Connect with us

Business

Skoltech Researchers Develop a New way of Studying Startups

Published

on

Researchers based at Skoltech have used Big Data from Google Trends to develop an innovative methodology to analyze study how startups grow.

Big Data is yielded by internet users and how they interact with the web. The new methodology comprises a research tool as well as a source of data.

A paper detailing the researchers’ findings appeared in the Technological Forecasting and Social Change journal which focuses on technology management.

Fast-growing tech companies and startups are widely seen as crucial to economic development, job creation, and innovation worldwide as well as nationally.

Even though they are so important for the economy and draw a lot of interest from policymakers and researchers, startups are not easy to analyze because of their growth patterns.

Because early-stage businesses are both fragile and very private, they usually don’t have the time to share information about their achievements, how they did it, and when things happened for them. Startups may not be interested in sharing that information and they have little incentive to do so. They are too busy scaling up or testing the market.

External observers will find it difficult to understand the progress of startups because it is so hard to find objective information.

Skoltech Ph.D. student Maksim Malyy worked at a St. Petersburg startup accelerator before enrolling at Skoltech’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). While there, Malyy became intrigued by the difficulty in studying startups.

Mally spent three years studying the problem from practical and theoretical perspectives with supervisors Zeljko Tekic and Tatiana Podladchikova. Together, they emerged with valuable insights for tackling the problem of data scarcity on startups. They published some of their findings in the journal.

Maksim clarifies that if they can show that information from Google trends and other internet search traffic information can yield high-quality data on the growth of startups, it will help to address the dearth of data on startup growth.

They selected a large number of companies based in the US. The companies were chosen through a transparent process.

The trio successfully demonstrated that there was a solid correlation between the Google search trends according to the company name and the curves that show company valuations in a chain of investment rounds.

The authors say that with this correlation, Google Trends data can function as a measure of development instead of using information that is not publicly available like sales figures, market share, or employee numbers.

Data from Google Trends is publicly available and easy to gather. This information is publicly available for nearly every company and can be used to generate accurate growth paths for an early-stage company in real-time.

These evolution curves mean that one could look at old answers, pose questions, and come up with more concrete concepts, predictions for the future, and theories.

According to Maksim, the study could impact start-up research in significant ways. Their findings show that this new approach to research could be as good as an X-ray scan for startups. It could offer cheap, non-invasive, and easy ways of understanding how new tech companies work.

Professor Tekic and Podladchikova cited one of their reviewers: “I think this paper will stand the test of time and be useful for many years to come. It truly is a fascinating study.”

Business

Canada Bolsters National Security by Tightening Foreign Investment Rules in AI and Space Tech Sectors

Published

on

By

In an unprecedented move signaling growing concerns over national security and technological sovereignty, the Canadian government has announced plans to intensify its scrutiny of foreign investments in critical sectors, namely artificial intelligence (AI) and space technology. This strategic decision underscores the increasing geopolitical tensions surrounding technological advancements and the global race for dominance in key futuristic industries.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Ottawa’s latest policy adjustment mandates foreign entities to notify the Canadian government in advance of any intended investments or acquisitions in the AI and space technology sectors. This policy shift is a direct response to escalating global competition for technological supremacy and the need to safeguard Canada’s national interests and security infrastructure.

The sectors of artificial intelligence and space technology are recognized as pivotal arenas for future economic growth, military applications, and societal advancements. The Canadian government’s proactive measures resonate with a broader global trend, where nations are increasingly protective of their indigenous industries against potential foreign exploitation or influence. In the words of an unnamed government official cited by Reuters, this policy revision is a testament to Canada’s commitment to protecting its national security while fostering a safe and competitive technological ecosystem.

Artificial intelligence, in particular, has seen exponential growth and is pivotal in areas ranging from healthcare diagnostics to autonomous vehicle technology. Similarly, the space technology sector has evolved beyond satellite communications, embodying the new frontier for defense capabilities and exploration ventures. Given these technologies’ potential dual-use applications for civilian and military purposes, Canada’s decision reflects a nuanced understanding of the complex dynamics at play.

The policy change is set against the backdrop of heightened global scrutiny over foreign direct investments, especially from countries with contrasting geopolitical agendas. Canada’s stance mirrors initiatives in other countries, like the United States, where the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has similar mandates, and the European Union, which has been working on establishing a more cohesive framework for screening foreign investments that might pose security risks.

Industry reactions have been varied, with some stakeholders applauding the move as essential for preserving Canada’s competitive edge and securing its technological future. In contrast, others caution about potential impacts on international collaboration and investment flows into Canadian startups. The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), for instance, emphasizes the importance of balancing national security with the need to maintain an open, innovative environment conducive to global partnerships.

Experts argue that while the protection of sensitive technologies is paramount, it is equally critical to ensure these measures do not stifle innovation or deter beneficial foreign investments. The challenge lies in crafting policies that are transparent, predictable, and foster an environment where international cooperation can thrive alongside robust national security safeguards.

As the global landscape for technology and investment continues to evolve, Canada’s updated foreign investment rules in AI and space technology serve as a bellwether for how nations navigate the intricate balance between openness and security. This development not only highlights Canada’s strategic positioning but also raises pertinent questions about the future of international technology transfer, collaboration, and competition.

As the world stands on the cusp of a new era marked by technological innovation, the actions taken by countries like Canada will undoubtedly shape the contours of global tech leadership and governance. With national security and economic prosperity at stake, the path forward requires a judicious blend of vigilance, flexibility, and foresight.

Continue Reading

Business

Leveraging Technology to Transform Your Business in 2024

Published

on

By

In the rapidly evolving landscape of modern business, staying ahead of technological trends is not just advantageous; it’s essential. The integration of innovative technologies into business operations can be a game-changer, driving efficiency, enhancing customer experience, and opening up new avenues for growth. As we move into 2024, companies across the globe are looking to supercharge their business models by embracing the latest tech. Entrepreneur’s recent article provides a comprehensive guide on how businesses can leverage technology to stay competitive and relevant in this digital era.

The Cornerstones of Technological Integration in Business

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and ML continue to be at the forefront of technological advancement, offering unprecedented insights into customer behavior and operational efficiency. According to the World Economic Forum, AI and machine learning are not just futuristic concepts but are now central to the operational strategies of innovative businesses. These technologies can automate mundane tasks, enhance decision-making processes, and personalize the customer experience.

2. Cloud Computing: The shift to cloud-based platforms has democratized access to powerful computing resources, enabling businesses of all sizes to scale quickly and efficiently. IBM’s insights into cloud computing highlight its role in fostering innovation by providing flexibility, scalability, and a secure environment for business growth.

3. Cybersecurity Measures: As businesses become increasingly digital, the importance of cybersecurity has never been more pronounced. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers resources and guidelines to help businesses protect their digital assets. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures is critical in safeguarding company data and maintaining customer trust.

4. The Internet of Things (IoT): IoT technology is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with the physical world. By connecting devices and sensors, companies can gain real-time insights into operations, optimize supply chains, and improve product offerings. The Internet of Things Consortium is a testament to the growing influence of IoT in various industries, highlighting its potential to transform business models.

5. Blockchain Technology: Beyond its association with cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology offers a secure and transparent way to conduct transactions and store data. Its potential for creating immutable records makes it a valuable tool for supply chain management, intellectual property protection, and secure transactions. The Blockchain Research Institute provides insights into how blockchain can be harnessed across different sectors.

Implementing Technology for Business Success

To truly benefit from these technologies, businesses need to adopt a strategic approach. This involves not only identifying the right technologies that align with business goals but also ensuring the workforce is skilled to leverage these tools effectively. Training and continuous learning are paramount in this regard. As outlined by Entrepreneur, integrating technology into business operations requires a balance between innovation and practicality, ensuring that new tools enhance rather than complicate business processes.

Furthermore, collaboration with technology partners can provide businesses with the expertise and support needed to navigate the complexities of digital transformation. Companies like Salesforce and Microsoft offer a range of services and solutions designed to facilitate this transition, from cloud services to AI-driven analytics tools.

Looking Ahead

As we look towards the future, the role of technology in business is set to grow even more significant. The ongoing development of 5G networks, advancements in quantum computing, and the rise of edge computing are just a few of the trends that will shape the business landscape in 2024 and beyond. By staying informed and adaptable, businesses can harness these technologies to drive growth, improve efficiency, and create value for their customers.

In conclusion, the journey towards technological empowerment is ongoing. As highlighted by Entrepreneur, businesses that are proactive in integrating technology into their operations will be well-placed to thrive in the dynamic and competitive business environment of 2024. Through strategic investment in technology, companies can unlock new opportunities, enhance their operational capabilities, and set the stage for sustained success.

Continue Reading

Business

Embracing the Future: How Small Businesses Can Leverage Technology Trends in 2024

Published

on

By

In an era where technology evolves at breakneck speed, small businesses are increasingly recognizing the need to stay abreast of the latest trends to remain competitive. As we step into 2024, several technology trends are emerging as game-changers for small enterprises. From the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to the rollout of 5G, these advancements are not just reshaping the business landscape but also offering new avenues for growth and efficiency.

1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning continue to be at the forefront of technological evolution. For small businesses, AI is no longer a distant dream but a tangible tool that can drive personalized customer experiences and automate mundane tasks. According to a study by IBM, 35% of companies are already using AI, with another 42% exploring its applications (IBM, 2023). This trend is set to grow, with AI finding applications in cybersecurity, CRM systems, and market research.

2. The 5G Revolution

The 5G technology, known for its high-speed data transmission and minimal latency, is set to revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT). This advancement will not only enhance connectivity but also open new career opportunities in the IoT domain. Ericsson Mobile estimates a significant increase in IoT devices using 5G connections by 2028 (Ericsson, 2023).

3. Employee Monitoring Software for Hybrid Teams

With the rise of remote and hybrid work models, employee monitoring software has become essential. These tools offer insights into remote workers’ productivity and help manage the challenges of a distributed workforce. The demand for such software has seen a consistent upward trend since the pandemic’s onset.

4. Remote Onboarding: A New Norm

Remote onboarding has become crucial in the hybrid work model. Technology plays a pivotal role in this process, ensuring new employees are integrated smoothly into the company culture and workflow, despite the lack of physical interaction.

5. Tech-Assisted Retail Shopping

The retail sector is witnessing a shift towards tech-assisted shopping experiences. Technologies like QR codes, mobile terminals, and mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular, offering a contactless and efficient shopping experience.

6. The Emergence of Superapps

Superapps, as predicted by Gartner, are set to become the next big thing in business software (Gartner, 2023). These apps will unify various services into a single interface, streamlining operations for small businesses and their employees.

7. Cybersecurity: A Growing Concern

With the shift to remote work, cybersecurity has become a paramount concern for businesses. Despite this, many small businesses underestimate the risk of cyberattacks. Research from BullGuard reveals that nearly 60% of small businesses think a cyberattack is unlikely, yet the reality is starkly different. Cybersecurity company Check Point found a 28% increase in global cyberattacks in 2022 compared to 2021, with small businesses being particularly vulnerable (Check Point, 2022). This trend underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

8. Big Data: A Competitive Edge

Big data and analytics are increasingly seen as key to gaining a competitive advantage. According to Nash Squared’s Digital Leadership Report, two-thirds of digital leaders believe big data and analytics will deliver a competitive edge within a year (Nash Squared, 2023). This trend is not just limited to large corporations; small businesses too can harness big data to improve their market positioning.

9. Automation: The New Business Imperative

Automation is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury for small businesses. With worker shortages in certain domains, automation investments are increasing, covering areas like online pricing and inventory management. The cloud is playing a crucial role in facilitating this shift towards automation.

10. Influencer Marketing: Narrowing Focus

The influencer marketing industry is poised for strong, continued growth. Statista projects that the industry will be worth $22.2 billion in 2025, up from $9.7 billion in 2020 (Statista, 2025). This growth is reinforced by changes in consumer shopping habits, particularly among Gen Z shoppers, who increasingly use apps like TikTok for search and discovery purposes.

11. Social Media Advertising: Expanding Reach

Small businesses are continuing to adopt social media advertising in 2024. According to The Future of Social Marketing report from Hootsuite, 83% of marketers expressed confidence in the ROI for social media advertising, up from 68% the previous year (Hootsuite, 2024). This trend demonstrates the growing importance of social media in connecting with customers and promoting brands.

In conclusion, 2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for small businesses in terms of technology adoption. From AI and 5G to cybersecurity and social media marketing, these trends offer numerous opportunities for growth, efficiency, and competitive advantage. Embracing these trends will be key for small businesses looking to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Continue Reading

Trending