Koseki T.,The Accelerator Group
IPAC 2010 - 1st International Particle Accelerator Conference | Year: 2010
Presented in this paper is an overview of commissioning status of the J-PARC accelerators. Recent progress of MR commissioning will be described in more detail. It focuses on the issues, challenges, solutions, and lessons learned during the commissioning and early operations of J-PARC.
Koseki T.,The Accelerator Group
HB 2010 - 46th ICFA Advanced Beam Dynamics Workshop on High-Intensity and High-Brightness Hadron Beams | Year: 2010
Recent status of the high intensity operation of the J-PARC accelerators is presented. Improvements performed in the 2010 summer shutdown period and near future plan are also reported briefly.
Koseki T.,The Accelerator Group
IPAC 2011 - 2nd International Particle Accelerator Conference | Year: 2011
The J-PARC main ring synchrotron (MR) has started users operation since 2009. The MR has two beam extraction systems. One is a fast extraction (FX) system for beam delivery to the neutrino beam line of the Tokaito- Kamioka (T2K) experiment, and the other is a slow extraction (SX) system to the hadron experimental hall. For the T2K experiment, the maximum beam power of 145 kW was delivered continuously. For users of the hadron experimental hall, the beam power of 3 kW was delivered with extraction efficiency of 99.5 %. In this paper, status of the high power beam operation of the MR before the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 is presented. Recovery schedule after the earthquake and near future plan are also discussed. Copyright © 2011 by IPAC'11/EPS-AG.
News Article | January 16, 2009
TweetDeck, an increasingly popular tool for accessing the Twitter service from your desktop, is close to securing a round of angel funding to the tune of nearly $500,000 from seed funding house Betaworks, reports MediaMemo. Update: funding has been confirmed. Amount is just south of $500,000, and comes not only from Betaworks but also from The Accelerator Group, Skype veteran Taavet Hinrikus, Gerry Campbell, Howard Lindzon and Roger Ehrenberg. Update 2: peHUB confirms today (3/28) that the exact amount was $300,000. TweetDeck is the work of one man, British programmer Iain Dodsworth, who says the TweetDeck Adobe AIR-powered and hence cross-platform desktop application has been downloaded 250,000 times since he launched it over last Summer, and that users are pushing 120,000 messages a day to their Twitter followers using the software. For BetaWorks, this would be the fourth Twitter-related seed investment, after Summize (acquired by Twitter in July 2008), TipJoy and StockTwits. I’m still a Twhirl fan, but TweetDeck – currently in public beta – does have some rather useful features that make it easier to manage your stream, especially if you’re following a lot of people actively. The app enables users to split their main feed into topic or group specific columns, thus allowing a broader overview of tweets. It’s mainly the UI that convinces users to switch to using TweetDeck instead of the many other services that are available. Dodsworth hopes to convince power users and companies to pay up for a pro version of the software at some point. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a whole ecosystem is being built around the Twitter service thanks to its free, open API approach and increasing base of micro-message spouting users, and it’s this slew of applications (here’s 5 good ways to keep track of Twitter apps) that makes Twitter even more valuable that it would be on its own, even if they haven’t gotten around to introducing whatever business model they have in store for monetizing the service (even though they’re starting to actually hire people for that). The question is: what will happen if Twitter decides to license the use of its constant data stream, and how sticky are Twitter applications when any developer basically has the same resources to build something better than the fashion of the day? What’s the incentive for people to keep using tools like TweetDeck, AlertThingy, Twhirl, My Social 24×7 or Twitterific, when they’re not paying for the service and the community exists elsewhere anyhow?
News Article | June 14, 2010
Allow me to introduce you to Abe’s Market, a lovely online marketplace where people go to buy and sell all things natural, from kids clothing and toys to snacks and even personal care products. The Buffalo Grove, IL-based company essentially aims to connect buyers looking for great natural products – whose numbers are growing consistently – with the people who make them. Nothing ground-breaking, but a very well executed and potentially really lucrative venture. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of another startup I just wrote up: CustomMade, which connects buyers and sellers of artisan-made furniture and whatnot. And like CustomMade, Abe’s Market and its founding managers Jon Polin and Richard Demb have captured the attention of investors who want to help the startup grow its business and profile. And not just from anyone: Abe’s Market has raised angel funding from Index Ventures / Saul Klein, TAG, former head of Yahoo Europe Toby Coppel, David Honig (Vison Ventures) and Mark Esiri (Venrex UK). On its advisory board, we find people like Doug Galen (SVP of Business Development at Shutterfly), Brian Tockman (former Senior Buyer at Target) and Israel Ganot, President and CEO of Gazelle. What I like about Abe’s Market so much is the focus on the origin of the products that are on display, and the attention that is given to the story and people behind them. The startup rightly points out that all too often, modern-day consumers purchase products without knowing or caring who makes them, what is in them and how they are made. Abe’s Market even provides the opportunity for buyers to directly get in touch with sellers if they have specific questions. Abe’s Market is also counting on the pride of many who use the marketplace from the buying side, by letting people share their purchases with their friends. The startup rewards people who do that with an instant discount on the products in their cart, and by passing that discount on to the people that the purchases were shared with. Check it out and let us know what you think.
News Article | April 26, 2010
Web venture capital firms may be getting more stringent on the kinds of businesses they invest in, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still money around for early-stage startups. Index Ventures is carving out a new seed-level fund, Seed Index, from its existing main fund. “First, we are allocating a dedicated pool of capital to do seed deals. We aim to do around 20 seed deals in the next 24 months,” writes Index partner Saul Klein. “Second, we are putting a clearer face and focus on what we do in seed.” Index partners Neil Rimer, Danny Rimer, Klein and Mike Volpi will manage the fund, which is partnering with Klein’s The Accelerator Group; his father Robin is joining as a partner. Since January ’08, Europe’s top tech VC houses have all raised big new funds totaling $2.37 billion through the economy’s downturn…
News Article | September 19, 2011
News came in Monday morning that British startup Fizzback — a software business focused on helping companies improve customer service — had finalized an $80 million acquisition by Israeli firm Nice Systems. It appears to be a pretty good deal for both sides: Nice is a major force in customer relations software, with 25,000 clients including most of the Fortune 100. But it has tended to focus on analyzing voice responses to understand what customers think, leaving a space for Fizzback, which lets businesses ask people for real-time text feedback on their mobile, the web or via social media. Since 2004, the British company has been building a service that analyzes what customers are saying and provides analytics and feedback that helps businesses do a better job. Do customers think the product is good? Was their contact with the company enjoyable? How can it get better? It has proven popular, with customers including Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer, top mobile networks such as Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile, and Best Buy Europe. Nice suggested that the deal really gives it the missing link for its services, allowing it to (in corporate lingo, at least) “deliver a holistic understanding of the customer.” But while it’s an apparently solid partnership for both companies, founder Rob Keve and Fizzback’s investors, the move almost immediately raised a question: Is Fizzback selling too early? Nice, for example, told shareholders the company expects to have earned back the money paid out on Fizzback within a fiscal year. That’s fast. Then one of the company’s directors, Robin Klein of The Accelerator Group, a Fizzback investor, wrote a post suggesting he would have liked to see the business carry on growing rather than be acquired. “In many ways this is a great result for the team and the investors to be celebrated,” he wrote. “On the other hand, it’s a disappointment that a company which had begun to make a global impact in the world of Customer Experience Management, had captured some of the largest corporate clients worldwide, is not going solo ‘all the way.’” There is no suggestion in the post that Klein was seriously upset, but rather, it was part of the bigger conversation about when entrepreneurs should risk turning down a good acquisition offer. It’s what some refer to as “pulling a Patzer” in honor of Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer, who many think sold his disruptive finance startup far too early. So what happened with Fizzback? I spoke to another of the company’s investors, Mike Chalfen of Advent Venture Capital, which put money into the company in two separate rounds. He said that Fizzback had serious potential in the longer term — in fact, he suggested that Advent would have been prepared to invest more money in than any other company in its portfolio. But he also seemed a little more zen about the sale. “We had some very attractive alternatives, but it was the entrepreneur’s judgment that this was the best way to maximize the product,” he told me, shortly after attending an all-hands meeting in which Nice discussed the acquisition with Fizzback’s 100 or so employees. He also wrote a post explaining his thoughts on the sale, but told me Advent had made back a little more than 5x on its original investment. “We’d have been very happy to keep backing the company,” he said. “Fizzback has been off-the-charts spectacular,” he said. “It’s got a staggeringly committed culture that has been led from the top. So we’re really indebted to them… No doubt it could have been bigger, but in the end it’s a risk/reward question, and I’m glad there are entrepreneurs out there who actually take that into account.”
News Article | November 17, 2013
Backers included Robin Klein (The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures), Edward Wray (co-founder of Betfair), the Angel CoFund, and a number of senior finance industry executives. Led by CEO Paul McGuire, JustInvesting aims to enable professional investors to consolidate all aspects of the investment process into a single platform and provide tools to support the entire investment life cycle from discovery, investment, management, to exit. The platform will, at the same time, make it easier for companies to find access to growth capital. JustInvesting Limited is an appointed representative of Sturgeon Ventures LLP which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
News Article | April 10, 2013
TransferWise, the online currency exchange, has been pitching itself as the preferred method of money transfer for European startups for a while now. And today, born of its co-founder Taavet Hinrikus‘s own experience, the company is putting its money where its mouth is by launching a campaign to waive the fees for a total of $100 million worth of international money transfers for qualifying European startups using the TransferWise platform. Also lending support to the idea — in name only, we should add, however it’s being spun — is 25 other well-known figures and companies in the startup community, including Niklas Zennström (CEO of Atomico and co-founder of Skype), Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), Richard Moross (founder of MOO), Sherry Coutu (serial entrepreneur), Jon Bradford (Techstars), and Eileen Burbidge (partner at Passion Capital). The offer is being made for 1,000 European startups on a “first-come, first-served basis,” says TransferWise, and will come in the form of a voucher that can be used on the platform for free transfers up to $100,000. To qualify, startups must have launched less than two years ago. Registration closes on 10th of May 2013, with vouchers expiring on 10th April 2014. Noteworthy is that the full $100,000 voucher doesn’t need to be used in one go — making the offer not just useful for a large transfer, such as the receipt of capital from a foreign investor where bank exchange rates and charges are known to hammer startups (I talk from direct experience), but could also be apportioned to wave the cost of money transfers related to things like paying contractors or partners abroad, or attending an international event. “The campaign was really born from personal experiences,” Hinrikus, who before co-founding TransferWise was Skype’s director of strategy, tells TechCrunch. “Initially when getting Skype going, this was way before it was successful, we already had a multi-country operation that was costly. And at that point every pound/kronor/euro was scarce. That’s where it first starting itching.” “We built the technology to make a difference and we remember how hard it was to start out,” he adds. “Now we are in the very privileged position to do something about it, so this is our way of trying to do that. To ignore where you came from is one of the worst things in the world, and there is not a single member of the TransferWise team who doesn’t remember the acute difficulties in starting out. We’re a better company for that.” Of course, by paying it forward, TransferWise should stand to benefit by raising awareness of its wares amongst the wider startup community and winning new customers longer term. To that end, TransferWise bills itself as the “Skype of money transfer” and enables individuals and businesses to send money between countries for a fraction of the price that banks and others charge, using a peer-to-peer, “crowdsourced” model — where money destined for transfer doesn’t unnecessarily actually leave each country — to get the best rate on the exchange. It passes on these savings by charging a small flat fee per transfer. Currency transfers are supported between the euro, British Pound, Polish Zloty, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Krone. In addition, last November it added support for transfers to U.S. Dollars, while transfers from U.S. Dollars to its list of supported European currencies are said to be “coming soon”. The other figures and companies “supporting” the campaign are: TCIO; Saul Klein, partner at Index Ventures; investor Michael Jackson; Seedcamp; Mendeley; 3Beards; Jason Goodman, founder of Albion; Robin Klein, founder of The Accelerator Group; Christian Thaler-Wolski, Wellington Partners; Nikhil Shah, co-founder of Mixcloud; Roger Ehrenberg, partner at IA Ventures; Funding Circle; Stripe; Skimlinks; Pioneers Festival; Garage48; Kima Ventures; GrabCAD; Wayra; and Erply.