Weekend Digest: August 3rd, 2018
Fri Aug 03

Weekend Digest: August 3rd, 2018

F.B. International’s Weekend Digest is an easy-to-read breakdown of what we’re reading and highlighting from the past week.

More from this week’s theme: Micro-Mobility


Each week, on F.B.’s social media we highlight a different theme, industry, or sector. Take a look at our Twitter and LinkedIn to see what we’ve been talking about this week.

  • “The love of the people isn’t enough to keep shared electric scooters going.” Check out the story of how electric scooters got started in San Francisco and the hurdles they’ve been facing there: https://bit.ly/2n8AXNn
  • What is a “bird hunter?” And what role does the gig economy play with e-scooters? https://bit.ly/2OrGpaB
  • “Why micro-mobility startups won’t survive as standalone services”: https://bit.ly/2tab429
  • And in Europe? Lime recently launched in Paris, Brussels has their own startup, Troty, but e-scooters are still banned in the UK with no plans to change that: https://bit.ly/2zpuxCt
  • The downside of e-scooters, a short podcast from NPR: https://n.pr/2KjnvPU

What our team is reading this week:

Each week, the team at F.B. chooses an article to share. These are not necessarily related to international business, but are some “good-reads” we think you may enjoy.

Fabrice Bonvoisin, President

Innovation in manufacturing fascinates me, even more so these days with the amazing advancements made in micro-electronics, robotics, advanced materials, 3D printing technologies and information technology.

Ahead of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago this fall (www.imts.com), I was interested to read about this NASA competition for habitat on Mars based on 3D printing technology (www.nasa.gov/…/3DPHab). The fact that the lead on this competition is Bradley University, in Peoria, Illinois, makes it even more exciting.

For those like me who have been closely following the development of 3D printing technologies, this NASA competition is clear evidence that the technology has reached a maturity level allowing it to be considered for important projects like the Mars mission. The same is true in Europe with the collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese National Space Agency, with their 3D printing project for a lunar base station built by 3D printing (https://bit.ly/2MgheWQ). The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also has a 3D printing project: a space drone called the Int-Ball! (https://bit.ly/2O8geEF)

I find these large projects inspirational for young engineers and entrepreneurs. The challenges they represent are fostering creativity and , I believe, producing a full array of innovations that will also impact our lives on earth. Reality is slowly but surely getting closer to science fiction. In my lifetime, I may see  a lunar base like the one I saw in the tv series “Cosmos 1999” (https://imdb.to/2LQdG1s). My son’s generation will probably see the Mars station. Some say that if you can dream it, you can make it. So, I am asking, have you ever dreamed to see a real version of “Star Trek’s Enterprise?” (www.startrek.com)

I know I did, and still do.

Image from NASA

Article: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/mars-habitat/#/4

Ruby Blau, Marketing Associate

We’ve all been hearing that coding is the “language of the future” and the “skill of the future” (and of today) for some time now. But what are we doing to assure that our children are coding-literate? Well a Polish startup may just have the answer. Four students and a lecturer from Białystok University of Technology invented Photon: a robot that “helps children take their first steps in the world of programming.”

The startup behind the invention, Photon Entertainment, has just been awarded the title of best startup in Central and Eastern Europe y the European Business Angels Network (EBAN). This article from Business Insider gives a nice introduction to Photon: what it is, where it’s been, and where it’s headed.

Image from Photon | Business Insider

        Article: https://amp.businessinsider.com/robot-that-teaches-kids-to-code-is-crowned-europes-best-startup-2018-7

Balint Homonnai Varga, Assistant Project Coordinator

Recently, I have developed an obsession with Ocean documentaries and Ocean-tech. In a recent article, Michael Greshko introduces a newly designed underwater sampler robot created by scientists to improve efforts to research deep sea creatures. To be more specific, the origami-like 12-sided enclosure traps and releases soft-bodied inhabitants of the sea, while causing them no harm. The robot allows for various future opportunities in research.

Perhaps National Geographic explorer and Harvard University roboticist explained the purpose for the robot best: ” We want to understand [deep sea animals] without destroying them”.

Image from National Geographic

                  Article: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/07/news-rad-sampler-soft-robotics-marine-deep-sea-biology/

Events you may be interested in next week:

  • August 7thMeet With Costa Rican Tech Entrepreneurs! Tech  Happy Hour sponsored by Outsource Costa Rica and Network After Work. Network with executives from some of the top providers of custom technology solutions and digital marketing, and learn why Outsourcing to Costa Rican professionals can save you time and money on your next tech project, whether it involves custom software development, website design, mobile app development or digital marketing or production. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Bounce Rooftop, 324 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2vwHKE3
  • August 8thExploring Brazil’s E-Commerce. Webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service, will provide an overview of the Brazilian E-commerce industry and how it affects U.S. exporters. 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please, see: https://bit.ly/2O2ElVu

Next week’s theme: FinTech Regulations Around the World

Image from Financial Tribune


Next week we’re going to be discussing trends in FinTech regulations: what regulatory sandboxes are, and why countries all over the world are hurrying to put regulations in place. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see these posts.

Author: Ruby Blau

Ruby is the Marketing Associate for FB International LLC. Ruby focuses on supporting the marketing, social media, and business development efforts of FB International’s clients.

Are you ready?

Use this FREE self-assessment to check if your company has everything it needs to go global.

  • About Us

    FB International, LLC has more than 30 years (20 years in Chicago) of diverse functional, industry, and geographic experience in US, Europe and Asia.

    We are experts in global value chain with experience in logistics, production, research and development, audit, and roles such as CFO, VP of Human Resources, and Senior Consultant in International Business Development.

  • Events

  • Recent Posts


    Learn more about how we can make your
    market development a success, in the U.S. or in another country.

    Copyright © 2015 FB International, LLC | 333 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1117, Chicago, IL 60601 | Call Us Today 312.236.5555