Your cookie is not AI free 🍪

And the return of Web 3

If you're a fan of cookies, we have some news for you 🤭🍪

Startups from all industries are embracing AI, and it's not just about automating processes anymore; it's a different way of thinking. Perhaps it's a good time to join the game if you haven't already.

Also, Web 3 could provide answers to some of the questions about personal data protection, while Open AI is stepping into the ring to fight against fake news during the election period 🗳️

Last but not least 🥁🥁🥁 we are officially launching the Startup Club YouTube channel 😎😎 where we bring together the knowledge and experience from successful entrepreneurs, broken down into no-bullshit, actionable videos 👉🏾 Be sure to SUBSCRIBE! Our first video is about equity, guess why ⬇️

How startup equity REALLY works

New year, new Youtube channel! We promise exciting, actionable, no-BS content for startup founders looking to learn from other founders’ experience for better decision making, inspiration and - why not- some fun. Make sure to subscribe!

TODAY: Companies don't function quite like pies 🥧; bricks 🧱 offer a more accurate representation. Getting this wrong can be really expensive. Whether you're building a startup, seeking investors, or distributing equity to your team, navigating the financial landscape is a daily challenge. This video covers insights on mastering startup finances and avoiding costly mistakes regarding equity, stock options, and shares.

Six bullets of updates

  1. 🥩🌱 Israeli startup Aleph Farms gets green light to produce and market its lab-grown beef, following a nod from Israel's Ministry of Health.

  2. 🗳️ OpenAI pledges to combat election misinformation with image safeguards & citation rules.

  3. 💲 Black founders secured a mere 0.48% of all venture dollars in 2023, marking a historic low in funding since 2020.

  4. 💼 Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte dips its toes in the digital pool with the debut of Bineo, offering commission-free accounts and loans with an average CAT of 46.5%.

  5. 🔒 Developer-focused security company Snyk acquires Tel Aviv-based startup Helios, boosting its application security service, AppRisk.

  6. 📈 Berlin-based startup N26 expands banking offer with a new stock and ETF trading feature, starting with Austria.

Smart Cookies and Personalized Workouts: AI's Diverse Influence

AI is no longer just a buzzword in the startup scene, it's now a cash-savvy secret sauce dripping over the fast-food industry. Major franchises like McDonald's and Carl's Jr. are rolling out voice AI to take orders, leading to increased efficiency and potentially, upsized revenues.

But while AI's foray into fast food might be the most visible, its potential applications are extensive. From streamlining operations and lowering labor costs to predicting wait times and personalized marketing, AI is here and not just for tech geniuses anymore. 

🍪 Dirty Dough, a cookie franchise uses AI-powered cameras to ensure cookie dimensions are just right and decorations are on point. 

🏋🏽 Lumin Fitness, a smart fitness studio that uses AI and an array of sensors to provide a personalized training session.

In a nutshell, AI's footprint is rapidly growing, and it's not just about doing the same tasks faster or cheaper. It's about reimagining experiences and elevating them to a new level of efficiency and personalization 🤖

Startup Events and Deadlines

  1. Financial Modeling Course | January 22, 2024 | Online

  2. Pitch Deck Design | February 13, 2024 | Online

  3. SaaS Open: Austin | March 3, 2024 | Austin

  4. World Summit AI Americas | April 24, 2024, Montreal

  5. TechCrunch Early Stage | April 25, 2024 | Boston

Takeaways from this week’s podcasts

Maureen N. Dunne, Ph.D, introduces the concept of 'neurodiversification' in the workplace, which suggests that just like diversifying a financial portfolio reduces risk, incorporating a variety of cognitive approaches within a team can protect against groupthink and spur innovation.

Overall, Dune posits that recognizing, valuing, and leveraging neurodiversity is not just beneficial for neurodivergent individuals but is also a strategic advantage for organizations aspiring to innovate and succeed in an increasingly AI-driven future, where routine cognitive tasks are likely to be automated. 

Maureen N. Dunne, Ph.D x Dr. Saksham Sharda on 'Outgrow'

These companies just raised money

  1. 💰 Top Tier Capital bags $1.05B to invest in global venture funds and tech startups, eyes Europe, ME and Asia.

  2. 💼 Inception Capital bags $30M for new fund, targeting family offices and high-net-worth individuals seeking crypto exposure.

  3. 🛡️ AI-powered security firm Vicarius nets $30M in Series B, plans to double its 43-strong team and expand into new markets.

  4. 🤖 AI toolmaker Vertice pockets $25M, EV startup Electra rakes in $330M, and gaming company Build a Rocket Boy scores $110M - it's raining funds in Startup Land ☂️☂️☂️

  5. 💳 Argentinian startup Pomelo stacks $40M in Series B round to expand its fintech services in LATAM, having grown revenue by 200% in 2023.

  6. 🪙 Dutch quantum startup QphoX lands €8m to build a quantum "modem", a potential cornerstone of future quantum internet.

Data Privacy and Blockchain: Web3's Promising Future

Web3 startups are currently facing a significant decline in funding, with a 76% drop from the previous year's figures. With AI being the only bright spot, investors are hesitant to fund crypto and blockchain-based businesses due to recent regulatory actions and market instabilities. Despite the downturn, web3's potential in decentralized databases and data regulations suggests a promising future. 

Web3 startups will need to adapt their market and sales strategies, using more familiar language and promoting classic value propositions to appeal to potential investors and customers. Decentralized software offers unique advantages including improved performance, greater security, compliance guarantees, and superior user experience. As the importance of data privacy laws grows, blockchain technologies have the potential to combine the benefits of personalization with privacy, a promise that can be proven to any regulator. 

Pitch (perfect) designs

Our Pitch Deck Design package will bring your deck to a new level that will wow everyone you present it to, and you can have it in 4 business days. Think about it: you could have a beautiful pitch deck before the end of next week if you book now! 🎯 Last year, companies raised $300+ million with our decks!