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Trump Administration Unveils New UAS Plan

October 25, the Trump Administration announced a new pilot program to spur development of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) commonly known as drones. The administration unveiled a pilot program to encourage greater integration of UAS into United States airspace. The program establishes “innovation zones” where methods can be tested and assessed for safety and effectiveness.

Promoters of UAS interests believe that this is a “smart way” for the administration to proceed with testing and integrating drones into airspace.

In general, the FAA has been responsible for regulation and control of airspace, but that applies only above certain altitudes and not in all places. The UAS industry for local airspace has largely remained in limbo. The administration wants to change that and offer local communities the opportunity to enjoy the advances that UAS can bring to local economies.

Due to FAA restrictions on UAS, prohibiting flight for the most part over crowds, at night, and beyond line of sight of the operator, some of the gains that could be realized have been stalled. One in particular is drone deliveries to individual homes, a possibility of particular interest to Amazon.

The new memorandum from the Trump administration offers communities the chance to partner with the Federal government and a private partner, and create their own regulatory space. These will become “innovation zones” where greater integration of drone craft, manned aircraft, and urban life can be tested and refined.

“America’s skies are changing – UAS now outnumber manned aircraft, which had dominated our airspace since World War II,” said Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The memorandum spells out that the goal of this change is “To promote continued technological innovation and to ensure the global leadership of the United States in this emerging industry, the regulatory framework for UAS operations must be sufficiently flexible to keep pace with the advancement of UAS technology while balancing the vital Federal roles in protecting privacy and civil liberties; mitigating risks to national security and homeland security; and protecting the safety of the American public, critical infrastructure, and the Nation’s airspace.”

In order to accomplish these laudable goals, the Secretary of Transportation has been directed to create the UAS Integration Pilot Program.

The program will solicit proposals from State, local and tribal governments to test UAS integrations systems. Proposals that are selected may be able to waive some FAA requirements and involve granting exceptions to local government rules and regulations. The program is to have at least five proposals ready to go within 6 months.

In granting the go-ahead to proposals, the administration directs the program to consider the following.

  • Economic, geographic, and climate diversity
  • Diversity of proposed models of government involvement
  • Diversity of UAS operations to be conducted
  • Location of critical infrastructure
  • Involvement of commercial entities and suitable objectives on their part
  • Involvement of affected communities and their support
  • Commitment of governments and UAS operators to comply with requirements
  • Commitment of governments and UAS operators to achieve stated policy objectives

The policy objectives set forth by the government are to promote innovation and economic development, enhance transportation safety, enhance workplace safety, improve emergency response, and use radio spectrum efficiently.

Promoters of UAS interests believe that this is a “smart way” for the administration to proceed with testing and integrating drones into airspace. It will allow for real world data capture that can help guide administration policy in the future.

Doug Johnson, of the Consumer Technology Association, said the program will lead to, “100,000 jobs and $82 billion in economic impact.”

Unicorn Startup List Is Growing Globally

The “Unicorn” becomes less elusive all the time. As the amount of investment in venture capital continues to grow, while consolidating into fewer and fewer companies, the inevitable result is the rise of the unicorns. Unicorns, once incredibly rare, private start-ups which have attracted a billion dollars of funding may not be exactly common, but the club is definitely growing.

The following startup companies around the globe are the leaders in their respective industries. This list contains 12 categories with three companies each, which hit the mark to become unicorns.

Healthcare Industry

  • Moderna – Moderna Therapeutics is a startup biotechnology company founded in 2010. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Stéphane Bancel as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Director of the Board. The company experiments with  and develops protein therapies based on messenger ribonucleic acid technology, most commonly known as mRNA. Moderna has a total disclosed funding of $1.3B. MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and Google Ventures are some of its investors.
  • Intarcia Therapeutics – The American startup biopharmaceutical company was first called BioMedicines in 1995. In 2004, it changed its name to Intarcia Therapeutics. It is located in Boston with Kurt Graves as its CEO. Intarcia Therapeutics develops therapies for illnesses that demand long-term chronic treatment. The company has a total disclosed funding of $1B. Some of its investors are New Leaf Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Oscar Health Insurance Corporation – Oscar Health Insurance is a startup health insurance company focused on technology. It was founded in 2012 and is located in New York City, with Mario Schlosser as the company’s CEO. Oscar Health Insurance Corporation utilizes design, data, and technology in order to humanize the health care system. The company has a total disclosed funding of $727.5M. Khosla Ventures, BoxGroup, and Formation8 are some of the company’s investors.

Fintech Industry

  • Avant, Inc. – Formerly known as AvantCredit, Avant is a private startup company founded in 2012. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois, with well-known entrepreneur Albert “Al” Goldstein as its CEO. Avant is an online marketplace that borrows faster, better, and safer financial products. The company has a disclosed total funding of $1.7B. Some of its investors include CVC Capital Partners and Summit Partners.
  • Lufax – LU.com, also known as Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co., Ltd. (Lufax), was founded in 2011. The private company based in Shanghai, China works as an online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform and internet financial marketplace. The Shanghai-based company provides lending and financing services for medium and small enterprises and individual clients. The company has a total disclosed funding of $1.7B. Bank of China, Ping An Insurance, and CDH Investments are some of its investors.
  • Social Finance – Social Finance, Inc., most commonly known as SoFi, is a startup online personal finance company that was created in 2011. SoFi is based in San Francisco, California, with Mike Cagney as its CEO. The company is using a groundbreaking technique when it comes to lending and wealth management. SoFi has a total disclosed funding of $1.6B. Some of its investors are Doll Capital Management, Baseline Ventures, and Institutional Ventures Partners.

Logos of Global Unicorns

Big Data Industry

  • Palantir Technologies – Palantir Technologies, Inc., is a startup private software and services company founded in 2004. The company is located in Palo Alto, California, with Alex Karp as its coFounder and CEO. Palantir Technologies presents a suite of software applications for visualizing, integrating, and analyzing different information. The Palo Alto-based company aims to solve the problems of the world’s important organizations. Palantir Technologies has a total disclosed funding of $1.9B. In-Q-Tel, Founders Fund, and RRE Ventures are some of the company’s investors.
  • OVH – Located in Roubaix, France, OVH is a startup cloud computing company. The company was founded in 1999, with Laurent Allard as its current CEO. OVH is an independent startup that provides web and cloud hosting solutions. The company has a total disclosed funding of $787M. TowerBrook Capital Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are just some of its investors.
  • Domo – Domo, Inc. is a startup computer software company founded in 2010. The company is located in American Fork, Utah with Josh James as its CEO. Domo offers help to business leaders and CEOs in order to change the way they do business through direct access to data. The company delivers a software as a service (SaaS)-based platform. The Utah-based company has a total disclosed funding of $589M. Founders Fund, Benchmark Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners are some of its investors.

Internet Software & Services Industry

  • Infor – This United States-based multinational startup enterprise software company was founded in 2002. Infor is located in New York City with Charles Phillips as its CEO. Infor provides a full range of enterprise business software for customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), performance management, supply chain management, and financial management. The company has a total disclosed funding of $2.6B. Some of its investors are Koch Industries and Blackstone Group.
  • Spotify – Launched in 2008 of October, Spotify is a podcast, video streaming, and music service. The company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with Daniel Ek as its CEO.Spotify provides listeners a restricted digital content from a range of artists and record labels. The company has a total disclosed funding of $2.3B. Norwest Venture Partners, Horizons Ventures, and Technology Crossover Ventures are some of its investors.
  • Dropbox – Dropbox, Inc. is a startup company that has an eponymous file hosting service. Founded in 2007, the company is located in San Francisco, California, with co-founder Drew Houston as their CEO. The aim of Dropbox is to develop cloud-based storage for important information and files, allowing people to access these files from virtually anywhere, with or without their app installed. The company has a total disclosed funding of $1.1B. Some of its investors are Index Ventures, Greylock Partners, and Accel Partners.

E-Commerce/Marketplace Industry

  • Airbnb – The startup company is an online hospitability and marketplace service that was founded in 2008. Airbnb is located in San Francisco, California, with Brian Chesky as its CEO. Airbnb allows users to find and book accommodations around the world online. The San Francisco-based company has a total disclosed funding of $3.9B. Morningside Group, Banyan Capital, and GGV Capital are some of the company’s investors.Airbnb logo on origami blocks.
  • China Internet Plus – China Internet Plus, formally named Meituan-Dianping, is a discount platform founded in 2002. The company is located in Beijing, China, with Tao Zhang as its CEO. China Internet Plus is a group-buying and dining information website. It has the ability to retail and deliver food from local restaurants online. The company has a total disclosed funding of $3.3B. UBS and Broadline Capital are just some of its investors.
  • Flipkart – The Bengaluru, India-based startup company focuses on electronic commerce. It was discovered in 2007 of October and has already launched its very own product range called “DigiFlip” for products such as USBs, laptop bags, and tablets. Kalyan Krishnamurthy is the CEO of Flipkart. It is an online shopping platform, for music, movies, books, and electronics in India. The company has a total disclosed funding of $3.2B. ICONIQ Capital, Accel Partners, and Digital Sky Technologies are some of its investors.

Real Estate Industry

  • WeWork – WeWork is a startup company in America founded in 2010. The company is located in New York City with Adam Neumann as its CEO. WeWork provides shared community, workspace, and services for different people like freelancers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups. The company turns buildings into environments for focus, collaboration, and creativity. WeWork has a total disclosed funding of $1.7B. Wellington Management, Benchmark Capital, and T. Rowe Price are some of its investors.
  • Mofang Gongyu – Mofang Gongyu is a startup rental apartment company in China that is created in 2010. The company is located in Shanghai, China with different projects across all tier one cities in the country. Mofang Gongyu is a rental apartment operator, and the company has a total disclosed funding of $560M. Some of its investors are Aviation Industry Corporation of China and Warburg Pincus.
  • Aiwujiwu – Aiwujiwu is a startup Chinese second-home and rental listings portal created in 2014. The company is located in Shanghai, China. It has a total disclosed funding of $305M. Draper Fisher Jurtson (DFJ) Growth Fund, Granite Ventures, and Shasta Ventures are some of Aiwujiwu’s investors.

Mobile Software & Services Industry

  • Yello Mobile – Yello Mobile Inc. is a startup mobile business platform in Korea founded in 2012. The company is located in South Korea with Sanghyuk Lee as its CEO. Named as South Korea’s second biggest startup, this innovative mobile media company offers media content, marketing & advertising, shopping, travel, and online-to-offline (O2O) business. Yello Mobile has a total disclosed funding of $187M. One of its investors is Formation 8.
  • ironSource – The startup digital content company is discovered in 2009. ironSource is located in Tel Aviv, Israel with Tomer Bar-Zeev as its CEO. The company distributes and monetize answers for software developers, device manufacturers, mobile carriers, and app developers. ironSource now has a total disclosed funding of $185M. Clal Industries and Investments Ltd. and Access Industries, Inc. are some of its investors.
  • Garena – The Asia-based startup is a consumer internet platform provider. Garena Group was created in 2009 and is located in Singapore. Forrest Li is the CEO of the company. Garena has a total disclosed funding of $172 M. General Atlantic, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and Keynote Ventures are some of its investors.

Cybersecurity Industry

  • Tanium – Tanium is a startup systems managements and endpoint security company founded in 2007. The company is located in Emeryville, California with Orion Hindawi as its CEO. The company lets enterprise scale with real-time data collection, regardless of the size of user’s network. Tanium has a total disclosed funding of $295.29M. Some of the company’s investors are Nor-Cal Invest and Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Lookout Mobile Security – Previously known as Flexilis, Lookout isa  startup mobile security company founded in 2007. The company is located in San Francisco, California with Jim Dolce as its CEO. The company protects entrepreneurs and individuals. It also stops mobile threats and predicts them before they do any damage. Lookout has a total disclosed funding of $281M. Some of its investors are Lowercase Capital, Greylock Partners, and Accel Partners.
  • CrowdStrike – The company is a startup cybersecurity technology company that was created in 2011. CrowdStrike is located in Sunnyvale, California with George Kurtz as its CEO. CrowdStrike delivers next-generation endpoint services and protection. It has the capability to detect attacks such as malware-free intrusions. The company has a total disclosed funding of $256M. Accel Partners, CapitalG, and Warburg Pincus are some of its investors.

On-demand Industry

  • Uber – Uber Technologies Inc. is a startup private hire company founded in 2009. The well-known company is located in San Francisco, California with Dara Khosrowshahi as its CEO. The company enhances, markets, and operates Uber food delivery mobile applications and car transportation. It has the ability to connect drivers and riders through its app. Uber has a total disclosed funding of $12.5B. Google Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and Lowercase Capital are some of its investors.Uber HQ on Market St.
  • Didi Chuxing – Formerly known as Didi Kuaidi, Didi Chuxing is a well-known ride-sharing company created in 2012. Headquartered in Beijing, China, the company has Cheng Wei as its CEO. Didi Chuxing brings transportation services to more than 400 million people across over 400 cities in China. The company has a total disclosed funding of $8.5B. Some of its investors are Softbank Corporation, Tiger Global Management, and Matrix Partners.
  • me – This Chinese startup online food delivery service was founded in 2008. Ele.me is located in Shanghai, China, with cofounder Xuhao Zhang as its CEO. Ele.me serves as a professional customer-to-customer (C2C) meal ordering platform in China. It wants to connect both users and restaurants. The company has a total disclosed funding of $2.3B. Horizons Ventures, GSR Ventures, and Sequoia Capital China are some of Ele.me’s investors.

Media Industry

  • Toutiao – Officially known as Jinri Toutiao, this company is a startup information and news platform powered by artificial intelligence technology. Created in 2012, the company is located in Beijing, China, with Zhang Yiming as its CEO. The Beijing-based company integrates the most applicable contents for users by using machine learning to discover what the readers enjoy reading. Toutiao has a total disclosed funding of $1.1B. Some of its investors are SIG Asia Investments, Source Code Capital, and Sequoia Capital China.
  • Vice Media – Vice Media LLC is a startup broadcasting and digital media company that was founded in 1994. The North American company is located in Brooklyn, New York with Shane Smith as its CEO. Vice Media focuses on event, print, online, music, television, and feature film business activities. The company has a total disclosed funding of $770M.  A&E Television Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures are some of its investors.
  • BuzzFeed – Started in 2006, the American startup internet media company focuses on digital media. BuzzFeed is located in New York City, New York, with cofounder Jonah Peretti as its CEO. BuzzFeed aims to spread original reporting, breaking news, videos, and entertainment across the social web. The company has a total disclosed funding of $497M. Some of its investors are Wakefield Group, Sequoia Capital, and Google Ventures.

Hardware Industry

  • Xiaomi – Xiaomi Incorporated is a startup software and electronics company that is discovered in 2010. The company is located in Beijing, China with Lei Jun as its CEO. In 2017, it was reported to be the 5th biggest smartphone maker. Xiaomi develops, designs, and sells consumer electronics and mobile phones. The company has a total disclosed funding of $2.5B. Qualcomm Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, and Digital Sky Technologies are some of its investors.
  • Meizu Technology – Founded in 2003, Meizu Technology Co., Ltd. is a startup consumer electronics company. They are located in Guangdong, China, with Jack Wong as CEO. Meizu Technology offers different smartphones and accessories. The company has a total disclosed funding of $943M. Alibaba Group is one of its investors.
  • Jawbone – Jawbone was founded in 1999, it was originally named Aliph. The company is located in San Francisco, California, with co-founder Hosain Rahman as its CEO. Jawbone manufactures and markets portable audio and wearable technology devices. The company has a total disclosed funding of $778.82M. T-Venture, Khosla Ventures, and Mayfield Fund are some of its investors.

Social Industry

  • Pinterest – Launched in 2010, the startup mobile and web application manages a software system that aggregates image information from the World Wide Web. The company is located in San Francisco, California, with cofounder Ben Silbermann as its CEO. The application is a tool for visual bookmarking, allowing users to save and discover different creative ideas. Pinterest has a total disclosed funding of $1.3B. FirstMark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz are some of its investors.
  • Xuan Yi Xia – Xuan Yi Xia Technology is a startup live-streaming and mobile short videos technology company founded in 2011 and is located in China. It has a total disclosed funding of $395M. Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Sina Weibo are some of their investors.
  • Tango – In 2009, the startup developer created Tango, a free mobile messaging application. TangoMe Inc. is located in Mountain View, California, with Eric Setton as its CEO. The company has a total disclosed funding of $373.44M. Alibaba Group, Qualcomm Ventures, and DFJ are some of its investors.

These startup companies are just some of the many players making it big around the world.

Their funding gives them the ability to compete against larger, well-established companies. There is no doubt that the bold impact that startup companies create helps the society grow and innovate.

Outcome Health and Harvard Health Merge

Outcome Health partnered with Harvard Health Publications (HHP) to deliver more expertise at the point of care. Outcome Health is a startup which develops technology for doctor’s offices, while Harvard Health already utilizes the knowledge of more than 11,000 Harvard Medical School (HMS) faculty members for the development and publication of patient engagement materials. Currently, Outcome Health has a 20% coverage of the country’s doctors. With this bold action, the company hopes to increase its coverage to more than 70% by 2020.

With a large program, even obscure medical conditions would have a name and offer a possible solution. Information at the point of care has become very important for doctors to ensure that they provide the necessary and correct diagnoses.

The synergy is important for both, simply because of where they were before they teamed up. HHP’s mission is to improve the health of the entire nation. With the use of Outcome Health’s apps, they can reach out more and be able to pursue a medical extension with the use of their knowledge base.

HHP has a huge amount of information about diseases, which is practically the largest repository of medical knowledge in a teaching institution’s hold. As if created to compliment Harvard Health Publications, Outcome Health has the necessary apps already in use, but they still lack the knowledge to put their reach to good use.

Harvard Health is a part of the Harvard Medical System and is based in Boston, MA. The medical school is one of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the world. In contrast, Outcome Health has been valued at $5 billion, and recently closed out its first round of financing. It raised $500 million from investors which include Alphabet’s growth equity investment fund CapitalG.

Digital Waiting Room Screen

One of Outcome Health’s products is Digital Waiting Room Screen, which shows a patient’s specialty-specific content while they wait for their doctors. The company also has Digital Anatomy Board which is inside the exam room, and is used to replace paper pamphlets and show interactive anatomical models. It also has Exam Room Tablet, which gives patients access to easy-to-navigate lifestyle management programs.

Patient and doctor at screen.

With a market penetration of 20%, Outcome Health products can easily enter and expand on their market with the help of Harvard Medical School’s knowledgebase. Outcome has the delivery system which can bring the HMS data to individual doctor’s offices in the country. The information being delivered by Outcome is compelling content that could enable the startup to reach all 40,000 doctor’s offices and exam rooms.

The information that they bring will come from the HMS staff, which has more than enough gravitas for other medical professionals to keep track of them.  For medical professionals everywhere, the knowledge base is a compelling reason to allow Outcome Health into their offices.

One problem of today’s crop of medical health apps is that sometimes there is not enough raw data from the patients and what the patient history can show. With a large program, even obscure medical conditions would have a name and offer a possible solution. Information at the point of care has become very important for doctors to ensure that they provide the necessary and correct diagnoses.

The collaboration is going to be beneficial for both sides. More people can access Harvard Health while patients can have better information about their conditions before they go to a doctor’s office.

Entocycle is the Key for Food Stability Using Larvae of Black Soldier Flies

Many has been said about the expected world population of 9.6 billion by 2050. A protein farm feed animal would be a tough task, researches, and startups trying to address the issue via unconventional and bold ideas. They have already put out to the market various solutions for meat substitutes, which are palatable and indistinct from traditional meat.

These flies come from eggs deposited by the female black soldier fly, with female flies lays more than a thousand eggs each at a time. From these, about five percent are kept alive and isolated to produce the next generation of flies.

However, there are other problems at hand. These fake meats would still be sold beside traditional meat, and in this arena, Entocycle is making a dent with an unusual approach. They still use food and protein farm feed animals, so Entocycle is developing a bold idea for it – a protein farm feed animal which is based on the larvae of black soldier flies.

The animal feed industry is estimated to be worth $150 billion. Feeds are usually made from various other plants or animals which have high nutritional value. For instance, feeds for cattle feedlots are typically made from soy. Because high-quality grass can no longer compete with the cost of soya-based feeds, the sheer volume of cattle to feed with grass alone would require large areas of land which are no longer available.

The same issue is real for fishes. There was a time when tilapia was raised in fish ponds to serve as fish food for more expensive fish farmed varieties. Nowadays, tilapia has become one of the most important commercial fish varieties. In the future, feeding tilapia might also become a problem if this issue is left unaddressed.

Entocycle started three years ago. Since then, it has met with some success in making larvae of black soldier flies is an acceptable protein farm feed animal. Recently, it was able to raise $1 million in grant money from the UK government, the European Commission, and from the European Space Agency.

Black soldier flies feed on a wide range of organic waste. These include industrial wastes from breweries, commercial kitchens, and almost every other kind of organic material. Since black soldier flies eat up almost anything, automated systems can easily monitor them.

Black soldier flies replicate themselves in large numbers. These flies come from eggs deposited by the female black soldier fly, with female flies lays more than a thousand eggs each at a time. From these, about five percent are kept alive and isolated to produce the next generation of flies. 95% of the eggs became larvae of black soldier flies and fed for a week before being harvested and converted to animal feed.

Since black soldier flies eat organic waste, this means that they can contribute to problems with food waste disposal. These black soldier flies do not require any soil to farm, these can be cost-efficient in terms of actual farm footprints. They can also be used for other types of feeds, like those used for tuna and other fish pond animals.

Entocycle is yet to distribute a viable product. For now, part of their marketing plan is to market the black soldier flies-feeds to supermarkets in line with the news that the European Commission allows protein farm feed animal for feeding farmed fish. We do not have to depend on fish feeds with the help of larvae of black soldier flies. This bold idea is worth exploring and investing on in the name of food stability.