Jamar Freeze

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This Labor Day, Reflect On Diversity And The Future


2014 is the year that work became a central point of discussion in Silicon Valley. For the engineers and knowledge workers in the region, issues of diversity and inclusion finally got their turn in the limelight, forcing us to question our deeply-held views about the meritocracy of Silicon Valley.

We also had to confront news that several of our most iconic technology companies conspired to hold down wages for employees. While that legal case continues to wind its way through motions and procedures, the message remains crystal clear about how executives see their engineering talent.

Our efforts have not just been internal though, but have also affected the way our entire economy runs. Airbnb, Uber, and other startups in the sharing economy have started to redefine work in the 21st century. That transformation has led to much controversy, such as when Uber unilaterally lowered prices on its UberX service

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Kent Goldman’s New Seed-Stage Fund Is A Partnership Where Founders Share In The Upside


kent_goldman2When Kent Goldman left First Round Capital earlier this year, he did so with plans to start his own investment firm. Now he’s ready to talk about the firm, which is called Upside Partnership and just closed on $30 million to invest in seed-stage startups.

Goldman started as a principal at First Round in 2008 before moving up to partner in 2012. There he made about 17 investments over that time. Notable companies included HotelTonight, Airware, MemSQL, Path, Liftopia, Threadflip, Cabana (acquired by Twitter), and HotPotato (acquired by Facebook), among others. Before that, he held corp dev and strategy roles at Yahoo.

With that background he felt the time was right to strike out on his own with Upside, which he calls a “pure seed-stage fund.” Its focus will be on making bets on startups at the earliest stages. That, of course, plays to Goldman’s strengths.


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Integrated Business Planning: Will Disruptive Tech Help or Hinder?

Three ways big data is helping companies make more money

The 6 Disrupt NY Finalists: Boomerang Commerce, ISI Technology, Mimi, Mink, Showkit and Vurb


Oh New York in the springtime! In the past two days, 1600 people have passed through the Manhattan Center for TechCrunch Disrupt NY, in hopes of seeing or being the new new thing. We’ve seen Fred Wilson, Brenden Iribe, Mike Judge and many more grace our stage. Tomorrow we’ll get to see interviews of Marissa Mayer, Sophia Amoruso, Whisper’s Michael Heyward and get a surprise visit from WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.

In addition to the above tech superstars and more, twenty-five startups have presented on our stage in Startup Battlefield. And now our judges (and the TechCrunch team) have judged and we’ve got our five finalists picked out. These finalists will move on to the lightning round tomorrow, competing for a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize and a really big cup.

Finals judges include the esteemed John Borthwick (Betaworks), Roelof Botha (Sequoia Capital), Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz), Marissa Mayer…

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Here’s how to find & keep a great outside board member

Clari, A Mobile-First Predictive Sales Tool, Comes Out Of Stealth With $6M From Sequoia


CRM behemoths like Salesforce and Oracle, and more mature startups like Domo, have made some significant inroads into mobile and specifically apps for mobile salespeople, but a new startup believes that its streamlined, mobile-first solution can do it better. Clari, a mobile-first sales productivity tool that leverages real-time big data analytics to help salespeople do business, is emerging out of stealth today with $6 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and a list of “dozens” of customers that includes VMware, Juniper, Cisco, Box, and Nimble Storage along with several other Fortune 500 names.

According to CEO and founder Andy Byrne, the key to what Clari does that’s different from its much-bigger competitors is that it focuses on helping salespeople sell better rather than report what they have been doing better.

This is a crucial shift: the former means that information is delivered to people on their devices right when they need it; the…

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Sources: Coin Is Raising More Cash


Coin, a YC-backed company looking to thin down your wallet, is currently in the process of raising around $15 million in Series A funding, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

Led by Kanishk Parashar and K9 investor/board member Manu Kumar, Coin offers a replacement for every credit card in your wallet. It swipes just like a credit card normally would, but with a button to switch between your AMEX, your personal Visa and your corporate credit card. But it does more than just slim your wallet.

The company put the Bluetooth-powered wallet up for pre-order in November using their own crowdfunding campaign, and blew past the $50,000 goal in less than 40 minutes. Coin promised to get first shipments out by this summer.

According to sources, the company needed to raise a Series A to cover production costs in the midst of unexpected and overwhelming demand. (I…

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GutCheck gets $4M to help you bounce business ideas off potential customers

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