Elemental Cognition Adds Three Notable Advisors
October 10, 2019

Elemental Cognition, the artificial intelligence company founded and led by Dr. David Ferrucci, creator of IBM’s Watson, and funded to date by global asset manager Bridgewater Associates, has appointed three noteworthy investors to the company’s Board of Advisors.

Jim Breyer (founder and CEO of Breyer Capital), Chris Varelas (founder and Managing Partner of Riverwood Capital), and Sam Palmisano (former CEO of IBM) each bring unique expertise and perspective to Elemental Cognition’s mission to change how machines learn, understand, and interact with humans. In addition to their appointment, Jim, Chris, and Sam have invested in Elemental Cognition along with the Stanford Engineering Venture Fund.

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Facebook acquires Ctrl-labs
Venture Beat, September 23rd 2019

Facebook this evening announced it intends to buy Ctrl-labs, a New York-based startup developing a wristband that translates musculoneural signals into machine-interpretable commands.

Ctrl-labs CEO and cofounder Thomas Reardon will join Facebook, as will other employees who opt to do so. Prior to the acquisition, Ctrl-labs raised $67 million from investors including GV (Google’s venture capital arm), Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Lux Capital, Spark Capital, Matrix Partners, Breyer Capital, and Fuel Capital.

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A New Sputnik Moment
Fortune, 18 September 2019

When it comes to Donald Trump’s China policy, there is, as journalist Thomas Friedman puts it, a “method to his madness” but also “madness to his method.” Trump was right to single out China a challenge facing the U.S., and he showed more courage than his predecessors in confronting China on policies that violate global norms. But his tariffs and tariff threats have, in many cases, been counterproductive, inflicting as much pain on the U.S. as on China.

So what would a more sane U.S. policy look like? Well, first of all, it would include offense, as well as defense. That’s the message of a new report out this morning from a group assembled by the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled Innovation and National Security. The group was chaired by retired Admiral William McRaven and McKinsey’s James Manyika, and included ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, investor Jim Breyer, former DARPA head Regina Dugan, investor Reid Hoffman, Berkeley business professor Laura Tyson, and more. Its conclusion: U.S. leadership in innovation is at risk, and “the government and the private sector must undertake a comprehensive and urgent response” to retain it.

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Silicon Valley billionaire Thomas Siebel: ‘AI has triggered a corporate extinction event’
The Telegraph, 21 July 2019

Siebel’s new company C3, based in Redwood City, California, is a software developer for the “industrial Internet of Things” or a network of devices, vehicles and building sensors that collect and exchange data.

After his close shave on safari, it’s no surprise that Siebel likes to speak about the business world in Darwinian terms. To Siebel, it’s a ferocious fight for survival against emerging and sometimes ruthless competitive threats.

With Siebel back in decent health, C3 is making rapid progress, and last year raised $100 million of funding from investors including private equity giants TPG Growth, Breyer Capital and Sutter Hill. That brings the total amount raised to nearly $243 million. At its last fundraising round in 2017, C3 was worth $1.4 billion.

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New Portfolio Company: Pryon

Pryon is an AI company that connects enterprise employees to digital transformation through an Augmented Intelligence platform, extending their ability to find and use knowledge, drive workflows, and make better decisions from wherever they are.

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Venture Capitalist Jim Breyer Talks Tech IPOs, Facebook and Trade Tensions
Bloomberg, May 9th 2019

Venture capitalist Jim Breyer, founder and chief executive officer of Breyer Capital, discusses the IPO landscape, his views on breaking up Facebook Inc. and how global trade tensions have impacted investing. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas on “Bloomberg Technology.”

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