Weekly Roundup: Advice from the Experts

This week was the BC Tech Summit in Vancouver, and renowned experts took to various stages over two days, delivering actionable insight and enthralling stories of success—and failure.

For these nuggets of wisdom and so much more, indulge in our great content below.

Bootstrapping without monetizing

Allen Lau and Ivan Yven bootstrapped their online storytelling company, Wattpad, for over three years before raising seed money. Lau wanted to validate the Wattpad platform first, “using my own money, basically, my sweat equity,” before bringing in outside investors. It turned out to be a wise move.

Now AI can lip-read

Not long after DeepMind solved multi-tasking in artificial intelligence, the deep minds at the Google-owned company have now invented a system that allegedly can lip-read better than humans. In collaboration with scientists at Oxford University, DeepMind has developed a system that can observe silent speech and correctly interpret roughly half of words—more than triple the rate of even professional human lip readers.

David, salesman to Goliath

Working with big companies can be daunting for startups. Greg Malpass, who founded Traction on Demand in 2006, offers six lessons he’s learned as a small business selling to much larger enterprises.

You get a bike, and you get a bike…

LimeBike has raised $12 million. The Series A round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from IDG, DCM, Seven Seas, and others. The Silicon Valley startup says it will use the venture capital to “revolutionize urban and campus mobility.”


Evolving retail

The retail landscape is constantly changing and businesses have to adapt their processes and lean on one another in order to be able to succeed. Recently, Lightspeed CEO Dax Dasvila had the opportunity to sit down with a small group of retailers to discuss how they’ve thrived in the past decade, succeeded in customer retention, formed a network of other business owners and embraced the power of omni-channel.

Is your city smart?

Imagine technology that tells you when your garbage has been picked up, when the the snow is removed on your street, or when the busiest time of day at your local park or playground is. Some of this either already exists in cities across North America, or is part of the pioneering thinking driving so-called “smart city” initiatives from coast to coast.

Bank funds university’s effort to solve cybersecurity

UBC plans to to accelerate cybersecurity and financial risk research in Canada, fueled by a $2-million donation from Scotiabank. Over the next five years, The Scotiabank Cybersecurity and Risk Analytics Initiative will support research and educational initiatives, including internships, speaker series, engagement activities like hackathons, and other collaborative events.

levis bike

Levi’s, Google Collaborate on Wearable Tech

Levi’s and Google have collaborated to create new wearable technology: a trucker jacket. Specifically, the Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket. Launching this spring, it is the first smart garment with Jacquard by Google technology woven in.

Intel to Enter Autonomous Driving Market with Major Buy

Intel has agreed to acquire Mobileye, a maker of self-driving car technology, for more than $15 billion. The major move shows that the US chipmaker is eager to achieve a dominant role in the rapidly evolving autonomous technology market.

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