When the biggest Disruption is to just sit down and focus

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh human-first take on this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.  And just like that, TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 has come to an end. I’m exhausted, but it’s hard not to feel optimistic for the future after spending three days hearing vulnerable thoughts from […]

Executive coaching for employees is complicated and emotional

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh human-first take on this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.  BetterUp, a reskilling and coaching platform for employees before and beyond the C-suite, is getting in touch with its emotions. This week, the richly funded unicorn startup announced a pair of acquisitions […]

The next big startup may just help venture back more startups

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh human-first take on this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.  Oper8r, built by Winter Mead and Welly Sculley, wants to help new entrants in the VC world scale. The accelerator launched last year as a “Y Combinator for emerging fund managers,” built […]

What 377 Y Combinator pitches will teach you about startups

Along with a cadre of other TechCrunch folks, I spent this week extremely focused on one event: Y Combinator. The elite accelerator announced a staggering 377 startups as its Summer 2021 cohort. We covered every single on-the-record startup that presented and plucked out some favorites: Here are all the companies from Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 […]

Want to be a more holistic healthcare company? Add some Ginger 

When Headspace merged with on-demand mental healthcare platform Ginger, I was surprised. After all, Ginger raised $100 million in Series E funding just a few months ago — and last time I spoke to CEO Russell Glass, he stressed the importance of integrating into employer-paid health plans. To me, Headspace’s meditation app is about as […]

‘How to hire’ is the new ‘how to conserve runway’

Thanks for reading Startups Weekly. Want the weekly digest in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.  When COVID-19 first began to infect the world, my interviews with venture capitalists all somewhat fit into the same mold. Investors would tell me that they’re “triaging” their own portfolio to understand how to help startups rocked by […]

Edtech’s next mission: Go everywhere

Thanks for reading Startups Weekly. Want the weekly digest in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.  This past week, edtech entrepreneurs, investors and analysts congregated at ASU+GSV, a yearly global edtech conference, to reflect on the sector’s newfound spotlight after the massive jolt of COVID-19. Beyond masked excitement to finally meet Twitter friends in […]

Building vulnerability into your workflow

Thanks for reading Startups Weekly. Want the weekly digest in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.  I spoke to my editor this week about the usual: upcoming stories, the future of the podcast and the existential dread of imposter syndrome amid a year-and-a-half of extreme change. The last bit took up the majority of […]

Unicorns are ready for a haircut

The digitization of your haircut may not have been on your 2020 bucket list, but 2021 has an even more surprising line item: Tech-powered barbershops are now a business proposition valued at nearly a billion dollars. Squire is a back-end barbershop management tool for independent businesses. I first covered it in the early months of […]

The DL on CockroachDB

As college students at Berkeley, Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis created a successful open-source graphics program, GIMP, which got the attention of Google. The duo ultimately joined Google, and even personally got kudos from Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Kimball and Mattis quickly rose to prominence within the company, and then chose to leave it […]