Venture investors need to invest in Black-owned businesses

Less than 1% of all venture capital funding in the US is given to Black entrepreneurs. Now is the time for that to change.

Credit: Big Think
  • Abner Mason, CEO and founder of health care startup ConsejoSano, is calling for all venture capital firms in the United States to pledge to invest 13% of their funds in African American businesses.
  • Currently, Black entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding.
  • The 13% target reflects the percentage of Black Americans and is a nod to the 13th Amendment.
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The answer to Skynet? A democratically controlled supermind.

The plan to stop megacorps from owning superintelligence is already underway.

  • A.I. technology is often developed within the proprietary silos of big tech companies. What if there was an open, decentralized hub for A.I. developers to share their creations? Enter SingularityNET.
  • The many A.I.s in the network could compete with each other to provide services for users but they could also cooperate, giving way to an emergent-level mind: artificial general intelligence.
  • SingularityNET is powered by blockchain technology, meaning whatever 'digital organism' emerges will not be owned or controlled by any one person, company or government.
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Scientists are creating music to unlock your brain’s potential

Soon, parents may be able to prescribe music to their kids to help them focus.

  • Instead of prescribing medications to kids with ADD or ADHD, Clark and his team at Brain.fm are looking to music as another option for treatment.
  • Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the company is developing music that features "neural-phase locking" — a combination of different principles that create specific characteristics in the brain, such as increased concentration or relaxation.
  • As long as they're listening to the music, the neural phase-locking aspect of Brain.fm's tunes has the potential to keep people focused.

Entrepreneurship 101: How to dream big—with your feet on the ground

Hertz Foundation Fellow Dr. Christopher Loose sold his first startup for $80 million. His advice is probably the kind you want to hear.

Hertz Foundation Fellow Dr. Christopher Loose sold his first startup for $80 million in 2012, and co-founded his second startup, Frequency Therapeutics Inc., in 2015, which is developing methods to restore hearing loss, with greater applications in human regenerative medicine. Even if you aren't in the field of medicine, innovators of any kind looking to found their first startup will benefit from his experience and advice on mentorship, building a balanced team, consulting experts, and how to develop the right first product—one that the rest of your career might be valued on. The Hertz Foundation mission is to provide unique financial and fellowship support to the nation's most remarkable PhD students in the hard sciences. Hertz Fellowships are among the most prestigious in the world, and the foundation has invested over $200 million in Hertz Fellows since 1963 (present value) and supported over 1,100 brilliant and creative young scientists, who have gone on to become Nobel laureates, high-ranking military personnel, astronauts, inventors, Silicon Valley leaders, and tenured university professors. For more information, visit hertzfoundation.org.

To Be an Entrepreneur, Geek Out In Ways Others Won’t

How do you build a podcast empire? Scott Aukerman explains the pedantic, unglamorous, behind-the-scenes work that went into founding the brilliant Earwolf Podcast Network.

If an idea comes along that is complicated and terrifying and you want to run a million miles from it—you’re probably onto a great thing. That’s the takeaway from Scott Aukerman, who co-founded the podcast network Earwolf, home to podcasts by Stephen J. Dubner, Hannibal Buress, Katie Couric, Jeff Garlin, Chris Gethard, and Lauren Lapkus. Aukerman explains how he went from being a comedian with an interest in podcasts, to a businessman who co-runs an audio empire. Entrepreneurs aren’t a different species, they just geek out in ways that others don’t. Scott Aukerman’s podcast is Comedy Bang! Bang!.

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