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State of Startups report for 2016 (hello, stats!)

(TECH NEWS) Startups, even in the real estate tech industry, share commonalities – what did this year have in store?

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Results are in

First Round Review’s data-grubbing annual State of Startups survey interviewed 700 startup founders this year. They asked about what it means to be an entrepreneur, if the tech bubble is about to pop, if there’s enough diversity in their field, and tons more. Their results are more than surprising.

Given how many of our readers are real estate tech startup founders and leaders, this data is more relevant now than ever.

This is the second year State of Startups has asked founders and CEOs of startup companies about the nature of tech, funding, and day-to-day operations. Responses showed not only that State of Startups has succeeded in taking a virtual snapshot of fledglings in tech, but that they’re essentially capturing the sentiment of the tech industry as a whole. The most surprising find was that responses changed since 2015.

Here’s what they found:

Startupping a startup

The tech bubble (according to startup founders) is no longer a pressing issue. While last year 73 percent of respondents said that we were in a bubble, this year only 57 percent agreed. In fact, of those 57 percent, 24 percent said yes we’re in a bubble, and it’s close to bursting. 33 percent agreed that they were in a bubble, but that it has a long way to go before it bursts.

91 percent of startup founders said that now is a good time to be starting a company. But 50 percent of those same founders said if they were starting another company today, they would choose a different industry.

Suffice it to say the grass is always greener, and with no additional information on the makeup of industries reflected in the survey, it’s hard to glean advice from that statistic.

Office politics

31 percent of startups will be hiring 1-5 people within the next 12 months.

Engineering leaders are the hardest to hire, probably because most startups agree that engineering drives the company’s culture.

They also make the biggest bucks. Mid Level engineers receive 100-150k in salary and bonuses in over half of startups surveyed, though they tap out at 0-.2 percent in equity at 38 percent of companies.

A quarter of companies spend between 0-$10 per square foot on their office space, and most employees leave between 5 and 7pm on any given day.

Diversity

Teams are mostly male (50 percent of companies surveyed) and 61 percent of boards are all male. When asked why there aren’t as many women and ethnic minorities represented in tech, answers varied widely across the sexes. 49 percent of men believe that not enough women and minorities are going into tech in the first place, while women base the lack of diversity on unconscious bias and a lack of industry role models.

That said, when asked who their tech leader archetype was, 23 percent overwhelmingly wrote in Elon Musk. Only 1 percent wrote in Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and that comprised of only 5 percent of the female write-ins.

Most respondents believe the diversity gap will close by 2030, and that the demographics of startups will only then begin to reflect the gender and racial make-up of the U.S.

A quarter of these entrepreneurs believe it will take 20 years to balance the race and sex disparity.

View the full infographic and report here.

If you’re an entrepreneur, make sure you sign up to be a part of the round up next year!

#StateOfStartups

C. L. Brenton is a staff writer at The American Genius. She loves writing about all things, she’s even won some contests doing it! For everything C. L. check out her website

Real Estate Technology

Drones inspired by birds

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Newly developed drones incorporate a flapping X-wing design that allow them to fly, thrust, and maneuver much like a bird.

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X-wing drones

The next generation of drones will master the art and aerodynamics of flight with actual wings! This complex engineering feat adds both stability and an unforeseen agility to drones, which means they will be more useful than ever before.

Darting, flapping, swooping, hovering, and soaring are a few of the improved capabilities these cross-wing ornithopters have, making them far superior to the often wobblier, stiffer versions on the market now. The creators of the ornithopters used reverse engineering based on detailed observation and study of how birds move to create a winged version of the flying robot drones.

Instead of the propellers and fixed-wings used in conventional drones, these new drones flap their wings and raise their tails in order to create a forward thrust, similar to how birds and insects fly. The X-wing designs make these flying robots better at maneuvering tight spaces, giving them greater control at varying speeds.

How exactly does the X-wing design excel where other flapping-wing designs have failed? The inventors form a team of researchers from Singapore, Australia, China, and Taiwan. In a recent Science Robotics magazine article, they explain:

“One difference is that our ornithopters make use of the “clap and fling” effect. The two pairs of wings flap such that they meet, like hands clapping. This makes enough extra thrust to lift their body weight when hovering.”

The ornithopters have control over nose and tail as well, and can quickly change from moving horizontally to moving vertically. They also use up to 40% less energy to run, and can be flown like a regular plane, or hover like an existing drone in order to conserve even more energy. Because of the greater control and increased capabilities of these drones, they also have more uses including being safe enough to fly inside.

One of the researchers responsible for creating this ornithopter, Lau Gih-Keong, an associate professor in mechanical engineering at Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, spoke to CNN about specific future uses of these flying machines. The new drones can be used to maneuver in and out of nearly inaccessible, tight spaces. For example, they can easily fly in and out of a ventilation duct, where regular inspections are difficult but essential to system upkeep.

If you want to see how these next gen drones work, The Conversation published three videos of these marvels in motion. They look small, about the size of a hummingbird or even a large, flying insect. One can only imagine their potential after seeing how agile they are. In that same article, the researchers have said they will continue to refine and develop these and newer drones, based on the evolution of birds.

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Real Estate Technology

This note-taking app adapts to your thought process

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Relanote is a dynamic alternative to the age-old practice of taking notes.

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relanote notes

Taking notes is a process that has evolved substantially to fit individuals and has stayed relatively static in overall execution. It may be surprising, then, for us to say that a new take on note-taking is worth your immediate and full attention–but that’s exactly the case.

Relanote is a fresh entry in the arguably oversaturated “Notepad” app category. All of the features you’d expect in a minimalist note-taking app are there–encryption, note sharing, a free version, access across the four main computer and mobile platforms–but what makes it truly interesting is its hierarchical system of organization.

Somewhat like Slack, Relanote allows you to tag other notes by using the “@” symbol, and you can classify your notes by using hashtags within them. This is a super simple but effective way to organize, find, and utilize your notes without having to do any kind of copying and pasting, split window view, or swiping back and forth.

Once you’ve tagged a note in another note, you can zoom out to see how the two (or more) notes connect to each other in a visual “graph” that displays each of your tagged notes in a web. You can even filter different tags on the graph so that any irrelevant information is left out when looking for something specific.

The app also has a file-and-folder storage option to help organize your notes in a “physical” manner. “By leveraging the power of both methods, Relanote adapts to your way of thinking,” Relanote’s product page claims.

Relanote outlines quite a few upcoming features on their website, some of which include importing, exporting, themes, and templates for your notes. If you’d like to access these features, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version ($4 per month) or the team version ($9 per month). However, Relanote makes it clear that the core principle of their app is present in the free version–and that’s enough to get you started.

A note-taking app that adapts to your particular process of writing, organizing, and revising sounds like a steal, especially when you consider that the base version is free for unlimited use. Especially if you’re a visual person who’s looking for a new way to record information, Relanote is worth your time.

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Real Estate Technology

Grapevine is the new Snapchat for work and team meetings

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) In an era of offensively inefficient video communications, Grapevine appears to be a breath of fresh air.

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grapevine zoom competitor

If you’re anything like us, you’re completely burnt out on Zoom meetings that, quite frankly, could have been much, much shorter (or completely relegated to the email medium). Should you find yourself experiencing the same frustration, cheer up–there’s a solution.

Grapevine, an asynchronous meeting app designed specifically for remote teams, is a clear answer to the question, “what if I’m not free at that time?” Their slogan–”Team updates without team meetings”–perfectly summarizes what they’re about: Efficiency of information dissemination without the abhorrent time suck that is your average Zoom call.

It’s also worth noting that Grapevine is an amicable solution for employees working in patchy Wi-Fi zones or operating on cellular data (as it seems to go these days). The same could be said for issues related to time zones, appointments, or other inconveniences that arise all too frequently in the remote work atmosphere.

The way Grapevine works is devilishly simple: Think Snapchat, but for work.

Any member of a team can record, view, and respond to one-way video recordings inside of the Grapevine framework. There’s even a feature that functions as a morning briefing of sorts, allowing you to catch up on all of the content from work that you missed overnight, while on vacation, or so on.

Video comments can be shared or pinned to answer questions efficiently rather than having to re-record or paraphrase a response, and these comments form threads that can be accessed at any time, making the process of checking feedback simple and quick, as opposed to the general nightmare that is scrubbing through a Zoom recording.

Grapevine also allows you to divide into teams and function within those groups separately, making it a bit of an amalgam between Slack and the aforementioned Snapchat.

All of that is pretty great, but perhaps the best aspect is that Grapevine is free to use–at least in its current form. While the Grapevine team promises to bring premium access and features to the app soon, the basic version of Grapevine will remain free, and the premium access will take the form of an “affordable subscription.”

You don’t have to ditch Zoom entirely, but if you want your employees or coworkers to stop sticking needles in your effigy after hours, Grapevine is a great alternative.

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