Yes, ‘human learning’ is happening.


Welcome to Startups Weekly, this week’s spotlight on startup news and trends by Senior Correspondent Natasha Mascarnhas.

After the Tahoe tech conference, Shiel Mohnot, the fintech investor behind Better Tomorrow Ventures, is pounding in the head — all day, every day. And it might seem like an odd take on an event that showcases who’s who in tech.

Mohnot is one of 40 people who attended “Learning Man” earlier this month, a tech conference focused on immersing attendees in learning, play and creation. The attendees ranged from their 20s to their 60s; Tickets to Expand Their Minds are $750. Organized by friends Marie Diamond, Ariel Zuckerberg, Amit Kumar, Jared Goldberg and Christine Winzent, the event wanted to delve beyond the tech world that originally brought everyone together.

“The whole premise of the conference is usually the most exciting thing about us and we want to give people a place to go deeper,” Diamond, comms executive and organizer, told TechCrunch.

The main rule? Bring up a topic you want to teach others about. The main principles? Things like “startups are promiscuous” and “the world is a passion project”. Company stuff is encouraged – as long as it’s not your own (a rule that is loosely interpreted as an opportunity to rip off one’s FTX risk management shirt).

Participants held more than 30 presentations together, talking about everything from travel hacks to fertility 101 to plans for tonight. That said, artificial intelligence has appeared in at least two periods, even a few hundred miles away from the so-called Cerebral Valley. And, beatboxing aside, Mohnot took a professional lesson from the time management approach: He was able to hire another EA.

Because of the event, it was not as a joke but some sponsorship interest. I joked that they might have accidentally created a community-oriented tech startup. But Diamond said they weren’t specifically trying to cash in on the event. “I think it will change the nature of nature, it was a small key experiment and I think we want to preserve its integrity.” She added, laughing, “If there’s any sponsorship, it’s from Shell and Taco Bell.” (Mohnot married his wife last month in the Taco Bell Metaverse).

Zuckerberg, a part-time DJ and co-founder of Long Journey VC Investor, said they are considering making it an annual event. Community members who attended the first conference are hosting a mini “Learner’s Dinner.”

“We didn’t really talk much about work and it was fun,” Zuckerberg said.

With that, let’s move on to the rest of Beginners Weekly. For the rest of this newsletter, we’re talking about Amazon’s new bed and bad investor advice. Are we surprised? As always, you can follow me Twitter Or Instagram To continue the conversation. Subscribe if you want to support me more My very free and still working Substack.

And before we really go on, I have a shameless plug: Scoops make me happy. Tell me if you’ve ever heard of a venture firm or startup winning, scaling, crowding out or, oh I don’t know, firing an executive due to internal events. Decks and schedules are welcome. I’m happy to talk anonymously and explain my process and what I’m looking for. You can tell me things on signal at +1 925 271 0912. No tones, please.

Amazon AI

Amazon is finally jumping in. Breeding AIBut not in the way you expected. Like Microsoft and Apple, both of which have tried to build AI models in-house, Amazon is recruiting third parties to host models on AWS. It is called the effort Amazon Bedrock, and startups are empowered to build generative AI-powered apps with pre-trained models from startups including AI21 Labs, Anthropic, and Stability AI. It is currently in limited preview.

This is why we are not surprised. I mean, we’ve been waiting for this. Amazon seems to be dancing around the AI ​​conversation, compared to the bold moves of some of its competitors. Before Bedrock, Amazon’s interest was better seen. Cooperation with stable AIAnd soon, An accelerator for generative AI startups.

  • Unraveling the rules that shape generative AI
  • Betaworks’ new ‘camp’ aims to fund transformative early-stage AI startups.
  • User spending on AI-powered applications increases by more than 4000%

Image Credits: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Get up from me, but don’t you pay yourself? no thanks

Some venture capital firms are making surprising recommendations today: raise capital from our company, but don’t pay yourself. In other words, if you’re an aspiring founder, your salary is based on equity, which is the future success of your startup. Well, T.C Haje Jan Kamps He does not like this, he writes “If you raise venture capital, you have to pay yourself.”

I don’t agree. But what is here came He said:

But do you know what the biggest distractions are? Not being able to pay your mortgage, rent, car payment or the next haul. As a founder, it’s your duty to focus on building your startup to succeed as quickly as possible.

As an investor in these startups, it is your duty to help the startup reach that stage in the shortest possible time. Telling founders not to take a salary is incredibly counterintuitive on many levels.

  • At just 2.1% of total VC investment, women’s funding remains ‘meh’ in Q1 2023.

Money coming out of a metal pipe.

Image Credits: Stefano Spicca / Getty Images

Three perspectives on founder mental health

In fairness this week, I chatted with three experts about mental health. Pioneering mind Navid Lalani, psychiatrist Dr. Samya Dev, and Leslie Feinzig of Graham & Walker have all said different versions of the same statement: founders don’t have to choose between mental health and a stroke.

Here’s what you need to know: This episode is full of perspectives on how to run responsibly, from calls for investors to support founders to treat their mental health as a business priority to “mental health support” for a fragmented world. Listen to it. I am proud.

  • Silicon Valley Bank’s chief risk officer is out months after taking the job.

3D illustration of human brain in pink color lifting a heavy barbell.  Training the concept of mental and mental health.  Train your mind.

Image Credits: Osaka Wayne Studios (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

etc. etc.

  • A big shout. To Dominic-Madori Davis b Join the Founding Podcast Group!
  • Return Saturday: If you missed last week’s Startup Weekly, catch my last issue here: “We’re Still Talking About Y Combinator Valuations.”
  • Should we stay on campus? TechCrunch is literally coming to Boston next week. On April 20th, I’ll be at TC Early Stage with my favorite colleagues to interview top professionals at the best one-day founder conference in town. Book your pass fast! Speakers include Techstars’ Kirti Levy, Build Capital Dayna Grayson And James Currier of NFX.
  • Programming Notes: If you’re reading this in a browser, get it in your inbox too! Register here And share with your friends.

Featured on TechCrunch.

Call me, call me, if you want to reach me

In edtech, history matters: Reach Capital closes its largest fund to date.

Talking to Future Ventures about the new fund, AI hype and Siri absorption (still).

After Gofundme, Rob Solomon is flying a $200 million kite in commercial land.

Elon Musk says Twitter will finally remove old signs on 4/20.

Featured on TechCrunch+.

13 VCs talk about the state of robot investing in 2023

Italy gives OpenAI first task list to lift chatgpt ban order

Testing the needle: 5 questions with investor Lauren Melian

In the new normal for VC, builders win

a16z’s crypto report anticipates developer growth as blockchain-scale solutions expand.

Computer or casino?

Take care, and tell your people you love them.


If you have a juicy tip or lead on happenings in the venture world, you can reach Natasha Mascarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or via Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Identity requests will be honored.


Yes, ‘human learning’ is becoming a thing by Natasha Mascarnhas originally published on TechCrunch.


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