Displaying items by tag: technology

April 24 Deadline for Google Developers Launchpad

This is timely news. Monday, April 24, 2017 at 9am PDT is the deadline to apply for the next “class” of Google Developers Launchpad. The 6-month program is open to start ups from any of the following countries: the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as 11 other countries in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Applications can be submitted through the following link https://developers.google.com/ startups/accelerator/ and requires filling out a short form and recording a video presentation about your company.

“This is a way for citizens of Silicon Valley to spread its magic to other countries,” said one attendee of the APAC Launchpad event earlier this year.

Structured like a non-financial incubator of sorts, Google is looking for “companies that already have traction but need support to go to the next level.”

Google will select the startups with the best prospects for high growth. As long as they are technology based, they can offer products in tech hardware, apps, cloud services, websites, among other things.

The selected participants in “class 4” will be invited to an all-expenses paid 2 week boot camp at Google headquarters, access to Google’s resources, engineers and mentors and the opportunity to work closely with Google for six months. All this in exchange for no equity. Nothing sounds better to a start up than non-dilutive resources.

“I’m thrilled to see that Southeast Asia is on the radar, including the Philippines that had Zipmatch representing the country,” said Christina Rodriguez Laskowski, an attendee of the APAC Launchpad event and President of STAC. STAC has “been actively focused on increasing awareness of the opportunities in Southeast Asia. Although we have an active ecosystem, we don’t have a diversity of opportunities. We’re building out relationships because through collaboration we can build something bigger. The skillsets could differ from country to country. Indonesia is pulling founders from the Philippines (as an example).”

Google has completed its program for class 3 which included Philippine company Zipmatch, billed as the upcoming Zillow of the Philippines. Now I know where to go for my Philippine real estate webshopping needs.

Laskowski was energized by the idea of treating Southeast Asia as a unified region. I asked her what motivated them (Launchpad focuses on several regions, all emerging markets.) “Growth is not going to come from here,” she said. “It’s going to come from Asia.” And elsewhere.

If any hungry Philippine-based start up reads this, we need more servers in our country. Anything to speed up the slow crawl of internet data. Convince Google to locate some of their servers in the Philippines, thereby giving us a faster internet. Better yet, provide your own caching services and charge.

Another notable event…on April 25, Maoi Arroyo, founder and CEO of Hybridigm Consulting will be speaking at 494 Lomita Mall in Stanford. Some of you may know it as the Skilling Auditorium. Her consulting firm tries to bring together skills in business, technology, finance and elsewhere to push for innovations that would eradicate poverty and increase average household income in the Philippines. Her talk, titled Relentless: Forcing Impact Through the Gauntlet of an Emerging Ecosystem, starts at 4:30pm.

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Manila subway eyed to be completed by 2024

MANILA -- The government's planned Mega Manila Subway is expected to be completed by 2024 with the contract targeted to be signed by Philippine and Japanese officials in November, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Tuesday, April 18.
"It is targeted to be started in the fourth quarter of 2020 but I'm trying to push them to start it by 2019, with completion on the second quarter of 2024," Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said during the Dutertenomics Forum in Pasay City.
The planned subway was one of the rail projects agreed upon by Japan and the Philippines, earlier announced by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.
"Target signing for contract is November this year," Tugade said, noting that the agreement is expected to be signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
According to Tugade, the subway system will connect Quezon City and Taguig City with a travel time of 31 minutes.
"It will be the first subway system in the Philippines and will be using the Japanese tunnelling expertise," he said.
Tugade also noted that further amendments to the project may entail the inclusion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
"As of yesterday, we were discussing alignments. Tutumbukin 'yung airport... 'Yung airport isasama na 'yun sa project," he said. — GMA News

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Apple granted self-driving test permit

  • Published in U.S.

Apple has been granted a permit to test self-driving cars on the streets of California.
It has long been known that Apple is working on automotive-related projects, but the company has never publicly confirmed any details.
The news was made public by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday.
The agency said Apple has been given permission to test three cars manufactured by Lexus.
Apple has not commented - other than to point to its letter late last year expressing an interest in the technology.
The company was "excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”, it said at the time.
Rumours about Apple’s car ambitions have ranged from speculation it was building its own car to the suggestion it was instead focusing more on in-car software.
Internally known as Project Titan, the project at one point was understood to have more than 1,000 employees working on it, though the current scale of Apple’s efforts is unknown.
Encountering self-driving cars in California is a daily occurrence for those living around Silicon Valley. Apple has become the 30th company to be granted a testing permit.
Among the stipulations for approval is the requirement to regularly report back statistics on the performance of the technology - including how often humans have to intervene when the computer gets it wrong.
Apple's competitors have already been testing autonomous vehicles. Last year Waymo - a company spun out of Google's self-driving programme - clocked up 635,868 miles in California. Statistics showed a human had to step in on average once every 5,000 miles of driving.

Dave Lee
North America technology reporter
BBC News

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