In January 2018, BP Ventures announced it was investing $5 million in the business. 

From 2019, every new car that Volvo launches is set to be electrified. The business wants fully-electric cars to account for 50 percent of overall global sales by the year 2025.

“To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank,” Zaki Fasihuddin, the Volvo Cars Tech Fund CEO, said in a statement. “Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”

In 2017, there were more than 3 million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the planet’s roads, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global Electric Vehicles Outlook. This represents an increase of 54 percent compared to 2016.

Almost 580,000 electric cars were sold in China last year, according to the IEA, while around 280,000 were sold in the U.S.

In terms of charging infrastructure, the IEA says that, globally, there were an estimated 3 million private chargers at homes and workplaces in 2017. The number of “publicly accessible” chargers amounted to roughly 430,000.

The Knowledge Entrepreneur: A New Paradigm For Preparing Tomorrow’s Engineers And Scientists

Knowledge Entrpreneur Engineering-Researchers.Jan18-1200x801
Photo courtesy of UVA EngineeringWorking in the Link Lab for cyber-physical systems, engineering students at the University of Virginia are designing the next generation of intelligent devices for smart buildings and homes.  *** Special Re-Post from Forbes Leadership – by Bernie Carlson

The Knowledge Entrepreneur: A New Paradigm For Preparing Tomorrow’s Engineers And Scientists

It is tempting to apply the old saying, “East is East, West is West, but the twain shall never meet,” to science and entrepreneurship.  In the popular imagination, scientists discover new knowledge while entrepreneurs build companies to launch new products.

Most people assume that scientists are motivated by the high ideal of advancing human progress while entrepreneurs are driven by the base motives of ego and greed.  Like oil and water, science and entrepreneurship, it would seem, don’t mix.

Yet to solve the major problems confronting humanity—disease, hunger, global warming and terrorism—science and entrepreneurship need to mix. The world needs STEM specialists who possess not only a deep understanding of scientific theory and laboratory practice but also the skills needed to move ideas from the laboratory to the wider world.

At the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, we call these new experts Knowledge Entrepreneurs.

By Knowledge Entrepreneur, we don’t mean all our STEM students will launch a new startup business [though we hope that some do] but rather that they possess the habits which will allow them to be agents of change, to intentionally shape their research programs and careers in ways that address major challenges.

We share with KEEN [the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network] the vision that engineering students can transform the world by developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

Douglas E. Melton, Ph.D, shares why the entrepreneurial mindset is the key to success for engineering undergraduate students.

An entrepreneurial mindset is particularly important for students pursuing advanced masters and doctoral degrees.  Generally speaking, undergraduate students in engineering and science are passive consumers who master the material in textbooks, lectures, and laboratory exercises.

However, when they move up to graduate studies, we need to teach students how to be active producers of knowledge, to have the skills to not only generate new ideas and designs but also to be able to implement these solutions in society.

To become active producers of knowledge, graduate students should acquire five habits of effective entrepreneurs:

First, as Knowledge Entrepreneurs, students must identify a problem out there in the world and frame it as a question that can be investigated using available scientific techniques. 

While Thomas Edison is often criticized for tinkering and trying random solutions, he always began work on an invention by defining a specific problem that he could solve.

With his electric lighting system in the late 1870s, for instance, Edison decided early on that he wanted an electric lamp which could be substituted for the gas lamps people were already using.  This electric-to-gas analogy led him to experimenting with incandescent lamps and to concentrating on finding the right material for a high-resistance filament.brain-quantum-2-b2b_wsf

Problem definition means engaging multiple stakeholders; for Edison, this meant studying the economics of the gas-lighting industry, talking to potential customers and consulting with leading scientists.

For contemporary STEM graduate students, problem definition requires talking with funding agencies, fellow professionals and end users in order to understand each group’s needs.

In our course on Knowledge Entrepreneurship in UVa’s Engineering School, we borrow customer discovery techniques from the I-Corps program of the National Science Foundation, teaching our Ph.D. students how to ask people from different backgrounds open-ended questions about their problems and wishes.  Depending on their project, we encourage students to reach out to researchers, manufacturers, patients and end-users.

Thomas Edison talking about the invention of the light bulb, late 1920s. Newsreel clip from the Motion Picture Division of the U.S. National Archives.

Second, once they have defined a problem, Knowledge Entrepreneurs mobilize a network of people and resources needed to convert that problem into an opportunity.

To develop his electric lighting system, Edison assembled at Menlo Park a first-class team of technicians and scientists and provided them with laboratory instruments and machine tools as well as technical journals and books.

As Edison’s team zeroed in on a vegetable-based carbon filament, his network became global and he dispatched agents to collect plant samples from around the world; eventually, Edison found that Japanese bamboo made the best lamp filaments.

Drawing on the entrepreneurial effectuation principles of our Darden Business School colleague, Saras Sarasvathy, we show our students how to build a social network that includes faculty advisors, lab support personnel, equipment and space, and data.

One of the most popular lectures in our Knowledge Entrepreneurship course is titled “The Care and Feeding of Dissertation Advisors,” during which we help students to understand how to manage relationships with their mentors.  Emulating Edison, we encourage our students to recognize that science and engineering are complex enterprises and they need to collaborate not only across disciplines but across cultures, seeking opportunities to work with and learn from experts around the world.

Third, Knowledge Entrepreneurs recognize that innovation involves not just the development of a single idea in the laboratory but also the strategic positioning of ideas in the larger world. 

Tesla Elec Semi I 4w2a6750A clear example of this can be seen if we shift from Edison to his rival Nikola Tesla.  Along with perfecting his alternating current motor, Tesla vigorously promoted this invention by securing strong patents, writing papers for engineering journals, giving newspaper interviews and doing spectacular public demonstrations.

By doing so, Tesla secured a lucrative licensing deal with Westinghouse and established himself as a great electrical wizard.

Principles of Effectuation

This Video gives the summary of “Principles of Effectuation”. The original author is Prof. Saras Sarasvathy, Darden University.

While we don’t expect our graduate students to market themselves as wizards, we do work with them to create a strategy for promoting their work through a variety of channels—papers in key journals, presentations at conferences, elevator pitches, popular articles, blogs and websites—which ensure their ideas and designs are accessible to multiple audiences.

In particular, we push our graduate students to view the popularization of their research as not “dumbing it down” but rather as an opportunity to focus and clarify what are the essential elements of their work.  We remind them that every paper and every talk has to answer the question “So what?” in a way which is meaningful to the audience.

Fourth, Knowledge Entrepreneurs understand that innovation requires fostering a positive environment for learning and creativity. 

In developing the first stealth fighter jet at Lockheed in the late seventies, engineer-entrepreneur Ben Rich devoted significant energy to shaping the culture of the Skunk Works, the company’s famous R&D lab.  As Rich recalled, “We encouraged our people to work imaginatively, to improvise and try unconventional approaches to problem-solving, and then get out of their way.”

In doing so, Rich and his team “saved tremendous amounts of time and money, while operating in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation with our Government customers and between our white-collar and blue-collar employees.”

For Ph.D. students in STEM, the critical environment that they will shape will be the classroom.  In the course of their careers as researchers and teachers, they will mentor the next generation of scientists and citizens.

Teaching, however, cannot simply be the transmission of scientific facts and data; as Knowledge Entrepreneurs, our students need to master the latest pedagogical techniques—such as flipped classrooms and maker spaces—so that science is accessible and useful not only for future experts but also ordinary citizens who need to understand the underpinning of modern technology.

Along with doing breakthrough research on electricity, the British scientist Michael Faraday initiated in 1825 the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures on science, seeking to ensure that Victorians of all social classes had the chance to learn about the wonders of the natural and technological worlds.

60 Minutes feature on author and aeronautical designer and engineer Ben Rich with Ed Bradley. Rich talks about his work in designing the F-117 Stealth Fighter and other spy plane projects while Director of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Aired on CBS in 1994.

Fifth and finally, Knowledge Entrepreneurs are ethical and compassionate, mindful of the principles of conducting responsible science as well as being aware of how their research can help people.

Complementing our course on Knowledge Entrepreneurship, our Ph.D. students can also take a course on the “Responsible Conduct of Research,” which introduces ethical theory as well as the practical research guidelines mandated by the National Institutes of Health.

Our Ph.D. students are inspired by contemporary entrepreneurs such as Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, whose motto is “The business of business is improving the state of the world.”  Benioff is leading a movement where he invites other high-tech leaders to join him in committing 1% of product, time, profits or resources to addressing major world problems.

UVA maxresdefault (2)But compassion isn’t just about philanthropy; we invite our students to consider how compassion is integral to innovation.

One story we tell them concerns a Japanese basket-maker and a fisherman.  One day, a fisherman asked the basket-maker to fashion a basket for him so he could carry fish home from his boat.  While the basket-maker pointed out the fisherman’s design would not work very well, the fisherman insisted that he weave it for him.  A week later, the fisherman returned and found that the basket-maker had made him two baskets.  “One basket is the one you asked for,” the basket-maker explained, “and the other is the one that you will find works better.”  The basket-maker only charged the fisherman for one basket and the fisherman went away happy.

The best entrepreneurs know that innovation should be about delighting people and enriching their lives.

As STEM graduate students acquire these entrepreneurial habits, they will possess the skills needed to set themselves on career paths which will allow them to thrive in a variety of settings—in academia, industry or government.

Indeed, an entrepreneurial mindset will help them become leaders in whatever setting our graduates find themselves.  But most importantly, they will have the tools they need to apply their scientific training to the major challenges facing the world.

As Louis Pasteur advised young scientists, “Live in the serene peace of laboratories and libraries.  Say to yourselves first: ‘What have I done for my instruction?’ and, as you gradually advance, ‘What have I done for my country?’”  The Knowledge Entrepreneur understands how to move ideas from the serene laboratory to the bustling, needy world.

Bernie Carlson is professor and chair of the Engineering & Society Department at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age (Princeton, 2013).

For More information about Genesis Nanotechnology Go To/ Follow Our Blog:

GNT New Thumbnail LARGE 2016Great Things from Small Things”

Watch a YouTube Video on Our Latest Project:

What Do You Think About Nanotechnology? Tell Us with Our Quick Survey – Pleeez!


Slate Nanotechnology Survey

Slate has recently published an online survey “Tell Us What You Think About Nanotechnology” (Follow the link above to take that survey).

Which … got us to thinking. “We” (Team GNT) should have our very own Survey on Nanotechnology with more focus on youOUR READERS!

entrepren-climbing-mtn-090116-aaeaaqaaaaaaaairaaaajdm5ode1yznlltu4njutngmzyy1hztm3ltgznmnimtvjzwfioaWith over 5 Years of publication, 132,000+ hits on any average reporting cycle, representing Followers in over 50 Countries, and 10,000 plus Followers across Social Media … we are guessing you just might have some very “illuminating” and valuable thoughts, visions and opinions to share with us!


So … we are asking you to share your comments with us by answering a few questions and also … leaving us any ‘Open Comments’ you would care to leave. We will gather your responses, share the most interesting ones and let you know what others are “thinking and saying” about Nanotechnology. 


Questions Like

1. What Area or Application of Nanotechnology do you find most interesting? (Examples: Bio-Med, Cancer Treatment-Diagnosis, Electronics, Energy – Energy Storage, Materials, Sensors, Quantum Computing, etc.) Don’t let our suggestions limit your responses!

2. Which Areas or Applications do you think are most promising right now? In the future? that will dramatically change the World we live in?

3. Are you worried about the ‘safety’ of nanomaterials? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being MOST WORRIED. Why?

4. Which Nanotechnology Application or Area of Research interests you the most?

We have provided a ‘Response/ Contact Form’ for you below OR … you can Leave Us a Comment in the Comments Section. We are really looking forward to hearing from ALL of you!

Thanks! We are expecting … “Great Things from Small Things”!


Remember to ‘Follow Us on Twitter’ @Genesisnanotech


15 billion-dollar startups that didn’t exist 5 years ago

Sketching growth chart on blackboard

Every week this year, another startup has reached a billion-dollar valuation. (Whether these private market valuations actually hold water is another question.)

We’ve decided to rack up a bunch of these billion-dollar startups — Cowboy Ventures’ Aileen Lee first referred to them as “unicorns” — that didn’t exist five years ago, and that are now valued at $1 billion or more.

For the purposes of this list, we zeroed in on U.S.-based companies that were founded in 2011 or later (since we’re nearing the very end of 2015), and that are private tech companies.

Can you guess who is ranked Number 1 ?

We then ranked them from least to most valuable.

*** From Business Insider: Follow the Link Here:

5 Tips to Improve Your Startup Pitch

Start Up Pitch 1f121f3

By Eric Rice

Founder & CEO at TrepScore

Much like baseball, building a business starts with a pitch. Whether it’s explaining to your boss (or your family) why you’re quitting or convincing someone to join your team, you are pitching your business idea. Considering how important it is, I’m astounded at how many entrepreneurs neglect to craft and practice their startup pitch and do it poorly.

I have been crafting pitches for years, hundreds of them, and I’ve come to learn a few approaches that work very well.

Respect the formula:

Every pitch has very distinct parts to it. For investors, there are popular ten slide templates, which are great, but here are the three that matter: 1) the problem that you are solving; 2) your solution; and 3) the market that it relates to. And you need to really refine the market (no one likes hearing about 2 trillion dollar markets)

Keep your startup pitch simple:

This goes for all of your pitches but it is especially critical to state the problem and your solution as simply as possible. You frame the entire pitch, and the ensuing conversation, at that moment. If you get that point across and it resonates, you can fill all the details later. Trust me, there will be time. Albert Einstein said it best, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough”

Convey your idea visually:

Remember the old cartoon with the cat and the mouse, Tom and Jerry? In each episode Tom (the cat) would construct a plan to capture and eat Jerry (the mouse). What does that have to do with pitching? Well, Tom was a master ideator but he could also create a one page blueprint that would clearly show what he was planning and how he was going to achieve his goal. Though he never got to eat Jerry, Tom certainly did catch him quite often. Tom showed his entire business plan on one sheet of paper and humans ranging from age 3 up got it in an instant.

Begin your startup pitch journey with this simple goal; try to illustrate your business in pictures. People understand and love images, use them to your advantage.

Let personality and passion show:

A pitch can convey to potential investors that you have a great idea that solves big problem in a big market. But after that is established, investors look for reasons to NOT do a deal, like evaluating the entrepreneur to see if he or she truly enjoys what they are doing. Make sure your pitch reflects your personality and passion, which mostly involves remembering why you started the business in the first place business. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, no one else will be either.

Take Batting Practice:

Never forget the power of practice. Just like a baseball player takes warm-up swings before a game, an entrepreneur should practice ways to pitch their idea every day. Grab a co-worker, a team member, a cab driver, a co-founder and give them the pitch as often as possible when you aren’t pitching in front of actual investors. You should also just pitch yourself, recording or filming some of your practice pitches. It will help more than you can imagine.

You must be able to convey your idea verbally, in writing, and even visually. Apply these 5 simple tips, improve your pitch, and become the Startup CEO or Co-Founder an investor wants to work with.