A few years ago Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers realized that he needed to prepare a counterattack to the growing threat of software-defined networking, a new kind of technology that allowed companies to control networks using software, rather than the high-end routers and switches that Cisco built its name on
With billions of dollars in company coffers, Chambers could have acquired a startup to get in the game. He also could have asked some of the thousands of engineers employed by his company to tackle the project. Instead, he elected to persuade several semiretired Cisco executives to leave their lives of leisure and take on, as the archetypal plot of so many action films suggests, one last job.
Inc magazine has a nice gallery on how the Gold Rush, IBM, space and nuclear programs, Celestial Seasonings, Amgen, and now the Pot economy have shaped the town with “the most high-tech start-ups per capita in the nation”
Nicholas Shea, a Stanford MBA and a dual U.S.-Chilean citizen, began this program in 2010, when he realized that there were no viable visa options for the Chilean friends he wanted to start a company with in Silicon Valley. Since 2010, the Start-up Chile program has awarded over 1,000 startup visas and millions of dollars of funding to those who win the country’s business plan competition.
Although the program is very competitive and it’s difficult to win one of these Chilean startup visas, the lucky winners are treated to a first class incubation program. Under the watchful eye of current director Horacio Melo, they are showered with attention, mentoring, business development guidance, non-stop networking opportunities, and access to potential investors.
The current group includes entrepreneurs from all over the world, including India, Australia, Canada, Greece, France, the U.S., and of course Chile. Their business concepts run the gamut: e-commerce, software, mobile and wireless, social media, medical devices. and more. Some of the visa winners are seasoned businesspeople and some are young, first-time entrepreneurs with a great business concept. While the group is very diverse, they uniformly seem to feel great appreciation for the program and the opportunities the Chilean government is providing to them.
Impressive what Loic and team have delivered since 2004
"On this stage we have hosted technology icons, Heads of State, world famous designers and visionaries, all with the goal of creating a community where entrepreneurs can come together, share experiences and inspire each other to create."
Time (sub required) on the many small deals Apple, Twitter, Yahoo! and Walmart (in graph) have done
"In most cases, the acquirers don't care about the products they've
bought. (To prove it, they often instantly shut them down, as Yahoo did
with Rockmelt's smartphone browser in August.) What they covet is the
expertise of the acquisition's founders and engineers and sometimes the
technology they've created or the data they've collected."
SeedTable has information on more than 42,500 companies founded since
2002, including whether the companies are angel- or venture
capital-funded (angel funders invest their own money; venture
capitalists raise money from others), and whether the funder has exited,
either by IPO or acquisition. The data cover 150 cities worldwide. It
is reported by separate city or municipality, so the Martin Prosperity Institute's Zara Matheson
organized the data by metro area and then mapped it by three major
categories: global start-ups, companies receiving angel funding, and
companies receiving institutional venture capital.
Fortune (sub required) on some of In-Q-Tel's portfolio
Palantir builds tools that can bring massive amounts of disparate data
into one place, allowing users to find patterns -- in phone records and
financial transactions, for example -- that would otherwise be
(Sonitus Medical) is developing a miniature
wireless-communication device that sits in a person's mouth where no one
can see it. (Photo of its SoundBite in the mouth hearing device which uses bone conduction to imperceptibly transmit sound via the teeth)
Oculis software uses a webcam to check whether anyone nearby is looking
at a computer screen and, if so, alerts the user with a pop-up window.
(Adapx's) digital pens allow users to record information in real time, then connect the pen to
a PC or cellphone and share the info.
Nice Fortune (sub required) interview with the serial inventor where he talks about Segway, Slingshot, First Robotics and his views on educating our young
"If you have an entire generation of kids growing up who are immersed
in a culture that creates superheroes from the worlds of sports and
entertainment and nothing else, then these kids will work hard to
emulate the skill sets of those role models. The problem is very, very
few kids will ever make it in those fields.
We started this
thing in 1988 in a gym in Manchester, N.H., with 28 teams. This year
we'll have more than 23,000 schools from about six countries competing.
We have 120,000 corporate volunteers and 3,500 corporate sponsors. I'm
working with will.i.am and his i.am.angel foundation to try to get First
into every school in the country."
Photo credit of Kamen with his energy-efficient Stirling engine (being branded Revolution) that he used in Bangladesh to create electricity with methane gas generated by cow dung.
Seth Godin’s latest book is a cheerleader for this entrepreneur. As he says in this interview
“…I called it the Icarus Deception, [because] people think the story says don’t fly too close to the sun,” he says. “But that’s not what it used to say. 150 years ago, it used to say ‘don’t fly too low’. Because if you fly too low, the mist and the water will weigh you down, and you will perish.”
But how does a Greek fable apply to Godin’s new book? He explains.
“It’s about not settling – for 100 years we lived in an industrial economy, where people who ran the factories, made shoes and cars and life insurance policies, and amusement parks, they wanted us to fit in,” he says. They wanted us to be compliant, they wanted us to do what we were told, and that’s why they invented school. To teach us to sit still, and listen and regurgitate. But that industrial age is dying, right before our eyes.”