Archive for March, 2016

Here are the technologies that are making drones safer and accelerating adoption

Drone Hardware MarketBI Intelligence

Drones turned the corner in 2015 to become a popular consumer device, while a framework for regulation that legitimizes drones in the US began to take shape. Technological and regulatory barriers still exist to further drone adoption.

Drone manufacturers and software providers are quickly developing technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance that will make flying drones safer. The accelerating pace of drone adoption is also pushing governments to create new regulations that balance safety and innovation. The FAA is set to release new regulations this spring could help boost adoption. Safer technology and better regulation will open up new applications for drones in the commercial sector, including drone delivery programs like Amazon’s Prime Air and Google’s Project Wing initiatives.

In a new BI Intelligence report, we forecast sales revenues for consumer, enterprise, and military drones. We also project the growth of drone shipments for consumers and enterprises. We detail several of world’s major drone suppliers and examine trends in drone adoption among several leading industries. We examine the regulatory landscape in several markets and explain how technologies like obstacle avoidance and drone-to-drone communications will impact drone adoption.

Enterprise Drone ShipmentsBI Intelligence


Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • We project revenues from drones sales to top $12 billion in 2021, up form just over $8 billion last year.
  • Shipments of consumer drones will more than quadruple over the next five years, fueled by increasing price competition and new technologies that make flying drones easier for beginners.
  • Growth in the enterprise sector will outpace the consumer sector in both shipments and revenues as regulations open up new use cases in the US and EU, the two biggest potential markets for enterprise drones.
  • Technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance will make flying drones safer and make regulators feel more comfortable with larger numbers of drones taking to the skies.
  • Right now FAA regulations have limited commercial drones to a select few industries and applications like aerial surveying in the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
  • The military sector will continue to lead all other sectors in drone spending during our forecast period thanks to the high cost of military drones and the growing number of countries seeking to acquire them.

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A History Lesson We All Should Know…..
Who Was Haym Solomon?
Read this fascinating history of the $1 bill – all the way to the bottom to know about Haym Solomon. It is short.

On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid.

Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the Capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin ‘s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.
‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ is on this currency.


The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, ‘God has favored our undertaking.’
The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means, ‘a new order has begun.’
At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776. (MDCCLXXVI)

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States .
It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery , and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments.
Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States , and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet very few people know what the symbols mean

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons:
First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it.
Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England .
Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own.
At the top of that shield there is a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation.
In the Eagle’s beak you will read, ‘ E PLURIBUS UNUM’ meaning, ‘from many – one.’
Above the Eagle, we have the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one.
Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
An (untrue) old-fashioned belief says that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will almost never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this:

America, which relies on God (not a number) to direct and lead, boldly chose:

13 original colonies,
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence ,
13 stripes on our flag,
13 steps on the pyramid,
13 letters in ‘Annuit Coeptis’,
13 letters in ‘ E Pluribus Unum,’
13 stars above the eagle,
13 bars on that shield,
13 leaves on the olive branch,
13 fruits, and if you look closely,
13 arrows.
And finally, notice the arrangement of the 13 stars in the right-hand circle. You will see that they are arranged as a Star of David.


This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Haym Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army. Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself, but he would like something for his people.The Star of David was the result. Few people know it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions…then died a pauper. Haym Solomon gave $25 million to save the Continental Army, money that was sorely needed to help realize America’s –our- freedom and independence from England .
Therein lies America ’s Judeo-Christian beginning.
Most American children do not know any of this.
They are not taught because their teachers do not know this.
[We were not taught!]
On America ’s Freedom:
Too many veterans gave up too much to let these meanings fade.
Too many veterans never came home at all.
They served and died for you and for me.

I hope you will share this page so many can learn about the UNITED STATES DOLLAR BILL and what it stands for.
Let’s do whatever we can for America
while never, ever forgetting:
In God we trust!

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Sallie Krawcheck, Steve Schwarzman, and 5 other successful entrepreneurs share the No. 1 lesson they learned from failing

Sallie KrawcheckREUTERS/Keith BedfordSallie Krawcheck, former head of Bank of America’s wealth and asset management division and the current CEO and cofounder of Ellevest.

Before I wrote my first book, I went to half a dozen writers conferences trying to learn how to “land the book deal.”

Most of the advice was pretty generic, save for one person’s.

The author was no J.K. Rowling, but she had moderate success and was seen by us in the audience as the person to aspire to.

As I listened intently, she described how the most boring part of her story was actually getting the book deal — far more interesting were all the rejections she confronted along the way.

Hearing her describe her painful rejections inspired me to go ahead with my own ambitions — if she could continually persevere in the face of numerous obstacles, what was to stop me?

No doubt, we learn far more about ourselves and our potential when we face failures. In fact, some CEOs have told me that they won’t even look at senior candidates who haven’t failed at least once in their careers. Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup,” which has become a bible of sorts for the startup entrepreneur, describes the acumen he honed after failing several times.

So what exactly do we learn from failing? I asked several highly successful people that question for my podcast, Radiate, and here are the seven best. (Click on their names to hear them talk about it in their own words):

1. Sallie Krawcheck learned how to redefine success. When she got fired from her second big Wall Street job, Krawcheck reassessed her career path and became an entrepreneur. She’s far more fulfilled today than she ever was in banking — even though the pay admittedly was nicer before. “Do you define yourself by the amount of money you make?” she said. “Do you define yourself by whether you have a corporate jet? I define myself by impact… What impact do I want to have … earlier in my career when you’re an investment banking analyst it’s hard to have an impact.”

2. George Zimmer learned his business model didn’t work. Ten years into his company, the former Men’s Wearhouse CEO was near bankruptcy — he traversed the country looking for half a million dollars in funds. Luckily, at the very end, his mother bailed out the business, but Zimmer says he learned a very valuable lesson: His business model wasn’t working. “It was from that problem that we actually redesigned the economic model in the mid-1980s and adopted everyday low pricing,” Zimmer said. Decades later, he was generating billions in sales.

3. Steve Schwarzman learned to speak his mind. Few people are as successful as private equity billionaire Schwarzman, but at one point, he was a high school senior like the rest of us applying for college admission. That’s about where the similarities end. When Schwarzman was rejected by Harvard, he did what almost none of us would do — called the dean to tell him he made a mistake. “I thought that they had made an error, or if they hadn’t made an error, at least they weren’t satisfying my objective,” he said. Schwarzman went on to Yale, and Harvard later felt that dull pang of regret.

4. Jay Margolis learned the importance of staying true to yourself. The retail veteran behind brands like Reebok, Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, and others learned how important it is for the corporate culture to fit you. From day one, he recalls how he didn’t feel at home at Hilfiger. “Our values were different in terms of how we saw running a business and caring about what gets done and just how you work, and there were people in the company that I just wouldn’t have hired,” he said. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before he was let go. “You have to live your values. The company has to live your values. You have to have people who live the values.”

5. Andrea Jung learned it’s not about the title but doing something you love. When Jung was initially passed over for the CEO job at Avon, she didn’t leave. Instead, she worked her butt off for her rival. “I never woke up saying, I have to be the CEO. That wasn’t my end goal,” Jung said. “I guess really my end goal was to do work that I loved, to be able to contribute at a level and do work that I’m passionate about. And so I made the decision to stay.” It turned out staying was the right decision — the CEO abruptly left and Jung ended up with the top job anyway.

6. Trevor Burgess learned the importance of thick skin. When Burgess came out in college to his fraternity brothers, one called him a “renounced sodomite.” The backlash was painful and lonely. The bank CEO says, looking back, that the ugly episode helped him learn how to deal with rejection and criticism early on. “Going through that sort of experience, it taught me a couple of things,” he said. “One, that I needed to have really thick skin if I was going to survive, in the business world especially. And number two is that I did have to be authentic. I needed to be myself completely if I was going to be successful.”

7. Alan Patricof learned that the world is a bigger place than New York City. Patricof is a legend in the venture capital world, but even he makes mistakes. One particularly painful one is his decision to turn down investing in Starbucks. “I said, ‘Are you crazy? I mean, we’ve got coffee shops in New York. We’ve got two in every single block. They just call them luncheonettes or coffee shops. Why in the world do we need another coffee shop?'” Patricof said. “I didn’t understand the culture and what Starbucks was really about. It wasn’t a coffee shop. It was really a way of life … we suffer from thinking that since we have it in New York or it won’t work in New York that it won’t work some other place. That’s a discipline we keep trying to improve.”

Read the original article on Inc.. Copyright 2016. Follow Inc. on Twitter.

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The R.I.P. Report – Startup Death Trends


Companies typically die around ~20 months after their last financing round and after having raised $1.3 million. Companies in the social industry saw the highest of number of startup failures in the period in question.

Want to identify acqui-hire targets? Get our list of dying tech companies.

Earlier, we’d described how the acqui-hire has become the exit du jour for startups struggling to stay afloat. While the acqui-hire does provide a nice alternative to death, it is a fairly recent phenomenon and is by no means a guarantee. For most tech companies whose intellectual property or talent is not compelling enough to catch the eye of the Googles, Facebooks, or Yahoos of the world, the cold hard reality is death. (See our compilation of 51 startup failure post-mortems)

We wanted to take a look at CB Insights data on tech companies that died between 2010 and 2013 to see what we can learn about startup mortality.  A few notes first:

  1. Startup death is surprisingly hard to identify.  Many startups are essentially dead but limp along for years in zombie-like fashion. So although on life support, these walking dead startups are not included in this analysis since they’re not officially deceased.  Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard, who’d studied startup mortality found that “VCs bury their dead very quietly” further compounding the issue of identifying dead companies.
  2. Survivorship bias reigns.  We tend to fawn over the few billion dollar exits and hear little of the failures. As a result, there is less data out there about startup death. Ultimately, this is bad for the ecosystem as Jason Cohen explains in his essay on the topic of survivorship bias, “The fact that you are only learning from success is a deeper problem than you imagine”, but this is a topic for another day.
But despite those challenges, we are increasingly tracking startup mortality data. In our efforts to algorithmically rate private companies, it’s critical to understand both the successes and failures to train our models.
Without further delay….

In each year since 2010, 70% of all dead tech companies have been in the internet sector. This is hardly a surprise as within tech, a majority of funding and deals has gone to the internet sector and so it would follow that the sector would have the largest proportion of dead companies.  The % of companies dying within the internet sector has stayed relatively range bound over the last several years as well.

Mobile has seen far more volatility in terms of its share of dead companies.  Mobile talent being highly coveted has made these firms a prime target for acqui-hires but as investors pour billions into mobile-first companies, it is likely the # of failed mobile startups will also climb.

Most Dead Companies Died Before Raising >$1M


55% of failed startups raised $1M or less, and almost 70% companies died having raised less than $5M overall.  Not a big surprise. Companies at the earliest stages are the most vulnerable due to limited financial runway, immature products and businesses and general uncertainty about whether the market needs what they’ve built.  This is why we’ll see more startup orphans.

While the dead companies on our list raised $11.3M on average, the median funding raised which is a better measure in this case was $1.3M.

20 months: The Average Time Between a Company’s Last Funding Round and Death


71% of the dead companies lasted less than two years after their last funding round. While some companies can take up to five years after their last funding round to be officially declared dead, the average company dies ~20 months from its last funding round in the absence of additional funding or acquirers. The median time is 16.5 months, or a little under a year and a half. In comparison, getting acquihired on average takes 2-4 fewer months, so if you haven’t seen either more capital or an interested acquirer by the 15-month mark, things are not looking good.  The line between death and an acqui-hire especially is quite thin.

Death is not specific to a particular type of sector or industry. In fact, the companies on our dataset represent a fairly diverse set of subindustries. To help you identify what’s not hot, the subindustries with the most dead companies, both over the past four years and in 2013, are shown below.

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San Francisco,  March, 2016
“Terminating/Restructuring Prohibitive Real Estate, Licenses, Payables & Contingent Liabilities”
Gerbsman Partners has been involved with numerous national and international equity sponsors, senior/junior lenders, investment banks and equipment lessors in the restructuring or termination of various Balance Sheet issues for their technology, mobile, life science, medical device, cyber security, solar and cleantech portfolio companies. These companies were not necessarily in Crisis, had CASH (in some cases significant CASH) and/or investor groups that were about to provide additional funding. In order stabilize their go forward plan and maximize CASH resources for future growth, there was a specific need to address the Balance Sheet and Contingent Liability issues as soon as possible.

Some of the areas in which Gerbsman Partners has assisted these companies have been in the termination, restructuring and/or reduction of:

  1.  Prohibitive executory real estate leases, computer and hardware related leases and senior/sub-debt obligations – Gerbsman Partners was the “Innovator” in creating strategies to terminate or restructure prohibitive real estate leases, computer and hardware related leases and senior and sub-debt obligations. To date, Gerbsman Partners has terminated or restructured over $810 million of such obligations. These were a mixture of both public and private companies, and allowed the restructured company to return to a path of financial viability.
  2.  Accounts/Trade payable obligations – Companies in a crisis, turnaround or restructuring situation typically have accounts and trade payable obligations that become prohibitive for the viability of the company on a go forward basis. Gerbsman Partners has successfully negotiated mutually beneficial restructurings that allowed all parties to maximize enterprise value based on the reality and practicality of the situation.
  3.   Software and technology related licenses – As per the above, software and technology related licenses need to be restructured/terminated in order for additional capital to be invested in restructured companies. Gerbsman Partners has a significant track record in this area.

About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 91 technology, mobile, life science, medical device, solar, digital marketing/social commerce, cyber security companies and their Intellectual Property, through its proprietary “Date Certain M&A Process” and has restructured/terminated over $810 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, McLean, VA, San Francisco, Orange County, Europe and Israel.

Phone: +1.415.456.0628
Email: steve@gerbsmanpartners.com
Web: www.gerbsmanpartners.com
BLOG of Intellectual Capital: blog.gerbsmanpartners.com

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