Google looks to help startups start up, unveils hub network

Gone are the days of starting companies in your garage. And Google thinks it can help with the change in venue.

The tech giant announced Wednesday that it will be partnering with co-working spaces and "startup hubs" -- where young companies can get access to office space, mentors, and other resources to help them grow -- to create a hub network that'll help startups commune.

The initiative is being overseen by Google for Entrepreneurs, the arm of the company that focuses on nurturing startups. Google already has startup hubs in London and Tel Aviv, but this new … Read more

AngelList snags $24M, ups assault on traditional tech funding

Venture capital, in its relatively short history, has been a small world.

Many times, a company gets funded because a venture capitalist knew where to look, or a company knew how to reach a VC. While there are some cold-call success stories, many would say there is a sense of exclusivity that exists in the industry.

AngelList, a 3-year-old network that matches investors with tech startups, has sought to change that. On Monday, the company announced it's raised $24 million to help it do so.

Originally started as a blog called Venture Hacks, the goal was to teach startups … Read more

Second act for the unorthodox Steve Case

When F. Scott Fitzgerald claimed that "there are no second acts in American life," he clearly didn't foresee the resilient career of the man who once headed America Online. Rita Braver reports:

He was the Boy Wonder of computing, co-founding the pioneering Internet service America Online while still in his twenties, and then helping make it the top-earning stock of the 1990s -- trying, he told CBS News back in 1997, "to build an interactive medium to inspire people's lives."

And if you've ever wondered what happened to Steve Case, look no further. … Read more

'Hacker hostels' let tech hopefuls snooze -- and schmooze (video)

From the outside, it looks like a typical California suburban home: garage, driveway, tidy yard. But walk down the path leading to the front door and you'll find your first clue that a traditional family of four does not live inside. On the front porch are dozens and dozens of pairs of men's shoes, all removed before entering in order to keep the house as tidy as possible.

When we knocked, Carlos De La Lama Noriega, the manager of the house, greeted us and welcomed us inside for a tour. The main living space was clean and airy … Read more

Ron Conway steps back as Y Combinator cuts team funding

Superstar angel investor Ron Conway will no longer be part of the team of investors giving money to the dozens of startups taking part each year in Y Combinator, one of the world's most prestigious incubators.

Y Combinator said today that it is sharply reducing the amount of venture funding each startup coming through the program is given. For the last two years, each team was seeded with $150,000 in funding from Conway, of SV Angel, Yuri Milner, and Andreessen Horowitz. Starting today, that amount has been slashed to $80,000 per team, the incubator said, as it … Read more

NYC's Silicon Alley badly trails Silicon Valley in startup influence

With the success of companies like Tumblr, Foursquare, and Kickstarter, New York's startup scene has gotten a lot of attention recently.

But despite the influence of those outfits and venture capitalists like Union Square Ventures' Fred Wilson, the Big Apple is a backwater when it comes to the world startup scene, according to a new report from the Startup Genome project.

In the study, New York City came in as just the fifth-ranked startup ecosystem in the world, trailing Silicon Valley, Israel's Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

To come up with its rankings, the Startup Genome -- … Read more

Friendster founder raises $1.7M for social startup Nuzzel

A decade after his startup Friendster paved the way for online social networks, Jonathan Abrams is back with a new social project. And as of today, he has some high-profile investors supporting his plan.

Nuzzel, a startup that collects all the most-shared links in your Facebook and Twitter feeds and presents them in a clean, easy-to-read format, raised $1.7 million in seed funding from investors including 500 Startups' Dave McClure, "The Lean Startup" author Eric Ries, Slide's Max Levchin, Andreessen Horowitz's Ronny Conway, and the Founders Den's Zachary Bogue, who is also the husband … Read more

Nest 2.0: Slimmer, sleeker thermostat smarter than ever

When the "Father of the iPod" Tony Fadell unveiled Nest, the "learning thermostat" last fall, it was likely the first time anyone had ever thought of a thermostat as sexy.

Now, less than a year after the first version of the product arrived, bringing Apple style design and user interfaces to what had traditionally been one of the most staid home appliances, Fadell's Palo Alto, Calif.-based company today announced Nest 2.0, a slimmer version of the thermostat that was built to work in more homes and brings new flexibility and features to the … Read more

Pulling back from open source hardware, MakerBot angers some adherents

You likely know MakerBot Industries as the poster child for the new era of 3D-printing. You might not know that, until last week, the company and its CEO, Bre Pettis, were considered shining lights in the open-source hardware movement.

Think of open-source hardware, OSHW, as the physical equivalent of open source software. The Open Source Hardware Association, founded just this past March, offers an extended definition for OSHW. Its Statement of Principles sums things up thusly:

Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or … Read more

AOL squatter launches his company -- no hiding out required

If ever there was someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, it's Eric Simons, known to many as the AOL squatter.

As CNET was first to report, Simons spent two months last year living surreptitiously at AOL's Palo Alto, Calif., offices, surviving on the company's kitchen fare, using its gym and locker room, and sleeping on its couches. All while working long days building a startup as part of an education-based incubator that had its offices in AOL's building. Until he was caught by AOL security and thrown out of the building, that is.

At the time, Simons' … Read more