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TOPIC: startup


Didi, The Chinese Food Delivery App Finding Its Tasty Niche In Latin America

Didi Food, a delivery startup that struggled in East Asia, has found a growing market in Latin American cities, where appetite for home deliveries has yet to be fully satisfied.

SANTIAGO DE CHILEBarranquilla and Soledad are the latest Colombian cities to join the Chinese delivery firm Didi Food's expanding market in Latin America.

The firm began exploring partners here months ago, but announced its "arrival" online in late June once it had a critical mass of eateries and partners registered with it. The application is available in other Colombian cities, as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

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The French Company Teaching The World To Code

With 43 campuses in 27 countries, Le Wagon has become the world's leading network for intensive coding education, revolutionizing how coding is taught.

It’s a December morning at a warehouse hidden in a dead end street in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. The first to arrive are the gardeners because as much as the building has kept its industrial aspect, dozens of plants occupy the space flooded with light by a gigantic glass roof. "Greenhouse effect guaranteed," says one of the gardeners, watering can in hand. And then the students arrive to sit around large wooden tables.

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De-Uberization? Food Delivery Apps Opt For Employees Over Gig Economy

Startups that offer to deliver groceries in less than 15 minutes have learned from the past and are hiring full-time employees, even if they need temporary workers to meet demand.

PARIS — In recent years, couriers working for meal delivery startups generously financed by investment funds have become one of the symbols of the "uberization of work." While mostly their freelance status remains widespread worldwide, the standard is shifting. In February 2021, the British meal delivery specialist Just Eat struck a chord by announcing the recruitment of 4,500 permanent staff in France, a country known for its strong worker protections and powerful unions.

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Parag Agarwal & Co: Why India Should Stop Boasting About Twitter's New CEO

So a dozen of the top CEOs in the world (including heads of Google, Microsoft, IBM and now Twitter) come from a country with 18% of the world's population. But there are other numbers our overly proud fellow Indians should be running.


NEW DELHI — An Indian recently became CEO of Twitter. I forget his name. Hold on, let me Google… Yes, Parag Agarwal. I’m not saying this for effect. I actually didn’t remember, and had to Google. Because it isn’t very important to me. Yes, that’s right. And you can read on to know why.

Agarwal is an IITian (graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay), apparently. Of course.

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Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

Crisis Innovation: Business Exceptions That Prove The Rule

Throwback ideas and the next big thing are working for some, even as many other parts of the economy slide into recession.

The coronavirus pandemic is the largest economic disruption in memory, with millions of job losses and rising rates of poverty striking virtually everywhere. Still, the changes to the way we live and work have also been the spark for many innovative entrepreneurs, who are taking the unprecedented health crisis and its side-effects as an opportunity to offer new products and services.

Rise of the Work-cation: Tourist hotspots around the world have been hit particularly hard by the near total shutdown of leisure travel. What's the next best thing? Business travel for leisure.

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Daniela Arce

HappyBreak: Headset Meditation App To Prevent Work Burnout

A Chilean startup develops an application to take office workers into a meditative 'happy space' for a few minutes in a work day.

SANTIAGO — How do you feel today? What's your stress level? These are among questions users hear when putting on their HappyBreak goggles. The startup proposes a virtual reality experience to relieve stress and exhaustion in demanding workplaces. With the headset on a worker "clocks out," meditating or doing mindfulness exercises for several minutes a day.

De-stressing is considered beneficial to both your co-workers and for the firm, but also allows human resources departments to gauge stress levels in the workplace and act to reduce any pervasive tensions. After winning the Startup Weekend Chile — a "54-hour bootcamp style event" — in October 2018, HappyBreak began its prototype and validation stage last January. The product evolved from April to June, being tested in three corporate offices of Bupa, a healthcare services company.

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Nathalie Silbert

Can State-Run Startups Help Modernize French Bureaucracy?

In putting into use fast-moving ways of startups, the state looks to improve quality of public services. A hundred or so state-sponsored startups have already been launched with the hope of contributing to the modernization of the administration.

PARIS — On the fifth floor of 20 Ségur Avenue, Paris, there is a ritual that takes place every Wednesday at noon: Some 30 young people get together for a "stand-up," like they call it in tech jargon. Each person has a minute to share his or her achievements, problems, and find advice in the hope to make headway with his or her project.

This week we learn that the government's use of Zam, an application that facilitates the management of parliamentary debate, will be encouraged by an internal message from the prime minister, and that "E-Contrôle," an application for the Court of Auditors that simplifies document exchanges during audits, is of interest to the Agency for General Inspection and Social Affairs (IGAS).

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Lola Le Testu

Opticale, Pokemon Go Rival Pops Up In Neutral Switzerland

LAUSANNE Inside Studio Furinkazan's offices, the Celestial Cascades suddenly appear. The heavenly jungle, naturally, can only be seen through your smartphone screen: A red light flutters around in the room until it is caught on the corner of a desk. Then it turns into a Tudù, a small iridescent blue bird with squirrel ears.

This is a special preview of Opticale, a new mobile game that will be available for free download iOS in early September in Switzerland, and before the end of the year elsewhere around the world, landing into an augmented reality gaming territory suddenly dominated worldwide by the Japanese-based phenomenon of Pokémon Go.

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Terror in Europe
Les Echos

A Patriotic Plea To French Entrepreneurs Abroad

After the attacks in Paris, Marc Simoncini, the founder of Meetic, asked French entrepreneurs living abroad, sometimes for fiscal reasons, to come back to France.

PARIS — A cri du coeur (cry from the heart): These are the words used by Marc Simoncini to describe his call to all French entrepreneurs outside of France — to come back home.

The founder of the dating website Meetic, online optical retailer Sensee and the investment fund Jaïna caused something of a stir in the French community of digital entrepreneurs by calling on his expat compatriots to come back to France to pay their taxes.

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Dominique Nora

French Food Startup Aims To Sell "Insect Meat" Around The World

Can bug by-products help satisfy the world's growing appetite for animal proteins? The French founders of Ynsect think so.

EVRY — With one hand, he holds a container crawling with beetle larvae: 2 centimeter-long, thin, brownish maggots. With the other, he proudly shows three others containing his products: flour packed with protein, oil rich in lipids, and chitin powder, a precious molecule derived from insect exoskeletons.

"Every part is good in mealworms. Even their excrement makes excellent compost," says Antoine Hubert, who talks about the "breeding, slaughter and transformation" of his Tenebrio molitor beetles as a farmer would talk about his prize chickens.

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Abdo al-Idelbi

To Survive In Syria, Melting Plastic Into Fuel

With no electricity or gas, enterprising locals in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have begun extracting fuel products by melting plastic scavenged from destroyed buildings.

GHOUTA — After living under siege for more than two years, the 500,000 residents of eastern Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs have developed alternative ways to obtain basic necessities. Short of electricity and oil, they have begun extracting fuel products by melting plastic.

Abu Talal, 43, owned a car-painting service when the Syrian war began. He adapted that knowledge to create an unusual startup: generating oil products from plastics and selling it to locals desperate for fuel.

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Julie Farrar

Anti-Uber Anger Is Spreading Around The World

Its early adopters swear by the SF-based car-service app. But as Uber expands internationally, local cabbies in Milan and Paris are fighting back. Will rickshaw drivers in Bangalore be next?

PARIS — Asphalt turf wars that began in California are now spreading to cities around the world as ride-sharing apps, mostly notably Uber, face off with old-school license-wielding taxi drivers.

From San Francisco and Los Angeles to Milan and Bangalore, Uber's revolutionary new economic model allows you to virtually hail and pay for private-car service on your smartphone. It costs a little more, but users love the convenience – and a little extra touch of luxury.

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