Severe storm in Northern VA disrupts Amazon Web Services, taking down big sites

Severe storms cause Amazon Web Services outage (Gigaom)

Storm Knocks Out Amazon’s Power, Taking Down Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest (All Things D)

Philly Tech News VentureWatch 6/29/2012

Tom Paine

ISGN, the heavily funded and expanding mortgage technology company that had been based in Bensalem, apparently picked up and moved its headquarters early this year to Melbourne, Florida. I can find no trace of the company in Pennsylvania now (other than a location in Pittsburgh), and received no response to an email to the Florida headquarters. My guess is that the headcount in Bensalem wasn't that large, since many of its operations were acquired and located in various parts of the country, as well as in India. ISGN's most recent announced equity raise was a $30 million round announced last August. Another promising startup that departed the Philly scene (actually last year-I'm late in catching up on that one) is Venmo, the company that created the peer-to-peer mobile payments app of the same name that launched this Spring and is backed by Accel Ventures. Its headquarters is now in New York.

To replace these two on Philly Tech News' "Young Companies to Watch" list, I've added two other promising companies: Unirisx, the Philadelphia-based SaaS property & casualty-oriented insurance platform headed by former Harleysville Group CIO Akhil Tripathi, and CloudMine, the Philly-based "backend as a service" provider for mobile and web apps, which though still early stage appears to have generated considerable traction.

A couple of items relating to Radnor-based NewSpring Capital: the Boston Business Journal reported earlier this month that Bedford, MA-based FirstBest Systems, in which NewSpring is an investor, is "well into the double digit millions" for revenue, according to its CEO, and looking toward an eventual public offering. It aims to serve as the "Bloomberg for insurance". Also, LLR Partners' recent investment in Columbia, MD-based Message Systems returned an unspecified amout of liquidity in a partial exit for NewSpring, which had invested in 2010. LLR paid double the price NewSpring paid in 2010 on a per-share basis, reported the Inquirer's Joe DiStefano, citing sources.

Princeton-based DoughMain, a startup that helps families and children learn how to better manage money, has received an investment of unspecified size from a private equity fund managed by former auto executive Lee Iacocca’s family. DoughMain recently acquired Allowance-Plus, a similar company founded by Iacocca son-in-law Ned Hentz, who will serve as Chief Creative Officer and have a board seat.

phillytechnews twitter feed 6/24 to 6/25/2012

Posted: 25 Jun 2012 09:41 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Comcast Gets U.S. High Court Hearing on Consumer Lawsuit - Bloomberg
Posted: 25 Jun 2012 08:54 AM PDT
phillytechnews: NextDocs leaves KofP for Conshy tower (Philly Deals)
Posted: 25 Jun 2012 08:24 AM PDT
phillytechnews: PTN Post: DIA 2012 begins in Philly today (Sunday)

Daily Links 6/29/2012: NBC's 'Today' struggles; who would buy Motorola Home?

State's new e-health authority won't slow IT providers (Central Penn Business Journal)

Processing in the iPipeline (Money Marketing)

What I've Learned: QlikTech's CEO Lars Björk (Wired UK)

FCC wasting time and taxpayer money on Comcast (ZDNet Blogs)

Boxee and Comcast Agree To Something (Zatz Not Funny!)

Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (6/18/2012 to 6/24/2012)

A little late on last week's highlights, but here goes:

I reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue issued a letter indicating cloud software is subject to a sales or use tax, as long as the user(s) are located in Pennsylvania. There's no escaping the tax man.

West Chester-based Hoopla Software, which I reported on at the beginning of the year, announced it had closed on its $ 2.8 Series A Round, led by Safeguard Scientifics with also participating.

King of Prussia-based InterDigital sold a whole bunch of 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi patents to Intel for $375 million, but they have plenty left over. In a less publicized move, a Warren, New Jersey-based firm, Magnolia Broadband, sold over 50 mobile patents to Google for an undisclosed price. Magnolia's largest shareholder is Wayne, PA-based SCP Partners.

DIA 2012, the annual meeting of the Horsham-based Drug Information Association, opened at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Sunday and runs through tomorrow. Among other things, it draws many companies from the Philly area's large Clinical IT industry.

phillytechnews twitter feed 6/23 to 6/24/2012

Posted: 24 Jun 2012 09:42 AM PDT
phillytechnews: @deborahyao But what about those unfortunate souls who don't (won't) get FiOS? Oh, I guess they buy from Verizon's cable partners #nochoice
Posted: 24 Jun 2012 08:06 AM PDT
phillytechnews: At University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson claimed by all parties in presidency fight - Campus Overload / Washington …
Posted: 24 Jun 2012 06:36 AM PDT
phillytechnews: So I guess Rubio and Romney could give each other the secret LDS handshake
Posted: 24 Jun 2012 06:23 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Marco Rubio was briefly LDS Church member as youth
Posted: 24 Jun 2012 05:01 AM PDT
phillytechnews: NY Times article on eCommerce customization focuses on Monetate

Bradford Media Group is doing interesting things in West Chester
Tightly integrating video and social media marketing

Tom Paine

Brad Heureux and Matt McGlynn in BMG's studio
(Source: BMG)  

Bradford Media Group, located in the middle of West Chester near the corner of Market and High Streets, has a model that's different from many social media agencies. The innovative agency has a passion for integrating social media with video production to meet its client's needs, and is trying out new formats that marry the combination.

It is perhaps not surprising that BMG's founder & CEO, Brad Heureux, has a multimedia emphasis in his background, having had considerable experience with Comcast, where among other things he help build what ultimately became known as Comcast Spotlight (its cable advertising sales unit) into an industry juggernaut. He also founded and ultimately sold Off The Wall Productions, a pioneering multi-platform marketing company, and helped launch PAXTV, a TV Network later acquired by NBC. He started up BMG in 2009.

BMG defines itself as having three primary components: Studio BMG, which creates original media production including branded entertainment series, product videos, and episodic programming for multiple platforms including social media and television; BMG Social, the agency’s social media platform management arm utilizing social strategy and custom application development; and BMG Reach, which specializes in creating individualized and targeted online advertising campaigns designed to drive specific audiences to the customized video and social content. In other words, the three parts are all intended to function in a tightly integrated manner together in support of meeting customers' objectives. BMG also has its own inhouse production studio.

BMG is big on using Facebook, although they employ other social media platforms as well; Pinterest is becoming very important for them, they tell me. It manages Facebook Fan Pages for about 80 clients, Heureux told me in a phone interview, and each one includes a Studio BMG-produced video element. BMG doesn't target a specific vertical niche, and works with both consumer-facing and business to business brands. Heureux says there are probably some 12 million companies (in the US), who need to have brand pages with a professional image on Facebook, and BMG is out to help many of those who don't have the inhouse resources to maintain that kind of presence by themselves.

BMG's senior staff, in addition to Heureux, includes Matthew McGlynn, Director of Operations and a Temple (Tyler School of Art) grad, who might be described as the chief digital person; Rachel Burke, another Temple graduate who was just promoted to Director of Social Media; and Leslie Nichols, a Conestoga High grad with some Hollywood TV producing credits who returned home and, after working for WPVI and running her own company, joined Bradford as executive video producer for Studio BMG (see recent MainLine Times profile). Lara (Toscani) Weems, another Conestoga alum who had previously worked for Comcast Spectacor and has also handled some assignments for the Harlem Globetrotters, serves as Marketing Manager. BMG currently has 16 employees, and also has a New York outpost.

Julie Roehm

Julie Roehm, who became Senior Vice President - Marketing for SAP early this year, is a Partner at BMG (and an investor) and serves as a strategic advisor (Correction: BMG tells me that while Roehm does have some equity in the firm, she has not made a financial investment in it). Roehm, who has a reputation for being a marketing whiz, had her short tenure running marketing communications for Wal-Mart end in considerable controversy in 2006. In a recommendation she made on LinkedIn last year, Roehm wrote: "Having advised BMG Media, I can say that this group is performing some of the most interesting and credible work in the field of e-commerce for social media. They are really starting to crack the code on the idea of QVC for social media".

Two projects are good examples of where BMG may be heading. One is the Studio BMG-produced social media-driven TV show, "Life Around Home", which launched in April on the digital channel NBC Philadelphia Nonstop. The lifestyle show, which covers subject such as organic living, do-it-yourself projects, home organization, fitness, style and fashion, and parenting, chooses its content based on posts to its Facebook page and other social network presences, and also responds to other posts. BMG hopes to roll the concept out to other markets. CEO Heureux calls it "a completely new model of show production".

Another example is the hyper-local approach BMG is taking in developing a Facebook Fan Page for its home town of West Chester. Studio BMG will use original video production to tell the stories of public and advertiser events, all housed in custom applications within the community created by the company’s social media arm, BMG Social. BMG Reach, the marketing arm, will place online adverting and promotional campaigns to drive traffic to these West Chester stories. The page will also include a (free) directory of businesses, restaurants, and events located in the West Chester area, to be launch within a few weeks. It sounds almost as if BMG wants to reinvent the Yellow Pages on Facebook, something Yellow Page publishers have never been very successful in doing .

Heureux is watching the M&A activity involving many of the big players in the social media business with interest. For example, one company he works with is Vitrue, which Oracle recently announced it would acquire. But BMG is not heavily dependent on any one social media marketing platform. In terms of its own strategy, while BMG may develop some proprietary technology, my sense is they are much more focused on creating proprietary content vehicles, through which customer content can be packaged and distributed.


Nat Turner & Zachary Weinberg's new startup: Flatiron Health

Tom Paine

Invite Media co-founders Nat Turner and Zachary Weinberg have a website for their new healthcare IT startup live now.

Its called Flatiron Health, its located in New York City, and the site doesn't give a clue yet of what they might do in healthcare IT (but maybe they don't really know yet; that was the story of Invite Media, which pivoted a few times before finding the formula that led to an $81 million exit to Google). One open position is listed; a software engineer.


Mobile App Boom Faces Serious Obstacles, NJTC Panel Says

Alan Skontra

The mobile app boom has great potential for growth but faces some serious hurdles, according to an expert panel meeting during the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) Mobile Application Forum, held at Princeton University on June 14, 2012.

The panel, the first of two that met during the forum, included Mung Chiang, professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University; Bryce Hunter, a mobile and gaming specialist at Canadian company DHX Media; Bert Navarrete, cofounder of Princeton-based Connected Sports Ventures; Paul Nolting, senior legal counsel at Verizon Wireless; Guy Story, chief technical officer at Audible (Newark); and Jordan Usdan, deputy director of public and private partnerships at the Federal Communications Commission (Washington). Ian Goldstein, a Princeton-based partner at the national law firm Drinker Biddle, which cosponsored the forum, moderated.
The panelists reached the consensus that while developers are rushing to meet increasing consumer demand, rising costs for both consumers using data and carriers building infrastructure threaten to stall the app boom.
“Growth and demand outrun the growth of supply,” Chiang said. “The creativity of app developers will lead the wave; the supply of capacity will be behind. It's a major issue that we create a win-win for everyone; otherwise, this exponential growth will come to a stop.”
Chiang said app data has become too expensive for consumers, even citing his own high phone bill as an example. He asked how many in the audience still pay for unlimited data plans, then said no carrier will be able to offer that option in two years. “Restaurants charge by how much we eat, and carriers will have to do the same,” he noted.
Representing prominent carrier Verizon, Nolting said as carriers rush to meet rising demand, they will have to pass on their costs to consumers. “It's no secret that appetite for data has outstripped delivery,” he said. “There are questions about availability of spectrum. Cellphone towers involve difficult engineering and are expensive. Everyone is worried about access to capital.”
Hunter, whose company produces television and other interactive content for popular children's shows like “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and “iCarly,” used DHX as an example when discussing the problems content providers and developers face in getting their products to consumers.

DIA 2012 begins in Philly today

Tom Paine

The DIA (no, not the Defense Intelligence Agency) is a global trade and research organization with its US headquarters located in Horsham. DIA stands for Drug Information Association (not to be confused with the DEA-Drug Enforcement Agency), although it usually refers to itself just by its initials. The DIA says it "is a nonprofit, member, and volunteer-driven association that provides knowledge resources across the full spectrum of medical product development".

It will hold its annual meeting, DIA 2012, kicking off today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and continuing through the 28th. The DIA tells me it expects 7,000 attendees, 550 exhibitors, and 895 speakers.

The DIA is a big event for many Philly area companies in the Clinical IT side of the business, such as Octagon Research Solutions, NextDocs, BioClinica, and numerous others. The meeting on the whole is very scientific and quite expensive, although there are plans for individual days or specific sessions (still expensive). I think there are more affordable Exhibit Hall-only options available, although I haven't been able to confirm the specifics on those.


Philly Tech People News 6/24/2012: Brussin, Hirsch among E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winners

David Brussin, Founder & CEO,

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Greater Philadelphia 2012 award recipients were named at an event on this past Thursday evening at the Terrace Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. David Brussin, Founder & CEO, Monetate, was honored in the Emerging Company category, and Richard Hirsh, CEO, Transcend United Technologies, was honored in the Technology category. Dan Roitman, CEO of Stroll, was selected for Retail and Consumer Products, and Bill Giles of the Phillies received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

You can see all the award recipients here, and a list of all the regional finalists here.

Monetate Opens London Office to Meet Demand From EMEA Companies
Mike Harris, Vice President EMEA, Will Head Monetate's Overseas Presence

Specops Software Appoints New CEO and Expands North American Presence with new Philadelphia office (Marketwire)

Electronic Ink Welcomes John Scarpato as Chief Operating Officer (Electronic Ink Press Release)

Rockify Adds Mark H. Tuttle as Chief Content Officer
Tuttle will be based in Philadelphia
(Rockify Press Release)

Heartland Payment Systems Adds Three Senior Executive Positions to Drive Company’s Future Growth (Business Wire)

Acsis, Inc. Appoints Stephanie Seibel to Chief Financial Officer
Stephanie Seibel Recognized for Contribution to the Acsis Organization
(Business Wire)

CardioNet, Inc. Appoints Michael Geldart Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development (Business Wire)

InterDigital Adds Pieter Knook to Technical Advisory Council
Veteran Microsoft and Vodafone Executive Joins Team of Senior Communications Executives Advising Wireless Technology Leader
(Business Wire)

Marty Michael Named Chief Executive Officer of Miria Systems
Miria Systems Acquires Cloud Computing Firm; Calls It “Key Step” In Bringing Together the Interconnected Technology World of the 21st Century
(Miria Systems Press Release)

Bradford Media Group promotes Lancaster native, Temple alum Rachel Burke To Director of Social Media (Philly Ad Club News)

WebiMax founder and CEO Kenneth Wisnefski Announces Addition of Bill Slawski to the WebiMax Team (PR Web)

Former Comcast and Brightcove exec building multiscreen apps for Cainkade (FierceCable)

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E-Tailer Customization: Convenient or Creepy? (New York Times)
Article focuses on Conshohocken-based Monetate.

Online video brings new antitrust concerns to Comcast's door (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Internet rivals Comcast, EPB slug it out in Chattanooga market (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
Imagine having three broadband suppliers (including AT&T U-Verse) fighting for your business.

phillytechnews twitter feed 6/21 to 6/22/2012

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 08:42 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Schilling takes blame for 38 Studios failure - Mass High Tech Business News
Posted: 22 Jun 2012 08:12 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Report that Turkish jet shot down over Syria
Posted: 22 Jun 2012 06:24 AM PDT
phillytechnews: RT @cloudmine: We're launching out of Beta and bringing the #BaaS!
Posted: 22 Jun 2012 06:11 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Interesting take on QlikTech's Expressor deal, albeit from competitor

Why Are B2B Social Media Firms So Hot? (Mashable)

Cable road to nowhere (Claire Atkinson/NY Post)

Insta-cloud: CloudMine makes big data super-simple for apps and enterprise (VentureBeat)

Daily Links 6/22/2012: CloudMine officially launches CloudMine 1.0

Comcast 'Invents' Its Own Private Internet (Bloomberg Business Week)

Dish Network, Netflix, NCTA execs set to clash at House hearing (FierceCable)

Bringing the BaaS (CloudMine Blog)
Officially launches CloudMine 1.0.

Google to launch Amazon, Microsoft cloud rival at Google I/O (Gigaom)

Don't expect a kinder, gentler Oracle after sales exec's departure (InfoWorld)

QlikTech Jumps the Shark (Paul Staelin/Birst Blog)
Interesting point of view on QlikTech's recent Expressor acquisition, though keep in mind it is written by a competitor that's trying to move into QlikTech's space.

phillytechnews twitter feed 6/18 to 6/19/2012

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:10 PM PDT
phillytechnews: RT @MLB: BREAKING: Phillies 2B Freddy Galvis suspended 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance.
Posted: 19 Jun 2012 01:43 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Who's Next to Fundraise? Try LLR Partners -peHUB

Daily Links 6/21/2012: Philly Fed Survey "Suggests Weaker Business Conditions"

Survey Suggests Weaker Business Conditions (Philly Fed)

Philly Fed factory gauge plunges in June (MarketWatch)

TC Mini Meetup Philly: The Recap (TechCrunch)

Ditch Your Hackathon, Have A Napkin Pitch Contest Like Today’s Uncubed Philadelphia Talent Fair (TechCrunch)

Philly publisher Bob Hall to staff: ‘We will probably experience another substantial loss this year’ (Poynter)
Advertising revenue down "in excess of 10%" so far this year.

First Round's Morgan on VC Investing, Strategy (Bloomberg via Washington Post)

Healthcare IT M&A 2011 (Healthcare Informatics)

West Chester-based Hoopla Software closes $2.8 million Series A; is an investor

Tom Paine

West Chester-based Hoopla Software, which I wrote about early this year, announced today the closing of a $2.8 million Series A Financing, This is the completion of the round announced late last year, which at the time totaled $2.3 million including $1.3 million from Safeguard Scientifics.

Today's announcement also identified two other investors: California-based VC firm Illuminate Ventures and, which frequently invests in startups operating within its ecosystem.

Founded by CEO and veteran Philly area technology executive Michael Smalls in 2009, Hoopla provides digital scoreboards and gamification techniques to enhance the performance of employees in sales, call centers, and support organizations. Hoopla leverages integration with the Salesforce platform and Salesforce's Chatter social networking tool.

The company says that "proceeds from this financing are being used to further build out Hoopla Software's gamified performance platform and to expand marketing initiatives". Hoopla also says it has added more than 25 new customers to its platform over the past two months, including Box, Marketo, and Zillow.


Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (6/11/2012 to 6/17/2012)

California-based game developer RockYou acquired Philly-based Ryzing, maker of "Bingo by Ryzing" for Facebook. The Ryzing team will remain in Philadelphia, and in fact is looking for more people. Ryzing has been backed by area VC firm Artists & Instigators. RockYou had entered into a publishing arrangement with Ryzing earlier this year.

I looked at which tech firms are moving or expanding in the Philly area, including Zivtech's new offices, Comcast's expansion of R&D facilities for its Business Services group in Mount Laurel, and QlikTech's new lease in New York.

QlikTech also made its first acquisition as a public company, acquiring Massachusetts-based Expressor Software, a metadata intelligence solution that helps users track data lineage and data governance.

The Department of Justice is reported to be conducting a probe into the behavior of Comcast and other cable operators to determine whether they are engaging in practices that may be harmful to online video competitors such as Netflix.

Comcast is partnering with PayPal and TiVo to deploy a system for enabling T-Commerce, a term referring to interactive shopping apps accessible directly from the TV interface.

Perhaps the biggest news from Apple's WWDC was that it didn't really have an announcement on AppleTV, though that doesn't mean there isn't any progress in that area.

Microsoft was reported to have reached an agreement to acquire enterprise social networking tool Yammer for more than $1 billion, though there has been no public confirmation of the deal yet. Such a deal raises questions as to what SAP's next move in that space might be.

Dell laid out its software strategy last week in a presentation at its Analyst Day, and Dell Boomi plays a key role in it.

DreamIt Ventures is now accepting applications for its Fall 2012 Philadelphia class, and Comcast Ventures has committed to being part of two more cycles of DreamIt Access, the minority-focused program, as part of this year's Philly program and next year's in New York. Fast Company nicely lumped Philly in with 14 other mostly second-tier cities in terms of tech startup activity, and the Wall Street Journal looked at why startups such as Stylitics, which originated in Philly, are drawn to New York.

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Google buys mobile patents from NJ-based Magnolia Broadband, which is backed by SCP Partners of Wayne

Tom Paine

While InterDigital's $375 million patent sale to Intel received most of the attention yesterday, there was another mobile technology patent sale by an area firm to a prominent buyer.

Warren, NJ-based Magnolia Broadband, Inc. has sold its "beam forming Mobile Transmit Diversity" (“MTD”) patent portfolio, including more than 50 patents, to Google, the company announced yesterday. These patents cover "methods for increasing spectrum utilization (network capacity), expanding coverage, improving uplink transmission speeds at the cell edge, and improving device battery life", Magnolia said in a statement.

The software developed in relationship to those patents remain the property of Magnolia. Terms were not disclosed. Maagnolia said the proceeds from the sale will help finance its on-going R&D. Venture capital firm SCP Partners of Wayne, PA is Magnolia's largest shareholder. Yaron Eitan, Chairman of the Board of Magnolia Broadband, Inc. is also a Partner in SCP Partners, an interesting though fairly quiet firm headed by Managing General Partner Winston J. Churchill (no relation to the former Prime Minister). SCP Partners says it has $1 billion under management.


phillytechnews twitter feed 6/18/2012

phillytechnews: Confused why Microsoft using same name as Microsoft Surface Table
Posted: 18 Jun 2012 05:27 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Confused why Microsoft using same name as Microsoft Surface Table
Posted: 18 Jun 2012 05:16 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Yep, it's a tablet: Microsoft introduces the Surface — paidContent
Posted: 18 Jun 2012 03:38 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Microsoft Unveils Its Mystery Device [LIVE BLOG] (Mashable)
Posted: 18 Jun 2012 03:33 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Daily Links 6/18/2012: Oracle reports earnings early; Verizon launches FiOS Quantum with 300Mbps down

Pennsylvania wants to tax the Cloud

Tom Paine

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue issued a new letter ruling on May 31 (Sales and Tax No. SUT-12-001(pdf)) stating that a Pennsylvania user accessing cloud software over the Internet is subject to sales or use tax. The ruling states that accessing “canned software” on remote servers is subject to sales or use tax, as long as the user is based in Pennsylvania, no matter where the software or servers are located. The logic behind the ruling is that using cloud software from a Pennsylvania location is the same as the purchase of tangible personal property in the state.

The ruling appears to reverse a 2010 ruling that stated "access to software solely through the Internet is not a taxable transfer of software unless the server or data center resides in Pennsylvania". That ruling is no longer on the Department of Revenue's website.

InterDigital (IDCC) up 27% on partial patent sale to Intel

Tom Paine

King of Prussia-based InterDigital (NASDAQ: IDCC) saw its stock soar as much as 30% today after announcing the sale of some 1700 patents to Intel for $375 million in cash. This intellectual property represents only a portion of InterDigital's total trove of some 20,000 patents. The patents sold cover 3G and LTE wireless technology and WiFi connectivity.

Last year, InterDigital considered selling its entire patent portfolio, but wasn't satisfied with the bids it received.

“This transaction, which involves a small portion of our overall patent portfolio, marks an important milestone of InterDigital’s stated strategy of expanding the monetization of its large and growing intellectual property portfolio", said Scott McQuilkin, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy and Finance for InterDigital, in a statement.

Separately, InterDigital also announced today that it was doubling its share repurchase program to $200 million.


Daily Links 6/18/2012: Oracle reports earnings early; Verizon launches FiOS Quantum with 300Mbps down

Don’t Forget: TechCrunch Is In Philadelphia Tomorrow (TechCrunch)

Oracle Reports Q4 GAAP EPS Up 11% to 69 Cents; Q4 Non-GAAP EPS Up 10% to 82 Cents (Marketwire)
GAAP revenue up 1%. Oracle moved earnings release up from Thursday, as reports surfaced that a key exec (said to be North American sales chief Keith Block) is leaving company. Block's emails critical of Mark Hurd and Sun's hardware business came out during HP trial.

Oracle's sales and profit rise in latest earnings report (San Jose Mercury News)

Yep, it’s a tablet: Microsoft introduces the Surface (paidContent)

Verizon debuts FiOS Quantum with crazy 300Mbps download speeds (VentureBeat)

Ivan Seidenberg Joins Perella Weinberg Partners as Advisory Partner (Business Wire)

GSI in the New York state of mind (GSI Commerce Blog)

Oracle reportedly revealing 'key resignation' this week (ZDNet Blogs)

Minority-Focused Startup Incubator DreamIt Access Gets Renewed Investment, Will Continue For Two More Cycles (TechCrunch)
DreamIt now accepting applications for Fall class in Philly.

15 Tech Scenes In Places You'd Never Think To Look (Fast Company)
According to Fast Company, Philly ranks with tech powerhouses like Savannah, Greenville SC, Grand Rapids and Hobbs NM.

New York: Techie Magnet (Wall Street Journal: Metro Money)
"Stylitics investor Kirsten Green, managing partner of Forerunner Ventures, told me she'd be less inclined to fund a start-up based in Philly, simply because of the logistical hassles."

The Great Replacement: Microsoft, Yammer, and a New World in Enterprise Computing (PandoDaily)

Will social software startups "collapse into the orbit" of the big vendors? (Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet Blogs)

Recent Philly VC Investments (Updated 6/16/2012)

Infonautics alumni meet to share experiences and what followed

Tom Paine

Former Infonauts (L to R) Edwin Watkeys, Alan Preston, Ron Berg, Lucinda Duncalfe, Rick Mosenkis, Josh Kopelman,
Marvin Weinberger, Andrea Michalek, Rich Gallagher, Mike Krupit (photo courtesy of John Ashmead)

"The Infonautics Team & A Generation of Startups" was held this past Tuesday at Quorom at University Science Center. I had written a brief background piece on Infonautic's history prior to the event. Although I wasn't able to cover the event, Mike Armstrong of the Inquirer and Technically Philly's Juliana Reyes both provided excellent reports.

Although this event was certainly most worthwhile, co-sponsors Novotorium and Seed Philly subsequently announced they had decided to cancel most of the remaining "Entrepreneur Summer Camp" schedule, of which this was the kickoff event, citing what might have been an overly ambitious program competing with many other activities for a sometimes sparse summer crowd, as Novotorium's Mike Krupit explains. However, the Summer Camp Not-a-Hack-a-Thon Entrepreneur Sleepover on June 27 & 28 is definitely a go.


Daily Links 6/15/2012: Microsoft reportedly in $1 billion deal for Yammer

Microsoft reportedly in $1 billion deal for Yammer (CNET News)

Take That Larry Ellison! Workday Is Expected To File For Its IPO This Month (SAI: Enterprise)

QlikTech Buys Expressor To Nix Scripting
Deal gives QlikView business intelligence software a graphical user interface to ease and speed data loading.
(Cindi Howson/InformationWeek)

Exit Interview: Nitin Bhatia On Sharepoint, Yammer, Leaving Microsoft And Joining NextDocs (TechCrunch)
Obviously, they wanted to talk with Bhatia mostly about Yammer; NextDocs is hardly mentioned.

Hey, Comcast, the Rich Aren't That Different (Bloomberg Business Week)
Comcast's problem with Chappaquiddick.

ShopRunner picks up the pace
The shipping program offers members a way to make purchases in two clicks.
(Internet Retailer)

Uber Wants To Drive You To The Philly Mini Meet-Up (TechCrunch)
What good is a 20% discount if their variable pricing just hikes up the price at the time?


RockYou acquires Philly social game developer Ryzing (and its staying put)

Tom Paine

California-based social game maker RockYou, in which First Round Capital was an early stage investor, announced yesterday it was acquiring Ryzing, a Philly-based social game developer backed by area VC firm Artists & Instigators (formerly SeventySix Capital). Terms were not disclosed.

Ryzing's primary product is "Bingo by Ryzing" on Facebook, with more than 75,000 daily users. Ryzing's gaming platform gives players a chance at winning prizes through sweepstakes drawings. RockYou had already taken over distribution responsibilities for the game, which was released in 2011, earlier this year. Although RockYou's sweepstakes format enables it to avoid restrictions on cash payouts, if online gambling were to be legalized it has the potential to skyrocket.

Wayne D. Kimmel, founder and managing partner of Artists & Instigators, told me via Twitter DM that Ryzing's 6 person team was staying in Philadelphia and, in fact, they are looking to hire more people. Kimmel will also be joining RockYou's board.

Ryzing's team is led by Manu Gambhir, who has Wharton and Computer Science degrees from UPenn,and ran Cantor Fitzgerald's online gaming business in the United Kingdom (I had no idea Cantor Fitzgerald ever had an online gaming business). Dr. Dmitry Cherkassky, a UPenn Computer and Information Science PHD, led the design of the gaming system's architecture.

RockYou also announced yesterday it was relocating its headquarters from Redwood City, CA to San Francisco. It has raised $129 million, according to Crunchbase. First Round Capital participated only in the seed round; later, larger investors have included Softbank, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Doll Capital Management.


Daily Links 6/14/2012: Microsoft said to be in talks to buy Yammer

HP and SAP: What we need is a MASHED UP cloud
'We've moved away from doing it cheaper' (Thank god)
(The Register)

Microsoft Said To Be In Talks To Acquire Yammer Social Network (Bloomberg)
Raises question again as to whether SAP will make a major move.

Yammer Acquisition Rumors Push Jive Shares Up (All Things D)
As I was saying....

Comcast Bids For .Xfinity, While Dish Wants .Direct And .DTV Web Names (Multichannel News)

U.S. is probing how pay-TV industry affects online competitors (LA Times)

Eagles, Rovio announce an Angry Birds deal (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Philly Tech News Facilities Roundup: Who's moving or expanding? (6/13/2012)

Tom Paine

Real estate decisions (leases, expansions, new buildings or offices) are often a good indicator of what's happening within a company, industry or region. This periodic Philly Tech News feature is a roundup of recent facilities news involving Philly area tech firms.

Zivtech, the Philadelphia development shop focused on content management systems such as Drupal and Alfresco and headed by partners Alex Urevick-Acelsberg and Jody Hamilton, moved this week from its old office on Strawberry Street to new digs in the Philadelphia Building on Walnut Street, where they have taken about half of the 15th floor-RJMetrics has the other half. They tell me they've just about doubled their square footage.
The old office, now available, was Indy Hall's original location. Zivtech also has people located in Madison, WI, and New York City.
Zivtech got Drupaldelphia off the ground a few years ago, and its fifth edition will be held on Saturday (correction: that's Friday), June 22 at Temple. There will be other events during the weekend, including the Drupaldelphia After / Zivtech Office Opening Party Jawn on Friday night.

Comcast has extended and expanded its lease at a former data center in Mount Laurel, going from 44,000 to 72,500 square feet. Comcast currently employs about 200 in the space at the former SunGard Data Systems facility, at Executive Park at East Gate on West Park Drive, which it first moved into in 2007. Comcast says it is expanding its research and development operations in Mount Laurel, which are apparently related to its rapidly growing Business Services segment.

Bethlehem-based online video service Viddler announced in April the opening of its second data center in New York City. Its existing data center in Phoenix now serves as a redundant backup. In what it described as a "six figure investment", Viddler said its "new, redundant, premium hardware assures the performance boost along with the ability to serve even more traffic at high speeds". "Lastly, we’ve enhanced our security and monitoring capabilities to provide a faster response to any potential problems."

Radnor-based Business Intelligence software vendor QlikTech has taken a seven-year lease on a pre-built 6,000 square foot space in the newly rennovated building at 292 Madison Avenue in New York, the Commercial Observer reported last week.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews cutting ribbon at opening of VideoLink's new Philadelphia
facility (Source: VideoLink)
Newtown, MA-based VideoLink opened a new video studio and production facility on Delancey St in Philly last week. MSNBC's (and Philly native) Chris Matthews was on hand for the ribbon cutting. The new facility has 4800 square feet, up from 3000 square feet in its old facility on N. 17th St. VideoLink is a provider of broadcast and corporate media services, solutions, and proprietary video production technology.

At Media, the social media-oriented branding agency, moved its offices in early March from Cherry Street to 222B Race Street. The new office provides ground level storefront space and two levels.

King of Prussia-based GSI Commerce, a unit of EBay, has opened a new office in New York. It houses staff from GSI Commerce's marketing services businesses including mobile advertising, ad retargeting, ad analytics, affiliate, and email. The office will have about 150 employees.


Daily Links 6/13/2012: DOJ reported to be investigating Cable moves in online video

Constant Contact Acquires Business Listings Startup SinglePlatform, Deal Worth Up To $100M (TechCrunch)
SinglePlatform is a First Round Capital portfolio company.

Congratulations: Single Platform Acquired by Constant Contact (Howard Morgan/Way Too Early)

FCC to let cable firms stop carrying local TV in analog (LA Times)

U.S. Probing If Cable Operators Hamper Netflix, Online Video (Report) (Hollywood Reporter)

First GPS III Launch Delayed by Up to a Year, OCX by Two Years (Inside GNSS)
Doesn't appear to be Lockheed's fault.

Quality Systems, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2012 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results (Business Wire)
Quality Systems' principal business is NextGen Healthcare of Horsham.

What do Qliktech customers gain from Expressor? (Research with Results/Aberdeen Group Blog)

phillytechnews twitterfeed 6/8 to 6/10 2012

phillytechnews: Philly Tech People News 6/10/2012
Posted: 10 Jun 2012 04:35 PM PDT
phillytechnews: Philly Tech People News 6/10/2012
Posted: 10 Jun 2012 11:48 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Intel's plans for virtual TV come into focus | Reuters
Posted: 10 Jun 2012 10:05 AM PDT
phillytechnews: PTN Post: "Entrepreneur Summer Camp" to kick off events with look back at Infonautics (June 12)
Posted: 10 Jun 2012 06:19 AM PDT
phillytechnews: Football players may have been among victims of Auburn shooting

Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (6/4/2012 to 6/10/2012)

I highlighted some of the recent venture-related goings on in the Philly area, including First Round Capital adding another VC for the summer (at least), Philly Startup Leaders' recent board additions and new mission statement, and New York-based General Assembly's presence in town.

I wrote about Entrepreneur Summer Camp's initial event tomorrow morning (the 12th) on Infonautics, and took a look back at the pioneering company's history.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Comcast was contemplating making a bid for European satellite broadcaster BSkyB, to which Comcast vice chairman & CFO Michael Angelakis responded by saying, ”this is complete rubbish".

The myYearbook brand name is history now, as New Hope-based Quepasa Corp. completed its corporate name change to MeetMe. and moved myYearbook to the MeetMe platform. The Quepasa social network will move to the MeetMe platform later this year.

With much fanfare, Oracle introduced its Cloud offerings last week, as Larry Ellison made his first tweet (taking his usual shot at SAP), and received some negative blowback.

NJTechWeekly's Esther Surden contributed her coverage of Google's (and Princeton alum) Eric Schmidt and his address at Princeton's centennnial commemoration and celebration of Alan Turing's birth.

Earlier reports were confirmed as Salesforce announced its intent to acquire social media marketing management platform Buddy Media for a price in the $750 million range. And Nat Turner, who co-founded Internet advertising platform Invite Media that was acquired by Google for $81 million, departed Google at the end of last week along with fellow co-founder Zach Weinberg, and the two have plans for a new venture focused on Healthcare IT.

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