Shopping with robots. Product flops. What's up with space?

Did you book your meeting?


At our Future of Fintech conference, we introduced a new app to network and meet up with participants.

Over two days, 829 meetings were booked and talked a lot of shop.

We'll be sharing the networking app for TRANSFORM next week. Participants will be able to set up time with other attendees, get a dedicated area to meet, and for the first time, schedule time with our CBI Analysts (first come, first serve — no exceptions).

Best part? It’s completely opt-in. You won’t be wasting your time viewing a list of attendees who aren’t interested in connecting.

There are 49 tickets left and prices are going up November 15.

Save $500 using yougetameeting until Monday.

Get in loser, we're going shopping

Retailers are feeling the heat from Amazon's innovations in the retail space. They're turning to AI to stay competitive and offer consumers more transparency.

From detecting "super fake" goods to computer vision for beauty brands, the second installment of our AI Industry Series dives deep into the top retail AI trends to watch.

Synthesize it

Humans have harnessed microorganisms to produce valuable byproducts — like beer — for thousands of years.

Now, thanks to new innovations in gene editing and robotic lab automation, synthetic biology is opening the door to totally new opportunities.

New cell-produced products could replace industrial and chemical processes in food, fuel, medicine, and much more. We take a look at 35+ startups making it happen.

 Disrupting fertility

Infertility affects 6.1M women between ages 15 to 44 in the US. Many women are in the dark about their fertility status due to lack of access to fertility services.

Tech is starting to change that.

From period tracking apps to egg-freezing, we examine some of the startups and technologies transforming the women's fertility space. Expert Intelligence clients can see them here.

Can't win 'em all

Product innovation is one way that big corporations can stay competitive — but not all ideas are winners.

From the Juicero to Harley-Davidson cologne to Frito-Lay Lemonade, we take a look at some of the biggest product innovation failures of all time.

 Commencing countdown

Space tech is not just the stuff of sci-fi movies. With rocket development costs falling, regulations embracing private space flight, and better remote sensing and data analytics, the space industry is one to watch.

From small satellites to space-based internet, we take a look at five trends that will likely shape space tech in 2019. Clients can see them here.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. On November 13, we'll be discussing Apple's strategy in healthcare. Sign up for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • 2: Like King Solomon in biblical times, Amazon is rumored to be planning a split decision. Its HQ2 location will reportedly be distributed between two cities: Long Island City in Queens, NY, and the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA. The final locations have been selected from an initial 240 municipalities that pitched themselves to Amazon, and a 20-city shortlist that included Denver, CO, Austin, TX, Atlanta, GA, and more. The tech giant has said it will invest $5B over 20 years into HQ2, and employ as many as 50,000 full-time employees (which will now be split 50/50 at the 2 new locations).
  • $200M: Ford is buying e-scooter rental startup Spin in a deal worth up to $200M. Prior to the acquisition, Spin raised $8M in Series A funding from CRCM Ventures, Grishin Robotics, and Matt Brezina, among others. According to the head of the Ford X startup incubator, Ford intends to expand Spin from 32 to 100 markets in the US over the next 18 months. We previously mentioned Spin in our report on how shared cars, bikes, & scooters are disrupting car ownership, as well as in our client-only bike & scooter tech market map.

  • 2.4 million: Antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” are a growing problem, according to a new OECD report. The report predicts that superbugs could kill 2.4 million people in North America, Europe, and Australia by 2050, and cost $65B in the US alone. The report recommended measures such as better hygiene standards in hospitals, delayed prescriptions to dent antibiotic overuse, and developing better testing to identify viral vs. bacterial infections.
  • 13: Point-of-sale payments company Square held its Q3 earnings call yesterday, with earnings exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue grew 86% YoY to reach $882M, with subscription- and services-based revenue making an especially strong showing, up 155% to $166M. According to the company, Square sellers together make up the 13th-largest US retailer by annual sales — clocking in above Publix, Macy’s, and the Apple Store/iTunes. We just released a report on Square’s long-term growth strategy, and how the fintech is gearing up to challenge banking incumbents. Read it here.

  • $1.002T: US retailers are set to break $1T in sales this holiday season, according to new estimates from eMarketer, with online sales predicted to grow by 16.6%. Despite the ongoing retail apocalypse, in-store sales are also predicted to rise, increasing 4.4% YoY. We recently published a report on how retailers can survive and thrive this holiday season. Get it here.

  • 213,200 mph: NASA broke the record for the fastest human-made object, with its $1.5B Parker Solar Probe. The probe was first launched in August, and Monday made its first approach near the sun, flying at a speed of 213,200 miles per hour 15 million miles above its surface. The probe will continue its mission through 2019, orbiting increasingly closer to the surface of the sun, with its final pass only 4 million miles away. Clients can read about 5 trends shaping space tech in 2019 here.
One more thing...

Centreville, Virginia has a life-size foam replica of Stonehenge, called Foamhenge.

After being built in Natural Bridge, VA as an April Fools' joke in 2004, Foamhenge became a popular roadside destination for thousands of travelers. It has even been used on NCIS and Jeopardy.

Foamhenge was relocated to Cox Farm in Centreville last year.
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