Kickstart Accelerator, a swiss multi-corporate accelerator in Europe, has announced the opening of applications for its second programme, predominantly based out of ewz-Unterwerk Selnau, the old transformer station in centre of Zurich. The accelerator, an initiative of digitalswitzerland, is inviting startups from around the world and will shortlist 30 companies, all of whom will participate in an eleven-week programme. The programme will start on 4 September, with an official opening ceremony due to take place on 7 September. The final demo day is set as 17 November, where each team will present their products to a group of potential investors. Kickstart will not be taking any equity from the participating startups. Instead, founders will have the chance to win up to 25`000 CHF, as well as receiving a monthly founder stipend and masterclass sessions with mentors from the corporate partners and the Swiss innovation ecosystem. Kickstart Accelerator is looking for startups in the food, fintech, smart cities, and robotics and intelligent systems sectors, and is partnering with BaseLaunch to facilitate healthtech companies.
Amazon may have a new option for how it plans to deliver your packages by drone with parachutes. The potential plans are outlined in a new US Patent and Trademark office patent spotted by CNN. The patent describes a way to reliably eject a payload from a drone in midflight. Usually, such a drop would see the package descend along a parabolic arc, caused by the forward motion of the aircraft—but that might not jive too well with the neighbors. Instead, Amazon's idea is to apply a force as the package leaves the drone to have it descend vertically.
Drug company Merck said Tuesday it stopped a clinical trial of an experimental Alzheimer's drug because it wasn't helping patients, the latest setback in the pharmaceutical industry's quest to find a better treatment for the brain disorder. An outside committee monitoring the study of more than 2,000 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's concluded there was "virtually no chance of finding a positive clinical effect" of the drug, verubecestat, Merck said. The study, which was due to be completed around midyear, was testing whether verubecestat slowed declines in patients' cognition and daily functioning compared with a placebo.
FinTech leader NetGuardians and the School of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD) have teamed to create a “made in Switzerland” research team focused on AI and machine learning; the project aims to use AI to take fraud detection “to the next level”. The project is being supported by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). Bringing together leading-edge industry and academic strengths, the collaboration will further develop NetGuardians’ current real-time fraud detection technologies that use machine learning for superior analytics across all channels and banking systems. NetGuardians will work with the Institute for Information and Communication Technologies (IICT), an interdisciplinary applied research institute for real-world IT challenges, based at the technology-focused university HEIG-VD.
Although the US election is over, the problem of fake news isn’t. Apple CEO Tim Cook said it’s time to do something about it. “All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news,” Cook said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Friday. Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper. The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.
An idea that started in his parents basement, nineteen year old Kai Kloepfer from Boulder, Colorado created a gun that works like a smartphone. If the gun is picked up by an authorized user, a sensor recognizes the fingerprint and it will fire. “I think this could be huge, I think this could be the future of firearms,” Kloepfer said. This fingerprint sensor utilizes technologies from biometric security measures, which might be the solution to solving the United States' gun violence problem (and not only in US).
Alan Turing was a mathematician who lived in the twentieth century and which is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. In 1950 he wrote an article in Mind (1) in which he formulated the basics of his test, a criterion for deciding whether a machine is able to think or not. A computer can mimic human thought and deceive a person?
Snap, the owner of messaging app Snapchat, filed public documents for a share offering Thursday, seeking to raise up to $3 billion in a keenly anticipated Wall Street debut. The California-based tech firm, which allows users to send images that vanish within seconds, was expected to be one of the biggest tech company IPOs in recent years with a valuation likely to top $20 billion. The company revealed in the documents that it made sales of $404m last year, but a loss of $515m. In outlining its business plan, Snap said it generates revenue primarily through advertising and emphasized its willingness to take risks to drive user engagement at numerous points throughout the filing.
The OTC Swiss Blockchain Consortium announced a new Ethereum-based “encryption module” for their blockchain-based transaction platform for securities that are traded over-the-counter (OTC), as reported in the press release. Launched in September, the consortium includes Swisscom (Switzerland’s largest Telco Company), SIX (the Swiss Market Exchange operator), and Zürcher Kantonalbank (Switzerland’s 3rd largest bank), but also do the young and innovative companies ti&m, Inventx and Incore Bank. The group is receiving support from Switzerland’s Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), a research organization supported by the federal government.
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