3/31: Uber settles with Pennsylvania regulator following record fine; Comcast says it will not sell customer browsing histories

Uber settles with Pennsylvania regulator following record fine (Reuters)

Comcast says it will not sell customer browsing histories (Reuters)

Comcast Returns Yes Network to Lineup (TVAnswerman)

Goodbye, Zonoff: IoT Provider Sunk by Alarm.com, Icontrol, Honeywell, ADT (CEPro)

Chester County e-commerce firm spending $7.9M on new HQ (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Apple, SAP iOS SDK hits the shelves for enterprise developer (TechTarget)

SAP Hybris, Intershop, Insite Software Lead Forrester's B2B Commerce Wave (CMS Wire)

Investment Fund Fires Morgan Lewis for 'Enabling' Trump With Ethics Advice (National Law Journal)

Once-Empty Bell Labs Building Revived as New Jersey Tech Hub (Bloomberg)

3:30: T-Mobile, Comcast May Win In Auction Spectrum Grab: Verizon Said to Be Planning Online TV Package for Summer Launch

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Looker catches the fancy of CapitalG, Goldman and Geodesic with $81.5M Series D (TechCrunch)

First Round Capital was a seed investor.

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights' (The Register)

Universal Display Surges on Samsung News: That’s a Big Piece of Glass (Barron 's Tech Trader Daily)

Dell Posts $20.1 Billion in Quarterly Sales After EMC Deal (Bloomberg)

Trump's New FCC Chief Could Let Big Media Get Even Bigger (Hollywood Reporter)

T-Mobile, Comcast May Win In Surprise Auction Spectrum Grab: UBS (IBD)

Verizon insiders describe the fight to save go90 (Business Insider)

Verizon Said to Be Planning Online TV Package for Summer Launch (Bloomberg)

The next start-up hubs (Axios)


3/29: Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture?; Officials: eMoney Advisor Seeks $3.3M in RI Tax Credits, may hire up to 100 there

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Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right (The Register)
That's a lede, if there's anything to it.

Officials: Tech Company Seeks $3.3M in State Tax Credits (AP via US News)
The state is Rhode Island, and the company is Radnor-based eMoney Advisor. It has plans to establish a software development office in Providence, hiring up to 100 people. eMoney Advisor is a unit of Boston-based Fidelity Investments.

Comcast quietly forges iPhone partnership ahead of mobile product launch (FierceCable)

BuzzFeed is preparing to go public next year (CNBC)
Will Comcast buy it first?

Meal Kit Company Blue Apron Is Heading for IPO (Reuters via Fortune)
First Round Capital was an early investor.

Amazon to Shut Quidsi Unit After Failure to Find Profits (Bloomberg)
I don't know about profits, but Quidsi was a learning experience for Amazon, particularly in lean logistics and robotics.

Huge nuclear cost overruns push Toshiba's Westinghouse into bankruptcy (Reuters)

Vertex integrates its tax software with SAP Hybris
(Accounting Today)

Comcast Atlanta accelerator to be named 'The Farm'; Managed by Boulder's Boomtown

Tom Paine

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When Comcast NBC Universal announced its new accelerator program, Lift Labs, on March 6, it named Techstars to oversee the Philadelphia program and said plans for an accelerator at Comcast's new complex near Atlanta, in the Battery Atlanta development next to the Brave's new ballpark (SunTrust Park, opening in April) in suburban Cobb County, would be announced soon after.

Those plans were announced last Thursday. Boomtown, an accelerator originating from Boulder, will guide the Atlanta program, named "The Farm", slated to open around the beginning of next year. The Farm will focus on mobility, connectivity and communications.

Rendering of The Farm ( Comcast / Boomtown)

Techstars also originated, though much earlier, in Boulder, but has programs all over the world. This will be Boomtown's, which started in 2013, first program outside of Boulder.

Boulder's Boomtown says on its LinkedIn page that it focuses on "media, IoT, B2B, ad-tech and health tech and that teams get to be surrounded by the resources they need most early on (branding and logo design, marketing, code feedback, usability testing)".

Comcast has partnered with Boomtown before, sponsoring the Connectivity Lab in Boulder, focused on developing internet of things (IoT) products. Boomtown Boulder is said to have a great IoT lab.

Boomtown's Toby Krout speaking at TAG / Boomtown Blog
Boomtown’s Executive Director Toby Krout presented The Farm’s concept to a crowd of nearly 1,000 attendees at TAG’s (Technology Association of Georgia) annual technology summit last week.

A managing director of The Farm will be named in the next few weeks.

Boulder's tech scene is denser than than Philly's, with a concentration of major tech firms with large outposts there including Google, Oracle, IBM, Lockheed and others, as well as a vibrant startup community. The surrounding area is also a primary center for cable and communications technologies, with CableLabs, Liberty Media, Dish, Level 3, Layer3, and a growing Comcast development hub located in the vicinity.

Atlanta's a different tech ecosystem, which tends to run toward systems software, enterprise and healthcare systems though by no means exclusively, so the skill sets might be somewhat different than Boulder's.

Comcast supplier Arris is nearby, and Cox Communications (one of few remaining major cable companies) and parent Cox Enterprises are headquartered there. Also there's AT&T Mobility, and Turner Broadcasting which will also likely become part of AT&T through the Time Warner deal. And Comcast will be adding its own development staff at the Battery, in addition to its regional personnel. The Atlanta region is served by Comcast Cable, and Atlanta is its Central Division headquarters.

Cox Enterprises lunched an Atlanta program with Techstars in late 2015. Cox Enterprises also backs a $250 million venture fund focused on Atlanta-area technology firms.

Atlanta Tech Village is also a major startup hub.

Comcast Plans to Launch Low-Cost Broadband Skinny TV Bundle Across U.S. Footprint in Q3

Get Ready! Propelify (Formerly Propeller) is on Its Way and It Promises to Be Bigger and Better

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor, NJTechWeekly.com

Let’s face it. Last year we weren’t sure if Aaron Price could pull it off. He had a vision for a big regional tech festival to be held on a pier on the waterfront in Hoboken.

It would draw folks from all over the Northeast to listen to tech-entrepreneur speakers, watch drone races, participate in virtual reality experiences and meet prospective employers and each other. And he — along with a hundred volunteers — made it happen. Last year almost 8,000 people showed up.

So can he pull it off again? The indications are good. For one thing, Price says he has a group of experienced, dedicated volunteers who are determined to make this year’s festival even better and “more awesome” than last year’s. They’re even more pumped because they’ve seen what’s possible.

Propelify is scheduled for May 18 (rain date May 19) on a pier in Hoboken facing the New York City skyline, a beautiful backdrop for a day that promises to be full of fun, tech and entrepreneurial enrichment.

Price said that Propelify is intended to be an event where ideas are launched and people are inspired, and the program so far reflects that. “Last year was a proof of concept, and there were a lot of people who doubted we could pull it off. Now it’s about, not just making it possible, but making it amazing and being able to maintain that. You know I have a high bar, and I’m bringing that bar to this event.”

Everyone who went to Propeller last year will notice the festival’s name change. Price said that he had run into some legal problems with the name of the festival, and came to an amicable agreement with the holder of a federal trademark for the name.

Also, having a rain date is something new this year. Last year’s festival was going to be held rain or shine. May 2016 was a very rainy month, but Propeller was held on a warm, sunny day. Price decided to add a rain date “to take some of the risk out of the equation.”

Having Propelify in New Jersey wasn’t a given, as Price sees the festival as an innovation event that unites the whole Northeast. He and his colleagues looked at a lot of location options. “We just wanted a location that was a bit of a destination, inspiring, and was representative of what is next. Hoboken checked all of those boxes. It’s very accessible, it’s beautiful and we’re excited to be back.” NJTechWeekly.com is thrilled that the event is back in the Garden State.

There were certainly some glitches at last year’s event, but Price is determined to fix them for this year’s. “I come from a software background, and it was like having people walk around your creation, rather than experience your digital offering. We got a lot of great feedback. We are improving the attendee experience. Giving people better guidance as to where they can go related to their specific interests.” This includes better signage and communication throughout the event.

For example, the festival will clearly identify which companies are hiring. If attendees are into AI, they will be able to find AI-related companies more easily. Or if attendees want to hear a particular speaker, they’ll know where and when that speaker will be on stage.

Some of the highlights of the event include speakers like Divyank Turakhia, founder and CEO of Media.net (New York); Jason Saltzman, cofounder and CEO of Alley (New York); Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures (New York); Jesse Hertzberg, CEO of Livestream (Brooklyn, N.Y.); and Wendi C. Sturgis, EVP sales and services at Yext (New York). These speakers, and others, have already been announced, but Price said that some “celebrity” speakers are close to being pinned down.

Deloitte is hosting the investor speed-dating event and Samsung will be sponsoring the startup competition. Beatie Wolfe, a musical performer who sang with Bell Labs’ Human Digital Orchestra, will also be there. Her innovative performance last year was not to be missed.

We asked Price what will be new this year. “While I can’t go into the details, we are probably going to have a digitally enabled bouncy house and potentially a Ferris wheel this year,” he said. “We might have a VR arcade or a VR theater. We have some great sponsors that we are thrilled to have joined us, like Deloitte. Jet is back, Staples is involved with Innovation Row, [and there’s] WeWork and Alley.” Entrepreneur magazine continues to be the media sponsor for the event.

“Our biggest partner is Nokia Bell Labs, based in New Jersey. They’ve been a tremendous partner for us.”

Price said that when Propelify launched ticket sales last week to a very small group of people, the buyers came from three countries and 15 states. “This isn’t about just the small players locally. It’s about the big and small players locally and the big players domestically,” he added.

While Price wants Propelify to be a regional event, we encourage our New Jersey readers to show up in force at Propelify and demonstrate that we are Jersey Strong. Our tech innovation ecosystem continues to grow here in the Garden State. And in case you thought the festival is just for tech entrepreneurs and innovators in startups, it isn’t. All of you who work in tech in larger companies in the state will be inspired by this festival and will learn something from it. If you’ve been trying to establish a culture of innovation at your company, sending your employees to Propelify could be just the thing to boost morale and encourage “out of the box” thinking.

Buy a ticket and show off your Jersey pride. NJTechWeekly.com has made arrangements for you to enjoy Propelify at 25 percent off. Just go to the Propelify website, choose general admission and use this code: NJTechWeekly.

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.

Siemens Driving Digital Transformation with $10 Billion Investment in U.S. Software Companies since 2007

Siemens Driving Digital Transformation with $10 Billion Investment in U.S. Software Companies since 2007

Software, technologies, digital services and cloud platform exhibited at Innovation Day USA to help customers embrace digitalization
MindSphere, the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens, will play an important role to power double-digit growth in digital businesses
30% increase in R&D spending for U.S. since fiscal 2014
March 27, 2017 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Every day, billions of connected devices and machines bridge the real and virtual worlds, changing the way people live, travel, build and work. Today, at Siemens’ U.S. Research and Development (R&D) hub, Siemens showcased innovative technologies that are helping industries from manufacturing to energy management to transportation embrace the power of data in a digital and connected world. Global and U.S. executives and technology experts demonstrated via virtual and interactive presentations how emerging trends and technologies like blockchain-based microgrids, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, autonomous robots, digital infrastructure, and MindSphere – the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens – are changing lives for the better.

“That’s why we invest about $1 billion annually in research and development in the U.S. We offer an unmatched digital portfolio consisting of software, digital services, security and MindSphere. This enables our customers to increase their efficiency, flexibility, quality and reduce time to market.”
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“Siemens is driving the digital transformation globally and in the U.S.,” explained Roland Busch, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. “That’s why we invest about $1 billion annually in research and development in the U.S. We offer an unmatched digital portfolio consisting of software, digital services, security and MindSphere. This enables our customers to increase their efficiency, flexibility, quality and reduce time to market.”

With around $10 billion in investments in U.S. software companies since 2007, Siemens has made a significant push into the software space with acquisitions including: UGS, eMeter, Camstar, Polarion, and CD-adapco. The company’s most recent investment is the acquisition of Oregon-based Mentor Graphics for around $4.5 billion. Once the acquisition is completed, Siemens will be the first and only player to combine mechanical, thermal, electronic and software design and simulation capabilities on a single integrated platform.

These software acquisitions and technology integrations further demonstrate how the company’s digital strategy is taking hold. Taken together, they are expected to lead to double-digit revenue growth through 2020 in Siemens’ digital business. In fiscal 2016, Siemens’ businesses with software and digital services generated around $4.6 billion, some 12 percent more than in the prior year.

MindSphere, the Siemens cloud-based open operating system for the Internet of Things, will be a key component to achieving these growth targets, as it will enable customers across all industries to digitize their enterprises. A strong ecosystem of global partners is already established including IBM, Atos, Microsoft, SAP, Accenture and many others. MindSphere, combined with our “Flex LTP” platform, makes it possible to improve the efficiency of plants by recording and analyzing large volumes of production data to, for example, implement predictive maintenance schemes and optimize asset performance. Siemens has deployed this in its Charlotte, North Carolina Energy hub. And there are many more domain specific platforms and applications running on MindSphere, such as: Navigator for intelligent buildings, teamplay for healthcare, Railigent for rolling stock and EnergyIP for smart grids.

“Half of all data that exists in the world was created only last year. Yet less than half of one percent of this data was used or analyzed,” said Judy Marks, CEO of Siemens USA. “In today’s innovation economy, Germany is a leader in machine tools and robots and the U.S. stands out as a leader in software innovation. This gives us a leg up on the competition and enables us to deliver tremendous value to our customers in all industries embracing digitalization.”

Siemens has announced an increase in global investments in research and development in fiscal 2017 of more than $300 million to around $5.4 billion. Over the last two years – from fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2016 – R&D spending in the U.S. has increased by more than 30 percent and a significant portion of these funds are earmarked for automation, digitalization, and decentralized energy systems.

Siemens employs more than 7,500 software engineers in the U.S. and as of September, 30, 2016, the company held more than 15,000 patents and about 900 invention disclosures in the U.S. Currently, more than 250 top scientists and technologists work at Siemens’ U.S. Research Centers in Berkeley (Information & Automation), Charlotte (Advanced Manufacturing) and Princeton (Information & Automation).

This press release, press pictures and further material is available at www.usa.siemens.com/innovationUS.

Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/siemensUSA #SiemensInnovations

Editor’s Note: To participate in the event virtually beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST on March 27th, register here.

About Siemens USA

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

3/27: Retail instincts propel investor to Venture Capitalism’s top tier; Which health tech startups made the cut in Dreamit Health’s latest cohort?

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Toshiba May File Bankruptcy for Its Westinghouse Unit Tuesday (Fortune)

Princeton-based Arable Labs raises $4.25 million to bring predictive analytics to farming (VentureBeat)

Which health tech startups made the cut in Dreamit Health’s latest cohort? (Med City News)

Retail Instincts Propel Investor to Venture Capitalism’s Top Tier (NYTimes)
Just look at who she invested in.

On Becoming a CPO and Procurement Transformation at SAP: An Interview with Dr. Marcell Vollmer (Part 1) (Jason Busch / SpendMatters)

Verizon Teams with SES on Ultra HD Trial (Multichannel News)

Interview with Veeva Systems' Matt Wallach (Motley Fool)
Wallach, who serves as Veeva's President and is a co-founder, is a Delco native who heads its east coast presence (Veeva is based in California).

GE to invest $500 million in healthcare and hire 5,000 software developers (Healthcare IT News)
In 2014, GE Healthcare consolidated much of its operations around Boston, moving or eliminating 400 jobs in Princeton and Piscataway.

OnDeck's Bumpy Ride Isn't Over (Bloomberg Gadfly)
OnDeck made moves to expand and extend a credit line, and get an investment from CreditEase. Still not sure where that leaves them. First Round Capital was an early investor.

Will Benioff be higher than Roberts?

South Jersey double slaying sends shockwaves thru Indian-American, tech communities

A.P. woman techie, son strangled to death at home in New Jersey (The Hindu)
In Burlington, Both the mother and her husband worked for Cognizant, according to reports.

Killings of N.J. mother and son send shock waves in Indian hometown (NJ.com)

Thousands at shore's FAA Tech Center unsettled by Trump budget (Philly.com)

Saturday Highlights: Retail - HHGregg going, Amazon coming; Comcast has Google envy/

Why HHGregg is shrinking and closing all its Philly-area stores (Philly.com)

Meanwhile, in Seattle:

Amazon’s Ambitions Unboxed: Stores for Furniture, Appliances and More (NY Times)

Comcast has Google envy (Fortune Date Sheet)
Good piece.

Salesforce looks for a future beyond its walls with rising VC investments and acquisitions (VentureBeat)

Uber self-driving test car involved in crash in Arizona; Uber suspends testing of self-driving cars

Uber self-driving test car involved in crash in Arizona (TechCrunch)

I think its still not determined what caused it, so wouldn't jump to conclusions.

Arizona Republic: "Another vehicle failed to yield while making a left turn onto Don Carlos Drive, colliding with the self-driving car, operated by Uber, DeSpain (an officer) said. A third vehicle was hit by one of the first two, but no serious injuries were reported, according to police".


Update - Uber to suspend self-driving tests in Arizona and Pittsburgh, though initial indications are that Uber wasn't at fault.

One thing to look at, even if Uber wasn't the cause of the accident, is how its collision avoidance system functioned, if engaged.

Uber has since said its vehicle, a Volvo, was using its self-driving controls at the time of the incident.

But Recode's article on Uber's self-driving program is interesting reading.

Uber resumes self-driving car program in San Francisco after crash (Reuters)
But not in Pittsburgh, Arizona. Now
Uber says its resuming self-driving operations
with passenger pickups in Tempe and Pittsburgh.

But some questions raised about how the Uber was being operated.

3/24: Alteryx pops 16% in trading debut; Inside Uber’s self-driving car mess

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Alteryx pops 16% in trading debut (CNBC)
SAP-backed Sapphire Ventures had a 13% pre-IPO stake in Alteryx. It also made out well on MuleSoft's IPO.

German Software Maker SAP Sees Benefits From Trump Tax Plans (Bloomberg)

SAP launches $35 million startup fund (ZDNet)

Big Companies Want to Move to the Cloud But Still Have No Idea How

Inside Uber’s self-driving car mess (Recode)

Amazon: How You Can Possibly Compete with Them? Asks Raymond James Barron's Tech Trader Daily)

[Newtown-based] Drone company lands at Embry-Riddle’s research park (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
In October, Aerial Applications mapped all of Savannah, Georgia, for Comcast Cable after Hurricane Matthew struck.

What's happening in the Cable patch? Comcast said to gain rights to offer some Web TV channels nationwide; WideOpenWest files for IPO (3/24/2017)

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Comcast Said to Gain Rights to Offer Web TV Service Nationwide (Bloomberg)

Arris Raises Some New Ideas About Ruckus (Multichannel News)

Trump Praises Charter’s Already Announced Plans to Add 20,000 Jobs (Fortune)

Comcast puts Google on alert over ad crisis (Philly.com)

Republican Red-Tape Purge May Help AT&T, Comcast Use Data (Bloomberg)

Boulder's Boomtown teams with Comcast NBC Universal on Atlanta accelerator (Boulder Daily Camera)
Boulder-based Boomtown will manage Comcast NBC Universal's Atlanta accelerator, to be known as 'The Farm'.

Xfinity Communities Joins Fiber Broadband Association (CED Magazine)

Just what is Xfinity Communities? "We work with building and property owners, developers, leasing agents, and homeowners' associations to provide residents an entertainment experience like no other." https://www.xfinity.com/xfinitycommunities

Raycom: AT&T pushing U-verse blackouts to drive customers to DirecTV (FierceCable)

AT&T May Close UVerse.com In May (TVAnswerman)

Dodgers TV standoff lives on as AT&T, Justice settle lawsuit (LA Times)

WideOpenWest Files for $100M IPO in the Wake of Snap, Mulesoft (The Street)

Comcast Eyes Upstream Expansion as it Pulls Fiber Deeper (Multichannel News)

Don't Miss Phorum 2017! Register Today and Last Chance to Apply for the Demo Pit. (Deadline March 24)

Don't Miss Phorum 2017!

Register Today and Last Chance to Apply for the Demo Pit.
Phorum 2017: Digitizing the Enterprise – The Future is Now, to be held Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the SugarHouse Event Center, will feature lightning talks and panel discussions by industry analysts, technology visionaries, and business executives.

Check out the 2017 agenda and reserve your spot!

Geoffrey Moore, whose life work is focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations, will keynote this year's conference.

Phorum 2017 is looking for startup companies whose technology is addressing at least one of the following four topic areas: Connected (Mobile, Web, IoT); Aware (big data and analytics); Smart (machine learning/AI); and Trusted (privacy and security).

Tomorrow is the last day we are accepting applications for the Phorum 2017 Demo Pit. This popular competition allows conference attendees to experience, first-hand, some of the most innovative technologies under development in the Greater Philadelphia region and watch them vie for “Phorum Best in Show”, won last year by RedOwl.

The deadline to apply is March 24, 2017.

Calling All Demo Pit Call Companies

New: InstaMed User Conference 2017 in Philly this week; What the well-funded company is all about http://goo.gl/lEVqVf

Tom Paine

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The InstaMed User Conference 2017 will be held next week, March 27-29, at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia followed by the Annual InstaMed Network Bash at the Down Town Club.

InstaMed is a leading health care payments network, connecting providers, payers and consumers on one platform. Its network connects over two-thirds of the market and processes tens of billions of dollars in health care payments annually. Founded in 2004, its headquartered in Philadelphia with technology operations based in Newport Beach.

InstaMed once published the amount of annual billings processed through its platform. The last figures I've seen were $30 billion in 2012. The pie is growing; direct consumer expenditures on healthcare are expected to approach $600 billion in a few years, InstaMed tells me, as deductibles rise along with other factors, including heath savings accounts. Changes to health care law now being considered in DC could further accelerate this trend.

InstaMed has raised $126 million in venture funding according to CrunchBase, the most recent being $50 million late last year from Carrick Capital Partners, which also happens to be a major investor in Plymouth Meeting & Seattle-based Accolade Health, which again fits into the theme of consumers managing and paying for more of their own health care. There are also local investors, including Osage Ventures Partners, Actua (formerly ICG), Ben Franklin, NJTC, and Josh Kopelman from a personal fund. InstaMed is likely one the Philly area's highest valued venture-backed companies, though I don't have a clue as to actual valuation. InstaMed's been quiet on the subject.

And there are several Penn connections; not institutionally as far as I know, but in terms of people. Go to a Penn basketball game and an InstaMed board meeting might break out.

I thought this recent interview the website HISTalk conducted with InstaMed CEO Bill Marvin gave a clear picture of what InstaMed is trying to accomplish as the market for health payments changes.

Joseph A. Michelli, a New York Times #1 best-selling author and consumer experience expert, wiil be the keynote speaker at InstaMed User Conference 2017, with the theme 5 Things Healthcare Can Learn From Zappos and Starbucks,' on the simplification of the experience. There will also be an Innovation Lab, demoing how payments will work in The Hospitals and Health Systems of the Future.

There will be presentations from prominent users - both regionally (Lehigh Valley Health Network, Geisinger Health Plan) and nationally. And InstaMed will also release its "Trends in Healthcare Payments Seventh Annual Report'.

InstaMed seems completely focused on enhancing its unified private cloud platform for health care consumers, payers and providers. It believes it is helping to drive down transaction costs, helping providers recoup more fees and helping consumers by providing more payment options and plans as well as simplifying the process and making it more secure. I've been curious to learn of any longer term strategies, including perhaps one built upon leveraging the aggregate information it collects, but InstaMed hasn't wandered far from its main goal.

Registration for the conference, open to anyone with an interest in health care payment systems, costs $149.

SAP Announces SAP.iO Fund to Drive Startup Innovation

WALLDORF, Germany, March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SAP SE (SAP) today announced the SAP.iO Fund, seeded with an initial investment of US$35 million, to make early-stage investments in software startups that will expand the SAP® ecosystem. The fund is just one component of the SAP.iO open innovation model, which enables innovators both inside and outside SAP to use the power of SAP data, application programming interfaces (APIs) and platform technologies to unlock new value for customers.

As part of the announcement, SAP.iO launched the global SAP.iO Foundry program to incubate early-stage startups that build software applications, including those using frontier technologies such as machine learning and blockchain. Locations are the SAP.iO Foundry in San Francisco and the SAP.iO Foundry, powered by Techstars Accelerator in Berlin — this location will be managed by Techstars, a worldwide entrepreneur network. These new foundry locations will complement existing SAP.iO startup incubation partnerships with Techstars IoT in New York City and the Junction in Tel Aviv.
"Our open innovation model continues to deliver value to our customers," said Deepak Krishnamurthy, chief strategy officer, SAP. "In addition to empowering our employee innovators, SAP.iO will use its fund and foundries to invest in entrepreneurs that develop industry-changing software."
The first startup to receive funding from SAP.iO is Parable Sciences, Inc. (known as Paradata), a Big Data analytics company based in San Jose, Calif. Paradata's use of machine learning to offer greater supply chain transparency complements SAP Ariba® solution capabilities in direct material sourcing and supply chain visibility. In addition to funding, SAP.iO and SAP will provide the startup with mentorship, customer introductions and access to platform integrations and APIs that will help Paradata deliver new and unique opportunities for customers.
SAP creates and supports a culture of innovation across its entire ecosystem to develop technology that is critical to supporting SAP customers' journeys to digitization. Among the many paths to innovation at SAP is SAP Labs Network, which includes 19 labs across 16 countries; SAP Innovation Center Network, comprising 10 locations globally that focus on new ideas in a startup-like environment; and intrapreneurship opportunities and incubators such as SAP.iO.
"SAP.iO will create a new ecosystem to help accelerate digital transformation for our 350,000 customers," said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. "We have a message for entrepreneurs: if you have a bold dream to solve one of the world's most significant challenges, join us and let's chase your dream together."
For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.
About SAP.iO
SAP.iO is growing a generation of revolutionary software businesses in the SAP ecosystem and supports visionary entrepreneurs leveraging SAP data, APIs and technologies to build products, find customers and change industries. SAP.iO uses the same unique assets to empower startup teams within SAP to transform the way businesses are run. For more information, visit http://sap.io/.
About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

3/22: Accel leads First Round-backed HotelTonight’s $37M Series E: SAP Ariba inks Blockchain Supply Chain Partnership with Everledge

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Accel leads First Round-backed HotelTonight’s $37M Series E (TechCrunch)
Its been an uphill climb at times for HotelTonight, but this bolsters its credentials.

Netflix still has a huge lead in the streaming wars, but Hulu’s smaller service has loyal users (Recode)

Fandango Will Start Selling Movie Merchandise, Including Apparel and Memorabilia (Variety)

Cox’s Finkelstein: DOCSIS 3.1 upstream bandwidth issue an ‘iceberg’ (FierceCable)

SAP Ariba Inks Blockchain Supply Chain Partnership With Everledger

Digital health is helping to fuel the city's economy
(Crain's NY)

NJFX to Expand Jersey Data Center Campus that Links to Submarine Cables (Data Center Knowledge)

Adtech Is in for a Rough 2017. The Visible Measures Collapse Is Just the Beginning
(Fortune Term Sheet)

'Hillbilly Elegy' author J.D. Vance has a new job

VitalTrax First Company to Receive Seed Capital from Digital Health Funding Initiative
Funding supports high-quality business model, innovative technology, and strong vision from management team

VitalTrax First Company to Receive Seed Capital from Digital Health Funding Initiative
Funding supports high-quality business model, innovative technology, and strong vision from management team

VitalTrax delivers a complete patient engagement solution for today's clinical trials comprising of a cloud based enterprise platform and a mobile application for patients. For clinical study teams, VitalTrax creates an enterprise platform to run trials efficiently. For site teams, VitalTrax makes it easier to recruit and communicate with patients during the trial.
Mar 22, 2017, 09:00 ET

PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2017 / Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania ("Ben Franklin"); Independence Health Group ("IHG"), the parent company of Independence Blue Cross; and Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. ("Safeguard") (NYSE: SFE) today announced that VitalTrax received $150,000 in seed financing – the first company to receive funds from the group's $6 million digital health funding initiative, which was announced in December 2016.

Founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur, Zikria Syed, VitalTrax delivers a complete clinical trial data collection and patient engagement solution built on a cloud-based enterprise platform and a mobile application for patients. Its electronic clinical outcome assessment tool, which is used to collect data directly from patients, more closely resembles social media than traditional clinical research documents, while still conforming to regulatory requirements. Capital allocation will support the continued development of the company's chief product.

"With its strong leadership and dedication to consumerizing the healthcare industry, VitalTrax is poised to be a major player in the region's digital health space and beyond," said Ben Franklin President and CEO, RoseAnn B. Rosenthal. "This is the first of many exciting deals to come through our funding initiative with Safeguard and IHG." Ben Franklin will lead the due diligence process and day-to-day fund management for VitalTrax.

"We are thrilled to receive this financing from premier financial sponsors and healthcare organizations such as Ben Franklin, Independence Health Group and Safeguard. With this financing, we are not only gaining their financial support but also access to their expertise in building and growing technology companies and their vast network of relationships in the healthcare industry." said Zikria Syed, Founder and CEO of VitalTrax.

VitalTrax is headquartered at the Innovation Center at 3401 Market Street (ic@3401), a University City Science Center-run co-working space on Drexel University's campus, for which Safeguard and Ben Franklin are sponsors.

About VitalTrax
VitalTrax delivers a complete patient engagement solution for today's clinical trials comprising of a cloud based enterprise platform and a mobile application for patients. For clinical study teams, VitalTrax creates an enterprise platform to run trials efficiently. For site teams, VitalTrax makes it easier to recruit and communicate with patients during the trial. VitalTrax's mobile app solution, Wing, is a world-class patient engagement tool that provides a way for patients to search for trials, apply to become a volunteer and stay involved during the trial. For more information, please visit vitaltrax.net.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin is the most active early stage capital provider for the region's technology sectors. Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region's technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. www.sep.benfranklin.org

About Independence Health Group
Independence Health Group, together with its subsidiaries, serves nearly 8.5 million people in 25 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to a growing consumer business, Independence Health Group serves employer groups ranging from small businesses to national corporations. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Independence Health Group is a diversified company offering a wide range of services including commercial, Medicare and Medicaid medical coverage, third-party benefits administration, and pharmacy benefits management. To learn more, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Safeguard Scientifics
Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) provides capital and relevant expertise to fuel the growth of technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services and digital media. Safeguard targets companies that are capitalizing on the next wave of enabling technologies with a particular focus on the Internet of Everything, enhanced security and predictive analytics. Safeguard typically deploys between $5 million and $25 million over the course of its partnership with a company, initially investing in a Series A or B Round and opportunistically in a Seed Round. Safeguard has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders that spans more than six decades. For more information, please visit www.safeguard.com or follow us on Twitter @safeguard and LinkedIn.

Forward-looking Statements
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements relating to Safeguard contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Safeguard's forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, Safeguard's ability to make good decisions about the deployment of capital, the fact that its partner companies may vary from period to period, its substantial capital requirements and absence of liquidity from its partner company holdings, fluctuations in the market prices of its publicly traded partner company holdings, competition, its inability to obtain maximum value for its partner company holdings, its ability to attract and retain qualified employees, market valuations in sectors in which its partner companies operate, its inability to control its partner companies, its need to manage its assets to avoid registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and risks associated with its partner companies, including the fact that most of its partner companies have a limited history and a history of operating losses, face intense competition and may never be profitable, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which Safeguard's partner companies operate, and other uncertainties described in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond Safeguard's ability to predict or control. As a result of these and other factors, Safeguard's past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. Safeguard does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this press release.

Origin: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vitaltrax-first-company-to-receive-seed-capital-from-digital-health-funding-initiative-300427446.html

For Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Jason Bannon
Director, Marketing and Communications
215-972-6700 x3214

For Independence Health Group
Ruth Stoolman
Public Relations Manager, Corporate Communications

For Safeguard Scientifics
Heather Hunter
Vice President, Corporate Communications

Verizon wants to send its email subs back to the 90s with AOL

Tom Paine

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Verizon is dumping its 4.5 million email customers, in a sense. Customers are being notified that their email addresses must be moved to Verizon subsidiary AOL, transferred to another provider, or left to be deleted by Verizon. In the first two instances, you can maintain your existing Verizon.net address. You have about 30 days to take action once your notified.

Verizon says AOL's email platform is better, which is true. There's likely to be some cost considerations; a large consumer email system can be a pain to maintain administratively. Perhaps there's an ulterior motive of driving people back to the AOL website, but that's unlikely to have much effect. At first glance, AOL.com seems to be a rather junky celebrity news site.

I was going to check my AOL email account, which I probably haven't touched in 10 years, but couldn't recall my signin info and didn't want to go the trouble of finding it. Though I wonder if there's still an audio option for "You've Got Mail". I had an old Verizon account that was transferred to Frontier when that company acquired my local Verizon branch, but my memory is that they cut off your email when your no longer a sub.

3/21: Uber's press conference; Is Philly's life sciences cluster falling behind?

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Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore says the company will make more acquisitions (Recode)

Uber is having a press conference call on Tuesday to discuss efforts to 'improve company culture' and hire a COO (Business Insider)

Uber’s messy breakup with Jones complicates search for COO (Bloomberg via Denver Post)

Uber offers more promises to fix its toxic culture, but the CEO is staying (The Verge)

The Inescapable Gravity Of Biotech’s Key Clusters: The Great Consolidation Of Talent, Capital, & Returns (Life Sci VC)
Philly / NJ is not one of them, Cambridge-based VC concludes.

Microsoft just showed off exactly what Salesforce was worried about (CNBC)
SAP cited as reference customer for new Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition. But how does it fit with Dynamics CRM?

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: SAP’s Procurement Transformation, Ariba AI, Direct Procurement, FreeMarkets Alumni and More (Jason Busch / SpendMatters)

Apple’s Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality (Bloomberg)

Akamai accelerates Netflix-like video services and game downloads (VentureBeat)

Comcast puts cable division into the hands of former Comcast Cellular President Watson (FierceCable)

Malvern cybersecurity firm sells to Denver company to create 'explosive' combo (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Denver firm Optiv was bought out by KKR late last year, bypassing a planned IPO.

Comcast Corporation Announces Leadership Transition at Comcast Cable
Dave Watson to Become President and CEO of Comcast Cable
Neil Smit Named a Vice Chairman of Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation Announces Leadership Transition at Comcast Cable
Dave Watson to Become President and CEO of Comcast Cable

Neil Smit Named a Vice Chairman of Comcast Corporation

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comcast Corporation announced today that Dave Watson will become President and CEO of Comcast Cable as Neil Smit moves into a new role as a Vice Chairman, Comcast Corporation, effective April 1. For the next few months, Smit will work closely with Watson to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Smit will then work part-time with Comcast leaders to develop future technology-oriented business opportunities.

Smit has had a stellar career, including seven years as the head of Comcast Cable. Prior to joining Comcast, Smit spent decades in senior executive positions at Charter, AOL, and Nabisco. Before his career in corporate America, Smit was a Navy SEAL, serving as a member of SEAL Team Six.

Watson, who joined Comcast in 1991, has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Comcast Cable since 2010 and has partnered with Smit in running the cable division since Smit’s arrival at the company. He has held many senior roles within Comcast, including leadership of the product, sales, marketing, and advertising functions.

Throughout his career, Watson has led some of the industry’s most impressive transitions, including from analog to IPTV and from early entry into high-speed internet to delivering gigabit speeds. He has also played a key role in Comcast’s expansion into commercial business services and in the development of our advertising businesses.

“Dave Watson is the perfect new leader of Comcast Cable,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. “There are few people in the cable industry who have his breadth and depth of experience. Dave, along with Neil and the executive teams across the cable division, drove the operating strategy and execution that have led to phenomenal growth over the last several years as well as our focus on the customer experience and the improvements we have made recently. Dave knows the business and has a track record of delivering results.”

Roberts also noted that, “Neil has been an extraordinary leader and has helped transform Comcast Cable into the top cable and broadband company in the nation. He is not only an exceptional executive, but he is also one of the finest individuals with whom I have had the privilege to work. Neil and his team have created an innovation engine at Comcast Cable, with countless new and game-changing products and businesses.

We are also so appreciative and inspired by Neil’s service as a Navy SEAL. While the personal sacrifices he made on behalf of our Country can never be repaid, all of us who know Neil are very grateful for his service. As Neil cuts back on his full-time role, I am delighted that he will continue to work with us.”

“It is an honor to take the reins from Neil. I can’t thank him enough for his partnership during the last seven years,” said Dave Watson. “Neil has taught us all lessons in leadership, team building, focus, and execution. He challenged us to reinvent the television experience; to grow video customers; to make Comcast video positive; to invest in our plant; to grow broadband customers; and, to build business services essentially from scratch. And, he succeeded on all fronts.”

Neil Smit commented that, “Leading Comcast Cable has been a wonderful experience. Brian has been a terrific partner and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his vision, leadership, and drive. It has been an honor and privilege leading this team. I know I am leaving Comcast Cable in great hands with Dave Watson as its new leader. As I approach 60, and for reasons related to the injuries I sustained in my previous career, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family while also helping Comcast find new growth opportunities.”

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Media Contacts:
Comcast Corporation
Jennifer Khoury, 215-286-7408
Comcast Corporation
John Demming, 215-286-8011

Origin: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170320005540/en

3/20: Dave Watson to Become CEO of Comcast Cable; Behind ModCloth's sale to Walmart

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Dave Watson to Become CEO of Comcast Cable, Replacing Neil Smit (Hollywood Reporter)

Arris Brings ‘RDK-B’ Gateway to Retail (Multichannel News)

Google Fiber goes full Wizard of Oz: We're not in Kansas any more
(The Register)

Behind ModCloth's sale to Walmart ( Dan Primack / Axios )

Walmart Expands E-Commerce Ambitions With a New Investment Arm (NY Times: DealBook)

How to watch tonight’s interview with Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart eCommerce in the U.S. (Recode)

ACG Gets Innovative to Attract M&A Millennials (MiddleMarket Growth)

Campbell’s Taps Into Pinterest Data To Soup Up Its Content Strategy (AdExchanger)

IBM Cloud Chief Lays Out Big Blue’s Case (Fortune)

Sunday Highlights: IBM's MaaS360 links up with Watson; More change at Uber

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Not trying to outdo Comcast, this Philly start-up finds its own home-automation niche (Philly.com)
StratIS is a Philly-based IoT business that generates real revenue.

IBM intros cognitive assistant to tackle enterprise device sprawl (ZDNet)
IBM announced Monday the release of the MaaS360 Advisor, a Watson-based cognitive assistant. Its MaaS360 business (Fiberlink), is still largely based out of Blue Bell.

Duke basketball debuts new SAP-powered statistics site, just in time for NCAA tournament (TechRepublic)
Didn't do much good.

In Silicon Valley, a Voice of Caution Guides a High-Flying Uber
(NY Times)

Uber president Jeff Jones is quitting as management turmoil at the ride-hailing company deepens (Recode)

Saturday Highlights: Report: Uber lags competition in self-driving progress; Princeton prof goes west to start another

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Hulu is said to get NBC cable channels in test of online service (Bloomberg via Sun-Sentinel)
Just testing, no word on any agreement between Hulu and part owner NBC on content.

First Evidence of Fifth-Generation Apple TV and tvOS 11 Possibly Spotted in Developer Logs (MacRumors)

Industry Clouds: An At-Scale Grass Roots Trend Changing IT Life within Sectors (Enterprise Tech)

Uber Sharply Lags Competition in Self-Driving Progress (Fortune)

Meet 'Professor X,' the AI genius who left his lab at Princeton to beat Uber, Google, and Intel at their own game
(Business Outsider)

IBM, Salesforce CEOs attend Trump roundtable with German Chancellor Merkel (The Hill)

3/17: Alarm.com has 5mm subs with Icontrol deal; SAP Updates Vora Query Engine for Better Business Analytics

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Alarm.com Has 5 Million Subs in Wake of Icontrol Deal (Multichannel News)
Also nets multi-year exclusive deal with ADT.

SAP Updates Vora Query Engine for Better Business Analytics (CIO Today)

Analyst: AWS growth could ‘moderate’ as Microsoft and Google see new cloud momentum (GeekWire)

To Compete With AWS, Oracle Will Need More Data Centers (Data Center Frontier)

ModCloth announces it has been bought by Wal-Mart's Jet.com (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Ohio Taxpayers on the Hook as Venture Fund Can't Pay Bondholders

Reports from MuleSoft's IPO: Impact on iPaaS market, including Dell Boomi

Tom Paine

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Business Software Firm MuleSoft Prices IPO Above Range (Fortune)

MuleSoft: Software Upstart Soars 43% in IPO Open (Barron's Tech Trader Daily)

MuleSoft soars 46% on first day of trading ((TechCrunch)

MuleSoft's first day close gives it a market value slightly north of $3 billion.

Hummer Winblad and Morgenthaler Venture Partners were early in and the biggest IRR winners on MuleSoft. At the offering price, Hummer Winblad shares were worth $450 million. That could build a new arena at Princeton.

Lightspeed Venture Partners, NEA and SAP-funded Sapphire Ventures were other major holders. Sapphire's 6.8 percent stake is worth about $197 million. Salesforce led MuleSoft's final round

Dell Boomi, the integration play too hot to spin off (yet) (Diginomica)

Dell Boomi CEO: Acquisition Of ManyWho Will Help Partners 'Bring Solutions To Market Very Rapidly' (CRN)

Blackstone Acquires Cloudreach For Access To iPaaS Market (Donavan Jones / Seeking Alpha)
This is curious.

MuleSoft CEO Wants to Build the ‘Salesforce of Software Integration’ (Fortune)

Ring comes to Philadelphia, inheriting Zonoff's former employees

Tom Paine

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Ring is coming to Philadelphia, by inheriting most of the 80 or so employees of Malvern-based Zonoff who where being let go, reports Stacey Higginbotham on her site, STACEY on IoT .

Apparently, Zonoff was attempting to complete a deal in which it would be acquired by Honeywell, but that fell through. Higginbotham says the relationship between Zonoff and its largest strategic investor, ADT, had frayed due to ADT's changing priorities after being taken private by Apollo Group last year.

Ring, based in Santa Monica and known for its ubiquitous doorbell video ads, has raised $209 million, including $109 million in January. Zonoff raised $35.8 million.

Zonoff Founder & CEO Mike Harris is also onboard with Ring, Higginbotham reports, and Ring will be looking for new offices in the Philadelphia area. All Zonoff employees received job offers from Ring.

Ring's sales had been to this point driven primarily by a single product, while building market acceptance for a broader platform, as Zonoff tried to do, proved to be much more difficult.

No word on if or how Zonoff's installed base will be supported. I checked out Zonoff's website and found crickets - no news on this.

There is also the issue of Zonoff's IP assets. Unless other arrangements have been made, those are presumably the investor's to dispose of.

I hadn't realized that First Round was in Ring's Series A ($15.5M Pre-Money Valuation).

Dell Boomi buys SanFrancisco-based startup ManyWho

Tom Paine

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Dell Boomi has acquired San Francisco-based ManyWho, which provides an agile, enterprise-level, cloud-based, application development platform in a low-code environment.

ManyWho "simplifies workflow automation and allows businesses and developers to turn business processes into rich software applications to connect employees, customers and core systems," Dell Boomi said in its press release.

"The acquisition unlocks the ability for businesses to maximize best-of-breed cloud applications, driving efficiency, increasing time to value and building a competitive advantage. With the addition of ManyWho, the Boomi platform provides customers with the enabling technology to address the challenges of Hybrid IT. Now, the platform allows businesses to connect, manage data changes, ensure data quality and re-establish efficient business processes across your IT landscape."

ManyWho was founded in 2013 by Steve Wood and Dave Norris, who sold their previous startup, 'Informavores', to Salesforce in 2009. ManyWho had financial backing from two companies, Salesforce, "personally sponsored by Marc Benioff", and Corvisa, according to a 2015 ManyWho press release. Funding was about $1.3 million, according to CrunchBase.

Boomi says it plans to keep ManyWho’s employees and existing operations, while continuing to invest in additional engineering, channel, marketing, professional services, support and sales capability.

3/16: Walmart subsidiary Jet.com to buy ModCloth for less than $75m

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Top U.S. Pay TV Providers Lost 795K Subs in 2016: LRG (Multichannel News)

Walmart subsidiary Jet.com to buy ModCloth for less than $75m (TechCrunch)

First Round Capital was among the first-in institutional investors in then Pittsburgh-based ModCloth. With exception of Warby Parker, most of its fashion-related investments haven't worked out to well.
Former URBN execs couldn't turn it around or raise more capital. Interesting move by Jet.com's Marc Lore.

A Content Breakdown for Hulu’s JV Partners (CableFax)

Oracle’s Larry Ellison Belittles Amazon and Microsoft (Fortune)

Corporate database containing 33 million employee records leaked online
The names were in Dun & Bradsteet's database.