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Alternatives to College: Get Paid to Learn

As part of the research for my forthcoming book, tentatively titled Kickstart: Use Your Education to Accelerate Your Career, I’ve been researching alternatives to college. Given how COVID is impacting universities, I think people are being forced to reconsider the real value of traditional college. A traditional 4-year college is not the right choice for […]

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As part of the research for my forthcoming book, tentatively titled Kickstart: Use Your Education to Accelerate Your Career, I’ve been researching alternatives to college. Given how COVID is impacting universities, I think people are being forced to reconsider the real value of traditional college.

A traditional 4-year college is not the right choice for everyone. It can be expensive, time consuming, and may leave you with a mountain of debt which you may never escape.  There are other options which may pay you immediately; may do far more for your career; and are likely much faster.

We’ve ranked below some educational options for you, roughly in declining order of how much money you can get paid. Much better that someone pays you than you pay someone else, right?  What other options can you think of that I should add to this list?

An exceptional, and very competitive, option is the Thiel Fellowship (thielfellowship.org).  “The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program for young people [under age 22] who want to build new things. Thiel Fellows skip or stop out of college to receive a $100,000 grant and support from the Thiel Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists.” No strings attached: $100,000 to build whatever it is you want to build.

Another option are the technology accelerators, e.g., Y Combinator ycombinator.com/ ) and TechStars (techstars.com/). These will give you capital (typically $100,000-$200,000) to build a new company, and you can pay yourself a salary out of that capital. You need to have an idea and typically a prototype before they’ll accept you.  Going through these accelerators is a better and more actionable credential than going to many universities.

An emerging category of accelerator are the “Talent Investors”. These typically provide many of the services you would see in an accelerator: mentorship, office space, investment into the company. However, there is a key difference — Talent Investors fund individuals, rather than companies. They typically pay you a modest stipend (e.g., $2,000/month) for several months to research a startup idea. Examples include Antler (antler.co) and Entrepreneur First (joinef.com).

Another idea is serving in the military. Military training teaches you real-world skills that you’ll never get in a traditional college, and in certain roles you’ll work with sophisticated technologies that typical universities cannot give you access to.

Another option are targeted education programs which are squarely focused on career prep, and dispense with most of the traditional overhead of universities. These do not give you a degree, but they’re dramatically cheaper as a result.

  • Praxis (discoverpraxis.com) costs $12,000. “During …. bootcamp you’ll learn the [business] skills employers are looking for as well as how to showcase those skills, and then you’ll put them to use during your apprenticeship while getting paid. During the apprenticeship you’ll make a minimum of $15,000, and the average salary upon graduation for Praxis grads is $50,000/year.”
  • Revature teaches coding at no cost and helps you find a job.
  • Lambda School (lambdaschool.com) “teaches the tech skills you need to launch a new career in just 9 months. You don’t pay tuition until you land a job making at least $50k a year.‍”
  • Pursuit: “The Pursuit Fellowship is a rigorous program that trains adults from underserved communities to code and build careers in the tech industry. Our Fellows go from making $18,000 pre-program to over $85,000 post-program on average. “

For an overview of coding bootcamps, see Coursereport.com. If you want to borrow money for this purpose, you may find ClimbCredit.com helpful. Forte (forteofficial.com), a HOF capital portfolio company, finances vocational reskilling at no cost to either students or governments.

The last option is to simply teach yourself. Famed writer Ray Bradbury said,

“I didn’t go to college, but when I graduated from high school I went down to the local library and I spent ten years there, two or three days a week, and I got a better education than most people get from universities. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight years old.”[i]

Bradbury did this way before the internet was widely available.  Now you can teach yourself almost any skill online at no cost. Empirically, this does take a high level of self-control and motivation, and most people benefit from a structured program around them. If you take this path, it will typically be challenging to get your first paid job, because you’ll be lacking traditional credentials. However, once you’re employed and do well in your job, your lack of traditional credentials will matter much less.

The simplest way to do this is via a MOOC (“Massive Open Online Course”).  Many offer professional certificates, and some offer courses in conjunction with traditional colleges, including Berklee College of Music, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Ivy League schools, and universities outside the U.S.  Businesses offering classes include Disney, Goldman Sachs, IBM, and The Linux Foundation. Courses are typically free unless a student intends to obtain recognized credit, such as a degree or certification.

Among the major MOOCs:

  • EdX (https://www.edx.org/)
  • Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/)
  • FutureLearn (https://www.futurelearn.com/)
  • Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/)
  • MIT OpencourseWare (https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm)
  • Open Education (https://sparcopen.org/open-education/)
  • OpenLearn (https://www.open.edu/openlearn/)

For a good overview of self-education, we suggest Michael Ellsberg’s “The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late”.

Source: https://teten.com/blog/2020/06/10/alternatives-to-college-which-pay-you-to-learn/

Private Equity

Ordermark Funded $120M to Expand its Virtual Business

Virtual

Ordermark is based in Los Angeles, CA, one of the leading online ordering management solutions for restaurants and virtual restaurant concepts.

Ordermark was funded $120 million series C round funding. The funding was led by prominent technology investor SoftBank Vision Fund and joined by returning investor Act One Ventures. The grant will use to help more restaurants transition to online ordering during the pandemic and beyond.

The company’s software consolidates incoming orders from multiple platforms and sends them to a single printer. Ordermark also operates a company

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The post Ordermark Funded $120M to Expand its Virtual Business appeared first on Funded.com.

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Ordermark is based in Los Angeles, CA, one of the leading online ordering management solutions for restaurants and virtual restaurant concepts.

Ordermark was funded $120 million series C round funding. The funding was led by prominent technology investor SoftBank Vision Fund and joined by returning investor Act One Ventures. The grant will use to help more restaurants transition to online ordering during the pandemic and beyond.

The company’s software consolidates incoming orders from multiple platforms and sends them to a single printer. Ordermark also operates a company called Nextbite, a portfolio of 15 readymade virtual brands such as CraveBurger, Firebelly Wings, and HotBox by Wiz, a collaboration with rapper Wiz Khalifa. Restaurants can offer these delivery-only brands out of existing kitchens, opening up additional revenue streams.

Jeff Housenbold, the Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said. They believe Ordermark is a leading technology platform and innovative virtual restaurant concepts transform the restaurant industry. And they are excited to support their mission to help independent restaurants optimize online ordering and generate incremental revenue from under-utilized kitchens.

The rise of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants, often referred to as the 3rd wave of food delivery, have paved the way for a broader addressable market for online food delivery.

The statement of Alex Canter, the chief executive officer behind Ordermark 2020, has been a tough year for restaurants. That’s why they are focus on providing products and services to help keep their doors open. This funding allows them to offer more restaurants with innovative ways to reach more consumers.

By: K. Tagura

Author statement:

Funded.com is the leading platform for accredited investors network worldwide. We monitor and provide updates on important funding events. Angel Investors and Venture Funding can be a key growth for a startup or existing business. Whether it is a first, second or third round financing having a strategic alliance with an Angel Investor or Venture Capital financing can propel a business to the next level and give the competitive edge.

Source: https://www.funded.com/blog/2020/10/ordermark-funded-120m-to-expand-its-virtual-business/

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Private Equity

Alternative Investments/ESG: Amundi Launches Sustainable ETF With Exposure To Japanese Stocks

The Amundi Index MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF offers exposure to large and mid-cap companies with outstanding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings in the Japanese market. The new ETF is an extension of Amundi’s range of sustainable ETFs.

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Alternative Investments/ESG: Amundi Launches Sustainable ETF With Exposure To Japanese Stocks

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Amundi’s new ESG ETF invests in large and mid-cap Japanese stocks.

The Amundi Index MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF offers exposure to large and mid-cap companies with outstanding Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings in the Japanese market.

The new ETF is an extension of Amundi’s range of sustainable ETFs. (ETF Stream)

Amundi Index MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF

The ETF tracks the performance of the MSCI Japan SRI Filtered ex Fossil Fuels Index, which in turn is an equity index based on the MSCI Japan Index (the parent index). The index is representative of the large and midcap stocks of the Japanese market.

It excludes issuers involved in Nuclear, Tobacco, Thermal Coal, Alcohol, Gambling, Controversial Weapons, Conventional Weapons, Civilian Firearms, Oil & Gas, Fossil Fuels, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and Adult Entertainment.

Its total expense ratio is 0.18%. No performance fees apply.

It is an accumulation fund and will be managed by Amundi Luxembourg SA, an entity that is part of the Amundi group.

The ETF is market-cap weighted and includes a 5% capping on issuer weights. It comprises 68 stocks, compared to 320 names in its parent index.

The fund’s largest holding is Nintendo with 5.6% weighting ahead of Daikin Industries with 5% and Sony with 4.7%.

It is listed on the Deutsche Boerse and Euronext Paris.

ESG ETFs continue record run

European ESG ETFs continued their strong trend and set a record for assets gathered in a month (€3.9 billion), according to the latest Money Monitor report from Lyxor ETF for September.

Related Story:  Amundi Expands ESG Range With Two New ETFs

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/alternative-investments-esg-amundi-launches-sustainable-etf-with-exposure-to-japanese-stocks/

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Private Equity

Artificial Intelligence: Intel First To Deploy AI “On Edge” In Space

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has the distinction of launching the first onboard AI processing chip into space. Earlier this month, the European Space Agency and Intel announced the successful deployment in space of PhiSat-1, the first-ever satellite with onboard AI-processing capabilities. Launched from a rocket dispenser on September 2, the PhiSat-1 is positioned about 530 km above our heads, moving at a speed of 27,500 km per hour in a sun-synchronous orbit.

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Artificial Intelligence: Intel First To Deploy AI “On Edge” In Space

https://dailyalts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Intel-AI-Satellite-4-scaled.jpg

A satellite the size of a cereal box, carrying a camera and an AI chip, is now in orbit.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has the distinction of launching the first onboard AI processing chip into space. Earlier this month, the European Space Agency and Intel announced the successful deployment in space of PhiSat-1, the first-ever satellite with onboard AI-processing capabilities. (Business Insider)

Launched from a rocket dispenser on September 2, the PhiSat-1 is positioned about 530 km above our heads. It is moving at a speed of 27,500 km per hour in a sun-synchronous orbit.

PhiSat-1

The satellite’s objective is to monitor polar ice and soil moisture, as well as to test inter-satellite communication systems.

The satellite carries a hyperspectral-thermal camera and an Intel Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU). The latter is responsible for the AI heavy lifting operations onboard the spacecraft.

Myriad’s immediate function is to curate the huge mass of data captured by the camera.

AI at the ultimate edge – space

The big problem facing the scientists was the sheer volume of data generated by the hi-fidelity camera onboard the PhiSat-1. The camera unfortunately does not know how to differentiate between a cloudy and clear environment.

It, therefore, takes a large number of photographs that are useless because, at any given time, clouds envelop two-thirds of the earth’s surface.

The junk photos consume precious internet bandwidth to send down to earth. After all that, scientists would likely delete the unclear photos.

The scientists decided to use onboard AI (also known as “on edge” processing) to curate the photos. Myriad-2 would examine the images, trash the useless ones, and send only the good ones to earth.

By discarding the cloudy images at the source, they saved nearly 30% of bandwidth.

“Artificial intelligence at the edge came to rescue us, the cavalry in the Western movie,” says Gianluca Furano, data systems and onboard computing lead at the European Space Agency.

“Space is the ultimate edge,” says Aubrey Dunne, chief technology officer of Ubotica, the Irish startup that built and tested PhiSat-1’s AI technology. “The Myriad was absolutely designed from the ground up to have an impressive compute capability but in a very low power envelope, and that really suits space applications.”

Ubotica worked with cosine, the maker of the camera, in addition to the University of Pisa and Sinergise.

After three weeks of testing, the team could establish that Intel’s Myriad AI onboard the PhiSat-1 was working fine.

ESA then announced “the first-ever hardware-accelerated AI inference of Earth observation images on an in-orbit satellite.”

Satellite-as-a-service!

Scientists can now visualize multiple applications of AI on satellites.

For example, the satellite, during one orbit, could switch from spotting wildfires on land to rogue ships or environmental accidents at sea such as oil spills.

It could measure crops and soil moisture over farms and forests, and assess the ill effect of climate change on melting ice caps.

Related Story:   Satellites and AI Could Together Predict Wildfires Accurately

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/intel-first-to-deploy-ai-on-edge-in-space/

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