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Apr 10, 2013

Big venture firms eye opportunity in Google Glass

SAN FRANCISCO, April 10 (Reuters) – Venture firms Andreessen
Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
are teaming up to provide funding for startups working with
Google Glass, the hybrid eyeglasses and smartphone developed by

The firms aim to provide funding to startups working on
applications and hardware designed to work with the glasses,
they said on Wednesday.

Apr 10, 2013

In U.S. immigration debate, some query skilled-worker shortage

SAN FRANCISCO, April 10 (Reuters) – As the wrangling over
immigration reform intensifies in the U.S. Congress, the tech
industry is lobbying hard to raise the limit on H-1B visas,
which allow non-U.S. citizens with advanced skills and degrees
in “specialty occupations” to work in the country for up to six

Demand is so great that the annual cap of 65,000 was hit
last week, just days after the application period opened.
Technology companies support raising the H-1B quota almost
five-fold, to 300,000, arguing universities are just not turning
out enough American math and science graduates and they need to
cast their net abroad to stay competitive.

Apr 8, 2013

U.S. holds visa lottery for 85,000 skilled workers

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – A U.S. visa program ran a
lottery on Sunday to award 85,000 slots for high-skilled workers
just one week after the application period opened, the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Service said, signaling companies
feel confident enough about the economy to hire more foreign

The USCIS held the lottery to approve petitions for the
slots after it received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions
last week, including petitions filed for holders of advanced
degrees from U.S. universities. The USCIS started accepting
petitions for the visas just a week ago, on April 1 and stopped
accepting them five days later because of high demand.

Mar 26, 2013

BP Ventures expanding beyond alternative energy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – BP Ventures will continue to expand beyond alternative energy to more mainstream energy investments, said Issam Dairanieh, BP Ventures’ director of global ventures.

The venture arm of the oil and gas giant BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) made its first refining and processing investment two years ago and its first exploration and production investment last year, Dairanieh told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Mar 16, 2013

Malibu resident relents, provides access to “Billionaire’s Beach”

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Access to one of California’s most exclusive strips of sand will soon become easier as a Malibu homeowner settles a decade-long legal battle that will result in a paved path to Carbon Beach, better known as “Billionaire’s Beach.”

The mile-long sandy strip boasts beach getaways owned by record mogul David Geffen, former Dodgers Chief Executive Jamie McCourt, and Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. It also has been home to many movie stars, including John Travolta, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Top architects including Michael Graves and Richard Meier built many of the residences.

Mar 14, 2013

Beach becomes latest clash over technology titans’ property

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist has stepped into the middle of a long-standing controversy over a California tradition: open access to the state’s famed beaches.

In a lawsuit filed this week, the Surfrider Foundation, a coastal protection group, alleges that the owner of a beachfront property south of San Francisco has violated the law by closing an access road that has long been used by local surfers and fisherman to reach a spit of sand called Martin’s Beach.

Mar 9, 2013

Venture firm CMEA sued for sexual harassment, retaliation

SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 (Reuters) – Three executive
assistants are suing venture firm CMEA and one of its former
partners for harassment and retaliation, marking the third
lawsuit in less than a year alleging unfair treatment of women
in Silicon Valley’s clubby world of venture capital.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court of
California last month, alleges then operating partner John Haag
repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments to the women,
sometimes in front of other partners who mostly did nothing to
stop his behavior.

Mar 8, 2013

Sandberg’s hot-button book rings true for Silicon Valley women

SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 (Reuters) – Facebook executive
Sheryl Sandberg is taking a drubbing for prescribing from a
privileged perch the keys to female success in her upcoming book
“Lean In,” but she’s struck a chord among many in her backyard.

In her own technology sector, women remain woefully
underrepresented in leadership roles, even more so than in
fields generally considered heavily male-dominated like
financial services. Sandberg’s willingness to tackle the issue
of women and leadership is drawing plaudits from many in Silicon

Mar 7, 2013

Venture capital firm Matrix nabs young star from Square

SAN FRANCISCO, March 7 (Reuters) – Venture capital firm
Matrix Partners said it had hired 28-year-old Jared Fliesler, an
executive at the mobile-payments company Square, as general

Matrix had been talking to Fliesler for about the last year,
said general partner Dana Stadler, who believes Fliesler will be
able to give good advice to early-stage companies, Matrix’s
focus area.

Mar 5, 2013

Venture capital kingpin Kleiner Perkins acknowledges weak results

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (Reuters) – Blue-chip venture-capital
firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers expressed frustration with
poor fund performance and promised to do better at gatherings
for investors last month, according to people familiar with the

The firm, which has lost some of its shine recently due in
part to hefty bets on green energy technology and a lack of
home-run Internet investments, said it would be more careful
with capital and redouble its efforts to boost performance.
Several investors who received invitations to the meetings said
it was unusual for Kleiner Perkins to hold such gatherings when
it was not raising new funds.