When it comes to the tech world few, if any, firms dominate like Microsoft. But that doesn’t mean the big player at the top of the food chain isn’t interested in the little guys at the bottom. This week the software giant unveiled its Microsoft for Startups incubator program, aimed at providing young businesses with the tools and expertise they need to thrive. The company plans to invest $500 million over two years to offer joint sales engagement and access to technology and community spaces. “Startups inspire us by pushing the envelope of the possible and building products that improve our personal and professional lives,” Microsoft said in a statement.
No country pushes the vertical limits of architecture more than the United Arab Emirates. Its largest city, Dubai, now boasts the two highest-reaching hotels on the planet. The 356-meter tall Gevora Hotel, which opened on Monday, is just one meter taller than the previous record-holder, the JW Marriott Marquis, also in Dubai. The city already boasts the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa - and 11 of the top 50 overall. In comparison to many of Dubai’s ultra-luxury hotels, the Gevora is expected to be a more economical option for travelers, and with no alcohol license, will be geared primarily towards families.
There are no shortage of apps that help people find love, but there are far fewer options for holding onto it. That’s why, coinciding with Valentine’s Day this week, US startup iHeartUs launched its new app that helps couples to grow their relationship. The app allows users to share their interests and priorities with their partner - everything from what makes up their perfect romantic evening to their greatest strengths. It even facilitates dates by offering discounts for outings.
London’s Olympic village used to be famous for the speed records its residents set on the track, but now a different kind of fast-moving milestone has been reached in Britain’s largest city. UK company Hyperoptic said this week it conducted a test of the fastest broadband the country has ever seen, reaching speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. Few computers on the market can handle the kind of speeds Hyperoptic was testing, but the company said it would develop the technology if the demand was there. With internet data use growing at breakneck pace, most providers are convinced of the need to invest in the kind of infrastructure capable of keeping up. “This 10Gb test proves that our network can scale in the future,” said Hyperoptic CEO Dana Tobik.
For many young people, owning a car in the big city is not only inconvenient, it’s expensive. In a bid to cater to the millennial generation, auto giant General Motors launched its Maven car sharing service. By offering vehicles to rent by the hour, day or even month, Maven has allowed urban dwellers the convenience of a car only when they need it. It’s proven a hit with the company’s target demographic - a whopping 78 percent of customers are under the age of 30. Now Maven is taking their business international, announcing this week it was expanding from the US to Toronto. “Bringing Maven car sharing to Toronto not only reduces congestion, but also represents the latest step in the development of General Motors’ mobility footprint in Canada,” said Steve Carlisle, president and managing director at General Motors of Canada.