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To create more businesses across the U.S., support first-time founders

In the United States, 25 percent of startups fail in the first year, and 75 percent of venture-backed start-ups fail at some point. Those are startling percentages, and ones that can be alarming and disheartening for both aspiring entrepreneurs and those who invest in startups. However, there is an opportunity to lower that statistic while simultaneously fostering an environment that ensures entrepreneurs are prepared to succeed from day one – regardless of where they are located: in the plains of the heartland or in Silicon Valley.

As a co-founder of an early-stage venture capital firm, Unshackled Ventures, I see pitches daily from bright minds wishing to change the world. While it is inspiring to know there are people trying to solve real-world problems with innovative technology, that does not always correlate to a successful business venture, particularly in the high-stakes venture capital and startup world. We see founders who have the appropriate academic or trade backgrounds to solve the problem which inspires the startup. However, they do not necessarily have the right business experience, networks or access, which increases the likelihood that the startup will be one of the 25 percent that fails in its first year.

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Right now, successful first-time entrepreneurs are hard to find. Most often, someone may have a good idea and energy to execute, but that person may not be ready immediately for the startup world. If we look at the world of sports and professional athletes, the greats, from Steph Curry to Venus Williams to Tom Brady, are naturally gifted. But these athletes have been trained and coached to develop their potential from an early age. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are usually given no developmental help or coaching during critical times. We would never put a JV football player into the Super Bowl and expect a winning touchdown. We should not expect the same of our entrepreneurs.

This lack of developmental support for entrepreneurs rings even truer for those in areas of the country more disconnected from the VC and startup world. Aspiring entrepreneurs who are not in Silicon Valley or do not have access to the resources of big cities like New York City or Chicago are at an instant disadvantage. Without the right resources, mentorship and education, investors cannot expect these aspiring founders to be prepared to propel their businesses to success from the beginning. However, more times than not, that is the expectation — and a primary reason why so many startups fail and so little capital flows to all types of business. That failure cannot rest solely on the individual entrepreneur.

Fortunately, organizations are beginning to recognize the importance of connecting the disconnected, and arming entrepreneurs across the country with the tools to succeed. For example, the Kauffman Foundation, based out of Kansas City, Missouri works with entrepreneurs across the country to help empower them and break down the barriers to starting a successful business. The Foundation awards grants to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs who are disconnected from the startup world, whether it’s due to demographics, geography or socioeconomic factors.

After attending Kauffman Foundation’s first ever ESHIP Summit with 400+ business leaders, I left feeling hopeful that more organizations, schools and universities across the U.S. will replicate the Foundation’s program. Building a developmental system for young entrepreneurs will have a significant effect in the long-term, but a shift of this magnitude will take time, and those of us who live in the startup world cannot sit back and wait.

The Kauffman Foundation’s “zero barriers” idea is one that everyone involved in startups should heed — from investors to successful founders in small, medium and large businesses. It is important that we provide a support system to prepare entrepreneurs with an idea and the courage to jump into the startup world. We must bridge the gap through mentoring and talent coaching. Imagine, if we all offered up just one day a month to share experience and knowledge with young innovators, think of how much more prepared our next wave of entrepreneurs could be resulting in more capital supporting all types of businesses. It is incumbent upon all of us in this industry to make a change.

As we pursue change, Unshackled Ventures will continue to focus on building our development league for immigrant entrepreneurs, who like many American dreamers are long on ambition and short on things to lose. A product that meets an entrepreneur’s aspiration with the inspiration of a strong ecosystem has the potential for big upside. Perhaps through this, we will create more entrepreneurs who can become all-stars. This is how we will connect the disconnected. By fostering a successful entrepreneurial environment for future generations who hope to change the world with their innovative ideas capital will continue to flow and reach across our nation.

Manan Mehta is the founder of Unshackled Ventures, a VC firm that aims to help immigrant-founded startups succeed faster.

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick