WOMEN IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & BUSINESS SERIES AIRING ON PBS STATIONS

Our 9-part series on Women in Science, Technology and Business from Silicon Valley is airing on PBS College Station, TX on Sundays at 11.30 am CST. The first episode aired on Sunday, Aug 9, 2017 and the last episode airs on Sunday, September 3, 2017.

And, starting on Friday, Sept 8th the series will air on Sacramento’s PBS channel KVIE2 at 6.30 am PST. The last episode will air on Friday, Nov 3rd at 6.30 am PST.

Earlier in July, Austin’s PBS station KLRU aired one of the episodes from our Women in Science, Technology and Business series.

A big thank you to these PBS stations for airing our series in Women in Science, Technology and Business sponsored by Zoho Corp.

And, you can catch our weekly TV show in various markets in the US. Here is a list of TV stations that broadcast our show. Or, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the weekly interviews.

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A VISIT TO COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM IN SILICON VALLEY

Computer History Museum

 

Earlier this week I visited the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. I got a guided tour from Chris Garcia, a curator at the museum. This is the place to see how  the  “Computing Revolution” started 2,000 years ago. The artefacts range from  primitive calculating devices to Napier’s Bones to the Enigma machine and the  first computers that were huge to the Home Brewers Club revolution and the advent of personal computers. And, let us not forget the World Wide Web Revolution and the advent of browsers that changed our lives for ever. This place is just not for geeks and nerds, but for folks like you and I, who are curious to find out and see how this whole computing revolution started.

 

 

 

 

PODCAST: MYTHILI KUMAR OF ABHINAYA DANCE COMPANY

Mythili Kumar, Abinaya Dance Company

 

Mythili Kumar is the founder, choreographer and artistic director of Silicon Valley-based Abhinaya Dance Co. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the award-winning dance company that is recognized for teaching Indian classical dance & innovative dance dramas. Besides teaching dance, Kumar also teaches classical Indian dance forms at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

We sat down to speak with Kumar about how she got interested in dance and her journey from India to California and the founding of Abhinaya Dance Company. Kumar came to study nutrition science at the University of California, Davis in the late 1970s. She moved to Silicon Valley after her marriage and got involved with teaching dance at her school and at local universities like Stanford, San Jose State University and University of California, Santa Cruz.

LISTEN: MYTHILI KUMAR OF ABHINAYA DANCE COMPANY

Besides Kumar, her daughters Rasika Kumar and Malavika Kumar also teach at Abhinaya Dance Company.

This was a TV interview that aired in the USA.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.

Raising Money and Valuations in Silicon Valley

April is certainly been a busy month for startups and investors. As you know investments are no longer in the $10-15 million category, they appear to be in the $70-100 million category with valuations pegged in billions of dollars. Here is a sample of companies that raised fund in the last few days.

Docker, an open source platform company announced it raised $95 million. Illumio, a security company raised $100 million, while Sprig, a delivery company raised $45 million. LendingHome, a mortgage lending startup raised $70 million. It is not just hardware and software companies raising money, but also companies like Eaze, an online medical  marijuana delivery startup. Eaze raised $10 million in its series A. What is interesting is that SnoopDog, the rap singer was part of this investment fund through his company Casa Verde Capital

It is not just startups and companies raising money, but also venture capital firms. NEA is raising the largest VC fund $2.4 billion  and $350 million side fund for investing in later-stage  portfolio companies according to Dan Primack, who broke the news. Menlo Ventures raised $400 million to invest in tech startups.

Naturally when you read about the amount of money raised and the valuation of these companies, especially those in the Unicorn category you begin to wonder if we are in the middle of a bubble and if that bubble is about to burst?  The murmur about when this bubble will burst appears to have grown louder. Many of these companies may turn out to be dead unicorns says Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital. Here is how he described it in his blog post in February 2015.

We are in a risk bubble. Companies are taking on huge burn rates to justify spending the capital they are raising in these enormous financings, putting their long-term viability in jeopardy.

Setback is the term Sir Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital used to describe the current state of affairs in an interview with the The Times (subscription link). ““Several years ago the atmosphere wasn’t as euphoric as it is today. Even the zaniest ideas can attract money,” Moritz says.

Not everybody is on this tech bubble boat. Take Dave McClure of 500 Startups, a seed fund and an accelerator based in Mountain View. In his recent article with an irreverent and saucy title “Bubble, My Ass: Some Unicorns Might Be Overvalued, But All Dinosaurs Gonna Die,” McClure points out public companies are over valued and fail to innovate and writes:

 almost every Dinosaur Company is extremely vulnerable to a Startup Unicorn eating their lunch (stated so eloquently this past week by none other than JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon).

So, who is to blame for the current state of valuations? Is Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz to blame ? That was the question Primack of Fortune asked Andressen last week in San Francisco. Here is what Andreessen responded:

I can only quote the great thinkers, James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview: I believe they were simply peanut butter and jealous. So — in all seriousness, I actually think we weren’t overpaying. 

You can read rest of the interview with Andreessen here.

Did HBO’s Silicon Valley nail the current mood and trend in Silicon Valley in Episode One from season two that aired this past Sunday? It certainly looked like it. Mike Judge and his team brilliantly capture all those unanswered questions in your mind about how does this whole thing work? Yes, I know it is a TV show, but you do get an idea of this whole cycle of raising money and valuations.

 

 

HBO’s Silicon Valley Season Two Premieres Today


They are back. You know the  nerd pack from “Silicon Valley’s Pied Piper consisting of Richard Hendriks, Bertram Gilfoyle,  Dinesh Chugtai Ehrlich Bachman and others. After a successful first season, HBO’s “Silicon Valley premiers its second season today. Sadly, Christopher Evan, who plays the socially awkward Venture Capitalist Peter Gregory in the series passed away. He will be missed.

Ever wonder how they get the tech part right in the TV series? They have a technical consultant who helps them get all the technical details right, including all those scribblings on the board. Meet Dr. Vinith Misra, who was a doctoral student at Stanford University, when he got an opportunity to work with the creators of “Silicon Valley.”  In a way this is Dr. Misra’s dream come true since it marries his love for technology with drama and films. A few months ago  I interviewed him about his technical consultant role in “Silicon Valley.” Check out the interview.

 

 

Video: Manan Mehta of Unshackled, A New Silicon Valley Angel Fund

Meet Manan Mehta, co-founder of Unshackled, a new angel fund based in Palo Alto. Started in 2014 the company has raised $4.4 million, and they plan to invest their money, effort and time in helping entrepreneurs, especially immigrant entrepreneurs realize their dream of doing a startup. Many immigrant workers are tied to their H1B or “work” visa that generally precludes them from starting their own venture until they get the coveted Green Card.

We interviewed Mehta to find out more about Unshackled and their plan to help entrepreneurs. Typically, they plan to invest about $100k ($185k is the maximum amount)  in a team that has a prototype of an idea and work with them. What that means is helping the team build their product and help gain traction and take them to the next level of funding. Besides capital Unshackled provides the startup team with working space, access to mentors, legal and banking needs.

We wanted to find out how Mehta came up with the idea to start Unshackled and about his previous venture(s) that helped him gain experience and insights in what it takes to build a startup. Mehta has some pretty interesting ideas and plans to raise a new round of funding in a couple of years.

Mehta is born and brought up in Silicon Valley.

You can follow Manan Mehta on Twitter.

CORRECTION: Unshackled has raised $4.4M and not $3.5 million as originally reported. They employ people like their founding entrepreneur for up to 12 months. They make a maximum of $185k.

 

 

The Kamla Show Highlights for 2014

2014 was an interesting year, where we got to meet and interview guests from the world of technology, films, culture and politics in Silicon Valley. You can watch all the interviews on our YouTube channel and subscribe to it. Every Thursday and Saturday mornings, you will find new videos on our YouTube channel.

2014 was also the year  we completed the second anniversary of our weekly TV show that airs in various channels in and around the San Francisco bay area. Here is a list of stations that air our TV show.

2014 was also the year that the TV  show started airing in other states on the East Coast. Burlington, VT started to air our show followed by Cambridge, MA. You can catch our show in Cambridge on Tuesday evenings at 9.30 pm and Wednesday mornings at 8 am.

Here is a quick highlight of some of the guests featured on this year’s show.

Video: CollegeFeed’s Aman Khanna

Mountain View-based startup CollegeFeed matches recent graduates with prospective employers. Think of it as social networking site is how Aman Khanna, co-founder of the startup puts it. Founded in 2013 by Sanjeev Agarwal and  Khanna, the startup raised $1.8 million in funding led by Accel Partners.

We sat down to talk to Khanna about Collegefeed and what propelled him to take the plunge right after he completed his MBA from Stanford Business School. How is CollegeFeed different from other companies in this space? Prior to this Khanna worked in a series of companies as an engineer in India and the US. This is Khanna’s first shot at entrepreneurship.