42 Investment Summit: SaaS Universe

Our friends at Unit.City and Center 42 Innovation Agency are running a Saas VC conference in the next few weeks. Contact Kirill Mazur (km at unit dot city) for more information.


42 Investment Summit: SaaS Universe is a new series of unique CEE tech events for business leaders, investors, creative entrepreneurs and international guests in Kyiv, the second creative capital of Europe 😉 

We will gather a community of 300 brightest people from venture capital funds, angel investors, a lot of business founders, corporate executives, startup ecosystem leaders, business associations, GR and media from Ukraine and CEE region to make new relevant connections, deals, find business opportunities and ideas for cooperation and future growth. 

The topic of this event – SaaS Universe.
Subscription business model (SaaS) changes everything. Now, it doesn’t matter where you have located your office – you can earn money globally and be competitive globally as well. And Ukraine and CEE already have a lot of successful SaaS-stories – like Grammarly (Ukrainian SaaS startup which top-5 in the list of world’s most innovative companies in AI who just raised $110 mln. in last round). 

And yes – we want to bring more international people and capital to Kyiv! 

The Border Wall – A source of energy

Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor

Building solar, wind, natural gas and water infrastructure all along the U.S.–Mexico border would create economic opportunity rather than antagonism

Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor
Credit: Getty Images

Here’s an idea: Instead of an endless, inert wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, line the boundary with 2,000 miles of natural gas, solar and wind power plants. Use some of the energy to desalinate water from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean and ship it through pipelines to thirsty towns, businesses and new farms along the entire border zone. Hire hundreds of thousands of people from both countries to build and run it all. Companies would make money and provide security to safeguard their assets. A contentious, costly no-man’s-land would be transformed into a corridor of opportunity.

Crazy? Maybe—or maybe not. History is full of ideas that initially sounded wacky yet ended up changing society.

The idea is more than a pipe dream. A consortium of 27 engineers and scientists from a dozen U.S. universities has developed a plan. Last week they delivered it to three U.S. representatives and one senator. “Let’s put the best scientists and engineers together to create a new way to deal with migration, trafficking—and access to water. These are regions of severe drought,” says Luciano Castillo, a professor of energy and power at Purdue University who leads the group. “Water supply is a huge future issue for all the states along the border in both countries.”



There is a lot you can do with coal. The Neutrino Donut is working with several groups on identifying rare earth metals from coal, for example. A second challenge is the retraining of workers. From the WaPo (and this was buried in the story):

The WaPo had an article on the GM plant shutdowns in the Midwest. The key takeaways were the jobs aren’t coming back, people are waiting for the jobs to come back, and only 30% of the people eligible for training took training. The training is technical, free and has a stipend. The workers said they were too old and the course material was too hard and they dropped out after a week. One guy couldn’t figure out how to install a flash drive.

Retraining is a complex process. Getting people to change everything is not an easy task. A utility I spoke with noted they did not see these issues when they retrained – the workers will still at the same company and had the same “home.”

From Axios:


Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested Wednesday that he hasn’t given up on finding ways to help economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants, even though efforts to date haven’t taken flight.

Why it matters: Competition from cheap natural gas, renewables and other forces are leading to ongoing closures of coal-fired plants, and could prompt more nuclear facilities to shutter in coming years.Show less

  • The administration argues this threatens grid security and reliability, although a range of experts dispute the claim.

Perry said the country needs a “stable foundation of electric power that is un-interruptible” and that he wants more discussion.

  • “I’ve thrown a lot of jello over at the wall on this one trying to find some solutions that we can all, or at least a majority of us can get behind to support that,” he told reporters.
  • “We are looking for the answers to a question that vexes us,” he said in a press conference at CERAWeek.

Where it stands: Early last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejectedPerry’s push for big changes to wholesale power market rules that would guarantee revenues for some coal-fired and nuclear plants.

Since then, the administration has mulled options for using sweeping national security powers to help plants stay open, but it hasn’t gone anywhere.


We are running an event at the Innovate Pasadena – Connect Week 2018 on COMMERCIALIZING BIOTECHNOLOGY – SBIR GRANTS, MARKET ENTRY AND PARTNERS. Here is the event – https://tinyurl.com/y7oxsgr5 We will be spending time on SBIR processes, including some inside tips on how to improve upon your grant with various strategies. Other topics will include technology evaluation processes and working with universities. The event is free and at Cross Campus in Pasadena. You are welcome to join us or send a representative. If you are interested, I can forward a copy of the presentation after the event. Earle Hager Managing Partner The Neutrino Donut, LLC Los Angeles / Austin 512-431-3940 www.neutrinodonut.com.

#connectweek2018 #innovatepasadena #neutrinodonut

Developing Relationships within the SBIR Program Part 4 – Assessing the Marketplace for a Technology

By EARLE HAGER published SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

More Articles / SBIR Information / Clinical Trials Information

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Competitive data is key to market evaluation.  Is the research current?  Are others working on similar projects, or is the competitive research part of the past?  Is the technology too far into the future for the marketplace?

If the research is too old, the project may not have an opportunity in the marketplace.  If the technology is too far into the future or too far from entering the marketplace, the technology would be best managed as a research project for a few more years.

If the patent space is crowded, an innovator will need to be careful in their patent applications, to ensure the space claimed is not too large or too limited.  If there is little patent activity in this space, innovators should consider whether or not patents will be part of the market development process.  Many technologies rely on trade secrets or are simply “sales and marketing” plays.  If the technology is a “sales and marketing” play, the innovator will want to find no patent protection and seek partners who are interested in working with them on getting the product to the marketplace.

Finally, what are the competitive products and trials?  Companies with a product already in your space may want to seek additional patent protection.  Companies without a product may want to enter the space.  Companies testing a product that has recently failed may want to substitute a new product in this space.

Continue reading “Developing Relationships within the SBIR Program Part 4 – Assessing the Marketplace for a Technology”