Nokia restructuring means Navteq will close Malvern office, affecting about 300 employees;'s legacy

Tom Paine

Struggling Finnish handset maker Nokia yesterday announced further streamlining of its workforce and operations, which may result in a global headcount reduction of 3500 people. In addition to the handset business, these changes will impact Nokia's Location & Commerce sector, which includes Navteq and its operations in Malvern. Nokia says it will close the Malvern office and concentrate Navteq's US operations in Chicago and Boston. A company spokesperson said in an email to Philly Tech News that about 300 people will be affected in Malvern, although there will be some relocation opportunities to Chicago or Boston.

This appears to close an interesting chapter in Philly Tech history that grew out of, earlier called Mobility Technologies and other names. Founded in 1998 with backing from VC firms including Radnor's TL Ventures, set out to revolutionize traffic monitoring and reporting through the use of technology. It installed roadside traffic sensors and used various other sources to collect real-time traffic information and distribute it to consumers and business users via multiple types of media. My sense is that its broadcast and information delivery operations (sort of an AccuWeather for traffic) are probably more important than its data collection activities now. And it is a competitive business. did an IPO in 2006. It was promptly acquired later that year by Navteq for about $180 million; Nokia in turn announced it would acquire Navteq in late 2007. At the time of its acquisition by Navteq, had approximately 650 employees.

Moco News reports that Navteq lost $67.6 million on revenue of $331 million, according to Nokia's latest quarterly results reported in July. There was no specific breakout on Navteq Traffic's contribution to those numbers. served as a training ground for many Philly entrepreneurs who have gone on to make significant contributions to the tech ecosystem in this area and elsewhere. Among those I've found named as co-founders are Brian Malewicz, President of Wayne-based GreenLink Networks, Mike Burns, Managing Partner of King of Prussia VC firm Alara Capital, Al McGowan, CEO of Wisconsin-based TrafficCast, and Chris Rothey, former COO and a now a top Navteq exec in Malvern. And there are many others veterans doing big things.


Daily Links 9/30/2011: PennSERS reported to be trying to sell up to half of PE assets

PennSERS Is Trying to Sell up to Half ($3B) of Its PE Assets (PE Hub)

S&P upgrades Liberty Interactive after split (AP via Bloomberg)

SAP co-CEO sees big future in lots of data (USA Today)

FAQ: Oracle OpenWorld's Burning Questions (PC World)

Apotheker's HP payout dwarfs new CEO's salary (Reuters)

Wi-Fi Hotspot App Connectify Gets New Funding From ITQ – The Firm That Finds New Tech For CIA (TechCrunch)

Vishay Intertechnology Announces Acquisition of Specialty Resistor Company (Business Wire)

Verizon Expands Home Monitoring Service Plans (Light Reading Cable)

Philadelphia’s Choice Cable Provider RCN Exclusively brings TiVo Premiere to Philly (PR Web)
RCN's cable services are not actually available within the city of Philadelphia itself, a company spokesperson confirmed, but in areas of bordering Delaware County, as well as parts of the Lehigh Valley.


NJ’s First Tech Accelerator to Focus on Enterprise

Esther Surden

Two weeks ago N.J.-based investor and software engineer Ken Kay, who is well-known in the angel community as a founder of Jumpstart NJ Angel Network, announced he is launching N.J.’s first tech startup accelerator, Ecelerator. It will be located somewhere in the Newark or Hoboken area. The twist: Ecelerator will focus on business-to-business (B2B) startup opportunities.

Tech accelerators take very early-stage companies, provide them an office space and connect them with seasoned mentors, corporate executives, angel investors and venture capitalists, helping them grow while learning through a network of built-in contacts. Kay says Ecelerator will be modeled after the programs Y Combinator and TechStars. Through a three-month residency program, early-stage companies can hone their business skills and gain guidance from experts in the field.

“Our concept is to bring the corporate people into the same room as the tech entrepreneurs and get them solving problems that are enterprise-oriented. I think a B2B accelerator plays to the strengths we have here in N.J. I’ve reached out to the corporate community: Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station), Dow Jones & Co. (New York), Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick) and other key leaders. They are all very enthusiastic about this concept,” he reports.

Kay says it’s really not in the culture of large corporations to innovate in the way that tech startups do, but they really want to tap into that creative energy. “They are too busy keeping up with their basic infrastructure to innovate inside or through their vendor network. I really believe they need a third party to help them do that and move their technology along.”

Right now funding for the B2B accelerator will be provided by angel investors and VCs who are interested in early-stage companies. Kay has also applied to be a part of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Edison Innovative Tech Accelerator Initiative. If that money comes through, it will also help fund the fledgling companies. He believes his concept is unique. “I’ve talked to a lot of people about this, including universities, venture capitalists and angel groups, and no one is moving in this direction except me,” he says.

Ecelerator will provide funding to startup teams of up to three founders, one of whom must be a software developer. Each team will receive $6,000 per founder and $7,000 per company. Ecelerator will receive an initial six percent equity interest in each company. The company isn’t limiting entrepreneurs to homegrown N.J. residents, welcoming anyone to apply. Kay is currently looking for both founders and mentors for the first “class” that will be launching in the spring.

Besides Kay, the Ecelerator team includes senior advisor Safa Sadeghpour, senior engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. (New York); Joan Smith, of (Lambertville, N.J.) as marketing director; Aaron Price, founder of NJ Tech Meetup; and Yiannis Kourakis, executive board member at the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City. Among the advisors to the organization are David Sorin, co-managing partner of SorinRoyerCooper LLC (East Brunswick); Mel Biada, who started Bluestone Software and is now with BaseCamp Ventures ; Scott Case, a founding CTO of; Steve Sashihara, CEO of Princeton Consultants; and Maxine Ballen, founder and CEO of the New Jersey Technology Council.

Kay says he got the idea for Ecelerator after visiting an entrepreneur at DreamIt Ventures (Philadelphia). He began speaking to colleagues about the idea of launching an accelerator like DreamIt in N.J. to energize startup activity in the state.

To help publicize Ecelerator and make B2B entrepreneurs aware of its existence, Kay, along with others, put together an evening panel discussion in New York on Sept. 27. The event featured speakers from three verticals, healthcare IT, financial services and enterprise software, discussing how they think about buying startups.

Kay is also planning to get some N.J. hackers and budding entrepreneurs together for a trip on the StartupBus, a unique concept through which strangers collaborate to create a company during the grueling migration to the annual South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of   New Jersey Tech Weekly , and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared (with the exception of two updates) in New Jersey Tech Weekly.


Introducing New Jersey Tech Weekly's Esther Surden to Philly Tech News readers

Esther Surden is Publisher & Editor of New Jersey Tech Weekly, the website she recently founded. Esther is a veteran journalist who has written about the business of technology as well as how technology works for more than 30 years.

She is also a contributor at and author of the blog Tech and the Baby Boomer at Esther holds a M.S. in publishing from Pace University.
At the beginning of her career, Esther worked for Auerbach Publishing compiling Auerbach Computer Technology Reports at a fascinating time in the computer industry. She helped write reports about how modems worked and compiled statistics about some of the first microcomputers. Esther learned how to write about and follow technology working under her mentor Jean Bartik, an industry pioneer who helped program the Eniac at the University of Pennsylvania.

She later worked for the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information. Esther has written for Computerworld and several other leading computer industry publications, covering the minicomputer era, the rise of the PC, the Internet, and mobile devices.

Esther is an occasional contributor to Philly Tech News, providing coverage of important statewide technology issues in New Jersey as well as reports on tech developments in South and Central Jersey.


Daily Links 9/29/2011: Comcast, FiOS to be available to subscribers through Xbox Live

Microsoft to Add Comcast, Verizon Pay TV to Xbox Live (Bloomberg)

Nokia continues to align its workforce and operations (Nokia Press Release)
Nokia to close NAVTEQ/ office in Malvern. was founded in the area before being acquired by NAVTEQ, which in turn was acquired by Nokia.

Nationwide to buy Harleysville for $760 million (Reuters)
Harleysville is regarded as an IT leader in the insurance industry.

Nationwide Pays Huge Premium for Harleysville (New York Times: DealBook)

Groupon Rolls Out Loyalty Program to Try to Make Merchants Happier
(All Things Digital)
Launching in Chicago and Philadelphia this month.

PA pension fund fires consultants, seeks 'fresh look' ( Philly Deals)

Oracle Says Autonomy’s Lynch Met Hurd to Pitch Sale (Bloomberg)

Autonomy CEO defends HP deal while sniping with Oracle (San Jose Mercury News)
The Wall Street Journal is reporting (subscription required) that HP hopes to close Autonomy deal on Monday.

Oracle needs some cloud computing mojo (Gigaom)

This 23-Year-Old's Startup Is Generating $10 Million This Year (Silicon Alley Insider)
New York-based Adaptly was in last year's DreamIt Ventures class in Philly, funded by First Round Capital.

Universal Display Signs OLED Technology License Agreement with Pioneer Corporation for Lighting (Business Wire)

Verizon Gives FiOS Guide A Facelift In Philly, N.J. And Delaware
Telco Launches HD-Optimized Interactive Media Guide to 2.9 Million Households
(Multichannel News)

New TelVue gear could power hyperlocal programming (Fierce Cable)
TelVue is based in Mount Laurel.


Daily Links 9/28/2011: Comcast testing theme-based Cable packages in Connecticut; small step towards a la carte pricing?

Updated: Amazon Stunner: New Kindle Tablet Will Go For $199 (paidContent)

The Kindle Fire Will Have A Whole New “Cloud Accelerated” Mobile Browser Called Amazon Silk (TechCrunch)

Kindle Fire will prime the pump for Amazon Video (Gigaom)

Comcast Testing Theme-Based Cable Packages In CT; A National First For Choice? (Hartford Courant)
A small move towards a la carte pricing?

SAP upbeat in face of global economy worries -paper (Reuters)

INTERVIEW: NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson On Why The Cloud Will Eat Microsoft And SAP (Silicon Alley Insider)
Nelson: "The first thing I've discovered is SAP actually doesn't work... ".

Comcast Ventures Announces Formation of CTI Towers, Inc.
Anthony F. Peduto Named CEO
(Business Wire)

Connectify Secures Strategic Investment from IQT to Advance Wireless Networking Capabilities for U.S. Intelligence Community (PR Newswire)
Philly-based network tech company gets investment from CIA-backed VC firm.

USA Technologies Reports Record Full Year and Fourth Quarter Revenues (Business Wire)

NewSpring Capital cinches up $220M for mezzanine fund (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Analyzing the SAP/Crossgate Acquisition: Customer, Product and Competitive Implications (Part 2) (Spend Matters)

Online Ad Revenues Hit $15 Billion in First Half 2011 (ClickZ)

QlikView on Mobile Expands Support for Apple iOS, Android, and BlackBerry Platforms (Business Wire)

Kenexa and The Brooklyn Group Announce Joint Venture
Relationship Expands Kenexa's Footprint in the Australian Talent Acquisition Market


Exton-based Scala names Tom Nix new CEO; big opportunities in large global market

Tom Paine

Exton-based Scala, a pioneer and leader in the digital signage market, announced earlier this month that Tom Nix would be its new CEO as of November 1, succeeding Gerard Bucas, who is retiring but will remain on Scala's Board of Directors. Nix, who joined the company in 2010, was previously Vice President, Americas and Oceania, where he was responsible for Scala’s sales, services and support operations in those regions.

Scala was founded in Norway in 1987 and migrated to the US, establishing its headquarters in Exton. This was in large part because its original platform was the Commodore Amiga, and Commodore International was based just down the road in West Chester. When Commodore went under in the mid-1990's, Scala had to make a quick transition to the Windows platform. Some of Scala's top executives are still Commodore veterans. Although it is now US-based, Scala remains very global in its orientation (it says its top ten markets this year in order are the U.S., Japan, Norway, Germany, U.K., Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Canada). Norwegians remain key investors.

Although still a relatively small company with 120 employees overall (40 in Exton), Scala is a leading player in a large, growing global market. Reliable market size and share estimates are difficult to come by (and vary depending on one's definition), though it appears to be at least a billion dollar market, counting both hardware and software. Scala only provides software and some services; it relies heavily on its global partner network for sales, support and installation. Many of the big tech players are in the market, including Cisco, Intel, NCR, and Microsoft. Google is working on various out of home display technologies. Late last year, Scala entered into a partnership with HP in which HP's entry-level digital signage offering comes pre-installed with Scala's QuickStart software.

There are many other smaller competitors, an example on the software side being Montreal-based SaaS vendor BroadSign. And of course, many of the large Asian electronics companies have digital signage offerings. Although market growth may have slumped some during the recession, future projections are for strong growth. Hardware has accounted for high percentage of the total spend historically, but it has become much more inexpensive while the capabilities of digital display technologies have advanced dramatically; think of the video wall at the Comcast Center (though not a Scala production) as one example. Digital signage is being deployed in many different market segments, including retail, education, healthcare, financial services, outdoor advertising, and general public information.

Scala can do both small, one-off displays and large complex installations like the recently announced 400+ screens network in Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Scala has been criticized at times for being behind the technology curve in some ways, but Nix said in phone interview with Philly Tech News that Scala emphasizes putting stable, proven technology in the customer's environment, and is making measured moves into SaaS and other newer delivery systems. Last year it invested a reported $2 million in Thinking Screen Media, taking an equity stake in the company and acquiring Thinking Screen's SignChannel product line, giving Scala an entry into the self-service SaaS market for small and medium-sized enterprises. Thinking Screen Media apparently shut down this past summer, but Scala says it signed its first large SignChannel deal this year.

A new area of emphasis under Nix will be the Enterprise market, as Scala looks to develop display applications that connect to CRM and ERP applications such as Salesforce and SAP. Scala plans to introduce what it calls CXO Board, a dynamic performance management dashboard for enterprise managers, later this year. Nix says Scala will also be placing more emphasis on mobile applications.

Nix is a native of Piscataway, and early in his career built an independent record label he later sold. Prior to joining Scala, he was he was Vice President and General Manager at Dynamax Technologies, another digital signage competitor.

As he starts his tenure, Nix faces the challenges of leveraging Scala's global ecosystem and implementing the new technologies it will need to keep up with this large, rapidly changing, market. Scala is experiencing strong growth this year, outgoing CEO Bucas said at a recent Scala conference in Amsterdam. Nix says he has made no determination in regard to headcount growth over the next year.


Daily Links 9/27/2011: Google, Dish top Hulu bidding, but bids may be too low for owners

InterDigital Up 4%: Considering Whole Or Partial Sale Of Co. (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)
InterDigital Press Release

PANL: No LG Deal Imminent, Says Canaccord (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Google and Dish top bids for Hulu (Reuters)

Google, Intel Consider Ultra-Fast Broadband for University Towns (Bloomberg)
Article says Comcast is also considering project, though I'm not sure exactly what that means.

Comcast: Not Just Bigger — Better
Smit’s Comcast Powered By Innovation, Communication
(Multichannel News)

Cable ad plan fizzles (New York Post)
On Canoe Ventures, partially backed by Comcast.

Seamless, Fresh Out of Corporate Fetters, Buys MenuPages for $15 M. as GrubHub Comes Nipping (Betabeat)
Philly-based Aramark sold a $50 million stake in Seamless in June and spun it off as a separate company, although it apparently retains a partial stake in it.

Lessons From Britain’s Health Information Technology Fiasco (New York Times: Bits)

Cognizant to Strengthen Retail Industry Capabilities with Acquisition of Princeton-based Zaffera, a Leading SAP Retail Consulting and Solutions Firm (PR Newswire)


Daily Links 9/26/2011: InterDigital sinks on reports of lower than expected bids

Interdigital Swoons; Report Bids Well Below Street Hopes (Forbes)

InterDigital Swoons on Report of Meek Deal Bids (Wall Street Journal: Deal Journal)

Amazon guns for Netflix, adds 2,000 Fox streaming titles (Gigaom)

Dish ‘Could’ Buy, Partner With Wireless Company, CEO Says (Bloomberg)
Sprint Nextel, Clearwire could be possibilities.

Hispanic TV Summit: Comcast's Gonzalez Says Change Will Come To Hispanic Lineup
Content Director Tells Hispanic Programmers Top MSO's Lineup Isn't 'Static'
(Multichannel News)

FCC: Cablevision/MSG Network Violated Program-Access Rules
Says withholding of HD versions of MSG, MSG-Plus hinders competition
(Broadcasting & Cable)

Sungard to Unveil Retail Mobile Banking Platform by Yearend (Bank Innovation)
Not for US market, though.

Capital One hiring 500 in Delaware, getting millions in incentives (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Ben Franklin Technology Partners Seeking Applications From Startup Companies To Take Part In Project Liberty Digital Incubator
(Press Release)
Applications due October 14.

Oracle May Buy Industry-Specific Software Makers, Hurd Says (Bloomberg)

Wave Systems acquires data loss protection co Safend for $12.8m
$21 million was invested in the company.

Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program Kicks Off in Philadelphia (Comcast Voices|Official Comcast Blog)

Temple U. gets federal tech grant (Philadelphia Business Journal)


Liberty Interactive Completes Split-off (Business Wire)

Open Angel Forum Philly II Recap (Gabriel Weinberg's Blog)

OpenView Venture Partners invests $11.5 million in Valley Forge Cloud Services company Xtium

Tom Paine

Valley Forge-based Xtium announced today that it had received a $11.5 million Series A round from OpenView Venture Partners of Boston. Xtium provides IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) virtual private cloud service solutions to mid-market companies. Xtium says it is one of only three companies certified to be a hosting service provider for VMware, SAP, and Riverbed

Peter Ritz, co-founder and President of Xtium, has been a serial entrepreneur in the Philadelphia area involved in the founding of NTERA of Radnor (nanotech electronic inks for digital displays) and mobile business app provider AirClic of Trevose, and also directed legal operations for Ikon Technology Services.

For OpenView Partners, this represents its third major investment in the Philadelphia area announced in the past two months for a total of nearly $40 million, Monetate and NextDocs being the others. When I asked OpenView partner Firas Raou after the NextDocs investment was announced whether the firm had placed a particular emphasis on the area, he said it was only a coincidence. But now OpenView has close to one sixth of the $240 million it currently has under management invested here (at startups within a few miles of each other), so one would have to consider there might be some kind of connection. Valuations, I would guess, can be reasonably attractive for investors here since the market is not as overheated as places like Boston, New York and Silicon Valley.

View OpenView Venture Partners' local investments in a larger map
OpenView partners can easily visit each of their Philly-area portfolio companies in short, leisurely (non-rush hour) drive

Xtium raises $11.5M to expand pay-as-you-grow virtual private cloud services (VentureBeat)


Philly & Tel Aviv-based Safend acquired

Lee, Massachusetts-based Wave Systems Corp announced today it has acquired Safend Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based company with US headquarters in Philadelphia. Safend provides endpoint security and data loss protection solutions.

The price was $12.8 million, of which $1.1 million was in cash and the rest in Wave stock. Wave says Safend has about 70 employees. Wave says it "will retain Safend's experienced executive team", including founder Gil Sever.

Safend VC backers have included Intel Capital, Elron Electronics Industries Ltd., and Walden Israel Venture Capital. Safend had raised at least $16.4 million, according to Crunchbase, so presumably this is not a good exit for its investors.


After Delaware court ruling, Liberty Media split-off to occur on Friday; What does it mean?

Tom Paine

Liberty Media Corp announced yesterday that the Delaware Supreme Court had ruled in its favor in turning down an appeal of a previous Delaware Chancery Court ruling denying a challenge to its long-planned split-off, clearing the way for the move to be completed on Friday.

Everything Liberty does under Chairman John Malone might seem rather confusing to to some; his corporate structure and transactions are often geared towards maximizing tax advantages, among other goals. Liberty has been a constantly evolving investment vehicle. Malone, who has some Philadelphia connections (he was a top exec at Horsham-based General Instruments early in his career and his son Evan is founder of Philly's NextFab Studio and is also on the board of Liberty Media), is not reluctant to sell assets at the right price, and when the tax implications are favorable, then redeploy funds into what he sees as a more favorable opportunity.

Liberty Media before the split-off has consisted of three "tracking stocks"; Liberty Interactive (LINTA), consisting primarily of West Goshen Township-based QVC and some other smaller interactive eCommerce companies; Liberty Capita (LCAPA), which has interests in several media companies and also includes Berwyn-based wireless locator TruePosition and the Atlanta Braves; and Liberty Starz (LSTZA), which holds the movie channels that operate under that name. Tracking stocks are investment vehicles which reflect the value of a company's assets, but the shares do not actually represent legal ownership of part of those assets. Confusing, uh?

When the split-off is completed, Liberty Media will be renamed Liberty Interactive. Liberty Interactive (including QVC), will now be an asset-backed stock (shareholders will actually own part of the assets) as opposed to a tracking stock. Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz will continue to be tracking stocks under a new Liberty Media parent.

There will be a lot of cash (up to $10 billion), although its not clear exactly where that will be allocated and some will be used for share buybacks. The split-off opens the door for a number of rumored or possible plans to move forward:

  • Acquisitions and investments: "We've been pretty frozen by this split-off interregnum," Malone was quoted as saying at Liberty's annual shareholder meeting earlier this month by Multichannel News. "You can probably expect a lot more activity by us post the split-off".
  • Liberty Interactive may move to buy the roughly 70% of HSN (parent of Home Shopping Network) it does not own and integrate it with QVC.
  • Rumors have been floating around that Liberty Starz could be acquired, with Time Warner named as one possibility.
  • I could see some possibilty of a move with TruePosition, which doesn't particularly fit with other types of Liberty interests and could fetch a nice price because of the wireless IP goldrush.
  • You could also see some movement with the Atlanta Braves, if a good buyer is out there. Liberty acquired the Braves as part of an asset trade with Time Warner, and nobody has believed it has a long term strategic interest in it.

Beyond that, QVC could benefit from an increased strategic emphasis on building a larger eCommerce business around it.


Daily Links 9/21/2011: Ex-SAP CEO Apotheker might be on the way out at HP

Liberty Media Zooms As Court Upholds Appeal On Spin-Off (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)
Implications for QVC, perhaps TruePosition, as well as the Atlanta Braves.
Liberty Media's press release. Split-off expected to be completed Friday afternoon, Liberty says.

HP Board Said to Weigh Ousting Apotheker as CEO (Bloomberg)

Is HP competing for "worst board ever" honors? (Reuters)

Oracle Gains After Corporate Software Spending Boosts Profit (Bloomberg)

SAP's Software-Only Innovation Challenge (Josh Greenbaum/Information Week)

Analyzing the Crossgate Acquisition: An SAP and Market Perspective (Spend Matters)

Comcast upbeat about 3Q performance, CFO says (MarketWatch)

Turner Goes to Bat for Playoffs in Philly
TBS turns bus stops into dugouts to promote baseball
(Broadcasting & Cable)

Cable wins broadband subs as telcos take TV (Gigaom)

Why Did Rosum Sell Out? (Directions Magazine)
Rosum recently sold its patent portfolio to Berwyn-based TruePosition.

Heartland Payment sees growth in market share, margins (Reuters)

Greenlight LaserFocus Now an SAP-Endorsed Business Solution for Automated User Access Risk Remediation (Marketwire)


Sneak Peek: An early look at some new ventures popping up around Philly (Yorn, Vita Poducts, Storably)

Tom Paine

Yorn is a West Conshohocken-based startup which provides a feedback loop from mobile devices that people can use to rate the experience they've had with whatever it is you want feedback on, resulting in a "Yorn Score". Yorn received an investment of $150,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners SE in the 2nd quarter. Its CEO is Rick Rasansky, who founded early Philly SaaS startup eCal and was one of individuals behind Network Acquisition Corp, which acquired the Philly Wi-Fi network from Earthlink and later sold it to the city.

Vita Products, a Philadelphia-based company about which I've written previously, has raised $687,000 of a $937,000 offering, according to an SEC filing. Its VITAband product, originally designed with joggers in mind, is a bracelet providing medical professionals with your identification, relevant medical history and emergency contacts, and also includes contactless payment technology you can use with a Visa Prepaid Card.

Storably is a new Philly startup that will help people make use of idle space they might have, such as empty basements and parking spaces, by creating an online marketplace where others can rent that space for their storage needs. Its website goes live tomorrow, the company says, and Storably will be doing a demo at tomorrow night's Philly Tech Meetup. Josh Kowitt and Apu Gupta are co-founders and Wharton graduates. Community Manager Brendan Lowry wrote in an email: "We are a team of Philadelphians who love tech and all things Philly". Its office is located at 2038 Locust Street, between 20th and 21st.

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine student Dr. Jonathan L. Lustgarten (he had previously earned a PHD in Biomedical Informatics at Pitt) is working to develop a state-of-the-art, easily deployed, electronic veterinary health record system to help veterinarians and staff in caring for animals during disaster relief efforts. As the winner of the Penn Vet 2011 Student Inspiration Award, Dr. Lustgarten will receive a $100,000 unrestricted grant to continue work on his project, named the Rehabilitation and Emergency COmputerized VEterinary Records, or RECOVER.


Daily Links 9/20/2011: Morning Call reports on Amazon warehouse conditions

Inside Amazon's warehouse
Lehigh Valley workers tell of brutal heat, dizzying pace at online retailer.
(Allentown Morning Call)
I wonder how GSI Commerce's warehouse operations compare to this.

Quidsi Co-Founder Marc Lore on What Happens After Amazon Buys Your Company and His New Site (Betabeat)

SAP to Acquire Business-to-Business Networking Provider Crossgate (PR Newswire)

Oracle's first quarter: Can the hardware deliver? (ZDNet Blogs)

Oracle's Q1 strong, but hardware sales lag; New SPARC chip on tap (ZDNet Blogs)

Internet of Things Comes to Life in Version 2.0 of ThingWorx Connected Application Platform (Business Wire)

Report tallies the growing vitality of U City (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Comcast's $9.99 Internet for low-income families goes nationwide (Ars Technica)

Comcast Sues British Telecommunications Over Network Patents
Not sure what to make of this yet.

LMC Software Solutions Awarded Second Round of Ben Franklin Technology Partners Funding (PR Newswire)

SunGard to Acquire Syntesys to Expand SWIFT Connectivity and Professional Services over the AvantGard EcoSystem Communication Hub (Echos) (PR Newswire)

LCB turning off wine vending machines (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Daily Links 9/19/2011: Netflix to split; Comcast in Xbox talks

Netflix DVD mailing service to split off and become Qwikster (Ars Technica)

Netflix Strategy Prompts Backlash (New York Times: Media Decoder)

Dish Said to Unveil Blockbuster Streaming Prices on Friday (Bloomberg)

Microsoft in talks with Comcast and Verizon for Xbox TV (Digiday)
Article says deals might be close. Verizon blog mentions Xbox report and certainly
doesn't deny it (Thanks to Dave Zatz for spotting).

Vail to consider Comcast deal (Vail Daily)
You've got to keep subscribers in places like Vail or Martha's Vineyard happy.

Adam Fogelson Re-Upped as Universal Pictures Chairman (Hollywood Reporter)

Reflecting upon SAP TechEd 2011 (Dennis Howlett/ZDNet Blogs)

SAP Relies on Software While Shunning Deals to Vie With Oracle (Bloomberg)

Fiberlink hiring 100 ( Philly Deals)

AT&T makes desperate bid to save T-Mobile purchase with rivals’ help (VentureBeat)

Health Network Labs Chooses Altosoft's Insight to Enable Automated Reporting From Multiple Pathology Systems (PR Newswire)


Hulu sale at risk even as new bids are due (Reuters)

LUMA Partners maps Digital Capital universe

LUMA Partners, a New York/San Francisco-based boutique investment bank which gives strategic advice to media technologies companies, provides what is calls "LUMAscapes"- market maps for different segments of the Digital Media universe.

One LUMAscape released last week maps investment firms that provide capital to digital companies, by type and geography. It shows 316 firms on one page (click on image to enlarge). See how many you can spot that have Philly connections. LUMA welcomes feedback and suggested additions.

You can access other LUMAscapes here.


Daily Links 9/16/2011: Pennsylvania joins DOJ suite against AT&T/T-Mobile merger

About 20% Of U.S. Consumers Prone To Dropping Pay-TV: Analysts
High Cost Of Services Most-Cited Reason for Not Subscribing, Credit Suisse Survey Finds
(Multichannel News)

Time Warner Cable's Stern: We Have to Move Away from Monolithic TV Packages (Multichannel News)

Microsoft Sees Xmas Debut for Xbox TV (Light Reading Cable)

GOP lawmakers scrutinize LightSquared (Washington Post)

AT&T, T-Mobile merger faces new obstacle as seven states join DOJ lawsuit (Washington Post: Post Tech)
Pennsylvania is one of them.

New York Startup Warby Parker Raising A Big Round At ~ $100 Million Valuation (Silicon Alley Insider)
The New York-based online eyeglass vendor was co-founded by four Wharton students; First Round Capital has been one of its investors.

The Hottest Trends in HR Technology (Human Resources Executive Online)

SAP TechEd: SAP BW to Run on HANA Database by November (ASUG News)

4.0 Releases of Business Intelligence and Enterprise Information Management Solutions from the SAP BusinessObjects Portfolio Now Generally Available (PR Newswire)
A long awaited release.

Infosys May Buy Thomson Reuters’ Health-Care Unit, Business Standard Says (Bloomberg)


Daily Links 9/15/2011: Google said to be spending hundreds of mllions on video content

September 2011 Business Outlook Survey (Philly Fed)
"Responses to the Business Outlook Survey this month suggest that regional manufacturing activity is continuing to contract, but declines are less widespread than in August."

Manufacturing in Philadelphia-area Contracted in September

Netflix Cuts Its Guidance By 1 Million Subscribers (All Things Digital)
Netflix ended the day down 19%.

Big cable is facing an ‘affordability crisis’ (Gigaom)

Google Is Secretly Spending Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Turning YouTube Into A Cable Alternative (Silicon Alley Insider)

NBCU's conference highlights the growing buzz of social media (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Bentley Invests in Philadelphia-based TEEC, Developer of SpecWave Software to Intelligently Manage AEC Project Specifications (Business Wire)

ISGN Stresses Smartphone/Tablet-Access (National Mortgage News)

Growing Greenphire: KOP clinical research firm doubling staff (Flying Kite)

Integromics Announces New Version Of SeqSolve™ NGS Analysis Software (Integromics Press Release)

SAP's HANA Is Hot, but Still in Early Days (PC World)

Philly's Startup Scene: A New Underdog Story? (Keystone Edge)

Health IT: Is the U.S. in the middle of a bubble? (MedCity News)


Daily Links 9/14/2011: NBCU sees big retrans fees; Double-edged issue for Comcast

SAP pleads guilty, will pay fine of $20 million in Oracle copyright case (San Jose Mercury News)

Qlik shares slide after Morgan Stanley cuts rating (AP via CBS MoneyWatch)

NBCUniversal's Steve Burke anticipates big bucks in retrans fees (LA Times: Company Town)

NBC could be next to lock down TV content online (Gigaom)

Time Warner Cable Net Customer Additions Stronger Than Expected, CEO Says (Bloomberg)

Philly newspapers cuts about 20 jobs; cite ad drop (AP via

Sound Familiar? Philadelphia Newspapers Subsidize A Tablet To Sell You A Subscription (Wired: Epicenter)

Google Didn't Want All of Motorola Mobility (Light Reading Cable)

Motorola CEO Jha Getting $66M in Google Deal (AP via ABC News)
President and Motorola Home head Daniel Moloney will get $15.7 million when deal closes.

SAP Former Unit ‘Expected’ to Plead Guilty Today to Oracle Downloads (Bloomberg)

McKool Smith Secures $391 Million Judgment for Versata (PR Newswire)
Does this mean the judgement against SAP is final?

Apacheta Introduces Software-as-a-Service Offering for Direct-Store-Delivery, Merchandising, Transportation, Field Service (Business Wire)

OpenDesks Launches Interactive Map for Finding and Booking Workspace
OpenDesks Positions Itself as Go-To Workspace Solution
(Business Wire)

Philly-based Education investor Renovus closes $100m debut fund (AltAssets)


A natural fit: ImpactRX acquires TargetRX

ImpactRX of Mount Laurel has acquired TargetRX of Horsham, combining two companies that provide information to help Pharma companies better understand physicians' perscribing behavior. Terms were not disclosed. The new company will be known as ImpactRX.

Symphony Technology Group acquired a majority stake in ImpactRX in April (Merck Capital Ventures retains a minority stake). Late last month, ImpactRX appointed Gregory Ellis, who had been a Senior Partner with Rosetta Marketing, as President & CEO. TargetRX, founded in 1999, had raised at least $37 million; investors have included New Enterprise Asociates, Domain Associates, and Quaker BioVentures.

Press Release:

ImpactRx Acquires TargetRx

- Combined company to provide unparalleled insight into biopharma's sales and marketing effectiveness -

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., Sept. 13, 2011 - ImpactRx, a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company and the pioneer in measuring the impact of promotion on physician prescribing behavior, announced today that it has acquired 100% of TargetRx, Inc., a leading provider of insight into the drivers of physician behavior for pharmaceutical companies, in order to combine the highly complementary capabilities of the two companies into a stronger solution offering for customers. The new company will be known as ImpactRx and new ImpactRx President and CEO, Gregory Ellis, will lead the combined company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to join forces with TargetRx," declared Ellis. "In the years we spent in the marketplace together, and from the feedback we received from customers, it's clear that the capabilities of these two companies are very complementary," Ellis stated. "ImpactRx specializes in helping clients understand the actual behavior of physicians in response to promotion, while TargetRx helps clients understand the underlying drivers of that behavior as they relate to physicians' attitudes, perceptions and beliefs," said Ellis. "Together, we will provide our clients with an unprecedented level of insight into what physicians do and why they do it," Ellis concluded.
Since its founding in 1999, TargetRx has served a majority of the top thirty pharmaceutical and biotech companies providing them insight into the drivers of product choice and the adoption of their brands. Powered by its unique AdvantageBuilder™ normative database and validated predictive models, TargetRx has developed proprietary analytical methodologies to provide clients critical insight into launch forecasting and positioning, physician segmentation and targeting for personal and non-personal promotion, professional marketing and message optimization, and sales and marketing execution and effectiveness.
"When we acquired ImpactRx earlier this year, our strategic intent was to build a differentiated solutions company in life sciences capable of delivering compelling value to clients through insights informed by data," said J.T. Treadwell, Managing Director with STG. "STG has a strong history of partnering with our companies to deliver innovation and growth, and we believe the addition of the TargetRx capabilities allows us to combine unique assets and complementary approaches, analytical talent, and a strong history of joint innovation as the foundation of a world-class solutions provider," Treadwell stated.
About ImpactRx
ImpactRx is the leading provider of consultative and analytically-based promotional effectiveness solutions to the healthcare industry. Powered by the ImpactData™ generated by its longitudinal panels of more than 4,000 targeted, iPhone-connected physicians (who through its proprietary technology are the exclusive source of continuously-captured promotion and treatment data) and combined with its industry-leading analytics and custom research capabilities, ImpactRx provides clients with unprecedented insight into the drivers of physician brand choice within a complete competitive context. These insights enable clients to improve brand performance by making more effective decisions around marketing strategy, field and channel execution and pre-launch and launch planning. ImpactRx is a Symphony Technology Group company. For more information, visit:
About Symphony Technology Group
Symphony Technology Group (STG) is a strategic private equity firm with the mission of investing in and building great software and services companies. In addition to capital, STG provides transformation expertise to enable its portfolio companies to deliver maximum value to clients, to retain and attract the best talent, to drive growth through innovation, and to achieve best-in-class business performance. STG's current portfolio consists of fourteen global companies with combined revenue of $2.5 billion and 15,000 employees spread across North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit:


CSC acquires Philly/Hyderabad-based AppLabs

Tom Paine

The Indian press is reporting (with confirmation from the companies) that CSC has acquired AppLabs, the software testing business based in Philadelphia and Hyderabad, India, for a price some report to be in excess of $300 million.

CSC had been competing with Capgemini in recent days to acquire the company, according to reports.

AppLabs was founded in 2001 by Sashi Reddi, a serial entrepreneur who received his PHD from Wharton. It says it is ranked as the largest independent testing company in the world with 2,500 test professionals worldwide. A very small percentage of its employees are based in Philadelphia.

The deal represents an exit for private equity firm Westbridge Capital, which held a 50% stake in AppLabs, Reddi told the Indian press.


TicketLeap hits Inc. 500, introduces new mobile app; Plans for future growth

Tom Paine

Center City-based startup TicketLeap, which was just named to the
Inc. 500
(ranked #397), has positioned itself as a disruptive competitor to the large, entrenched players that have dominated pricing, distribution and technology in the event ticketing industry. Offering web-based technology that event hosts can easily configure themselves and services that are inexpensive (and sometimes free) for small events, the company hopes to gradually move up the chain to compete for larger events.

TicketLeap was founded in 2003 by South Jersey native Chris Stanchak while he was still an undergrad at Wharton. After spending time at GSI Commerce helping manage its eCommerce programs for major sports leagues like the NHL, Chris started focusing on TicketLeap full time in 2007 and has raised over $4.5 million in venture capital from MentorTech Ventures, Seneca Advisors, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, NextStage Capital and several prominent angel investors. TicketLeap had one period during which it may have ramped up too quickly, and had to cut back a little. It now has about 24 employees, according its website. Last year, $20 million in ticket sales were generated through TicketLeap and it had net revenue of $2.1 million; this year, Stanchak told me in a phone conversation, ticket sales should be in the $35 million range and TicketLeap's net revenue will be around $3 million. Stanchak expects the company to achieve positive cash flow in this year's 4th quarter.

TicketLeap had a learning experience on scaling up to handle larger events. Last winter it managed ticketing for Comic-Con 2011, the immensely popular event among the Geek crowd, and its servers failed to handle all the traffic for several hours after ticketing went live, causing considerable commotion since Comic-Con had turned to TicketLeap after having just experienced two previous ticketing failures with other vendors. The problem was not so much a failure on TicketLeap's part to anticipate and scale to demand properly, but a gliche due to a MySQL feature it was trying to use to speed transaction processing that Amazon Web Services' Relational Database Service did not support at the time. (See Vice President of Engineering Keith Fitzgerald's post on the TicketLeap Blog). TicketLeap was very responsive and straightforward, I believe, in explaining the problem publicly and rectifying it.

That specific issue has since been resolved, and Stanchak says TicketLeap remains very happy with AWS's services and its scalability, which enables it to adapt elastically to events of varying sizes without requiring a large IT infrastructure. TicketLeap was not impacted at all by the major AWS outage problems that occurred in April. It is also planning to deploy AWS's recently released in-memory Amazon ElastiCache, which can greatly reduce the number of disk lookups and also helps TicketLeap to rapidly increase or decrease its cache footprint in response to demand.

In August, TicketLeap introduced TicketLeap Mobile, what it calls "the first mobile ticketing platform that enables smartphone users to easily search and purchase event tickets, engage in social conversations, and check-in with their phones" in a single place. Each mobile ticket comes with a confirmation number and QR code, enabling faster entry into venues. (Back in March, it released an Android scanning application for event organizers to scan QR codes of printed etickets.) TicketLeap Mobile also emphasizes the social nature of events; users can post messages to Facebook or Twitter and communicate with other attendees. TicketLeap Mobile, now available on Android devices, is optimized for mobile devices, and works automatically when you access Ticketleap or any events from a mobile phone. TicketLeap plans to launch a universal iOS application for event organizers to scan and sell tickets via an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad this fall.

The market for event ticketing is huge and has many different competitors and segments. TicketLeap doesn't compete with Ticketmaster (or Ticketmonster as some might call it) that much directly right now, but more with the heavily funded Eventbrite and a number of other smaller firms like Pittsburgh-based ShowClix. Eventbrite has raised about $80 million in venture capital, according to Crunchbase. Its gross ticket sales were $200 million in 2010 and could reach $400 million in 2011, according to TicketNews. (Stanchak points out that comparing Eventbrite to TicketLeap based on gross billings is not quite apples to apples since Eventbrite's average ticket price point is much higher due to its focus on expensive professional conferences).

While TicketLeap is doing well at this stage, achieving more scale and broader distribution remain key issues. Barclays Bank/MBNA veteran Holly Flanagan was brought on recently as Vice President of Brand and Association Sales to help build strategic partnerships. Raising more funding could also be a possibility at some point in the future.


Daily Links 9/13/2011: SAP to pay $20 million in Oracle criminal case

SAP will pay $20 million in Oracle criminal case (Reuters)

Rating the Comcast-NBCU Merger: The New Culture Settles In (The Wrap)

Comcast reacts to policy fights with big hires (Politico)

FCC's Internet rules clear a review hurdle (Reuters)

NBC Sports Network the favorite here to win new NFL package (Sports Business Journal)

QlikTech and Deloitte Join Forces to Bring QlikView Business Discovery Solutions to the U.S. (Business Wire)

Motorola Mobility Invests In Video Publishing Platform Ooyala (TechCrunch)

What to expect from SAP TechEd 2011 + Sybase TechWave (Computer Weekly)


SAP's Sikka preaches HANA-led 'renewal'
In-memory computing will transform SAP's portfolio, according to executive board member Vishal Sikka
(Computerworld) Closes That $7 Million Round, Fred Wilson Joins Board (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was an early investor in what was then called Stickybits.

Tremor Video Lands $37 Million to Fuel Acquisitions (Ad Age)
Previous investor SAP Ventures participated again in this round. A First Round Capital portfolio company named SanScout merged with Tremor Video last year, although it is not known whether First Round currently has an equity stake in Tremor.

RCN not seeing strong demand for 60 Mbps service (Fierce Cable)

Philadelphia groups get federal money to aid startups (Philadelphia Business Journal)

In Newtown, U.S. Senator Casey pushes for GPS program to support national security and jobs at Lockheed Martin (Bucks Local News)


Daily Links 9/12/2011: Philadelphia Media Network introduces Android Tablets

Internet Entrepreneur Michael G. Rubin Launches Kynetic
Company Includes Leading Online Commerce Brands Fanatics, Rue La La & ShopRunner
(PR Newswire)

GSI Commerce founder launches a new e-retail company (Internet Retailer)

New Details on Philly Papers' Bold Tablet Plan Android tablets to spur digital content adoption (Adweek)
Philadelphia Media Network's press release.

Comcast names VP for public policy, adds to growing high-profile D.C. roster (Washington Post: Post Tech)

Vishay Intertechnology Reduces Guidance for the Third Quarter 2011 (Business Wire)
Sizeable reduction for this late in the quarter; could be related to resignation of its CFO late last month.
Update: Vishay is off less than 2% on the day, so this is something people who follow the company closely must of pretty much taken into account already.

The Other Google/Motorola Story (ABI Research)

Early SAP Business ByDesign adopters experience rocky upgrade to 2.6 (

Philadelphia-Based Document Depository Corporation (DDC) Rebrands as DocDep (PR Web)

Online ad deal for GOP digital agent CampaignGrid ( Philly Deals)


King of Prussia's new Kynetic L.L.C. among the top private Internet firms ( Philly Deals)

Computer problems mount for N.J. gov't. (Vineland Daily Journal)

A piece of Philly Tech history: Digital Access, Inc.

Private Equity Hub (published by Thomson Reuters) ran a piece this week, on the heels of solar panel maker Solyndra's bankruptcy filing, on what it calls the 10 of the largest VC busts over the last 20 years. (Its slideshow doesn't seem to be working). Third on its list was Bala Cynwyd-based Digital Access Inc., which raised $490 million between 1999 and 2001 before shutting down in 2001.

Digital Accees was building broadband fiber networks to compete with companies such as Comcast in several midwestern cities. As the telecom bubble burst, there was an oversupply of fiber capacity and the company simply could not raise more money. Digital Access also blamed regulatory delays that slowed buildouts in some cities. Investors included Goldman Sachs and Bala Cynwyd-based Bachow & Associates, which still has a website up but with very little information on it other than past investments. Joseph W. Cece, who previously ran Suburban Cable (acquired by Comcast in 1999), was its CEO.


Daily Links 9/9/2011: SAP reportedly pleads to criminal charges in TomorrowNow case

SAP’s Ex-TomorrowNow Accused of Crimes for Oracle Downloads (Bloomberg)

Intel Said to Weigh InterDigital Bid (Bloomberg)
But Google may be losing interest.

SAP BusinessByDesign creates tensions with ecosystem partners (

Capgemini, CSC line up for AppLabs (Business Standard of India)
Says price for Philly/Hyderabad-based software testing leader could be in excess of $200 million.

QVC Thriving In A Tough Economy (CNBC Video)
Interview with QVC CEO Michael George.

Exclusive: NBC iPad App Now Broadcasts Full Episodes (Mashable)

Comcast Volleys 'Drop' Shots at Tennis Channel
Cable op says that FiOS, Cablevision drops undercut Tennis Channel's discrimination claim
(Broadcasting & Cable)

Comcast test marketing new online TV guide (CED Magazine)

Charter Cancels L.A. Auction
Low Bids Prompt Action
(Multichannel News)

Motorola Mobility: "We are still feeling our way with Google TV" (IPTV News)

Partners Behind Intelligent Trench Join Forces with PelicanCorp to Launch Most Complete and Accurate National Record-Sharing Service for Underground Assets in the U.K. (Business Wire)
Bentley Systems is one of the partners behind Intelligent Trench.


Daily Links 9/8/2011: DreamIt Ventures launches Fall 2011 Philadelphia Class

DreamIt Ventures Launches Its Fall 2011 Philadelphia Class (TechCrunch)

CSC ‘in last leg' of AppLabs buy-out talks (Hindu Business Line)

Rick Sherlund Is Back! Analyst Likes MSFT, ORCL, CRM, SAP (Forbes: The Tech Trade)

IT pros heading to SAP TechEd 2011 packing questions for vendor (

Dell’s golden opportunity isn’t in servers (Gigaom)

Infonetics Research: Pace overtakes Motorola in pay-TV set-top box (STB) market in 2Q11; STB market to peak in 2011 (Marketwire)

Comcast's thePlatform notches TV Everywhere deal with Liberty Global (CED Magazine)

TruePosition Acquires Intellectual Property from Rosum (Business Wire)
Buying for product development, or just adding to patent portfolio?

Philly tech, U-City to Old City ( Philly Deals)
On Vuzit's Christopher Cera.

"It was a dumb idea": newspaper chain fires copyright troll Righthaven
(Ars Technica)
John Paton, on taking over as MediaNews CEO, makes decision.