The restrictions applied all over India to fight the coronavirus pandemic will slowly start to decrease, which means the stalled economic activity will start resuming, slowly but surely. And most important of all: safely.

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COVID-19 in India

The COVID-19 situation in India is as follows: over 16,000 people in the country have been infected and the death toll is over 500. Some areas, however, are deemed free of the virus, and it’s mostly in these areas that the economy is planned to resume. …

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Student at PICT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems around the world, leading to the near-total closure of college and university campuses and schools. India is not an exception. In fact, this country has been able to manage the situation quite remarkably thanks to well-executed plans and a sound preventive methodology.

India’s nation-wide lockdown in the past two months is unprecedented and seemingly, the safety measure has worked to some degree. Of course, this has an enormous impact on colleges and universities in Pune and all over the country.

The University Grants Commission and other education bodies have issued guidelines specific to the COVID-19 pandemic for Indian higher education institutions, which forced the temporary closing of 1,000 universities and 40,000 colleges. …

Picking the right startup idea for you

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Last year, I left my job to start a company. I spent months running different experiments. Some experiments failed. Some experiments worked, but I found that I’d quickly lose interest in them anyway. After several months and an embarrassing number of domains purchased, I realized there was a recurring pattern in my decisions.

I decided to document this, so I could define the levers of my interest and understand how to place better, tighter bets in the future. As I did this, I uncovered a framework that has helped me make big decisions with higher confidence. To be very clear, this framework is not about vetting business ideas. …

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An abundance of opportunity

  1. Large market, 40m people are aged 60+ in the United States
  2. Known problems — geriatric depression, isolation, loneliness, lack of fulfillment, chronic illness, cognitive decline
  3. Increasing online presence, 35%+ of 65-year-olds on social platforms

Social, context

Older adults represent the fastest-growing group of the world’s population as lifespans extend. As people age, their physical capacities begin to degenerate, leading to limited mobility. Such a limitation often manifests in less participation in social activities, which has been shown to increase feelings of loneliness and decrease morale and satisfaction with life.

It is also well known that for the elderly, health and well-being primarily depends on the emotional and social relationships they have with their family members and friends. Resultantly, finding ways to support older people in establishing and maintaining social networks should be a priority for public health. …

If “selfies are the new autographs” how many John Hancocks does Cameo need to sell to reach a $1b valuation?

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On Tuesday, Cameo announced it closed $50 million in a Series B round, which reportedly values the company at $300 million, post-money. Kleiner Perkins led the deal; Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bain Capital, and Spark Ventures participated. According to Crunchbase data, the round brings Cameo’s total venture backing to at least $65.2 million

Premise — What if early-stage tech teams could easily and fairly diversify stock options with teams across other startups?

Increasingly, I’ve been interested in exploring what it would be mean for early-stage employees at tech startups to be able to exchange and securitize their options packages in a diversified pool. Further, I’ve been trying to understand how a diversified options pool might act as a powerful social lever.

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We’ll approach the discussion through this framework

1. Which problems does this solve?

2. How might this look practically?

3. What are the associated risks?

Problems with equity in startups

No ability to diversify

Startup founders and employees use labor as a means of wealth creation but have no way to diversify those efforts. These individuals face the risk of potentially valueless equity when starting or joining an early stage company. …

New upstarts are _quietly_ preparing as deregulation looms

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Beginning next year, consumers should have access to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that are expected to bring down the price and hassle associated with purchasing the devices. The change comes thanks to a federal law passed in 2017 directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lower barriers to buying a hearing aid. Next year, the deregulation will take effect.

How big is this market?

Over 35 million children and adults in the United States have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss can have a negative effect on communication, relationships, school/work performance, and emotional well-being. …

Building for the self-employed world

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City Building — Thomas H Benton

Here’s the premise: If everyone becomes their own boss, where can tech add value? Already, we see nearly 20M Americans participating in the gig-economy, with 20M additional self-employed or non-gig contractors. What kind of tools will become relevant in an economy of ‘Solopreneurs’?

A new class of no-code tools is being built to serve internal teams at SMBs and enterprises. However, the secondary effect is that these new tools will enable new, independent businesses by increasing the capabilities of the individual. As the line between developers and operators begins to blur, so too does the line between the SMB and proprietorship. …

Expect to see a lot more #nature #sunrise #yogi Instagram posts in the coming years. The number of new, verticalized marketplaces and platforms facilitating outdoor experiences is reaching an inflection point.

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The state of outdoor travel

In 2018, the US National Park Service received over 318 million recreational visits. With more than 400 sites, one of the best and most time-honored ways to see the U.S. is its robust system of national parks. However, of the 59 national parks in the U.S., only 19% of Americans have seen more than five. More than a quarter (26%) say they have never been to a national park. The majority (54%) say they have visited two or fewer.

Why outdoors?

When it comes to happiness with physical health and well-being, there is a 22 percentage point gap (61% to 39%) between travelers and homebodies. In the era of increasing concern over worker burnout, this finding is a notable takeaway for employees and employers looking for ways to improve well-being. In particular, travelers who commit to outdoor trips return 33% happier and more relaxed than their urban-traveling counterparts. …

Imagine breakthrough, anti-aging therapeutics are successful. Everyone alive will live to 150 years old. Which new businesses should be built?

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The Fountain of Youth, 1546 painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder

I’ve outlined thoughts on why Longevity is interesting and where a venture investor might look to place a bet —

Long Longevity

Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. Longevity science (an extension of gerontology) is focused on a foundation layer of biological and cellular health believed to underpin many branches of age-related deterioration. This deterioration could potentially be the primary risk factor contributing to major human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Aging research has experienced an unprecedented interest over recent years, particularly with the discovery that the rate of aging can be slowed through management of genetic pathways and the biochemical processes conserved in evolution. …


Amrit Singh


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