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HTC to invest $10 million in VR-for-good startups

Virtual reality “for good” has been having its moment ever since several 360-degree films stirred empathy for Syrian refugees. The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC launched a $10 million impact fund to invest in virtual reality startups with storytelling projects around the Global Goals for sustainable development. Photo credit: Dan Mason / Flickr

CEI Ventures raises $10 million to back good jobs and small businesses in Maine

The fourth fund of the venture arm of the nonprofit community development finance institution will look for investments of $250,000 to $750,000 that support jobs for low- to moderate-income Mainers. Coastal Enterprises Inc., CEI Ventures’ parent company, seeded the fund with $1.5 million, which helped bring in eight investors and 17 local and regional banks. CEI

Future of Medicine: Healthcare in your hand

“Hospitals of the future will become more like NASCAR pit-stops than inescapable black holes,” says Melanie Walker, co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on neurotechnology and brain science. Tomorrow’s biggest health issues will be managed through preventative care, on mobile phones and through wearable health-monitoring devices. “The global burden of disease is largely

Ellen Pao to lead tech diversity effort at Kapor

Fresh from her lawsuit against her old firm, Kleiner Perkins, Pao will take a more forward-looking position with Kapor Capital’s Center for Social Impact. The venture capitalist will lead an effort to drive more women and minorities into tech, and into VC, where women make up 45 percent of the sector but only 11 percent

New $27 million fund wants to know, can AI be ethical?

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, joined with the Knight Foundation and Omidyar Network to support initiatives promoting ethical frameworks and moral values in artificial intelligence research. The new $27 million Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund will engage social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, faith leaders, economists, lawyers and policymakers in AI research. Hoffman said

Cities get ready for self-driving vehicles

Climate Finance Autonomous cars will arrive before the policies that govern their use. Some cities aren’t waiting. Helsinki, London, São Paulo, Tel Aviv and Washington DC will join Austin, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Paris, and Nashville in a Bloomberg Philanthropies/Aspen Institute initiative to develop “people first” principles and tools that accelerate cities’ preparedness for autonomous

Technology will make agriculture better…and more sustainable

Moisture sensors, drones, smart irrigation, terrain contour mapping, self-driving and GPS-enabled tractors. Tech innovations can help farmers feed 9.7 billion by 2050. Investors plowed $1.75 billion into agtech companies in the first half of 2016 to help farms use less water, fewer pesticides and fertilizers and more sunlight.