“It just started as a grand experiment,” says Walter Cruttenden, the serial fintech entrepreneur, of his latest foray into the world of low finance. “Let’s see if we can reach people through games.” Cruttenden, the founder of Roth Capital Partners, co-founder of the micro-investment application Acorns, and the former head of eTrade’s investment banking arm, has managed to raise another $7 million for his startup, Blast — which wants to give users a way to save money while playing video games.
Meet the 29-year-old who founded a company that's using technology to find treatments for diseases thought to be incurable
The drug development process is laden with problems that make it lengthy and expensive. Right now, it takes 12 years and $2.6 billion to get a single drug to market, with the drug discovery and development process costing $1.4 billion. Verge Genomics, run by 29-year-old Alice Zhang, is trying to address these problems by making drug discovery faster and cheaper. On Monday, the San Francisco-based company announced it had raised $32 million in series A funding, led by Draper Fischer Jurvetson, bringing its total amount raised to $36.5 million.
AI drug discovery startup Verge Genomics raises $32M led by DFJ
Y Combinator graduate Verge Genomics believes that with the help of artificial intelligence, drug discovery can be dramatically accelerated. The Silicon Valley company today announced a $32 million funding round led by DFJ, WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund, ALS Investment Fund, Agent Capital, and OS Fund. “We’re looking to take the guesswork out of drug discovery,” Verge Genomics founder Alice Zhang told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “This funding will allow us to advance our most promising drug candidates toward the clinic while continuing to expand our proprietary datasets and therapeutic portfolio.”
Americans invest $1B into Acorns by using spare change
Away raises $50 million in Series C funding
Steph Korey, Away co-founder and CEO, and Jen Rubio, Away co-founder and president, discuss how their company has become one of the fastest-growing female start-ups in the country. To expand they just announced an addtional $50M in funding to help them expand beyond luggage and into the large global travel market.
Luggage Startup Away Raises $50M In Series C And Hits Profitability Within Two Years
Away, a seller of lightweight smart-luggage, has raised $50 million in additional funding from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Comcast Ventures. The capital will help Away take off into new global markets, widen its product line and open six retail stores in 2018. “It’s really cool to be part of this class of women-founded businesses that are paving the way and proving that anyone should be able to raise money. Not everyone has to look the same as the founders of the past,” says Steph Korey, cofounder and CEO. She and Jen Rubio, both Forbes Under 30 alumnae, launched Away in early 2016 and have announced it reached profitability within its first two years, a feat for a startup that manufactures a high-tech luggage with 100 different parts. “Our luggage is quite complex,” says Korey. “What allows us to invest in high-quality products is the fact that we don’t sell to other retailers.” Without retailers chomping at their profit margins, Away is able to keep their luxury line at “coach prices.”
A popular Nashville butcher shop now delivers its high-quality, pasture-raised meat across the whole country — here's what it's like
When the residents of Nashville want a good cut of meat for dinner or a barbecue, they stop by butcher shop Porter Road, where everything is sourced from a local farm and hand-cut by people who know their meats. The neighborhood favorite, which opened in 2011, was founded by trained chefs Chris Carter and James Peisker, who realized while shopping for their catering business that it was difficult to find quality meat, even when they visited farmer's markets. In 2018, they took the business online to recreate the local experience for home cooks nationwide. "Bringing Porter Road online truly happened out of necessity,
MIT Technology Review - 35 Innovators Under 35 - Alice Zhang, Verge Genomics
Traditional approaches to drug development for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) haven’t offered patients much. Alice Zhang is trying something new. Her company, Verge Genomics, uses artificial intelligence to identify promising compounds, refining the algorithms with high-quality data from patients and lab tests. She hopes this will be a more effective way to find treatments for intractable neurodegenerative diseases. Zhang’s unorthodox method was inspired when she heard a researcher give a talk detailing how hundreds of genes interact in cancer and wondered whether this “network” approach could apply to neurodegenerative diseases. “Computational biology has provided so much insight about cancer,” she says. “The brain is about 10 years behind.”
Alison Brie Swaps Her Wrestling Costume for Boxing Gloves
The star of Netflix’s “GLOW,” which returns for Season 2, is not afraid of getting physical. Alison Brie at the Rumble gym in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. “I’m not an athlete by nature,” Alison Brie said one afternoon in the Chelsea section of New York, though you wouldn’t guess that from her current role. The 35-year-old actress has been pushing her body to its limits as the star of “GLOW,” the silly-smart Netflix comedy about female wrestling, inspired by the schlocky 1980s franchise Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot
Weeks after he was born, Alex Vardakostas’ mother strapped him into a baby carrier and went back to work flipping burgers at A’s, the Southern California fast-food restaurant that she and her husband owned. When Vardakostas was a toddler, the town’s local newspaper, Dana Point News, ran a photograph of him peering through the restaurant’s walk-up window. As he grew older, he often played in the back of the kitchen among pallets of hamburger buns while his parents worked. At 8, he started filling drink orders, standing on top of a milk crate to reach the soda machine. Sometimes he ran food
The First Burger Built by a Robot Is About to Hit the Bay Area
On June 27, the world’s first robot-crafted burger will roll off a conveyor belt in San Francisco and into the hands of the public. You could call it the freshest burger on Earth. The product, from Bay Area-based Creator, a culinary robotics company, is assembled and cooked in a machine that contains 20 computers, 350 sensors, and 50 actuator mechanisms. It does everything from slicing and toasting the brioche bun to adding toppings (to order) and seasoning and cooking the patties, all in five minutes. The meat is ground to order—why it’s touted as so fresh—and sourced from premium ingredients. It emerges from the machine piled with tomatoes and lettuce, sprinkled with seasonings, and drizzled with sauces, at which point it’s transferred by human hands to the customer. The price: $6.
Taste test: Burger robot startup Creator opens first restaurant
Creator’s transparent burger robot doesn’t grind your brisket and chuck steak into a gourmet patty until you order it. That’s just one way this startup, formerly known as Momentum Machines, wants to serve the world’s freshest cheeseburger for just $6. On June 27th, after eight years in development, Creator unveils its first robot restaurant before opening to the public in September. We got a sneak peek…err…taste. When I ask how a startup launching one eatery at a time could become a $10 billion company, Creator co-founder and CEO Alex Vardakostas looks me dead in the eye and says, “the market is much bigger than that.”