Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Category
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
As startups go, Shinola has a story that’s right on time. The company, founded in 2011, is making watches in a 35,000 square-foot facility in Detroit. No one has manufactured watches in the U.S. in 50 years,” notes Jacques Panis, director of strategic partnerships for the firm.
Shinola also diversified and now makes bicycles (in Wisconsin) and stationary products. But in an era when many people use smartphones or other digital devices to keep track of the time, we asked Panis, why watches?
“People are starting to wear watches more and more. It’s a trend,” says Panis. “People look at watches as part of their style or persona. A watch is a fashion piece in a lot of cases. People make a statement with a watch, especially in urban environments and among fashion forward trend-setters.”
Experience spans marketing, branding and sales
Panis has over 10 years of experience spanning marketing, branding and sales. He founded Webosaurs in 2007, an online brand created to educate children globally on the history and diversity of our planet. He collaborated with animation studio Reel FX to expand the Webosaurs project while running the Reel FX interactive division. Panis joinedShinola in 2010 to oversee product development and strategic direction for the company.
He’s among more than 100 digital and marketing thought-leaders participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit next week (May 14-15). The event includes speakers from brands such as Google, Twitter, AOL, Adobe, the Wall Street Journal, AT&T, and many others. Fewer than 100 seats remained for the event, the largest in the Southeast, as of Wednesday (May 8). About 1,500 people are expected to attend.
Panis, who is on an engagement panel, tells the TechJournal, “We’re story tellers at the end of the day and digital channels and social are a big part of our marketing effort.” Shinola tells its story on product specific blogs (dedicated to bikes or watches, for instance) and others. It sold a 2,500 limited edition watches online supported by traditional ads in major newspapers.
So far, however, most of the company’s marketing has been “organic,” Panis says. It does have a good story – bringing manufacturing and jobs back to the United States.
The Digital Summit is the largest event of its kind in the Southeast.
People who attend TechMedia’s events such as the Digital Summit often go not only for the programming – whether as participants or audience – but also to find partners, customers, and scope the lay of the digital landscape.
“We’ll be at the show (the Digital Summit) looking for a digital marketers who can help us drive traffic to our site and help us move watches,” he says.
The company isn’t looking for just anyone, though.
“We want a Triple A kind of guy or gal,” Panis says. “We want to shake up how people shop for watches and driving people to our site is critical to how we’re going to run this business. If we can find people to help us drive traffic and refine our funnel, it will be fascinating to see how the rest of the watch industry responds.”
Panis says he’s also looking forward to hearing more about what marketers are up to and how consumers are shopping online.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Fewer than 100 seats remain for the Digital Summit in Atlanta which is only a week away. One of the largest digital marketing events in the Southeast, the Digital Summit features more than 80 presentations from marketing and technology thought-leaders.
Speakers from brands including Twitter, Google, Mashable, Porsche, Reddit, Adobe, TMZ, Bing, Nascar, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, AOL and many more will discuss the latest trends and insights into all things digital.
More than 1,500 are expected to attend.
Hours of networking
People networking at a previous TechMedia event.
In addition to learning the latest digital trends and best practices with actionable takeaways from over 100 world class speakers, you’ll get hours of networking opportunities at two open bar receptions, day one’s gala reception with heavy appetizers, breakfast & lunch on day two, cool giveaways, opportunities to check out the latest digital technologies and startups, a concert from a grammy nominated artist and a lasting experience.
Digital Summit will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. The conference is readily accessible with a direct flight from most major US cities. The World Congress Center is a just short hop on Atlanta’s mass transit system from the airport.
Chaitanya ‘Chet’ Kanojia, CEO, founder of AEReO, will participate in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta.
AEREO CEO participating
Among other top speakers, the CEO and found of AEREO, which has been much in the news lately with its technology for capturing over-the-air broadcasts and delivering them to customers via Internet connected devices, will be on hand.
For more about the event and links to interviews the TechJournal has done with a number of participating speakers, see: More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, reddit
- Baratunde Thurston, Technology-Loving Comedian
- Frederick Townes, Sr Technical Advisor, Mashable
- Matt Wallaert, Behavioral Scientist, Bing/Microsoft
- Brent Herd, Dir Southeast, Twitter
- Brian Wong, CEO, Kiip
- Joshua Fruhlinger, Head of Digital, TMZ
- Kelly Deen, Dir Consumer Marketing, Turner/Cartoon Network
- Lizzy Nephew, Social Media & Emerging Technology Specialist, Porsche
- Tom Daly, Group Director, Global Connections, Coca-Cola
- Maureen Schumacher Cole, Head of Financial Services, Google
- Steven Tedjamulia, Dir of Digital Strategy & Innovation, Dell
- Michael Tippett, Dir of New Products, HootSuite
- Steve Robinson, Dir of Online Analytics & Business Intel, The Home Depot
- Michael Rodriguez, Product Manager of Digital News, The Weather Channel
- Scott Carlis, VP Digital & Social, AEG Digital
- Chet Kanojia, CEO & Founder, Aereo
- Bert DuMars, VP & Principle Analyst, Forrester
- Randall Lloyd, Dir of Social Ad Sales, Salesforce
- Mallory Colliflower, Community Manager, HGTV
- Tim Clark, Dir of Optimization, NASCAR
- Mandar Shinde, Sr Dir Mobile Monetization, AOL
- Jeff Siegel, SVP Worldwide Advertising, Rovi
- Loni Stark, Director of Product Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe
- Lance Broumand, CEO, UrbanDaddy
- Anthony Napalitano, Dir Global Partnerships, StumbleUpon
- Brian D’Amato, SVP Analytics, Moxie
- Matt Kaplan, VP Sales, Mail Online
- Jason Hartley, Group Media Dir, 360i
- Jeff Dennes, SVP – Head of Digital, SunTrust
- Nick Ayers, Mgr, Social Marketing, Intercontinental Hotel Group
- David Favero, Southeast Sales Dir, Shoutlet
- Justin Carll, Digital Strategist, PureRED
- Rory Felton, VP of Business Development, Music & Entertainment, Chirpify
- Brian Ford, Sr Dir of NA Sales & Service, 3DSystems
- Gretchen Fox, Social Architect, grtchnfx
- Bob Gilbreath, CEO, Pingage
- Laurie Hood, VP of Product Marketing, Silverpop
- Kami Huyse, CEO, Zoetica Media
- Simms Jenkins, CEO, BrightWave
- Manny Ju, Dir of Product Management, Blue Hornet
- Lawrence Kimmel, Executive Director, Hawekeye
- Mike King, Dir of Inbound Marketing, iAcquire
- Topher Kohan, Assc Dir of Search Strategy, Rockfish
- Chris Korbey, Creative Director, Emma
- Yoel Leinwand, Account Executive, YouTube
- Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst, Altimeter Group
- Michael Marshall, CEO, Internet Marketing Analysts
- Erica McClenny, SVP Client Services, Expion
- Josh McCoy, Lead Strategist, Vizion Interactive
- Mark Miller, SVP/CRM Practice Lead, Digitas
- Howard Morton, CEO & Managing Partner, Boardwalk International Advisors
- Erik Muendel, CEO, Brightline
- Dave Mundo, VP, Analytics Director, BKV
- Stephen Pair, CTO & Co-Founder, BitPay
- Jacques Panis, Dir of Strategic Partnerships, Shinola
- Mike Pearla, Dir of Conversion Optimization, Fathom
- Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist, Media6Degrees
- Steven Roe, Dir of Business Development & Marketing, Response Media
- Lindy Roux, Principal Content Strategist, Siteworx
- Nigel Sanctuary, VP Cloud Propositions, Kognitio
- Joey Sargent, Principle, Brandsprout
- Becky Scheel, Graphics/Website/Exhibit Designer, ZooAtlanta
- Aaron Schildkrout, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, How About We
- Jenny Schmidt, Principle, CloudSpark
- Jeff Sheehan, CEO, Sheehan Marketing Strategies
- Rob Sanders, Founder, RSO Consulting
- Patrick Toland, CRO, Optimal Social
- Stefan Tornquist, VP Research (US), Econsultancy
- Chad White, Principle of Marketing Research, ExactTarget
- Scott Williford, Fouder & CEO, vLink Solutions
- Luke Barton, Technical Director, Siteworx
- Trevor Sumner, President, LocalVox
- Yakka Murphy, Art Director, Digital Experience, The Weather Channel
- Cara Citino, Dir of Digital Services, R2integrated
- Jeff Ferguson, CEO, Fang Digital Marketing
- Victor Wong, CEO, PaperG
- Ade Adeosun, Sr Dir Digital Business Analytic, comScore
- Kelley Mitchell Price, Chief Experince Officer, PocketFirm
- Annalise Kaylor, Dir of Social Media, Intrapromote
- Trish Nettleship, Dir of Social Media & Influence, UCB
- Danny Davis, CEO & Founder, Proving Ground
- Thomas Cornelius, President of Adility, InComm
- Adam Harrell, President, Nebo Agency
- Nikhi Deshpande, Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
- Peter Lee, Editorial Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
- Alankar Tayal, Optimization, Usability, Testing & Analytic Expert
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.
One mistake brands sometimes make today is that with digital and social media so prevalent, they sometimes think “We don’t need print, TV or traditional marketing anymore.”
That’s usually not the case, says Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. “People don’t live in their computers,” she says. “They drive, watch TV. Looking at your customers’ lifestyles and figuring out how to reach them in all kinds of places is critical.”
An avid fan of technology and innovation, Sargent’s approach merges new media with traditional marketing. Before founding BrandSprout, she spent 20 years leading marketing strategy for businesses ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500, including UPS and BellSouth (now AT&T).
As a senior marketing executive, she had global responsibility for branding, marketing strategy, communications and product management functions. Sargent has been quoted in Fox Business, Huffington Post and Social Media Today. She holds an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Read her blog at www.Fresh-Sprouts.com.
Participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit
Sargent is among the digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs participating in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15. She also appeared at the event last year and you can read our interview preceding her presentation, “In the Age of Social Media, Companies don’t fully control the brand” here.
“It doesn’t make sense to try to reach customers from only one angle,” Sargent says. “You should start with a strong understanding of your target market and what they enjoy doing, what’s appropriate for them, where they are hanging out, what they’re reading and where they’re interacting.”
Sargent notes that while you could spend a lot of money on hard core research, you could also find out much of this information by “Talking to your customers in the field. Observe their behavior. Drill down on how they found out about you, who else they looked at, options they considered, and why they chose you. You’ll find good ways to get in front of them.”
Look for the most effective approaches
You will really want to look at the most effective approaches, she adds. “You might get in front of them 10 ways, but some are going to be better than others.”
Just as a quick example she says, “Someone waiting in a bus shelter will see a sign there, but if you’re in traffic, you might not notice a sign on a bus going by.”
You have to think about not only where you’ll get their attention, but also, where can they potentially take action?
Don’t do too much
One mistake marketers make, she says, “Is trying to do too much and cover the waterfront, be on every social network. That’s not productive because you spread yourself too thinly. Find the right places to connect with your customers.”
Even then, you have to think about what is appropriate for each social network. Photos of a company bowling team might work well on Facebook, but not on LinkedIn.
On a website your customers frequent, you might choose to have a pop up offer a newsletter if it offers a gateway to content they are interested in, she suggests.
“At the same time,” she warns, “You don’t want to jump in front of them if it’s not relevant to them. Find those opportunities where it is appropriate to get in front of them and they can make mental connections as to why you are there.”
Merge online and offline efforts
One thing that is particularly important – which she will discuss in more detail and with examples at the Digital Summit, is the need to merge offline and online marketing efforts.
“You have to be careful not to seem creepy,” she says, “such as when you download a brochure and the next thing you know your phone is ringing.”
Instead, she says, “If someone is engaged on a website, take it further. Can we give you something in hard copy? An invitation to an event we’re hosting? A workshop? Those are great for the more complex sale.”
For retail, offer a coupon, get them in the store. “For someone without a history with the brand, getting them to come in is a big deal.”
It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s not the kind of thing you can do and say you’re done, she notes.
A continuum, not set it and forget it
“It’s a continuum. The market changes. There are new opportunities for connecting with your customers. You need to be more nimble than ever.”
Once upon a time companies could do an annual marketing plan and that was it. “Now you have to do it every month,” she says. “People who go through the set it and forget it process end up spending more money than they need to by not optimizing their program.”
Finally, Sargent says, “Make sure you know how your digital marketing affects your overall corporate goals. It’s not about having 10,000 leads, it’s about having leads that bring you customers to help you grow over time.”
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
What do these brands have in common: Twitter, Google, Mashable, Bing, reddit, YouTube, StumbleUpon, TMZ, Dell, Home Depot, HGTV, Salesforce, CNN, AOL, Forester, Urban Daddy and The Weather Channel?
They’re all represented at the upcoming Digital Summit 2013 May 14-15 in Atlanta, the region’s largest digital marketing and web innovation strategies conference.
The event draws a sell-out crowd of 1,500 or more digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs to Atlanta.
Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.
We’ll be interviewing some of the featured speakers and panel participants as we head toward the event (TechJournal is a TechMedia division). We spoke to Kiip CEO and founder Brian Wong this week. Wong, the youngest person who ever received venture funding, describes how connecting mobile ads to “moments of achievement and delight” can make those ads welcome rather than an annoyance. See: Mobile ad secret sauce.
Register now to reserve your seat. TechMedia’s last event in Charlotte, NC, had to close registration a week ahead of the event and had a long waiting list, so do it early.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Kabbage Inc., an online provider of small businesses financing, has closed a $75 million credit facility, its largest financing transaction to date.
Victory Park Capital (VPC) led the debt financing, while existing equity investor Thomvest Ventures also contributed a significant amount. The debt facility will fund advances for the company’s rapidly-growing customer base and allow it to expand its reach to new customer segments and markets.
“We have followed Kabbage since its inception and have been exceedingly impressed by the power of its innovative real-time data platform and the team’s ability to scale over the last two years,” said Tom Affolter, Principal at Victory Park Capital.
Fills a market void
“There is a clear void in the market as traditional financing sources remain reluctant to lend. As a firm, we are excited to provide financing to Kabbage as it is uniquely positioned to deploy this capital to meet the demand for funding from small businesses.”
Kabbage Chair Marc Gorlin tells the TechJournal, “This debt facility will turbo charge the amount of growth Kabbage can support for small businesses of every shape and size. We’re proud every day to be supporting the businesses that are the backbone of this country.”
Kabbage’s Data Context Engine uses persistent data connections to understand the true health of a small business throughout the account lifecycle.
Won six industry awards
The company employs real-time data connections to the sources that small businesses use every day such as shipping, accounting, social media, ecommerce, payments and others.
The company and its executives have presented at TechMedia’s Southeast Venture Conference and often participate in its digital summit events (the next is the Digital Summit in Atlanta, May 14-15).
Kabbage has won six major industry awards for innovation leadership in the last nine months, including first place in VentureBeat’s Innovation Showdown, and Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Financial Services from Fast Company.
“Kabbage’s underwriting platform and ease of use has positioned it as the leading online provider of credit solutions to small businesses,” said Peter J. Thomson, chairman of Thomvest and director of Thomson Reuters Corporation.
Growing at breakneck pace
Since launching two years ago, Kabbage has grown at a breakneck pace to become the industry leader in small business financing, delivering more advances than anyone in the industry.
Kabbage has extended more than 60,000 advances and expects to provide more than 100,000 in 2013 alone. Kabbage advances by volume have grown 298 percent on a year-over-year basis, while overall loan volume to small businesses declined during the same time period according to the Small Business Administration.
“This facility represents an enormous vote of confidence from the institutional investment community in the Kabbage model and a significant milestone in our company’s history” said Rob Frohwein, Kabbage Co-Founder and CEO.
“We have developed a new asset class that allows institutional investors to invest in funding the growth of the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy. You’ll see Kabbage continue to expand our funding platform in innovative ways both to both investors and small businesses, as we redefine what it means to deliver funding to businesses – making the process even more simple, fast and user-friendly.”
Monday, March 4th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
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.”
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.”
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Washington, DC made this years list of the top ten cities for private tech M&A at number 7.
PrivCo has released rankings of the Top U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A, based on the number of private tech companies acquired in 2012.
PrivCo has provided its Exclusive Top 10 Ranking below, with Silicon Valley ranking as the #1 metro area with 226 private tech company acquisitions in 2012.
Ranked just behind it were New York (Ranked #2) & Boston (Ranked #3).
San Diego, Research Triangle miss top ten
Interestingly, up-and-coming tech hubs like New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta are challenging traditional leaders like Raleigh-Durham’s “research triangle” and biotech hub San Diego, who missed this year’s Top 10 U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A.
Top 10 U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A in 2012
(Ranked By Total Number of U.S. Private Tech Companies Acquired in Each Metro Area)
1. Silicon Valley
2. New York
4. Los Angeles
7. Washington, D.C. (Arlington)
To access PrivCo’s 350 page 2012 Private Tech M&A Industry Report:
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Small businesses in the United Kingdom will have an alternative way to finance their operations. Atlanta-based Kabbage, an online provider of working capital for small businesses, has launched in the UK, its first market outside the United States.
Since opening two years ago, Kabbage has quickly become the fastest-growing small business finance company, extending more advances to small businesses than any other provider of working capital.
Kabbage Chairman Marc Gorlin tells the TechJournal,”Small business are at the core of what do. There are small businesses in other countries, and we want to be there to help them. It also helps that the UK is Europe’s biggest e-commerce market.”
Its funding platform leverages dozens of data sources to determine real-time business performance, and delivers funding to small businesses within seven minutes of applying online.
Kabbage’s breakthrough data platform has earned the company top industry accolades including most recently being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and winning first place at VentureBeat’s CloudBeat Innovation Showdown 2012.
Fast Company found them
Gorlin says, “The Fast Company is really meaningful as this wasn’t something you could even apply for. They found us.”
Kabbage has participated in numerous events produced by TechMedia, the TechJournal’s publisher, including the Southeast Venture Conference, which has its seventh annual event coming up in Charlotte March 13-14.
Rob Frohwein, Kabbage Co-Founder and CEO said of the UK move, “Kabbage is deeply passionate about making funding easy and accessible to all small businesses in order to enable growth,” said. “The UK is Europe’s largest ecommerce market but small businesses there face the same challenge that American businesses face — banks are hesitant to lend the capital so desperately needed.
“Given the size and demand of the UK market, it was the natural destination for our first launch overseas. We’re tremendously excited to begin providing UK businesses with access to our simple, flexible funding platform in order to fuel their growth.”
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Even though this year’s flu virus is infecting people throughout the nation and New York and Boston even declared citywide health emergencies – you might not guess that Huntsville, Alabama is the city most concerned about it.
MaxPoint, a company that helps retailers and brands drive local in-store sales with its Digital Zip technology, announced its latest Interest Index, which reveals the cities most interested in flu-related remedies.
While that may or may not concern your company or your advertising clients specifically, MaxPoint notes that it is crucial for advertisers to dive deep into neighborhood and audience data when building campaigns.
For instance, New York and Boston did not even make the top ten list of cities most concerned about the flu this year.
By analyzing billions of in-store purchases and online data points, MaxPoint found that the 10 cities most interested in all things flu-related are the following:
1. Huntsville, AL
2. Knoxville, TN
3. Greensboro, NC
4. Greenville, SC
5. Des Moines, IA
6. Rochester, NY
7. Birmingham, AL
8. Boise, ID
9. Augusta, GA
10. Milwaukee, WI
nterest Data in Action
Using the data from this Interest Index, MaxPoint ran several digital advertising campaigns, including the following:
- A global pharmaceutical company with a diverse healthcare portfolio — including pharmaceuticals, eye care products and vaccines — wanted to drive adults over the age of 65 to select pharmacy locations to receive flu shots. Using MaxPoint’s hyperlocal advertising approach, the company achieved 164 percent lift in awareness of its flu vaccine at participating pharmacies.
- A manufacturer of analgesics wanted to increase brand awareness and drive sales of its products. By running digital ads with MaxPoint, the manufacturer achieved 3 percent sales lift in mass merchandise stores.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
NASA 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)
Friday, January 25th, 2013
State and local governments waste billions of dollars annually on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather than focusing on creating truly new positions, according to a study released today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center based in Washington, DC.
“What was long ago dubbed a Second War Between the States is, unfortunately, raging again in many parts of the country,” said Greg LeRoy , executive director of Good Jobs First and principal author of the report.
“The result is a vast waste of taxpayer funds, paying for the geographic reshuffling of existing jobs. By pretending that these jobs are new, public officials and the recipient companies engage in what amounts to interstate job fraud.”
Interstate job piracy is not a fruitful strategy for economic growth, LeRoy noted: “The costs are high and the benefits low, given that a tiny number of companies get huge subsidies for moving a small number of jobs.” LeRoy added: “Moreover, the availability of relocation subsidies allows companies that have no intention of moving to extract payoffs to stay put.”
Interstate relocations have microscopic job effects
Summarizing studies demonstrating that interstate relocations have microscopic job effects, the report also reviews the history of economic competition among the states and presents eight case studies of those areas where job piracy is most pronounced.
The case studies cover metropolitan areas such as Kansas City, Charlotte, New York and Memphis, where companies get subsidized to move short distances across state borders; states such as Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, New Jersey and Rhode Island that are aggressive users of relocation subsidies; and states such as Illinois and Ohio, which have given big retention or “job blackmail” packages.
The report recommends that states stop subsidizing companies for relocating jobs from other states, noting that four-fifths of the states already refuse to pay for intrastate job relocations.
The report also recommends that states end their business recruitment activities that are explicitly designed to pirate existing jobs from other states. It also suggests a modest role for the federal government: reserving a small portion of its economic development aid for those states that amend their incentive codes to make existing jobs ineligible for subsidies.
The report, entitled The Job-Creation Shell Game, is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org/shellgame.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Smartphones and tablets drove almost a quarter of total clicks in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to The Search Agency. But the gain in mobile clicks did not come at the expense of desktop search.
“With ongoing advancements and multiple lower priced tablet options being introduced into the market, it’s no surprise traffic on these devices continues to increase,” said Keith Wilson , vice president of agency products at The Search Agency.
“But, while our advertisers’ spend on mobile and tablets is increasing, it’s not at the expense of desktop. In fact, data shows that desktop searches remained level over the last two quarters, underscoring the trend that search is steadily growing overall.”
Tablets see record searches; surpass mobile ad spend
The introduction of a number of new tablet models and record sales growth spurred on huge growth in both tablet use and advertiser spend.
Tablet click share in Q4 more than doubled YoY and jumped 16 percent from Q3, and smartphones and tablets combined drove 23 percent of total clicks in Q4 2012, an 89 percent increase YoY. The last quarter of 2012 marked the first time in which share of spend on tablets exceeded spend on smartphones (8.5 versus 7.1 percent of total spend).
Google and Yahoo!-Bing Network continue to see growth; Google leads in mobile
Search engine advertising continues to show healthy growth as impressions in Q4 2012 grew 11 percent YoY and total clicks grew 4 percent. Total clicks on Google increased 4 percent YoY and cost per click (CPC) rose 7 percent from $0.55 to $0.59.
Bing also showed a 4 percent growth in click traffic, with a 15 percent increase in average CPC YoY. Bing’s mobile impression share and click share increased, but is still substantially less than Google’s impression and click share overall.
Google continued to see more paid clicks coming from mobile devices with 25.9 percent of its total clicks coming from tablets and smartphones in Q4, compared to 12.6 percent for Bing.
Product Listings accounted for more than 14 percent of spend on Google
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continued their strong growth in Q4 2012, accounting for 14 percent of retailers’ total spend on Google in Q4, a 236 percent increase from the previous quarter. Specifically, retailers spent more than 9 percent of their PLA budget on tablets and smartphones, an 80 percent increase from Q3.
Retail surged on mobile during the holidays, but click volume declined YoY
In the retail sector, mobile click share increased from 14.3 percent in Q4 2011 to 26.1 percent in Q4 2012. Retail volume was the driving factor for Q4 growth in comparison to Q3 2012, with a 20 percent increase in click traffic. However, YoY click volume declined 6 percent.
“The holidays brought on big numbers in mobile retail searches but we saw click volume decrease overall – possibly because of uncertainty from the presidential election and the natural disasters that affected the Northeast,” added Wilson.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
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.
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
What does the technology savvy digital maniac on your gift list really want for Christmas? Music from stars? One of the country’s fastest supercomputers? Or perhaps four minutes of computational inspiration?
Georgia Tech’s College of Computing has all of these and more, as for the second straight year its tongue-in-cheek Holiday Gift Guide decks the halls with some of the more inspired, ambitious and definitely digital “gifts” ever placed under the virtual tree.
Now, with the days growing shorter and the sound of jingle bells in the air, all the gifts are wrapped, peer-reviewed and waiting for that next lucky computing aficionado.
“At Georgia Tech, we truly believe that computing is making the world a better place, so what better time of year to share some of our more exciting and beneficial research projects?” said Dean Zvi Galil.
“When you take beloved holiday traditions, and you add a layer of computation, they become so much more. In this case, they become a bit funnier. Or at least we hope so.”
- Nerdherder: A motion-controlled, augmented-reality puzzle game for mobile devices. The action literally leaps from the game board to your phone or tablet in this game out of professor Blair MacIntyre’s lab.
- C4G BLIS: Open-source software system to track medical records and samples, and one of the more widely implemented projects to emerge from the College’s Computing for Good (C4G) initiative, headed up by professor Santosh Vempala.
- “Dream. Encode.”: Inspirational short film that tells the story of a young girl discovering how and where to pursue her computational dreams. Directed by 2012 graduate Connie Chen.
- Keeneland Supercomputing System: Now the National Science Foundation’s fastest dedicated supercomputer for scientific research. Built by professor Jeffrey Vetter.
- MOOCs: All the rage this year, MOOCs are massively open online courses, and they are in the midst of transforming education delivery, with Georgia Tech helping to lead the way.
- Bobble: Chrome plugin that allows users to escape the “filter bubble” created by personalized search results. Created by Ph.D. student Xinyu Xing.
- BrailleTouch: Software that allows you to go eyes-free when typing on a smartphone. Just another revolutionary advance in HCI from the folks at GVU Center.
- Flashpoint: A crash course in the scientific way to get startups off the ground, running—and funded. Conceived and run by professor Merrick Furst.
- SonLab: Proof that the universe is filled with music, this Georgia Tech lab takes natural data points and turns them into song. Created by professor Bruce Walker.
- Betweenness Centrality Algorithm: The fastest algorithm for determining the most popular point on a social graph, created by professor David Bader.
- Computing Summer Camps: Fun summer camps that will get kids of all ages engaged and interested in learning about computing.
- MacGyver Bot: Humanoid robot, created by professor Mike Stilman, that soon will be able to create tools from objects in its environment.
Visit the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide on the College of Computing website!
DISCLAIMER: The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is a lighthearted way to call attention to the College’s research. Though some of the items described in the Gift Guide are indeed available for purchase or free download, it is not intended as a practical reference for consumers.
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Anyone dealing with cyber security knows that staying ahead of hackers, spammers and nasty bots is a constant battle these days, and things are not likely to get better in the coming year, says the Georgia Tech Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2013.
The year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, escalating battles over the control of online information and continuous threats to the U.S. supply chain from global sources.
We’ve already seen some of the threats described in the report emerging this year here at the TechJournal, including bot attacks coming from a cloud services provider, sly redirects, and WordPress plugin hacks.
Those were the findings made by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) report.
The report was released at the annual Georgia Tech Cyber Security Summit, a gathering of industry and academic leaders who have distinguished themselves in the field of cyber security.
According to GTISC, GTRI and the experts cited in the report, specific threats to follow over the coming year include, among others:
- Cloud-based Botnets – The ability to create vast, virtual computing resources will further convince cyber criminals to look for ways to co-opt cloud-based infrastructure for their own ends. One possible example is for attackers to use stolen credit card information to purchase cloud computing resources and create dangerous clusters of temporary virtual attack systems.
- Search History Poisoning – Cyber criminals will continue to manipulate search engine algorithms and other automated mechanisms that control what information is presented to Internet users. Moving beyond typical search-engine poisoning, researchers believe that manipulating users’ search histories may be a next step in ways that attackers use legitimate resources for illegitimate gains.
- Mobile Browser and Mobile Wallet Vulnerabilities – While only a very small number of U.S. mobile devices show signs of infection, the explosive proliferation of smartphones will continue to tempt attackers in exploiting user and technology-based vulnerabilities, particularly with the browser function and digital wallet apps.
- Malware Counteroffensive – The developers of malicious software will employ various methods to hinder malware detection, such as hardening their software with techniques similar to those employed in Digital Rights Management (DRM), and exploiting the wealth of new interfaces and novel features on mobile devices.
“Every year, security researchers and experts see new evolutions in cyber threats to people, businesses and governments,” said Wenke Lee, director of GTISC.
“In 2013, we expect the continued movement of business and consumer data onto mobile devices and into the cloud will lure cyber criminals into attacking these relatively secure, but extremely tempting, technology platforms. Along with growing security vulnerabilities within our national supply chain and healthcare industry, the security community must remain proactive, and users must maintain vigilance, over the year ahead.
“Our adversaries, whether motivated by monetary gain, political/social ideology or otherwise, know no boundaries, making cyber security a global issue,” said Bo Rotoloni, director of GTRI’s Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory (CTISL).
“Our best defense on the growing cyber warfront is found in cooperative education and awareness, best-of-breed tools and robust policy developed collaboratively by industry, academia and government.”
The report can be downloaded by visiting http://www.gtsecuritysummit.com/report.html.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
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 Grayson, North 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