Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (4/23/2012 to 4/29/2012)

I spoke with founder Anthony Coombs about his new SoLoMo startup, Interact, which launched during Philly Tech Week.

SnipSnap won both top honors at both Mobile Monday Demo Night and Switch Philly, and also saw its app get approved for the App Store.

I wrote about appRenaissances's acquisition of mobile UI platform startup UXFLIP.

UPenn freshman James Feuereisen contributed an article to Philly Tech News on the
award winners in the Weiss Tech House PennVention competition

NJTechWeekly's Esther Surden covered the NJTC Venture Conference in late March and contributed two articles: one on the award-winning ventures at the Conference, and another on a panel discussing "strategic" corporate venture investing that featured some Philly participants.

Conshohocken-based ShopRunner, a unit of Kynetic LLC, stepped up its efforts to compete with Amazon Prime by acquiring Boston-based PickupZone, a company that manages pickup points where customers can retrieve products they've ordered.

Blue Bell-based Unisys swung from a loss to a profit in its first quarter, and even more unusually showed revenue growth despite a continued decline in its Federal business.

King of Prussia-based InterDigital, which also announced financial results last week, said it was looking to sell a "modest portion" of its patent portfolio. Last year, InterDigital placed its entire patent portfolio up for auction but decided offers were not attractive enough.

Radnor-based QlikTech posted quarterly results and issued full year guidance slightly above estimates, although slower growth and mounting competition may be concerns.

SAP's CFO said its Cloud business would not be profitable in 2012 and that the outlook for 2013 was unclear, which is not surprising because many Cloud businesses are not profitable at this point. Also, SAP's German employees are reportedly concerned about what they perceive as an increasing Corporate emphasis on the US relative to Europe.

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Daily Links 4/30/2012: Comcast Sports Group and Philly-based OneTwoSee Partner to Launch App to Enhance Local MLB Broadcast Coverage

Comcast Sports Group and Philly-based OneTwoSee Partner to Launch a Second Screen Application to Enhance Local Broadcast Coverage of MLB Games (PR Newswire)

In Search of Apps for Television (New York Times)

TV in real dime
Hulu, networks to change model of free streaming
(Claire Atkinson/New York Post)

Canoe NYC Office To Shut Its Doors May 23
Operator-Owned Advanced Advertising Venture Refocusing Efforts on VOD Ads
(Multichannel News)

Comcast/Verizon Combo Steers Clear of FiOS (Light Reading Cable)

Microsoft buys stake in Nook, college textbook business (Ars Technica)

At last: Violin to push out HANA appliance
It's why SAP invested
(The Register)

Teradata Debuts In-Memory System for SAS Analytics (Enterprise Apps Today)

42Floors’ PDA: The War For Talent Among Startups Needs A New Approach. Here’s Why (TechCrunch)

Allscripts names new chairman amid turmoil (AP via Chicago Sun-Times)

Saatchi Healthcare Embraces ‘Science’ (MediaBistro: AgencySpy)
Yardley-based Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Innovations is now Saatchi & Saatchi Science.


Hoping for FiOS, some cities now feel abandoned by Verizon (Bob Fernandez/Philadelphia Inquirer)

SAP Workers Chide Management’s U.S. Shift, Euro am Sonntag Says (Bloomberg)

Interact, a SoLoMo Facebook app for iOS, launches during Philly Tech Week

Tom Paine

SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) is a hot segment right now. SoLoMo apps help people to identify and interact with people in their proximity who they might already know or share common interests with. SoLoMo generated a great deal of buzz at last month's South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, where some of the startups in the field pushed their apps with hopes of achieving rapid Twitter-like adoption by trend setters (apparently, none really did). That doesn't mean the market isn't going to take off, but there is probably going to have to be some fine tuning before it does.

Now Philly has a locally based entry in the market, Interact, which launched this week and presented at two Philly Tech Week events: one held by appRenaissance (which did much of the development work), and at Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic's Demo Night. Interact is now available for download from the App Store. Interact had originally hoped to debut at SXSW, but the app wasn't quite polished enough yet.

Interact is a product of Ivy Development and Technology, Inc., founded by Anthony Coombs, whose impressive background includes a sociology degree from UPenn and two previous startups he founded. Coombs said in a phone interview with Philly Tech News that Interact is designed primarily to help people meet and connect with people they don't already know within a certain distance (predefined by the user based on GPS) having common traits or shared groups or interests from their Facebook profiles. For example, Coombs could be in an airport and see that another Penn grad there wants to connect with him. There are different directions this app can go in. One is to emphasize more personal or social connections. Another is to emphasize professional connections; Coombs is considering incorporating the LinkedIn API so users can see the professional qualifications of who they are connecting with or perhaps screen out people on that basis. The third angle is monetization and how to do that; it could be set up within a retail district, for example, so that stores that fit your interests can let you know about deals they have on when you are nearby.

The key issue is that you don't want to be a walking target for every salesperson (I am reminded of the life insurance salesman who hounds Bill Murray in Groundhog Day) or someone who wants to hit on you for whatever reason. Coombs has put considerable effort into finding ways for people to protect their privacy, but developing more options in between protecting your privacy while still being open to desired connections will still need more work (not only for Interact but for similar apps), from what I understand.

Anthony Coombs

Coombs emphasizes that Philly is his test bed, and that he is building his user base in the market he knows best. Along that theme, Interact ran an "Are you the 'Most Connected Student' in Philadelphia ? " contest, with winners at each campus receiving iPads or other prizes based on having the most Interact Connections. The contest was scheduled to end today.


UPenn's Weiss Tech House holds PennVention Innovation Fair finals

James Feuereisen

Kinecthesia, a belt-mounted navigation device for assisting the visually impaired (see a demo), took first place and $5,000 after besting 11 other finalists in the University of Pennsylvania’s PennVention competition, where $20,000 in prizes were awarded on April 18.

Forty-three student teams, a record, entered the first phase of the
competition back in February, and faced a rigorous process to narrow the field to twelve. Kinecthesia was started by junior computer engineering students Jeffrey Kiske and Eric Berdinis, who have been working on their product for nearly a year now.

Kiske says “After seeing the competition this year, I can't really say I was expecting to win. All of the teams were so well put together and presented very well".

The second place winner was Invisergy, which makes a solar powered window that is completely transparent and can be implemented into existing infrastructure. Invisergy has participated in other pitch competitions and is in the running for the MIT Clean Tech Competition.

The third place winner was The Campus Rep. The Campus Rep is a tool for startups to easily access students to represent them on college campuses across the nation. They are already on the ground at several schools and are planning a large scale expansion.

The panel of nine judges, who selected the winners and the sponsored prizes, included Michael Aronson of MentorTechVentures, serial entrepreneur Jay Tapper, and Jason Glickman and Bert Navarrete of the newly established TigerLabs incubator. The competition has been heating up over the years and several companies have seen success after the competition. Last year’s winner, uBeam, has been featured in the All Things D conference and one of its founders, Meredith Perry was one of Forbes' 30 under 30 for 2011.

New this year was the automatic placement of two selected teams (Firefly and TouchMe) from the PennApps Hackathon in January to the final round. TouchMe was the winner of the hackathon and Firefly is a screen sharing software that can help companies improve the efficiency of their customer support.

Penn has seen a flurry of entrepreneurial activity as of late. Coursekit (recently renamed Lore), the academic social network started last year by three Penn students, has since received $6 million of funding and now has a team of 12 in New York. One of the co-founders of Family Leaf is a Penn student who has taken the year off to work on his company in Y-Combinator. Warby Parker, started by MBA students a few years ago, has disrupted the eyewear industry through its online collection of glasses.

Previous to the competition Kinecthesia won round three and $50,000 at the newly established Intel Innovator Award competition, which had over 100 applicants nationwide. In October they won Google Zeitgeist, which is an invite only TED style event, and Eric was interviewed by Chelsea Clinton . They have also received support from the Perkins School of the Blind. To top off their victory, they won $3,000 in-kind design services from Design Circle at the PennVention competition.

PennVention is part of the Weiss Tech House at Penn, which puts on other entrepreneurial events throughout the year and houses an in-house fund for startups.

About the author: James Feuereisen is a freshman at the University of
Pennsylvania and was an organizer for the PennVention competition. He can be
reached at jamesfe@sas.upenn.edu

Results Sheet:

1st place-Kinecthesia: $5,000.

2nd place-Invisergy: $2,500.

3rd place-The Campus Rep: $1,000.

Nursing Innovation Prize-BodyWars: $500.

Social Innovation Prize-The Global Latrine : $250.

Dr. Chris Mader Award for Information Technology-Firefly: $1,000.

Design Circle Inc Award-Kinecthesia : $3,000 in-kind.

RJ Metrics Business Software Award-SizeSeeker : $6,000 in-kind


Graphene Frontiers-Production technology to make advanced graphene
manufacturing cost effective. Richard Liu.

StudyHeist-A forum where students can exchange class materials
with fellow students. Samuel Stern.

SizeSeeker-Uses Kinnect technology to make clothing measurements
in one’s home in order to facilitate online fashion purchases. Mona
Safabakhsh, Ian Campbell.

Ledao-Online marketplace to buy professional services
intended for Chinese students. Yuanjiao Shen, Haoda Li, Yang Wei, Yanwei Lu, Qi Zhang.

Body Wars!-Board game to teach youth about healthy habits.
Antonette Shaw, Mackenzie Mapes, Kristen van der Veen.

Urban Herb Garden-Home hydroponic system that uses less water and energy
than current models. Gabrielle Pettinelli.

SmallSmall & The Global Latrine Project-A communal toilet design
that can improve sanitation in impoverished regions across the world.

Kinecthesia-A belt to help the visually impaired navigate that uses
vibrations and senses to alter a wearer of objects in their pathway. Jeffrey
Kiske, Eric Berdinis.

Inivsergy-Treatment to make solar powered windows that are
transparent and can be implemented existing infrastructure. Ryan Marschang,
John Foye, Rishabh Jain, Steven Shimizu.

The Campus Rep-Site that connects startups and brands with potential
campus reps on college’s across the country. Elizabeth Wessel, Andrew
Harrington, Jason Mow, JJ Fliegelman, Kendall Haupt.

FireFly-Screen sharing software to help customer support agents
save time that is all in-browser and HIPAA compliant. Patrick Leahy, Dan
Shipper, Justin Meltzer.

TouchMe-Uses sound vibrations to make any surface into a
dynamic device. David Wang, Thomas Ly, Bezhou Feng, Eric O’Brien.


Daily Links 4/26/2012: QlikTech reports revenue of $79.2 million, up 26% compared to Q1 2011

Qlik Slips: Q1 Beats, Q2 View Light; Year View Tops Estimates (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)
QlikTech earnings press release.

Safeguard Scientifics Announces First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
Steady Partner Company Growth Validates Safeguard's Strategic Focus
(Business Wire)

InterDigital Announces First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
Company Signs Five New or Expanded License Agreements Year-to-Date, all Covering LTE Technologies
(Business Wire)

SAP's cloud business won't profit in 2012: report (MarketWatch)

AMETEK to Acquire Dunkermotoren (PR Newswire)

AMETEK Announces Record Results (PR Newswire)
Increases earnings guidance for year.

TE Connectivity profit tops Wall Street forecast (Reuters)

Could DuckDuckGo Be The Biggest Long-Term Threat To Google? (Search Engine Land)

SnipSnap Wins Tech Trifecta (Philadelphia Daily

Providence Said Selling Hulu Stake at $2 Billion Value (Bloomberg)
Comcast, an existing (though hands-off) investor, reported to be acquiring part of stake.

Comcast opens state's first Xfinity retail store in Middletown (phillyBurbs.com)

SpectrumCo to FCC: T-Mobile Can't Have It Both Ways
MSOs Ask Agency to Dismiss T-Mobile's Opposition to Proposed Sale of Spectrum to Verizon
(Multichannel News)

Time Warner Cable Profit Climbs 18% As Broadband Grows (Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business)

New York Times R&D Group Launches First Commercial Product (and It's for Brands) (Ad Age)
SAP is first advertiser to use it.

NetSuite Q1 Edges Estimates; But Shares Sag In Late Trading (Forbes)


Daily Links 4/25/2012: ShopRunner acquires PickUpZone to compete with Amazon's Lockers

SAP Sees ‘Very Solid Pipeline’ as Quarterly Profit Rises (Bloomberg)

SAP Backs 2012 Targets After Profit Rise (CNBC)

Bricks Vs. Clicks: ShopRunner Takes Aim at Amazon’s Lockers With PickUpZone Acquisition (All Things D)
ShopRunner, based in Conshohocken, is part of GSI Commerce founder Michael Rubin's Kynetic LLC.

InterDigital Rallies On Report It Resumes Shopping Patents (Forbes)

InterDigital Shopping 'Modest Portion' Of Patent Portfolio (Forbes)

Salesforce Moves into the Government Cloud and Social (New York Times: Bits)
To be announced today at CloudForce in DC.

Is Netflix Doomed? (The New Yorker)

Comcast to open first Phila.-area Xfinity store (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Amazon Supply Launches -- New Competition for Industrial Distributors, Ariba, SciQuest and Others (Spend Matters)
Amazon tries to take on the B to B world.

Quality Systems, Inc. Acquires Matrix Management Solutions
Acquisition Brings NextGen(TM) Practice Solutions Additional Resources and Expertise for Addressing Increased Market Demand for Revenue Cycle Services
(Business Wire)
Quality Systems' NextGen Healthcare is based in Horsham.

A Look at Bentley’s New Release of ProjectWise, Focused on 3D Image Processing (Directions Magazine)

T-Mobile Loads Up LTE Spectrum Ammo (Light Reading Mobile)

GPS III Endures Bad Press (GPS World)
Article says Lockheed overrun problems not as severe as some reports have suggested.

IBM Acquires Pittsburgh-based Enterprise Search Software Company Vivisimo To Boost Big Data Analytics (TechCrunch)

Development Team Expansion and New Technology Partnership Poises RES Software for Accelerated Growth
New development center and strategic partnership signal RES Software commitment to product innovation, quality and faster time to market
(Business Wire)


Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (4/16/2012 to 4/22/2012)

I wrote about how Comcast is entering Alteva's Unified Communications market, Alteva's expansion plans in Philadelphia, and its new advertising campaign.

Cherry Hill-based icueTV, which has been focused on building a platform for Interative TV Apps, branched out in a somewhat different direction by launching DropWallet, a mobile app platform for online eCommerce aimed at publishers. Real Simple magazine is its first user.

Uber, the San Francisco-based mobile service for locating and ordering private cars originally backed by First Round Capital, indicated last week it is planning to launch in Philadelphia, though it wasn't ready to offer specifics yet.

A University of the Arts professor's startup filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming it infringed its patent on touch screen technology.

Philly-based discount retailer Five Below filed for an IPO, saying it planned to raise up to $150 million. In another retailing move, Fanatics, a part of GSI Commerce founder Michael Rubin's Kynetic LLC, announce plans to acquire competitor Dreams Inc. for $183 million including the assumption of debt.

In the aftermath of SAP North America CEO Robert Courteau's departure following a disappointing quarter for sales in the region, someone identified as "an SAP insider" complained to Silicon Alley Insider about the intense pressure at the company to achieve sales targets (like that's never happened before). Meanwhile, SAP's newly launched advertising campaign aims to appeal to a broader base of potential users. And up and coming SAP/Oracle cloud-based competitor Workday hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead its IPO. In a stunning move, the General Services Administration nixed Oracle's entire blanket contract with the Federal government; they probably need more funds for their party budget.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook to complain about Comcast exempting its own streaming service (Streampix) from its monthly download limit, and apparently the FCC is paying attention. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke both took compensation cuts last year, Burke's reduction being much larger.

Verizon says it plans to stop selling DSL it markets where it has Fiber to the Home (FTTH) service, and will try to transition DSL customers to FiOS. A Verizon executive also said "we're going to have several price-ups in our FiOS packages" over the next two quarter. Meanwhile, Philadelphia City Council voted to hold hearings on alleged Verizon foot dragging in rolling out FiOS in the city.

First Round Capital is raising its fourth fund totaling at least $135 million, slightly larger than reported earlier this year. The firm is sticking to its strategy of keeping its funds fairly small.

King of Prussia-based InterDigtal may move or add up to 74 employees in a new Delaware office, mostly related to its Intellectual Property (legal) practice.

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appRenaissance acquires UXFLIP

Tom Paine

appRenaissance, the Old City Philadelphia-based mobile app development startup, made an important step towards building out its own platform by acquiring West Chester-based UXFLIP, the company will announce this morning.

UXFLIP was founded in 2011 by Michael Raber, a longtime area resident who spent several years with Nokia Navteq/Traffic.com in Malvern. It won best in show at last month's Phorum Cloud Computing Conference at World Cafe Live. appRenaissance said in statement that UXFLIP's UX/UI creation, deployment and management capabilities will be merged with the company’s mobile middleware platform, Unifeed. UXFLIP's strength is on the front end, helping users to dynamically build, deploy and manage user interfaces for native mobile apps from the Cloud.

UXFLIP was a DreamIt Ventures company (Philadelphia 2011), where appRenaissance CEO Bob Moul became familiar with the startup while serving as an advisor.

appRenaissance announced earlier this month it had raised a $1.5 million seed round led by FirstMark Capital. It was founded in 2010 by CTO Scott Wasserman and Moul joined at the beginning of the year after leaving Dell Boomi.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it wouldn't be surprising (my guess) if it included a combination of cash and equity. Raber will continue to be responsible for the development and roadmap of UXFLIP at appRenaissance. A beta version is expected to be released this summer.

UXFLIP is the second startup I know of from the Phorum Demo Pit to be acquired. ReadySetWork was acquired by West Chester-based PrimePay in March.


A few interesting area events this week not on Philly Tech Week's Calendar

Princeton Tech Meetup Tonight (April 23) at 7pm at the Princeton Public Library. Four spots open right now, according to its Meetup page.

Philly FileMaker User Group Tuesday, April 24th, at 6:00 PM. at IT Solutions in Fort Washington. Presentation on the new FileMaker 12.

Cloudforce Social Enterprise Tour Wednesday, April 25, Washington DC. Features keynote from Vivek Kundra, EVP of Emerging Markets at salesforce.com and former CIO of the United States.

State of .NET - The Road to Windows 8 Microsoft Malvern on Thursday, April 26 from 2:00-5:00.

System Center User Group Microsoft Malvern on April 26 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Best of Microsoft Management Summit 2012 review and see live demos of next generation Windows Server "8", Hyper-V 3.0, and Windows 8.

PhillyForce April Meeting April 26, 6 to 8 pm, at LiquidHub in Wayne. How MEI (West Chester), maker of electronic bill and coin acceptors, uses the Boomi Platform to Integrate Salesforce and SAP ERP.

Delaware Tech Meetup Thursday, April 26 at 7:00pm at
the The coIN Loft in Wilmington. Focus on EdTech.


NJ Tech Startups Dominate Awards at NJTC Venture Conference

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

The 2012 NJTC Venture Conference, held in late March in Somerset, was dominated by young technology companies, although some life sciences firms were in the room.

New Jersey tech startups took home many honors at the conference, where a number of companies reported they made excellent connections with the venture community. Several angels and VCs told NJTechWeekly.com it was one of the best events at which to find good N.J. companies to fund. The award winners:

  • DocView Solutions of Cherry Hill was named best marketing/e-commerce company. The firm's tablet- and smartphone-based system uses predictive modeling and data analysis to notify a clinician proactively when a patient's health baseline is changing, thus preventing many hospital readmissions.

  • Newark-based Allweb Technologies was best information technology company. The firm has a cloud-based identity- and password-management system that uses fingerprint matching and two-step user authentication.

  • ATC Labs, also of Newark, took home the best communications company award for its technology that can increase bandwidth utilization via compression and processing technology.

  • The best advanced materials/nano company was Natcore Technology of Red Bank. The small, publicly traded firm is developing a black silicon solar technology that will increase solar cell output.

  • Veracity, a Glen Rock designer and developer of transmission, stage and display products for network video and surveillance applications, won best electronics company.

  • Voted both the people's choice and the company most likely to succeed was SpeechTrans (Lyndhurst), the instant translation firm that offers both apps and landline over-the-phone capabilities.

  • The best healthcare/IT company was SpectraMD of Princeton, whose intelligent solution aggregates and analyzes data for more cost-effective and better healthcare outcomes.

This year’s program included the usual expo and five-minute pitches along with a luncheon panel discussion, but it added a new twist. Companies were asked to make one-minute elevator pitches in the morning as well as to give longer presentations and answer questions later.

According to one angel we spoke with, the one-minute pitches were an excellent way for the funding community to quickly figure out which companies interested them so they could find them on the floor and devote greater attention to them.

However, some entrepreneurs we spoke to worried such short pitches would discourage people from finding them at the longer presentations. Indeed, at some points the longer presentations were discouragingly sparsely attended, as one presenter noted.

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.


NJTC Panel Looks at “Strategic” Corporate Venture Investing

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

Are entrepreneurs and follow-on investors well served by the investment fund arms of such companies as AOL, Google, Condé Nast, SAP, Time Warner and Home Depot? That’s the question a panel discussion on corporate venture investing, moderated by Raymond Thek, vice president of the Lowenstein Sandler (New York; Roseland, N.J.) Tech Group, attempted to answer at the 2012 NJTC Venture Conference in late March in Somerset.

Introducing the topic, Thek said in the past 15 months he has been on the other side of many deals with such companies, and this trend is a new one. “I’ve never seen anything like it in 20 years,” he noted. While companies in the life sciences used this strategy in the past, it is now widespread across industries.

The panelists thought early-stage investing with so-called “strategic investors” is a good idea for entrepreneurs if the company’s fund objectives and strategic interests align with the entrepreneur’s goals and the value the strategic company adds is very specific. However, deals need to be balanced, with nonstrategic investors also at the table to provide a counterweight to the sometimes more powerful entity. Also, the panelists advised, look for a strategic investor who can offer you something you can’t get elsewhere, like industry contacts.

Young companies should realize many strategic investors may not spend the time to get the right sales director into the right spot at the company and provide other, more hands-on help VCs might offer. Also, if a strategic investor is around at the initial round, “you may not have someone working that hard for you on the follow-on rounds,” said Peg Jackson of Gridley & Co. (New York).

Gil Beyda, founder and managing partner of Genacast Ventures, operates a seed-stage fund that is a Comcast (Philadelphia) offshoot. It’s not technically a “strategic fund,” he said, since companies in which it invests don’t necessarily have to have anything to do with Comcast’s interests.

His view is that more large firms are looking at creating their own venture funds as an integral part of their strategy. Some see this as a road to acquisition, while others view it primarily as a financial-management tool allowing them to diversify their financial stream. Most look at it as a way to identify new sectors, technologies and trends occurring in the industry and be on the cutting edge or bleeding edge.

Jackson added that large companies are getting into venture funding because “technology is having such a big impact on their businesses in so many ways.” Firms are looking at their investment arms as a way to maintain a formalized team and a structure, to know what’s coming down the road in technology. The good news for investors who get involved with them: while it used to be an informal arrangement, strategic companies have now formalized these groups and offer professionally structured term sheets, which they didn’t do before, she said.

Strategic investors are funding small slices of disruptive technologies to be at the top of the curve, before their businesses can be disrupted, Sasank Aleti of LLR Partners (Philadelphia) pointed out. Getting technology to market goes much faster now, so you can see the impact of disruptive technology much sooner, he said.

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.


Philly Tech People News 4/22/2012

MediMedia Health Names Phil Deschamps as Company CEO (Business Wire)

Rajant Names Todd Rigby Vice President Business Development - Mining (Business Wire)

Comcast Promotes Melanie Penna to Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Comcast Cable (Business Wire)

Kevin O'Toole, Comcast Business Services (Fierce Telecom)

Cozen O’Connor Continues Growth of IP Litigation Practice with Seven Partners, Two Associates from Duane Morris (Business Wire)

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Receives CEO IT Achievement Award (PR Newswire)

Tim Anderson Joins ISGN as Director of Corporate Technology (National Mortgage Professional)

Brownstein Group Launches B2B Practice
Philadelphia Agency Translates Wealth of Consumer Brand Experience Into Helping Business-to-Business Companies Differentiate Their Image
(Globe Newswire)

Stream Companies Adds 10 New Hires (Philly Ad Club News)

Emerald Bullish on Future with Expansion (Business Wire)

TE Connectivity Announces Retirement of Robert A. Scott, Executive Vice President and General Counsel; John S. Jenkins, Jr. Appointed as Successor (PR Newswire)

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. Announces the Resignation of Board Member Robert N. Wildrick (Business Wire)

NFTE Philadelphia Welcomes Philip P. Jaurigue to Advisory Board (Business Wire)

DMTF Welcomes NetApp and SunGard to Board of Directors (HPC in the Cloud)

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U of Arts Professor's startup sues Apple over touch screen technology patent

Tom Paine

FlatWorld Interactives LLC, a Villanova-based company founded by Dr. Slavko Milekic, a Professor of Cognitive Science & Digital Design at the University of the Arts ( see his U of Arts profile), has filed suit against Apple, claiming it violated at least one patent he was awarded related to touch screen technology.

FlatWorld alleges that Apple infringed its patent, US RE 43,318, originally awarded to Milekic but now the property of FlatWorld. The Apple products that the suit claims infringed this patent include the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iPad Nano (sixth generation), MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad. The patent "includes claims to touch screen based systems that allow users to manipulate images using gestures, such as selecting an image by touching it, and flicking images off of the screen", according to Flatworld's law firm, Hagens Berman.

I have not been able to find a website for FlatWorld, although I did come across this article from 2008 about the company by Peter Key in the Philadelphia Business Journal. Milekic's partner at FlatWorld is Jennifer Wilson McAleese, a Villanova graduate whose previous experience includes Institutional Equity Research sales positions with Citigroup and other firms. FlatWorld has developed interactive displays for museums and other exhibits, and is now developing a product it calls "ShowMe Tools".

I was going to look the patent up on Google Patents, but then remembered that product has just been discontinued.

FlatWorld seeks an injunction and damages. The lawsuit was filed on April 19. The case number is 3:12-cv-01956-JSC, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


Comcast CEO Total 2011 Compensation Valued At $26.93 Million (Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business)
A cut from last year; even larger cut for Steve Burke.

The Boom in Enterprise I.P.O.’s
(New York Times: Bits)

Alteva: Comcast enters its market, as it expands office space & hiring; Launches new ad campaign

Tom Paine

Plenty of things are going on with Philly-based Alteva, which since being acquired last year is a unit of Orange County, New York-based WVT Communications Group (NASDAQ: WWVY), also known as Warwick Valley Telephone. Alteva provides unified communications services, which include a platform for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) along with integrated communications and information management tools, to small, medium-sized and larger enterprises.

Comcast had already built a sizable business providing communications services primarily to the SME market, but more through offering raw bandwith access rather than intelligent managed services. But in late March Comcast announced the launch of Business VoiceEdge, a service that at least on the surface sounds very similar to Alteva's. Like Alteva, Business VoiceEdge provides a hosted, cloud-based solution that eliminates the need for an on-premise PBX. Also like Alteva, Comcast' offering provides Hi-Def VoIP, is built on BroadSoft's platform, and ties in access to a package of Microsoft apps for unified communications. I don't have enough information now to compare the two apples to apples on features and price (Comcast says its price per line will run between $24.95 to $34.95, though there can be numerous variables involved when comparing pricing) but they are definitely playing in the same sandbox now.

Alteva sees Comcast's entry as a validation of the potential of its market. “Comcast clearly sees the growth in the unified communications industry and appears to be responding to this market push. But I believe we are offering a significantly different value proposition and suite of products to the cloud market,” Alteva President David Cuthbert said in a statement to Philly Tech News. “We believe that Alteva’s fully integrated offering is the most comprehensive UC solution available. While Comcast is looking to expand their services to their customers, Alteva has been a pioneer in the cloud and UC markets for many years now. Our focus on customer needs has paid off over the years and has contributed to our ability to provide our clients with a solution that helps them be more successful in their businesses.”

Alteva' solutions are not completely unique; there are several competitors with roughly similar offerings. Most of them are still fairly small with a regional focus. A major challenge for firms such as Alteva will be to establish a broader geographical footprint. Comcast's says Business VoiceEdge is now available across most of Comcast’s Northeastern Division, which is Alteva's home territory, and that "nationwide rollout across Comcast’s entire service is targeted by the end of 2012". Comcast is a huge business telecom provider already, with revenue running at about a $2 billion annual rate and growing at over 30%. Comcast will have to demonstrate, however, that it can be as agile as smaller firms such as Alteva in tailoring solutions to meet specific customers' needs.

To help further spread awareness of hosted UC solutions in the Greater Philadelphia Region, Alteva recently launched its “My Phone Stinks” contest that invites small businesses in the Delaware Valley to enter to win a complete UC system, free for an entire year.

Alteva will also be making a significant expansion in Philadelphia this summer. It has taken a lease on the former Wells Fargo branch at 401 N. Market St, containing slightly over 9,000 square feet. A renovation has been designed by Philly architectural and design firm L2 Partridge LLC (who's own website is also under construction). The space will have an open design with large windows allowing viewing from the street, and will be set up to allow customers and prospects to simulate an office communications environment and try out products and services. A major purpose of the location is to build awareness of Alteva in the area business community. The old bank vault will also be maintained. Alteva will also keep its existing space in the Bourse Building on Independence Mall (about 4,000 square feet), which will be used primarily for technical & development staff and is intended to eventually house a Network Operations Center for all of Alteva.

Alteva also continues to add staff in Philly. Plans are to bring on about 23 more employees this year to reach a total headcount of 50 by year end, the company says. Almost all are based out of Philadelphia, except for a few remote sales/customer service people.

The word is part of the plan is for Philadelphia to become the headquarters location of WVT Communications Group, although the company is not willing to comment on that now. WVT's other components are local telco Warwick Valley Telephone, based in Orange County, New York and also having a wireless partnership in that area, and USA Datanet, a Syracuse-based company acquired by WVT in 2009. USA Datanet's operations have already been integrated with Alteva's, with USA Datanet focusing on businesses with less than 35 employees and Alteva on larger customers. The USA Datanet/Alteva combination also probably results in a better mix of voice and data services. The wireline business is shrinking, and WVT has made it clear that cloud communications are its future. Alteva President David Cuthbert is also WVT's COO and President of USA Datanet, and Alteva's Chief Sales Officer Louis Hayner and Chief Network Officer Mark Marquez also have WVT corporate responsibilities.

Its a bit difficult to get a complete breakout of Alteva in WVT's financial results, and will probably become more difficult now since the lines between Alteva and USA Datanet have become blurred. At the time of the acquisition last year, WVT CEO Duane W. Albro said the company paid "3.1 x current revenue", implying revenue in the $6 to 7 million range since the acquisition price was said to be $17 million. Revenue from Alteva reported by WVT from August 5 to the end of 2012 was just over $3 million, or about $600,000 per month. A WVT financial spokesperson contacted by Philly Tech News couldn't provide any other financial details on Alteva "other than to say they are growing fast". WVT has a market value of about $79 million and currently has 147 employees.


Daily Links 4/20/2012: SAP establishes Global Managing Board, Feds nix Oracle blanket contract

SAP Establishes Global Managing Board to Lead Company (PR Newswire)
Just how many boards does SAP need to run the company? Not sure yet what this all means.

Feds nix Oracle blanket contract (Dennis Howlett/ZDNet Blogs)

Verizon Stops Selling DSL In Fiber Markets, Eyes More FiOS Price Hikes
Telco Plans 'Price-Ups' for FiOS Packages Over Next Two Quarters
(Multichannel News)
Looks like they are trying to compete even harder with their new partner Comcast.

Philly Inc: Gathering looks at sports, local economy (Mike Armstrong/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Startup Weekend event seeking healthcare entrepreneurs (Med City News)


Uber on its way to Philly, according to Twitter account

Tom Paine

A recently initiated twitter account named Uber Philly seems to indicate that the private car ordering service Uber, originally seeded by First Round Capital, is coming to Philly. Can't confirm this is legit yet, though there seems to be enough information in the stream to suggest that it is.

I've reached out to Uber for details. I wonder how they will fit in with the local cab market in Philly.

Uber is based in San Francisco.

Update: A company spokesperson tells me: "We're gearing up for launch, but don't have any specifics to share just yet."


Daily Links 4/19/2012: Workday taps managers for IPO, enhances products aimed at SAP, Oracle

Amazon launches cloud app store (and eats ecosystem?) (Gigaom)

Workday taps Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley for IPO (Reuters)

Workday Update Pushes It Deeper Into Oracle, SAP's Turf (PC World)

Workday launches mobile HTML5 apps to help HR pros on the go (Venturebeat)

Startup America Lands in PA to Galvanize State's Entrepreneurs (Keystone Edge)

Startup utilizes Philadelphia roots, taps into Penn network
Quewey founders looking for Penn students to intern at the startup
(Daily Pennsylvanian)

Verizon Sees Sales, Profits Climb from Year-ago Levels on Wireless Growth (All Things D)
Added 193,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 180,000 net new FiOS Video connections in quarter.

Verizon FiOS Gains In Q1 Offset Chronic DSL, Phone Declines
Telco Nets 180,000 Video and 193,000 FiOS Internet Subs
(Multichannel News)

Philadelphia City Council To Hold Hearing On Verizon’s Alleged FiOS Delays (CBS Philly)

Philly Fed manufacturing index falls in April
Companies in region still expanding but at slower pace; hiring is up
April 2012 Business Outlook Survey (Philly Fed)

Monetate’s Record Growth in Q1 Fueled by Drive for the Ultimate Online Experience (PR Web)
Few specifics.


Daily Links 4/18/2012: InterDigital may move some jobs to Delaware; Five Below files for IPO

InterDigital eyes Delaware
Patent-rich wireless technology company looks to add jobs in state
(Wilmington News Journal)
No, the entire company is not moving from King of Prussia.

Five Below, Inc. Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering (Business Wire)

Five Below initial public offering to raise $150 million (AP via USA Today)

Five Below: Another winner for First Round's Kopelman? (Philly Tech News)
Reposted from last month.

eBay’s Stock Jumps Thanks to Double-Digit Revenue Gains (All Things Digital)
Says GSI Commerce business generated $715 million in merchandise sales, up 26 percent from the same period last year.

Bill McDermott Talks Jobs on Fox Business (Video/SAP TV)

Software maker SAP eyes cloud acquisitions: report (MarketWatch)

SAP Designs Facility for 'aGile' Cloud Application Development (CIO)

Wow Buys Knology for $750 Million (New York Times: DealBook)

Rockefeller Tees Up Online Video Hearing
Meeting to Focus on Migration from Traditional TV to Online
(Multichannel News)

Verizon selling 700MHz spectrum, but only if government approves its AWS purchase (Engadget)

Sony, AU Optronics in talks on OLED TV production: report (Reuters)
What might this mean for Universal Display?

Chariot Solutions Launches Scholars Program to Increase Diversity of Software Engineers in the Philadelphia Region; Scholarship Recipients to Receive Mentoring, Training, and Continuing Education (PR Web)

ICG Company Procurian Demonstrates Strong Q1 Traction
ICG Increases 2012 Annual Guidance
(Globe Newswire)


icueTV launches DropWallet, a new mobile eCommerce platform for publishers; Time Inc.'s Real Simple first user

Tom Paine

icueTV, a Cherry Hill-based startup that has been working primarily on developing a platform for interactive apps to enable eCommerce on Cable TV, today launched a new and somewhat different venture, DropWallet, and its first new iOS app for the iPhone in conjunction with Real Simple magazine.

Real Simple's mobile eCommerce app currently features 50 fairly inexpensive suggested Mother's Day gifts selected by the magazine's editors. It will follow up with suggested gifts for graduation and Father's Day. What makes this app different is that DropWallet keeps the entire shopping and purchasing experience within the magazine's own site, rather then sending readers to some other site such as, perhaps, Amazon. Real Simple keeps a cut of each transaction. Mashable reports that since Real Simple is a Time Inc. publication, there is obvious potential for expansion to other titles and platforms within Time if this trial is successful.

The Real Simple Gift Guide iPhone app is available for download from the App store.

icueTV has until now been focused on Cable TV apps, a market it continues to develop. Interactive TV, however, continues to be slow in gaining scale due to a combination of technological and marketing hurdles. DropWallet, which focuses on publishers, has no TV app at this time.