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Kleiner Perkins has been restructuring itself, and part of that plan has been to emphasize the importance of product design, and work with up and coming young designers. Kleiner’s new Design Partner, the former President of RISD John Maeda, announced on Tuesday that Kleiner’s 2014 design fellows program is now open for applications. Design-minded Kleiner companies include Nest, Flipboard, Jawbone, Spotify and Square.

On The Web

Two of venture firm Venrock’s energy investors, Matt Trevithick and Matthew Nordan, have left the firm. Trevithick is an accomplished investor who was one of my first interviews after I launched the cleantech site. We’ve published many pieces from Nordan on the state of cleantech venture capital on this site, and Nordan has launched a clean energy project development company focused on China called MNL Partners (which is keeping a low profile). Both investors worked on Venrock’s Nest deal.

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The New York Times profiles a growing ecosystem for entrepreneurs and startups in Japan. Though, all of these “where’s the next Silicon Valley” articles always make the inevitable comparison to the Valley:

The 20-somethings in jeans sipping espresso and tapping on laptops at this Tokyo business incubator would look more at home in Silicon Valley than in Japan, where for years the surest signs of success were the gray suits of its corporate salarymen.

On The Web

Five-year-old Spanish startup Optimitive has raised a $1.9 million Series A round from European venture capital fund GGM Venture Capital to boost sales of its artificial intelligence software. The company, which came out of the Surge Accelerator in Houston, can help refineries, manufacturers, power generators and industries that are heavy energy users, make their processes more efficient in real time.

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