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Special Student Webinar Series

The WSJ College Program has launched a new webinar series especially for college students. The first, focused on Interviewing, aired earlier this week.

WSJ Editor Nikki Waller and industry expert Pamela Skillings shared tips and answered questions on NOT bombing the interview. Viewers learned how to impress while avoiding common pitfalls.

They can view this webinar and register for future ones at WSJ.com/studentwebinars.

Be sure to share this information with your students.
THIS WEEK'S ARTICLES
Web Startup Jet Touts Lofty Sales Goal
Diabetes Device Startup Raises $225 Million
Gadgets Help Bring Diagnostics Into the Home
U.S. Faulted for Risking Edge in R&D
Gett Set to Expand Into Pizza Delivery

Web Startup Jet Touts Lofty Sales Goal
by: Greg Besinger
Apr 23, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: E-Commerce

SUMMARY: Jet.com, despite the fact that it hasn't launched yet, has landed a value of $600 million. It is also the most highly anticipated e-commerce entrant in recent memory. Jet.com will be an ecommerce site similar to Amazon and will offer lower prices based on the merchandise's proximity to a buyer, as well as by using commissions it receives from sellers to lower list prices. The site is expected to open this spring. Jet.com's is led by Mike Lore, the former head of Diapers.com parent Quidsi. In presentations made to investors, Jet.com has indicated that it anticipates annual sales of $20 billion by 2020. In regard to 2015, Jet.com hopes to have one million customers by year-end and 15 million within five years. Jet.com customers will have to pay $50 a year to access the site.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Discuss with your students their immediate reaction to Jet.com's business model. Discuss the pluses and minuses. Speculate on whether Jet.com's sales projections seem reasonable. Discuss the e-commerce space in general and whether it still provides promising opportunities for new entrants.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Do some research on Mike Lore and Diapers.com parent Quidsi. How successful or unsuccessful was Mike Lore as an e-commerce entrepreneur with Quidsi? To what degree do you believe his involvement in Jet.com has helped spur investor interest?

2. (Advanced) What is your initial reaction to Jet.com's business model? From the limited information you have about Jet.com's business model, what are its upsides and downsides?

3. (Advanced) On a scale of 1-10 (10 is high), how much potential do you think Jet.com has? Justify your answer.

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


Diabetes Device Startup Raises $225 Million
by: Ron Winslow
Apr 28, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Business Startups

SUMMARY: Intarcia Therapeutics, a diabetes device startup, said it raised $225 million in its latest round of funding. Intracia is developing a drug delivery pump for people with diabetes. The device, called ITCA 650, is a matchstick-size pump that will hold up to a year's supply of medicine that helps patients with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar. Implanted in abdominal tissue, the pump continuously delivers micro quantities of the drug, enabling patients to maintain consistent blood sugar while assuring they stay on the medicine. The size of Intarcia's financing reflects that fact that investors expect the device to be a huge seller. The advances of the device is that once implanted, it assures that patients are compliant with their medication for up to a year. Fewer than half of diabetes patients on conventional medications remain on them for that long.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Discuss the potential impact of Intarcia Therapeutics's device. Talk about the advantages of the device over conventional ways of administrating diabetes medication. Talk about the problems caused (for patients, doctors and insurance companies) of patient con-compliance with traditional diabetes medication regimes. Discuss the unusual terms that accompanied Intarcia's most recent round of funding. Speculate on why the unusual terms were offered to investors and why Intarcia's investors accepted them.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why do medical device startups need what seems to be large amounts of funding?

2. (Advanced) Discuss the potential upside of Intarcia's device if it delivers on all of its promises? To what degree does the potential upside of a new medical device translate into investor enthusiasm?

3. (Advanced) If Intarcia's device is widely successful, what will it mean for diabetes patients, diabetes physicians, and medical insurance companies?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


Gadgets Help Bring Diagnostics Into the Home
by: Timothy Hay
Apr 28, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: New Product Development

SUMMARY: This article focuses on Scanadu, a Silicon Valley startup that is building a medical device that, with the help of a smartphone app, may analyze vital signs with a quick scan of the forehead. A companion device would measure a blood or urine sample like a medical lab does, which may diagnose an illness such as kidney infection. Scanadu's devices, which are "home-test" medical devices, will be sold directly to consumers. The first device, which is pictured in the article, will be pressed to a person's forehead and will measure body temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure. To get the device (called Scout) off the ground, Scandau raised nearly $1.7 million on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in 2013. It has subsequently raided an additional $35 million in funding. The Scout has been approved by the FDA as an "investigation device," meaning it can be used in a study of its effectiveness as a vital-sign tracker. Scanadu is shipping thousands of the devices to its Indiegogo supports. The recipients must agree to allow the FDV to study how they are being used.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This is a fascinating article. Discuss with your students the potential of Scout and the other devices that that Scanadu is building. Talk about the challenges involved with the FDA approval process. Discuss the Scanadu story and how the founders' used Indiegogo to raise their initial funding and to get feedback from consumer about their device.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Would you purchase a Scout if it was available? Why or why not?

2. (Advanced) Why do you think Scanadu initially used crowdfunding to raise money rather than going straight to professional investors?

3. (Advanced) To what degree are you a "believer" in what Scanadu is developing? If you were an investor, would you put money into Scanadu? Why or why not?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


U.S. Faulted for Risking Edge in R&D
by: Robert McMillan
Apr 28, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Research and Development

SUMMARY: A recently published MIT report warns that the U.S. government is spending an ever-smaller percentage of its budget on basic R&D. Basic R&D often lays the groundwork for commercial products that may not emerge for years or decades to come. In 1968, the U.S. spend 9.1% of the federal government's annual budget on R&D. Today, that percentage has shrunk to 3.5%. Though the U.S. leads the world in total R&D outlays, Europe and Asia have been raising their government investment. Analysts estimate that China will be the world's largest spender on R&D by the early 2020s. This growing rivalry is driving scientific talent abroad, the MIT reports says. U.S. companies have also reduced their allocation to basic research. This fact is slowing progress in treatments for major diseases like Alzheimer, said one observer quoted in the article.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Ask your students to speculate on both the short term and the long term implications of falling R&D expenditures, for both the federal government and private companies. Talk about the value of basic R&D for the entrepreneurial sector of the U.S. economy. Talk about the downsides of the U.S. losing top researchers to other parts of the world because of declining U.S. support for basic research.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why do you think the percentage of the federal budget that goes to basic research is falling?

2. (Introductory) Why do you think private corporations, as a whole, are spending a smaller percentage of their budgets on basic research?

3. (Advanced) In what ways does the federal government disburse money to be spent on basic research?

4. (Advanced) What are the potential downsides of the U.S. losing top researchers to other parts of the world because of declining support for basic research?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


Gett Set to Expand Into Pizza Delivery
by: Yuliya Cherova
Apr 29, 2015
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Business Strategy

SUMMARY: GetTaxi, a ride-providing service that completes with Uber and Lyft, says it plans to start a menu of on-demand services, such as manicures, housecleaning and pizza delivery. GetTaxi, which is rebranding as Gett, is currently available in 32 cities, including New York, Moscow, London and Tel Aviv. A spokesperson for Gett compared the expansion to that of Amazon.com, which started out by selling books and grew to offer a vast variety of retail items. Gett's car services has more than 20,000 drivers globally, including 2,000 in New York.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: Talk to your students about the potential (or lack of potential) of what Gett calls "immediate satisfaction" services. Speculate on whether immediate satisfaction (or on-demand) services such as manicures and housekeeping will be successful. Talk about Gett's basic business model. Discuss the operational challenges involved with what Gett is planning.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What are the primary operational challenges involved with the on-demand services that Gett is planning to offer?

2. (Advanced) To what degree do you think Gett will experience consumer demand for on-demand services such as manicures and housekeeping?

3. (Advanced) If Gett is successful in the additional services that it plan to offer, what is the likelihood that Uber and Lyft will start offering similar services?

Reviewed By: Bruce Barringer, Oklahoma State University


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