VC Daily: Secondary Deals Face Changes; Startup Speed Pitching Goes Virtual; Lemonade Soars in IPO – Wall Street Journal

VC Daily: Secondary Deals Face Changes; Startup Speed Pitching Goes Virtual; Lemonade Soars in IPO  Wall Street Journal
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Sunday’s Success Stories – Celebrate Your Successes From the Past Week: Anything goes, none too small!

Welcome to this week’s Sunday’s Success Stories Thread.

A lot of us get way too hung up on the destination and the fact that we are not there yet.

It is important to take a moment to reflect on a great quote from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The steps you take don’t need to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction”- Jemma Simmons

This is extremely relevant to all of us in this community. We should all be more aware of the successes we achieve every day that carry us closer to our goals.

Celebrating these successes, no matter how small they are, allow us to stay motivated, focused, and happy while we struggle to achieve dreams of various sizes.

The purpose of this thread is to share our successes from the week with one another and have something to celebrate together.

So, let us know what successes you have achieved this week! Nothing is too small or insignificant!

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Andela, which builds engineering teams tapping African talent, goes fully-remote and opens to the wider continent

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become the name of the game for knowledge workers in the tech industry. Today, a startup that was an early mover on the opportunity of that model is announcing some news to double down on the concept.

Andela, the New York startup that helps tech companies build remote engineering teams while at the same time shrinking the digital divide by tapping talent out of hubs in Africa for those teams, is today announcing a big step up in its efforts. The company is itself going fully remote, and as part of that it’s widening the pool of people that it taps to work and train by extending its reach across the whole of the African continent, while also shutting down its existing physical campuses.

Jeremy Johnson, the co-founder and CEO, said that he believes that the move will extend the talent pool that it can tap to more than 500,000 engineers from the 250,000 that it could reach through its earlier model. To date some 100,000 engineers have applied to and used Andela’s skills training tools (it works in partnership with a number of other tech companies to provide these, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook) and it has connected some 1,000 people to job opportunities.

The news comes on the heels of the company laying off 135 employees in May, with senior employees taking 10%-30% pay-cuts ahead of what the company hinted would be a big change in its business — the news that’s getting announced today. Andela has confirmed that it is not making any more cuts to its staff with today’s news. (It has around 1,200 employees globally.)

We’re seeing a huge shift right now to remote working due to the persistent existence of COVID-19 and the need to keep more social distancing in place, and a byproduct of that has been people actively moving out of expensive tech hubs now that it’s been accepted that being in them isn’t a fundamental requirement to do work.

At the same time, a lot of companies have either slowed down or frozen hiring of full-time employees but are continuing to tap people for project-based work because their businesses are no less in need of talent to operate.

Both of those trends are an endorsement of the model that Andela helped to pioneer with its remote teams concept, and they more pointedly spell opportunity for companies like it that already have networks in place to speak to those demands.

All the same, it’s a major shift for the startup, not least because it’s closing down its physical campuses.

Founded in 2014 out of Lagos, Nigeria, and backed by investors like Generation (Al Gore’s fund), the Omidyar Network, Spark Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Education and valued at $ 700 million as of its most recent funding round last year, Andela has for the last six years focused on building a network based around the biggest tech hubs on the continent, building physical spaces in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, that helped source, vet and further train talent to become part of remote company teams for some 200 customers, with a large proportion of those in the US, including Cloudflare, Wellio, ViacomCBS, and Women Who Code.

As Andela started to scale that model, starting with a pilot in Ghana in 2018 and a second in Egypt last year, it saw that the more efficient route was to forego the physical hubs completely for virtual ones.

Indeed, Jeremy Johnson, the CEO who co-founded the company with Christina Sass, said that its move was not a direct response to the pandemic per se, although global events have definitely given a fillip to the concept

“What we’ve done historically is go and build campus in each location and in early days that made a ton of sense because that was helpful for training and from an infrastructure standpoint it was what we needed to do,” he said in an interview.

“But as we’ve transitioned to focus more on the breadth and depth of talent and diversity across the continent, we opened satellites in Egypt and Ghana where we didn’t require a campus. It’s actually worked really well and some ways feels like it’s opening opportunities for even greater growth.”

Our own interview was via Zoom, with me in London and Johnson in New Hampshire: Andela’s New York office (where he is normally based) closed for the moment.

“Our headquarters has technically been the internet, but we’ve had a big presence in NYC,” he said referring to its US base. He added that the expansion in Africa using the satellite/remote concept is the limit to how it apply the remote concept, with the question of what will happen in the future to even its US offices still not fully answered.

“We announced a few weeks ago we are going to be a remote-first company overall going forward,” he said. “It lets you think differently about where to live and more. I don’t know what it means longer term but for now we are all living on Zoom.”

While Andela is obviously expanding its talent pool with this move, and potentially giving a huge boost to providing more job opportunities for technology talent on the continent, the interesting next step for all of us will be to see how that connects with the other side of the marketplace — that is, the big tech companies themselves and how much they need to and are willing to invest in growing their own workforces. That is not a minor issue, considering the millions that have been laid off so far in the last few months.

Andela, Johnson said, has no plans to raise more capital at the moment with money in the bank and revenues continuing to come in. Last year, it confirmed that it was on an annual revenue run rate of $ 50 million, but it’s not updating that figure at the moment.

Startups – TechCrunch

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Lawrence Tech’s Annual Robofest Goes Virtual (Episode 78)

On today’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares news that the Lawrence Technological University Annual Student Robofest, which involves more than 2,500 LTU students, is going virtual this year.

The event, originally scheduled for May 14 to 16 on LTU’s Southfield campus, will now take place beginning August 28 through 29 and continue October 2 through 3 via video conferencing.

As reported in DBusiness magazine, C.J. Chung, Robofest inventor and professor of computer science at LTU, says, “We are proud to announce that Robofest is currently the only robotics world championship operating this year.”

Listen to today’s WJR Business Beat for more details on this entrepreneurial event:


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

“These (events) drive technological advances. Ultimately these are the seeds; this is where it all starts, and we’re thrilled the event is going on.”
– Jeff Sloan

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

This segment is brought to you by Dell Technologies

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Paul.

Today on the Business Beat, we’re pleased to report that the Lawrence Technological University Annual Student Robofest world championship, which involves more than 2,500 LTU students. Instead of canceling it, it’s moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, originally scheduled for May 14 to 16 on LTU’s Southfield campus, will now take place beginning August 28 through 29 and continue through October second, third via video conferencing and other sign of the changing times. But we’re thrilled this event will go on the importance of events like this are these events help shape students’ minds. They force technological thinking, innovative and progressive thinking, which can result in the seeds of really interesting startup companies being born out of our region.

Now as reported in DBusiness magazine, C.J. Chung, Robofest inventor and professor of computer science at LTU, says, “We are proud to announce that Robofest is currently the only robotics world championship operating this year.”

That’s amazing. The only one, and of course it’s going to be operating online, but it will be taking place, Paul. Robofest teams can choose to participate in a variety of events. Love these.

How about golf bowl in which students design and build a robot to putt golf balls into holes on a six-foot table, while also knocking over water bottles.

How about bottle Sumo time trial, a competition in which robots try to push water bottles off a table. Robo arts, in which students create robots that offer artistic performances like music or dance. Robo med, in which students create medical care robots. And the list goes on and on.

Now, on the surface, these may seem playful and maybe even silly, but again, these drive technological advances. Ultimately these are the seeds. This is where it all starts, and we’re thrilled the event is going on.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com and that’s today’s business beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Lawrence Tech’s Annual Robofest Goes Virtual (Episode 78) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

After raising millions, Fayetteville startup headed by John James goes dark – 5newsonline.com

After raising millions, Fayetteville startup headed by John James goes dark  5newsonline.com
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Sunday’s Success Stories – Celebrate Your Successes From the Past Week: Anything goes, none too small!

Welcome to this week’s Sunday’s Success Stories Thread.

A lot of us get way too hung up on the destination and the fact that we are not there yet.

It is important to take a moment to reflect on a great quote from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The steps you take don’t need to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction”- Jemma Simmons

This is extremely relevant to all of us in this community. We should all be more aware of the successes we achieve every day that carry us closer to our goals.

Celebrating these successes, no matter how small they are, allow us to stay motivated, focused, and happy while we struggle to achieve dreams of various sizes.

The purpose of this thread is to share our successes from the week with one another and have something to celebrate together.

So, let us know what successes you have achieved this week! Nothing is too small or insignificant!

#Because this is meant to be a safe place to support emotional and physical health there is a zero tolerance policy in effect. Be KIND. Be sure to report any conduct that is in violation of that key tenet.

You can also find more support using instant chat on the /r/startups discord.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!