Rami Alkarmi builds lean startup Ecosystems





Geek. Investor. Growth Strategist.

A proud geek, investor, and widely recognized advisor and expert in strategy, lean startup ecosystems, business models, growth & distribution through big data and viral marketing, and corporate venturing.

In 2013, he founded Arcoten Holdings as his advising/investing vehicle where he partners with corporates, accelerators, and incubators to build lean startup ecosystems, and helps companies through providing expertise in growth, hands-on mentorship, access to capital, and helps companies iterate product and grow fast. From time to time, he also likes to build companies with friends and partners inside Arcoten.

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Jeff Lynn, Damian Kimmelman, Taavet Hinrikus

At TechCrunch Disrupt London on Tuesday, three of Europe’s biggest names in financial technology discussed why the city of London — particularly compared to places in the US — makes such an attractive prospect for startups that offer financial services.

Damian Kimmelman, CEO of online document look-up service DueDil, said that London has a unique set of factors that mean financial tech startups can thrive. The US is restricted by a complex banking structure, he said, adding that “there’s an abundance of data in London.”

Jeff Lynn, CEO of online crowdfunding site Seedrs, elaborated on why London is the perfect place for startups dealing with money. “There’s now enough digital take-up to build big businesses. And there aren’t many locked-in systems like in the US. You don’t have as much institutional opposition in Europe as you do in the US.”

The co-founder of money transfer startup TransferWise, Taavet Hinrikus, agreed with Lynn, remarking that “the UK is a very heavy early adopter community.”

Shoreditch GrindSeedrs founder Lynn also explained that London is not the only city in Europe that is promising for fintech companies: “There are other places in the world where fintech could be done well. Frankfurt, for example, where tech provides services to banks. But London is uniquely well positioned.”

As well as a favorable banking structure, the assembled fintech entrepreneurs also claimed that Europe is very different when it comes to venture capital. “East Coast VCs aren’t invited to deals on the West Coast, so they’re coming to Europe,” Kimmelman said. “There are so many attractive companies in Europe, they’re cheaper than in the US.”

SEE ALSO: The UK Treasury Wants To Turn London Into A Bitcoin Capital

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Twenty five years ago next month, Czechslovakia was born after a half century of the Communist darkness. Throughout November 1989, students protested in Bratislava and Prague. A two hour general strike was held on the 27 of November throughout the country causing the entire Communist Party leadership to resign including Milos Jakes the puppet General Secretary. In response to this demonstration of people power, the Communist Party announced it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. As barbed wire was removed, the Constitution changed. Vaclav Havel became the first President of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989.

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Apple’s mobile wallet Apple Pay goes live today with skeptics questioning the need and lots of misinformation running about. This deep dive will answer some of your most important questions about the new technology and explain why it really is the next big thing.

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marissa meyerGood morning! It looks set to be a rainy day in New York. Here’s the tech news you need to know today.

1. Yahoo beat expectations in its Q3 earnings. Revenue was up 1% from Q3 last year.

2. Uber drivers around the world will be protesting today. They are unhappy about the company’s driver policies.

3. HP is planning on creating a computer that can scan objects in 3D. It will also have a built-in projector.

4. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti says Yahoo is making a strategic mistake. He says it is “needlessly picking the harder path.”

5. EMC has announced that it will host a press conference on Thursday. The announcement will come on the same day as its earning call.


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6. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is being paid $84 million. His base salary is $918,917, with a cash bonus of $3.6 million. 

7. Google has announced a new USB security key. It checks whether a website is valid before you log in with your Google account.

8. Apple has denied that its servers were compromised by Chinese hackers. Reports had suggested that Chinese iCloud users had come under attack.

9. Tim Cook sent a letter to Apple staff following the company’s strong Q4 performance. He praises the company’s “hard work and dedication.”

10. The Nokia brand is going to be replaced by Microsoft Lumia. The roll-out starts in France.

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Globally, an estimated 32 million people are living with cancer. That number is projected to increase sharply over the next few decades, as both the incidences of cancer and the number of life-extending treatments increase. Those treatments have been and will continue to spring from huge financial investments in basic and applied medical research. But the issues facing patients and survivors go far beyond the medical impact of the disease.

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There is a huge amount of competition in the file synchronization and sharing space. While high-profile companies Box and Dropbox get most of the media attention, they certainly aren’t alone. Large platform vendors – Google, Microsoft and Citrix have their own products (Drive, OneDrive and ShareFile respectively). At the same time there are literally dozens of smaller players – Egnyte, Accellion, OxygenCloud etc. Given this much competition it’s unsurprising that vendors look for other options.

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Last week, Marrakech, Morocco hosted the 9th African Development Forum, organized by the United Nations  Economic commission on Africa (UNECA). More than a thousand participants had the opportunity to discuss challenges ahead for the continent and how to tackle them.

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For any existing enterprise looking to utilize the public cloud, there are a bunch of important things to think about. Unlike a startup which has no legacy systems to think about, existing enterprises need to think about how the public cloud will interface with their existing infrastructure, applications and core enterprise systems. There’s lots of moving parts in a traditional enterprise and not having a bridge between old and new is often enough of a reason to defer using the public cloud.

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There are different drivers for using public and private cloud. Public cloud tends to be easier, quicker and cheaper while private cloud tends to be better when it comes to compliance issues. Several years ago Amazon Web Services (AWS) tried to find the best of both worlds by offering Virtual Private Clouds, a construct that enables customers to launch AWS resources onto a customer-defined virtual network. These virtual networks closely resemble traditional networks but with a public cloud scalability. AWS would suggest that for customers who need private resources, VPC gives the best of both worlds.

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Some of the largest companies around the world have been dealing with security breaches over the last couple of years. Making matters worse, people often use the same e-mail address and password combinations on multiple websites. Consequently, attackers have been able to successfully use some of the stolen login credentials to log into multiple websites associated with the victim, including Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Fortunately, Facebook has a way of warning users if their passwords were stolen.

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The single biggest way that the bad people attack enterprise IT is via the internet browser and specifically browser-borne malware. It’s not a huge surprise, browsers are the lowest common denominator and an alluring place to focus attention – general users are, after all, more likely to visit risky sites than more savvy users, making widespread browser attacks a logical place to start. One company looking to avert this risk is Spikes Security, a company formed in 2012 by the former SpaceX and PayPal CIO Branden Spikes. Spikes’ AirGap solution is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux and protects browsers from attack. Well, to be honest, it removed the endpoint browser and replaces it with a protected environment.

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Designing business processes from the outside-in, from the customers’ perspective, not only simplifies the customer’s journey but helps brands stay nimble. It’s an offensive strategy play.

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Designing business processes from the outside-in, from the customers’ perspective, not only simplifies the customer’s journey but helps brands stay nimble. It’s an offensive strategy play.

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tim cook

Last week Apple unveiled the iPad Air 2, and the reviews are out: it’s great, but not revolutionary.

Re/code’s Walt Mossberg, one of the world’s most influential technology columnists, was impressed with the iPad Air 2 but disappointed with how similar it is to its predecessor. Mossberg also noted that the iPad Air 2 has a weaker battery than its predecessor:

In fact, in one key metric, battery life, the Air 2 actually regressed from the original Air. In my tough battery test, it lasted 10 hours and 37 minutes, exceeding Apple’s 10-hour claim. That’s quite good, better than most other tablets. But in 2013, the original iPad Air turned in the best tablet battery life I’ve ever seen on my test: 12 hours and 13 minutes — about 90 minutes longer. And earlier this year, Samsung’s latest similar-sized slate, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, lasted 11 hours and 14 minutes in the same test.

TechCrunch called the Air 2 “the best tablet available” because of its A8X processor:

The new iPad Air is unique among Apple’s lineup of products in offering the A8X processor, an enhanced version of the chip that Apple released in September to power the new iPhone lineup. The A8X uses Apple’s second-generation 64-bit mobile architecture, and improves CPU performance by up to 40 percent over the speed of the A7. Graphics performance is improved by a factor of 2.5, and with the help of Apple’s Metal game development technology, the company says this can result in unparalleled application performance when working with advanced visuals.

The Verge had a more negative outlook, saying the iPad Air 2 was “mostly just thinner.”

"It’s not Apple’s best product; it’s not the company’s most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," wrote Verge Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel.

Patel said Apple has become complacent with its position in the tablet market:

I said it in last year’s iPad Air review and I’ll say it again: it feels like Apple is so content with its commanding lead in the tablet market that it’s willing to let the iPad’s superlative hardware sell itself instead of figuring out new places for it to go. For better or worse, Apple’s allowed the iPad to become the giant iPhone its critics have always insisted that it is, and in a world with giant iPhones that’s a tough spot to be in.

To be sure, no one is calling the iPad Air 2 a bad tablet. But Apple has set the bar so high with the iPhone that consumers have begun to expect every Apple product to revolutionize their lives. 

The iPad Air 2, however, is a small jump forward, not a monumental leap. And it shows in the reviews.

SEE ALSO: Here’s What It Looks Like When You Use Apple Pay To Buy Something In The Store

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Science is literally inching closer to the science fiction fantasy of starship-towing tractor beams.

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