Saturday Highlights: NBCU extends Charter deadline: Pharma's middlemen to feel squeeze in 2017

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Husband of South Jersey's Kellyanne Conway possible pick as top lawyer (PhillyVoice)

Pharma's middlemen will feel the squeeze in 2017

No NBCUniversal-Charter deal? Then no 'Sunday Night Football' for Spectrum customers (LA Times)

NBCUniversal extends deadline, averting a Charter-Spectrum blackout — for now (LA Times)

Experts say SAP needs to work hard to push SAP S/4HANA and HCP in 2017 (TechTarget)

Did you now that the Consumer Electronics Show was almost held in Philly one year?

Tom Paine

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The plan was to hold a summer Consumer Electronics Show that would move around from one city to another, with a planned show in 1995 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. However, a conflict resulted in that summer show being canceled, and CES soon became permanently settled once a year in Las Vegas.

Looking back (2 years ago) to Neat Company's appearance on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Tom Paine

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Coming up on two years ago (January 5, 2015), Philadelphia's The Neat Company appeared on Donald Trump's 'Celebrity Apprentice'.

The appearance, which I would guess might have been arranged through Wharton connections (Penn-related MentorTech Ventures, which morphed into Red and Blue Ventures, is an investor), featured a team of male celebs competing against a team of female celebs to prepare an advertising spot for Neat's cloud offering.

The women won with what was actually a very effective pitch:

The men, typically, had some internal power struggles and didn't understand the product features as clearly:

Afterwards, Trump fired men's project manager Kevin Jonas`. "He tried to outthink me and nobody outthinks me -- Nobody," said the always modest Trump.

The issue of how Neat is doing now is sort of a black hole, with no real news except tidbits from an April Technically Philly article.

But as was reported earlier this month, Trump plans to remain an executive producer of 'Apprentice' even after his presidency begins, though he says he'll take no active role in the show.

Links 12/30: Will NBCU buy BuzzFeed, or Disney buy Netflix, in 2017?

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Media deals that should happen in 2017 (Digiday)
NBCU buying BuzzFeed?

Disney buying Netflix could be practical magic (Reuters)

Deprecated: The Ars 2017 tech company Deathwatch (Ars Technica)

Why Google Fiber Would Be a Tough Sale (The Street)

Cloud-first application platforms – PaaS tools to watch in 2017 (Kurt Mako / Diginomica) A 'Software Behemoth,' Billings Mix Upside? (Investor's Business Daily)

Links 12/29: Why Google Might Be Getting Ready to Dump Its Fiber Internet Service; Expect Heavy Combat Between Cable and Wireless in 2017

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Banks Need FinTech To Stay Competitive – And Secure (Pymnts)

eMoney's Ed O'Brien: Want young advisers? Invest in software, not filing cabinets (Financial Planning)
A few months old, but still relevant.

Lyft's plan for Philadelphia in 2017: Add staff, search for local permanent office (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Why Google Might Be Getting Ready to Dump Its Fiber Internet Service

Expect Heavy Combat Between Cable and Wireless in 2017 (Fortune)

NBCUniversal, Charter Prep for Negotiation Showdown, Possible Blackout (EXCLUSIVE) (Variety)
Its amusing when its cable company vs cable company.

Year in Review: Cable splits between Full Duplex DOCSIS and fiber (FierceCable)

Deacom: One ERP is better than two at CPC
(Enterprise Times)

How viral open-source startups can build themselves into enterprise-IT powerhouses (TechCrunch)

After Belt Tightening, Venture Capitalists See More Promise in 2017 (NY Times: Dealbook)

How Not to Build a Supermall: $5 Billion, 5 Governors, 3 Developers, and 15 Years (Bloomberg)

Links 12/28: Disney World Bets Big on an Outsider; FTC Evaluating Privacy Issues Around Smart TVs

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How Amazon’s Cloud Infrastructure for VMware Could Find More Uses

Taking the measure of Google, IBM as AWS cloud rivals (Diginomica)

Telecom M&A Scenarios Trump Earnings Outlooks (Investor's Business Daily)

As Fios comes to Boston, Comcast holds its fire (Boston Globe)

Disney World Bets Big on an Outsider
(Motley Fool)

Comcast Scores Patent for Next-Gen Remote (Donahue Report)

FTC Evaluating Privacy Issues Around Smart TVs (Multichannel News)

PwC: Digital Advertising Up 20% in 3Q
(Broadcasting & Cable)

Pa. financial woes cause KOZ rejections in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Wayne-based Fintech startup QuantaVerse has a compelling value proposition

Tom Paine

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Wayne-based fintech startup QuantaVerse has a well-defined idea, deep domain expertise, a clear market opportunity, proprietary technology, an increasing amount of funding, and some strong supporters.

What more could you ask for starters?

Founded by former SEI Investments (NASDAQ: SEIC) executive David McLaughlin in 2014, QuantaVerse uses a combination of data science techniques to filter through a bank's data as well as external data to flag potential money laundering cases and other potential crimes.

As QuantaVerse states on its website: "Our Risk Reduction solutions reveal which of your customers represent unacceptable risk of using your services and platforms to launder money, fund terrorism, or commit other financial crimes."

Just google "money laundering penalties" to get an idea of whats been going on recently. And its a global problem, not limited to US banks.

Penalties, ranging from billions to thousands, have been assessed. In some cases, there are indications of deliberate laxness or negligence, but in most cases lack of compliance resources or simply an antiquated 'needle in the haystack' approach may be at fault.

Whether the economic benefit is cost avoidance (reducing the expected value of potential penalties or the risk to the bank's reputation), or reducing compliance costs through a better mix of technology and personnel, the economic case can be compelling if the technology performs.

David McLaughlin
McLaughlin, who spent nearly 20 years with Oaks-based SEI, last as Managing Director of Wealth Management Services, before leaving in 2012, has so far raised $1.5 million for QuantaVerse, none of it from institutional sources. Local investors include Robert Keith, Managing Director of Wayne-based TL Ventures (solely as an individual), and SEI EVP Kevin Barr, also as an individual. SEI has not invested in QuantaVerse.

QuantaVerse was a big hit at the IMPACT 2016 Capital Conference held in Philadelphia in late November, being chosen as the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” based on polling of conference attendees. QuantaVerse was one of three companies presenting at the conference to be selected to enter the IMPACT “Lion’s Den”,  and received investment offers totaling $300,000 as a result. While exact terms for some of those outstanding offers still need to be worked out, the additional investors could bring QuantaVerse's cumulative investment to $1.8 million.

McLaughlin said, "As flattered as we are to receive investment offers, the validation provided by the technology and capital community, particularly given the deep expertise our region has in banking and finance, is truly gratifying.”

QuantaVerse's team uses a broad spectrum of data science techniques, from basic capabilities such as text harvesting and metadata management, to more advanced techniques, including elastic robotic harvesting, neural network analysis, and use of deep learning frameworks. AI is the hottest buzzword going, and though there may be AI attributes to some of QuantaVerse's methodologies, its beyond my knowledge base to say whether they meet specific criteria to be called AI. But McLaughlin uses the term sparingly.

Getting the data in a usable format is another challenge. "Normalizing data across multiple systems has traditionally been hard for them [banks], but something we do as a normal course of our work,” McLaughlin said.

Another issue QuantaVerse is just starting to tackle is educating the regulators. Getting their buy-in, or at least understanding of what QuantaVerse does, is crucial.

QuantaVerse has a small handful (both large and small) of beta customers ongoing now, and has 5 to 10 employees. It expects to roll out its go-to-market plan in 2017, and will also seek a Series A during the year.

McLaughlin may also have QuantaVerse pursue a few corollary financial services-oriented applications as well.

This article in American Banker gives a good look at McLaughlin's thinking.

Links 12/27: Comcast's procurement czar; ‘OpenStack is not going to be an Amazon killer' - consultant

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Veeva CEO Gassner On Why Big Pharma Loves The Cloud, 2017 Catalysts (Investor's Business Daily)

TaskRabbit’s Stalled Revolution (Bloomberg)
First Round Capital was a seed stage investor.

Marketing software firm Yext prepares for 2017 IPO: sources

Comcast's 'Peter K' buys more than $15B as procurement czar (

‘OpenStack is not going to be an Amazon killer’: Open-source cloud tech faces U.S. market realities (GeekWire)

HCM marketplace spurs choice and eases integration of applications (SearchFinancialApplications)

SAP Takes MES to the Cloud (Automation World)

Walmart Slowly Makes Strides in E-Commerce (NY Times: DealBook)

Watch Comcast, tech scene leaders talk cultivating startups (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Who will disrupt Salesforce? / Jiri Kram

Who will disrupt Salesforce? (Jiri Kram/LinkedIn Pulse)

Any thoughts on this?

Links 12/26: Driverless cars are coming fast, and Pennsylvania is scrambling to keep pace; Annenberg School's will be one of Facebook's fact checker

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Cerner presses forward despite year of uncertainty (Kansas City Business Journal)

Drexel Condemns Professor's Tweet (Inside Higher Ed)

Facebook, Keep the Fact-Checkers in Their Place (Bloomberg)
The Annenberg School's will be one of Facebook's fact checkers.

Pepperjam and Magento Meet Again As Performance Marketing And Ecommerce Merge (Ad Exchanger)

Gladstone Buys GSI Commerce Bldg in King of Prussia (CoStar)

Uber replaces “where to?” with “who to?”
(San Jose Mercury News via Denver Post)

Driverless cars are coming fast, and government is scrambling to keep pace (

Wynnewood-based tax software company raises $3.3M in private equity financing (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Apple's Search for Better iPhone Screens Leads to Japan's Rice Fields (Bloomberg)

Comcast cable expands in the Deal Island area (Delmarva Now)

On IoT Strategies: AWS, GE, Siemens

Siemens and General Electric gear up for the internet of things (The Economist)

Why the Computing Cloud Will Keep Growing and Growing (NY Times: Bits)

Philly Tech People News 12/26: RevZilla co-founder Bucci to depart; New leadership joins Ben Franklin Tech's board;

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Anthony Bucci / LinkedIn page

2017 to bring new leadership to Ben Franklin Tech's board (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Bill McDermott is Named “Manager of the Year” in Germany (SAP News)

Qantas hires SAP exec as CIO (IT News)

For RevZilla co-founder, time to find another ride (

Second RevZilla exec to leave
The CFO.

Accenture has named senior managing director Kathleen O’Reilly to lead the company’s U.S. Northeast region
O’Reilly will be based out of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia SEC head to leave agency at year's end (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Kay Carr named Main Line Health senior vice president and chief information officer

Picwell Names Matthew Sydney CEO

Rajant Appoints Geoff Smith Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing to Drive Global Expansion

Banking Industry Vet Leaves BoA for Online Lender

1315 Capital Announces the Addition of Senior Investment Professional

Jornaya Appoints John Galvin as Chief Technology Officer

Philly Tech People News 12/11: QVC promotes new blood; Comcast, Verizon name key strategy execs

Land of the Pi People: England’s Bold Attempt to Revive Its Tech Industry (Bloomberg)

How the Rockefellers’ VC Firm Picks Tech Startups (Knowledge@Wharton)

eMoney Advisor benefitting from Fidelity acquisition: CEO Ed O'Brien: We're growing and hiring

Tom Paine

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I had a chance to talk with Ed O'Brien, CEO of Radnor-based eMoney Advisor, after it released an unofficial year-end report on Tuesday.

Ed O'Brien
O'Brien, a Boston area native who went to school (MBA from Bentley College) up there, has spent much of his professional career with Fidelity. He joined eMoney as CEO in March of this year, replacing interim CEO Micael Durbin, who has recently taken on a larger role within Fidelity. Durbin had taken over for founder Edmond Walters, who departed in September 2015, months after Fidelity acquired it in February of last year for a reported $250 million.

O'Brien had most recently served as senior vice president and head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional, having a key role in launching WealthCentral, Fidelity's platform technology to support RIAs and family offices.

O'Brien has relocated and resides in Wayne.

Since the acquisition, a lot has happened in a relatively short time frame.

First, O'Brien made it clear that eMoney continues to be an independent, unique entity within Fidelity. Not autonomous; eMoney is definitely synching up with other parts of Fidelity on important initiatives. But clearly this has not been a "rip and replace" acquisition, in which the acquirer superimposes its own culture and people on the acquired company. Fidelity likes what it has in eMoney Advisor.

eMoney's core group remains distinctly local, more so than most other large local corporate employers. Among senior management, besides O'Brien the only other Fidelity person to come on is CFO Megan Murray, a Philadelphia area native and Villanova grad.

Secondly, O'Brien wanted to get the message out that eMoney is expanding rapidly and hiring. In 2016, almost 100 employees were hired, and approximately 100 additional employees are expected be hired by the end of 2017. That would put total employment in the 500 range, making eMoney an increasingly important tech and finance employer in the area. eMoney has a notable reputation for how closely it works with local universities in recruiting.

The talent pool represented by eMoney, Vanguard Group, SEI, Susquehanna and Lincoln, among others, should be a good pool for future Philly fintech ventures to arise from.

eMoney's role within Fidelity is to serve the financial advisor community, not the direct-to-consumer segment. But O'Brien points out that eMoney's 43,000 advisor clients serve over 1.7 million end users who can access its system online. And eMoney's clients collectively have over $2.5 trillion under management.

This October Fidelity press release seemed to lay out a roadmap for how Fidelity offerings will intersect with eMoney's.

A major step will be the launch of the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform (AMP), a planning-led digital advice solution co-developed with eMoney Advisor, early next year. This is Fidelity's first entry into the so-called Robo market, although Fidelity prefers the digital advice term.

See this eMoney blog post, which reflects its view on the role of robo advisors.

eMoney launched a deep integration with Fidelity in September. Single sign-on capabilities provide direct access between the eMoney Advisor Site and the Fidelity Wealthscape brokerage platform (formerly Streetscape and Wealth Central).

The deep integration "creates a complete end-to-end experience that taps the best of eMoney’s planning-led advisor and client tools and the excellence of Fidelity’s brokerage platforms." Advisors and end-clients of both Fidelity and eMoney can leverage eMoney’s tools to identify financial goals and put a plan in place, then through brokerage platform integration, execute those goals in their customer’s Fidelity brokerage accounts," the company told me.

Additional capabilities will be added in 2017.

The key takeaway is that the stuff eMoney is doing with Fidelity is a big deal. And there's a competitor up Route 30, among others, that they're after.

Previous post:
Fidelity's eMoney Advisor growing, hiring in Radnor; Launching 'digital advice platform' in early 2017

Links 12/23: Amazon's Prime Air (for packages) using Lehigh Valley International; MLB uniform deal with Under Armour, Fanatics

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2017 to bring new leadership to Ben Franklin Tech's board (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Why is your pay-TV bill rising? 'Free' TV now socks consumers with billions in fees (

Judge denies Comcast’s bid to throw out $100M suit by Washington state AG (GeekWire)

Amazon starts flexing muscle in new space: air cargo (Reuters)
Lehigh Valley International Airport one of the main points of operation for its 'Prime Air'.

MLB announces uniform deal with Under Armour, Fanatics starting in 2020 (ESPN)

With revenue down, Drexel "withholds" merit raises. (

Links 12/22: Takeaways From This Year’s Philly New Tech Meetups; Death knell for net neutrality?

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Court upholds $25M state tax on Comcast's failed 1999 merger (

Denver’s newest cable TV service plans mid-January launch (Denver Post)

Cable Startup Layer3 TV Lands Deal to Air NFL Network and NFL RedZone (ChicagoInno)

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s departure is the death knell for net neutrality (Recode)

The Abakus Effect: SAP to Add Attribution to Hybris Marketing Cloud (ASUG News)

6 Takeaways From This Year’s Philly New Tech Meetups (Philadelphia Magazine)

Blue Apron Put IPO Plans on Hold to Focus on Financials (Bloomberg)
First Round Capital was an early stage investor.

Main Line fintech firm lands $1M investment from Western Union amid growing alliance
(Philadelphia Business Journal)

CB Insights’ Tech IPO Pipeline Report; 369 2017 prospects, but not one in Pennsylvania

Tom Paine

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CB Insights

CB Insights’ fifth annual Tech IPO Pipeline Report looks at the top 369 U.S. companies that CB Insight says might be poised for IPOs in the coming year. Though its doubtful most of them will.

Its top five are Qualtrics, Blue Apron (in First Round Capital's portfolio), Zuora, Okta, and Pluralsight. Today Bloomberg reported that Blue Apron is putting its plans on hold for a while.

Others of interest include Dell Boomi competitor MuleSoft,, ContextMedia Health (with many area pharma clients), and cloud monitoring tool Datadog.

Of the 369 companies, four are based in New Jersey and none are in Pennsylvania.

This list is just a rough predictor, of course. There have only been 14 tech IPOs thus far in 2016, though its probably reasonable to expect more next year.

Links 12/21: Netflix vs. Comcast: The Coming Trump Debate; Uber self-driving auto registration pulled by CA DMV

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Tech Consulting Giants Were Big on Acquisitions in 2016

At AWS, 'Enterprise Strategy' Consists Of Helping Migrations (Information Week)

Silicon Valley Is Trying to Reinvent Health Care, Starting in New Jersey (Bloomberg)
Clover Health is a test case, in 9 New Jersey counties.

Big Pharma Is Coming For Your Facebook And Twitter Feeds (BuzzFeed)

Netflix vs. Comcast: The Coming Trump Debate (Barron's Next)

Arris a ‘bright spot’ amid downer year for telecom vendors, Morgan Stanley analyst predicts (FierceCable)

Uber stops San Francisco self-driving pilot as DMV revoked registrations (TechCrunch)

Fidelity's eMoney Advisor growing, hiring in Radnor; Launching 'digital advice platform' in early 2017

Tom Paine

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Radnor-based eMoney Advisor said today that its revenue was up 31 percent YOY, and nearly 59 percent since its acquisition by Fidelity Investments in 2015.

The company also said it had added almost 100 employees this year, including new CEO Ed O'Brien, who joined from Fidelity in March. eMoney now has more than 400 employees.

“This year we returned to our roots with an innovative product strategy that broadens the availability and quality of advice delivered through advisors,” said O'Brien in a statement.

“At the same time, a steady flow of industry and regulatory factors influenced expectations for the experience of giving and receiving financial advice, and led even elite members of the industry to question if their current tools could keep them competitive. For many, the answer was what we have long known—an integrated and comprehensive wealth-planning platform will outperform a financial planning tool any day of the week. And our numbers reflect that,” O’Brien continued.

eMoney Advisor presumably must meet two goals: to keep their financial advisor clients happy, and to fulfill the corporate objectives Fidelity had in acquiring it.

But Michael Durbin, who served as eMoney's interim CEO before O' Brien took the spot and is now starting a new role as head of Fidelity Institutional Product, doesn't feel those goals are incongruous.

“What we like about eMoney is that it continues to be a separate technology company,” he told Investment News. “And we like that there's a lot of opportunity that's presented by eMoney.”

In 2016, among other upgrades to its flagship emX suite, eMoney Advisor redesigned its client portal (named best in the industry by, and introduced a new Advanced Analytics product, as well as the Fiduciary Framework initiative to strengthen compliance.

The varying technology needs of advisors led eMoney to refresh its product and pricing strategy and release an unbundled product offering with emX Select, as well as a new pricing model early in the year.

Early next year Fidelity is expected to introduce its Automated Managed Platform (AMP). Although Fidelity won't call it a robo advisor (using the term 'digital advice platform'), its the next closest thing, and eMoney Advisor had a major role in building it.

eMoney says it anticipates hiring 100 more employees in 2017, while at the same time striving to maintain "eMoney’s trademark corporate culture."

First Round Capital Holiday Video

Links 12/20: RevZilla's Bucci steps down; Uber's loss exceeds $800mm in 3rd Quarter on $1.7 Billion Net Revenue

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RevZilla's Bucci steps down: 'It was me' (

Lloyds snaps up MBNA for £1.9bn
(The Guardian)
In UK only.

Uber's Loss Exceeds $800 Million in Third Quarter on $1.7 Billion in Net Revenue (Bloomberg)

Here are the 5 most likely U.S. IPO candidates for 2017 (VentureBeat)

CommScope Started At Buy On Verizon, Frontier Fiber Builds (Investor's Business Daily)

Verizon Ad: ‘Fios Is Not Cable’ (Multichannel News)

Dish’s AirTV Player set-top box will combine Sling TV, Netflix, and OTA live channels (The Verge)

Links 12/19: Aereo founder's new broadband startup raises $$; Comcast's design for smart homes

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Comcast wants in on your smart home. Here's how it'll get there (CNET)

The Solid-State Electronic Dimmer
A technology innovation that set the stage for modern-day lighting controls.
(Architectual Lighting)
Invented by Joe Spira, founder of Lutron. Based in Coopersburg(near Allentown), Lutron is a large business now and a leader in home IoT.

Aereo founder's new broadband startup raises $30M (Boston Business Journal)

AT&T Wireless Disconnecting Some BMW Cars' Roadside Assistance (Fortune)

Telcos Seen Following Verizon's Lead In Making IoT Acquisitions (Investor's Business Daily)

Lowenstein’s View: The wireless industry is changing before our eyes (FierceWireless)

Deal 7: LiquidHub buys India data firm (

The SAP platform and digital transformation (ZDNet)

Johnson & Johnson chooses RI for Health Technology Center (NBC 10 Rhode Island)

Dr. Janice Presser, CEO of the Gabriel Institute - interview
( DisrupTV from Constellation Research)

Dr. Janice Presser, Co-Founder and CEO of The Gabriel Institute in Philadelphia, is a behavioral scientist and the architect of the technology that powers Teamability.

DisrupTV Featuring Dr. Janice Presser 12.2.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

Sunday Highlights: GE looking to sell Trevose-based GE Water; Amazon building 'Uber for trucking' app

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Chattanooga-based cloud software company launches new product, adds more than 60 employees (Chattanooga Times-Free Press)
There is actually quite a tech scene there (and cheap, subsidized broadband competing against Comcast).

SAPanese 3.0: A Refresher to Popular SAP Lingo in 2016 (ASUG News)

What Verizon Might Do If It Cancels the Yahoo Deal

Amazon is secretly building an 'Uber for trucking' app, setting its sights on a massive $800 billion market (Business Insider)

GE to sell two industrial units, names new execs (Boston Business Journal)
One is Trevose-based GE Water.

Streaming service fuboTV lets you cut the cable cord and still watch Philly sports on Comcast SportsNet (

New Brunswick-based Connotate Receives $11 Million Series B-1 to Expand Innovation and Market Channels

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

Rich Kennelly, CEO of Connotate | Courtesy Connotate

In November, Connotate, Inc., the New Brunswick-based Web data-extraction platform provider for the information services industry and data-centric businesses, announced its $11 million Series B-1 financing, led by Long River Ventures (Boston and Amherst). There was also participation from existing shareholders: .406 Ventures (Boston), Castile Ventures (Wellesley, Mass.), Fernwood Funding LLC (Wallington), Prism Venture Management (Needham, Mass.) and other angels.

Connotate will use the newly raised capital to broaden market reach and expand its portfolio —especially its newest addition, Connotate Cloud.

“The adoption of Web data is at a very early stage,” said Connotate CEO Rich Kennelly in an email to “While the information industry has been leveraging Web data for some time, enterprises are just beginning to leverage Web data as a complementary big data set to enhance their business processes,” he continued. “So the need for businesses to easily and efficiently access, harvest and integrate Web data is going to increase dramatically.

“With the additional investment Connotate has received, we’ll focus on continued innovation and expanding our market channels. We’ll revolutionize with new and exciting ways to make leveraging Web data easier, and more efficient. For example, new cloud offerings will make integrating Web data with applications and workflows more seamless. In addition, we’ll be growing our partner ecosystem to accelerate new vertical solutions that resonate with our clients and the market. It’s an exciting time, and we look forward to the innovations yet to come.”

“We are always looking for companies that capitalize on high-growth market opportunities,” said Tripp Peake, general partner of Long River Ventures in a statement. “Connotate fits that profile perfectly. Their Web data extraction platform is at the forefront of big data. Connotate allows businesses to efficiently extract Web data to create high-value intelligence, unique insights and differentiated information products and services. We are particularly enthusiastic about Connotate’s new cloud offering.”

“We’re grateful to be partnered with active investors that understand our industry,” Kennelly noted in a statement. “As enterprises and big data companies significantly increase their use of Web data, this investment ensures Connotate can grow with that opportunity, and remain a market leader for precise, efficient Web data extraction.”

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly, and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article originally appeared in NJTechWeekly, and is republished here with her permission.

A SaaS History Lesson – The First SaaS Company's Exceptional Journey / Concur (Tomasz Tunguz)

A SaaS History Lesson – The First SaaS Company's Exceptional Journey (Tomasz Tunguz / Venture Capitalist at Redpoint)

Boston-Based CIC Chooses uCity Square for Newest Expansion Location

uCity Square has attracted a Boston-area firm to its newest building at 3675 Market Street in University City, Philadelphia. Wexford Science + Technology and the University City Science Center announced today that Cambridge Innovation Center, also known as CIC, will occupy 127,000 square feet and bring its successful model of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship to Philadelphia.

“By joining forces, Wexford, the Science Center and CIC are leveraging their core strengths to support the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”


uCity Square has attracted a Boston-area firm to its newest building at 3675 Market Street in University City, Philadelphia. Wexford Science + Technology and the University City Science Center announced today that Cambridge Innovation Center, also known as CIC, will occupy 127,000 square feet and bring its successful model of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship to Philadelphia. CIC will join the Science Center at 3675 Market. There, the Science Center will relocate and expand its headquarters -- home to its nationally-recognized tech commercialization and business incubation programs -- by leasing 50,000 square feet.

CIC creates concentrated hubs of innovation in cities around the world. These hubs incorporate specialized infrastructure and are distinguished by intense, productive innovation communities, making them the preferred choice of seasoned, serial entrepreneurs. With facilities in Cambridge, Boston, Miami, St. Louis and Rotterdam, CIC has been home to several thousand companies pushing the boundaries of innovation, including Android, HubSpot, Tokai Pharma and GreatPoint Energy. CIC’s facilities will feature turnkey office and lab space, with options from a single desk or lab bench to larger team spaces.

The Science Center will build on its 53-year history of supporting businesses at every stage of the startup life cycle by continuing to offer technology commercialization and business acceleration programs that include critical funding, expertise, and business tools. In addition, the Science Center will triple the size of Quorum, the entrepreneur’s clubhouse, to offer more meetings, events, and programming for uCity Square residents and the wider community; and build a larger, dedicated FirstHand Lab that will enable more hands-on STEAM education classes and programs serving more middle and high school students and teachers at more local schools.

“Separately, these are powerful components. Together, they will disrupt and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in Greater Philadelphia,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “By joining forces, Wexford, the Science Center and CIC are leveraging their core strengths to support the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”

“Combining CIC's successful model of highly-serviced small office space with the dynamic programming and resources of the Science Center at 3675 Market will create a strategic nexus within Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem and is a model collaboration for knowledge communities around the country,” says Jim Berens, President & CEO of Wexford.

“At the root of a successful startup ecosystem are communities with ties to great academics and a strong talent base,” says Tim Rowe, Founder & CEO of CIC. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Dr. Tang, the Science Center and our friends at Wexford. I truly believe that, through our partnership, we can help Philadelphia become a global leader of innovation.”

3675 Market will stand 14 stories tall, totaling approximately 345,000 square feet. The building is scheduled to deliver in the second quarter of 2018 and is now 50% pre-leased, with the remaining space available to the market for office, laboratory and retail uses.

The project is being developed by a partnership between the Science Center, Wexford Science + Technology and Ventas. It is the latest development at uCity Square, a planned 6.5-million-square-foot mixed-use community consisting of office, laboratory, clinical, educational, residential, and retail space.

As part of the financing for the project, the Science Center has secured a $2.5 million “RACP” grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The RACP funds will be used for the fit-out of the 50,000 square feet that will house the Science Center's administrative offices, programs and facilities, including the new expanded Quorum space.

About CIC

CIC is a recognized global leader that creates concentrated hubs of collaborative innovation in future-focused cities. CIC develops innovation ecosystems that support exceptional innovators and entrepreneurs and helps them to translate their ideas into practical, large-scale benefits for society. CIC currently operates 500,000 square feet of office space in Cambridge, Boston, St. Louis, Miami and Rotterdam, Netherlands. CIC has served more than 3,300 companies since 1999, including startups, corporate R&D facilities, and academic labs. CIC companies have raised over $2.7 billion in venture capital to date. For more information about CIC, visit

About the Science Center

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 50+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond.
For more information about the Science Center, go to

About Wexford Science & Technology

Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, is a real estate company exclusively focused on partnering with universities, academic medical centers and research companies to develop vibrant, mixed-use communities. Wexford’s communities are built on a foundation of discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial activity that creates visible outcomes in the form of substantial economic growth, new and diverse jobs and community transformation. Wexford targets strategic opportunities with top-tier research universities that are directly on or contiguous to dense, urban campuses. Presently Wexford has developed twelve Knowledge Communities across the United States. For more information about Wexford, visit

About Ventas

Ventas, Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a leading real estate investment trust. Its diverse portfolio of approximately 1,300 assets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom consists of seniors housing communities, medical office buildings, life science and innovation centers, skilled nursing facilities, specialty hospitals and general acute care hospitals. Through its Lillibridge subsidiary, Ventas provides management, leasing, marketing, facility development and advisory services to highly rated hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. More information about Ventas and Lillibridge can be found at and

About uCity Square
Located in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, uCity Square is a 6.5 million-square-foot mixed-use community consisting of retail, residential, clinical, office, and laboratory space. Surrounded by top-tier colleges and universities, independent research institutions, world-renowned hospitals, hundreds of restaurants and shops, and thousands of jobs, uCity Square is the center of connectivity for residents, students, professionals, and entrepreneurs. Powered by the University City Science Center and Wexford Science + Technology, uCity Square will be the center of Philadelphia’s economic growth in University City by creating a dynamic environment for innovation and collaboration between the private sector and top-tier research institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. The project is a joint development of Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center and Ventas. For more info:
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Links 12/16: Fidelity gives BlackRock an early leg up in robo advice brawl; Violin Memory files for chapter 11

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Violin Memory shares collapse as it files for chapter 11 (The Register)
SAPs Sapphire Ventures was a significant investor in Violin prior to its IPO, as SAP was seeking better sources of advanced flash memory for use with HANA.

Fidelity gives BlackRock an early leg up in robo advice brawl
(Reuters via Daily Mail)
Fidelity also has Radnor-baed eMoney Advisor, of course.

Uber Defies California Regulators With Self-Driving Car Service (NY Times)

4 Takeaways From Oracle's Earnings Call

Oracle Drops 4%: Cloud Transition Bumpy, Bulls Say Stay the Course (Barron's Tech Trader)

Net Neutrality’s Future in Crosshairs as FCC Chief Departs (Bloomberg)

Canada’s Rogers Kills Internet TV Project, Reaches Comcast Pact for X1 System (Variety)
Another nation sees the light, I imagine. Its hard to understate how central X1 is to Comcast's strategy.

Verizon Said to Weigh More Media, Ad Deals Amid Yahoo Turmoil (Bloomberg)

New North Shore building project hints at possible office move for SAP (Pittsburgh Business Times)

SAP Fieldglass Caters to Mid-Market With New Fieldglass Flex Offering (ASUG News)

Tax accounting software firm Avalara prepares IPO: sources (Reuters)
Doesn't quite compete head-on with Vertex, but might in future.

LiquidHub Expands Data Management, Market Research and Analytics Capabilities with the Acquisition of Annik for Enhanced Data-Driven Customer Insights

Business Wire
LiquidHub Expands Data Management, Market Research and Analytics Capabilities with the Acquisition of Annik for Enhanced Data-Driven Customer Insights
Annik will expand the company’s global footprint and strengthen its existing data management and analytics solutions

December 15, 2016 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time
PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LiquidHub, a customer engagement company, today announced the acquisition of Annik, a global data management and analytics solutions firm that creates better customer experiences for brand name clients, including Microsoft, Netflix, HP, Nestle, and Vistaprint.

“It’s a great opportunity for us all at Annik to join forces with LiquidHub and together create a future re-imagining customer engagement.”
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With offices around the world, including India, Poland, China and the United States, Annik will expand LiquidHub’s geographical footprint and presence in high-tech markets. Combining Annik’s capabilities around data science and data management with LiquidHub’s expert team of innovators, designers, technologists, marketers, and strategists, this acquisition complements and enhances LiquidHub’s ability to create extremely valuable, and engaging customer experiences for our trusted client partners.

“As digital transformation continues to drive disruption and change, companies need better insights to transform their customer engagement strategies or they risk becoming irrelevant,” said Jonathan Brassington, CEO and co-founder of LiquidHub. “As we continue to re-imagine engagement by better understanding the people who matter most to our clients, the addition of Annik’s world-class capabilities in market research, data science, data analytics, and insights around customer behavior is critically important to LiquidHub’s rapid growth in this space.”

The acquisition of Annik will add 1,000 professionals to the LiquidHub team, including Rahul Sahgal, President and CEO, and Sandeep Bhatia, chief operating officer. Together, Sahgal, Bhatia, and other members of the Annik executive team bring decades of experience in delivering innovative and transformative digital solutions to global companies.

“LiquidHub has a long history of delivering exceptional customer engagement solutions for their clients and through the addition of Annik’s expertise we are uniquely qualified to solve our customers’ most challenging problems,” said Sahgal. “It’s a great opportunity for us all at Annik to join forces with LiquidHub and together create a future re-imagining customer engagement.”

For more information, please visit

About Annik

Established in 2000, Annik is a global leader in providing world-class data and analytics solutions that help businesses realize the full potential of their data assets. Using a global delivery model, Annik’s solution framework leverages considerable in-house data and process expertise leveraging its configurable workflow automation products. Annik has grown to over 1,000 employees located across 6 global locations.

About LiquidHub

LiquidHub is a customer engagement company that partners with businesses to improve customer experience and drive growth. Headquartered in Philadelphia, with operations in North America, Asia, and Europe, we serve companies globally, helping them solve their most complex challenges through design expertise and technology innovation. Our customer successes are the result of a culture rooted in thought leadership and delivery excellence. For more information about LiquidHub, please visit or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Brian Communications
Joey Lee
Direct: 484-385-2952

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Links 12/15: Charter Communications’ stock jumps amid Verizon comments; FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Exiting FCC Jan. 20

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Charter Communications’ stock jumps amid Verizon comments (NY Post)

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Exiting FCC
Will leave Jan. 20
(Multichannel News)

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Is Back for the Rest of Sky (Fortune)

NBCUniversal, IOC Pact for Year-Round Linear Olympics Channel (Variety)

NBCU Says Nielsen's Total Content Ratings Aren't Ready for Primetime (Ad Age)

Comcast’s Xfinity Home Lights Up More Device Partners (Multichannel News)

Oracle earnings: 61 cents a share vs estimates of 60 cents (CNBC)

Oracle Slips: FYQ2 EPS Beats; Says Bigger Than Salesforce (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)

Why Embedded Analytics Will Change Everything (Information Week)

Radnor company [Freedom Pay] moving its HQ to Cira Centre South in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Private Equity buyouts this week: Apple Leisure Group (Newtown Square) ; Phlexglobal (Malvern)

Tom Paine

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What's the largest business in relatively bucolic Newtown Square? SAP North America? Sunoco Logistics? Well, the next largest?

Its probably Apple Leisure Group, which the trade pub TravelPulse says is the leading seller of all-inclusive vacation packages in all of North America.

ALG was just sold, by Bain Capital. The buyers were also private equity firms, KKR and KSL Capital Partners. Terms weren't disclosed.

Bain paid $343.5 million for Apple Leisure, according to Moody’s (cited by Buyout), and is selling after owning it for almost four years.

Apple Leisure produced a $250 million dividend (presumably to Bain) in 2015.

ALG CEO Alejandro Zozaya

ALG CEO Alejandro Zozaya founded resort sales, marketing, and brand management company AMResorts, in 2001. It focused mainly on owned Caribbean and Mexican resorts. It combined with Apple Vacations, founded in 1969, to form a vertically integrated travel management group. After Bain bought in, ALG expanded by acquiring online platform, and B2B tour operator Travel Impressions from American Express.

In June, Reuters reported that Bain was listening to offers for ALG, because of interest expressed by potential Chinese buyers. The sought-for valuation was reported to be in the $1.5 billion range, including debt.

The opening to Cuba could give an additional boost to ALG's business.

Travel Weekly reported in September that Apple Leisure Group was investing more than $50 million to upgrade its technology, including web pages, booking engines, access to flights and software programs.

Although ALG has thousands employed at its resorts, LinkedIn only shows it having a little more than 100 employees in Newtown Square.

Vitruvian Partners buys majority stake in Phlexglobal

Vitruvian Partners, a European private equity firm, has purchased a majority interest in Phlexglobal, a UK and Malvern-based life sciences cloud-based systems and services company. Previous majority investor Bridgepoint Development Capital (“BDC”) will exit the company with the sale.

The benefits of integrated, cloud-based eTMFs has led to life sciences companies switching over from old on-premise software.

Last year, Vitruvian also purchased a majority stake in CRF Health, also US (Plymouth Meeting) & UK-based, which creates electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment (eCOA) solutions which also go into clinical trial data collection. There could be a fit between the two down the road, one might think.

Dell Boomi Brings iPaaS to the Enterprise (Video: Silicon Angle)

Interview with Dell Boomi CEO Chris McNabb (Silicon Angle)

Comcast repair truck insists it only needs four cones on snowy road, & havoc ensues (update: Police say Comcast not at fault)

Tom Paine

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Here's the story on
Comcast's reaction
, from FierceCable.

Comcast not at fault in icy pileup, Indy police say (FierceCable)

Links 12/14: Uber self-driving cars hit streets of SF, until; Seating chart at Trump’s table of tech giant

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Uber’s launching self-driving cars for the San Francisco public today (VentureBeat)
Yesterday's "very soon" apparently meant today.

Uber Might Be Breaking California's Self-Driving Car Law (Fortune)

The seating chart at Trump’s table of tech giants
Hardly any easterners - no Brian Roberts.

Q&A: Healthcare IT to Enter an Intense Period of Innovation in Philly (Philadelphia Magazine)

Comcast sets focus on creating 'repeatable' content delivery model for content owners (FierceCable)

SAP Buys Attribution Software Company Abakus (AdExchanger)

Why a fast-growing Philadelphia tech company is getting a new name (Philadelphia Business Journal)