Check out our highlights from a hectic week where Alphabet’s venture arm invested in the UK startup Blue Vision and new figures revealed the rapid growth of the UK’s AI sector
Why entrepreneurial women should emphasise their social mission more
It’s been clear for a long time that female founders face greater challenges when raising money than men do, with male entrepreneurs being twice as likely to raise $100,000 than women. But new research suggests there may be a way to slightly even out the playing field.
While women have been advised in the past to tone down their social mission when raising money, an upcoming article in Organization Science has turned this tip on its head. Having looked at 43 startups raising money, the researchers found female-led ventures’ chances improved if they talked more, not less, about the startup’s social impact. The researchers theorised this made them appear warmer, which previous research have shown makes women appear more competent.
So even though additional research is needed, at least female founders have some reason to keep talking about projects they feel passionately about.
Facebook bans the hate group Britain First
It seems as if Facebook is making good on Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to “do better.” For instance, this week Facebook banned Britain First and the far-right group’s two leaders from the network after they repeatedly broke the community’s rules against hate speech.
Having had one of its Islamophobic videos retweeted by Donald Trump in November, Britain First has since faced setback after setback. First the hate group was banned from Twitter then the leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen were jailed after being found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment.
Now, with Facebook having barred them from spewing hate on the platform, it seems as if it’s become even harder for hate speech to make it into the mainstream.
Alphabet invests $14.5m in Blue Vision Labs
Just so you know, augmented reality (AR) is definitely going to be a thing. Not only have Apple and Samsung both touted their respective smartphones’ AR capabilities but now Alphabet’s venture arm has made significant investments in a UK startup spearheading innovations in this field.
Blue Vision Labs, the London-based AR startup, enables users to share an augmented reality experience and see the same thing through different devices. While this has obvious advantages for gaming, it also means considerable opportunities for mapping, transportation, retail, education and social-media applications. With the $14.5m series A round led by GV, the startup aims to grow its team and perfect the software.
If that doesn’t show the inherent innovative power of the UK tech scene, we don’t know what does. We’re looking forward to see what comes next.
UK AI sector growing faster than the US one
The demand for talent is a great health test for sectors. And it seems as if the UK AI is absolutely thriving, having almost tripled its demand for skilled workers since 2015, according to new data from Indeed, the job-search platform.
The results also showed demand for people like machine-learning engineers and data scientists has grown faster than in other global hot beds. In fact, by early 2018, 1,300 out of every million UK jobs advertised on Indeed were in AI, nearly double the level in Canada and over 20% more than the level in the US. However, the sector struggles to find that talent, with prospective employers outnumbering employees about six to one.
In other words, it seems as if Britain must solve its pipeline problem if it wants to become the global AI top dog.