Facebook, Adobe, Autodesk and Planet Labs all have started creative residency programs in the last year, but these kinds of programs aren t a new invention.Artist-in-residence programs started over a century ago and ranged from making studio space in offices to placing painters, sculptors, poets, and musicians at universities.Art has always been an important part of innovation.It actually helps Nobel Prize winners and everyone else  be better at science.And when you combine entrepreneurs and artists you get some fantastic results.Just as every entrepreneur-in-residence program is different, artist residencies vary widely and often depend on the organization they are inserted in.An artist-in-residence could be defined as an artist embedded within an organization and given space and time to create.In the eyes of companies, and outside the eyes of arts organizations, the role changes slightly and includes a strategic layer around combining the artist s creativity with the company s goals, as well as compensation.For example, Becky Simpson, one of Adobe s past artists-in-residence, worked on launching a product line that featured her hand-drawn illustrations.By sewing an artist into the fabric of your company  —  and giving them time to experiment  —  you can explore previously undiscovered opportunities.Autodesk artist-in-residence Anouk Wipprecht designed an electricity-conducting dress that encouraged Autodesk engineers to add a new function to their 3D printer software, allowing users to add breaks in 2D renderings.Wipprecht then used these breaks as seams in her 2D dress patterns.As we speed into mid-century, in-house artists of varying ilks are going to become the norm to bring excitement, curiosity, and maker spaces to office environments and coworking spaces.From mobile video to 3D printing to virtual reality, art is moving industries forward.And it can be done in different ways  —  employing artists with business skills, artist residencies in coworking spaces, focused creative projects in offices — but it is essential to building inspirational and creatively strong companies, brands, and spaces in our cities that need art more than ever.Who knows, maybe the next artist-in-residence you see won t be a painter, but a street artist, fiction writer, stand-up comedian, or improvisational dancer.Tristan Pollock is EIR/Venture Partners at 500 Startups.
Palo Alto-based Orbital Insight, which does really cool things with satellite pictures shot from space, has tucked another $20 million into its pockets.The company announced a $15 million series B round on Monday, led by GV formerly known as Google Ventures , with contributions by CME Ventures and existing investors from Sequoia Capital, Lux Capital and Bloomberg Beta.An additional investment by In-Q-Tel, the CIA s investment arm, brings the total raised to $20 million.Orbital Insight develops algorithms that can measure nearly anything in the world — cars, water, oil, etc.Orbital Insight s first two years were spent building a product to change the way people see the world, James Crawford, founder and CEO of Orbital Insight, wrote in a news release.It works with DigitalGlobe, Airbus, Planet Labs, Rapid Eye and Urthecast, under contracts which grant it access to petabytes of data, according to the news release.Orbital Insight and its partners are just some of the companies riding the new space craze — last year space startups raised a record $1.8 billion, according to a recent study by The Tauri Group.The company has the technology to monitor the world s oil supply — with enormous implications for the entire global economy — by watching the levels in oil storage tanks.The company also is working with the World Bank to find visible indicators of poverty in Sri Lanka.Orbital Insight raised $8.7 million in a Series A round last year from GV, Lux Capital and Bloomberg Beta.Photo: Screen shot of the Orbital Insight website.
I wanted to explain the difference between two different shapes of volcanoes: the archetype stratovolcano and the massive shield volcano.Mexico s Popocatépetl is an example of what volcanologists call a stratovolcano*, with a well-formed conical shape and a crater/vent at the top of the volcano.You can see that shape in the profile shot of the volcano taken from the Earth s surface; below with steep slopes.You can also notice a nearly circular shape to the volcano above , with paths of debris heading in all directions from the summit crater.Planet Labs image of Mexico s Popocatepetl take on January 1, 2016.The volcano erupts mainly andesite and dacite, which are relatively high in silica.
The company, founded by three former NASA scientists, has now signed an agreement to supply data to Orbital Insight Inc., which mines satellite imagery for trading tips for hedge funds.The deal with Planet Labs will give them access to weekly images at first.Next year, if Planet Labs succeeds in a plan to launch another 40 or so cubesats, Orbital will have access to daily images of every piece of land on earth.Almost all economic activity is change, said Jimi Crawford, a former Google executive who founded Orbital.Once you get down to daily images, tremendous new horizons open up to being able to monitor and track that change.This analysis includes revenue predictions for big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT 0.12 % and Target Corp. TGT 2.43 % based on changes in the number of cars in their U.S. parking lots, or forecasts for oil inventories based on the height of floating lids in oil tanks in the U.S.
Peter Diamandis posed this classic question which originated with Peter Thiel during an interview with Steve Jurvetson at Singularity University's first ever Global Summit.A successful venture capital investor, Jurvetson is known as someone with a keen ability to spot important technological trends before others catch on.He was early investor in both Tesla and SpaceX as well as sitting on the boards of Synthetic Genomics, Planet Labs, and D-Wave, among other companies."...I think the majority of engineering will not be done in a way where people understand the products of the creation.It might take 10 to 15 years before that sentiment is widespread."Although he didn't clarify his remark beyond this, Jurvetson is likely referring to the emerging field of generative design and its possible convergence with deep learning.
View photosMoreNASA Administrator Charles Bolden spoke on the need for international cooperation for space exploration at the 2016 AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition in Long Beach, California on Sept. 13, 2016.LONG BEACH, California — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden quoted a poet and a songwriter in a speech he gave yesterday Sept. 13 describing the need for collaboration in spaceflight."The history of the space program suggests that the same can be said about human progress."Bolden spoke at the opening plenary session of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics AIAA , the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.The AIAA SPACE meeting brings together professionals from both the private and public sector to discuss multiple aspects of spaceflight and space exploration, including developments in the commercial space industry, as well as the challenges for science missions and human space exploration.A Manned Mission to Mars: How NASA Could Do It
Last week, a Royal New Zealand Air Force flight spotted a new pumice raft in the middle of the Pacific ocean to the west of Tonga.Pumice rafts are floating islands of pumice created during a submarine volcanic eruption and they can persist for months or longer.However, from the looks of the raft, it might be a long way from home.With a little sleuthing using satellite images, Rob Simmon Planet Labs and I were able to trace the source of the eruption to a seamount called Havre see below that had no other known historical eruption.Now, with the Havre eruption, we may have gotten lucky, with a pumice raft that could be backtracked through the satellite image archive to a volcanic plume that broke the surface above Havre.The ultimate source of this current pumice raft appears to be a little more elusive.
Google's parent company Alphabet is reportedly in talks to sell off Skybox, the startup it acquired for around $500 million almost three years ago.Bloomberg's Mark Bergen and Ashlee Vance report that Alphabet is in talks to sell the satellite-imaging company to Planet Labs, another satellite-imaging startup.Alphabet paid $500 million for Skybox, a company that takes high-definition images for agricultural planning and scientific purposes, among other things.The sale could be part of a larger trend at Alphabet: scaling back some of the company's more ambitious projects as part of a larger cost-cutting measure.In August, Alphabet reportedly cut its Fiber business in half, cutting 9% of the staff at the internet service provider.The company announced in November that it was scaling back its experimental drone delivery program, Project Wing.And in December, Alphabet rebranded and spun out its self-driving car project as Waymo, axing plans to build its own vehicle in favor of partnering with automakers.
Alphabet Inc. s Google is in talks to sell its satellite business to competitor Planet Labs Inc., a satellite-imagery startup that is seeking a new round of funding to help pay for the possible acquisition, according to people familiar with the talks.The sale of its satellite-imagery unit, Terra Bella, would be a rapid about-face for Google, which has recently shed some of its bolder ventures.Google bought the company for $500...
She is also working on a new global communal living project called Roam.How to join the networkOne of my favorite things to do is riff on Bay Area real estate and tech — of all kinds, residential, commercial, retail … and Justin Bedecarre has been working with San Francisco founders for almost a decade in the commercial real estate market.Our whole goal is to make looking for office space smarter and faster.The high was the third quarter of 2015 and average rents are $72 per square foot across the city.Then down on 9th street, you have companies like Planet Labs, Code For America and Thumbtack, which have beautiful spaces at much cheaper rates.
We can create a unified system that interrogates the environmental condition of the Earth, said Microsoft scientist Lucas Joppa at a conference organized by the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation RNRF in Washington, D.C.Discussions throughout the conference were a strange mix of extreme optimism about the capacity of technology to solve our problems and deep concern for the state of the global environment.Apps leveraging deep learning neural net technologies can enable people to quickly identify and classify plants.And at the planetary scale, new satellite technologies, like the small, distributed network of satellites offered by Planet Labs, promise to make it easier to get a clearer understanding of the state of the environmental in real-time, said Duerr, creating even greater sets of more precise data.But all that environmental data needs to be more closely connected with social and economic data if we want to get closer to that whole Earth dashboard, argued Robert Chen, a scientist with the Earth Institute at Columbia University.He pointed to his team s efforts to map settlement patterns, including urban growth.
Alphabet subsidiary Boston Dynamics doesn t have much to prove when it comes to producing the robots of your nightmares.Previous iterations of the company s prototypes have been kicked over by humans only to stand right back up, for example.But at an event this week, founder Marc Raibert managed to unveil something simultaneously more unsettling and technologically impressive.Going by the name of Handle, the new bot features both legs and wheels.The creation, captured on video by DFJ s Steve Jurvetson, is said to be more efficient than a purely legged robot.Even with a small footprint, large loads don t seem to be a problem for the robot.
Satellite and mapping startup Planet Labs today announced that it has acquired the Terra Bella satellite business from Google.Terms of the deal weren t disclosed.Google acquired Skybox Imaging in 2014 and rebranded it to Terra Bella last year.Once the deal closes, Google will have a multi-year contract with Planet to get satellite imaging, Planet Labs cofounder and chief executive Will Marshall wrote in a blog post.We ve long admired what the team at Terra Bella has achieved and we think the SkySat constellation of 7 high resolution satellites is highly complementary to Planet s existing medium resolution 60-satellite fleet, Marshall wrote.The former enable regular, rapidly updated snapshots of select areas of the globe at sub-meter resolution; the latter regular, global coverage at 3-5 meter resolution.The two systems under one roof will be truly unique and will enable valuable new capabilities.The Terra Bella program is separate from the Loon project from Alphabet s X company, which is meant to beam internet down from the air.
Terra Bella, the satellite imaging company that Google bought about two years ago for $500 million, will be sold to mapping startup Planet Labs, the companies announced Friday.According to the agreement, Planet Labs will acquire the Terra Bella business and satellites and Google will continue to license the satellite imagery for its mapping products.The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.However, a source familiar with the terms of the deal told Business Insider that Planet Labs paid less than the $500 million Google originally paid, but the deal was still above $300 million.The source also said Google will be a major shareholder in Planet Labs and continue to be invested in Terra Bella's success long-term.The move marks the latest effort by Google's parent company Alphabet to manage spending throughout the organization.In the past year Alphabet has canceled its plans to deliver the internet from solar-powered drones, ended the expansion of its Google Fiber internet service, and slowed down development of its drone-delivery service.The company has also lost several key executives.Alphabet's Other Bets lost $1.088 billion last quarter on $262 million in revenue, the company reported in its earnings last month.NOW WATCH: The US government just sank a giant ship on purpose — and the footage is amazingLoading video...
India s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37 has launched into space 88 satellites from earth imaging company Planet Labs, giving the startup the ability to "image all of Earth's landmass every day.Planet Labs earlier this month entered into an agreement to acquire Google s Terra Bella business, including the SkySat constellation of satellites, and said that Google upon closing, will enter into a multi-year contract to purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet.The startup expects its data to be useful for a variety of applications such as measuring agricultural yields, monitoring natural resources, or aiding first responders after natural disasters.The launch of the PSLV-37 on Wednesday morning local time was a record for India s space program as it carried 104 satellites into orbit, the largest number so far on a single launch.Launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in south India, the PSLV-C37 launched its primary payload, the 714 kilograms Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation, and 103 co-passenger satellites that weighed about 663 kg at lift-off into a 505 kilometer polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.A Sun Synchronous Orbit ensures that a satellite passes over a section of the planet's surface at the same local time each day.
During the Wednesday morning sent startupföretaget Planet Labs up 88 new Dove satellites in space.A giant investment that daily will give the company data on the state of our planet.With these satellites in the orbit reaches the Planet its first mission: to be able to see the earth's landmass every day , writes Robbie Schingler, Planet labs co-founder and chief strategist, in a blog post.February has been a busy month for Planet Labs, for at the side of the launch of the satellitklustret, the company has also purchased the Google satellitverksamhet Terra Bella, and signed a contract with sökjätten which in the future will buy the data from the images.Among other things, data from the images used to measure the returns on the larger farms and used to estimate the natural resources.the Images should also be able to assist the relief work in major disasters.
7.5 billion people need to eat, after all.Consider innovations like remote sensing by established player Planet Labs or startup SaraniaSat that give growers virtual eyes in the sky, helping them track their crops growth and overall health.Consumers and retailers are demanding more transparency about where their food comes from, how it is produced, how healthy it is, and how its production impacts the environment.According to the 2016 AgTech Investing Report, this growth is largely attributable to the growing number of resources available to early stage startups.But while Millenials are starting software companies in their bedrooms and seeing $1 billion valuations within a few years, we still haven t seen a single AgTech unicorn.However, to prove an agricultural innovation s worth, an AgTech startup has to conduct a field trial — in an actual field!For most crops, growing cycles are limited to once a year, with plants taking three to four months to fully develop.
Apple has hired former Google satellite executives John Fenwick and Michael Trela, according to a new report from Bloomberg.The two might’ve been in the market for new gigs, given that Google recently sold off its own in-house satellite imaging business (which came through an acquisition of Fenwick’s former company Skybox) to Planet Labs, apparently happy to act as a client of that imagery rather than its own satellite network operator.The more interesting question is what Apple would be doing that would require Fenwick, Google’s former space ops lead, and Trela, who oversaw satellite engineering at the search giant.Bloomberg suggests a number of possibilities, under the broad potential mandates of helping with efforts on Apple’s part to build or operate satellite tech for either imaging or communications.The report also notes that Apple has talked to Boeing about being part of the aerospace company’s plan to offer broadband access via a network of around 1,000 satellites deployed to low-earth orbit.Tesla has a similar plan, which it hopes to use to help fund its larger space ambitions, including plans to bring humans to extra-terrestrial colonial destinations.
It’s only been a few days since she started her new job, but Alda Leu Dennis, the newest partner (and COO) of Initialized Capital, seems like she’s ready to hit the ground running.Dennis just joined the 15-person, San Francisco-based firm from the secondary investment firm 137 Ventures, where she led investments in Planet Labs, Wish and Course Hero.Dennis was also previously the COO of Airtime — Sean Parker’s video chat app — and worked as general counsel at Founders Fund and assistant general counsel at Peter Thiel’s Clarium Capital Management before that.We caught up with Dennis this morning to ask about her evolution from practicing lawyer to practicing venture capitalist, and how she landed at Initialized, an early-stage venture capital firm cofounded six years ago by former Y Combinator partners Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian.ALD: My friend Eric Woersching had joined as a general partner in January.ALD: Even at Founders Fund, I was interested in both the investment side and operations side and I’d wanted to move out of my legal role and had the opportunity to do a bit of that as the fund was growing so much during [my time there].
Here's a time lapse view of Apple Park, Apple's new $5 billion campus in Cupertino, California that opened to employees earlier this year.Apple Park began construction in 2014.This footage comes from Planet Labs, a company that plans to sell high-resolution satellite imaging starting next year.It has seven satellites it bought from Google earlier this year.