Thursday, July 28, 2016

Steve Cohen, Now A Venture Capitalist, Invests In Trading Start-up.

A venture capital fund seeded by Steve Cohen and his employees at Point72 Asset Management is putting up to $250 million into a new fund managed by the start-up Quantopian.

The start-up is a trading platform that uses crowdsourcing to create new algorithms for investing capital.

The deal, which involves a $2 million investment in the start-up, as well as a promise to trade up to a $250 million of Cohen's Point 72's company assets using its algorithms, is the first major public deal struck by Point72 Ventures.

Point72 Ventures is the private-company investing arm launched by Cohen and members of his team in May.

The company — which is separate from Cohen's personal venture capital company, Cohen Private Ventures — focuses on finding new technologies that cater to the financial-services industry.

"There's a tremendous amount of information in the world right now, and if you're a portfolio manager sitting there every day, trying to process all that, that is a huge challenge," said Matthew Granade, Point 72's head of market intelligence and one of the architects of the Quantopian investment.

"So we're really interested in people that are helping you crunch down the information, synthesize it better, help make you more efficient in absorbing it."

Granade, who is also a board member at Quantopian, told CNBC on Tuesday that Point72 traders would begin using the start-up's trading algorithms in the coming months, as soon as both firms could get the technological "piping set up."

Quantopian already has a roster of prominent early investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Partners, and Spark Capital. Founded about five years ago, it has attracted more than 85,000 members, a developer base that includes nuclear-lab researchers, data-company workers, and even some precocious teenagers.

The designers of algorithms who use its platform, referred to by Quantopian as "authors," receive royalties from the use of their models if they're successful at generating returns. But the fact that a money manager the likes of Cohen is putting money into the platform is regarded by Quantopian officials as a key new vote of support.

"Even just the beginning of the conversation was incredibly validating to us," Quantopian John Fawcett said in an interview Tuesday, "that we were on to something and focusing on a problem in the industry."

The problem, as he described it? "Finding talent."

Disclaimer: - Following article come from CNBC

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Try Not To Fail, Come To Success!

Jeffrey Seller is Broadway royalty.

He's the producer of "Hamilton," the runaway smash hit musical about the founding of America that is expected to generate over a billion dollars in revenue.

In addition to "Hamilton," Seller is the producer of "Avenue Q," "In The Heights" and "Rent." All four shows have won Tony Awards for best musicals.

Despite his intimidating track record of success, he is not infallible.

In a podcast with Kara Swisher, executive editor of tech site Recode, Seller said that for each of his big successes he's had equally bad failures.

"I fail all the time," said Seller. "And I have to be willing to fail in order to succeed."

Indeed You Are Not Infallible, Together We Succeed

As the producer of "Hamilton," Seller is responsible for the business end of the equation. He needs to organize sales, marketing, salaries, etc. Every show he runs is like a start-up: He has investors that he needs to pay back.

So what's gone wrong when Seller failed? What mistakes did he make as an entrepreneur?

"I didn't follow my heart," Seller said of his mistakes.

He cited the musical "High Fidelity," which ran on Broadway for only a few days. "My heart said, 'This isn't working,' but my head said, 'Keep going.'" He said he didn't like the movie the play was based on, but he believed in the artists so much he charged ahead anyway.

The lesson: "Every time I don't follow my heart, that's when I am bound to get in trouble."

Disclaimer: - Following article come from CNBC

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Success Is Not A Matter Of Luck — It’s An Algorithm

How does someone like Jack Dorsey go from a 14-year-old computer science nerd to serial entrepreneur, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square? How does 3M consistently innovate, developing simple but iconic products like post-it notes? It's not a matter of luck. It's an algorithm.

So what exactly is ENGAGE?

ENGAGE is a six-step process for discovering what drives you and using it to succeed in your career. Many people's careers stall because they see strategic, high-level thinking, like knowing what their purpose is or what values drive them, as a "soft skill." They don't prioritize it. But that kind of thinking is exactly what enables entrepreneurs to launch successful startups, executives to get promoted and politicians to be elected. You can progress in your career without following this model, sure. But you'll eventually plateau.

If you want to be not just good, but the best, ENGAGE is for you.

E: Explore your meaning
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't — you're right. — Henry Ford

What's the first step explore your meaning? Identify your top three core values, then define steps you can do each week to embody that value. You value creativity? Set 15 minutes aside to doodle. You love adventure? Visit one new place every week.

N: Narrow your goals
Life is short, fragile and does not wait for anyone. There will NEVER be a perfect time to pursue your goals.

What's the first step to narrow your goals? Even more important than identifying your smart goals and writing them down is knowing the things that you will NOT do. Learn to say no. One key to achieving your goals is being selective with your time so that the bulk of your energy goes to what counts.

G: Generate a plan
A goal without a plan is just a wish. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What's the first step to generate a plan? Business executives spend 90 percent of their time in meetings and answering emails. Set aside time to center your efforts on the people who matter. Find the one person who can help you accomplish a goal and create a plan on how to reach out to them.

A: Anticipate roadblocks
Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth. — Mike Tyson

How do you start anticipating roadblocks? Break down your goals into steps. Want a promotion? Then you need to 1) complete an important project and 2) bring in new clients. Go over what can go wrong in the process: missed deadlines, only finding one new client, etc. Now remember that even if that happens, it's not the end of the world.

G: Gain persistence
If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. — Thomas Jefferson 

How do you gain persistence? When you feel like giving up, switch things up instead. Do something totally out of your wheelhouse — it doesn't even have to align with your goal. Are you struggling to get recognized at work? Learn how to cook a new recipe, change the route you take on your commute, try a new sport, or simply spend your lunch break with someone you haven't met before.

E: Elevate yourself
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. — Eleanor Roosevelt 

How do you start elevating yourself? Start by acknowledging one person who helped you get where you are or who positively shaped your life. Showing respect inspires others and builds influence.

E.N.G.A.G.E. will help you design experiences that promote "successful thinking". However, the formula doesn't work unless you do. Your potential is there waiting to be discovered!

Disclaimer: - Following article come from CNBC

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The retail entrepreneur helping over one million Brits shop the sales and get the best deals on products…

Inspiring women: Elizabetta Camilleri

Name: Elizabetta Camilleri
Co-founded: SalesGossip in June 2011 (launched November 2012)Start-up elevator pitch: Fashion marketplace bringing together discounts and deals from UK retailersIndustry: E-commerce

Inspiring women: Elizabetta Camilleri

Why is she impressive?

If you love shopping the sales but hate having to trawl various sites to find the best deals then Elizabetta Camilleri is your new bff. She has co-created SalesGossip; the burgeoning site that lets consumers get first-look access to all the best fashion and beauty product sales from the likes of ASOS, Ted Baker, Debenhams, NET-A-PORTER and many other major industry names. The site works by collating promotions from across the UK in real time. Since launching the business in November 2012, the start-up has secured over one million registered members and around £1m from investors such as high-profile Dale Murray, and Andrew Graham of Mr & Mrs Smith. Not only that, but Camilleri has managed to combine four different revenue models in her start-up strategy including data mining, online advertising, custom marketing campaigns and affiliate store commissions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

3 youngsters from IIT-KGP are taking on the biggies in the online product discovery space

The story started when a young man named Gaurav Dahake had to buy an iPod for his friend whose birthday was arriving. He turned on his computer and three frustrating hours later, he had bought an iPod which ironically was delivered after the birthday. Gaurav also realized that he could have had a better deal if he had bought the gift from a different source. This experience kept nagging him and he got together with friend and developer Prashant Singh to solve this customer pain-point. And thus was born BuyHatke, an online product and price discovery service. They soon got their UI UX expert in Srikanth Sethumadhavan as well, and the ball was set rolling.

Problem being solved and the revenue model
eCommerce saw an huge upward swing in 2011 and we at YourStory have seen more than 800 eCommerce companies take birth (eSparks 2011 and 2013). With these, we saw the adjoining need for eCommerce enablers and this is where BuyHatke fits in. BuyHatke scans close to 50 credible websites (Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Shopperstop, etc.) and fetches the consumer the best deal.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Entrepreneur from Aurangabad - A startup story

Sachin Kate is the founder of Clear Car Rental and I had no clue about the magnitude of impact this 28 year old had created when he walked into our office at Yes, Clear Car is just another car rental company in India but there are a few points that justify as to why he needs an ovation.

The man has a story to tell
Sachin Kate hails from the small city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra where the concept of starting up is pretty much alien (yes, setting up a shop is also starting up but we’re talking in conventional terms of starting up). The region where Sachin resided doesn’t have schooling available after grade 4 but Sachin’s parents were firm on providing him with all the needed education and hence sent him to a friends place in a nearby region from where a school was more accessible. Sachin started selling newspapers since money was always a challenge and luckily for him, he got a job of an office boy in 11th grade at a computer institute.
Always fascinated by computers, Sachin took advantage of the situation and progressed to become a computer instructor in one year. After 12th, Sachin shifted to Aurangabad for higher studies along with a part time job in a travel agency. “This job gave me my initial exposure in travel business. On a part time salary I started working full time because slowly I started getting access to computer and could show my computer skills,” says Sachin. He was pursuing his BSc. in computers and he had an inclination towards how SEO worked. This came in handy for the travel agency he was working for.
Gaining in confidence, Sachin tried moving out of his zone in terms of location but his family wasn’t very comfortable. He decided to come back and take up web development assignments. He focused on the travel and hotel segment and has developed more than 600 websites till now along with his team. This is how InfoGird and NetMantle had come into existence.
And then came in the big break.
Sachin was always associated with the travel and hospitality industry and was aware of the needs of the industry. “The technology was being developed for airlines, hotels booking etc., but last mile connectivity which is mostly road travel in tourism sector was in a way neglected,” says Sachin. And thus was launched Clear Car Rental in July 2010. This was the time when the Meru Radio cab service and a couple of others had settled in.

Clear Car Rental provides both local (packages for full day, half day and transfer) and outstation travel (packages for round trip, one way drop and multi city travels) solutions. CCR provide car rental services to 150+ cities within India and has a home grown team of about 100 that manages the operations.
And all this without a penny of funding
We’ve seen the car rental companies getting funded at will and the justification for the need of huge funds for a business like this. Surprisingly enough, Sachin has been able to scale the company to 150+ cities without raising a single penny of institutional funding. CCR holds inventory of 14000+ cars with a 1000+ vendors on board. Apart from the domestic, foreign tourists and corporates, OTAs like Makemytrip, Cox & Kings and Thomas Cook have also partnered with CCR. “We’ve focused a lot on Tier 2/3 cities. The average purchasing power has gone up and even people from smaller cities are hiring cabs now,” says Sachin. They have a strong share in the metros as well but they’re banking on the smaller cities for growth.
And building a company from Aurangabad
We’ve seen companies being built from small towns and this is yet another success story from a place you’d not expect a startup to scale from- Aurangabad. As always there are pros and cons,
Sachin believed in what he was doing and his grit to be successful opened up doors for him. Local newspapers have written about it and a blog post he wrote- “Aurangabad Calling” encouraged many youngsters who were studying outside to come back home and find employment.
A local hero in Aurangabad, Sachin Kate has been hidden from the bigger picture and we hope this post gives the man his due.
Website: Clear Car Rental