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News Article | October 28, 2016

Large international companies are having trouble keeping up with the pace of innovation. Rockies Venture Club (RVC) is excited to announce a corporate innovation education program in partnership with one of Japan’s most prestigious early stage venture capital firm, Future Venture Capital (FVC). The Corporate Innovation HyperAccelerator builds upon RVC’s entrepreneur-driven HyperAccelerator program, but focuses on the innovation needs of large corporations. Large international corporations that tend to have extremely efficient and controlled systems and processes that allow them to operate at scale. While these systems are important, they can kill new innovation projects and corporations are increasingly seeking more effective ways to create sustainable and rapid paced innovation programs based on accelerator and corporate venture capital models. Using these techniques provides a repeatable and reproducible way to maintain their leadership position and continue to grow in globally competitive markets. This new program helps corporations to analyze their innovation and R&D efforts and develop programs optimized to their needs using a unique “scaling down” approach that maximizes success by providing the key resources and methods that venture capital backed startups use to launch new businesses. Program participants develop innovation strategies through a mentor driven program focused on rapid growth and strategic development. Rockies Venture Club, and it’s education arm, The Rockies Venture Institute,is the largest angel investor network in Colorado with five chapters in (Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Centennial) and is also the nation’s longest operating group of its kind for over 31 years. Future Venture Capital Co., Ltd. is one of the only three publicly traded venture capital investment companies in Japan with more than $200M USD equivalent in assets under management. FVC is a unique venture capital firm because not only does it care about the benefit to the investors and the portfolio companies as many other venture capital firms do, but it is also concerned about societal impact. FVC has several regional offices in Japan and each office has a mission to contribute to the development of the local and regional economy through growth of venture companies. “RVC has spent years helping startups to grow up fast by teaching how large corporations are structured to operate at scale.” says Peter Adams, Executive Director of RVC and HyperAccelerator creator. “It’s great to be able to take the curriculum in the other direction and help large corporations run effective innovation programs by using proven processes of startup strategy,” “Many successful and established corporations in Japan is starting an ‘Open Innovation’ programs to fuel the growth.”, says Chief Strategy Officer of FVC, Yuji Fujinaga, leading international operations at FVC. Mr. Fujinaga continues “. We believe high quality programs like RVC’s new Corporate Innovation HyperAccelerator are beneficial to entrepreneurs in Japan as well as corporations based in Japan seeking to enhance internal innovative and entrepreneurial culture.” “The program was developed by RVC for FVC’s corporate clients in Japan, and will also be offered to both Japanese and U.S. corporations in the United States who are looking to enhance their internal innovation programs.”, according to Denichiro “Denny” Otsuga, Director of Venture Community Development with RVC, a Japanese native who has brokered this deal following the previously announced license agreement between RVC and FVC on the HyperAccelerator for entrepreneurs. Otsuga continues that “Innovation is the strongest common currency in the world market now that can cross the geopolitical boundaries. Corporate Innovation HyperAccelerator program being deployed in US and Japan illustrates how innovation is becoming borderless.” Future Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (FVC) is a publicly traded venture capital investment company in Japan on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s JASDAQ market (Code: 8462) founded in 1998. FVC has invested in over 350 deals since its inception and currently manages more than 20 funds totaling approximately $200M USD in assets. FVC often invests in early stage deals and as the lead investor. Rockies Venture Club, Inc. (RVC) is a non-profit corporation based in Denver, Colorado, founded in 1985. RVC companies have received over $30 million in funding since 2012. The RVC holds over one hundred events every year including their signature Angel Capital Summit and Colorado Capital Conferences, the Summer PitchFest, Colorado Life Science Night and the Impact Investing Conference. RVC offers venture capital training for angel investors and entrepreneurs alike, including their signature HyperAccelerator program based on an intensive mentor driven six day program.

Kim M.S.,Venture Institute | Kang D.O.,Venture Institute | Heo S.J.,Kookmin University
International Journal of Automotive Technology | Year: 2014

In order to effectively solve modern automotive design problems including the results of nonlinear FEA and multi-body dynamics, a progressive meta-model based design optimization is presented. To reduce the number of initial sample points, two sampling methods are introduced. Then, for efficient and stable construction of meta-models, three metamodel methods are newly introduced which are numerically based on the singular value decomposition technique. To design a practical system considering manufacturing tolerances and optimizing multiple performances, a robust design optimization, 6-sigma constraints and multi-objective strategies are implemented when solving the approximate optimization problem constructed from the meta-models. Until the convergence criteria are satisfied, the initially developed meta-models are progressively improved by adding only one point that minimizes the approximate Lagrangian in the consecutive optimization iterations. Finally, one validation sample and four automotive applications are solved to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach. © 2014 The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kang D.O.,Venture Institute | Heo S.J.,Kookmin University | Kim M.S.,Venture Institute | Choi W.C.,Kookmin University | Kim I.H.,Kookmin University
International Journal of Automotive Technology | Year: 2012

This study presents the robust design optimization process of suspension system for improving vehicle dynamic performance (ride comfort, handling stability). The proposed design method is so called target cascading method where the design target of the system is cascaded from a vehicle level to a suspension system level. To formalize the proposed method in the view of design process, the design problem structure of suspension system is defined as a (hierarchical) multilevel design optimization, and the design problem for each level is solved using the robust design optimization technique based on a meta-model. Then, In order to verify the proposed design concept, it designed suspension system. For the vehicle level, 44 random variables with 3% of coefficient of variance (COV) were selected and the proposed design process solved the problem by using only 88 exact analyses that included 49 analyses for the initial meta-model and 39 analyses for SAO. For the suspension level, 54 random variables with 10% of COV were selected and the optimal designs solved the problem by using only 168 exact analyses for the front suspension system. Furthermore, 73 random variables with 10% of COV were selected and optimal designs solved the problem by using only 252 exact analyses for the rear suspension system. In order to compare the vehicle dynamic performance between the optimal design model and the initial design model, the ride comfort and the handling stability was analyzed and found to be improved by 16% and by 37%, respectively. This result proves that the suggested design method of suspension system is effective and systematic. © 2012 The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kim M.S.,Venture Institute | Woo Y.H.,Hansung University
International Journal of Automotive Technology | Year: 2013

This paper presents the robust design optimization of the dynamic responses of a heavy military tracked vehicle system. The tracked vehicle model addressed in this study has 954 degrees of freedom and consists of 189 bodies in total: 37 bodies for the chassis, such as sprockets, road wheels, road arms, etc.; 76 track link bodies for each track subsystem; 36 revolute joints; and 152 bushing elements. The design objectives were to minimize the maximum vertical acceleration of the hull and its variance while satisfying the wheel travel constraints for torsion bars and the hydro-pneumatic suspension units within ±1σ ranges. To avoid the difficulty of the design sensitivity analysis and to overcome the numerical noise, a progressive meta-model technique was employed in the optimization process. First, space-filling methods were used to determine the minimum number of sample points. Second, the simultaneous kriging method was used to construct the initial meta-models, and the augmented Lagrange multiplier (ALM) method was then used to solve the robust design problems of the meta-models. Third, the new design results were added to the analysis results for the initial sample points, and the meta-models were updated automatically. Next, the optimizer resolved the robust design problems of the updated meta-models. These processes were repeated until the convergence tolerances were satisfied. The robust design optimization of the tracked vehicle system, with 11 random design variables, was solved in only 26 analyses, including 12 analyses for the initial meta-models and 14 analyses added during the iterative optimization process. © 2013 The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Lee K.,SongDo Techno Park 7 50 Songdo Dong | Pi K.,Venture Institute
Biochemistry (Moscow) | Year: 2010

We report the acid tolerance response and changes in the level of protein expression of probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri subjected to transient (1.5 h) acid stress at pH 3.0. Sixteen acid-responsive proteins were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting including members of five broad functional categories: metabolism, transcription/translation, DNA replica- tion/repair, transport and binding proteins, and pH homeostasis and stress responses. This work can provide some new and relevant information on the inducible mechanisms underlying the capacity of probiotic L. reuteri to tolerate acid stress. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.

Lee D.-H.,Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology | Joo J.-Y.,Venture Institute | Lee S.-K.,Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
Optics Express | Year: 2015

This paper presents a model of blue laser diode (LD)-based white lighting coupled with a yellow YAG phosphor, for use in the proper design and fabrication of phosphor in automotive headlamps. First, the sample consisted of an LD, collecting lens, and phosphor was prepared that matches the model. The light distribution of the LD and the phosphor were modeled to investigate an effect of the surface topography and phosphor particle properties on the laser-driven white lighting systems by using the commercially available optical design software. Based on the proposed model, the integral spectrum distribution and the color coordinates were discussed. © 2015 Optical Society of America.

Kim J.-Y.,Venture Institute | Jeon J.-H.,Venture Institute | Jeon J.-H.,Chosun University | Kwon M.-K.,Chosun University
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2015

Transparent conducting electrodes are important components of highly efficient ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs). Indium tin oxide (ITO) is commonly used to form a current spreading layer, but its UV-range optical transparency is limited with a low sheet resistance. We demonstrate a simple solution-based coating technique to obtain large-area, highly uniform, and conductive silver-nanowire-based electrodes that exhibit UV-range optical transparency better than that of ITO for the same sheet resistance. The UV LEDs fabricated using this current spreading layer showed improved optical power emission as well as improvement in electrical properties. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Nakatsuji H.,Venture Institute | Nakashima H.,Venture Institute
Journal of Chemical Physics | Year: 2015

The Schrödinger equation (SE) and the antisymmetry principle constitute the governing principle of chemistry. A general method of solving the SE was presented before as the free complement (FC) theory, which gave highly accurate solutions for small atoms and molecules. We assume here to use the FC theory starting from the local valence bond wave function. When this theory is applied to larger molecules, antisymmetrizations of electronic wave functions become time-consuming and therefore, an additional breakthrough is necessary concerning the antisymmetry principle. Usually, in molecular calculations, we first construct the wave function to satisfy the antisymmetry rule, "electronic wave functions must be prescribed to be antisymmetric for all exchanges of electrons, otherwise bosonic interference may disturb the basis of the science." Starting from determinantal wave functions is typical. Here, we give an antisymmetrization theory, called inter-exchange (iExg) theory, by dividing molecular antisymmetrizations to those within atoms and between atoms. For the electrons belonging to distant atoms in a molecule, only partial antisymmetrizations or even no antisymmetrizations are necessary, depending on the distance between the atoms. So, the above antisymmetry rule is not necessarily followed strictly to get the results of a desired accuracy. For this and other reasons, the necessary parts of the antisymmetrization operations become very small as molecules become larger, leading finally to the operation counts of lower orders of N, the number of electrons. This theory creates a natural antisymmetrization method that is useful for large molecules. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

News Article | July 3, 2014

Unless you live in a cave, you’ll have noticed that Brazil is currently welcoming the FIFA World Cup 2014. For some reason I was expecting it would result in a news slowdown and well, I couldn’t have been more mistaken. Not only did this giant event bring its fair share of tech-related announcements, but startups also kept on working and closing new deals. Here are the news you can’t miss among all the noise: Let’s start with some interesting news bits from the World Cup itself. As we reported, each game has resulted in a huge amount of social chatter all around the world, with both Twitter and Facebook reaching records and expecting new heights over the next couple of weeks. Football aside, the mega-event has also been putting science in the spotlight, with coaches and referees relying on innovations such as goal-line technology, smart watches and wearable speed sensors to make fact-based decisions. Still, innovation hasn’t been getting as much attention as some of us wished. Indeed, controversy emerged on day one around the competition’s first kick. The fact that it was made by a person with paralysis using a mind-controlled exoskeleton was apparently not enough to grant it more than a few seconds air time. Here what you might have missed: As you can see, they are not completely self-explanatory, which might be one of several reasons why TV channels barely mentioned them during live coverage. Still, it would have been nice to hear more on the ongoing work behind them – the Walk Again Project, led by Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis from Duke University. It wasn’t the only controversy around the World Cup, whose tremendous cost spurred numerous protests in Brazil over the last few months. This discontent also echoed online, when hackers took down the event’s official site for a few hours on June 20. While there is no doubt that many Brazilians have more pressing needs than new stadiums, it still had a very positive impact for some of them. According to Airbnb, its platform reached a whole new scale with the event: Interestingly, some of Airbnb’s newest hosts are favela (slum) residents who discovered the wonders of the ‘sharing economy’ by renting out rooms to foreign tourists who couldn’t afford overpriced hotels – or were attracted by the breathtaking views you can get from the hills. Google made so many moves in Latin America this month that it deserves its own chapter. To begin with, it announced that it would finally pull the plug on Orkut, its first social network. As you may remember, Orkut was built ten years ago as a ‘20% project’ by a Google engineer named Orkut Büyükkökten. Although it never quite took off in most countries, it gained tremendous popularity in India and Brazil, where it took years for Facebook to steal its crown. It eventually did in early 2012, and Orkut entered a slow and steady decline, accelerated by Google’s indecisiveness. Considering its small number of active users left, the shutdown has been seen as somewhat of a non-event in most of the world. However, the reaction was different and more emotional in Brazil, where users took to… Twitter to share fond memories of their first social network. [Blogger Bianca Müller: “My birthplace on the Internet was Orkut.”] As for Orkut Büyükkökten, we recently learned that he was working on his next venture, Hello, a “one-of-a-kind community of users who celebrate friendship, imagination, self-expression, and authentic engagement in a safe environment.” Some of the other announcements made by Google this month were related to the World Cup, such as the addition of the event’s 12 host stadiums to its Street View service, following earlier updates to Google Transit and Google Indoor Maps. It is also worth mentioning that Google has been conducting a unique initiative to showcase Brazil’s World Cup through its now famous doodles. As Brazilian magazine explained in an interesting post (in Portuguese), a team of 4 doodlers even flew to Brazil to get closer to the action and create unique animated drawings. Unfortunately, they got briefly caught in controversy when one of its drawing wrongly attributed an Argentine province to Chile. However, the company was prompt to apologize and correct the error. Still in Brazil, Google recently conducted LTE tests in the state of Piaui as part of Project Loon, its initiative to provide balloon-powered Internet access. As we reported, Google was able to propel its high-altitude balloons into the air and connect a local school to the Internet for the very first time. The company also released its TV dongle Chromecast in the country, Estadão’s tech blog Link reported. The device is now available in several stores for R$199 (around $90 USD). Google is working on partnerships to expand its local content offering, currently limited to a popular kids’ show. Google also had news for Spanish-speaking countries, which accounted for 11 of the 12 new countries in which it recently rolled out Google Play’s bookstore. In addition to the Netherlands, the service is now available in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. A new job posting spotted by Link revealed that Apple was looking for a Brazilian engineer to “join the team that teaches Siri how to understand and speak new languages,” hinting at an upcoming release in Brazilian Portuguese. The company received mixed news regarding its iPhone brand, with Mexican company iFone winning a lawsuit against the country’s telcos for unauthorized use. On the other hand, a Brazilian judge confirmed that Apple could keep on using the “iPhone” brand in Brazil. Amazon is said to be negotiating with Brazilian manufacturers to start producing Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire and its smartphone in the country, Blue Bus reported. This would represent a R$200 million investment (around $90.5 million USD). Telefónica introduced its mobile network Tuenti in Mexico, with a focus on young, connected users. Tuenti started out in Spain as a social network, before turning mostly into a niche pre-paid mobile operator following its acquisition by Telefónica. The service attracted around 200,000 clients in Spain, tech blog Hemerotek reported. Pinterest announced it would open an office in Brazil later this year, Telecompaper reported. According to Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the social network has been working on hiring a team of 3 to 4 local employees. Starbucks’ clients in Mexico will soon be able to pay for their drinks through their smartphone,. Indeed, Mexico is about to become the 4th country in which the coffee chain rolls out its loyalty app, CNN Expansión reported. Still in Mexico, Sony launched its Video Unlimited movie service, giving customers in the country the ability to rent or purchase movie titles though the PlayStation Store, HD Report informed. Lastly, some companies included Latin American countries in recent global rollouts. PayPal expanded into 10 new countries, including Paraguay, Pulso Social reported. Line extended sales of its user-created stickers service Creators Market into 9 countries including Brazil. As for Microsoft-owned Yammer, its Web and mobile platforms now support Spanish and Portuguese, among other languages. Gone! released a new iOS app that lets users connect with potential buyers sell stuff they want “gone”, TechCrunch reported. As the app description page warns, the service is only available to invited users in SF and Austin (where Gone graduated from TechStars). However, it will be interesting to see whether it expands elsewhere in the future, considering that its founders are Argentine entrepreneurs. LATAMup’s startup map platform is now available in 6 cities: Buenos Aires, where its beta testing took place, as well as Bogotá, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and São Paulo. Just like, on which it is based, LATAMup’s maps let users locate key members of the local tech ecosystem, from accelerators and incubators to startups and co-working spaces. In Latin America, its main competitor is, which fulfills the same mission. Brazilian fashion discovery startup Dujour launched a new e-commerce feature named Shop The Look to let users find similar items available to purchase in partner online stores. As you may remember, we previously listed Dujour as one of 12 Latin American startups to look out for in 2014. Mexican mobile point of sale company Sr. Pago launched an innovative product called Sr. Pago Card System. According to the company, it is “the first service in the Americas that combines a smartphone chip credit card reader with a debit card that can be reloaded with payments accepted through the card reader.” In practical terms, it means that small business owners could collect payments through a Sr. Pago terminal, and spend their earnings as they please with their connected debit card. “While the Sr. Pago card is available to consumers and small businesses in Mexico with traditional bank accounts, we see the greatest opportunity for impacting the underserved population in Mexico,” said Antonio Flores Aldama, CTO & COO of Sr. Pago. “This segment comprises approximately 61% of the population (more than 73 million people) whose payment and spending transactions are mostly cash based.” Argentine 3D printing company Trimaker partnered with Staples to commercialize its T-Element model in its home country. In addition, clients will be able to go to one of Staples’ stores in Buenos Aires to print 3D objects. Fellow Argentine startup Satellogic announced the successful launch (literally) of its third imaging nanosatellite, TechCrunch reported. Quoting the article: “The company was founded by CEO Emiliano Kargieman, who previously founded Core Security Technologies and came up with the vision for Satellogic while attending Singularity University in 2010. Describing existing satellite technology as “archaic,” Kargieman said he wants to launch a network of hundreds of satellites in Low Earth orbit that will allow customers to get “an image of any place on Earth in high-resolution and in real-time.” Brazilian commercial automation solution provider Bematech bought ERP software development company Unum, Exame reported. The deal carries an initial value of R$30 million ($13.6 million USD), which could followed by an additional R$10 million ($4.5 million USD) payment if certain goals are reached. Danish daily deal aggregator Bownty acquired Spanish competitor Yunait for an undisclosed amount, TechCrunch reported. In addition to the UK, Yunait operates in Southern Europe and in Latin America, which should help Bownty expand its international reach. CNN Expansió reported that its parent company Grupo Expansión was set to be acquired by investment fund Southern Cross pending on approval from Mexico’s antitrust commission. Grupo Expansión is a multi-platform publisher whose properties include 17 magazines and 11 websites. The deal would put an end to Time Inc.’s 9-year ownership of the company, but not to Grupo Expansión’s exploitation of Time media brands. European food ordering platform Delivery Hero acquired its Latin American counterpart PedidosYa, following a confidential partnership in place since 2013, the company announced on its blog. Originally from Uruguay, PedidosYa had expanded to Argentina Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. It had received funding from Atomico and Kaszek Ventures. Meanwhile, Rocket Internet’s food delivery service Foodpanda bought its Ecuadorian counterpart DeliYami, Gründerszene reported. Operating in Latin America under the HelloFood brand, Foodpanda was already present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In an interesting turn of events, Shoes4you is back from the dead. As you may remember, we wrote a post-mortem story about the company’s decision to close shop one year ago. However, it is now back online with a new owner, virtual shopping site MuccaShop, and a new business model. Instead of a Brazilian Shoedazzle, the site now operates as a traditional online retailer for third-party accessories – women’s shoes of course, but also jewelry and bags. Brazilian online advertising startup Adtrade was bought by French online marketing agency ESV Digital, LAVCA reported. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. Latino YouTube network MiTú raised $10 million in new funding round led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from previous backers, Recode reported. According to Crunchbase, “MiTú is one of the largest media brands dedicated to Latino content, with over 40 million subscribers and 400 million monthly video views, and covers topics from heath and food to pop culture. Founded in 2012, MiTú will use the latest funding to expand its presence in Los Angeles and Mexico City and build out engineering and sales efforts.” Event management startup Ingresse raised R$10 million ($4.5 million USD) in new funding, Startupi reported. The series B round was led by led by e.Bricks Early Stage, with participation from DGF Investimentos and Qualcomm. Wine e-commerce platform Evino raised R$10 million ($4.5 million USD) from a private investor who chose to remain anonymous, Startupi reported. In addition, co-founder Marcos Leal revealed that the company had previously received R$2 million ($908k USD) in funding from Project A Ventures. Start-Up Chile’s alum Review Trackers raised a $2 million investment round, the government-supported program reported. The funding round was led by Milwaukee’s CSA Partners, with investments from American Family Ventures, Jeff Rusinow, and SymphonyAlpha Ventures. Brazilian discount club Piggme raised R$ 3,2 million ($1.44 million USD) from Haya Investimentos, whose founder Marcelo Hayashi will join the company as Chief Strategy Officer, Startupi reported. Argentine company builder Quasar Ventures launched a new venture called with a $1 million investment. Participants include Quasar itself as well as NXTP Labs, Richmond Global and a group of angel investors based in both the USA and Latin America (disclosure: NXTP Labs is an investor in my startup, MonoLibre). According to its founders, Rodati is an Internet company that seeks to simplify the new car buying experience in Latin America. Miami-based venue recommendation startup Posto7 raised $925k in seed funding from NXTP Labs and other investors in New York City, San Francisco, Brazil and Miami, TechCocktail reported. The company recently graduated from NXTP Labs as part of its 6th acceleration batch  (Disclosure: so did my startup). Argentine startup BitPagos raised a seed round of $600k led by Pantera Capital, Tim Draper, Barry Silbert, Boost Bitcoin Fund, Amasia and others, Venture Capital Dispatch reported. The company lets hotels accept bookings paid either in dollars or with bitcoins to bypass Argentina’s currency hurdles. Spanish development outsourcing platform Yeeply raised €320k ($437k USD) from various sources. According to Pulso Social, the Plug & Play Spain alum plans to use this funding to grow its freelancing community in Latin America. Colombian online pharmacy raised investment from Axon Partners Group, Pulso Social reported. The Wayra Colombia alum plans to use this funding to boost its growth and expand into other countries. Brazilian mobile content company Movile and Brazilian-American accelerator 21212 co-invested an undisclosed amount in personalized playlist generator Superplayer. The startup hopes to boost use of its mobile apps following the investment. Corporate education company Inbep  received investment from Altivia Ventures, Startupi reported. It previously received funding from an angel investor and a personal investment from Altivia Ventures’ founder Cassio Spina. Miami-based mobile wallet solution Waleteros won this year GeekTank’s competition, the Miami Herald’s blog Starting Gate reported. As journalist Nancy Dahlberg noted, “Waleteros targets the 5 million Hispanics in the United States who are unbanked or underbanked, many of whom deal with check cashing stores now.” Latino-focused initiative Manos Accelerator announced the list of companies that would join its Silicon Valley-based program, Pulso Social reported. While US-based companies accounted for half of the applications, 4 of the 7 selected startups come from Latin American countries. Government-backed initiative Startup Brasil had to amend its list of partner accelerators, Startupi reported. The program took to its blog to announce that Pipa would replace Papaya Ventures, which apparently “interrupted its activities” (see our previous post mentioning both accelerators). The Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN in its Spanish acronym) approved a $2 million equity investment in Venture Innovation Fund II. The fund will be managed by Venture Partners, LP, founders of the Venture Institute accelerator in Mexico City, and support up to 14 early-stage startups. Newsgames are on the rise in Latin America, with more and more media outlets having a stab at creating innovative formats. A couple of weeks ago, Argentine fact-checking platform Chequeado launched Chequeate, a trivia quiz game available on its website and as an Android app, Infotechnology reported. As for Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, it unveiled a newsgame called ‘O Mundo da Copa’ to let readers (and football fans) learn more about “World Cup’s world”. A new platform was also born to keep up with this surge: Newsgame Vault, an online directory of newsgames. It was created in Brazil by Mario Lima Cavalcanti, editor of website for Brazilian online journos ‘Jornalistas da Web’. However, its perspective is global and it features projects from all around the world. Argentina’s National Communications Commission asked ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay, newspaper La Nación reported. The controversial measure is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the Argentinian Chamber of Phonogram & Videogram Producers (CAPIF in its Spanish acronym). In retaliation, its website was temporarily hacked… and turned “into a fully functioning and blockade-circumventing Pirate Bay proxy,” TorrentFreak reported. Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT in its Spanish acronym) distanced itself from a sexist lecture given during the 5th edition of Campus Party that took place in Zapopan a few days ago, while issuing an apology and reinstating its support for gender equality. The event organizer Movistar Campus Party also apologized while removing all references to the talk, titled “Como hackear al sexo femenino” (which roughly translates as “How to hack females”). Many voices had expressed outrage at this incident, but also at a company’s appalling decision to hire a ‘booth babe’ and place a giant QR code on her buttocks. In less depressing news, San Francisco is setting up a new structure called LatinSF to attract Latin American companies, SFGate reported. It is similar to ChinaSF, which brought 47 Chinese companies to the city so far. According to SFGate, San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development is “in the “final stages” of hiring the head of the LatinSF operation and is rounding up $100,000 from private donors to match the city’s contribution, seems all set to go.” Puerto Rico unveiled a project nicknamed ‘Gigabit Island.’ It consists of a $17 million investment to create an ultra-high-speed Internet network to serve its tech sector. The announcement was made during the island’s annual Tech Summit event, which also featured a hackathon focused on public services. According to its promoters, the new network will reach the same speed of one gigabyte per second as Google Fiber’s pilot project in Kansas City. Cuban authorities declared interest in attracting foreign investment in a series of sectors, including electronics, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported. However, it remains to be seen which companies could be keen to invest in a country which recently clamped down on Wi-Fi networks. In a long-planned visit on the island, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt “promoted the virtues of a free and open Internet”, independent Cuban media outlet 14ymedio reported.

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