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Earnest Capital | Early-stage funding for founders
funding and mentorship for bootstrappers, indie hackers, and makers; particularly interested in SaaS, e-commerce, and scalable online education
startups  funding  vc  investment  bootstrap 
yesterday by tobym
Higher Ed, Inc. - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Corporate funding was neither so generous nor so far-reaching. There was less tolerance for educational purposes, and instead of a broad mandate for the public good (or even the rhetoric for it), these new sponsors focused narrowly on their own business interests. Moreover, corporations expected quicker results and had little interest in basic research. Those of us who had objected to the corrosive effects of Pentagon funding were surprised, perhaps naïvely, to realize that corporate money stifled free inquiry even more than federal dollars had....

MIT’s partnerships are generally negotiated confidentially, without input from the greater campus community, and have become normalized over time. Last year, IBM committed $240 million to build an artificial-intelligence research laboratory at MIT, whose goal is to commercialize AI research for various industries (including defense). ...

This phenomenon is manifest in the relentless pursuit of "intellectual property." Universities embark on a kind of patent colonialism, a race to parcel off the largest pieces of collectively developed knowledge and technology for their own start-ups and industry partners. Whole wings of the university are mobilized to rehearse talking points in the service of legal battles, such as the one waged over patents to the genome-editing system known as Crispr... In the public picture of science that has emerged, the framework of intellectual property is taken for granted; the living world is there to be parceled into privately owned chunks. But biology cannot be so easily divided among powerful owners without compromising the collective nature of scientific inquiry. The truth that genome-editing may not have single "inventors" is lost. The result is a profoundly anti-scientific discourse that undermines the very idea of scientific collaboration....

The profit motive is not a good model for either research or education. It commodifies thought and emphasizes what can be quickly done and what is "hot" or "trendy" over the thorough, painstaking work that contributes to knowledge. It fosters competitiveness rather than cooperation, puts constraints on speech about funders and their business interests, and encourages cynical materialism. It turns students into consumers and forces faculty members to offer what "sells" rather than what contributes to a meaningful education. Students are encouraged to think of themselves as commodities and discuss how to "market" themselves.
higher_education  funding  research 
3 days ago by shannon_mattern
Home - Open Collective
While the Internet has been very good so far at helping people do things together, it is still very difficult for groups to collect money and use it transparently. As a result, we see initiatives, projects, movements popping up here and there that disappear quickly from lack of funding. Imagine how many wonderful things don’t happen in the world because funding - which is oxygen for most organizations - is difficult to sustain. Without an easy way to raise and spend money, it’s hard to manage and grow many of these seeds of an idea that could change the world.

Meetups, open source projects, parent associations, neighborhood associations, pet projects, clubs, unions, movements, non-profits, business incubators - in order to operate, all of them are forced to use a physical glass jar, ask a sponsor to directly pay their expenses or front the huge overhead of setting up and managing a corporation or a non-profit. It’s either inefficient and opaque or it’s overkill.

Open Collective enables groups to quickly set up a collective, raise funds and manage them transparently.

We want all those seeds to have a chance to grow, to bring their ideas to life. We believe everyone should have the tools to create the organizations of tomorrow. And we are dedicating ourselves to making that happen!
collaboration  community  finance  funding  opensource 
3 days ago by bezthomas
Butterflies, Bulldozers and Barbed Wire Rally Border Wall Opponents
By Jamie Stockwell
Feb. 8, 2019

As a political fight rages in Washington over President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, there have been spirited acts of resistance on the United States-Mexico border.

Protests have been held. Resolutions passed. And initiatives funded to help the very people the wall is aimed to keep out.
In South Texas, It’s Butterflies vs. the Border Wall
Bulldozers arrived last week near the National Butterfly Center in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, signaling the Trump administration’s intention to begin construction on a steel and concrete barrier that would swallow more than two-thirds of the 100-acre wildlife refuge and botanical garden. The nonprofit center, which abuts the Rio Grande, sits on the path of a six-mile stretch of wall that has already been funded.

Federal government officials had said construction was scheduled to begin this month, despite an ongoing lawsuit filed by the center more than a year ago, said the center’s director, Marianna Trevino Wright. The center planned to file a restraining order to prevent workers from beginning construction on the wall, which would rise to 36 feet in some areas.
Trump  Wall  funding  building  Republicans  Democrats  protests  US  Mexico  border 
4 days ago by nynate17
Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company
Sahil Lavingia Feb 7 In 2011 I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest–before I vested any of my stock–to work on what I thought would be my life’s…
finance  startup  vc  funding  layoffs 
5 days ago by mattb

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