Melinda Gates commits $1B to ‘expanding women’s power and influence in the United States’

Melinda Gates Melinda Gates, whose book this year documented the systemic and societal challenges that continue to face women around the world, this morning pledged $1 billion over the next 10 years to initiatives designed to accelerate gender equity in the United States. In a commentary announcing the plan on Time.com, Gates said the money will support “new and established partners taking innovative and diverse approaches to expanding women’s power and influence.” It’s the biggest initiative yet from Gates through her standalone Pivotal Ventures firm, separate from her role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda Gates established Pivotal Ventures four years ago to focus on issues… Read More

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What Is Facebook Dating For?

I used to find it frustrating when people blamed dating apps for how bad dating is. “What’s the alternative?” I would ask when a friend complained about the chore of swiping and starting conversation. “Standing in a bar for six hours a night?” But I said this more often when I was in a relationship that started on Tinder, and I say it much less often now that I’ve spent eight months back in the world of grainy boat trip photos and “looking for the Pam to my Jim.” People who have never used Tinder often frame it as an abundance of choice, when in reality, the experience of swiping… Read More

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As its revenue dips, Zulily unveils price comparison feature to compete with Amazon and Walmart

(Zulily Photo) Brands such as Amazon and Walmart might come to mind for customers trying to find low prices online. Now Zulily wants to be part of that conversation, too. The Seattle-based online retailer unveiled a new price comparison feature today that shows the cost of identical items sold on Amazon and Walmart. The idea is to demonstrate that Zulily offers the same or lower prices as two of its fiercest competitors in the online retail industry. Zulily is also offering a price-matching promise for items that are higher-priced on its site compared to Amazon or Walmart. The strategy is part of a “pilot” that lasts until Dec. 19, said… Read More

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Fred Hutch spinout SEngine raises $5.1M to test cancer treatment drugs against a patient’s tumors

SEngine tests how safe and effective various cancer drugs are against a patient’s tumor. Each well in the tray pictured above could hold a tiny version of a tumor and a unique drug or combination of drugs. (SEnginge Photo) Seattle startup SEngine Precision Medicine has raised $5.1 million in fresh funding as it looks to commercialize a platform that can match cancer patients to the right drug and aid in drug discovery. The Series A round was led by the Bangarang Group along with other unnamed investors. Since every patient’s cancer is unique, it’s important to know which drug or drug combinations will work best. SEngine’s PARIS test grows a… Read More

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Amazon’s Project Kuiper and OneWeb raise the curtain higher on their satellite plans

An artist’s conception shows a OneWeb satellite in space. (OneWeb Satellites Illustration) Filings with the Federal Communications Commission are providing fresh details about the plans being laid by Amazon and OneWeb to set up networks of satellites for global broadband internet access. OneWeb, for example, is seeking FCC approval for up to 1.5 million ground terminals that customers would use to receive and transmit satellite data. Amazon, meanwhile, is answering questions from the FCC about how the satellites in its Project Kuiper constellation would be maneuvered and deorbited. The answers make clear that Project Kuiper’s satellite design is still very much in flux. That’s in contrast to SpaceX, which has… Read More

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Honk: Why ‘Untitled Goose Game’ has become one of the most unexpected success stories in gaming

In a month that was riddled with big video game releases, the most unexpected success story of September turned out to be the indie game about being a very rude goose. Untitled Goose Game, as of this writing, is the No. 1 digital game on the Nintendo eShop, beating out big-ticket titles including Nintendo’s Link’s Awakening remake, the rerelease of the classic Jedi Outcast, and the long-awaited Definitive Edition of the popular JRPG Dragon Quest XI. (It’s also available on the PC/Mac, as an Epic Games Store exclusive) The Nintendo eShop Best Sellers list as of October 1st, 2019. (GeekWire screenshot) It’s been an unusually killer summer for games, especially… Read More

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Seattle nonprofit Sage Bionetworks joins $37M national effort to hunt for Alzheimer’s drugs

Dr. Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks. (Photo by Dan DeLong) Seattle-based nonprofit Sage Bionetworks is leading a heavily funded national effort to find new drugs to fight Alzheimer’s, a disease that has stymied the efforts of big pharma for decades. The National Institute on Aging, a division of NIH, is committing $37 million in grant funding over five years to create the Open-AD Drug Discovery Center, which aims to find new drug targets for Alzheimer’s. In addition to Sage, other founding members of the center include Emory University, the Structural Genomics Consortium, Stanford University, Oxford University and University of North Carolina. “This project stitches together open science approaches in… Read More

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Mobile car repair startup Wrench acquires another competitor, swooping up Fiix

(Wrench Photo) Seattle-based mobile car repair marketplace Wrench swooped another competitor on Tuesday, announcing the acquisition of Toronto-based Fiix. Both companies provide on-demand at-home car maintenance services. Founded in 2015, Fiix graduated from Y Combinator in 2017 and had raised $1.9 million. The startup serviced more than 8,000 customers and inked deals with Uber and car2go. Wrench launched one year after Fiix but has amassed a wider geographic footprint and raised more capital, including a $12 million Series B round last year from Tenaya Capital, Vulcan Capital, and Madrona Venture Group. Wrench matches vetted mechanics with those needing their vehicle fixed, without requiring a trip to a dealership or shop.… Read More

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Here’s why 22 female entrepreneurs just met with federal lawmakers in Washington D.C.

22 female entrepreneurs from across the U.S. met in Washington D.C. last week at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable, hosted by the newly created bipartisan U.S. Senate Caucus on Entrepreneurship. (Center for American Entrepreneurship Photo) Only 2.5 percent of venture capital funding goes to companies with all-female founders. As a female entrepreneur, I find this extremely disheartening. My startup, an online English language platform called Lana Learn, seeks to connect with the 2 billion people learning English globally, but with limited access to capital I cannot grow my company to meet demand. Female founders face enormous challenges, but there is hope that things are changing. On Sept. 23, I was honored… Read More

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Appeals court upholds net neutrality repeal — but allows states to make their own rules

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. (Flickr Photo / FCCDotGov The Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of internet regulations known as net neutrality was upheld Tuesday by a panel of federal judges. But the court struck down a key provision that would have allowed the FCC to preempt states that pass their own open internet rules, as Washington and California have. Though the ruling lets states to make their own net neutrality rules, it says the FCC can try to override local regulations on a case-by-case basis. The decision makes states the de facto regulators of net neutrality and tees up potential legal battles between the FCC and local authorities. AG Ferguson statement… Read More

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