So what exactly is a bot?

 As we see the ecosystem continue to develop, bots are increasingly showcasing a wide variety of features from chat to menus, to buttons and visual interfaces. Some bots now almost look like full fledged apps with a variety of feature rich options. So it begs the question… what exactly is a “bot”? At the beginning, bots were simply chatbots, a robot you could interact with… Read More

Tech will lead to new sub-prime crunch

 In October 2016, two leading P2P platforms in the U.S. — Lending Club and Prosper — announced a new increase in interest rates for lower-grade loans. The decision was made in order to sustain investor demand. However, keeping the investor demand stable is not the only reason for recent changes — delinquencies are growing, especially when it comes to high-risk loans. Read More

How Trump will impact venture capital: The future of QSBS

 When we speak of disruption in the startup industry, it would not be uncommon to invoke an innovative technology or a visionary founder. It is a rare occasion when we can celebrate legislators. Yet, some of the most recent strides in the emerging growth ecosystem are owed not to Silicon Valley programmers in their Spartan incubators, but instead to the United States Congress. Read More

How Everette Taylor went from a homeless college dropout to chief marketing officer at Skurt

 There are roughly 58,000 homeless students on college campuses in the United States (according to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That number could actually be much higher, given students’ reluctance to disclose any issues with their housing. That same dynamic is also in play with… Read More

Startups downplay tobacco as they talk up cannabis

 Shops patronized by pot smokers have a long tradition of labeling their pipes and vaporizers “for tobacco use only.” But startups developing smoking and vaping gear are basically asking customers to put their weed in it. Self-described cannabis product companies are raising capital in droves, while funding for startups in the e-cigarette space has all but, well, vaporized. Not a… Read More

Technology, happiness on demand and the absurd human condition

 Almost everything seems like it’s on demand, delivered with the push of a button. And yet, the U.S. is only the 15th happiest country. What’s more, that level’s been dropping since 2005. So why haven’t we developed happiness on demand? We’ve seen more technological growth in the last 10 years than we saw in the 100 years before that, and it seems we’ve… Read More

Geeks on a Plane Africa kicks off as 500 Startups eyes tech for the continent and beyond

 500 Startups’ frontier and emerging markets travel series ― Geeks on a Plane ― kicks off its first Africa tour this week. The 12-day trip will make stops in Nigeria (Lagos), Ghana (Accra), and South Africa (Johannesburg and Cape Town). “We’ve done about 10 investments in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said noting most of the startups ― such as Nigerian HR platform… Read More

Stevon Cook went from public housing to empowering public schools through tech training

 There are roughly 22,000 tech companies in San Francisco, yet most local high school students have never set foot in one. Most don’t even know what a “startup” or a “venture capitalist” is. Stevon Cook, a former resident of San Francisco’s public housing system, is changing that through his work as chief executive of Mission Bit and his work as a commissioner… Read More