Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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I have known Toni Fitzgerald for many years and have deep admiration for the work she is doing in Africa.
This post is about something very serious. Did you know that every 11 seconds in Africa a young girl’s genitals are cut out? This may sound appalling to you and you might be thinking “why should I care because what can I do about it?”.   
There are 92 million girls in Africa who have already undergone this procedure - it is a serious problem and your help will make a huge difference. Toni and the Rights of Girls work to stop this inhumanity and allow young girls to experience a normal life. A life free from diseases, pain and suffering.  
To find out the simple and effective way of how Toni is helping save these children, here is a very short White Paper.


Ivan Kaye

.S. If you want to see what Toni is doing, please take a look at her website
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ps If you feel that you want to be a "goatee" and save a human - feel free to contact Toni and share! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Paul Allen the co-founder of Microsoft, died today

Paul Allen the co-founder of Microsoft, died today.

He'd fought Lymphoma for many years, and only in the last few weeks did it return to take him.

As ours blog is for entrepreneurs and business people, I wanted to briefly write down some of the things Paul exemplified to me.

He may be dead, but how he lived his life is a lesson to all of us in business.

  1. He aimed big. As a 22 year old, he didn't just aim to build a tech company, he and Bill wanted to put "A computer on every desk and in every home".
  2. He lived a life of adventure.Paul wasn't all work. He not only was passionately involved in two sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, he also was hugely involved in music and the arts. ( Both as a participant and a financial supporter).
  3. He cared deeply about helping society. 

His donations to charities and scientists dedicated to improving the human condition were massive. 

In my view he did what every great entrepreneur should do- use the wealth and influence gained from business to help make the world a better one for all of us.

These 3 things most stand out for me when I think of Paul Allen. 

And they are three things that we can all focus on and increase in our own lives.

  • Aiming big.
  • Living a life of adventure.
  • Caring deeply about society.

Vale Paul. 

Best Wishes,


Siimon Reynolds


Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. Jim Rohn

Saturday, October 13, 2018

School Carpooling “the trusted manager for all your family’s mobility,”

By Brian Blum OCTOBER 7, 2018, 8:20 AM

School carpooling in the US gets a high-tech makeover

If there’s a change in plans, Figure8’s app updates everyone at once and even sends a picture of the replacement driver so there are no surprises.

The Pain 

“A parent arrives ready to pick up six children to transport to dance practice,” he explains. “I reach for the dismissal card on the dashboard of the van, bring a walkie-talkie to my mouth and say, ‘Grade 3, please send Isaac S.’”
Invariably, there’s no response.
“Grade 3, please send Isaac S.,” Matzkin repeats.
The walkie-talkie crackles back. “Grade 3, Isaac is on his way.”
As this slow process drags on one child at a time, the residential roads leading to the school become a congested parking lot full of idling engines.

Yaniv Vakrat was one of those Silicon Valley carpool parents and he was as frustrated as Matzkin.

But Vakrat is also an entrepreneur. He grew up in Israel, graduated from the Technion and received his PhD in information economics in the United States. He put down roots in Palo Alto and spent 17 years running business development for companies such as Adobe and Apple before returning to Israel.
Vakrat thought there must be a better way to manage carpools and classroom dismissals. 

So he invented it.

The Painkiller

Vakrat’s startup, Figure8, replaces Matzkin’s clipboard and walkie-talkie with a single app for mobile phones and tablets. It can cut a 45-minute dismissal process to 25 minutes in many cases.

Now when an empty van approaches, I type one number into my iPad, click six ‘excuse’ buttons and in seven seconds the van is on its way to waiting children,” explains Matzkin.
Figure8’s straightforward interface has an administrator panel for the school and individual apps for parents and students.

“All the notifications come in real time,” Vakrat says – for example, this kid just left the classroom, now the carpool has left the school grounds, the carpool for Sarit and Yoni is 10 minutes away. GPS on the students’ phones tracks where they are so no one gets lost.
If there’s a change in plans, the Figure8 app updates everyone at once and even sends a picture of the replacement driver so there are no surprises.

“Before Figure8, I had to write my driving days down on a calendar, which often got crossed out when I or the other parents needed to switch things around,” Rachel Licht, who used Figure8 at the South Peninsula Hebrew Day School in Sunnyvale, Calif., tells ISRAEL21c. “Once Figure8 came into play, it was so much smoother. Everything was in one place. Figure8 really did change the way I carpooled.”

Saving Time and The Environment 

Aside from the time savings — American parents spend anywhere from 16 to 40 hours a month ferrying their kids to and from school — Vakrat believes that wide adoption of Figure8 could positively impact the carbon impact of all those carpooling cars.

Moneys raised and revenue model

The company has raised just under $3 million and has nine US schools signed up so far. Schools pay a monthly fee per student. Parents can download the app independently in order to manage extracurricular carpools at no charge.

Figure8 is available only in the United States for now. Vakrat, who now manages his family’s carpools in and around Tel Aviv, hears from many parents who want the app here and he hopes that will happen eventually.

A major opportunity - Smart carpooling and figuring out who to trust

Figure8 has greater ambitions than just school dismissals, stemming from Vakrat’s own carpool-from-hell experience during the years he lived in the US.

He was driving his daughter from school to ballet class, which could take half an hour.

“Then you wait an hour for the class to finish, at which point there’s no reason to go back to the office,” he says. “Basically three hours are gone. I would look around and see lots of other parents, smart professionals, whose time is worth a lot of money, and I thought, there’s no way that this thing should be so inefficient!”

Indeed, it’s gotten so bad in California that companies like HopSkipDrive and Kango are now “pre-qualifying” drivers – Uber and Lyft style – to pick up and drop off kids. GoKid, KidCarPool and Chaperone are specific to carpools for school-age children.

The difference, Vakrat points out, is that “we’ve merged transportation management for kids with check-in and check-out.”

I don’t trust anyone when it comes to my kid,” he tells ISRAEL21c, “except for people within my community. It could be a parent or even a nanny.”

Using machine learning, Figure8 is working on a “carpool matching” feature for such families.
“It’s not a trivial technology,” Vakrat says. “It’s more than just the proximity between you and your neighbor going to the same soccer practice. 

You might have a six-year-old daughter while your neighbor has a son who’s 18, and they won’t connect so well in the back seat. The system learns and will know eventually if a particular carpool suggestion worked or not. Over time, it will become more effective in matching families together.”

Another piece of unique technology in Figure8 is Driver Assistant, which understands the context of what a driver is doing. “You just keep your phone in your pocket and the software automatically updates everyone,” Vakrat explains.

That kind of software is very difficult to get right, Vakrat adds. “For example, you might be going to a supermarket next to the soccer field. How does it know the difference?”
Because Figure8’s tracking software works the same for a minivan or a 30-person yellow bus, school bus management could be its next area of interest.

Ultimately, Valent want Figure8 to be

“the trusted manager for all your family’s mobility,”

I think this is a winner - what do you think 

Ps feel free to download my business card

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Startup Studio Behind Hims - Just Raised $150M at a half a billion dollar valuation

When direct-to-consumer men’s health startup Hims launched in November 2017, it seemed to come out of nowhere. 

Him’s Offering is easy-access prescriptions for men’s issues like hair loss and erectile dysfunction through a quick online doctor consultation, 

Hims had sleek branding and eye-popping numbers for a debutant: $1 million in first-week sales and $7 million in funding right out of the gate from blue-chip investors including Kirsten Green and Josh Kushner.

Less than a year later, Hims has raised another $90 million at a reported half-billion-dollar valuation, with tens of millions in sales. 

Its torrid pace has made CEO Andrew Dudum look brilliant—or at least very, very lucky.

Hims was the result of months of planning and testing at a startup studio called Atomic, founded by entrepreneurs Jack Abraham and Chester Ng. 

Atomic’s team of founders, marketers and operations experts poured months of work into Hims before it burst onto the public scene. 

And for all its rapid growth, Hims still operates out of Atomic’s office and shares back-office services with its other companies.

In less than five years, Atomic has launched 10 companies including Hims out of a $20 million first fund, enjoying one exit (TalkIQ) and returning its cash to investors like Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel in less than five years—good for an internal rate of return of more than 70% so far.

Atomic is a great model for others to emulate.

What do you think?

Ps feel free to download my business card

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Government support for innovation and startups in the UK

The UK government offers a range of tax incentives and programmes to promote competition and innovation including:

  • the Enterprise Investment Scheme
  • the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
  • Entrepreneurs’ Relief
  • research and development tax credits
  • the Patent Box scheme, where companies pay a lower rate of Corporation Tax on profits earned from their patented innovations

The government also has up to 50 billion GBP available to support finance and insurance for supplies from within the UK to buyers outside the UK. This support takes the form of guarantees, insurance and loans issued by its export credit agency, UK Export Finance.

For more info on UK Innovation -

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Superfunds are starting to come to the VC Party

Industry super fund Hostplus is looking to invest $1 billion of its $36b fund in venture capital that will help fund the future of the country's economy.

"If the whole thing dies and the whole billion evaporates, we have only lost one divided by 36, which seems like a lot, but it isn't with the potential outsize returns from successful investments ... So my question is why isn't everybody else doing it?" Says the fund's chief investment officer Sam Sicila who believes it is likely to prove a smart investment.

"As a nation we need a mindset that a culture of innovation is critically important. The nature of venture capital is that most of it won't succeed, but those that do succeed insanely wildly."

In recent times Hostplus has backed Square Peg Capital, Blackbird Ventures, MH Carnegie & Co, Carthona Capital, Brandon Capital Partners' Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, UK-based IP Group's $200 million fund for commercialising Group of Eight universities' research and CSIRO's Main Sequence Ventures fund.

While a number of other institutions have begun flirting with the VC sector, such as First State Super, Sunsuper, Hesta, StatewideSuper and AustralianSuper, most have done so in a  limited way or not at all. 

Blackbird Ventures co-founder Niki Scevak has direct experience of coaxing super funds to invest, and was also able to convince the Future Fund to back his latest $225 million fund. He said it was too early to claim that the floodgates had opened for institutional money, but was optimistic that the initial resistance had broken down.

He said he believed that the scale of Australian funds meant that only a few more getting involved could dramatically change the size of the local industry, however he said the appetite for risk was not easy for some funds to develop.

Niki told the AFR "I certainly believe that venture capital offers the potential for the best returns in the world ... Sequoia Capital has significantly outperformed Warren Buffet over 40 years, for example. But the reality is that like the average start-up, the average venture capital fund is a failure," 

"It is essential for the local ecosystem to have strong interest from the big super funds, and the raison d'etre of super funds is to provide for their members' retirement. So it makes sense to have a sensible exposure into tech companies that will shape the future of our country."

He said the current government was along the right lines with research and development incentives and that it was time for the government to stop avoiding the topic of innovation-led change, simply because it scared voters about their jobs.

Attached is a link to an interesting presentation of how BSI plays in the Venture Capital space