24 hours left to apply to volunteer at TechCrunch Disrupt and attend for free

It takes a veritable army to make TechCrunch Disrupt — which takes place October 18–20 in San Francisco — the well-oiled experience that savvy startuppers have come to know and love. And we couldn’t do it nearly as well without our incredible volunteers. If you’re looking for a no-budget way to experience Disrupt up close and personal, sign up to volunteer for work exchange. Not only will you get a behind-the-scenes look at how to produce events, but you’ll also earn a free pass ($1995 value) to experience the event. The deadline to apply is tomorrow, October 3 at 11:59pm PT. You’ll work hard, play hard and get free access to all three days of Disrupt. Whether you dream of becoming a startup founder, marketer or event coordinator, this is a great way to see what it takes to produce a world-renowned tech startup conference. Plus, your free pass gives you access to the full Disrupt experience — the main stage, the TechCrunch+ stage, the expo floor — where you’ll find the Startup Ba

Despite the venture slowdown, fintech startups are still hiring

Welcome to The Interchange ! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for signing up and your vote of confidence. If you’re reading this as a post on our site, sign up  here  so you can receive it directly in the future. Every week, I’ll take a look at the hottest fintech news of the previous week. This will include everything from funding rounds to trends to an analysis of a particular space to hot takes on a particular company or phenomenon. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s my job to stay on top of it — and make sense of it — so you can stay in the know. —  Mary Ann On September 28, LinkedIn released its Top Startups list, which is its self-described annual ranking of 50 emerging U.S. companies “gaining attention and recruiting top talent.” The professional networking site takes into consideration a variety of criteria based on its own data when coming up with the list: employment growth, engagement with the company and its employees, job interest and ability t

The biological theory that explains why investors are bullish on fusion

For decades, the answer to when fusion power would arrive was like the punchline to an oft-repeated joke — it was always 10 or 20 years away. Now, it might actually be on the cusp of commercialization. No, really. If that refrain sounds all too familiar, it’s because, well, something like that was written 10 years ago. Fusion research has been simmering for decades. But now, it’s reaching a boiling point, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that this time will be different. For a field that has existed for more than 60 years, a lot has happened in fusion research in the last half-decade. Researchers have set new records for how long they can contain the superheated plasma that fusion requires. Magnets to contain those plasmas have grown stronger and more efficient. As a result, the power produced by each fusion experiment has ramped up steadily, creeping closer to the point where the reactors produce more power than they consume, known as the break-even point. “The reason to

Form Bio says now is the time to launch — despite cooling software sales

As companies aim to cut costs and reel in spending amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions, Form Bio thinks it is actually the perfect time to launch its platform. The software company was developed at Colossal Biosciences — known for its goal to bring extinct critters like the wooly mammoth back to life — and is now striking out on its own. The software Form Bio developed is meant to bring a suite of workflow solutions to the computational biology space, which uses data and modeling to understand biological systems and includes sectors like gene therapy and biotech. The platform will use machine learning to help researchers and companies go from idea to scientific breakthrough faster by simplifying the data analytics processes in between and allowing users to choose from existing workflow templates that can be edited to fit a company’s specific needs. Form Bio announced it was spinning out of Colossal Biosciences on September 27 with $30 million in funding led by JAZZ Venture Par

This Week in Apps: Google goes visual, Twitter copies TikTok, OG app drama

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. Global app spending reached $65 billion in the first half of 2022, up only slightly from the $64.4 billion during the same period in 2021, as hypergrowth fueled by the pandemic has diminished. But overall, the app economy is continuing to grow, having produced a record number of downloads and consumer spending across both the iOS and Google Play stores combined in 2021, according to the latest year-end reports . Global spending across iOS and Google Play last year was $133 billion, and consumers downloaded 143.6 billion apps. This Week in Apps offers a way to keep up with this fast-moving industry in one place with the latest from the world of apps, including news, updates, startup fundings, mergers and acquisitions, and much more. Do you want This Week in Apps in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here:

It’s unclear what will happen in VC in Q4, but it definitely won’t be boring

Venture capital has been on a roller coaster this year. It came into 2022 riding the wave of the strongest year for venture deployment on record, just before the stock market plummeted and dragged venture down with it. As the third quarter comes to a close, things have started to get really interesting — again. Venture deals are back ! Adam Neumann is the head of a billion-dollar company! Figma sold itself for $20 billion in what multiple data sources believe is the largest venture-backed acquisition ever! In a year that has proven time and again to be unpredictable, what will 2022 bring to its final episode? It’s unclear what will happen in VC in Q4, but it definitely won’t be boring by Rebecca Szkutak originally published on TechCrunch source

The rise of product-led growth is creating opportunities for startups

Welcome to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here . More companies are adopting product-led growth (PLG), in which the product itself does most of the selling, and usage-based pricing (UBP) — meaning users are charged based on consumption, not seats — than ever before. A new wave of startups is helping them succeed at it. Let’s explore. — Anna Enabling product-led growth SaaS companies that adopt product-led growth — as more and more do — often have a problem: They know that droves of people are signing up for their product, but they don’t know which of these users their customer success team should reach out to in order to pitch a paid tier or upsell features. Uncovering the right leads is one of the key challenges of freemium models: Some customers will never convert out of the free tier, while others could bring very valuable rev

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