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🕺The Bulletin #28: AI Brain Images, Theranos 2.0, and Startup Connect!
How AI can create images using brain scans, the rise and fall of 'Frank', and all about Startup Connect!
🧠 AI Brain Images
Scientists have developed an exciting new way to create images using artificial intelligence and brain scans. Using an AI-powered algorithm, researchers from Osaka University could reconstruct around 1,000 images, including ones of a teddy bear 🧸 and an airplane 🛫, with 80 percent accuracy just by reading brain activity.
This new technology has incredible potential for unlocking our inner worlds 😵💫 and improving communication for those who cannot speak or type due to paralysis. In a recent study, scientists used similar technologies to analyze the brainwaves of non-verbal or paralyzed patients and turn them into sentences on a computer screen in real time. The neuroprosthesis speech device has the potential to restore communication to those who cannot speak or type.
😬 Theranos 2.0
Charlie Javice, once named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and founder of college financial planning company ‘Frank’ just got hit with major fraud charges. The 31-year-old entrepreneur is accused of lying about how many customers her company had in order to get JPMorgan Chase to acquire the venture for $145 million. She duped the bank into believing Frank had more than four million customers when in reality it had less than 300,000. According to the U.S. attorney's office, had this scheme succeeded, she could have pocketed more than $45 million. 💰
Though, as you can assume, it did not 🚫. JPMorgan caught on to the whole thing when a marketing test using Frank's data failed miserably. The bank later sued Javice for lying, and the Securities and Exchange Commission got involved too. She is now facing some serious prison time - three of the four charges she's up against carry a maximum sentence of 30 years.
The fraud charges against the entrepreneur and Frank are reminiscent of the infamous case of Theranos, the once-celebrated health-tech startup that turned out to be one of the biggest scams of the decade. Like Javice, Elizabeth Holmes was a highly regarded founder who turned out to be misleading investors, employees, and customers about her company’s technology and capabilities. The cases of Frank and Theranos show the importance of transparency, honesty, and accountability in building and scaling successful ventures.
🚀 Startup Connect
We know you loved StartupConnect II as much as we did. Van Wickle Ventures and Contrary are proud to present StartupConnect Round III this spring!
Looking for a job at a startup? Want to learn from successful founders of venture-backed startups? Come listen to founder lightning talks and meet Brown alumni-founded companies that are hiring on Wednesday, April 19th, from 6–8 PM ET. RSVP to get your invite!
Last year’s event welcomed more than 20 companies and 3 lightning speakers. This year, our event schedule is the following:
6:00–6:15 PM: Introductions 🎤
6:15–7:00 PM: Lightning Talks⚡—short, 15-minute chats—with some of Brown’s most celebrated founders:
7:00–8:00 PM: Startup Fair 🎪 where students can drop into breakout rooms for one-on-one chats with up-and-coming founders. Company booths include Formally, Humi, MediCircle, Multitasky, PeduL, Perkies, Poolit, Quiltt, and more.
👄 What we’re consuming in Venture
Software Engineer Alex Koster breaks down how big shifts in tech are going to transform the automotive industry and paints a picture of where cars are headed — from virtual reality shaped interiors to AI drivers.
Stanford’s 2023 AI Index Report measures and evaluates the rapid rate of AI advancements. This year’s report includes sections on the environmental impact of AI systems, public opinion trends in AI, and more!
That’s it for this week, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries!
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