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Peak 10 CEO offers 4 tips for entrepreneurs

Monday, March 4th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

David Jones

David Jones, President & CEO, Peak 10.

Even though Peak 10, the Charlotte-based data center and managed services provider now has 350 employees, CEO David Jones says the company still tries to foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

“We don’t make all our decisions centrally,” says Jones.

Jones co-founded Peak 10 in March of 2000 and has led the company to a top market position as a leading independent data center, managed services, and cloud computing solutions provider in the United States, with facilities in Charlotte, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Tampa, South Florida, Raleigh, and Richmond.

Participating in the Southeast Venture Conference

Jones, who speaks often to entrepreneurial groups and is a past chair and still a director of the North Carolina Technology Association, is one of dozens of thought-leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs participating in the Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14.

“I think it’s going to be a great event for Charlotte,” Jones says. “It has an informative agenda, not the same old stuff you usually see at conferences. It’s going to bring a lot of faces into Charlotte who don’t normally spend time here.”

SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.

Specifically, that includes speakers and panelists from national and regional venture capital firms and 50 innovative presenting companies from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Last we heard, there were only a handful of seats left for the event, so it’s a good idea to reserve yours now if you plan on attending.

Part of the Peak 10 entrepreneurial culture derives from its growing an average of about 25 percent a year and regularly opening new facilities to meet demand in the areas it serves.

Four pieces of advice for entrepreneurs

We asked Jones what advice he thinks is most important to starting a company.

First, he says, “Stay focused. We’ve all heard stories of companies that try to do too many things at once and don’t do any of them well.”

But even more important, he says, “Hire the best people you can. Don’t be complacent about that.” In the end, “That will make you successful or not.”

Get the right financial leadership

Next, he says, “Make sure you have the right financial leadership. A lot of startups fly by the seat of their pants. You need to know your operating costs.  I’ve always tried to find the best financial officer I could. If nothing else, have a financial advisor who can help you strategize where you are and the things you’ll need.”

Doing that can prevent you from “Hitting a brick wall when you find you didn’t plan for what you need on the development side.”

Finally, he adds, “Make sure you have a plan that can get funded. Great ideas go nowhere unless you have a plan to get there. Keep it simple. The more complex you make it, the harder it will be to get to where you want to be.”

In general, Jones says, “We’re in challenging times, but there are still a lot of opportunities out there.”

 

NASA launches International Space Apps Challenge in April

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

spacestationNASA and government agencies worldwide will host the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20-21, with events across all seven continents and in space.

Participants are encouraged to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

The two-day event will provide an opportunity for government to harness the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of citizen explorers to help address global challenges.

During the event, representatives of NASA and other international space agencies will gather with scientists and participants to use publicly released open data to create solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. Challenges selected to be worked on during the event will be published online prior to the event.

Twelve U.S. locations hosting events

The 2012 challenge engaged more than 2,000 participants who collaborated on more than 100 open source solutions to 71 featured challenges.

“What sets apart the International Space Apps Challenge from other events is that this is a collaborative opportunity to engage people from all over the world to participate in space exploration and develop state-of-the-art technology to improve life on Earth and in space,” said Nick Skytland , program manager of NASA’s Open Innovation Program.

Twelve locations in the United States will host an International Space Apps Challenge event: Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Cleveland; Detroit, Easton, Md.; New York; Philadelphia; Reno, Nev.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Francisco;Syracuse, N.Y. ]

Thirty-eight other events will be held in 30 other countries: Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan,Poland, Macedonia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda and United Kingdom.

Also participating will be McMurdo Station in Antarctica and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Registration for citizen participation will open on March 1.

To learn more about the International Space Apps Challenge, visit: http://spaceappschallenge.org

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1z3Kj)

Need funding? SEVC seeks presenting companies for March event

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013. The event offers firms a chance to present to top national venture capitalists and angel investors.

If you’re a high growth innovative company looking for funding, you still have a chance to present your business plan in front of top national venture capitalists and private equity professionals at the 2013 Southeast Venture Conference March 13th and 14th at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, NC.

Applications to present at the event are still being accepted.

The event seeks  high growth, innovative companies from diverse technology industries including Software-as-a-Service, New Media, Bio-IT, Clean-Tech, Medical Devices, Mobile, Security, among others.

You’ll meet  hundreds of the region’s leading entrepreneurs and high growth company executives (from startups to pre-IPO), National Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Professionals, M&A facilitators and other leading professionals serving the high growth technology community.

SEVC highlights both early and later stage investment opportunities from: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

Last year’s SEVC Average Presenter Profile:

  • Average Annual Revenue: $5.9 million
  • Average Capital Raised to Date: $6.7 million
  • Average Number of Employees: 35

While the presenting companies are from the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the investors fly in from all parts of the country, including California, New York, and Massachusetts, as well as those that are regionally focused.

Exclusive panels, speakers, programming

The SEVC features market relevant investor and executive panels, exclusive networking opportunities, featured speakers and dozens of the region’s top private technology firms presenting to a national audience of venture capitalists, investment bankers and private equity investors.

As a TechMedia company and sponsor of the event, the TechJournal has reported on many firms that subsequently landed angel or venture backing. Venture capitalists tell us, they find new firms to put on their radar and track at each year’s event and many have returned year after year to spot hot Southeast opportunities.

SEVC is also an unparalleled networking event in which innovative firms meet potential partners, customers, and employees, in addition to making invaluable contacts within the venture and angel funding community.

Additional information on presenting and registration can be found at seventure.org andyou can view a list of past presenters here.

 

Analysis of Facebook fans: who really likes Obama? Romney?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Election fan statisticsIf Mitt Romney wants to find his Facebook fans, he should hang out at Chick-fil-A. Obama is more likely to find his at McDonald’s. Romney fans drink Crown Royal, Corrs Light and Budwiser. Obama’s prefer Ciroc, Belvedere Vodka, Gatorade and Dos Equis.

One thing this election is demonstrating: analysis of Facebook fans provides scads of information beyond who “likes” a given brand, politician, or product.

MicroStrategy Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR), for instance, a worldwide provider of business intelligence (BI) software, delivers a compelling analysis of the Facebook fan bases of Obama and Romney across key battleground states with its Wisdom app.

Where Romney fans hangout

It shows that in the critical swing state of Ohio, Romney may want to visit Skyline Chili in Cincinnati for a meet-and-greet photo shoot, because that’s where his Facebook fans like to hang out.  Or when in Cleveland, he may want to set up a guest appearance on WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland, one of the most watched local TV channels among his fans.

When Obama campaigns in Florida, he may want to visit the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar in Miami, a favorite hangout of his Facebook fans, for a meet-and-greet photo op.

Wisdom is a social intelligence platform that offers insights into the overall preferences of nearly five million US-based Facebook users, representing more than 3% of the US Facebook population. These insights are based on aggregated and anonymized Facebook profiles, which include “Likes” and check-ins, as well as census data.

Who they are, location, age, what they read, watch, listen to

Wisdom currently analyzes more than 535,000 Obama and 172,000 Romney Facebook fans based in the US, and tells us, in aggregate, who they are; where they live; how old they are; what they read; what they watch; what they listen to; what they eat and drink; and where they hang out.  To see a comparison of Obama and Romney Facebook fans nationwide and in eight key swing states using Wisdom data, click here.

And, if you want to know how your own Facebook fans lean politically, Wisdom has just launched “My Network Leanings.”

The app categorizes more than 3,000 Facebook pages into Liberal and Conservative groupings to guestimate your friends’ political affiliations and ranks your friends across the Blue-to-Red political spectrum. You can also dive deeper to see which pages led to the rankings. The results can be easily shared on Facebook, Google Plus, email, etc.

2013 Southeast Venture Conference set for Charlotte in March

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
SEVC

The Southeast Venture Conference is headed to Charlotte, NC, in March 2013.

The seventh annual Southeast Venture Conference, a major event for investors and entrepreneurs, is headed to Charlotte, NC, March 13-14 at the Riz-Carlton.

The conference features presentations by 60 of the region’s high growth investment opportunities.

They will include both early and later stage companies from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington DC.

The conference offers an unparalleled opportunity to Network with hundreds of the region’s leading Entrepreneurs and High Growth Company Executives, National Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Professionals, M&A facilitators and other leading professionals serving the technology community.

We’ve covered many startup and later stage firms that presented at previous SEVC’s and later landed multiple financing rounds.

SEVC is also teaming with the Internet Summit in Raleigh Nov. 6-8 this year to present the two-day Startup Summit focused on entrepreneurs.

ttendees and speakers include leading incubators, venture capital firms, and innovative companies. We’ll feature 16 presenting startups that will showcase their companies and concepts. You’ll have the opportunity to meet them one-on-one in our demo pit.

Speakers at the Startup Summit include influential entrepreneurs and leaders from the investment community:

  • Angus Davis, Founder & CEO, Swipely
  • Paul Singh, Partner & Master of the Hustle, 500Startups
  • Sarah Lacy, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, PandoDaily
  • Scott Maxwell, Founder, OpenView Venture Partners
  • Michael Doernberg, CEO and Co-founder, Reverbnation
  • Laura Witt, General Partner, ABS Capital
  • Rob Go, Partner, NextView Ventures
  • David Morken, Founder & CEO, Bandwidth.com
  • Jonathan Perrelli, Founding Partner, Fortify.vc
  • Dayna GraysonNorth Bridge Venture Partners
  • Neil Kataria, Founder & Chairman, newBrandAnalytics
  • Greg Cangialosi, Managing Dir, Nucleus Venture Partners
  • Jason Caplain, General Partner, Southern Capital Ventures
  • Robbie Allen, Founder & CEO, Automated Insights
  • John Burke, Founder and General Partner, True Ventures
  • Joe Velk, Contender Capital
  • Chris Heivly, Managing Partner, Triangle Startup Factory
  • David Jones, Partner, Southern Capital Ventures
  • Joe Schmidt, CMO, Cafepress
  • Tom Lotrecchiano, Sr Vice President, Cafepress
  • Matt Williamson, Founder & CEO, Windsor Circle

 

 

CEOs rate best states for business: Texas No. 1, NC slips, Florida rises

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

TexasFor the eighth year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business, according to Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey, released today.

Florida rose one spot to take the #2 rank, while North Carolina slipped to #3.

Tennessee remained at #4 while Indiana climbed a spot to capture the #5 rank. CEOs named the worst states to do business as California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

The Best & Worst States Survey measures the sentiment of CEOs on business conditions around the nation.

For the 2012 survey, 650 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.  The survey was conducted from Jan. 24 to Feb. 26, 2012.

Louisiana biggest gainer

Louisiana was the biggest gainer in the survey, rising 14 spots to be the #13th most attractive state in the country to do business. The biggest loser was Oregon, which dropped nine spots to #42.

CEOs surveyed said California’s poor ranking is the result of its hostility to business, high state taxes and overly stringent regulations, which is driving investment, companies and jobs to other states.

According to Spectrum Locations Consultants, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year and five times as many as in 2009.

“CEOs tell us that California seems to be doing everything possible to drive business from the state. Texas, by contrast, has been welcoming companies and entrepreneurs, particularly in the high-tech arena,” said J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief of Chief Executivemagazine and ChiefExecutive.net.

“Local economic development corporations, as well as the state Texas Enterprise Fund, are providing attractive incentives. This, along with the relaxed regulatory environment and supportive State Department of Commerce adds up to a favorable climate for business.”

Inhospitable business environments mean less jobs, as entrepreneurs and established corporations seek more cost-efficient and tax-friendly locales, said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net.  “This survey shows that states that create policies and incentives are rewarded with investment, jobs and greater overall economic activity.”

For complete results, including individual state rankings on multiple criteria, methodology and more, please visitChiefExecutive.net.

Best 5 States for Business Rank 2012 Rank 2011
Texas 1st 1st
Florida 2nd 3rd
North Carolina 3rd 2nd
Tennessee 4th 4th
Indiana 5th 6th
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)              
Worst 5 States for Business Rank 2012 Rank 2011
California 50th 50th
New York 49th 49th
Illinois 48th 48th
Massachusetts 47th 45th
Michigan 46th 46th
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)              
2012 Biggest Gainers Positions Gained
Louisiana +14
Mississippi +8
West Virginia +8
Ohio +6
North Dakota +6
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)

 

2012 Biggest Losers Positions Lost
Oregon -9
Kentucky -8
New Hampshire -8
Nebraska -7
Minnesota -7
Source:  Chief Executive magazine (ChiefExecutive.net)                                                

Investors rain $49M on Tower Cloud for wireless backhaul

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Tower cloudTower Cloud Inc., a wireless backhaul services provider, has secured $49 million in additional equity to fund its expansion into new markets throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.

The latest round of funding was led by two of Tower Cloud’s existing investors, The Burton Partnership and Knology Inc. Tower Cloud’s other existing institutional investors include: Sutter Hill Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, Ballast Point Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, ITC Partners Fund and Noro-Moseley Partners.

For this round, two new investors joined the consortium, The Florida Growth Fund and CLR Investors. The funding was done in two phases with $13 million completed in January and $36 million completed in July. This funding follows a $20 million equity commitment by the same investor group in October 2009.

Are the people in your city among the most curious?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Just AnswerSAN FRANCISCO – JustAnswer,  a paid Q&A website, has listed its Top Five Most Curious Cities in the U.S. While New York, NY – the nation’s most populous city with over nine million residents – ranked number one in total questions asked, it isn’t anywhere near the top. That distinction goes to Naples, FL, whose total number of questions asked represented 12.01% of the city’s total population of 21,653, making it nearly 38 times more curious than The Big Apple, which came in at .32%.*

Rounding out the Top Five Most Curious Cities (based on percentage of population) in the U.S.:

2. Littleton, CO: 8.41%

3. Spring, TX: 6.68%

4. Sarasota, FL: 5.31%

5. Marietta, GA: 4.62%

“Since the Experts on JustAnswer began answering questions in 2003, we’ve always been intrigued by where the pockets of curiosity are around the country. While we’re not surprised to discover that the nation’s largest urban cities asked the most total questions, we’re very intrigued by the online engagement of smaller cities, such as Littleton, CO and Spring, TX,” said Andy Kurtzig, Founder and CEO of JustAnswer.

How Major U.S. Cities Stack Up in the Curiosity Department

Among U.S. cities with populations of over 400,000, Atlanta, GA topped the rankings with questions asked representing 2.44% of its population, followed by:

2. Miami, FL: 2.16%

3. Minneapolis, MN: 1.87%

4. Las Vegas, NV: 1.55%

5. Denver, CO: 1.44%

A Tale of Two Cities: What’s In a Name?

When it comes to asking questions, two cities can share a name, but not necessarily their curiosity quotient. While Naples, FL topped the JustAnswer ranking of most curious cities, Naples, NC accounted for only two questions.

Similarly, Portland, OR (47th), Philadelphia, PA, (96th) and Memphis, TN (97th) far outdistanced their namesakes, Portland, MO, Philadelphia, MO and Memphis, IN, which combined for a total of just four questions asked.

*Rankings are based on an estimate of user location according to the IP address of the computer used to visit the JustAnswer website between June 2010 and June 2011. Population figures are from the United States Census Bureau. JustAnswer does not identify or record actual locations or addresses of its users.


Second quarter one of the worst on record for cybersecurity

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Panda SecurityThis quarter has been one of the worst on record for cybersecurity breaches, with hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec causing widespread mayhem and organizations such as RSA Security, the U.S. Defense Department, the International Monetary Fund, the European Space Agency, Sony, Citigroup and SEGA all falling victims to attacks.  So says Panda Labs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, in its Quarterly Report for Q2, analyzing the IT security events and incidents from April through June 2011.

While Media Obsesses over Illegal Stunts, Malware Creation Shows No Signs of Slowing

In the last quarter, malware of all kinds has spread substantially, with PandaLabs observing 42 new malware strains created every minute. Once again, Trojans accounted for most of the new threats, comprising nearly 70 percent of all new malware created, followed by viruses (16 percent) and worms (12 percent).

As recorded by Panda Security’s online scanner, Panda ActiveScan, Trojans were responsible for 69 percent of infections, followed once again by viruses (10 percent) and worms (8.53 percent). Adware, which only represents 1.37 percent of all malware, accounted for more than 9 percent of all the infections, indicating the substantial effort malware writers are taking to promote this type of malicious code. Fake anti-virus programs, which are included in the adware category, have also continued to grow.

A graph of malware infections by type is available at prensa.pandasecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/DISTRIBUTION.jpg.

Asian Countries Lead Infection Rankings

In the ranking of the top 20 countries with the most infections, China, Thailand and Taiwan once again continue to occupy the top three spots. PandaLabs observed Sweden, Switzerland and Norway as being the least infected countries.

Top Security Incidents:

  • LulzSec and Anonymous: A new hacker group LulzSec emerged this quarter, specializing in stealing and posting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from companies with poor security as well as carrying out denial of service attacks (against the CIA website, for example). They also released a full list of PII data they had previously stolen such as email addresses and passwords, which has led to account hijacking and other forms of identity theft. At the end of June, LulzSec teamed up with Anonymous for “Operation: Anti-Security,” encouraging supporters to hack into, steal and publish classified government information from any source. On June 26, LulzSec released a statement on Twitter announcing the end of their activities. Nevertheless, they urged hackers to carry on with operation Anti-Security (#Antisec) and join the Anonymous IRC channel.
  • Corporate Breaches: RSA, the security division of EMC Corporation, announced in mid-March it had suffered a breach on its network systems that exposed proprietary information about its two-factor hardware-based authentication system, SecurID. In May, Lockheed Martin, the largest provider of IT services to the U.S. government and military, suffered a network intrusion stemming from data stolen pertaining to RSA. It seems that the cyber-thieves managed to compromise the algorithm used by RSA to generate security keys. RSA will have to replace the SecurID tokens of more than 40 million customers around the world, including some of the world’s biggest companies.
  • Sonygate: The most infamous attack that occurred this quarter was the one Sony suffered. Everything started with the theft of data from their PlayStation Network (PSN), affecting 77 million users worldwide. Not only was this the biggest data theft on record, but the situation was also poorly communicated to customers by the company, which hid the problem for days. When Sony finally made it public they simply said there was evidence that some user data could have been compromised, even though they knew the situation was far more serious.

Seven tips on keeping your mobile devices secure, report on smartphone malware

Thursday, June 9th, 2011
smartphones

Be proactive and take measures to protect your mobile devices

With app security breaches in the news, this new report by Orlando-based Panda security on the current and future state of smartphone malware is very timely. Panda also offers seven tips on how to keep your mobile devices secure.

Panda Security , the Cloud Security Company, has released the report in participation with other members of Spain’s National Cyber-Security Advisory Council(CNCCS) on the history, current state and future of mobile malware.

Now available for the first time in the United States, the “Smartphone Malware Report” aims to raise awareness of the threats affecting mobile devices as well provides tips individuals can follow to avoid falling victim to mobile threats.

“One of the major challenges security vendors face is user mobility,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Enhancing the security of cell phones — through anti-malware, data protection, management and security audit functions — is a major challenge for any security department, and we must tackle this threat as soon as possible in order to help protect users’ information and businesses.

“Even though cell phone malware is not a priority for cyber-crooks yet, we are starting to see the first major attacks on these platforms. We predict that the next few months will see significant growth in cell phone attacks, especially on Google’s Android operating system.”

“Security vendors have long warned about the fact that cell phones would overtake PCs as the primary cyber attack target, and 2010 has showed the first signs of that. We believe 2011 will really mark a turning point in this field,” explained David Barroso, director of e-crime at Council member S21sec.

Smartphone Malware Report Overview:

Key topics covered in the report include:

  • The history of mobile devices, and the evolution of the smartphone market from its onset to the present day
  • Mobile device security issues and threat vectors
  • The history of threats targeted the platform, including Cabir, WinCE.Brador.A , Skulls, Pbstealer, CxOver, Ikee.A and Ikee.B, Droid09 and modern Man-in-the-Mobile attacks
  • Predictions for the future, including schemes that target mobile banking applications and capture sensitive information, programs that track users’ locations through GPS, advanced social engineering attacks, and mobile worms that scan all devices connected to WiFi networks and exploit vulnerabilities to transmit malicious code to other system.

How Can You Protect Your Mobile Device?

Lack of security awareness among cell phone users and carelessness are two of the most important risk factors for smartphones. It is extremely important to understand that a smartphone is far more than just a phone and should be treated more like a computer due to the valuable information it stores.

To protect your mobile device, the CNCCS offers a series of best practices. These include:

  • Enable access protection measures such as a PIN or password
  • Configure the smartphone to automatically lock after a minute or so being idle
  • Disable features not in use such Bluetooth, infrared or WiFi
  • Before installing or using new smartphone apps or services, check their reputation and only install applications from trusted sources
  • Keep your operating system and software applications up to date
  • Be wary of any files, links or numbers received from unsolicited email or SMS messages
  • Avoid using untrusted WiFi networks

 

Florida-based SkyCross beams in $11M for advanced wireless antennas

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

SkyCrossVIERA, FL – SkyCross, which develops and makes advanced antenna and radio frequency solutions, has closed on an $11 million, the first installment of its E round of financing. The company said it expects to close a second tranche in the round, up to $15 million, by early June. It says this is likely to be its final round of equity financing.

The capital raised will be used to support the company’s rapidly increasing business in Asia and the United States.

Significantly, the round includes new equity from DOCOMO Capital as a strategic investor. DOCOMO Capital is a corporate venture arm of NTT DOCOMO, the world’s leading mobile operator. Existing investors including TL Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, Gabriel Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and a group of long standing individual investors also participated.

SkyCross continues to grow due to strong global demand for the company’s unique RF technology and design expertise for wireless products, such as tablets, smartphones, and multiband USB modems. Increasingly, these devices require multiple antennas, creative 3D design and manufacturing techniques, and 4G MIMO functionality for LTE.

“SkyCross technology and expertise are key factors in meeting the growing, worldwide demand for 4G/LTE wireless devices,” said Tomoya Hemmi, President and CEO of DOCOMO Capital, Inc. “MIMO antenna technology is a key enabler of LTE performance, and SkyCross solutions address this global market need. We are pleased to participate in this round as a new strategic investor.”

PAETEC plans new data centers in Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, McLean

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

PaetecNEW YORK – PAETEC Holding Corp. (NASDAQ GS: PAET), a nationwide provider of comprehensive communications solutions, today announced the launch of an expanded portfolio of cloud-based products and the planned deployment of new data centers coast-to-coast. The move comes on the heels of a national study that says the majority of U.S. data centers are running out of space.

As part of its overall cloud and data center strategy and leveraging its breadth and depth of experience in the cloud and data center space, PAETEC plans to add 13 data centers coast-to-coast by the end of 2012 to its current set of seven centers which will result in the company operating 20 centers nationwide.

“With the advent of high-speed networks and continued migration of network intelligence into the cloud, the need for these network-based services has increased dramatically and we see that trend continuing into the future,” said Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO of PAETEC.

ETEC currently has data centers in Andover, Mass., Bethlehem and Conshohocken, Pa., Richmond, Va., Milwaukee, Wis., Houston, Tex., and Phoenix, Ariz.

In 2011, the company has plans to expand to McLean, Va., Tampa, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Detroit, Mich., and Charlotte, N.C. In 2012, data centers are also planned for Dallas, Tex., Chicago, Ill., Northern California, Rochester, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., Denver, Co., Atlanta, Ga. and a location in the Pacific Northwest.

Florida-based GridGlo launches smart grid data platform with $1.2M raise

Friday, May 13th, 2011

GridGloDELRAY BEACH, FL – GridGlo, a startup specializing in data fusion and the development of smart grid applications, has raised $1.2 million capital raise from, CUBRC, a Buffalo, NY-based research organization with deep data fusion expertise developed over decades serving the Department of Defense and other Government agencies. The company said the deal is a strategic partnership.

GridGlo’s new cloud-based, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution aggregates petabytes of advanced metering infrastructure data and analyzes it by applying proprietary algorithms and advanced data fusion processes.

Data fusion is the science of combining disparate sources of data to develop inferences and continually refine them, and GridGlo is the first to leverage this approach to derive novel insights from energy consumption data. GridGlo enriches usage data with consumer behavioral, demographic and premises-specific information, providing new ways for utilities to drive customer engagement and forecast, segment and monetize their market opportunities.

One of the first applications GridGlo has developed with this approach is the Energy People Meter, a FICO-like score for energy consumers. An EPM score is a real-time digital fingerprint of a customer’s energy behavior. EPM scores range from 1 to 1000, with a higher score reflecting a user who consumes energy efficiently, has predictable consumption patterns, and is actively improving his or her energy consumption behavior.

GridGlo and its utility partners are also testing a number of other applications, such as a forecasting tool to reliably predict demand on an individual-premise basis and a demand response scenario builder to predict the impact of future demand response events. In addition, GridGlo is testing a risk management tool for identifying potential abandonment, energy theft, and consumer financial health.

“The smart grid today is like the wireless industry of the early 2000s – a market of great latent potential nearing an inflection point,” said Isaias Sudit, founder and CEO of GridGlo. “With reams of data constantly being generated by AMI and other smart grid systems, we see tremendous opportunity in unlocking the value of that data and know we have the right technology and approach to do so.”

Miami-based Open English lands $4.25M for online language school

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Open EnglishMIAMI – Open English, an online language school for Latin Americans, ahs raised $4.25 million in a B round of funding led by existing investor Flybridge Capital Partners. The company raised a $6 million first round.

Founded in 2007, Open English says it provides a revolutionary new approach to English language learning which combines live instruction with native English-speaking teachers and multi-media learning content customized to each learner. Open English students study from their home or office and avoid inconvenient scheduling, long commute times, high tuition costs, and outdated books and CD-ROMs.

The company serves a large and rapidly growing global market, initially targeting Spanish speakers in the Americas. Live instruction with native English speaking teachers and multi-media learning content, is all provided over the internet.

“Over the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in broadband Internet usage in South America. This, along with the emergence of a robust middle class in which English is a critical component for career advancement, has created an exciting opportunity for English language-learning programs throughout the South American region,” says Jon Karlen, general manager, Flybridge, who is on the company’s board.

 

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

Miami-based Net Talk.com rings up $1.5M

Monday, May 9th, 2011

NetTalkMIAMI – Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) netTALK.com Inc., (OTCBB:NTLK) which sells product and network phone service for VoIP, has nabbed $1.5 million in new funding.

The netTALK DUO is a versatile communications device  with the ability to connect directly to a router or modem (no computer needed) or the computer’s USB port, offering consumers free local and long distance calls to any landline or mobile phone in the U.S. and Canada from anywhere in the world.

Orlando game developer startup Row Sham Bow rocks $1.5M

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Row Sham BowORLANDO – Row Sham Bow Inc., an electronic game developer startup, has raised $1.5 million of an equity financing aimed at $3 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Row Sham Bow – a name derived from the Japanese term for the game Rock–paper-scissors, says its mission is to “create fun games anyone can play.”

Former Electronic Arts Tiburon VP Philip Holt, CEO and president, founded the company in March.

The company has asked Orlando for $114,000 and the state for $570,000 in economic development incentives. It says it will create 60 high-paying jobs.

The company disclosed the financing in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Miami IT products distributor Intcomex lands $22.5M funding

Friday, May 6th, 2011

IntcomexMIAMI – Intcomex Inc., which distributes IT products in Latin America and the Caribbean, has raised $22.5 million in equity, according to a regulatory filing.

The company recently said Brightpoint Latin America Inc., a subsidiary of Miami-based Brightpoint Inc., which sells supply chain software to the wireless sector, invested $15 million in Incomex for about a 23 percent stake.

Citi Venture Capital International, a Citigroup Inc. subsidiary, also invested in the company.

Intcomex provides and distributes computer equipment, components, peripherals, software, computer systems, accessories, networking products and digital consumer electronics to more than 44,000 customers in 41 countries. The company also delivers training on new products, technical support, warranty services and assistance with customs, duties and taxes.

Best states for business: NC at No. 2, Florida, 3, Tennsessee 4, Georgia 5

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Best Worst StatesFor the seventh year in a row, CEOs rate Texas as the #1 state in which to do business and California as the worst. North Carolina maintained its #2 rank, while Florida rose three positions to the #3 spot. Tennessee fell one slot from last year to #4 while Georgia climbed two positions to claim the #5 rank.

Chief Executive magazine’s annual “Best & Worst States” survey takes the pulse of CEOs on business conditions around the nation. For the 2011 survey, 550 CEOs from across the country evaluated the states on a broad range of issues, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, education resources, quality of living and infrastructure.

“A handful of states have made business-friendly policies a priority,” says J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief ofChief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “These forward-thinking states are the exception rather than the rule and include Utah, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.”

CEOs voted California as the worst state in 2011, with New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Michiganrounding out the bottom five.

“ABC — Anywhere But California,” said T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, a $668 million chip maker headquartered in San Jose, California, and with plants in 10 countries. “It’s expensive, it’s hostile to business, and environmental regulations are more of a drag on business than protecting the environment.” Cypress Semiconductor’s headcount in California peaked at 1,500. It’s now down to about 600.

With finances in shambles due to the weak economy, many states have been increasing tax rates.

“Today’s ‘soak the rich’ mentality hits business leaders especially hard,” says Marshall Cooper, CEO ofChief Executive magazine and ChiefExecutive.net. “CEOs and entrepreneurs vote with their feet — and also pack up jobs and investment with them when they leave.”

It’s interesting that North Carolina, which has one of the highest tax rates in the Southeast, maintains its number two position, largely due to the talent available through its eduction system and its quality of life. It’s education system is about to take a huge cut as the state wrestles with the same type of budget deficit that plagues other states.

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

Georgia’s rise is also interesting. Another recent report noted that Georgia is right at the top when it comes to startup activitity, with more than 500 businesses a month launching.

InfoFinder Search Technologies nabs $6.6M for Enterprise file search

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

InfoFinderBOCA RATON, FL - InfoFinder Search Technologies Inc., a company selling software that helps businesses locate electronic files, has raised $6.68 million of a mixed securities offering aimed at $9 million.

The company is led by former Citrix Chair Edward Iacobucci, who previously oversaw IBM’s development of personal computer tech. He also founded DayJet, an on-demand air taxi services that shut its doors in 2008.

The company’s website notes that according to the IDC report “The high cost of not finding information” by analyst Susan Feldman,  average knowledge workers spends 15% to 35% of their workday searching for information.

InfoFinder says its product is a search system enabling you to find ANY text content from documents, databases, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, e-mails, attachments, scanned documents and any other text content file.

nfoFinder AS was established in Trondheim, Norway, in 2000 to help bridge the silos where information resides. The company says its mission then is the same as it is today: to make company data located behind-the-firewall instantly and securely accessible – regardless of what it is, where it is located or who needs it.

Its product is used by more than 20,000 individuals across 300 private and public sector organizations on a daily basis in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and the United States.

Florida-based Backlog Capital launches $20M VC fund

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Backlog CapitalWESTON, FL – Backlog Capital, a venture capital firm focused on high technology and healthcare firm investments, has raised $200,000 toward a fund aimed at $20 million, according to a regulatory filing.

Backlog Capital says on its website that it focuses primarily on High Tech and Healthcare companies seeking working capital to help fuel their growth rates, market share gain and ability to become the categorical leader in their space.

Its lending criteria considers the backlog represented by the multi-year contracts banks and other traditional lenders are unwilling to consider. This modality for accessing working capital preserves the founder’s hard earned percentage of ownership and control, with minimum dilution.

The company disclosed the fund in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Backlog Founder and Managing Director JW Ray was previously co-founder and COO of Learn.com, which he helped take from $50,000 to $30,000,000 in revenue. He was previously a senior VP at Morgan Stanley and an assistant VP at Merrill Lynch.

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com