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An Intel drone fell on my head during a light show

It didn’t hurt. I thought someone dropped a small cardboard box on my head. It felt sharp and light. I was sitting on the floor, along the back of the crowd and then an Intel Shooting Star Mini drone dropped on my head. Audi put on a massive show to reveal its first EV , the e-tron. The automaker went all out, put journalists, executives and car dealers on a three-story paddle boat and sent us on a two-hour journey across San Francisco Bay. I had a beer and two dumplings. We were headed to a long-vacated Ford manufacturing plant in Richmond, CA. By the time we reached our destination, the sun had set and Audi was ready to begin. Suddenly, in front of the boat, Intel’s Shooting Star drones put on a show that ended with Audi’s trademark four ring logo. The show continued as music pounded inside the warehouse, and just before the reveal of the e-tron, Intel’s Shooting Star Minis celebrated the occasion with a light show a couple of feet above attendees’ heads. That’s when one hit me.

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12 years in, Techstars doubles down on corporate relationships

The goal of any accelerator is to back startups that are reaching exponential growth. Sometimes, though, the accelerator itself hits that inflection point. Techstars , which was founded in 2006, has expanded aggressively over the past twelve years. Once a single accelerator program for a handful of early-stage startups in Boulder, the program now encompasses 44 separate programs covering six continents and a large number of industry verticals. The firm has hundreds of employees across its headquarters and member programs, and more than 1,600 portfolio companies. Along the way, the mission of Techstars has evolved, from purely accelerating a cohort of startups to championing a culture of “entrepreneurship anywhere.” Co-CEO David Cohen, who co-founded Techstars along with Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis, said that “Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed,” adding that “the product we are offering is really not an accelerator, but a network.” The key insight for Techstars was that startups needed to talk to large companies in order to drive sales and ultimately revenues, while at the same time, large companies were looking to talk with startups in order to learn more about innovation and take advantage of it in their operations. Techstars is looking to intensify that synergy through two new programs the company is announcing today . The first is a Network Engagement Program that offers new concierge-style connections for corporations looking to build relationships with startups. The other is a 54-hour Innovation Bootcamp that will teach corporate employees innovation skills in a rapid learning environment with involvement from Techstars alumni. The larger story here though is how Techstars is increasingly leveraging startups and corporations together to improve both. Techstars runs a number of corporate-backed accelerators with companies like Barclays , Rakuten , MetLife , and Comcast NBCU , with each accelerator focusing on areas relevant to their sponsoring companies

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Startups are giving writers and filmmakers more ways to make it in Hollywood

On May 11 Netflix released the teen dramedy “ The Kissing Booth ” just as the school year was wrapping up for teens across the country. By June, the company had a smash hit among the tweenage set, and Wattpad , the company which owned the rights to the The Kissing Booth , had its first true breakout vehicle. The story, written on Wattpad’s publishing platform by Beth Reekles, was a proof point for the company’s thesis pitching a new twist on the old model of discovering stories and creative talent for the entertainment industry. Netflix’s latest hit ‘The Kissing Booth’ is a Wattpad success story Behind the success of the film is a nascent movement among startup companies that are trying to open the doors of Hollywood’s dream factory to a broader group of creative professionals by riding the wave of fan fiction and user generated content all the way to the Paramount lot (or the Disney lot, or Sony Studios).   “In this obvious period of disruption in the entertainment industry how we’re finding stories is evolving,” said Wattpad Studios chief Aron Levitz. YouTube , the short-lived Vine app , and Instagram have all created new platforms for discovering potential on-camera talent, and Amazon , Apple , Facebook , Instagram (again), Netflix, and YouTube (again) have smashed the distribution system for television and movies. But these platforms and the traditional studios they’d like to supplant have a voracious appetite for stories to tell and (many) are reluctant to risk millions of dollars behind something unproven. Hollywood has always borrowed (or stolen) from other media to entertain the masses, but it seems like the fields it’s foraging in for new stories have narrowed to a few serialized playgrounds (comic books, old television shows and movies, and wildly successful young adult genre fiction). While there are thousands of flowers to be found there, new tech-enabled companies are suggesting there might be other patches where new talent can be discovered, harvested and leveraged for corporate gain and viewer delight. Startups like Wattpad and  Tongal (for directors and cinematographers), and new financing platforms like Legion M  (for producing features) are aiming to elevate new talent and provide what the companies hope will be built-in audiences for successful new programming on platforms like Netflix, Apple, and others — and the hundreds of networks that are vying for attention in an increasingly fragmented media landscape. It wasn’t always this way. When Tongal was created, roughly a decade ago. the entertainment industry looked much, much differently than it does now. Ten years ago that  Netflix announced it would let its DVD subscribers watch streaming video as well — mostly old movies and syndicated shows that had already made their millions for the big networks and studios. That was the starting gun of what would become a race to roll up talent and gain audience in a creative landscape that was becoming increasingly competitive. With new entrants joining at every new lap.

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MasterClass is mastering scale as a media business

MasterClass’ $80M Series D announced last week marks a triumph in validating the potential venture-scale of content businesses in an era when many are founded with equal parts tech and media DNA. The platform for online video courses on topics from film directing to tennis taught by iconic figures in each field (like Martin Scorsese and Serena Williams) launched in 2015 and has raised $160M from top VC firms like IVP, NEA, and Atomico while gaining brand recognition among millions of Americans. Neither education nor content startups have been particularly hot spaces for Silicon Valley investors over the last few years, so Masterclass’ breakout status calls attention to its strategy. High-quality original content cuts above the noise Due to the user inputs of subscription streaming services, a platform focused on its own high-quality original content can gain an advantage against the crowded field of quantity-over-quality competitors in monetization and defensibility while still achieving scale. It’s a common tech industry mistake to treat all content the same – to focus on the engineering challenges of a platform but not enough on the creative challenges of captivating users (the classic Silicon Valley versus Hollywood cultural divide). Netflix’s current position as the dominant force in global film/TV stemmed from its own evolution from solely aggregating third-party content to aggressively investing in its own Originals. From the start, MasterClass has taken a different path from other startups in the online courses segment of media (often called MOOCs, or massively open online courses) by specializing in capital-intensive, high-production-quality video series with the biggest names. Like a small film studio, much of its $1.9M in seed funding was used on recruiting the initial talent (Dustin Hoffman) and producing their first class (on acting). Similar to starting a company in an industrial or highly regulated industry, starting a media startup focused on high-quality productions is capital intensive. But if the entrepreneur’s thesis is right and execution is strong, those big upfront investments can lock in competitive advantage. True in the case of MasterClass, they sold 30,000 course sign-ups within four months of launching. Quality lets you build big franchises, makes it easier to attract the top creative talent while giving up less economics, and makes the business the center of gravity within its market such that consumers naturally choose it over any competitor as the main service to subscribe to…there’s just enough must-see content to keep coming back to

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Marvel’s Daredevil Season 3 Teaser Trailer Released – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 Teaser Trailer Released Ubergizmo (promoted). Events · Audio · Gadgets · Gaming · General · Photo/Video · Web; Ubergizmo Worldwide. Ubergizmo in Japanese · Ubergizmo in French · Ubergizmo in German · Ubergizmo in Italian · Ubergizmo in Spanish · About · Contact · logo icon logo texts. and more »

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New Trailer For ‘Iron Fist’ Season 2 Released – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo New Trailer For 'Iron Fist' Season 2 Released Ubergizmo If the second season for Marvel's Iron Fist is a series that you have been looking forward to, you'll be pleased to learn that Netflix has recently released a new trailer for the upcoming second season. It gives us a better look at what to expect from ... Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 2 | Official Trailer | Trailers & Extras | Marvel Marvel all 139 news articles »

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Disney may offer a discounted bundle of Hulu, ESPN+ and its new streaming service

Disney may offer its customers the option to purchase a discounted bundle of its three streaming apps — Hulu, Disney’s upcoming streaming service and ESPN+ — according to comments made by Disney CEO Bob Iger during the company’s’ earnings call this week. He said Disney would rather keep the three properties separate, rather than trying to combine them into a more robust “aggregation play,” so as to better address cord cutters’ desire to pick-and-choose the services they want. The company will own 60 percent of Hulu when its $71.3 billion deal to acquire 21st Century Fox closes . It already owns ESPN, which now offers a streaming service called ESPN+ , and is launching its own Disney-branded streaming service in 2019 that will feature Pixar, Marvel, Disney, Lucasfilm (Star Wars) and, eventually, it now says, National Geographic content. While Disney’s service is meant to be more family-friendly, Hulu will cater to a more adult market. And the plan is to keep those two separate. Iger had previously said the idea that a bundle could exist in the future wasn’t out of the question, but had not been definite about Disney’s plans in that area. Now, he’s making it more clear that Disney believes there’s value in offering a discounted bundle of its services, rather than combining all their content under one roof. “So rather than one, let’s call it, gigantic aggregated play, we’re going to bring to the market what we’ve already brought to market with the sports play. I’ll call it Disney Play, which is more family-oriented. And then, of course, there’s Hulu. And they will basically be designed to attract different tastes and different segment or audience demographics,” Iger explained, in response to a question about whether or not it would ever build an aggregated streaming app instead of pursuing the different market segments. “If a consumer wants all three, ultimately, we see an opportunity to package them from a pricing perspective,” Iger continued.

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