All posts by Lora Kolodny

Evaptainers decouples refrigeration from electricity to help rural farms and families

Snowflakes Some 1.4 billion people lack access to electricity worldwide today, most in rural areas across Southeast Asia, China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa. While others are focused on wiring up those places and developing new energy sources, a startup called Evaptainers has created a kind of refrigerator that requires no electricity, but instead runs on water. Read More

Voiceitt lets people with speech impairments use voice controlled technology

 Voice controlled technology like Amazon Echo, Siri, or hands free features in Google Maps are thing we’re starting to take for granted. But as Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report noted,  voice controls are changing computer-human interfaces, and industries, broadly. Speech recognition or voice controls are being added to medical devices and business applications, even… Read More

Nike-backed Grabit has quietly raised $25 million for robots that handle what others can’t grasp

 Robot arms have come a long way since the 1960’s when George C. Devol and Joseph Engelberger created the earliest industrial models. Those had two-finger grippers that, in retrospect, look fit to pluck a rubber ducky out of a bin in a carnival game, but nothing too sophisticated. By now, robots in factories and warehouses can adjust their grip like human hands, or use suction and… Read More

Epic! raises $8 million to keep kids reading in a digital age

 The makers of Epic!, one of many apps jockeying to become a “Netflix for books,” have raised $8 million in a round led by Reach Capital, the education-specialized venture firm. Epic! at its core is an on-demand digital library that includes about 25,000 different books and videos appropriate for kids in elementary school, or between the ages of about five and twelve. Read More

Sana Health aims to stop insomnia with smart goggles

 When Solar Impulse pilot Bertrand Piccard set out to fly around the world in a plane that uses no fuel, he knew he wasn’t going to get much rest. During the journey, he would be able to sleep, at a maximum, three hours per day with rest meted out in twenty-minute intervals. The plane, which could only accommodate one aviator, required a human systems check every twenty minutes. For part… Read More

Spin raises $8 million as bike-sharing battle heats up in the US

 Bike sharing has taken a turn in the U.S., following trends in China. The new mode is “dockless,” where companies distribute bikes around a city or campus to be rented per trip instead of dispensing them from one station. The bikes are tracked via GPS, and can be located by users, paid for and unlocked using their smartphones. Best of all, whenever riders are done with one of… Read More

Kuang-Chi invests $5 million in SkyX, a maker of drones to monitor oil and gas pipelines

 Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi Group is investing $5 million in SkyX Systems Corp., according to the drone tech startup’s founder and CEO Didi Horn. A former fighter pilot with the Israeli Air Force, Horn started SkyX in 2015 to help public and private companies monitor energy infrastructure from on high, using increasingly powerful drones and big data analytics. Horn said, “Our… Read More

Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown says VC’s need to ask harder scientific questions

 Impossible Foods has raised over $200 million to make a burger that tastes at least as good as ground beef but which is engineered from plants. The CEO of the five-year-old food startup, Patrick O. Brown, is a famed Stanford geneticist who previously started the nonprofit Public Library of Science. The company’s many backers— among them Bill Gates, Li Ka-Shing, UBS, Khosla Ventures… Read More

Echodyne homes in on $29 million to give drones and self-driving cars ‘radar vision’

 Autonomous vehicles all need sensors that can help them detect and avoid objects in their environment. And to operate at high speeds, these sophisticated machines need to identify objects ahead precisely, and early enough, that they can avoid crashing into them. Existing systems have included light ranging and detection systems and cameras, primarily. But the effectiveness of both LiDAR and… Read More

Echodyne homes in on $29 million to give drones and self-driving cars ‘radar vision’

 Autonomous vehicles all need sensors that can help them detect and avoid objects in their environment. And to operate at high speeds, these sophisticated machines need to identify objects ahead precisely, and early enough, that they can avoid crashing into them. Existing systems have included light ranging and detection systems and cameras, primarily. But the effectiveness of both LiDAR and… Read More