How to perfect your pitch deck — according to a guy that gets a lot of pitches

One of the most critical tasks startups face, is creating a killer elevator pitch — a short, verbal description of who they are, what they do, and how they are going to succeed as a business. There are countless blog posts and listicles that have been created to guide founders through this process, but they rarely include how to get to actually get the chance to do the elevator pitch. The elevator pitch process has led to parodies on sites like the Startup Elevator Pitch Generator and “it’s like x for y” pitch roulette sites. This doesn’t mean that creating…

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Use Facebook, Instagram and social channels to market the right way — learn how for only $29

There’s marketing. Then there’s social media marketing. And after you drill into the philosophies of both, the two appear as different as a horse and buggy parked next to a Tesla. Opinions change fast, algorithms change fast — and if you’re trying to sell a product or an idea in the online landscape of Facebook, Twitter, and their contemporaries, there’s a hyper-specialized skill set you need to possess. The Silicon Valley Digital Marketing Institute prides itself on that social media knowledge. Now, they want to give it to you with this SV Social Media course with certification, available right now…

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We can’t allow big tech companies thwart the ‘right to remember’

The European Union recently adopted laws embodying a proposed “right to be forgotten,” to protect individuals from eternal memorialization of unfortunate past indiscretions. However, I feel it’s time to propose a complementary “right to remember,” to ensure that history cannot be erased or rewritten at the whim of those who control the systems we use to communicate, plan, and lead our lives. Recent court cases have shown that the largest, most powerful companies controlling the internet are willing to take extreme positions regarding their right to control data after it’s been made public. They abuse ambiguous, out-of-date US legislation such…

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Secure voting, digital ID’s, and more: How blockchain could reform digital democracy

The immutability and decentralized nature of public blockchain networks, such as bitcoin and Ethereum, could allow governments to process large amounts of sensitive information on an unchangeable and transparent platform. In an exclusive interview with Binary District, Daniel Gasteiger, the co-founder of Procivis, an electronic ID solutions company built on integrated e-government platform eID+; and Patrick McCorry, a Research Associate at University College London (UCL), discussed the potential of blockchain technology in e-governance and the limitations that may restrict its applicability. Potential applications of blockchain technology in e-governance Over the last two years, several governments, including those of Brazil and…

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Facebook will carry a health warning within five years

I predict that in five years time, Facebook will carry a health warning. Of course, this is an outrageous prediction, but watching the fiddling going on at Facebook and other online giants while their empires burn, it’s clear they must instigate significant changes before regulators impose new controls. I don’t think that Facebook will carry a health warning not because it’s particularly bad for your health, but because it’s failing to learn the lessons of the past and come up with adequate responses to criticism There are two main reasons. One, like many giant tech companies before it, it has…

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Do shared bikes need their own parking spaces? Seattle tests designated zones on sidewalks

A bike parking area in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

One of the best parts of the new bike-sharing services is that they’re dockless, or free-floating, allowing riders to leave the bikes pretty much anywhere. It’s also one of the worst parts, as the bikes end up getting left pretty much anywhere.

This has had a big impact on some neighborhoods in Seattle, which has emerged as a key market for bike-sharing services, thanks in part to a streamlined permitting process enacted by the city. In areas where shared bikes are popular, it can seem at times like LimeBike, Ofo and Spin bikes are littering the sidewalks.

A shared bike parking area in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Could designated parking areas help solve this problem?

PREVIOUSLY: Photos reveal worst ‘parking’ jobs for bike-share bicycles

Seattle’s Department of Transportation is experimenting with the concept, creating five test bike share parking locations this past week along NW Market Street in the Ballard neighborhood.

Here are the five test locations, via SDOT.

  • North side of Market just west of Ballard Ave (in front of Shakti Yoga).
  • NE corner of Leary and Market (Ballard Beer Company).
  • SE corner of Leary and Market (AT&T store).
  • SW corner of Tallman and Market (All the Best Pet Care).
  • North side of Market just W of Russel (Kangaroo and Kiwi).

The city says the parking zones were strategically placed in areas that would leave a six-foot pedestrian path, with at least three feet of space to the curb or parking lane, without blocking access to buildings, transit, curb ramps or loading zones.

Many people apparently don’t know this, but there are actually rules for bike share parking in the city.

“We’ve monitored these areas for bike parking compliance rates before installation,” explains SDOT in a post detailing the project. “In the next few weeks, we’ll monitor usage, organization, design resilience, and compliance rates in the immediate vicinity of the locations, on the same block-face, and neighborhood-wide.”

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Valve moves The International to Vancouver, B.C., as Seattle loses huge esports event

Dota 2 fans packed KeyArena last year for The International. Now the big esports event is headed to Vancouver. (GeekWire photo / Taylor Soper)

The International is headed to Canada for the first time ever.

Bellevue, Wash.-based gaming giant Valve announced this week that its massive Dota 2 esports tournament will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., from August 20 through August 25. Tickets, ranging from $125 CAD to $250 CAD, go on sale March 23.

Valve held The International at Seattle’s KeyArena for the past four years, drawing sold-out crowds that traveled around the world to watch the best Dota 2 players compete for what was a $24.7 million prize pool last year.

Now the tournament — and its tourism revenue — is headed across the border. We’ve reached out to Valve to learn more about the move and will update this story when we hear back.

(GeekWire photo / Taylor Soper)

There were several clues pointing to a potential relocation.

In late December, a KeyArena ticketing agent told GeekWire that the event wouldn’t be returning to KeyArena in 2018 due to renovation. Oak View Group, the ownership firm trying to bring an NHL expansion team to Seattle, is planning a $600 million renovation project that would begin before the end of 2018 if approved by city leaders. It’s possible that Oak View Group wants to close down the venue before it officially begins the reconstruction.

In October, a stadium banner ad for The International ran at Rogers Arena in Vancouver during a TSN hockey report.

Last year, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said The International could be moved out of the country as a result of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown. Competing teams come to Seattle for The International from all over the world; the same goes for spectators.

The tournament, which started in Germany six years ago, was previously held at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall before Valve moved it in 2014 to a larger venue at KeyArena.

(GeekWire photo / Kevin Lisota)

The relocation is a loss for Seattle’s tourism industry, but don’t be surprised if it returns to the city in the future.

Speaking at the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit this past June, Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said that esports is on the agenda for the redeveloped KeyArena. He expects to host 20 esports events per year at the arena once the reconstruction is complete. Oak View Group wants to have KeyArena ready for the 2020-21 NHL season.

“Do I think 18,000 people come into each and every one of those 20 nights to watch people play games?” Leiweke said in June. “I’m not sure it’ll be 20,000, but look, if you do 5,000-to-8,000, and that keeps your building busy, and those are 20 nights that you can schedule around your anchor tenant and your concert business, I think it’s a fantastic addition completely driven by technology.”

Those not familiar with esports may wonder why people travel from halfway across the globe and pay big bucks to watch other people play video games. But for some Dota 2 fans, attending The International can be a life-changing experience.

“It was the best trip I ever went on,” Kyra Slovacek told GeekWire this past August. “I really had no idea how big the Dota 2 community was until I came to The International and saw the line wrapped all around Seattle Center and sat in the arena. It was unbelievable.”

Spectators watch the professionals battle out at center court, where the teams compete in two pits with glass windows. The International has a sports-like feel, from the raucous crowd to the broadcast booths to the press rows to the festivities outside KeyArena. Valve streams the live action to four huge screens inside KeyArena, and any time there’s a heated battle, the crowd roars — the decibel level certainly matches, if not surpasses, what you’ll experience at any other sporting event.

The prize pool for The International has grown from $10.9 million in 2014 to $24.7 million in 2017, the largest ever in esports history.

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Week In Geek podcast: A time machine back to the ’80s, and a juicy dispute over a new apple

80s exhibit
A Sony Walkman, belonging to a fictional character named Alex, in the Total 80s Rewind exhibit at the Living Computers: Museum + Labs. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

On this episode of the Week In Geek podcast, we take a trip back to the heyday of Walkmen and the Apple IIe. GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser got to visit the new, interactive Totally 80s Rewind exhibit at the Living Computers: Museum + Labs in Seattle. He says it’s like stepping straight back into his childhood, although he’s lost his edge for arcade games.

Plus, a controversial lawsuit over the next generation of apples (not the computers, this time) is pitting Washington State University against one of its own spinout companies, agriculture startup Phytelligence. And in other news, a new study from Microsoft sheds light on why so few female students go into tech roles, starting as early as middle school.

This week’s stories:

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China to ban citizens with bad ‘social credit’ from some forms of travel

Proof that life imitates art — or at least Black Mirror on Netflix — China will soon be imposing strict penalties for those with low “scores” on its so-called “social credit” system. Starting May 1, Chinese citizens with low scores will be unable to travel via plane or train for up to a year, according to a release by the country’s National Development and Reform Commission. China’s social credit system is a controversial one. President Xi Jinping’s plan is to score citizens based both on financial and social behavior, creating a number similar to a credit score in the United States. “Once…

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Bitmain’s new $12K cryptocurrency miner might be useless by the time it ships

Bitcoin mining titan Bitmain has launched a new ultra-powerful cryptocurrency miner specifically designed for the CryptoNight hashing algorithm which powers privacy-oriented coins like Monero (XMR) and Bytecoin (BCN). But there is one massive problem: the device might be virtually obsolete by the time it starts shipping in May and June – especially to those interested in mining XMR. The so-called Antminer X3 ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining rig will offer an impressive 220 kH/s at 550W. Bitmain intends to ship the machine in two batches – one in May and one in June. Customers can purchase first-batch X3 for $11,999 or wait for the…

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