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Tesla can’t reach global battery supremacy without a friend

Originally posted on Quartz:

Why hasn’t Tesla announced a partner yet for its much vaunted gigafactory?  The question is beginning to be asked, and not just by investors.

Tesla’s share price has underperformed the market by a wide margin since it unveiled its plans to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery factory on Feb 26.  Although, to be fair, it has also been one of the hardest-hit stocks in the recent sell off that thus far, nobody has been able to convincingly explain.

Price-returns-Tesla-S-P-500_chartbuilder

Each day that passes without Tesla announcing a partner—who will be expected to help fund the project and produce the batteries—the more the uncertainty mounts. It’s creating concern about the launch of Gen 3, Tesla’s next model of electric car which is expected to sell for just $35,000 and take the company to the mainstream. “If six months pass without measurable progress on the factory, must investors push back expectations for Gen 3…

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8 tips for giving the perfect investor pitch (from someone who’s raised $75M)

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

In my last post, I shared eight tips for creating the perfect pitch deck. After such an overwhelming response (tens of thousands of readers, 45 questions via Twitter/email, and almost 5,000 shares via social media) I decided to follow up with a second piece on a topic that’s discussed even less than creating a pitch deck: actually standing in front of potential investors and pitching for capital.

As part of my five-year journey building Bigcommerce, I’ve raised three rounds of venture capital financing: a $15 million series A in 2011 from General Catalyst, a $20 million series B in 2012, also from General Catalyst, and a $40 million series C last year from Steve Case’s Revolution Growth for a total of $75 million.

For each round of financing, we created a pitch deck and went on a road show. For all three rounds, we received term sheets very early in the process and cut our pitching short, allowing…

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This Stanford team is reinventing the entire Internet for just $10M

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

If anyone tries to tell you that government grants play no role in technology innovation, point them to the field of software-defined networking.

And soon, you might be able to point them to open social networking.

Software-defined networking, or SDN, grew in large part out of research done at Stanford, led by professor Nick McKeown and a group of colleagues and graduate students, called the Programmable Open Mobile Internet 2020 (POMI) project.

That project received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation in 2008 to “address fundamental issues emerging in the forthcoming broadband wireless mobile revolution” and to “create an ‘open’ alternative to mobile ubiquitous computing and communication that can spur innovations.”

The POMI work, the NSF predicted, “will have a dramatic impact on the choices users will have in the way their data and information is computed, stored and communicated.”

That prediction turned to be spot on.

One of…

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In Stephen Wolfram’s future, ‘a box of a trillion souls’ will create any universe we want (interview)

The Editor:

interesting

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

In his keynote presentation to SXSW 2014 last week, computing pioneer Stephen Wolfram demonstrated the capabilities of his new Wolfram Language . But he ended his talk with a radical vision of the future of humanity.

In keeping with the title of his talk, which was “Injecting Computation Everywhere,” Wolfram described a future where computers are so tiny and so cheap that they are embedded in everything, and everything becomes programmable.

“Languages will become the stuff that everything is made of,” Wolfram said. And, if you can program the stuff around you, “you can build any sort of universe for yourself.”

In the end, Wolfram said, “everything is reduced to a box of a trillion souls, and they’re all running whatever computations they want to.”


Read part 1 of this interview: How Stephen Wolfram plans to reinvent data science & make wearables useful

We spent an hour with…

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I’ve notice you notice this notice

I've notice you notice this notice

PayPal taps Rakesh ‘Rocky’ Agrawal to bring more small businesses aboard

The Editor:

think global

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Payment-processing giant PayPal wants more small businesses to use its services, especially as new-generation players like Square grow larger.

Today PayPal announced a major hire to focus on those small businesses. Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal, a veteran of Aol and Microsoft, will become the company’s director of strategy.

“I’m going to be responsible for working with entrepreneurs and small business and helping them understand this big changing global landscape,” Agrawal said in an interview with VentureBeat.

People just getting started in businesses have things to think about other than technology, and services like PayPal can help them spend time on more important things, he said.

Disclosure: Agrawal has contributed guest posts to VentureBeat on a regular basis for more than two years. He’ll continue to write for us, but will no longer write about PayPal or its competitors. Here’s Agrawal’s post on why he joined PayPal.

Agrawal’s move to PayPal follows…

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