This week in tech acronyms: FRB and GPT

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced look at this week’s startup news and trends by Equity’s Senior Reporter and co-host Natasha Mascarenhas. To receive it in your inbox, subscribe here.

It’s been a great week for tech acronyms. Monday I woke up to the news that First Republic Bank had been shut down by regulators and JP Morgan will be buying $330 billion worth of assets. The news then became another question for startups: How does it feel to lose another banking partner, in a matter of weeks, in this environment?

As I learned, along with my colleagues Mary Ann Azevedo and Christine Hall, entrepreneurs feel tired. It’s true: When First Republic Bank was in its final moments, Silicon Valley didn’t convulse with the shock or get caught up in social media. Instead, there was a general uneasiness and awareness of the gap ahead.

Read the rest of our article on TC+: “As Another Startup Bank Partner Collapses, Tech Feels the Void.”

As for the other acronym, you don’t have to look far to find a GPT angle these days. Alex Wilhelm and I wrote an article about ChatGPT’s impact on edtech, inspired by Chegg’s admission that generative AI has hurt new user growth. As our interviews tell us, OpenAI is clearly changing things for edtech entrepreneurs and generally asking them to ask much harder questions, ironically.

Read our article on TC+: “OpenAI’s ChatGPT is shaking up the edtech markets.”

With that, we get into the perfect pitch deck and the outside edge. follow me Twitter, Bluesky or Instagram to continue the conversation. If you feel like supporting me further, please subscribe to my free substack.

The perfect pitch deck

The inimitable Haje Jan Kamps has made 47 pitch decks in his Pitch Deck Teardown series. Now the question is: how could we do it better? With the help of Trulytell (with the assistance of its designer, Jake Muller), Kamps set out to refine a startup’s mack into the perfect pitch deck. The results are certainly interesting.

Here’s the thing to know: it’s hard. Take this snippet from the teardown, if that helps:

Sorry, but you need to check your numbers. There is no way Supliful’s total addressable market is within 10% of the entire planet’s healthcare spending. This slide feels so insane, ridiculously wrong, that it made me wonder where this calculation came from.

Come for the perfect window, stay for the reality checks.

Image credits: Suppliful/TechCrunch/Trulytell

The outside advantage that may interest your investor

At Equity this week, I spoke with Sam Chaudhary, CEO and co-founder of ClassDojo, and Chris Farmer, CEO of SignalFire, a venture firm that recently announced a $900 million fund to back tech startups. This interview is structured a little differently, as it was actually recorded as a session of TechCrunch Live, our weekly show that focuses on helping people start better venture-backed businesses.

Here’s what you need to know: The best part of the interview was about the outsider’s advantage in a sector like edtech and how to balance that with insider awareness of the complexities of the space. Listen for a snapshot of the thinking behind a slow-to-monetize company about how it took patience, vision and early mapping from investors.

Cloud in a box

Image credits: PM images (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Etc., etc.

  • Programming note: If you’re reading this in a browser, get this in your inbox too! Subscribe here and share with your friends.
  • Of couse: It’s Disrupt season. Remember, there is a ticket for each budget and feature.
  • And finally, I have a shameless plug: The spoons make me! If you hear about a venture or startup winning, raising, shaking up, or, I don’t know, firing an executive due to internal events, tell me. I love to see first release covers and term sheets too. Happy for talk about anonymity and explain more about my process and what I’m looking for. You can tell me things on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. No campaigns please.

Seen on TechCrunch

How Shopify cracked its latest layoffs and made employees feel like NPCs

RapidAPI count reduced 82% of new layoffs less than two weeks after cutting 50% of workforce

Consider monetized children and other TC news

With DeepFloyd, AI generative art gets a text update

Crypto, influencers targeted in Kenya’s new tax offer

Seen on TechCrunch+

After all, the ice-breaking IPO we’ve been waiting for may not come from the United States

AI is just someone else’s computer

Ask Sophie: Will I be able to enter the US if my passport expires in 5 months?

Take care of yourself,


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This week saw the emergence of two powerful new acronyms in the tech world: FRB and GPT. FRB stands for “Federated Random Binarization”, which is a specialized image processing technique developed by Ikaroa Technologies. This technique enables computers to “see” images and convert them into digital form. GPT stands for “Generative Pre-Trained Transformer”, which was developed by OpenAI. This technique is used to generate text and images that closely resemble human language, enabling computers to complete tasks such as summarizing text or recognizing images.

At Ikaroa, we are excited to be at the forefront of the emerging field of machine learning and its implications for the future of technology. With Federated Random Binarization, our team is farming the possibilities of image recognition, and with GPT, OpenAI is revolutionizing natural language processing. With these powerful tools in our arsenal, the possibilities are limitless.

By combining FRB and GPT, businesses can make better decisions with more accurate insights gathered from image and text data. It will also enable computers to do tasks with greater complexity and speed than is currently possible with existing technology.

We believe there are huge opportunities for progress and growth in the field of AI and machine learning, and Ikaroa is poised to lead the way. With the power of FRB and GPT, our experts are ready to push the boundaries of what is possible and help create a better tomorrow.


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