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Sandira Calviac by Carole Omoumi

Sandira started her first company in her teens in London signing clients such as Forensic Science Service (Scotland Yard's equivalent of CSI), which set up the world's first DNA database.

Subsequently she moved to Paris for iBazar (now eBay France) where she built and marketed a consumer site then acquired by LibertySurf (now part of Telecom Italia).

Asked to handle business development partnerships and special projects at 01net (Vivendi Universal), she produced and launched its successful chat service, which is still in use today.

In NY for 9 years, she developed an expertise for the em­erging mobile industry and was one of the first people to evangelize and pioneer QR codes in the US, while spearheading the marketing for Baracoda and Scanbuy.

Prior to joining Seattle Angel Conference, Sandira started Ridehack.com, a carpooling site endorsed by Burning Man & featured on the Rachel Maddow Show, as well as the Wall Street Journal and The Observer.

While Sandira’s efforts have contributed to the successful growth and exits of 4 entities, Sandira enjoys photography and exploring. She has lived in Europe, India, New York, Seattle, and is now a San Francisco resident. She can often be found connecting like-minded people, all the while reminiscing about her trans-siberian journey into Mongolia…

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Friday
Mar212014

Firechat's second day, already ranked #16 on the App Store

Second day on the iPhone App Store for Firechat and it's already #16 in the social networking category—in front of Google Hangouts—not that it's a competition or anything ;-P.


Below are the latest articles which do a great job explaining the benefits of this new kind of messaging app. I'll try to keep you posted on how we're doing on this first week. Can't wait to try on the NY subway or at Burning Man!
FireChat lets you text friends, even without a signal
The Verge-by Ellis Hamburger-Mar 20, 2014
But instead of relying on global positioning or cell tower triangulation to plot you and others on a map, FireChat relies on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to ...
FireChat is a new way to chat "off the grid" but caution is advised
tuaw.com-22 hours ago
FireChat with anyone sans mobile signals
Times of India-6 hours ago
FireChat For IOS 7 Allows Chat Without Internet Access
RTT News-3 hours ago
FireChat For iOS Is A Hyperlocal Anonymous Chat Network That ...
-TechCrunch-Mar 20, 2014
Open Garden retools its crowdsourced mesh technology for an iOS ...
-GigaOM-Mar 20, 2014
Tuesday
Mar182014

VOXON invited to showcase the Voxiebox at GDC in San Francisco

GDC invited VOXON to showcase the Voxiebox - the World's 1st 360° 3D holographic entertainment system this week in San Francisco.

Dreamed of by visionaries such as George Lucas for Star Wars, celebrated by movies such as Hunger Games, volumetric display technology is finally here packaged in an intuitive arcade game console for everyday people to play with. 

This has been quite the journey. I'm really proud of the team.

Please support them however you can!!! and if you're in San Francisco, come play with it at the GDC before it heads back to NY!

More details here: http://www.voxiebox.com.

Wednesday
Feb122014

Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner on Conscious Leadership @ Wisdom 2.0

The next edition of Wisdom 2.0 starts this Friday. Tickets are sold out but I highly recommend the video content that will come out of it (livestreaming will be made available). It is great to see Silicon Valley pundits to finally feel comfortable thinking out loud about "soft skills" such as compassion. Next steps would be to integrate "how to be happy" and "how to build real relationships" classes or modules into the general high school curriculum.

Tuesday
Apr022013

Steve Jobs' 1st boss: Very few companies would hire Steve, even today

From Slashdot this morning:

The Mercury News reports that Nolan Bushnell, who ran video game pioneer Atari in the early 1970s, says he always saw something special in Steve Jobs, and that Atari's refusal to be corralled by the status quo was one of the reasons Jobs went to work there in 1974 as an unkempt, contemptuous 19-year-old. 'The truth is that very few companies would hire Steve, even today,' says Bushnell. 'Why? Because he was an outlier. To most potential employers, he'd just seem like a jerk in bad clothing.'

While at Atari, Bushnell broke the corporate mold, creating a template that is now common through much of Silicon Valley. He allowed employees to turn Atari's lobby into a cross between a video game arcade and the Amazon jungle. He started holding keg parties and hiring live bands to play for his employees after work. He encouraged workers to nap during their shifts, reasoning that a short rest would stimulate more creativity when they were awake. He also promised a summer sabbatical every seven years.

Bushnell's newly released book, Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent , serves as a primer on how to ensure a company doesn't turn into a mind-numbing bureaucracy that smothers existing employees and scares off rule-bending innovators such as Jobs. The basics: Make work fun; weed out the naysayers; celebrate failure, and then learn from it; allow employees to take short naps during the day; and don't shy away from hiring talented people just because they look sloppy or lack college credentials.

Bushnell is convinced that there are all sorts of creative and unconventional people out there working at companies today. The problem is that corporate managers don't recognize them. Or when they do, they push them to conform rather than create.

'Some of the best projects to ever come out of Atari or Chuck E. Cheese's were from high school dropouts, college dropouts,' says Bushnell, 'One guy had been in jail.'

Tuesday
Apr022013

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's investment arm, Vulcan Capital, expands his footprint into Silicon Valley

As Seattle ranked a few weeks ago into the Top 10 cities for Young Entrepreneurs and #2 in the Top 10 cities for Female Entrepreneurs, Paul Allen's investment arm, Vulcan Capital, is about to open an office in Palo Alto.

According to SiliconValley.com:

Allen, 60, co-founded the world's largest software company with Bill Gates in 1975, but left in 1983 after a bout with cancer. The riches he amassed through his large stake in the company, plus successful investments in sports and real estate, have made him the world's 53rd richest person, according to Forbes magazine.

A pioneer in the early development of PC software and Microsoft's technical leader for its first eight years, Allen has been a prolific tech investor since the mid 1980s, starting several companies and founding a tech incubator called Interval Research.

He has put money into hundreds of enterprises in the past 30 years, including large stakes in AOL, Ticketmaster, film studio DreamWorks SKG and cable firm Charter Communications . His record has been checkered, making money on AOL and DreamWorks SKG, but losing billions of dollars on the bankruptcy of Charter.

Newer tech investments include online real-estate agent Redfin, shopping adviser Decide.com and smartphone audio software maker Audience Inc.

The new office in Palo Alto Advertisement will focus on emerging Internet, software and technology companies, including middle and late-stage venture capital and pre-IPO deals, Paul Ghaffari, Vulcan Capital's chief investment officer, told Reuters.

"We are going to expand our footprint in broad tech investments, we'd like to get more resources, people on the ground there (Silicon Valley)," said Ghaffari. "We have a real appetite to put new ideas in the portfolio."

This morning update from Geekwire mentions Vulcan Capital named Abhishek Agrawal to lead the office:

Abhishek Agrawal

Vulcan Capital this morning named Abhishek Agrawal, formerly of the General Atlantic investment firm, to lead the office. He has been involved in General Atlantic’s investments in companies including Alibaba Group, Dice Holdings, Facebook, Gilt Groupe, Network Solutions and others.

Vulcan says in a news release: “Vulcan Capital’s expansion into Silicon Valley reinforces its decades-long commitment to technology-related companies, which make up a significant portion of its investment portfolio. This new office will focus on making investments in the $10-million to $100-million range in internet and technology companies, including mid- to late- stage venture capital, growth equity, recaps, buyouts and strategic public market block investments. Vulcan Capital will have an office in downtown Palo Alto and is planning to hire a full team to work under Mr. Agrawal in upcoming months.”

Wednesday
Dec122012

Seattle Angel Conference Fall Edition - Dec. 13, 2012

Seattle Angel Conference - Fall Edition 2012

Excited to finally be there...

6 finalists & a terrific program!
And a room full of supportive secret angels...

Program:
12:30 Registration
  1:30 Keynote - Phil Gordon - Going All In: 5 Lessons for Startup and Poker Success
  2:30 Session 1 - Pitch 1 - Corengi
  2:50 Session 1 - Pitch 2 - Exo Labs
  3:10 Session 1 - Pitch 3 - Redpoint International
  3:30 Break
  4:00 Session 2 - Pitch 4 - Suncrest Farms
  4:20 Session 2 - Pitch 5 - Writer.ly
  4:40 Session 2 - Pitch 6 - Talk to the Manager
  5:00 Speaker - Wade T. Brooks
  5:30 Break
  6:00 Announce the Winners
  6:15 Networking and Social

Sunday
Sep232012

MC'ing for the Fledge Incubator conscious companies tonight

Fledge, the "conscious company" incubator, is hosting its Demo Day, and I was kindly asked to "MC" the festivities tonight.

Feel free to watch the live show here starting @ 6pm PT / 9pm ET (or 3am Paris time ;-P).

Seven exciting, impactful teams comprise the Summer 2012 cohort of “fledglings“.

These companies have been refining their ideas and polishing their plans.

Tonight, come be inspired by their visions and plans, presented live, on stage, at the Playhouse/Intiman Theater at the Seattle Center as part of the Seattle Next 50′s celebration of commerce and innovation.

Presentations will be followed by dinner and drinks, networking, and an opportunity to meet the people at the fledglings, as well as the “conscious” community members of Seattle.

Tuesday
Jul172012

Pregnant Marissa Mayer becomes Yahoo's new CEO

These are 2 major news packed in one sentense, not only for the world of business but also for women in general...

So let us break it down...

1) Marissa Mayer quit Google to become Yahoo's next CEO and new hope, according to Uncrunched's Michael Arrington.

2) Yahoo's board knew she was pregnant when they hired her, as told by Mayer to Fortune.

Sandira + Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CE

Even though, it should be normal to have female CEOs managing companies, while staying feminine and balancing a family life, there are indeed not enough such business role models portrayed in the media, and this is unfortunately even more the case outside of the US.

The Atlantic reminds of a 1992 speech and concludes:

Yahoo, to its credit, has made a role model of Mayer. What will be really nice, though, is when someone like Mayer won't have to be a role model. What will be really, really fantastic is when someone like Mayer can be just a pregnant CEO -- rather than, you know, A Pregnant CEO.