work in progress
- Mental health. New ventures in this field popping up (we did a round-up here in August). Palina launches LINA – the first art therapy mobile app, and joins FIRSTPICK pre-accelerator. Audyn AI also goes live - a mental health companion. Maybe one will repeat Ania's story - bootstrapped to 2 m users an app to manage panic attacks.
- Two-wheels rolling. Cycle like a boss - or Kaja Kallas, PM of Estonia. There is a strong argument that bikeshare has been a godsend and should be subsidized. After covid boost, however, there is a little hangover (excess inventory) in the market, so where will the growth come from? Perhaps devices? Given Germans bought more e-bikes last year than electric cars got sold across the whole Europe, Monimoto introduced a new e-bike tracker (they tend to double revenues annually). Accessories? Double-clicking how MTB Hopper is doing. New form factors? Bruntor is a Latvian cargo scooter with a "fun" option.
- Prop-tech (thanks Vilius!). Profitus is raising 500k round (target 18/20 mln valuation) to start expanding to other Baltic Markets and South Europe. They are introducing major platform update allowing to add funds from any European bank. CityNow has launched an automated real estate valuation model in a major app update. New product in town! Perdavimoaktas.lt will make it easier to transfer ownership of sold property to new owner and comply with regulations.
- Calendar. World-famous Audrey Tang from Taiwan will join GovTech Leaders 2023 (9th of May). Startup Fair September 7th. LT Tech Event calendar http://bit.ly/LTTechCal
rounds and capital
- New LitBAN syndicate, apply before 1st of May. Also, check Bad Ideas Fund.
- Rimi Baltic to launch EUR 1 million open innovation platform with retail hackathon
- Free money stories: dozens of Polish startups haven’t received EUR 175m in public grants, as the institution has been embroiled in political corruption.
- For VCs - AI-powered Google Sheet to track LinkedIn profiles
- Will Larson writes about sabbatical and job search these days
- Leading From the Heart by Fred Wilson:
I am suggesting that more transparency, more vulnerability, and more honesty is the winning formula and when you are choosing between the two, choose these things.
- The Complete Guide to Running an M&A Process as a Founder
- From barista to IPO - Andrew Wilkinson's story, can be repeated 16 years later just replace "web designers" with "AI prompt engineers"
- How to profit off AI: The economics of commoditized intelligence
- Practices of European VCs, report from 885 data points
- PE & VC practice - if you missed the course, it can be ordered online
- What Makes You Happy by Morgan Housel
A weird thing in life is that everyone strives for a good life because they think it will make them happy. But what actually brings happiness is the contrast between what you have now and whatever you were just doing.
Background of 100 European unicorn founders (does not classify as proper research, many caveats):
85% of founders have a university degree and 23% a Master/PhD degree. The average age at which a founder starts a future unicorn is 33 years old. 10% have worked and Goldman Sachs and 7% at McKinsey. Oxford University is the school that create the highest number of unicorn founders (7%), followed by LSE (6%) and Cambridge University (5%).
Seriously fun because much truth
You may be regarded as a daft ignoramus in London or Paris, but in Chișinău or Tartu you can still be a brilliant thought leader
+44. Never accept calls from the UK. You hope it's Balderton, Index or a cool startup that calls. It's not. It's "Microsoft" or "Investment Advisors".
What have you learned/seen in the past that triggered this project?
I have interviewed, hired and (too often) fired bootcamp graduates. Most of them were over-promised and under-delivered, were told it is enough to spend a month-or-so to become a software engineer, had unrealistic expectations and were far from ready to take on even an entry-level role.
Choosing a career in tech does not have to mean becoming a developer. Unfortunately, too many people see this as the only possible path and do not get proper guidance to see other options, such as QA, project management, process automation, analytics, UI design, etc. When coding does not match their personality, existing experience and soft skills, it leads to failures when studying or getting used to the new role.
The effort required to start a career in tech has recently changed as the tech world itself is becoming simpler thanks to easy-to-use tools, no-code solutions and generative AI and I believe this trend will remain.
What's the key difference between edON compared to the typical "IT academy" model?
The founding team is combining experience in the high education and software industries to design a human centred re-skilling experience. Our focus is personalised role mapping and career planning and making sure existing skills and personality become a key strength in the new career. To make the career switch easier, we will not only train for particular skills, but cover aspects such as culture of international organisations, client expectations management, decision-making, etc. We’re also developing an AI-driven career mapping and planning software which will be offered as a SaaS solution for tech companies.
Given the rise of AI, no-code - what do you think are widespread misconceptions about future jobs and careers?
I’m betting on polarisation of future careers: (i) an increase in jobs such as nursing, where human interaction is the most important aspect and (ii) automation affecting not only the jobs dominated by routine manual tasks, but the creative ones as well. The unknown-unknown is the jobs that currently do not yet exist, but I’m certain that the education models need to change as everyone will have to re-skill in their future careers more than once.
Is it motivation and engagement that defines the pace of learning? Will AI help us have students more engaged?
Motivation and engagement define the pace of learning as well as familiarity with certain concepts based on prior knowledge, quality materials and teaching methods that match the preferred learning style, the learning environment and social factors like healthy competition and peer pressure.
AI can help with creating personalised dynamic content adjusted according to aspects like skill gaps or career plans of each individual student; intelligent adaptive training systems; early identification of learning and more. However, when it comes to student engagement, I believe that intrinsic motivations matter more than what the tools or learning materials can offer.