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Inside Founders (Jul 30th, 2019)

1. Startup accelerator Techstars will use $42 million in new funding to fuel its global expansion. The funding—led by Silicon Valley Bank's holding company SVB Financial Group, will be used for Techstars' operating business rather than investments in early-stage companies. Currently, Techstars invests approximately $80 million into nearly 500 new startups each year. Techstars founder and co-chief executive officer David Cohen says expansion will be not just in North America and Europe, but Asia, Latin America, Australia and other regions. Techstars already operates in 16 countries, where it runs 49 accelerator programs. The money also will be deployed to other Techstars' initiatives, such as Techstars StudioTechstars Ecosystem Development and Techstars Talent, according to Cohen. — TECHCRUNCH

2. Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank took to Instagram over the weekend to defend Baltimore, where his company's headquarters are located. Plank posted a video referencing Under Armour's Baltimore heritage—Plank moved his company there in 1998, two years after founding it in his grandmother's Washington D.C. townhouse. "On behalf of the thousands of UA Teammates who proudly call Baltimore HOME... Work to be done but we are of this city and for this city," Plank wrote. His post follows President Trump's attacks on both Baltimore and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. In 2017, Plank expressed support for Trump as a pro-business politician. — BUSINESS INSIDER

3. By the Numbers: Investment in Female Founders

Despite some indication of forward momentum in righting the gender gap for startup investment dollars, the overall view is quantitatively mixed. Here's a few takeaways:

• The percentage of money raised by female-only founded startups hasn't broken past 3 percent for the last three quarters.

• Global dollar volume for startups with a solo female founder or at least one female founder is at 14 percent so far this year, compared with 10 percent in 2014. 

• Several VC firms report progress in funding female-founded companies: 38 percent for Kapor Capital, 28 percent for M Ventures' second fund and 43 percent for Precursor Ventures.

4. Start-up Sierra Energy has raised $33 million series A funds for its plan to vaporize landfill garbage and transform it into clean energy. The company's FastOx technology—which stimulates a reaction of carbon and oxygen—purportedly can recycle any type of waste, including medical and hazardous garbage. Gas captured during the process can be used to make various products such as plastic or fuel; the gas also can be utilized to create electricity. Sierra Energy recently opened a new plant in California on an Army base where it receives garbage and demonstrates its process. The new funds—an investment steered by by the Bill Gates-lead Breakthrough Energy fund—will be used to further develop and commercialize the technology. — FAST COMPANY

5. Microsoft has purchased data-focused startup BlueTalon, the fourth startup Microsoft has purchased this year. — CRUNCHBASE

6. Chicago manufacturing hub mHUB will raise a $15 million fund over the next three years to support 60 hardware startups through its Accelerate Impact Fund. — CHICAGO INNO

7. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and Women Who Tech founder Allyson Kapin, co-founders of the Women Startup Challenge, say men can close the gender gap for women in tech by investing in women-led startups; introducing female entrepreneurs to VCs; and promoting women's ideas and accomplishments. — CNBC

8. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo will have a cameo on Silicon Valley's upcoming season—the satirical show about startups recently announced it will start its sixth and final season in October. — SFGATE

9. Tesla's seventh employee Gene Berdichevsky says from day one he was imagining building his own company: today he's raised $295 million for his battery company Sila Nanotechnologies. — FORBES

10. Mars Inc.'s first Seeds of Change Accelerator cohort includes six early-stage companies—chosen from 200 applicants—that focus on plant-based foods using world flavors, including non-dairy butter, India-inspired condiments and value-added hummus. — VENDING TIMES

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.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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