Tags Posts tagged with "startups"


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    artificial intellingence startup cover

    Bytedance, content platform creaded by Yiming Zhang in 2012, is the articial intellingence most promising startup (but we should better call it scaleup) in the world according toCB Insight and Fortune.

    Or at least this is what its financing partners believe, since Bytedance has so far rounded 3.11 billion dollars, going from being an engine which recommended the best daily news to a platform which distributes contents of different formats (texts, images, videos, articles with questions and answers and microblogs).

    startup intelligenza artificiale

    Bytedance, artificial intelligence giant

    In june 2018 the value of Bytedance, which among other things has launched or acquired a series of successful video apps including Tik Tok, BuzzVideo, Vigo Video, News Republic and Musical.ly, is estimated at around 30 billion dollars. Its research department on artificial intelligence, AI Lab, was founded in march 2016 and is specialized in the development of artificial intelligence app for information comprehension (texts, images and videos).

    Also in 2016 AI Lab developed together Peking University (aka Beida) Xiaomingbot, a bot with artificial intelligence capable of writing his own articles: as if to say that even journalists could have, if not days, certainly counted years. Behind Bytedance in the ranking of the most important startups dealing with artificial intelligence there is a vacuum or almost.


    SenseTime, the king of facial recognition

    The second in the ranking is in fact considered to be SenseTime, another Chinese startup founded in 2014 by Xiaolan Xu which develops artificial intelligence for use in various areas such as facial recognition, deep learning and automatic driving, however, which has so far collectedjust” 1,6 billion dollars. Currently the evaluation of SenseTime isover” 4.5 billion dollars, a fraction of that of Bytedance even though we are still talking aboutunicorns” (i.e. startups or scaleups worth over a billion dollars each).

    Face++ bet on mobile apps and video games

    In third place in the ranking of the most important startups that develop artificial intelligence there is Face++ (or Megvii), hat is once again a Chinese company, founded in 2011 by Qi Yin, Wenbin Tang and Yang Mu, which operates in the field of facial recognition and video games for mobile devices whose products allow developers to easily use state-of-the-art vision technology to develop apps and “extrasensorial” mobile games. So far Face++ reounded 608 million dollars and is worth about 2 billion dollars.


    Upstart only fourth, detached

    The first western startup in the field of artificial intelligence is only fourth in the world by value and is Upstart, Us company founded in 2012 by Anna Mongayt e Paul Gu which developed a platform that manages loans relying on machine learning technology to price credit and automate the financing process. With 585 million dollars raised so far, Upstart is valued at around 1 billion dollars.

    Italy does not invest in artificial intelligence

    The artificial intellingence speaks Chines and is more and more likely to speak it in the future: if instead of wasting time and (public) money to try to keep alive and under state control airlines and companies declined, or in useless polemics about the dignity of the work of the riders who deliver pizzas and sandwiches at home the Italian government began to invest in this sector, perhaps it would be better.

    Always that someone in thebeautiful country” concern of our future and who could control it and not just the latest feat of their favorite football players, of course. If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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    virtual archeology cover

    Should you invest in the development of contents that take advantage of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies applying to the Italian artistic and cultural heritage? Many startups and SMEs think so and have long been creating contents and platforms to allow tourists and fans from enjoying a exhibition or an archaeological site in enhanced mode, as in the following examples.

    Ikon and the Old Aquileia

    Ikon with Nudesign realized already in 2013 for Fondazione Aquileia (organization that manages the assets of the old Roman city) Antica Aquileia 3D (Old Aquileia 3D, ndr), iOS and Android mobile app that allows you to watch monuments through smartphones or tablets viewing 3D reconstructions in interactive mode. If you want to get a taste of what it means, enjoy the video below.

    SpinVector and the Roman theater in Benevento

    SpinVector, of which Mondivirtuali has already talked about, besides scoring in 2011 the virtual reconstruction of Pompeii for Mav (Museo archeologico virtuale) of Ercolano, has developed more recently with the Departmental center Urban Eco of the Università Federico II of Naples a project concerning digitization and display of the Roman theater in Benevento.

    ARtGlass, from the Royal Villa of Monza to Caravaggio

    rediscover caravaggioARtGlass – Capitale Cultura Group has instead focused on augmented reality to enhance in an innovative and engaging way the San Francesco in Meditazione of Caravaggio, recently restored and exhibited at the Museo Civico Ala Ponzone of Cremona, through the initiativeRiscopri Caravaggio” (Rediscover Caravaggio, ndr) presented September 30, 2016. But since the beginning of February visitors to the Royal Villa in Monza can follow an immersive path in the environments of the Villa itself, realized by ARtGlass as well.

    Regium@Lepidi, from Reggio Emilia to the States

    The Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia May 30, 2015 opened instead the virtual museum Regium@Lepidi 2200 the result of an international project, which lasted two years, on the virtual reconstruction of the Roman city of Regium Lepidi (Reggio Emilia), which involved the cooperation of Duke University (particularly of Dig@Lab, founded by Professor Maurizio Forte), of Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia and of Lions Club Host Città del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia. After over two years of workpartly in Reggio but largely at the Dig@Lab laboratory in Durham, USA, the virtual museum on the Roman city sees the light.

    LD brings the Forbidden City in Turin

    LD multimedia citta proibitaIn Turin, from February 24 to March 28, 2016, thanks to the cooperation between Fondazione Torino Musei and LD Multimedia, startup founded by Luca Licata and Fulvio Castellaro dedicated to the production of virtual reality scenarios, it was possible to virtuallyvisit the Forbidden City using an Oculus Rift viewer.

    It was also possible to buy (for 9 ) a cardboard viewer produced by the same LD Multimedia that with the same 360 degrees files delivers superior visual quality by 20% compared to the better known Samrung Gear VR, so to use your smartphone to download the dedicated apps and live again the “journeyalso outside the museum.

    Virtual and augmented reality for art, there is room for many

    Combining virtual reality / augmented reality and artistic heritage is therefore richer and vital than ever, although the sector is still very fragmented. Which while it may initially limit the economic capacity of the individual projects, on the other hand still leaves rooms to SMEs and startups who want to advance innovative proposals, so what are you waiting for?

    Obviously if you want to stay up to date, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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      seedup startups virtual reality cover

      In these latest weeks often happened to me to watch startup pitches frequently for business (as you may know I’m a financial analyst and I’m working with SeedUp accelerator), many of which are developing contents or devices for virtual reality (VR). But what do you need to succeed and see your business ideas financed, whether it is linked to the virtual reality is that it is in general an innovative idea?

      Teaming up for success

      startup vrInnovative ideas are important, but is also imporant the ability to quickly build a team with complementary skills: if you are a software engineer and you want to create VR contents, you will need a 2D/3D graphics, but also a person who takes care of administrative tasks, a sales manager, someone who knows the laws and industry regulations, for example, trying to obtain public and private funding, and so on. Without a good team behind, your idea is doomed to wither.

      The importance of relationships

      If you are at first working experiences or newly qualified/graduates, perhaps you had better tried to put you on display participating in contests and calls for ideas (with SeedUp we have held one a few months ago, “Dall’idea all’azienda”, won by the team of CCO), perhaps after attending a few meetings for startuppers, like for instance those organized in Naples by NastartUp which in these days has restarted its activities after the summer break.

      Don’t you have too much fear that someone might steal your idea, these events give you an opportunity to build relationships which could prove important both to know potential investors both to recruit new members of your team.

      Accelerate your startup

      Then if you think you have a good team and a good idea, try contacting directly accelerators (for SeedUp just follow this link) and incubators: it’s their job and their interest to fast growing your business idea, in some cases becoming your partners and then introduce you to other investors able to further assist the growth of your startup and they can help you in all those activities that you may not know to best carry out or that would distract you from the development of your innovative idea.

      The right combination of factors

      startup vr-mixThe perfect recipe for success does not exist, but personally I realized, working in this field for years now, that success depends for about 10% on the original idea, that over time it may be changed, for about 20% on lucky (the right timing, the right relationships and so on) and for about 70% on execution capabilities, ie knowing how to make the product or service that at that time the market requires or is prepared to request, supporting the right cost to have the right profit.

      The Italian ecosystem

      Yes, because if your idea is nice but it is unclear how you can earn, avoid wasting time: it is not appropriate to make a startup, especially it is not the case to make it in Italy where the numbers are already much lower not only of the US, but also of Great Britain, Germany or France. like the song said: one in a thousand makes. In Italy there are currently just over 6,300 innovative startups (look at the updated data), just do the math.

      To attempt to succeed, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube). Share this article, you will help us to follow always better topics that you are interested in!

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        Samsung Gear VR

        Samsung PaySamsung  had an excellent idea to launch the Samsung Pay app since it simplifies the process of payment and it makes it surer, avoiding that you need to expose every time your detailed date. In my job like financial analyst I have, among the other things, to examine business plans proposed by aspirant entrepreneurs that have started a startup. One of the requirements which I check, before seeing costs and predictable proceeds, it’s if the proposed idea responds or not to of the necessities of its potential users in more efficient way than the actual solutions and Samsung Pay seems to succeed, so much that in few more than one year from the launch (in South Korea, United States and Japan) the active users are already over 5 million.

        Samsung Pay in VR changes shopping online

        Even more interesting, Samsung tries to extend the use of Samsung Pay through its viewer for virtual reality Samsung Gear VR. I imagine the picture: a potential buyer has seen some items in an e-commerce site, but it is not convinced. He/she doesn’t know whether the t-shirt is the right size, whether the furniture will be right in the living room, if the select place for its vacations is really what he/she would want. Second Life 2016Then he/she wears Samsung Gear VR and “dives” in the shop online in virtual reality, can take a look of the t-shirt worn by his/her avatar, can make an idea of as the piece of furniture coop in the living room, can visit the hotel and see what excursions can be organized from there. He/she decides to purchase using the app Samsung Pay: his/her experience of shopping online is changed, has become wealthy and improved, in simple and inexpensive way. Tht’s it: this is an example of as the virtual reality applied to environments that to me remember a lot Second Life and first generation virtual worlds that could change our habits of purchase in a few years.

        Startups, accelerate your ideas

        SeedUp locandina dall'idea all'impresa If this idea had been proposed by a startup I would immediately have tried to accelerate it, involving investors and experts to overcome the inevitable initial difficulties. By the way: if also you have some ideas of business that you want to develop, SeedUp Spa, the accelerator of ideas, just launched the contest “Dall’idea all’impresa” (from idea to business) that foresees a prize of 30 thousand € for the winner. You have time to join up to April 30, go to see how to do on SeedUp site. If someone wanted to try let me know,my advice for all is by the way to keep following Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube). And to accelerate your business ideas, of course!

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          CastAR cover

          Do you wanna know what the business where you make billions in the coming years? Virtual reality and augmented reality. Whether are 3D viewers like those of Oculus Rift or digital platform like Project Sansar that shortly Linden Lab will open to the first alpha testers, rather than glasses like the Google Glass (for now destined to remain suspended), startups projects under development that are getting the most substantial funds worldwide (even, albeit timidly, in Italy) now concern mainly this area.

          CastAR, one of the startups who raised million dollars

          CastARThe latest example among the startups active in augmented reality able to have received a substantial” funding is CastAR, which raised 15 million dollars from the creator of Android, Andy Rubin. In addition to money Rubin leads to CastAR (startup of Mountain View wich seems not to be afraid by the idea of having to compete with giants like Google and Facebook) new office spaces, technological expertise and tons of important relationships.

          These are important in the US as in Italy: the money is important, but if you can not enter the “big businessyou will never be a “big, for this reason not all lenders and incubators are equal (and unfortunately for this reason startups in the US or England will continue to have an edge over Italy). To be able to have capital and important relationships you need to be ready to change a lot and very quickly.

          CastAR KickstarterCastAR, for instance, was born as Technical Illusion in Seattle, on the initiative of two technicians from Valve, Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, to develop augmented reality glasses, a business in which Valve had not believed inducing the two engineers to leave the company to form their own startup.

          In November 2013 the two had already collected the first million dollars thanks to fundraising on Kickstarter, Now they have decided to move the company in the Silicon Valley and change the name and it seems to have worked.

          Image rear-projected on the lenses of glasses

          The idea of CastAR is to rearproject images on the lenses of the glasses. In this way, the wearer will have the impression of having a virtual screen and you will feel immersed in a video game, but will always remain in contact with the world around him/her.

          That’s because, although it could theoretically reconstruct the entire environment surrounding the subject, CastAR device propose only a (virtual) screen like those of video games that usually we use on our smart phones.

          The commercial launch of the eyewear CastAR, that might be of interest not only fans of video games but also engineers and technicians that could be used for professional applications, is expected during the next year, which therefore promises (especially for the expected arrival of the retail version of the Oculus Rift Viewer) as the year of takeoff of virtual reality.

          If any Italian is interested in, please do not wait too much before launching your own idea, for all other wh wanna keep in touch with further development of virtual reality, the advice is just to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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          Rothenberg MikeWe have already had occasion to speak of Rothenberg Ventures, American venture capital firm that recently seems to have focused heavily on startups interested in developing virtual reality technologies. Rothenberg has been in these days “discoveredby the great world financial press too, for instance with an article of Bloomberg in which are described, in addition to the luxurious party and happy events in the course of which Rotherberg It is used to make presentations by startupper to potential investors, also and especially the rich network of relationships that the 31 years old Mike Rothenberg attending Stanford University and then an Harvard Mba, built.

          To be true, while Bloomberg explained “who is” Mike Rothenberg and wondered how he manages to maintain a staff of about 25 people when many venture capital firms, especially as his own specialized in seed capital (ie the financing of the early stages of life of a startup), have smaller staffs and have an obsessive attention to cost cutting, Rothenberg Ventures sent a mail to “family and friends”, including Mondivirtuali.it (and probably much of the press worldwide), where it explained the results achieved so far.

          Rothemberg VenturesRothenberg, explained the mail, helped 10 startups, among 66 currently in its porfolio, to raise over 275 million dollars of additional funding. In details Robinood (an app for trading through smartphone) raised 50 millions, Planet Labs 118 millions, ZenPayroll 60 millions, August 38 millions, Luxe 20 millions, Bustle 15 millions, Sols 11 millions, Reaction Housing 10 millions, Mancrates 3 millions, DroneBase 1 million, while Fove gained the target to rais at least 250 thousand dollars thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

          The Rothenberg’s network “it’s growing at the speed of light”, “grow faster than we can, thanks to the support of the founders, leaders, investors and allies in our mission to change the venture capital. We are grateful for the contribution of our community and are proud of our team to be recognized as thought leaders and industry experts”. Among the latest startup participated by Rothenberg there are also InsiteVR (committed to developing a software to import 3D models in virtual worlds) and Wanelo (a mobile e-commerce marketplace for “millennials”).

          Rothenberg Venture startupsIn particular, the Rothenberg‘s email remembers the 13 startups in the industry of virtual reality that participated in River, the acceleration program of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) thanks to which startuppers “attended and showed their latest technology to hundreds of participants in the Founder Field Dayand invites all those interested to contact, submit their ideas andshare our knowledge and our excitementabout the incredible possibilities that the future holds for those who dare to believe.

          If you want to stay up to date on the subject of startup funding and concerning in particular the field of virtual reality, you have just to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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          Improbable cover

          What was one of the limitations that have prevented a greater spread of virtual worlds like Second Life? Apart from not having found an underlying motivation sufficiently attractive to a wider public, the management of an architecture based on centralized databases accessible, through clients, by users from around the world has, from the beginning, showed many limitations, of which Philip Rosedale himself seems well aware since for the development of High Fidelity he is trying to use a distributed network.

          Improbable raises 20 million dollars

          Improbable logoThe idea seems to convince investors, so much so that, if High Fidelity itself has recently raised 11 million dollars, Improbable, a UK startup, raised 20 million dollars from the venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz to develop an operating environment that makes it possible to develop virtual worlds on a large scale, overcoming the problem ofparallelizzationfor every app developed.

          Using Improbable developers will be able to write a code as if to run on a single machine, using any software thety want, included phisical/gaming engines like Unity and Unreal, without worrying about nothing else, since it will be Improbable to automatically distribute their codes through hundreds or thousands of machines that will work in parallel to creare, exactly, virtual worlds that can run in real time, simulating the behavior and interactions of millions of subjects.

          Virtual worlds on large scale

          They will be spaces with their own rules and properties but a multitude of people can simultaneously explore, edit and visualize in all the different ways that developers can imagine. Worlds that, in addition to allowing completely new gaming experiences, may be used to simulate and solve significant problems in areas such as defense, energy, the town efficiency, health or finance.

          Improbable teamIf you scroll the names of who is part of the Improbable team, lead by Ceo and founder Herman Narula, you will discover some forty brilliant profiles of young, mostly former students of Cambridge, specialized in fields ranging from engineering to designerwho have already had the opportunity to participate in the development of famous video games as Fable 3, Fifa 12/13, Ryse, who worked at the British Ministry of Defence or even with previous experience as DJ.

          A startup which itself seems to be a fantastic world, but far from virtual, compared to media companies of the past such as those that still dominate (until when?) the scene Italian, concentrated only on little games of good lounges” to appoint this or that director to Corriere della Sera or to Repubblica.

          Improbable is the next unicorn?

          Follow carefully Improbable, because in startups like this one (which is still hiring) lays the foundation of our future, not in the increasingly decrepit and marginal Italy remained anchored to thelegendary” Eighties of the last century.

          If this intrigues you and you want to continue to find out what does the future of virtual reality and virtual worlds and fantastic, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).