Blow your mind with 400 of the most epic events including Mark Cuban, Priscilla Chan, Winklevii, Jon Hamm, Seth Rogen, Shia LaBeouf, Anna Kendrick, Mindy Kaling, Dakota Johnson, Elle Fanning, Jason Sudeikis, Jordan Peele, Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Moss, Max Minghella, Matthew McConaughey, Garry Kasparov, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kevin Systrom, Billie Eilish, Lukas Nelson, Car Seat Headrest, Broken Social Scene, Andrew WK, Lance Bass, Beastie Boys, Joan Jett, SNL Stars, CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, Martha Stewart BBQ, Neil Gaiman Zombie Apocalypse, Bishop Briggs Meditation, Viceland’s Biggie Smalls Roller Rink, Jodie Foster Master Class, Fonzie, Karate Kid, Salt Lick, Torchy’s, aaaaahhhh!!!

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The iconic tech arts music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), is nearly upon us with more than one hundred thousand influencers about to descend upon the ten day bacchanal that takes place in Austin, March 8 through March 17.

It’s a star-studded spectacle unlike any other with thousands of events offered around the clock featuring tech visionaries, presidential hopefuls and rock stars mixing it up among big brand activations. This year’s line up includes:

  • Celebrities: Amanda Palmer, Anna Kendrick, Baron Vaughn, Ben Masters, Brooklyn Decker, Charlize Theron, Dakota Johnson, David Fincher, Elisabeth Moss, Elizabeth Banks, Elle Fanning, Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Henry Winkler, Jason Blum, Jason Sudeikis, Jodie Foster, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Costner, Kumail Nanjiani, Matt Besser, Matthew McConaughey, Max Minghella, Mike Judge, Mindy Kaling, Neil Gaiman, Olivia Wilde, Open Mike Eagle, Padma Lakshmi, Ralph Macchio, Richard Pryor (in memoriam), Robert Rodriguez, Seth Rogen, Shia LaBeouf, SNL Aidy Bryant, NBC Late Night Amber Ruffin & Jenny Hagel, Simpsons Al Jean & Stephanie Gillis, Trevor Noah, Will Forte, Woody Harrelson, Zoe…

Startup Grind Event Coverage

Collison discusses globalization of payments and his growing media empire

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Stripe CEO John Collision opening keynote at Startup Grind Global

Startup Grind Global kicked off this morning with opening remarks by Stripe CEO John Collison in conversation with Ashlee Vance of Bloomberg Businessweek. What follows is a summary of key insights:

Been there, done that

“People tend to think online already happened and everything that’s already been figured out has already occured, but in fact in a bunch of countries, there’s a very rapid rise in digital money. The dominant behaviors and methods are changing. Ali Pay and WePay came out of nowhere and payment players are now winning the market, in China in particular. When we started out and were pitching investors in 2010, they were like, isn’t PayPal already fine? Isn’t this market already all figured out? I was presenting facts showing some 5% of global consumer spending takes place online today. We think that has an order of magnitude left to grow and we’d like to help get there as quickly as possible.” …

BTT ICO announced for 1/28, airdrop for 2/11

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TRON CEO & Founder Justin Sun onstage with NBA legend Kobe Bryant at the Nitron Summit in San Francisco (photo credit: Martine Paris)

TRON was the third top mover this past Monday with its cryptocurrency TRX jumping 5.03%, now the 9th largest cryptocurrency ranked by market capitalization, according to ForbesCrypto Markets. This coming off the heels of its debut NiTROn Summit, a developer conference held in San Francisco last week that impressed even the most skeptical in the EOS community.

TRON’s charismatic 28 year old CEO and founder, Justin Sun, took the stage during opening remarks proudly donning his BitTorrent hoodie and talking about how its recent acquisition of the legendary peer-to-peer network that pioneered distributed file sharing makes it the largest decentralized ecosystem in the world. In pursuit of BitTorrent’s 100 million monthly active users, with a drama that spanned the first half of last year, Sun beat out several other blockchains including Neo which, according to Coindesk, offered $170 million, nearly $50 million more than the $120 million bid from TRON. Both blockchains had similar market caps at the time (Neo at $1.5 billion, Tron at $1.6 …

Talking refrigerators, flying taxis, supercute robots and more!

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Me hugging my favorite family robot last year, Keecker

The Consumer Electronics Show aka CES is finally upon us, and for the 182,000 people about to descend upon the world’s largest technology show, they’re in for a fun week. The show officially runs Tuesday, January 8 through Friday, January 11, but press begin arriving today to preview the hottest gadgets.

Some mainstays are noticeably absent this year like Gibson who had a full roster of rock stars last year including Tommy Shaw of Styx and Iggy Azalea. It’s also not clear if anything is going to top Intel’s breathtaking reveal of drones hauntingly dropping down on the Bellagio fountains. …

2019 outlook, when a bear market is a good thing

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My interview with Brock Pierce at CoinAgenda Global

There were close to 500 crypto conferences in 2018 and blockchain billionaire Brock Pierce spoke at many of them. He was there at CoinAgenda Global until late, gathering the faithful around campfire-like tales. He was there at the NASDAQ Crypto Summit, hosted by Justin Wu and Chris Champion, rebutting playboy personality Dan Bilzerian on the merits of Bitcoin. Kicking off 2019, he’s going to be on my panel at CES next week for The Great Crypto Debate.

He’s been so ubiquitous at the shows, I’ve been starting to feel like Rolling Stone reporter Cameron Crowe’s character in the cult classic, Almost Famous, an embedded journalist following the life and times of a rock star. …

VCs, institutional investors and family offices descend on South Beach for the weeklong rave with Christo, Calvin Harris, Kaskade, Die Antwoord and Zedd

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If all of your crypto friends are racing down to Florida next week, it’s because world’s hippest art show, Art Basel Miami, is bringing together 77,000 fans, celebrities, collectors, institutional investors, family offices and venture capitalists for a week of epic partying and talks on decentralized art.

There will be 4,000 artists from 268 galleries showcasing their works but the real story will unfold afterhours in popup nightclubs, elevators of the ultra chic hotels: Soho Beach House, W South Beach, Delano, Miami Beach Edition, Fontainebleau, 1 Hotel, Faena, The Plymouth, Freehand, Sagamore, SLS Brickell, JW Marriott Marquis, and maybe, just maybe, Jeremy Gardner’s Crypto Castle Miami. …

Technical co-founder and customer feedback are key

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YC’s Michael Seibel and Dalton Caldwell with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, photo by Martine Paris

In its 13 years since launch, Y Combinator has undoubtedly become the most powerful accelerator in Silicon Valley. Having helped create over $100 billion in market value for its portfolio companies, YC is known for its midas touch in picking unicorns.

Many of tech’s hottest companies got their start at YC including Airbnb, Coinbase, Cruise, DoorDash, Dropbox, Hipmunk, Instacart, Mixpanel, Reddit, Scribd, and Twitch. YC Demo Days consistently attracts investment from top VC firms and their alumni network includes some of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. With an acceptance rate of about 1.5%, …

Blockchain community partners with local initiatives to rebuild

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Photo credit: Restart Week

This week all eyes will be on Puerto Rico as crypto pioneer, Brock Pierce, brings Restart Week to the tiny U.S. territory that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria over a year ago. The third in a series, Restart South brings together Puerto Rico’s burgeoning blockchain community to work in partnership with local initiatives to redevelop the southern region of Ponce. It’s a follow up to efforts that began in March with Restart San Juan and continued in May with Restart West in Mayaguez.

When Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on September 16 through October 2, 2017, it was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the Caribbean paradise and created a humanitarian crisis of epic scale. According to the BBC, it destroyed 80% of crops, killed nearly 3,000 people, and forever changed the lives of the 3.4 million U.S. …

Teen maker takes on the quarter trillion dollar beauty industry to save the planet and finds that even with the best backing, startup life is all about the hustle

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NOHBO founder Ben Stern on the set of FLORIDA TODAY with Jennifer Sangalang and Rob Landers

At just 14 years old, Ben Stern ideated NOHBO Drops, a single use zero-waste plant-based wrapper that melts in water and dispenses a precise amount of shampoo, conditioner, body wash or shaving cream concentrate without wasteful packaging.

Five years later, he’s taking on the quarter trillion dollar beauty industry with the backing and mentorship of billionaire investor, Mark Cuban, and the goal of eliminating the half-billion personal care bottles that end up in landfill.

His maker’s journey is an impressive one with valuable lessons for aspiring social entrepreneurs.

A tinkerer from an early age, he spent his childhood prototyping imaginative inventions with his mom and watching Shark Tank with his dad and grandmother. The idea for NOHBO, which stands for no hair bottles, came to him after watching a documentary in the 9th grade in which he learned that it takes a thousand years for plastic bottles to degrade. …

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Crypto pioneers are placing bets on gaming to deliver the first billion people to blockchain despite big publishers holding back. Tony Cheng of Decentraland says they’ll never get onboard. Meanwhile Ubisoft moves forward with Blockchain Game Alliance. When will CryptoKitties make a cameo in South Park Phone Unleashed?

About

Martine Paris

Forbes contributor and freelance tech reporter for Fast Company, VentureBeat, CoinDesk, Pocket Gamer and more: muckrack.com/martineparis

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