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May the twoth be with you — we never did understand that joke, to be honest. Maybe one of y’all can explain it to us.
There’s still a bit of time left if you want to get your applications in for Startup Battlefield 200. Come to TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, and pitch in front of a room full of fellow startups and — definitely more importantly — investors. And don’t forget to vote for the breakout sessions you want!
The TechCrunch Top 3
No ChatGPT for you: That’s what Samsung is telling its employees following a leak last month where the company’s internal data was put on ChatGPT, reports Kate.
Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?: Want help finding your lost dog? Nextdoor now has a new “Assistant” feature, powered of course by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, to help users of the neighborhood social network write posts that will have more positive engagement, Aisha writes.
Payday: Tage writes about Nomba’s recent fundraise of $30 million. The African payment service provider gives businesses tools to securely accept payments.
Startups and VC
Ann Lai, a general partner at Bullpen Capital, says she has been fired from the firm, Natasha M reports. The investor described the termination experience as “discriminatory and retaliatory” in a LinkedIn post published on Monday. Lai helped raise Bullpen Capital’s most recent $145 million fund, the first fund in which she was named an equal partner.
Today on Found, the TechCrunch podcast that gets the stories behind the startups, the team is talking with Stefan Bauer about how Marker Learning is cutting the cost of learning disability assessments by conducting them remotely, how they’ve successfully worked with school districts to help them test their required amount of students, and the potential to take Marker Learning into the prison system to assess incarcerated people and provide them with tools to learn in a way that’s better suited to their abilities.
And we have another fistful or two for you:
Go truck yourself: Kodiak Robotics is adding an electric, autonomous semi truck to its fleet next year, by Rebecca.
A phoenix changes its stripes: Finix becomes a payments processor, heating up its competition with Stripe, Mary Ann reports.
You get a brand! You get a brand!: Pietra helped creators start DTC businesses; now it has a roadmap for everyone, by Christine.
Mixin’ things up: Ron reports that Mixpanel moves into marketing data with its latest product.
Well that sucks (geddit, because they make robot vacuums): Brian reports that Neato Robotics is being shut down after 18 years.
Well take a lick at this: Haje reports that Augmental lets you control a computer (and sex toys) with your tongue.
How to run efficient and effective early-stage board meetings
Many CEOs see preparing board decks as an unpleasant chore, but done properly, it’s an opportunity for founders to hone their storytelling skills, engage their team leads and squeeze more value out of investor relationships.
Amy Cheetham, a partner with Costanoa Ventures, shared 11 board slides with TC+ that demonstrate effective ways to convey accomplishments, product pipeline details, hiring and team growth, and other key priorities.
“The slides in this article aren’t meant to be a complete board deck,” she writes. “They are examples of real, early-stage board slides from seed and Series A stage companies that did a great job informing their boards and driving constructive discussions.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
The key to securing a deal: Nancy Wang and Steve Zalewski list 3 questions CISOs expect you to answer during a security pitch.
All hail the results: Alex picks apart why Uber investors are cheering its Q1 earnings results.
FRB takes a tumble: Christine, Mary Ann and Natasha M collab on a piece on how tech is feeling the gap after another bank crumbles into the dust.
Big Tech Inc.
You know what people hate more than losing things? Buying a thing-tracking device only to have them be part of something unsafe. Sarah writes that Apple and Google have teamed up to create some standard safety measures for these Bluetooth devices to curb unwanted tracking.
And we have five more for you:
What an oxymoron: New Relic launches Grok, an AI observability assistant. Frederic reports.
New on the job: eBay appointed a new head of emerging markets to cover regions like Southeast Asia and India, writes Catherine.
Robot riot: Brian writes that Viam’s robot prototyping software hits general availability along with some fleet management capabilities and has competitors chomping at the bit to concur.
You’ll definitely want to RSVP: Slack channels all over the tech world are buzzing with requests for Bluesky invites, which Sarah writes have “become a hot commodity” as people seek out Twitter alternatives.
Help desk: Natasha L tells us how to ask OpenAI for your personal data to be deleted or not be used to train its AIs.