Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook and Amazon – will their reign last forever?
Concern over the amount of power and information held by some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook and Amazon appears to be growing in today’s society.
Recent months have seen increasing interest and investment in a new emerging technology – ‘Blockchain,’ a version of the technology that brought us bitcoin. It is believed that Blockchain technology could be used to build similar platforms to those of the big tech companies however, in a more cooperative style – owned by all who participate or invest, avoiding the super-concentration of wealth and power into one company.
Blockchain experiments are now popping up all over the world, so who knows what the future holds…
Find out more by reading the full Newsweek article on their website.
Example of design focused innovation
Buying new clothes every few months for a growing child can be costly and resource consuming. This is why engineer Ryan Yasin, 24 has come up with new children’s clothing range, ‘Petit Pli.’ Petit Pli clothes are made from an inventive new material inspired by solar panels and satellites. The material grows along with the child – so one garment can be seven sizes in one!
Petit Pli was the result of over 500 prototypes and now Yasin’s efforts have been recognised through becoming the UK winner of the James Dyson Award! But he is not stopping there, him and the team are currently working towards trying to make a garment out of a single material, allowing for it to be recycled more easily!
Read more about Ryan Yasin and his innovative design on the Wired website.
Ventures aren’t always a success
It is of course not always good news for startups, even those which may have at one stage looked very promising and been valued highly. An article on the BBC’s technology pages takes a look at just a few of this year’s biggest failed technology startups including Juicero – a wi-fi connected juicing machine and YikYak anonymous messaging app.
It all just goes to show that no matter how well funded an idea may be, changing circumstances is our unpredictable environment can result in a turn for the worse.
Click here to read the article.
Wired-up roads are the future, mostly due to Tesla Motors, who triggered the interest in electric cars that this generation feels.
Nikola Tesla, a genius will be not only please but also excited as his enthusiasm towards electrical vehicles has triggerred the interest of many. The wireless transmission of power is the future and is now turning into a reality. From a electric cars mat when you were a child to wiring the most popular roads in Britain, electric cars are certainly on the uprise.
These electric cars are in more demand than ever due to their low local emissions, but they are also known for their expensive prices and not having a long enough driving range. So imagine if you could charge them without a plug in cable, or even while moving.
Technology is advancing at a faster rate than ever with electric tooth brushes and smart phones being charged by being placed on top of a pad. Thanks to this technology, some electric cars are able to be charged by parking on top of charging pads, so that advancement of wire-up roads are closer than ever before! Recent studies show these roads with wireless charging coils are not expensive as you think and that the biggest part of the cost is the construction work itself.
Read our official report here.
Kaizen Academy take 3rd place!
Big congratulations to Kaizen Academy for taking 3rd prize in The University Entrepreneurs Challenge at the third Educate North Awards, held at The Hilton Hall Hotel in Manchester at the end of April.
Ze Macedo represented the Kaizen team, pitching against 5 other companies at the final in front of four experienced judges. The results were then announced later that day at the awards ceremony attended by more than 250 academics, students and executives.
Well done to Ze and the rest of the Kaizen team!
You can read more about the awards and winners here.
Leggings & baubles = modern day artist canvases?
In a recent Guardian article, Louise Tickle explores the nature of innovative business collaborations between entrepreneurial artists and top galleries. From famous paintings being printed onto leggings to hand-painted Christmas baubles. The article discusses these examples and how they came about and explores the nature of such collaborations. It also identifies the common challenge experienced by the artists in making their products commercially viable when approached with such deals.
To read the full article on The Guardian website, click here.
UK ‘appallingly bad’ at providing startups with the long-term capital needed
According to leading fund manager Neil Woodford in a BBC article, small UK based companies are not receiving sufficient funding to grow and reach their full potential. The issue tends to be with long-term funding; this is potentially preventing small promising start-ups form developing into leading global companies. Other major issues discussed in the article are the UK’s Entrepreneur Relief which often results in entrepreneurs selling their businesses and also the idea that universities may not be supportive enough.
The issues are discussed in detail in a this BBC article.
Paranoia and overconfidence: the nemesis of a great idea
Do you have an amazing idea for an invention/project/business that is going to change the world? Are you worried about sharing that idea for fear of IP thieves and opportunistic business partners?
According to Rhodri Marsden, your fears may be unfounded; ideas aren’t everything and the only danger to your success is your paranoia and sometimes, a mistaken overconfidence in the potential of your big idea.
Undoubtedly, entrepreneurs need to protect their ideas, and a reluctance to share with anyone and everyone is somewhat understandable in the dog-eat-dog world of entrepreneurship. Believing in the value of your idea is also important; after all, if you don’t think that what you are doing is special, why should a potential business partner, investor, or customer? Having a balance between confidence and arrogance therefore is an important lesson to learn.
In an interesting new series, Marsden explore the history of promising inventions hindered and ultimately destroyed by their inventors, and the lessons we can learn from their mistakes.
Read via The Long and The Short here:
Part One: Paranoia
Part Two: Hubris
Illustration: Peter Judson
95% of entrepreneurs worldwide finance their own startups
Limited access to startup finance is a gripe of many entrepreneurs, many of whom can only dream of successfully securing funding from venture capitalists.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2015-16 Special Report on Entrepreneurial Finance, recently revealed that only 0.16% of small businesses in the United States received venture capital in 2015. The report is the first of its kind since the economic downturn in 2008 and discusses new research which indicates that since the 2008 recession, availability of funding and the cost of starting a business has evolved.
Although startup costs have reduced, obtaining further funding has become much more difficult and consequently entrepreneurs are investing more of their own money into their businesses than in previous years. This has also led to the rise of crowdfunding platforms and community cooperatives as small business owners search for that vital funding to make their ideas happen.
Read more on the report here.
Six things small businesses can learn from our Olympic athletes
Team GB are currently doing us proud over in Rio with their amazing strength, determination and perseverance to be the best at what they do.
Whilst the majority of us couldn’t hope to keep up in the velodrome , or run, swim or jump quite as fast, we do have something in common with these sportsmen and women. Entrepreneurs need to be resilient, brave and determined to taste success, and getting to the top can feel like a marathon or two.
So what lessons could we learn from our medal winning athletes?