USA Technologies' Jensen resigns

USA Technologies Chairman & CEO George R. Jensen, Jr resigned on Friday, according to an SEC filing by the company. USA Technologies had said earlier last week that he had been suspended due to postings on an Internet message board and his resignation was expected in the near future.

No further explanation has been given about what Mr. Jensen may have posted on Internet message boards. The filing details his separation agreement, which includes about one year's salary and some other benefits.

See More on USA Technologies CEO George Jensen's suspension: Message Board Wars.

Ben Franklin announces funding approved for six ventures

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania today announced it had approved funding for six ventures, including three in digital technology, two that are medically oriented, and one that might be considered to be in the"green tech" area. The investments totaled slightly more than $1 million. BFTP's press release is shown below:

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Approves More Than $1 Million For Six Early-Stage Companies

October 17, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA ( – Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) recently approved $1,025,000 million for six early-stage companies.

“These companies demonstrate the determination of entrepreneurs to start and run businesses even during the most difficult economic circumstances,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Companies approved for funding:

AssetVUE - Bristol – Bucks County – Approved Investment: $200,000

AssetVUE provides hardware, strategies, support, assembly and upgrades for data centers. The company has developed an inventory management and migration system based on RFID technology used primarily within the Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) framework. The tool enables data center operations teams to make decisions related to IT asset management and monitoring, IT asset security and, migration of IT assets from an existing to a new facility.

Once assets are in place and validated, AssetVUE ensures those assets stay where they belong with real-time asset tracking and activation of security check points (e.g. located at the doors of the data center, warehouse, shipping dock, or IT staging area).

AssetVue is led by Sean Cotter, President; and Gary Aron, Vice President of Business Development.

Essential Medical, LLC – Wayne – Montgomery County – Approved Investment: $250,000
(Ben Franklin previously invested $250,000)

Essential Medical is developing innovative products for use in cardiac catheterizations in leg arteries.

The company is led by Greg Walters, President and CEO.

MobileReactor LLC (dba OneTwoSee) – Devon – Chester County – Approved Investment: $200,000

OneTwoSee products and services allow TV viewers to use mobile devices to play along with their favorite shows and other viewers in a fun and meaningful way, while providing advertisers with a sophisticated platform for reaching those viewers.

MobileReactor, LLC is led by Chris Reynolds, CEO; Jason Angelides, COO; and Stu Farber, CTO.

Novetas Solutions – Philadelphia – Approved Investment: $200,000
(Ben Franklin previously invested $300,000)

Novetas Solutions processes and markets recycled glass that is crushed through a patent-pending grinding process. The company’s main product, New Age Blast Media, is an alternative, expendable abrasive used for blast cleaning and preparation of surfaces for subsequent painting or coating.

The product has been sold in the US since 2008. Glass grit is becoming a preferred expendable abrasive due to growing health concerns related to traditional blasting media (e.g. crushed coal slag), better productivity, and improved final quality results.

Novetas Solutions is led by Paul Mellon, Jr., President and CEO.

Real-Time Tomography – Villanova – Montgomery County – Approved Investment: $150,000
(Ben Franklin previously invested $425,000)

Real-Time Tomography develops state-of-the-art image processing and image reconstruction solutions for the next generation of 2D and 3D medical imaging systems. Real-Time’s software imaging products are cost-effective and provide efficient solutions for manufacturers of medical imaging systems. These solutions can easily be adapted to optimize new and existing systems, accelerating manufacturers’ products time to market.

Real Time is led by Susan Ng, President and CEO, and Peter Ringer, CTO.

TicketLeap, Inc. – Philadelphia – Approved Investment: $25,000
(Ben Franklin previously invested $500,000)

TicketLeap, Inc. is an e-commerce company that enables event organizers to sell tickets to their events online. Services include event registration, event promotion, and virtual box office software.

The company also provides barcode scanning, instant credit card swiping, customized ticket design, and ticket tracking services.

TicketLeap, Inc. is led by Christopher Stanchak, Founder & CEO; Tim Raybould, CFO; and Keith Fitzgerald, CTO. Christopher Stanchak previously worked at GSI Commerce, a global
e-commerce leader, where he managed the National Hockey League's online operations.

* * * *

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a national, award winning model for technology innovation, and a catalyst for Stimulating Entrepreneurial Potential. For more than 28 years, we have invested in innovative enterprises and created commercialization pathways and partnerships that generate wealth through science and technology. We offer entrepreneurs and established businesses the Capital, Knowledge and Networks to compete in the global marketplace. We have invested more than $150 million to grow more than 1,700 regional enterprises across all areas of technology.

Ben Franklin’s programs and partnerships with universities, corporations and investors strengthen the region’s innovation infrastructure. Together with partners across the region, we are fostering the formation of a Greater Philadelphia energy cluster…Power Valley. We are the commercialization partner for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) national energy hub, and the founding partner of the Energy Commercialization Institute (ECI). We are founding partners of The Nanotechnology Institute (NTI), Emerald Stage2 Venture Fund, and numerous other programs and initiatives.

Ben Franklin is part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Partnership.

For additional information, please visit, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter.

Highlights: Last Week on Philly Tech News

I looked at which Philly-area companies show up on the 2011 Information Week 500.

A roundup of some of the major recent events at VC Firm First Round Capital.

A Utah firm acquires Nokia Navteq's Malvern operations, forming a new company named Radiate Media and retaining many jobs in Malvern.

And I report on CEO George Jensen's suspension at USA Technologies (he has since resigned), and explore some history on a Yahoo message board that might be relevant to it.


Daily Links 10/17/2011: What will happen to Daily Deals market; too many small startups?

SAP boosts third quarter profit on TomorrowNow loss writedown
Currency fluctuations hit operating profit
(Computerworld UK)

Cloud impact: SAP changes upgrade and maintenance policies (ZDNet Blogs)

Supply Chain Consultants, Reflecting Its Evolution and Growth as a Software Provider, Changes Name to Arkieva (Business Wire)

Is Boston spawning too many start-ups, and starving growth companies for talent? (Boston Globe: Innovation Economy)
Does the same question apply to the Philadelphia area?

How Critical Is TV Everywhere?
It May Be the Future of Pay Television — But Not All Are Sold
(Multichannel News)

Jonathan Storm: Peacock looking plucked as NBC cancels shows (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Scoop: Skype founders gunning for Netflix with Vdio (Gigaom)

Hulu Owners May Seek IPO for Video Website After Halting Auction (Bloomberg)

Why SEI shares lag the market ( Philly Deals)

AMETEK Acquires Reichert Technologies (PR Newswire)
One of Ametek's largest deals in a while.

Are daily deals really dying? (GSI Commerce Blog)

Microsoft's plan for bringing its BI tools to iOS, Android, and Windows 8 devices (ZDNet Blogs)


Synchronoss Exec Speaks to C-Level Peers at NJTC Conference

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, New Jersey Tech Weekly

At the two-day New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) Executive Leadership Summit in Jersey City last month, keynoter Stephen Waldis, chairman, president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (Bridgewater), addressed his fellow C-level executives, explaining his philosophy that “controlled growth over time is the most sustainable” growth and provides the most long-term value.

Later in his speech, Waldis, whose firm has grown from startup to thriving N.J. public company, discussed why much of the firm’s R & D occurs outside N.J. The company chose to locate its global R & D facilities in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, near Lafayette College and Lehigh University, schools with excellent engineering programs. The R & D labs are attractive to engineers from Penn State University as well, Waldis said. Synchronoss employees appreciate being able to work with cutting-edge technology in an area where the cost of living isn’t as high as in New York and New Jersey, Waldis said. He added that the company has acquired developers overseas who are skilled in a certain state-of-the-art software set Synchronoss needed but for which it couldn’t find the talent in the U.S.

At the beginning of his talk, Waldis focused on his company’s growth strategy. Synchronoss, whose flagship ConvergenceNow and ConvergenceNow Plus+ software platforms automate subscriber activation, order management and service provision from any channel to any communications service across any network or device, has grown about 25 percent year over year since its inception. The firm operates using a software as a service (SaaS) business model and gets paid per transaction/customer activation.

When Synchronoss was poised for growth, a key management tool the company used was acquiring a “marquee customer” who could prove the value of the software services. That customer was AT&T Inc. Synchronoss wound up being the company that handled activation of the Apple iPhone via the iTunes store, no small feat. After the company proved its value and its product’s ease of use to AT&T during the iPhone launch, it was able to take that experience and apply it to all its customers. This has led to its acquiring business from other carriers. Recently Verizon Wireless said it would be partnering with Synchronoss to have all new connected devices activated on their new 4G network via the company’s innovation lab as a way to accelerate many more devices on their networks faster and provide a better experience for consumers. Waldis emphasized that Synchronoss examines every aspect of its ongoing operations every year, including ensuring that the person at the top, he himself, has the skills needed to achieve the company’s objectives. He said that its board of directors—populated with individuals who have more business and telecom experience than he does—conducts an annual audit of his abilities and skill level. Synchronoss is equally tough on its managers and execs. As a result, Waldis said, he has drastically changed the kinds of functions he performs and has had to give up control of many tasks he likes to do. However, by ceding control, he has focused on larger issues and helped the firm grow.

While many small businesses start out by employing friends and family—which can be great at the beginning—the latter are not always best for a company’s long-term growth, Waldis added. He told a story about one of his firm’s first executives. That individual was excellent when the company was small but couldn’t handle the multitasking involved in running a larger company and had trouble keeping the many balls in the air. His point to fellow executives: at every stage of growth, make sure your executives’ skill sets and abilities are compatible with your company’s objectives.

Waldis shared that he had learned a lot from working with Apple on the iPhone release because Steve Jobs and other employees were relentless in their focus on the customer’s experience. They needed to know exactly what would happen as a result of each action a customer might take. Innovative companies don’t introduce products that are only 80 percent ready to go, Waldis said; they focus on the remaining 20 percent, even though it’s the hardest part to execute.

The Leadership Summit included a CEO of the Year award ceremony, which took place on the second day. Honored were Steven Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display Corp. (Ewing), named Public CEO of the Year; John Bailye, CEO of EKR Therapeutics Inc. (Bedminster), named Private CEO of the Year; and Caren Franzini, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (Trenton), Not-for-Profit CEO of the Year.

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of   New Jersey Tech Weekly , and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared in New Jersey Tech Weekly.