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Meet the Disrupt 2020 ‘TC10’

If 2020 hasn’t been wild enough, there’s an extra special twist going down at Disrupt 2020 beyond the fact that, for the first time ever, the conference will be fully virtual. It also happens to be the show’s 10th anniversary. Time flies when you’re changing the world, eh? As part of Disrupt’s 10th anniversary celebration, […]

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If 2020 hasn’t been wild enough, there’s an extra special twist going down at Disrupt 2020 beyond the fact that, for the first time ever, the conference will be fully virtual.

It also happens to be the show’s 10th anniversary. Time flies when you’re changing the world, eh?

As part of Disrupt’s 10th anniversary celebration, we’re doing something brand new. So it is with great pleasure that I introduce the TC10.

The TC10 is a group of entrepreneurs, investors, etc. that have been a staple of the Disrupt conference over the past decade. They’ve spoken at the show — either for a fireside chat or on a panel or as a Startup Battlefield judge — at least three times. (Some of them have been there more times in the past 10 years than they haven’t.)

The TC10 will all be featured in various ways throughout the show, from fireside chats to Startup Battlefield judges to the Pitch Deck Teardown! This is the piece I’m personally the most excited about.

The Pitch Deck Teardown takes a look at real startup pitch decks submitted by attendees of the show. These world-class investors and entrepreneurs will walk through each deck, slide by slide, and give feedback on what they like, what they don’t and how they would change it. Not only will this give entrepreneurs a crystal clear look at what investors are looking for in a pitch deck, but it will also show how many investors and entrepreneurs have different opinions on what makes a great deck, giving founders the insight they need to tailor their decks appropriately based on the intended audience.

You can apply to the Pitch Deck Teardown right here.

So without any further ado, I’m proud to announce the Disrupt 2020 TC10:

Aileen Lee

Aileen is the founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage focused fund. They seek to back exceptional teams building technology that re-imagines work and personal life in large and growing markets — what they call “Life 2.0.” She was formerly a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the CEO of RMG Networks.

A graduate of MIT, Aileen has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 9

Image Credits: Cowboy Ventures

Charles Hudson

Charles Hudson is the managing partner and founder of Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies. Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a partner at SoftTech VC. In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 3

Image Credits: Kathleen Dylan Studios

Cyan Banister

Cyan is addicted to early-stage angel investing. She spends a lot of her time dreaming about what the future could look like and invests in people who do the same but are creating it. Most recently she was at Founders Fund, a top-tier fund in SF. Most of her successful investments have a common theme around job creation and flexibility, but she has invested in everything from rocket ships to sandwich delivery. She’s currently a partner at Long Journey Ventures.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 6

Drew Houston

Drew Houston is co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. Since founding the company in 2007 with Arash Ferdowsi, Drew has led the company’s growth from a simple idea to a service used by over 600 million people around the world. Drew received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2006. After graduating, he turned his frustration with carrying USB drives and emailing files to himself into a demo for what became Dropbox . Today, Dropbox is one of the world’s leading business collaboration platforms, with 15 million paying subscribers and nearly 3,000 employees across 12 global offices.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 3

Kirsten Green

Combining a unique and unconventional blend of professional history and acquired investment experience, Kirsten formed San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures in 2010, where she serves as founder and managing partner. Noticing that emerging purchasing processes were linear and ripe for improvement, Kirsten developed a pacesetter mentality and analytical eye to remain ahead of experience-driven retail trends and identify compelling brand platforms and visionary entrepreneurs.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 3

Image Credits: Forerunner Ventures

Megan Quinn

Megan Quinn is the chief operating officer of Niantic where she oversees business operations and international development across the company. In 2015, Megan was a general partner at Spark Capital, where she focused on growth-stage investments, including Glossier, Handshake, Pendo, Rover and InVision. During this period, she also led Spark Capital’s investment in Niantic during the company’s Series B funding round where she joined the company’s board. She held product leadership positions at Google and Square prior to getting into venture.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 3

Image Credits: Megan Quinn

Michelle Zatlyn

Michelle Zatlyn is co-founder and COO of Cloudflare, a leading internet security, performance and reliability company that was named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 List, selected by The Wall Street Journal as the Most Innovative Internet Technology Company for two successive years, and named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Before co-founding Cloudflare, Michelle held positions at Google and Toshiba and launched two successful startups. She holds a BS degree, with distinction, from McGill University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was awarded the Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 3

Niko Bonatsos

Niko Bonatsos is a managing director at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm with approximately $5 billion in total capital raised. Working from the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area offices, Niko focuses his investment strategy on finding first-time technology founders with strong product instincts, a robust appetite for learning and a desire to create innovations with the potential to benefit millions. In his nine years with GC, Niko has been instrumental in the firm’s investments in Atrium, Audius, Cover, Hive, HubHaus, ClassDojo, Paribus (acquired by CapitalOne), Sleeper and Snap (NYSE: SNAP) among others.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 4

Image Credits: General Catalyst

Roelof Botha

Roelof F. Botha has spent over 15 years building companies in Silicon Valley. He began within the walls of nascent PayPal, where he joined in March 2000 while completing his MBA at Stanford. He became CFO in 2001 and led the company through both its IPO in early 2002 and the subsequent acquisition by eBay. Roelof joined Sequoia Capital in 2003 to help founders build enduring businesses. In addition to leading the U.S. office and serving as one of three Stewards of the global Sequoia Partnership, Roelof focuses on internet, services and software investments.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 8

Susan Lyne

Susan Lyne is co-founder and general partner of BBG Ventures, an NYC-based early-stage fund leading investments in companies built by underestimated founders that are transforming our collective and lived experiences. Since 2014, the fund has invested in 60 companies, including Zola, The Wing, Modsy, Lola, KiwiCo, Glamsquad, HopSkipDrive, Spring Health and Blueland. Before founding BBG Ventures Susan held leadership positions at media, technology and entertainment companies of all sizes and stages, from startups to public companies.

# of Disrupt Appearances: 6

Join us and the TC10 at Disrupt 2020 from September 14-18 by getting your Digital Pro Pass today! Prices are discounted for just 72 hours during our flash sale, so if you’ve been on the fence, now’s the time to act!

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/08/25/meet-the-disrupt-2020-tc10/

Private Equity

Alternative Investments: Accelerate’s Alt ETFs Now On RBC Dominion Securities A+ Platform

Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc announced this week that its alternative ETFs have been added to the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform. RBC Dominion Securities describes the A+ as the next level of wealth management.

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Alternative Investments: Accelerate’s Alt ETFs Now On RBC Dominion Securities A+ Platform

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The A+ is for you if “you require serious investment management for your serious money.”

Accelerate Financial Technologies Inc announced this week that its alternative ETFs have been added to the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform.

RBC Dominion Securities describes the A+ as the next level of wealth management.

For select clients with serious money, the platform provides greater convenience, customization, RBC’s Unified Managed Account technology, access to elite money managers worldwide, and tax efficiency.

Accelerate’s Alt ETFs on RBC A+

The range of alternative ETFs from Accelerate allows investors to diversify beyond stocks and bonds by including alternative asset classes in their portfolios.

The firm is known as a pioneer in institutional caliber alternative ETFs including hedge fund and private equity ETFs. It claims it is “disrupting the asset management industry by offering performance-oriented alternative investment strategies previously reserved for wealthy investors at a fee significantly lower than competitors.”

“We are pleased to be chosen by RBC Dominion Securities, a global leader in wealth management, as one of the select group of high-quality investment managers on the exclusive A+ platform for RBC Dominion Securities advisors and their clients,” said Accelerate CEO Julian Klymochko. “In an era of rock-bottom interest rates and record-high stock market volatility, we are pleased to provide investors with diversification, alternative yield, and alpha generation solutions through alternative investment strategies including absolute return, arbitrage, enhanced equity, and private equity replication.”

Selected ETFs

The alternative ETFs on the RBC Dominion Securities A+ platform include:

  • Accelerate Absolute Return Hedge Fund (TSX: HDGE) – a diversified, liquid, and performance-oriented long-short equity hedge fund
  • Accelerate Arbitrage Fund (TSX: ARB) – provides exposure to SPAC arbitrage and merger arbitrage investment strategies
  • Accelerate Enhanced Canadian Benchmark Alternative Fund (TSX: ATSX) – combines exposure to the S&P/TSX 60 plus a long-short Canadian equity overlay
  • Accelerate Private Equity Alpha Fund (TSX: ALFA) – designed to provide investors with private equity-like investment returns

Related Story:  Liquid Alt ETF Provider Accelerate Offers Ready-Made Alternative Investment Strategy                                                

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/accelerates-alt-etfs-now-on-rbc-dominion-securities-a-platform/

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Private Equity

Venture Capital: AgTech Startup Benson Hill Lands $150M

Benson Hill, an agtech startup based in St. Louis, announced Thursday its close of a $150 million Series D round led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures). It uses biotechnology and data science to enhance the nutritional qualities and sustainability of crops.

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Venture Capital: AgTech Startup Benson Hill Lands $150M

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Benson Hill uses biotechnology and data science to enhance the nutritional qualities and sustainability of crops.

Benson Hill, an agtech startup based in St. Louis, announced Thursday its close of a $150 million Series D round led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures).

The company said other strategic and ESG focused investors also participated. These included Argonautic Ventures, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Emart, GS Group, Louis Dreyfus Company, iSelect Fund, Fall Line Capital, Mercury Fund, Prelude Ventures, Prolog Ventures, S2G Ventures, and additional strategic and family office investors.  (FOOD navigator-USA.com)

Benson Hill technology

Benson Hill uses biotechnology, data science, and AI to enhance the nutritional qualities, flavor, and sustainability of crops and vegetables.

The firm’s “Cloud Biology” is the fusion of data, machine learning, and AI techniques with biology. Its “CropOS” is a proprietary platform that facilitates the accessibility and actionability of Cloud Biology.

The CropOs platform uses plant phenotyping, predictive breeding, and environmental modeling algorithms to better control the plant breeding process and realize these advantages:

  • Produces plants that are highly productive, highly nutritious, and better tasting
  • Better texture
  • Reduce the number of processing steps
  • Reduce the need for additives
  • Grow plants that “do more with less,” thus boosting sustainability

The company’s work so far has been concentrated around soybeans.

Its new, ultra-high-protein (UHP) soy products spiked the interest of investors. They come from a highly productive non-GMO soybean that is rich in oleic oil content.

Use of funds

Benson Hill plans the commercial launch of the first Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021, among other product launches.

It also plans to expand its team by adding top talent and continue the development of Cloud Biology and CropOS.

“As a society, we’re at a crossroads made more evident as the pandemic has revealed strengths and vulnerabilities in our food system,” said Matt Crisp, Benson Hill CEO. “Food choices that create enjoyment, make us stronger, and help preserve our environment need to be accessible to everyone, and the power of plant diversity and technology innovation can help fuel that evolution.

Related Story:   Smart Farm Technology To Take The Drudge Out of Plant Breeding

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/agtech-startup-benson-hill-lands-150m/

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FinTech: Alliance Data Buys BNPL Fintech Bread For $450M

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) said Thursday that it will acquire Bread and its digital platform for $450 million of which $100 will be paid through Alliance stock. The transaction would expand Alliance Data’s own digital offerings by including buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) products.

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FinTech: Alliance Data Buys BNPL Fintech Bread For $450M

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Alliance Data will pay in cash and stock for the acquisition.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS) said Thursday that it will acquire Bread and its digital buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform for $450 million of which $100 will be paid through Alliance stock.

The transaction would expand Alliance Data’s own digital offerings by including BNPL products. BNPL is a major trend now that consumers have embraced the interest-free, zero-fee facility to pay in installments. Alliance is a provider of data-driven marketing, loyalty, and payment solutions. (Alliance)

Digital BNPL is particularly popular with millennials and the younger set. They prefer not to run up credit card debt and like the speed and convenience. The technology and products acquired from Bread will address this segment of the population.

Bread already has tie-ups with merchants such as online jewelry seller Noémie, the luxury watch seller Hublot and Newton Baby, the crib mattress provider.

BNPL customer experience

“Bread’s flexible, easily-integrated payment solutions, coupled with Alliance Data’s Enhanced Digital Suite, will improve the digital customer experience and support increased acquisition and checkout rates, offering the best payment product to the right consumer at pivotal moments in the customer’s online shopping journey,” Alliance said in a statement.

Alliance intends to leverage Bread’s solutions along with its own existing private label, general-purpose and commercial products.

COVID-19

Its brand partners will therefore get another advantage in the eCommerce channel, with online businesses already getting a boost from COVID-19.

“With the timing of the holiday season upon us, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, and perhaps nowhere as significantly as in financial services and payments,” said Val Greer, chief commercial officer, Alliance Data.

BNPL is now crowded with cash-rich players

Payments giant PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) announced in August that it would begin offering BNPL services, recognizing that COVID-19 had triggered a dramatic increase in their popularity.

Other players in the BNPL field include Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, and Quadpay.

In a recent study, Tech Crunch found that PayPal had the highest retailer coverage with a presence of 65% retailers. Afterpay was a distant second at 10%, then Affirm 6%, Klarna 5%, and QuadPay 2%.

The study concluded that PayPal was primed to dominate the BNPL wars.

Related Story:   PayPal Challenges Klarna In U.K. BNPL Tussle                                                

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/alliance-data-buys-bnpl-fintech-bread-for-450m/

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