I’ve written a few times in this newsletter about various “pipelines” for startup activity — universities, coworking spaces, and local corporations. But one pipeline I haven’t touched on yet is local meetup groups. Meetup groups can be a powerful way to bring together a wide variety of people who are interested in startups or a certain type of technology, and give them the motivation they need that they have the support needed to go out and start their own company. Bill Myers, the organizer of VR meetup groups in Akron and Cleveland, Ohio, and the founder of his own startup, New Territory, is a good example of this. Myers was working in video production when he was first introduced to VR by a friend around the time that Oculus Rift came out on Kickstarter. “It completely blew my mind, and I knew my life was forever changed as a result. What I wanted to do was immediately purchase one myself and share it with the rest of the … [Read more...] about Heartland Tech Weekly: How a VR community grew in Northern Ohio
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is one of the most talked-about topics in tech today. But a closer look at the numbers shows talk is often all that’s happening. Atlassian, in collaboration with Market Cube, recently surveyed 1,500 tech workers on their attitudes and behaviors toward diversity and inclusion. While 80 percent of respondents agreed that it is important, in Silicon Valley, the number of companies that said they had formal inclusion programs fell by 10 percent between 2017 and 2018. Nationally, companies just began catching up to the Valley in implementation this year. Similarly, feelings of belonging among underrepresented groups remained relatively flat, as did retention. What’s going on? There are several factors at play. In my work conducting diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting for growing and growth stage startups, I’ve identified a few core issues. Individuals within companies often experience diversity fatigue in the face of a slow process … [Read more...] about How 4 Chicago startups are using tech to address the industry’s diversity problem
Walt’s column this week discusses the balance between design and functionality in tech today. This week on Ctrl-Walt-Delete, Walt and Nilay discuss the products and companies where the balance may be wrong, with more in favor of design. The duo also bring up the state of gadgets and whether or not there is a gadget apocalypse approaching. We love your feedback on the topics of the show and suggestions on how to make our show better and more fun — you can tweet at Walt at @waltmossberg and Nilay at @reckless. And of course, we'd love it if you subscribed in iTunes (here's the direct RSS feed, if you like), along with The Verge's other great podcasts like What's Tech, and The Vergecast. You might also want to check out Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, and Too Embarrassed to Ask featuring The Verge's Lauren Goode. And hey, we finally have Ctrl-Walt-Delete T-shirts! Check out our merch store here. … [Read more...] about Functionality vs. design: is there no balance today?
This is part of our Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted," about how technology is helping with the global refugee crisis -- if at all. The US tech industry is stepping up in the global refugee crisis. Tech leaders are among 51 companies "investing, donating, or raising" more than $650 million for the education, training and employment of 6.3 million refugees in 20 countries. Microsoft, TripAdvisor, HP and Google will help more than 80,000 children in refugee camps get an education, President Barack Obama said Tuesday at the Leaders Summit on Refugees at the United Nations. "You have companies like Accenture, Western Union, and LinkedIn that are going to help with internships, skills training and job placement," he said. "Today's commitment means that we're going to be creating employment opportunities for more than 220,000 refugees." The UN estimates that in 2015 alone, conflicts and persecution "forcibly displaced" 65.3 million people worldwide, the biggest forced … [Read more...] about Facebook, Google, other tech giants answer Obama’s refugee plea
Things just keep getting smarter. "Smart" doorbells, phones, speakers, cars -- even forks.But how do you know what's really the smartest stuff? What things inspire a sense of wonder, change our perceptions or make a difference in the way we live and work? And who are the people working on the future, today? We wanted to find out. So after months of research and planning, the CNET News team packed their bags to visit interesting people working on the kinds of gee-whiz, cool stuff that reminds us why tech is so much fun. More than a dozen reporters, photographers and videographers journeyed thousands of miles to find out firsthand what smart people are doing to make us -- and the world around us -- smarter.This is Road Trip 2017: The Smartest Stuff. We followed in the footsteps of Princess Diana, guided by an organization that's using Google Earth to sniff out land mines in Angola. We saw drones being used to deliver lifesaving medicines to remote clinics and doctors in Rwanda. We drove … [Read more...] about Here’s to tech making your life a whole lot smarter