GCG supports DACA

GCG proudly joins nearly 800 entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country by signing an open letter calling on Congress to immediately pass the bipartisan Dream Act or legislation that provides Dreamers raised in our country the permanent solution they deserve.  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2017

Contact: press@fwd.us

NEW: Growing List of Now Nearly 800 Business Leaders from Every Sector of the Economy Call On Congress to Protect Dreamers

Number of Business Leader Signatories More Than Doubles Since Initial Letter Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, nearly 800 entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country and representing every major sector of the economy released an open letter calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or a permanent a legislative solution that provides Dreamers raised in our country the solution they deserve. Businesses leaders from manufacturing, retail, agriculture, technology, financial services, entertainment, health care, energy and utilities, and every major sector of the economy signed the letter urging Congress to act on this urgent issue.

The first letter was released with just over 350 signatures, and now the combined list of unique signatories between the two letters has reached nearly 800 - more than double the original - as momentum grows for Congress to bring a Dream Act or a permanent legislative solution that Dreamers deserve to a vote.

The letter and current signatory list can be found here. The letter will remain open and those who wish to sign in the future can do so here.

About Source: FWD.us is a bipartisan organization started by key leaders in the tech and business community to promote policies to keep the United States competitive in a global economy, starting with commonsense immigration reform and criminal justice reform.

A startup created by ex-Google engineers is raising $40 million to make drones that fly themselves

http://www.businessinsider.com/skydio-raising-roughly-40-million-series-b-to-make-ai-powered-autonomous-drone-2017-8

Skydio is building "the world’s most advanced autonomous flying camera," according to job listings. Screenshot/Skydio

A three-year-old startup created by ex-Google engineers is raising approximately $40 million in venture funding to make the world's most advanced consumer drone, Business Insider has learned.

Skydio is looking to raise roughly $40 million for its Series B round at a pre-money valuation of around $180 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The drone maker has already raised $28 million to date and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, and others.

Skydio CEO Adam Bry confirmed that the company is raising money in an email to Business Insider on Monday but declined to comment further.

Skydio was Founded by three MIT graduates who set out in 2014 to create an AI-powered drone capable of flying itself without the complexity of current drone controls. CEO Bry and CTO Abraham Bachrach were also early engineers at Project Wing, Google's drone delivery effort.

Skydio has yet to publicly debut its drone, but people who have seen prototypes say that it uses an array of cameras and proprietary computer vision technology to recognize and avoid objects in real time. While Skydio's near-term goal is to sell its own drone, it could potentially license its underlying technology to other drone makers as well.

"Current drones are cool gadgets for enthusiasts but still a curiosity to mainstream consumers," the company wrote in a November 2016 blog post. "Our belief is that advanced onboard computer vision and artificial intelligence, combined with world class hardware product design, will yield a breakthrough that makes drones a trusted part of our daily lives.”

Early 2015 demos of Skydio included a "Magic Wand" feature that let people control a drone by waving a paired iPhone around with their hands. Skydio has since published a couple of teaser videos that show its technology in action. One video from last year shows a drone seamlessly avoiding trees it encounters while following bikers through a park trail.

At MIT Tech Review's conference in March, Bry said that Skydio planned to launch its first drone this year.

Skydio's additional funding comes as the drone market is exploding, with the Consumer Technology Association estimating that 2017 drone sales will top $1 billion in the US for the first time. China-based DJI is considered the leader in the current drone market, and larger tech companies like Snap Inc. have recently expressed serious interest in developing their own drones as well.

Skydio has suffered a couple of key staff departures in the last year, with chief scientist Frank Dellaert and VP of hardware Stephen McClure joining Facebook's consumer hardware division, Building 8. The startup has a number of open positions on its website, including an aerospace design engineer, global supply chain manager, and iOS developer.

By Alex Heath

http://www.businessinsider.com/author/alex-heath

Client Updates - BGV's 3rd Fund and InfoScout's Exit

Two exciting updates this week from our clients - BGV has closed on their third fund with $80M in funding. Good work team!

http://benhamouglobalventures.com/2017/06/28/bgv-closes-third-fund-makes-new-investments/

Also, Infoscout has been acquired - a huge win for the team and investors.  Read more about the journey here:

http://blog.infoscout.co/infoscouts-journey-from-founding-to-funding-to-acquisition/

Congratulations to both teams!

Understanding your QBO ProAdvisor

The new ProAdvisor Program brings together the previous ProAdvisor and Cloud ProAdvisor programs, and it’s FREE to join. If your main focus is serving desktop clients, you’ll still be able to purchase a membership with all the desktop benefits you’re used to – including valuable QuickBooks desktop software, desktop certifications and U.S.-based desktop support – now with two options to choose from: Premium at $549 /year, which is the same as ProAdvisor Program with no changes, and also Deluxe at $349 /year, which is a lighter version of ProAdvisor designed to narrow support for desktop software.

EasilyDo Brings Its Powerful Email App To Android

EasilyDo’s simply named “Email” application is one of the most popular productivity apps on iOS, because it closely resembles the look-and-feel of Apple’s default Mail app, but comes with more powerful features. Essentially, it feels like you’ve given the Mail app an upgrade. Now EasilyDo’s Email has made its way over to Android, bringing the same core functionality to a new platform, including its one-click unsubscribe to newsletters, undo send option, package tracking, automatic organization of your expenses, shopping, travel information, and more.

Kelvin Kwong Leaves Jawbone For Product VP Role At Big Health

As Jawbone continues to work towards a pivot, the Up device maker also continues to talent that may not be core to its future. In the latest departure, Kelvin Kwong, who had been the Jawbone’s director of product management, has joined Big Health, maker of the Sleepio sleep improvement program, as VP of product management. Alongside that, Dr Jenna Carl is now the startup’s medical director.

San Francisco Equity Partners Acquires Red Monkey Foods

San Francisco, CA – January 17, 2017 – San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP), a private equity firm exclusively focused on expansion-stage companies in the consumer industry, announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in organic spices and seasonings company Red Monkey Foods.  SFEP will partner with Founder and CEO Jeff Brinkhoff and his team to capitalize on the strong momentum in the business.

Slack Invests In 11 Bot Startups To Seed Its Platform

Slack announced today that it has invested in nearly a dozen new bot startups to bolster its Slack App Directory. The team collaboration chat app has invested in 25 startups thus far with money from the Slack Fund, an $80 million investment fund backed by venture capital firms like Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. The group … Continue reading Slack invests in 11 bot startups to seed its platform