Dublin City University, Talent Garden team up for IoT campus

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Dublin City University and Talent Garden team up for new IoT innovation campus

NEWSBYTE: Dublin City University (DCU) and co-working and learning space provider Talent Garden are to launch a new hub for digital innovation this autumn, which will focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Talent Garden was founded six years ago and now claims to be the largest European co-working and digital innovation network. It hosts hundreds of start-up companies and works with enterprises such as BMW, Google, and Electrolux in 23 campuses across eight European countries.

The latest hub will be based in DCU’s Alpha Innovation campus, and will provide a workspace for freelancers, tech start-ups, and corporate innovation labs, with capacity for 350 people.

The building will also feature Talent Garden’s Innovation School, a digital skills bootcamp education platform, which will work in partnership with DCU Business School to upskill entrepreneurs and assist corporates on digital transformation projects.

Topics covered in the bootcamp include digital transformation, artificial intelligence, growth hacking, augmented reality/virtual reality, coding, and blockchain. In the future, Talent Garden will host more formal, accredited training, delivered in partnership with the university.

Members of Talent Garden Dublin will also be able to make use of the platform anywhere in the Talent Garden network of facilities across 18 European cities.

DCU and Talent Garden hope that the space will appeal to early-stage startups and larger corporate innovation labs, as well as the existing community of digital and IoT companies based in DCU Alpha.

Epicentres of innovation

Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU, said that the partnership placed the university at the “epicentre of the technological transformation” taking place across Ireland and Europe.

“The worlds of work and learning are rapidly blending together, and Talent Garden Dublin offers a unique combination of innovation and education, which will help startups, SMEs and multinationals, navigate the opportunities created by the burgeoning IoT sector in particular,” he said.

“Through this unique partnership, Talent Garden Dublin goes way beyond coworking as it is currently understood in Ireland, and into the fields of accredited digital skills training, corporate digital transformation, as well as creating international connectivity for Irish startups looking to scale up in other markets.”

“In DCU, we have found a University partner with the same entrepreneurial DNA and ambition as Talent Garden, which made the selection process easy,” added Talent Garden founder and CEO, Davide Dattoli.

“The existing DCU Alpha community of digital and IoT innovators is the perfect home for us, while the university partnership will help us to scale our Innovation School offering globally.”

Internet of Business says

The recent success of a similar venture, Liverpool’s Sensor City – which brings together technology expertise, university partnership, a community focus, and a nurturing environment for startups – reveals how well this model works. For example, it was announced this week that Sensor City has received new funding from the British government to explore 5G opportunities.

We wish the new Dublin hub every success – particularly as it may gain the funding from Europe that British initiatives risk losing, post Brexit.

Read more: Sensor City awarded £3.5m to explore 5G community Wi-Fi

Read more: Sensors for all! Exclusive Q&A with Alison Mitchell of Sensor City


The post Dublin City University, Talent Garden team up for IoT campus appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

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Travis Kalanick says Alphabet’s CEO was upset Uber was poaching self-driving talent

Kalanick and Larry Page: It’s complicated.

If former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s strategy was to be restrained and compliant on the first day of his testimony in Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber, then the strategy on the second day was to play the chump.

Kalanick, who took the witness stand for the second time on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, has fielded much of the attention from Alphabet’s legal team. Alphabet is eager to convince the jury that the overly ambitious, often-competitive Kalanick worked with a former engineer, Anthony Levandowski, to bring over trade secrets from the company’s self-driving arm, Waymo.

Alphabet is suing Uber for allegedly conspiring with Levandowski to bring over self-driving trade secrets from Waymo to Uber to help accelerate Uber’s slow-to-develop autonomous efforts. The company filed the lawsuit after discovering Levandowski downloaded 14,000 files before leaving Waymo to start a self-driving trucking startup, Otto, which Uber later acquired.

Uber calls the lawsuit baseless and says no files ever made it to the company.

While Waymo works hard to point the finger at Kalanick specifically, saying his winner-take-all attitude fueled a burning desire to beat Google at all costs, Uber, on the other hand, is keen on painting Kalanick as an executive passionate about solving transportation problems, especially those related to self-driving.

“When we first got started, imagine like six people being around a table and that’s your whole team,” Kalanick said when Uber attorneys asked what it was like to be the CEO of Uber. “Day in and day out you just dream what Uber could be. But as it grew you just have this huge thing. 15,000 people in basically every city in the world. Your job goes from being the team of six in the trenches … to empowering literally thousands of teams of six.”

Kalanick, as he testified, was not the rapacious executive Waymo portrayed. Quite the contrary, he said. His was a story of betrayal on a number of fronts. He was betrayed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page and, eventually, by Levandowski, who he called “a brother from another mother.”

According to Kalanick, when it came to Alphabet — which is an investor in Uber — he was the slighted younger brother eager to work with his “big brothers,” Alphabet CEO Larry Page and chief legal counsel David Drummond.

Drummond served on Uber’s board before he stepped down over a conflict of interest in August 2016.

Kalanick says he wanted badly to work with Alphabet and Page on self-driving cars. Email evidence presented at the trial, indeed, shows Kalanick attempting to contact Page and set up a meeting with him about rumors he heard that Alphabet would be operating a competing ride-share service instead of working with Uber.

An email from Travis Kalanick to David Drummond about rumors he heard.

In fact, Kalanick testifies, it was Page, not him, whose decisions were fueled by a competitive nature. After making multiple attempts to work on a self-driving ride-hail network with Alphabet, Kalanick and Uber acquired a team of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University to start their own driverless efforts in 2015.

Page, Kalanick said, was “super unpumped” about that.

“Larry made it clear he was upset we were doing autonomy,” Kalanick said.

“Larry was upset we were doing his thing,” Kalanick also said.

That’s why Kalanick said he thought there was a possibility Alphabet might sue Uber over its acquisition of Otto, co-founded by a number of Waymo engineers, including Levandowski.

Page was “upset” Uber was poaching Alphabet engineers, Kalanick explained.

A big part of Uber’s strategy is to convince the jury that Waymo and Alphabet were upset Levandowski left and were also concerned over losing ground in the self-driving race to Uber. That, Uber is claiming, is really why they sued Uber — it wasn’t about files, it was about talent and competition.

“He kept saying, ‘You’re taking our people and you’re taking our IP,’” Kalanick tesified.

That raises an important question that will likely come up time and again as the trial continues: How do you ensure people are not bringing the ideas or intellectual property that they have in their head from their former employer to their current employer?

According to Kalanick, he conceded he was in fact recruiting Alphabet engineers, but said “people are not IP.”

It turns out Levandowski had a similar concern. As part of his agreement to sell his company to Uber, he and his co-founder Lior Ron required that Uber protect them against any litigation that came out of “bad acts” committed or other issues before the deal occurred.

But Kalanick says he had little knowledge of what either the acquisition agreement or the indemnification agreement said. After all, he was the busy executive of a 15,000-person company with little time to read through documents like the agreement to acquire Otto and the accompanying agreement to protect Levandowski and his team from any lawsuits.

That he didn’t read through important documents pertaining to a transaction that was valued at around $ 590 million is an odd admission to make under oath. Especially since, as Waymo’s attorney pointed out, Kalanick signed both those documents.

Kalanick said he trusted his legal team to handle the formal matters related to acquiring Otto. But, that’s not to say he didn’t deliver his own warning to Levandowski. According to a due diligence report cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg put together on Otto before Uber acquired it, Kalanick told Levandowski he didn’t want any information to get to Uber. Levandowski said he had discs with Waymo information on it, the report says, and Kalanick told him to destroy the discs.

Uber contends none of those files made it to Uber and eventually fired Levandowski for not cooperating with the suit a few months after Waymo filed it.

When asked how he felt about Levandowski now, Kalanick said: “Look, this has been a difficult process … This makes it not as great as what we thought it was at the beginning.”

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Forget Facebook, Amazon or Google. Up-and-coming top tech talent is opting for startups.

A flight to the top at the world’s most established technology companies is no longer the most sought-after route to success.

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — the aptly named FANG companies — are coming under increased scrutiny for their total market dominance. In their respective but more frequently overlapping areas of focus, these giants have collected enough information to hold an alarming amount of global influence. Chief among that, and perhaps most concerning, is the amount of data collected on us, the everyday users. Well past their inflection points, and with every single usage, these companies are woven deeper into the fabric of our lives. Some might even say more emphatically that they have become our everyday lives.

Longtime technology follower David Kirkpatrick went as far as to say that the big breakthrough industries of the future will be characterized by meaningful barriers to entry — best-placed for those who own the most data. Groundbreaking innovations that fall within AI — like autonomous cars and specific advances like augmented reality — require significant capital and data, priming those markets for domination by an established core with deep pockets.

Implicit in that is the limited space for startups to gain a footing in the market. Just as these juggernauts draw customers with less and less effort, the tipping-point status of their services makes not joining the Big Four feel like being left out, and they will win the war for talent.

However, that is not what the view looks like from my position as CEO of a company whose charge is to find and place engineers, designers, product managers and data analysts at technology growth companies — startup tech companies in particular.

I am happy to report that “talent” remains liquid. A flight to the top at the world’s most established technology companies is no longer the most sought-after route.

This is indeed a different world from even a decade ago, when brilliant MBAs and engineers were often choosing between and opting for Google over Goldman. At that time, this was the ultimate indication of a changing of the guard.

So what is giving the rest of the employer world a fighting chance?

FANG matured and became established

A smart man once said it’s hard to scale “special.” Keeping your mojo decades post-launch is no small feat, and while these companies have had tremendous impact on a global scale, they are now well past their teenage years and contain more layers. When engineers talk about what they look for in an employer, they often choose the opportunity to be a big fish (hero) in a small shop with grand ambition, over a small fish in a big shop that has already made its mark (a contributor). At the same time, transparency also becomes a challenge in a company of great size. Public-company transparency is one thing, but the transparency that many talented technology executives seek pertains to operations and leadership. They desire the enterprise-wide view that the startup environment provides, and many of them want to have a hand in driving a company’s broader development.

Mission orientation

The millennial and iGen crowd will soon be a majority in the workforce, and these generations crave a part in the next big thing. The disconnect is that FANG companies are the current big thing. Millennials and iGen believe in the art of the possible and embrace socially-minded missions. This is not to suggest that Google became evil or less socially conscious when, in 2015, it dropped “Don’t be evil“ from its core values, but it did create a space for others to carry the torch. Young companies, with founders almost always still in tow, are as passionate a group as you can find. They tell the story of the mission — always prospective at this point in their life cycle — in such an effective way that VCs swoon and new talent wants to walk through fire.

Every company is a technology company

Most important is the evolution of the rest of the employer community outside of the obvious technology companies like Netflix or Cisco. Simply stated — by so many we can’t accurately attribute — every company is tech-centric. Technology is now a non-negotiable for enduring success. With these “tech-peripherals”from giants of the oil industry to health insurers using data analytics to forecast patients most at risk — there are more ways to make a difference with technology than ever before.

Engineering, data, design and product talent will always be coveted by companies across tech — the giants and the comers, and increasingly, the tech-peripherals.

Make no mistake about it — it is a competitive battle.

The FANG companies may very well receive continued criticism from regulators over their growing influence, but from where we sit, the future of innovation remains open to new breeds. How do we know this? Today, very little talent walks in our door and says, “Can you get me a job at Google?” Rather, they say “Can you get me into the next Google?”

David Saad is co-founder and CEO of SingleSprout, a specialized search firm focused on hiring engineering and product talent at tech companies. Reach him @singlesproutnyc.

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