Welcome back, and greetings from Switzerland! I am currently visiting family and meeting with some very exciting clients of USA Launching Pad. There are many exciting things on the horizon, so stay tuned for future issues of this newsletter to hear more.
In this edition of Digigram:
#1: The Empire Strikes Back: Google announced a ChatGPT competitor. ChatGPT is the hottest generative AI innovation, and with Microsoft integrating ChatGPT into its enterprise product suite, other companies have to follow suit with their own AI systems. Unsurprisingly, then, Google recently announced its own AI chatbot service, Google Bard. What WAS surprising is that Google is bringing back their “Covid-semi-retired” co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page from their islands to lead the charge! What is next for Google, how will the other tech giants leverage AI chatbots for their own missions, and who will end up on top? Some predictions.
#2: Browser wars reloaded: The emergence of ARC – can the new browser company break into the market against Google’s Chrome or Apple’s Safari? I tried out the service for myself and share my thoughts on its chances of success.
#3: What does it take to create a “Circular Economy”? One of the most complicated topics in sustainability is the issue of recycling and reusing and what to do about the massive amounts of plastics. How can we repurpose recyclable materials into new products instead of depositing them in landfills or the ocean, where they take hundreds of years to decompose? Keiran Smith, a talented former student of mine, had a vision for how to solve this problem in Africa. We chatted with him about the work he is doing in Kenya and his vision for an African circular economy that creates thousands of jobs across the continent and cleans up the environment at the same time.
Top of the Month
The MIT Climate & Energy Prize finalists are:
“Best of Europe”
- ENERSOUL, sand-based heat storage, from KIT Karlsruhe, Germany, INP Grenoble, France, KTH Stockholm and Uppsala Universities, Sweden.
- KI HYDROGEN, solving green hydrogen’s energy problem, from London Business School, Cambridge and Birmingham Universities, United Kingdom.
- MIMBIOSIS, converting waste to Mycelium biomaterials, from TU Munich Germany and Instanbul Technical Universities, Turkey.
- PRONOE, CO2 removal vial ocean enhancement, from INSEAD University, France.
“Best of USA”
- ARBON, moisture swing direct air capture, from MIT and Columbia Universities, USA.
- ATMA LEATHER, upcycling banana crop waste into leather, from Yale University, USA, Kingston University London, and the universities of Mumbai and Gujarat.
- SEIA BIO, protecting microbes to protect plants, from MIT University, USA.
- SIMON CYCLE, true plastics circularity with zero carbon, from MIT University, USA, and ETH University, Zurich.
Flop of the Month
Silicon Valley Bank. Half of all U.S. venture-backed technology and healthcare companies banked with Silicon Valley Bank. They went from being the 16th largest bank in the country to belly up in just 48 hours.
It didn’t have to happen! Flop of the month to the management team who neglected their risk management duties. This article from TechTarget does a great job explaining what happened and how this will affect the tech sector for years and maybe even decades to come.
Meet me here:
MIT Climate & Energy Prize
Meet me at MIT in Boston on April 13 for the final of the MIT Climate & Energy Prize. The best climate startups from Europe and the USA will pitch for the win and prize money.