2014 year-end notes: Yellowdig, Walnut Street Labs, Neat Company, MEG, RevZilla & more

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Here I try to catch up with some items I've been following in 2014, including a few cases where people took time to talk with me and I didn't get anything written up (apologies):

Yellowdig's Wharton app

Yellowdig, whose founder Shaunak Roy I spoke with in August, is collaboration software for the classroom that is meant to complement, not replace, a school's existing LMS (learning management system), which I think is an important distinction. Now, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Wharton, which was piloting the product, has officially signed on as a user. Its also in pilot at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University's business school.

Coworking and incubation tech hub Walnet Street Labs emerged this year as a real factor in energizing the tech community in West Chester and beyond. It hosted a Startup Meetup every single week this year, with a lot of spectacular speakers. It held a year-end wrapup meetup this morning to get feedback and plan for 2015. And they're expanding -full third floor and 33% more space:

Philadelphia's The Neat Company announced that their unique combination of cloud-based application, mobile, desktop software, and hardware scanning solutions will be featured on the upcoming season of NBC and Donald Trump's hit reality show "The Celebrity Apprentice," airing on Monday, January 5, 2015 from 8-9 p.m. ET. "The Celebrity Apprentice" pits 16 business-savvy celebrity contestants against each other as they try to raise money and awareness for a charity of their choice.

Wharton connections come into play, by chance?

MEG (for Mobile Engagement Gateway), the mobile marketing tool developed by Stuzo Labs, an offshoot of Philadelphia social media design shop Stuzo, continues to make progress in its limited rollout starting in the Philadelphia area. MEG is an easy to install mobile marketing automation platform for small businesses thats adds valuable functionality to mobile websites, often with little or no customization.

MEG was one of the presenters at the November Philly New Tech Meetup. Jed Singer, VP of Product Marketing for MEG, wrote this piece, 'What Is Mobile Marketing Automation?' also in November.

Aaron McLean, a pioneer in the Philadelphia tech scene, joined Stuzo in September as Partner, with a focus on bringing MEG to scale.

MEG features a number of standard widgets that can be added to mobile apps, including Facebook and Twitter feeds, polls, share, call, and message buttons, email signups, and many more, downloadable at no cost. Other custom applications can be developed by Stuzo staff. Users will also be able to utilize iBeacon technology in retail environments.

Stuzo Labs, founded by Gunter Pfau, was a early pioneer in building apps on Facebook's platform. It was sold to Dachis Group in 2010 but was bought back in 2013. Stuzo is essentially running two separate businesses now, but Pfau told Philly.com that he expects them to meld back together again at some point in the future.

MEG launched a a new website in December.

RevZilla, the Philly-based ecommerce site for motorcycle gear, placed #586 on this year's Inc. 5000. It reported revenue grew from $6.4 million in 2010 to $58.6 million in 2013. RevZilla also expanded into a second, larger building at the Navy Yard during 2014.

Late last year I wrote about a new cloud scheduling app for restaurants and caterers, Schedule Cloud for One Touch, created by Philly restaurateur and entrepreneur Greg Dodge and his business partner Frank O'Dea and developed by Pearl River, NY-based Superior Technology Solutions. The app, rolled out in September 2013, is now actively used by over 3,000 staff members for hospitality giants such as Restaurant Associates, Wolfgang Puck and Universal Studios in a multi-city roll-out including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington DC.

Given the success of Schedule Cloud for One Touch, O’Dea and Dodge are already planning next steps for the platform. “One year out, we’re turning a profit, and growing—very positive for a start-up,” says co-founder Dodge.

Dodge is founder of Philadelphia-based Brookwood Consulting Group and currently operates Philadelphia’s Zavino Wine Bar, with two locations.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia and OKI Data Americas (Mount Laurel) are partnering on the installation and use of the new C941dn LED digital color printer. With this collaboration, The Art Institute of Philadelphia becomes the first school of higher learning within North America to adopt a C941dn and integrate it into select curricula. As part of the relationship, The Art Institute of Philadelphia has full use of the C941dn for three years, during which time the school plans to further integrate the device into its curriculum to take advantage of the printer’s diverse capabilities.