Author: Arman Tabatabai

NYC launches partnership network, “The Grid”, to help grow urban tech ecosystem

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and CIV:LAB – a nonprofit dedicated to connecting urban tech leaders – have announced the launch of The Grid, a member-based partnership network for New York’s urban tech community. The goal of the network is to link organizations, academia and local tech leaders, in order to promote collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and resources. In addition to connecting member companies and talent, The Grid will host various events, educational programs, and co-innovation projects, while hopefully improving access to investors as well as pilot program opportunities. The Grid is launching with over...

Read More

WashU announces donation from Square co-founder to grow engineering school

Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) announced today that its engineering school received its largest single donation in history. The donation was offered by Square co-founder and WashU alumni Jim McKelvey, for whom the school will be renamed, from the School of Engineering & Applied Science to The James McKelvey School of Engineering. WashU did not disclose the donated amount and historically does not disclose financial information. McKelvey has deep ties to his alma mater. McKelvey’s father, Jim McKelvey Sr., was a professor at the WashU School of Engineering for 23 years, before serving as its dean for an...

Read More

Has the fight over privacy changed at all in 2019?

Albert Gidari Albert Gidari is the Consulting Director of Privacy at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. He was a partner for over 20 years at Perkins Coie LLP, achieving a top-ranking in privacy law by Chambers, before retiring to consult with CIS on its privacy program. He negotiated the first-ever “privacy by design” consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission. A recognized expert on electronic surveillance law, he brought the first public lawsuit before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, seeking the right of providers to disclose the volume of national security demands received and the number of...

Read More

YC-backed Our World in Data wants you to know that the planet is doing okay

News is exhausting. Mexican murders are sky-high. Ebola is ravaging the eastern Congo. China is erasing an entire culture of Islam from its Western hinterlands. That news — negative and intense though it is — can easily occlude the many positive, longer term stories that are fundamental drivers of the world. Africa is reaching new levels of prosperity. Violence around the world is in retreat. Famine is down, a lot. These trends are present, but getting high-quality data around them and correctly interpreting them can be challenging. How do you piece all these disparate threads together and start to...

Read More

TechCrunch Conversations: Direct listings

Last April, Spotify surprised Wall Street bankers by choosing to go public through a direct listing process rather than through a traditional IPO. Instead of issuing new shares, the company simply sold existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors directly to the market – bypassing the roadshow process and avoiding at least some of Wall Street’s fees. That pattens is set to continue in 2019 as Silicon Valley darlings Slack and Airbnb take the direct listing approach. Have we reached a new normal where tech companies choose to test their own fate and disrupt the traditional capital markets process?  This...

Read More

On-demand workspace platform Breather taps new CEO

Breather’s new CEO Bryan Murphy / Breather Press Kit Breather, the platform that provides on-demand private workspace, announced today that it has appointed Bryan Murphy as its new CEO. Before joining Breather, Murphy was the founder and President of direct-to-consumer mattress startup, Tomorrow Sleep. Prior to Tomorrow Sleep, Murphy held posts as an advisor to investment firms and as an executive at eBay after the company acquired his previous company, WHI Solutions – an e-commerce platform for aftermarket auto parts – where Murphy was the co-founder and CEO. Breather believes Murphy’s extensive background scaling e-commerce and SaaS platforms, as well as his experience working with incumbents across a number of traditional industries, can help it execute through its next stage of global growth. Murphy is filling the vacancy left by co-founder and former CEO Julien Smith, who stepped down as chief executive this past September, just three months after the company completed its $45 million Series C round, which was led by Menlo Ventures and saw participation from RRE Ventures, Temasek Holdings, Ascendas-Singbridge, and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec. In a past statement on his transition, Smith said: “As I reflect on my strengths and consider what it will take for the company to reach its full potential, I realize bringing on an executive with experience scaling a company through the next level of growth is the best...

Read More

The U.S. continues to hammer Chinese tech

It’s another week, and another bevy of hits on Chinese tech by the U.S. government. Let’s get up to speed, plus a request for startup lawyer recommendations. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. Venture capital’s leading advocate NVCA pushes for narrower restrictions on foreign investment Let’s start with the most exciting subject in the world: the federal rulemaking process. Last year, Congress approved sweeping reforms of CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment...

Read More

HQ2 fight continues as New York City and Seattle officials hold anti-Amazon summit

The heated debate around Amazon’s recently announced Long Island City “HQ2” is showing no signs of cooling down. On Monday morning, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) hosted a briefing in which labor officials, economic development analysts, Amazon employees and elected New York State and City representatives further underlined concerns around the HQ2 process, the awarded incentives, and the potential impacts Amazon’s presence would have on city workers and residents. While many of the arguments posed at the Summit weren’t necessarily new, the wide variety of stakeholders that showed up to express concern looked to contextualize the...

Read More

Right Now in Politics and Business