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Inside Founders (May 7th, 2019)

1. With the Federal Trade Commission's investigation of Facebook's failure to protect users' data drawing to a close, commissioners remain divided over holding founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable. Facebook expects to pay between $3 billion and $5 billion in fines, but has opposed holding Zuckerberg individually responsible for lapses in privacy that have taken place since the company's 2011 settlement with the FTC over similar issues. Some lawmakers, however, believe Zuckerberg, who also is a majority shareholder, should face accountability. US Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote a letter to the FTC Monday urging as such, as well as steeper oversight. Do you think Zuckerberg be held personally accountable? Hit reply and let us know.THE NEW YORK TIMES

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2. Nest co-founder Matt Rogers says venture capitalists are reluctant to back companies working to fight climate change. Rogers has invested millions from Google's purchase of Nest into startups whose work focuses on the "carbon-removal technology" required to reduce the atmospheric carbon dioxide contributing to climate disruption. Rogers has been investing in such startups through the fund he and his wife, Swati Mylavarapu, created: Incite Ventures. Investment in biotechnology and energy startups typically lags behind Internet-based start-ups, and carbon-removal startups have received only a small amount of investment over the last decade. Nonetheless, numerous cleantech startup founders are developing technologies to address climate change, many of which were presented to investors at a Carbon180 event in San Francisco last month. — NEW YORK TIMES

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3. By the Numbers: In its analysis of carbon-removal startups, the New York Times cites Pitchbook data for 2018, when $6.6 billion was invested in clean tech— just 15 percent of what software startups received. And of that figure, carbon-removal only accounts for a small percentage. Nonetheless, overall investment in clean and sustainable technologies rose by 127 percent last year to $9.2 billion, its highest level in nine years. Last year, Y Combinator put out a special call for startups working in the space, specifically looking for break-out technologies in the "frontier" sectors of ocean phytoplankton, electro-geochemistry, cell-free systems and desert flooding. Several startups working to capture carbon dioxide have had notable funding rounds of late, including Carbon Engineering, which raised $70 million last March. 

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4. Journey founder and CEO Stephen Sokoler created his company after meditation changed his life. Journey began by offering meditation to corporate clients, but has now launched an app that provides subscription-based live 15-minute meditation classes. The company, founded in 2015, has just raised a $2.4 million seed round. Sokoler says he began meditating after moving to Australia, discovering a book on Buddhism and losing 85 pounds. He says other meditation apps in the growing meditation market lose customers because they offer a solitary experience. Journey's live classes address that shortcoming. "You could think of it as a real-life meditation community or studio in the palm of your hand,” Sokoler says. — TECHCRUNCH

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5. Mississippi is the top state for small and medium business sales through Amazon. That's just one small statistic from the company's annual SMB Impact Report, released Tuesday, which also provides self-reported data on the company's contributions to startups and developers. — INC.

6. According to paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Papa John founder John Schnatter is considering selling some or all of his 31 percent stake in the company in the aftermath of losing his roles as chairman and director. — CNBC

7. Ikea's bootcamp is drawing startups to help the company innovate, such as BumbleBee Spaces, which creates robotic furniture that moves to the ceiling to maximize space and which can locate missing objects. — BLOOMBERG

8. Female founder Rebecca Minkoff founded her fashion empire when she realized she "wanted to dress a woman for her entire life." She created the Female Founders Collective to try to change consumer behavior to support women. Minkoff discusses her business in the latest video from The Wall Street Journal's In the Elevator series. — WALL STREET JOURNAL

9. Heyzap co-founder Jude Gomila recently raised $5 million in a seed round for his new endeavor, Golden, a Wikipedia alternative. — CRUNCHBASE

10. Seattle-based Flexe co-founder and CEO Karl Siebrecht says his on-demand warehousing company provides businesses an alternative to Amazon—and he just raised $43 million in a Series B round. — GEEKWIRE

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Julia Goldberg is a journalist and author living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She writes regularly about the intersection of technology and culture, and is the executive director of MIX Santa Fe, a networking organization for entrepreneurs. She writes the Inside Founders newsletter and can be found on Twitter @votergirl.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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