SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Venture capital

Venture capital is a form of Private Equity financing, provided by Venture Capital firms or funds to start-up's, early-stage, emerging companies that have been deemed to have high growth potential or which have demonstrated high growth. Venture capital firms or funds invest in these early-stage companies in exchange for equity, or an ownership stake, in those companies. Venture capitalists take on the risk of financing risky start-ups in the hopes that some of the firms they support will become successful; because startups face high uncertainty, VC investments have high rates of failure. The start-ups are based on an innovative technology or business model and they are from the high technology industries, such as information technology, clean technology or biotechnology; the typical venture capital investment occurs. The first round of institutional venture capital to fund growth is called the Series A round. Venture capitalists provide this financing in the interest of generating a return through an eventual "exit" event, such as the company selling shares to the public for the first time in an initial public offering or doing a merger and acquisition of the company.

Alternatively, an exit may come about via the private equity secondary market. In addition to angel investing, equity crowdfunding and other seed funding options, venture capital is attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and have not reached the point where they are able to secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering. In exchange for the high risk that venture capitalists assume by investing in smaller and early-stage companies, venture capitalists get significant control over company decisions, in addition to a significant portion of the companies' ownership. Start-ups like Uber, Flipkart, Xiaomi & Didi Chuxing are valued startups known as unicorns, where venture capitalists contribute more than financing to these early-stage firms. Venture capital is a way in which the private and public sectors can construct an institution that systematically creates business networks for the new firms and industries, so that they can progress and develop.

This institution helps identify promising new firms and provide them with finance, technical expertise, talent acquisition, strategic partnership, marketing "know-how", business models. Once integrated into the business network, these firms are more to succeed, as they become "nodes" in the search networks for designing and building products in their domain. However, venture capitalists' decisions are biased, exhibiting for instance overconfidence and illusion of control, much like entrepreneurial decisions in general. A startup may be defined as a project prospective converted into a process with an adequate assumed risk and investment. With few exceptions, private equity in the first half of the 20th century was the domain of wealthy individuals and families; the Wallenbergs, Whitneys and Warburgs were notable investors in private companies in the first half of the century. In 1938, Laurance S. Rockefeller helped finance the creation of both Eastern Air Lines and Douglas Aircraft, the Rockefeller family had vast holdings in a variety of companies.

Eric M. Warburg founded E. M. Warburg & Co. in 1938, which would become Warburg Pincus, with investments in both leveraged buyouts and venture capital. The Wallenberg family started Investor AB in 1916 in Sweden and were early investors in several Swedish companies such as ABB, Atlas Copco, etc. in the first half of the 20th century. Before World War II, money orders remained the domain of wealthy individuals and families. Only after 1945 did "true" private equity investments begin to emerge, notably with the founding of the first two venture capital firms in 1946: American Research and Development Corporation and J. H. Whitney & Company. Georges Doriot, the "father of venture capitalism", founded the graduate business school INSEAD in 1957. Along with Ralph Flanders and Karl Compton, Doriot founded ARDC in 1946 to encourage private-sector investment in businesses run by soldiers returning from World War II. ARDC became the first institutional private-equity investment firm to raise capital from sources other than wealthy families, although it had several notable investment successes as well.

ARDC is credited with the first trick when its 1957 investment of $70,000 in Digital Equipment Corporation would be valued at over $355 million after the company's initial public offering in 1968. Former employees of ARDC went on to establish several prominent venture-capital firms including Greylock Partners and Morgan, Holland Ventures, the predecessor of Flagship Ventures. ARDC continued investing until 1971. In 1972 Doriot merged ARDC with Textron after having invested in over 150 companies. John Hay Whitney and his partner Benno Schmidt founded J. H. Whitney & Company in 1946. Whitney had been investing since the 1930s, founding Pioneer Pictures in 1933 and acquiring a 15% interest in Technicolor Corporation with his cousin Cornelius Vand

Maya maize god

Like other Mesoamerican people, the traditional Mayas recognize in their staple crop, maize, a vital force with which they identify. This is shown by their mythological traditions. According to the 16th-century Popol Vuh, the Hero Twins have maize plants for alter egos and man himself is created from maize; the discovery and opening of the Maize Mountain - the place where the corn seeds are hidden - is still one of the most popular of Maya tales. In the Classic period, the maize deity shows aspects of a culture hero. In Mayan oral tradition, maize is personified as a woman - like rice in Southeast Asia, or wheat in ancient Greece and Rome; the acquisition of this woman through bridal capture constitutes one of the basic Mayan myths. In contrast to this, the pre-Spanish Mayan aristocracy appears to have conceived of maize as male; the classic period distinguished two male forms: a tonsured one. The foliated god is present in the so-called maize tree, its cobs being shaped like the deity's head. A male maize deity representing the foliated type and labeled God E is present in the three extant Maya books of undisputed authenticity.

Whereas the foliated maize god is a one-dimensional vegetation spirit, the tonsured maize god's functions are much more diverse. When performing ritually, the latter wears a netted jade skirt and a belt with a large spondylus shell covering the loins. On stelae, it is a queen rather than a king; the queen thus appears as a maize goddess, in accordance with the Mayan narrative traditions mentioned above. Many classic Mayan paintings those on vases, testify to the existence of a rich mythology centered on the tonsured maize god; the late pre-classic murals of San Bartolo demonstrate its great antiquity. Several theories, with varying degrees of ethnographic support, have been formulated to account for episodes such as the maize deity's resurrection from a turtle, his canoe voyage, his transformation into a cacao tree; the tonsured maize god is accompanied by the hero twins. Following Karl Taube, many scholars believe that the resurrected tonsured maize god of the classic period corresponds to the father of the hero twins in the Popol Vuh called Hun-Hunahpu.

However, this accepted identification has been contested. Linda Schele's emphasis on creation has led to a series of interconnected hypotheses all involving the cosmological centrality of the tonsured maize god, to wit: his establishment of the so-called "three-stone hearth"; the maize god's presence in the San Bartolo arrangement of five world trees has been interpreted as his establishment of the world. Another theory, formulated by Simon Martin, focuses on the tonsured maize god's interaction with an aged jaguar deity of trade, God L; this interaction is related to the hero's transformation into a cacao tree conceived as a "trophy tree." God L is assumed to have presided over the dry season dedicated to long-distance trade and the cacao harvest, the Tonsured Maize God over the wet season and the growth of the maize. The onset of the two seasons is thought to be symbolized by the defeat of the maize deity and of God L, respectively. In many scenes, an aquatic environment comes to the fore, most famously in the maize deity's resurrection from the carapace of a turtle, floating on the waters.

Braakhuis pointed out that such an environment characterizes an important maize myth shared by many ethnic groups inhabiting Mexico's Gulf Coast. The fact that this myth focuses on a male, rather than a female maize deity, while at the same time establishing an intimate connection between the maize god and the turtle, is adduced in support of the idea that the classic Mayas once formed part of the same narrative tradition. More in particular, the Pre-Classic San Bartolo Mayan maize deity dancing with a turtle drum amidst aquatic deities may have a connection with a Zoque version of the Gulf Coast maize myth. Several designations for the pre-Spanish maize god occur in the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, they include uac chuaac nal. In the wake of Schele, the tonsured maize god has been nicknamed "first father." The classic name of the tonsured maize god, which includes the numeral "One", is not known with certainty. Schele's "Hun-Nal-Ye" used to be popular. In a general sense, maize relates to the day Qʼan.

The appearance of the tonsured maize god is connected to the base date of the Long Count, 4 Ahau 8 Cumku. The head of the tonsured maize god serves to denote the number 1, that of the foliated maize god the number 8; the tonsured maize god is sometimes found associated with the lunar crescent and may therefore have played a role in the divisions of the lunar count. Centeōtl Chicomecōātl Xochipilli Media related to Maize god at Wikimedia Commons

Polish Astronomical Society

The Polish Astronomical Society is science society in Poland, founded in 1923, with headquarters in Warsaw. Members of PTA are professional astronomers. Purpose of the association is promoting the development of astronomical science, their teaching and outreach in community. PTA is involved in publishing astronomical books, as well as popular science magazine Urania - Postępy Astronomii. PTA is a producer of a TV series Astronarium about astronomy and space; the society organizes contests. Current President of PTA is Marek Sarna and number of members is around 280. Polish Astronomical Society is a member of the European Astronomical Society. Since 2003, the Polish Astronomical Society has been presenting scientists with the Bohdan Paczyński Medal for significant contributions to astronomy and astrophysics as well as the Włodzimierz Zonn Prize for popularizing the knowledge of the universe. List of astronomical societies Website of PTA Website of Urania magazine