Greenstart, Pandora, Google-Admeld—The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News

6/20/11Follow @wroush

Occasionally, readers write in asking us to slow down a bit so they’ll have time catch up on all the startup news. Well, last week was a slow one around here, mainly because I was in Boston all week helping with Xconomy’s big annual XSITE conference. And this week will be quiet too, as I’m currently on vacation in Michigan. But here’s a look back at the stories we did manage to cover last week.

—My colleague Luke Timmerman, Xconomy’s national biotech editor, wrote about why life sciences executives can’t afford to ignore Twitter anymore.

—We published the second part of a two-part interview with Floodgate co-founding partners Mike Maples and Ann Miura-Ko, who shared some unorthodox ideas about what it takes to be a great entrepreneur and what a true startup “pivot” should look like.

—I took a look at Greenstart, a new venture incubator in San Francisco focused on early stage startups in the cleantech and green energy sectors. Greenstart co-founder Mitch Lowe told me he and his partners are looking for eight to ten companies for the program, which gets underway in September. Participating startups will get $25,000 per team; applications are due July 3.

—On the day of Pandora’s IPO, we went behind the scenes at Walden Venture Capital, the little-known San Francisco-based venture firm that is Pandora’s second-largest shareholder. Turns out the partners at Walden have a pretty deep interest in the music business—they’re also invested in SoundHound and RootMusic—and a bullish outlook on the future of consumer music services, despite Apple’s dominance in the market.

—TechShop, the membership-based tools shop with locations in Menlo Park, CA- and San Francisco, announced that it’s moving forward with construction of a shop at a Ford Motors facility in Allen Park, MI, as my colleague Tom Lee reported from Detroit.

—My Friday column was an ode to error—or rather, to a new book on the subject, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by journalist Kathryn Schulz. I tried to apply Schulz’s message about the overlooked benefits of wrongness and failure to the tech startup world, and speculated that the “lean startup” and “customer development” methodologies, to the extent that they’re designed to root out failure, may also root out creativity.

—Google confirmed that it has agreed to acquire New York-based advertising optimization firm Admeld for an undisclosed sum.

—In other deals news, Bunchball raised $6.5 million, ReadyForZero raised $4.5 million, Streetline Networks raised $15 million, TellApart raised $13 million, and Pulse raised $9 million.

—Both CafePress, the online provider of custom-designed merchandise, and Enphase Energy, which has developed a new type of microinverter for rooftop solar arrays, filed registration papers for their initial public offerings. CafePress hopes to raise $80 million, while Enphase hopes to raise $100 million.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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