Today in Philly Tech History 4/30/1996: Infonautics completes IPO

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

On April 30, 1996, Infonautics (based in Wayne at the time) completed its IPO and was listed on the NASDAQ.

Infonautics was co-founded in 1992 by Josh Kopelman, then a sophmore at Wharton, along with Marvin Weinberger, an entrepreneur who had previously co-founded Telebase Systems Inc., an online media company in Wayne. Weinberger was CEO and Kopelman was Executive VP with responsibility for sales & marketing. One of Infonautics' early investors and advisors was Howard Morgan, the former computer science professor at Penn turned VC who later co-founded First Round Capital with Kopelman and is a managing partner of the firm today.

Infonautics set out to become an online resource for children, providing curated content that helped young students learn and study. Its products included Homework Helper, delivered primarily via early online service Prodigy, and Electric Library, delivered via the Web. Infonautics raised close to $30 million from its IPO.

The company had difficulty selling a subscription-based service to a mass market, particularly as so much information was beginning to appear for free on the Web. In terms of technology, Infonautics also had to scramble to convert from the closed garden world of legacy online services such as Prodigy to the open Web, which really took off in the 1994-95 period. Although Infonautics developed a number of innovative Web technologies, financially it never got over the hump. Kopelman left Infonautics to start in 1999, and the company was eventually sold off in pieces.

Incidentally, the Infonautics IPO came three years to the day after the launch of the open World Wide Web with the release of royalty-free (browser) software.

Moore College of Art & Design starting BFA in Interactive & Motion Arts program in fall 2013

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Philadelphia's Moore College of Art & Design is introducing its tenth major, a new BFA in Interactive & Motion Arts program starting in fall 2013, the school announced earlier this month.

The program is designed for students who want to pursue careers as visual artists in the fields of animation, game art, and mobile media design. It teaches a variety of industry-relevant knowledge including:

  • Hand and digital drawing
  • Animation and storyboarding
  • Development of 2D character design and 3D environments
  • History, theory, and critical analysis of interactive culture
  • Gaming strategies
  • Proficiency in use of art-making software.

The Interactive & Motion Arts major will welcome its first class of first-year students in fall 2013. Moore says as the only visual arts college for women in the nation, it is in a unique position to increase the number of women in game design.


Daily Links 4/30/2013: Gartner says Salesforce passes SAP in CRM

Salesforce boots SAP from customer-wrangling software top slot
SaaS outsold on-premises in 2012, says Gartner
(The Register)

The Oracle assessment
(Brian Sommer/ZDNet)

Veeva Systems planning initial public offering: sources (Reuters)
Based in California, much of Veeva's US marketing, sales and customer service functions are based in Radnor. I first reported on Veeva's possible IPO plans, speaking to a top company executive, in March.

Comcast’s X1 Takes a Crack at OpenStack
MSO Taps the Open-Source Cloud Operating System to Help it Break the Old, Closed Set-Top Paradigm
(Multichannel News)

Comcast Q1 Revenue Gain Seen Slim Amid Weaker NBC (Investor's Business Daily)

Former Wireless Lobbyist Reportedly Obama's FCC Pick/WSJ (Mashable)

Comcast's NBC Sports moving to Connecticut (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Adminovate Integrates Multiple iPipeline Products to Solve Industry Challenges
Partnership Offers Seamless Integrations to Support Policy Delivery, Administration and Related Services
(Business Wire)

Exclusive: Ride service Uber raising cash at $1 billion valuation (Reuters via Fox News)
First Round Capital was an early investor in Uber. (But Uber is denying this report.)

On Track For $250M In 2013 Sales, Fab Pivots Again, Buys Custom Furniture Shop Massivkonzept And Opens Retail Storefront (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was also an early investor in Fab.

Heartland Payment Systems Reports 31% Increase in First Quarter Adjusted Earnings Per Share (Business Wire)

Vishay Reports Results for First Quarter 2013 (Business Wire)

Today in Philly Tech History 4/29/1994: Commodore International declares bankruptcy

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

West Chester might have become the capital of the PC industry. But it didn't.

On April 29,1994, West Chester-based Commodore International, which helped pioneer the development of the PC industry, declared bankruptcy and was subsequently liquidated. Commodore's former headquarters site in West Chester now houses QVC's corporate headquarters.

Founded as Commodore Business Machines in Toronto by Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel in 1954, the company started off first making typewriters, then adding machines, and then electronic calculators, but ran into competitive pressures with each product line. In 1976, after TI's entry into the electronic calculator market (using its own chips) threatened Commodore's survival, it responded by acquiring Norristown-based MOS Technology, which revolutionized the microchip industry in the mid-1970's with its 6502 microprocessor. In the late 1970's, Commodore moved to West Chester from California, in part to be closer to its new acquisition and key supplier.

The talent acquired through the MOS Technology acquisition, in particular engineer Chuck Peddle, convinced Tramiel that home computers were the future. Commodore's history as a computer manufacturer began in 1977 with the introduction of the Commodore PET, followed by the VIC-20, for which William Shatner did early ads.

In 1982, Commodore introduced the phenomonally successful Commodore 64, although the vicious cycle of price cutting it led damaged its own future as well as others. Tramiel resigned after a company power struggle in 1984 and founded his own company, buying the consumer side of Atari Inc. from Warner Communications. Meanwhile, Commodore bought a startup named Amiga Corporation and launched a new model bearing the Amiga name, which was considered by many to be the first multimedia computer. A long, bitter competitive and legal war (over IP issues) ensued between Commodore and Atari, although ultimately neither would survive. As Apple and IBM increasingly dominated the home computing market, Commodore languished, although some of its later ideas were ahead of their time (and the market).

At one point, Commodore had 1,000 employees in West Chester.

The Amiga and Commodore 64 have reappeared periodically in various incarnations.


Daily Links 4/29/2013: Will Fox compete with Comcast for Phillies rights?

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

10 Degrees: Phillies next in line for Dodgers-esque TV deal that'll keep them among MLB's big boys (Yahoo Sports)

Powell in PA—Programming Costs, Net Neutrality & Cable's Need to Get Flashy (Cable360)

Their used-car start-up site is a winner ( Philly Inc)
Results of Wharton Business Plan Competition.

More fun facts about AWS usage, this time from Cloudyn (Gigaom)

Amazon doesn’t reveal what it makes on cloud computing, but here’s the number, anyway (Quartz)

PRINCETON: 2 university students are venture capitalists (Princeton Packet)
Princeton students in First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund.

Nokia and SAP team up on TwoGo ride-sharing platform (Gigaom)

evoke interaction Rebrands as Evoke Health (Marketwire)


Philly Enterprise Software Meetup: Temple prof on "Simplifying Enterprise Operations", May 1 at Alter Hall

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

This coming Wednesday, May 1, Matt Held's Philly Enterprise Software Group will hold its next meetup
at Temple University
(Alter Hall, Fox School of Business, Temple University - Main Campus, Philadelphia, Room 232) at 6:30pm.

As part of its "Expert Speaker Series", the meetup group will feature a presentation entitled "Simplifying Enterprise Operations" by Mart Doyle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Information Systems, The Fox School. Doyle builds upon his extensive corporate, academic and consulting experience in helping implement large enterprise ERP systems. Examples include Rohm & Haas's (since acquired by Dow) groundbreaking SAP ERP system, where he served as both a manager and a consultant, and Temple's own implementation of SunGard Higher Ed's (now Ellucian) Banner ERP system a few years back.

One thing Doyle (a Philly native) has focused on in his teaching and consulting is the job of the operations manager who has the real-time responsibility to oversee and keep these very complex environments running. The cost of downtime, both operationally and financially, is tremendous. Different segments or functions within the enterprise systems environment often use their own diagnostic and monitoring tools specific to their part of the operation. The central operations manager needs a dashboard that bridges these different environments and identifies where events are occurring within the infrastructure, what they relate to and how they can be addressed. Doyle will discuss implementing an events management system to simplify operations management.

Alter Hall, the Fox School's new $80 million home, opened in 2009. The Fox School's MIS department is certainly well known in the professional ranks although I sometimes think it doesn't get as much local recognition as it should. US News & World report ranked Fox MIS 17th in the country last year.


Philly Tech People News 4/28/2013

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email

Safeguard Scientifics Names Jeffrey B. McGroarty Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Business Wire)

RDC Appoints Industry Leader, Anthony Capon, To Forge Its Data Strategy
Vice President of Data Strategy joins RDC’s Executive Committee
(Business Wire)

Tribune Taps NBCU Exec Dana Zimmer as Prexy of Distribution

Airclic Names Charlie Virden as Vice President of Sales
Virden to Help Airclic Drive Momentum Amidst Expanding Market Demand for Critical Supply Chain Management and Logistics Technologies
(Business Wire)

MD Aligne Announces John R. Palumbo as President and CEO (PR Web)

(Press Release)
A spokesperson for the Coral Gables, FL-based agency says Ryan Helman, Director of Business Development, will head up the Philadelphia office. He was previously with SapientNitro and Rosetta.

Steve Merino Joins Mangos as Associate Creative Director (PR Web)

WebiMax Announces Michael Gurzo as Chief Financial Officer (PR Web)

Mark Lewis Joins MayoSeitz Media as Associate Director of Strategic Communications (PR Web)


Businesses move to off-site computer-service operators (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Beyda Gets Specific About What Tech Startups Should Know to Receive Genacast Funding

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

Gil Beyda of Genacast Ventures gave some very
 specific criteria he uses in evaluating a startup. | Genacast

Gil Beyda, founder and managing partner of Genacast Ventures (Philadelphia and New York), a seed fund formed in partnership with Comcast Ventures, gave attendees at the Feb. 19, 2013, Venture Association of New Jersey (VANJ) luncheon meeting in Whippany very specific criteria he uses when choosing whom to fund.

He started his discussion by explaining his background and connection to VANJ. Beyda, a former software technology consultant and serial entrepreneur who founded Real Media and several other startups, remembered pitching yet another tech startup to the VANJ in 2001. “It was a great idea, [but it was] bad timing, and it didn’t end up getting funded,” he recalled.

After Real Media was acquired in 2001, Beyda went into online advertising as CTO of Tacoda, an early behavioral-targeting ad network. Following AOL’s acquisition of Tacoda in 2007, he founded Genacast. Beyda noted that he is also personally invested in the fund.

Genacast’s goal is to fund early-stage northeast U.S. business-facing Internet technology companies with up to a million dollars, in four to six deals a year.

“Even though we are partnered with Comcast and Comcast Ventures, companies we invest in don’t have to have anything to do with Comcast or NBC Universal,” Beyda said. “However, we do work with those guys and can open those doors and make those intros,” he noted.

Beyda’s talk was entitled “Eight Keys to Yes: The Eight Questions You Need to Answer to Get Him to Write a Check.”

“More important than getting me to answer yes, it’s important to answer these questions to get your families, your significant others, to answer yes as well,” he told the young entrepreneurs in attendance.

“When I make an investment, … it’s just money. But you are investing a lot more: you are investing your time and … making a commitment to the business. First and foremost, you should be able to convince your friends and family that this is an awesome idea.”

Beyda’s eight “keys” are quite detailed. Getting his money is no simple journey:

  • Be clear about the problem you are solving. “It’s even better if this problem is felt by millions of people,” said Beyda. Then it’s likely there will be a large market. Know whether the problem is well understood. Ideally, your target customers know they have a problem and that it’s big and painful. That speaks to the sales cycle. If they have a very painful problem, customers say, “Yes, I want the solution and I want it now.”
  • Know your solution to the problem. What sorts of technology, services, processes, “secret sauce,” trade secrets and IP do you have? Understand that people are using other solutions to the problem today. Know how difficult it will be to move people away from current solutions. The more you have to change their behavior, the more difficult it will be to gain acceptance. Understand that you are probably not the first person who came up with this idea; someone else has likely tried it. Put context around your solution: pretend that someone else has come up with this idea before, know why it wouldn’t have worked before and what in the ecosystem, market or context will make it work now. Will it work, for example, because we all have mobile phones today and you need mobile data to make it work? Is it because we all have broadband and you need broadband for your solution?
  • The team is next in importance. Said Beyda, “It’s about their ability to create the vision and execute on the vision. It’s really important that they understand the stakes. It would be amazing if they actually felt the problem in their last job or in their past.” If team members are in the industry you are addressing, it’s even better. They can then share their contacts, and access partners, potential customers, distributors and channels. The team needs to be able to lead, inspire and hire. Look for teams with the mindset that in the office each day everything is going to go wrong.
  • Companies often don’t look at the real competition. Said Beyda, “Open up your competitive set and know if you threaten people who are borderline competitors who could try to enter the market.” Is it easy for them to move into your space? In that case, unlevel the playing field: “I want any company I invest in to have an unfair advantage [a unique asset] in the marketplace.” It may have contacts sewn up or patents or technology that is difficult to replicate. Know how the landscape will change after you launch: “You will affect the market by bringing your product to market.”
  • Know the market ecosystem in order to maximize the opportunity and leverage the marketplace. Who will the users be? Who will the buyer be? Know the decision maker, the potential strategic and nonstrategic partners and the channel partners and distributors early on. How will you acquire customers? What are the costs of acquisition and how will those costs make sense for the business? “It helps if you come from the industry; you know what the sales cycle is, you know how to find those customers, how you message them and close them.” It’s important to know how much cash you’ll need. “We are funding you to some point in the future. At that point you will have proven some aspects of your business. If you can’t do that, it’s unlikely you’ll get more money from me unless you’ve made substantial progress,” said Beyda.
  • Know how much “runway” you need at the seed stage. While you are working on your seed round, imagine what you want to put in your Series A deck. Picture it this way: I want to have X amount of customers and X amount of revenue. Work backward from that. How much time and how much money do you need? “The worst thing I can do is invest too little money and have you run out of cash,” said Beyda. Entrepreneurs don’t, however, want to raise too much, because early money is the most expensive money, and it gets the most dilution. The length of time Genacast expects to fund in a seed round is from 12 to 18 months.
  • Know how to “de-risk” for the next investor coming down the line. If there is risk of uncertainty that you can build the technology product, make sure you build it for the next investor. If there is market risk (“I don’t know if people will buy it”), make sure you have buyers for the next investor. Know the key assumptions the next investor will want to see for customer acquisition costs, sales cycles and so on. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when a follow-on investor asks you a question about traction, for example.
  • A somewhat controversial question is, Should entrepreneurs be thinking about the exit when they have barely started? Beyda’s response: “We don’t want you to focus on the exit. We want you to build an amazing business and delight your customers. But … it’s an important exercise to understand that you are building a valuable asset and to know to whom it will be valuable. We make our money when you exit, so we want to know that someone will find it valuable.
Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly, and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared in NJTechWeekly, and is reposted here with her permission.


Daily Links 4/26/2013: QlikTech rises on results; owners lose arbitration ruling on trademark challenge to

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

What’s the SD Benchmark for ERP Apps Running on SAP HANA? (Thomas Wailgum/ASUG News)

Why in-memory computing is going mainstream
(Information Age)

Qlik Technologies Inks Larger Deals As Q1 Beats (Investor's Business Daily)

Interview: Dell software chief talks transformation (PC World)

AT&T rolls Digital Life home automation service in Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox markets (FierceCable)

LevelUp closes nearly all its remote offices, including Philly ( Philly)

Whose Website is it Anyway? Philadelphia legal firm tames new frontier (Keystone Edge)

Philadelphia Inquirer wants to own the term “Philly” (Domain Name Wire)
Paper's owner loses arbitration ruling to


Conshohocken-based CardioNet to reorganize corporate structure, become BioTelemetry, Inc

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Conshohocken-based CardioNet, a pioneer in telemetry-based cardiac monitoring, announced a proposed major corporate reorganization along with its quarterly earnings announcement on Monday. Pending shareholder approval, it will adopt a holding company structure and change its corporate name to BioTelemetry, Inc. CardioNet and acquisitons Cardiocore and Braemar will become operating subsidiaries of BioTelemetry. BioTelemetry will continue to trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol "BEAT".

CardioNet CEO and President Joseph H. Capper said in a statement: “Qur strategy is to achieve sustained long-term growth by solidifying our leadership position in remote cardiac monitoring; building a leading research services business; and identifying markets that would benefit from the application of our wireless platform and proprietary technology. As a result, we recently launched a more comprehensive sales approach in our patient services business and acquired Cardiocore in order to expand our research services capabilities. Simultaneously, we have built an operational infrastructure capable of sustained growth in several areas of the developing mobile health services market. Consequently, we expect to derive economic and functional benefits through the alignment of our adjacent businesses, each with distinct brand equity, under this holding company structure."

Although Capper was not very specific during the earnings conference call (free registration required for transcript) in identifying the markets BioTelemetry might expand into under its new structure, the implication is that it plans to move beyond cardiac monitoring into other areas of remote health monitoring, as well as expanding research applications for the patient data it collects. In this sense, it is possible CardioNet's strategy may begin to look more like that of Sotera Wireless, a California-based venture that Safeguard Scientifics took a 7.7% stake in earlier this year as I wrote about here.

Dr. Eric Topol, the cardiologist and leading wireless healthcare technology pioneer who is now Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health and serves on Sotera Wireless' board, was the first physician to serve on CardioNet's Medical Advisory Board in 1999, although to the best of my knowledge he no longer has a connection to CardioNet.

CardioNet, which did an IPO in 2008 and moved to Conshohocken from San Diego, has since suffered due to reimbursement rate cuts by payers and questions by some about the value of its services. It has since recovered somewhat and is showing revenue growth again, although its still losing money. BEAT closed today at $2.76, well down from its 2008 post-IPO high of $34.50.


Recyclebank exits UK market, disposing of unit

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Recently, I raised the issue of the long-term viability of Recyclebank's business model, noting the ongoing tendency of numerous communities that had participated in the program to discontinue it, frequently citing low participation rates in the rewards program and ongoing costs.

Now comes word that Recyclebank has exited the UK market, selling its Recyclebank UK unit to Greenredeem, a subsidiary of Grundon Waste Management Ltd. The UK website says it is not clear whether Greenredeem paid a financial consideration to Recyclebank for the UK unit or received it for free, noting "questions have been asked in the past about the precise impact of rewards schemes on recycling and whether results had been influenced by a change in collection systems and approach rather than by offering rewards." Recyclebank has 250,000 members in the UK, according to Greenredeeem.

Recyclebank was founded in Philadelphia before moving its headquarters to New York. It still has some operations based in Philly, and the city of Philadelphia is among its customers.


Daily Links 4/25/2013: Verizon said to be preparing bid to buyout Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Verizon eyes $100 billion bid for Vodafone's Wireless stake (Reuters)

Safeguard Scientifics Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results
Capital deployments in Pneuron and Sotera Wireless bring partner company roster to 20

(Business Wire)

QlikTech Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results
Total revenue of $96.5 million increases 22% compared to first quarter of 2012
(QlikTech Press Release)

InterDigital Announces First Quarter 2013 Financial Results (Globe Newswire)

Mixed Q1 For Time Warner Cable
OIBDA Growth In Line, But Video Sub Losses Rise
(Multichannel News)

Arris Sees Video Gateway Market Start to Open Up (Multichannel News)

GE Puts $105M Into Pivotal, The New EMC And VMware Platform Initiative, But Here’s What It Is Missing (TechCrunch)

AWeber Announces New Headquarters in Chalfont, Pa.
Renovated 71,000-square foot building to be revealed with April 30th ribbon-cutting ceremony


Devon IT focuses on software, as it teams up with Acer

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Its unusual to see a company recommend that its customers buy someone else's product rather than its own - most of the time, anyway.

But that's exactly what King of Prussia-based thin client computing vendor Devon IT said in a recent press release ( Acer N2010G Thin Client Replaces Dell, HP, Devon and Wyse Thin Clients At Lower Cost). And on Devon IT's website, Acer models now clearly get top billing.

So what's behind this unusual strategic marketing move? It reflects for one thing a gradual evolution in Devon IT's business model, according to Devon IT VP of Marketing Paul Mancini, who spoke with Philly Tech News. And it also reflects shifting alliances in a rapidly changing and growing segment of the computer industry.

Devon IT has been moving for some time from being a bundled provider of thin client devices and the specialized software they need to function towards shedding the low-margin hardware manufacturing and focusing on its thin client/virtual desktop operating systems and software. While it still uses contract manufacturers to produce a couple of hardware models and customers or distributors can still contract to have other models produced according to Devon IT's reference or top level designs, Mancini says, Devon has been deemphasising its hardware manufacturing. Devon's greatest value lies in its thin client (DeTOS) and zero client operating systems, and its Echo Thin Client Management Software.

The other challenge Devon has faced has been finding a major partner (or partners) to help reach enterprise customers. As a relatively small player, Devon needs both the access to customers as well as the credibility and technical synchronization a major vendor can provide.

One partnership Devon IT developed was with IBM, but that ended in 2010 with Devon filing a RICO lawsuit against IBM and some of its executives (a judge later threw out the RICO portion of the complaint against IBM, but not the individual executives). That lawsuit was settled in October 2012 and the docket was ordered sealed by the judge, meaning the terms of the settlement are not publicly known.

After the termination of the IBM relationship, Devon IT developed a partnership with Dell that was apparently producing big results, as I was about to report one year ago. But Dell suddenly announced its acquisition of a larger Devon competitor, Wyse Technology, for all practical purposes ending its relationship with Devon (see Devon IT may need to reboot itself again after Dell's Wyse acquisition; Challenge also could create new opportunities).

But there were other large players in the PC industry looking for thin client solutions. One of them was Taiwan-based Acer, the 4th largest global PC manufacturer, ranking behind Dell in volume according to IDC data. Last year Acer announced a global alliance with Devon IT, and an Acer thin client product series using Devon IT technology.

There are some other major PC manufacturers out there looking for thin client solutions, but Mancini couldn't comment on whether Devon is working with any of them.


Daily Links 4/24/2013: GE drops $105 mm into EMC/VMware cloud spinoff; Unisys plummets after earnings release

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Amazon: Hard luck Microsoft, AWS will always be cheaper
We're in the driving seat and the only way is down
(The Register)

Pivotal’s Audacious Plan (New York Times: Bits)
GE invests $105 million (yes, thats right) in EMC/VMware cloud spinoff. seeks more advertising, marketing revenue from social (Gigaom)

Red ink flows in difficult first quarter for Unisys ( Philly Inc)
Unisys shares are down 20% on the day.

Comcast: Unlicensed Spectrum Now Top Route to Web Access
Exec to Tell Senate to Do More to Free Up Spectrum
(Multichannel News)

Here Comes Amazon's Kindle TV Set-Top Box (Bloomberg Business Week)

Harry Potter coming to Universal Studios Hollywood (LA Daily News)

NBCUniversal Celebrates New Digital Efforts (Hollywood Reporter)

Publicis Groupe to Spend $4 Billion on Acquisitions Over Next Five Years
Maurice Levy Says Small and Midsize Digital Firms Are Next Targets
(Ad Age)

Smart-phone app for runners wins Villanova contests (Philadelphia Business Journal)


Daily Links 4/23/2013: Comcast Ventures' Toth focused on B2B; Aereo on to Boston

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Q&A: Louis Toth backs B2B startups for Comcast Ventures (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

Aereo targets Comcast subscribers with Boston launch
Online video platform will debut in Beantown on May 30

Apple Returning $55 Billion to Investors as Forecast Trails (Bloomberg)
Had to doublecheck this headline to make sure a hacker hadn't gotten into Bloomberg's twitter feed. I half-expected Apple to give it to charity.

Feds seize Fisker loan reserve
Energy Dept. taps Fisker reserve on eve of loan payment
(Wilmington News Journal)

Fab Is Raising A Mondo Round At A $1 Billion Valuation (TechCrunch)
First Round Capital was an early investor.

DailyWorth Raises Additional $1 Million For Series A (TechCrunch)
Although its based in New York, DailyWorth's founder and CEO Amanda Steinberg lives in Philly; Investors include Philadelphia's RobinHood Ventures and Gabriel Investments.

The InstaMed Healthcare Payments Account Revolutionizes the Way Providers Get Paid (Business Wire)

Infor Bets $500 Million On Enterprise App Refresh (Information Week)

Lockheed profit beats view; budget cuts hit sales outlook (Reuters)

Lockheed IS&GS unit has trimmed more than 650 employees this year
(Washington Post: Capital Business Blog)
Lockheed IS&GS has significant employment in King of Prussia.


Daily Links 4/22/2013: Netflix leaps on quarterly results; CardioNet to become BioTelemetry

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

As Time Warner Spins Off Magazines, Analysts Eye a Merger With CBS (Ad Age)

CBS Corp. Takes Minority Stake in Local TV Streaming Tech Firm Syncbak (Hollywood Reporter)

Netflix Jumps 18%: Q1 Revenue, EPS Beat; 2M Net Domestic Streaming Adds
(Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Netflix Subscriber Gains Exceed Estimates on Originals

CardioNet, Inc. to Modify Business Structure in Support of Growth Strategy
Company to Change Name to BioTelemetry, Inc.
(Business Wire)

Capital One posts solid quarterly earnings; former ING Direct said to be well positioned (Wilmington News Journal: Delaware Inc)

Deloitte local employment down 18% (Philadelphia Business Journal)

IDC: SAP and Oracle winners as software growth slows (PC World)

Upstart, A Site For Crowdfunding People, Raises $5.9M From First Round, Eric Schmidt, And Others (TechCrunch)

Thrown for a Curve in Rhode Island (New York Times)
Ongoing fallout from failure of Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.


Philly Tech People News 4/21/2013: New CEO at Publicis' Rosetta; Loren Brichter 'helping' at Facebook

Subscribe to Philly Tech People News by Email

Christopher L. Eisgruber named 20th president of Princeton University (News at Princeton)

Wharton Dean to Step Down Next Year (Bloomberg Business Week)

Digital Interactive Agency Rosetta Announces New CEO (Rosetta Currents)

Facebook 6.0 for iOS available, Loren Brichter 'helping' at Facebook (The Unofficial Apple Weblog)

Former Motorola exec Larry Robinson to run Arris Home Devices business
Marwan Fawaz to step down; vendor organizes solutions under Home Devices and Network & Cloud segments

Comcast Cable Announces Promotions in Business Services and Communications & Data Services (Business Wire)

Comcast Promotes Greg Butz to Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing Operations for Comcast Cable (Business Wire)

NorthPoint Continues Expansion and Growth with Opening of Philadelphia Office (PR Web)

Sabre Appoints Mariano Alicea Jr. as Senior VP, Corporate Development (Sabre Systems Blog)

Xyntek Appoints Matt Thompson as Vice President of Sales (PR Newswire)


Today in Philly Tech History 4/20/1971: Safeguard Scientifics begins trading on NYSE

On April 20, 1971 (42 years ago), Wayne-based Safeguard Scientifics (SFE) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Safeguard has been in fairly unique company most of that time as a publicly listed VC firm.

Two years ago, on the 40th anniversary of its initial trading launch, Safeguard published a special website highlighting 40 facts about its company history.

Safeguard was founded in 1953.


Daily Links 4/19/2013: SAP misses sales estimates, primarily on Asia

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

SAP Software Sales Miss Estimates on Lower Demand in Asia

SAP Co-CEO Upbeat Despite Lower Q1 Results (

SAP co-CEO: Cloud computing business profitable (AP via Miami Herald)

Blackstone bails on Dell (Fortune)

IBM looks to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo as profits crash (Ars Technica)

IBM Down 8% on Q1 Miss: Business ‘Resilient,’ Bulls Insist (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Google Fiber Is World-Changing! Or Maybe Not. Or Both! (All Things D)

Shuttered Ad Tech Startup Team Lands at Intel’s Web TV Project (All Things D)

What are Comcast, Samsung and Time Warner Cable cooking up for The Cable Show? (FierceCable)

PHD Virtual Announces 40 Percent Year-Over-Year Growth With 12th Consecutive Record Quarter (Business Wire)


Daily Links 4/18/2013: Zonoff raises $3.8 million; Mashery looks like good exit for First Round, others

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

[Malvern-based]Zonoff gets $3.8M to connect the smart home with super software (Gigaom)

Mashery Sale Looks Promising for First Round, Formative, OpenView, Others (PE Hub)

Arris Unveils New Leadership Team
Former Head of Motorola Home Marwan Fawaz to Exit; Robinson and McClelland Tapped to Lead New Home Devices and Network & Cloud Units
(Multichannel News)

Verizon posts gains on mobile, Fios growth (PC World)

Verizon Continues to Build FiOS TV, Internet Subs in Q1
Telco Adds 169,000 Video, 188,000 Broadband Customers in Period
(Multichannel News)

Citing security concerns, Dish claims it's a better buyer for Sprint than Japanese carrier Softbank (The Verge)

SAP's first quarter: The key questions (PC World)

Philly Fed Disappoints as Indicators Point to Economic Rut (Reuters via CNBC)

Visit Philly Lets Locals Create Content (ClickZ)


Daily Links 4/18/2013: Arris closes Motorola Home acquisition; Google Fiber coming to Provo

Arris Seals Up $2.35B Motorola Home Deal
Arris CEO Says Leadership Team of the Newly Combined Company will be Revealed Thursday

(Multichannel News)

Google Fiber coming to Provo's 'Silicon Slopes' (CNET News)
Provo already has fiber backbone, but Google will enhance it.

Twitter Said to Seek Deals With Viacom, NBC to Feature TV (Bloomberg)

Montco fires private investment-pickers ( Philly Deals)

SAP users win bigger say in software development (ZDNet)

Intel Acquires API Manager Mashery (All Things D)
Investors included OpenView Venture Partners and First Round Capital; Comcast an important

Daily Links 4/16/2013: Broadcasters ask for new hearing on Aereo; Microsoft takes aim at Amazon Web Services

Public's views to be sought on Philly's Comcast cable pact (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Comcast says the free ride is over for basic cable — encryption is coming (VentureBeat)

Why Aereo Is/Isn’t a Big Deal (Zatz Not Funny!)

Broadcasters Ask for New Hearing in Aereo (Variety)

Microsoft Takes Aim at Amazon With a New Cloud Service
(New York Times: Bits)

Lots of new functionality/little elapsed time: Workday and Adaptive Planning updates (Brian Sommer/ZDNet)

Internet Ad Revenues Again Hit Record-Breaking Double-Digit Annual Growth, Reaching Nearly $37 Billion, a 15% Increase over 2011’s Landmark Numbers (

How Wireless Carriers Monetize Your Movements (Mashable)

University City Science Center Accepting Nominations for Inaugural Innovators Walk of Fame (Business Wire)

Hackathon sponsors make rules developer friendly (Philadelphia Business Journal)

AGI Awarded IEEE Philadelphia Section Corporate Technology Innovation Award
The Company's Software Analyzes the Effects of Wind Farms on Radar Systems

Efficient IP, SAS (Paris) announces Efficient IP, Americas
Efficient IP, Inc. (EIP Americas) will focus on sales and services throughout the Americas.
(PR Newswire)

Daily Links 4/15/2013: Dish offers $25.5 billion for Sprint

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Dish offers $25.5B for Sprint, outbidding Softbank by $5B to become a wireless player (VentureBeat)

Verizon offers Clearwire $1.5 billion for spectrum leases, says WSJ (The Verge)

More Cracks Undermine the Citadel of TV Profits (New York Times)

How a Simple Press Release Reveals AT&T’s Anti-Competition Hypocrisy (Wired)

Seven Questions for Workday CEO and Greylock Partner Aneel Bhusri (All Things D)

Best Practices for SAP HANA Data Loads (John Appleby/SAP Community Network)
Probably more detail than most readers need, but I thought the description of the approach, process, and results was very interesting.

Why the cloud is threatened by unprofitability (USA Today)
Not sure if author truly understands cloud economics, accounting issues, long-term recurring revenue streams.

News organizations protest exclusion from Philadelphia bond meeting (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Asked what might be said that would be inappropriate for the public to hear, Dubow declined to speculate, saying there wasn't enough space for reporters anyway."
Specious logic. They certainly could have reserved room for a small pool of reporters if
they had chosen to.

Blue Bell company fires CFO due to investigation
(Philadelphia Business Journal)

Government Shouldn’t Be In The Accelerator Business (FeldThoughts)

PANL[Ewing, NJ-based Universal Display]: Low TV Set Opportunity Offsets Mobile, Says Canaccord (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)


DuckDuckGo Founder Gabriel Weinberg on CNBC (Video)

Daily Links 4/12/2013: DOJ Clears Arris/Motorola Home deal

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Comcast to IPv6-enable commercial broadband service
Trial expected to start in May in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco areas
(Network World)

DoJ Clears Arris/Motorola Home Deal
Arris Expects to Close Proposed $2.35 Billion Transaction on or about April 17
(Multichannel News)
Comcast will own a small stake of Arris, along with Google.

Broadcasters counter Aereo with aerial dongles (CED Magazine)

Dish Said to Have Approached Deutsche Telekom About T-Mobile Bid (Bloomberg)

One year later, SAP hasn't blown it with SuccessFactors (Fortune Tech)

UBS Hires SAP’s Oliver Bussmann as Chief Information Officer (Bloomberg)

Oracle's Mark Hurd talks Fusion Applications, customer satisfaction and SAP's HANA (PC World)

eBay Hires A VP Of Data To Focus On Personalization Across The Marketplace And Other Properties (TechCrunch)

Intel releases Web-based app programming kit (CNET News)
Based on app development platform it acquired from Lancaster-based appMobi in February.

Rockmelt says goodbye to its social web browser, says hello to Rockmelt for Web (Engadget)
RockMelt is a First Round Capital portfolio company.

Lockheed Martin completes design review in GPS III program (

Back home in PA, at least for now, FastFig enjoys exponential growth (Keystone Edge)


Daily Links 4/11/2013: Allentown area chip maker CyOptics acquired for $400 million

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Assureweb rebranded iPipeline after acquisition
Rebrand is part of US firm iPipeline’s plan to establish a greater presence in the UK and Europe.
(FT Advisor)

Avago Technologies to Acquire CyOptics, a Leading Optical Chip and Component Supplier to the Datacom and Telecom Markets (Globe Newswire)
CyOptics is based in Breinigsville, PA, near Allenown. Avago said it would pay $400 million for CyOptics, and said CyOptics' revenue has more than tripled over the past three years. CyOptics had filed to raise up to $100 million in an IPO but withdrew that a year ago.

Teva is looking for a few good entrepreneurs for a global drug launch platform (Med City News)

Software company wants Philly to be hip to the Jive (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Monetate's Segment Discovery Tool will be Generally Available in Summer 2013 - Live from the Monetate #AgilitySummit (PR Newswire)

Can QlikTech beat SAP, IBM, Oracle? ( Philly Deals)
My sense is that Qlik's closest competitors are more often Tableau, Tibco's Spotfire & open source competitors including Pentaho and Jaspersoft, more than what IBM, SAP, Oracle or MSFT offer today. SAP is doing some interesting things in that area around HANA, but not sure if that's produced anything competitive with Qlik yet.

Read more:
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

MSFT Off 5%: Terrible PC Numbers Prompt Thoughts of Breakup, Privatization (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

ORCL, SAP, MSFT, IBM: Nomura Updates ‘In-Memory’ Database Battle (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Oracle rolls out new in-memory applications, scaled-down big data Appliance (Infoworld)

Ingram Micro to Push SAP Mobility Solutions to SMB Channel Partners (The VAR Guy)

IBM ponies up $1B to add flash to more products and speed up big data (Gigaom)

Comcast Begins to Connect to Boxee's Cloud DVR (Multichannel News)

Daily Links 4/10/2013: Another suburban tech firm (iPipeline) adds staff in City: Penn appoints new Chief Investment Officer

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

NAB: Adobe Primetime Deployed on Comcast, NBC Sports
Also announces widespread availability of product for streamlining and monetizing multiplatform delivery of content
(Broadcasting & Cable)

Now CBS is threatening to become a cable channel if Aereo isn’t shut down (VentureBeat)

Why I Need Aereo TV — And You Do, Too [Review] (ReadWrite)

Genachowski Suggests Limited Role for FCC in Aereo Dispute (Variety)

Verizon CEO hints at a la carte pricing for video (FierceCable)

AT&T's Few Fiber to the Home Users See Speed Boost
Some Users Now Able to Get 24 Mbps -- On Fiber
(Broadband Reports)

Deutsche Telekom Sweetens T-Mobile’s Bid for MetroPCS (All Things D)

Peter H. Ammon Named Penn’s Chief Investment Officer (Penn News)

Tech firms keep adding Center City Philly branches ( Philly Deals)
iPipeline the latest.

eBay to Share Shopping Data with Retargeting Advertisers (

eBay’s PayPal and Magento join hands to offer a mobile payment service (Gigaom)

Blackstone Searches for Tech Partner in Dell Dance (Fox Business)

The PC market is a horror show right now (Gigaom)

Manhattan’s Hudson Yards Gains L’Oreal, SAP as Tenants


Google Fiber to Austin confirmed: AT&T issues some kind of response

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Confirming speculation shortly before the scheduled 1pm (central) press conference in Austin, Google Fiber's Milo Medin confirmed on a post on the Google Fiber Blog that Austin would indeed be the second Google Fiber city, following Kansas City Kansas/Missouri.

Medin says Google Fiber hopes to begin deploymments in mid-2014, largely along the same terms and conditions as in Kansas City.

Correction: Press conference was apparently at 9am PST (12pm eastern), an hour earlier than I thought I had read previously.

Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell sees advantage in being the 2nd Google Fiber City, TechCrunch reported.

AT&T shot back quickly this afternoon with an announcement that it would compete with Google to provide 1 Gig broadband to Austin, though the announcement was (in my view) lacking much clarity in terms of the depth of its commitment and breadth of services.

Google Fiber's primary incumbent competitors in Austin will be Time Warner Cable on the cable side and AT&T's U-verse on the telecom side.