Danielle Applestone is CEO of Other Machine Co., a hardware company that makes desktop milling machine called Other Mill. The company is based in Berkeley and manufactures its desktop milling machines locally in San Francisco Bay area.

We sat down to speak to Applestone on how she developed in interest in math and science from an early age. Her parents encouraged her interest in math and science and she learnt to fix things around the house as a young girl says Applestone. She went to a magnet school in Arkansas and decided to study chemical engineering.

We also spoke about her journey from Arkansas to Boston where she studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Turns out she really did not want to study chemical engineering, and her interest was in material science. She then headed south to Texas to get her PhD in Material Science from University of Texas at Austin.

She was interviewing for a job at Tesla in Silicon Valley, when she switched her plans and went to work at Other Machine Co. She has helped raise money for the company and is focussed on building and expanding Other Machine’s footprint.

What advice does Applestone have for young girls? Tune in to find out Applestone’s very practical advice on how to hack the system and become an effective player.

This TV interview was sponsored by Zoho and is part of our Women in Science and Tech series.

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Meet Zia Syed, founder and CEO of ClipMine, a Mountain View startup. Syed is an ex-Googler, who spent 10 years at Google and then decided to peel off and do his own thing. Videos are what interests Syed and the focus of his startup is to index YouTube videos. “We want to personalize the video watching experience,” says Syed. He got the idea for his startup from his own experience on YouTube, which he often found frustrating and time consuming. All he wanted to do is go to that part of the video that was of interest to him. And, that was often not possible because of the lack of useful tagging and annotations on those video clips.

So, how is Clipmine indexing and personalizing the video watching experience?  Clipmine does this by annotating the videos manually or automatically through their platform. Watch, search and tag videos is their goal he spoints out. “Videos are basically blobs or blackboxes, and what we are doing is allowing people to annotate videos,” says Syed. Whey you tag videos what it does is help the end-user with a table of contents and help them scrub and go to that part of the video that interests them. Discovery of content becomes a lot easier points out Syed.  YouTube does allow for tagging and annotationing videos for those who have YouTube accounts. And what ClipMine does is allow anyone to tag YouTube videos he points out.

ClipMine raised $2.6 million as seed money an unveiled its product in the first week of July. So, what keeps Syed awake at nights? Tune in to find out what he has to say.

This interview was aired on TV in the San Francisco Bay area.


Over $10 Billion Invested by Venture Capitalists In 2015

In last night’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, you watched the good folks at Pied Piper struggling to raise their first round of funding from Venture Capitalists (VC). This, after being chased by VCs, who were eager to invest in the startup in last week’s episode. You may have fleetingly wondered how much was actually invested by VC’s in the first quarter of 2015? Well, the number are out.  $13.4 billion was invested according to this press release from The National Venture Capital Association.  This amount was invested in 1,020 deals.

So what is the pattern? Which sector got the most and which region got the maximum dollars you ask? Unsurprisingly, the software industry ranks first when it comes to those investment dollars, and the biotechnology sector ranked second. When you break down the investments by region it should come as no surprise that Silicon Valley ranks first.

Here is a link to a nifty info graph  about the investment dollars, sectors, regions and other useful information from the MoneyTree report about VC investments in the first quarter of 2015

Silicon Valley’s CollegeFeed Acquired By AfterCollege

Silicon Valley-based startup CollegeFeed, a social network for college students was acquired by Arizona-based AfterCollege. The acquisition announcement was made yesterday, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sanjeev Agarwal, one of the co-founders of CollegeFeed will join the board of AfterCollege that was founded in 1999 by Roberto Angulo. The merger of the two companies means that they have created the largest career hub that helps recent college students find jobs. AferCollege currently has about 1.5 profiles of  students and CollegeFeed’s student profiles will be added into this pool. What CollegeFeed brings to the table are the tools they have built over the past couple of years.

Agarwal and Aman Khanna founded CollegeFeed a couple of years ago. The idea for the startup was born from the experiences of Agarwal and Khanna in trying to find the right job after they graduated from school. They built a platform to connect recent college graduates with prospective employees. They raised about $2.5 million for Accel Partners and others in their first round of funding. When I spoke with Khanna last year they were thinking of raising a new round of funding.

This video interview with Khanna was broadcast on TV in San Francisco bay area, where talks about how the idea for CollegFeed was born and how they built the platform to help students find the right job.