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Start-ups presenting at Southeast Venture Conference hail from DC to Florida

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

sevc 2014 logoOn May 6-7th at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta the Eighth Annual Southeast Venture Conference will present national and regional venture capitalists with over 50 of the most dynamic high-growth investment opportunities in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions.The first round of presenting companies offer a dynamic picture of the Southeast’s vibrant start-up scene from DC to Miami, Florida.

In addition to market-relevant panel topics and extensive executive and investor networking, this year those who attend will also hear keynotes from Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit, Lending Tree founder & CEO Doug Lebda and Cvent founder & CEO Reggie Aggarwal.

Several executive panels will provide additional insight for both venture capitalists and founders on topics ranging from Limited Partner viewpoints, M&A, fundraising strategies, entrepreneurial roundtables and venture investment trends among many others.

A list of venture firms committed to attending so far follows the presenting companies.

The first round of announced presenting companies include:

9Lenses | Sterling, VA
Advanced Animal Diagnostics
| Durham, NC
Aloe – Atlanta, GA
Ambition | Chattanooga, Tennessee
| Washington D.C.

Axial Exchange | Raleigh, NC
Brickstream | Norcross, GA
Campus Bubble | Atlanta, GA
ChartSpan | Greenville, SC
Checkd.In | Nashville, TN

Cinegif | Austin, TX
CircleBackLending | Boca Raton, FL
DecisionLink | Atlanta, GA
Digital Reasoning| Nashville, TN
EarlyShares| Miami, FL
Evermind | Nashville, TN
Heyo | Blacksburg, VA

INRFOOD | Durham, NC
Kanga | Atlanta, GA
Kleo | Miami, FL
LinguaSys | Boca Raton, FL
M2SYS Technology | Atlanta, GA
Monsieur | Atlanta, GA
Passport Parking | Charlotte, NC
Patientco | Atlanta, GA
PatientFocus | Nashville, TN
Paymetric | Alpharetta, GA
PhishMe | Chantilly, VA

Quad Learning | Washington D.C. 
Royalty Exchange | Raleigh, NC
Screwpulp | Memphis, TN
Solicore | Lakeland, FL

Springbot | Atlanta, GA
uKnow | Arlington, VA
Uruut | Atlanta, GA
Variable | Chattanooga, Tennessee

Voterheads |  Columbia, SC
Voxa | Atlanta, GA
Windsor Circle – Durham, NC

ZeroFOX | Baltimore, MD

Venture capital firms that will attend include:

• ABS Capital
• Advanced Technology Ventures
• Alerion Capital
• Atlanta Technology Angels
• Atlanta Ventures
• Ballast Point Ventures
• Berwind Private Equity
• Bonaventure Capital
• Bull City Venture Partners
• Catalyst Investors
• Centurion Venture Group
• CNF Investments
• Contender Capital
• Core Capital Partners
• Delta Electronics Capital
• Draper Fischer Jurvetson
• Duart Mull
• ff Venture Capital
• Fifth Street Partners
• Florida Growth Fund
• Flybridge Capital Partners
• Forte Ventures
• Frontier Capital
• Fulcrum Equity Partners
• FuturePerfect Ventures
• G20 Ventures
• Grotech Ventures
• Hamilton Lane
• Harbert Venture Partners
• HarbourVest Partners
• Horizon Technology Finance
• IDEA Fund Partners
• In-Q-Tel
• Intel Capital
• Kinetic Ventures
• Landmark Angels
• LLR Partners
• Morgan Creek Capital Management
• Mosley Ventures
• Multiplier Capital
• Noro-Moseley Partners
• North Bridge Venture Partners
• Polaris Partners
• Revolution Ventures
• River Cities Capital Funds
• Safeguard Scientifics
• SoftBank Capital
• Southern Capitol Ventures
• Spectrum Equity
• Spring Capital Partners
• SSM Partners
• Staley Capital
• Stonehenge Growth Equity
• Stonewall Capital
• SunBridge Partners
• Susquehanna Growth Equity
• TA Associates
• Tech Square Ventures
• Timberline Investment Company
• Volition Capital
• Vulcan Capital

Up to date registration and information at

Political uncertainty worries small business owners

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Capitol BuildingWhat are small business owners most worried about these days? According to  the Newtek Business Services monthly survey, 60% of business owners believe uncertainty in Washington has had the greatest negative effect on the economy.

Of the remaining, 22% believe income tax increases have had the greatest negative effect on the economy and 18% believe payroll tax increase had the greatest negative effect on the economy.

The full March 2013 results showed the following:

Poll Question Poll Answer Percentage
Which of the following items has had the greatest negative effect on the economy? Payroll Tax Increase 18%
Income Tax Increase 22%
Uncertainty in Washington 60%

Barry Sloane , Chairman, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority said, “With all of the data obtained in today’s society, our independent business owners are still most concerned over the confusion and uncertainty in Washington.

Despite payroll tax increases, Obamacare, and a weak economy, the uncertainty over what the Federal Government is doing to the business climate is our small business clienteles’ biggest worry. The uncertainty and lack of confidence in Washington continues to put a damper on future decision making, risk taking and economic forward thinking.”

The results of this survey align with what several economists and financial leaders have told the TechJournal. The economy is poised to grow, but the biggest headwind is the political uncertainty.

We don’t know about you, but we think politicians need to start doing more work and less grandstanding. Politics is the art of compromise, something many in DC have apparently forgotten or no longer believe.

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.”


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.”


Top ten cities for private tech M&A ranked

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Washington DC

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
3. Boston
4. Los Angeles
5. Seattle
6. Austin
7. Washington, D.C. (Arlington)
8. Atlanta
9. Dallas
10. Houston

To access PrivCo’s 350 page 2012 Private Tech M&A Industry Report:

Five reasons you should attend SEVC 2013

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

SEVC 2013Need a reason why you should attend the Seventh Annual Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14? Here’s five:

First, you’ll make connections with the region’s top technology entrepreneurs and executives.

More than 50 presenting companies and hundreds of high growth company C-suite execs attending, you’ll have an unsurpassed opportunity to build partnerships and hear about the latest startup trends.

Second, you’ll have an unparalleled opportunity to network with investors and venture firms from throughout the United States, not just regional firms.

Whether you’re in venture fundraising mode or an investor looking to further relationships with fellow investors for deal flow, SEVC is the vehicle to make those connections.

We’ve interviewed several of the participating venture capitalists at the TechJournal, with more to come. Here’s a sample:


Brian Rich

Brian Rich, managing director, co-founder, Catalyst Ventures.He’s participating in the Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14.

How to pitch a venture capitalist (interview with Brian Rich of Catalyst Ventures).

SecondMarket turns dead equity into productive equity (interview with SecondMarket’s Matt Shapiro).

The bar is higher for startups seeking first round financing (interview with Intel Capital’s East Coast Director, Mark Rostick).

Will there be an app economy in five years? (interview with Ron Shah of the Stripes Group).

Seven lessons from the dark side (interview with Grotech’s Don Rainey).

What does it take to build a startup to successful IPO? (interview with Bob Hower, general partner at Advanced Technology Ventures).

Also see: Startups aim to put Charlotte on the map (Charlotte Observer story focused on Terry Cox, founder and CEO of BIG (Business Innovation Growth) in Charlotte. It includes background on how Charlotte was chosen to host the event.

And three more reasons SEVC can kick up your chances for success:



3. You’ll gain market insight and success strategies from innovation and technology community’s brightest starts.

From the CEO of SAP to the Publisher of Forbes – SEVC will feature over 40 speakers discussing the latest trends, best practices and strategies relating to technology and entrepreneurial growth. You’ll learn from them not just during roundtable discussions, but in one on one situations through hours of networking.


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.

Panel & Presentation topics include:

  • State of Venture Capital
  • Early Stage Fundraising
  • Value Creation: Company/Investor Relationship
  • Growth Stage Funding
  • M&A Outlook and Strategies
  • LP Viewpoint
  • SaaS Investment Trends
  • Getting to Market
  • IPO & Secondary Market Outlook
  • Entrepreneur’s Roundtable
  • International Health Care Trends

4. To make networking and private meetings even easier, there is an online pre-event networking platform for attendees. 

At SEVC, the online networking platform allows attendees to connect with one another prior, during and after the conference. Attendees can see other attendee’s interests, request and setup meetings and connect helping to maximize the lasting connections you’ll make at this year’s conference.

5. Even more CXO and Venture Partner networking to create relationships that can last your entire career.

Networking is center stage at SEVC. Over one and a half days there are 3 separate open bar networking receptions, a networking breakfast, lunch networking and 7 additional networking breaks.

The event sells out, so it’s a good idea to Register today.


Grotech VC offers seven lessons on entrepreneurship “from the dark side”

Monday, February 18th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Don Rainey

Don Rainey

Does price really matter in a venture financing deal? Can “small ideas” still get funded?

Don Rainey, a former entrepreneur, says his 12-years “on the dark side” as a venture capitalist, have taught him a handful of lessons that still serve him daily, among them, answers to those questions and others.

Rainey, a general partner with Grotech Ventures since 2007, was named to the Washingtonian’s “Tech Titans” list in 2011, and currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Clarabridge, GramercyOne, HelloWallet, LivingSocial, Personal, SnappCloud, and Zenoss. He’s one of more than two-dozen venture capitalists and other investors participating in the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, March 13-14.

Price doesn’t matter

On his blog, VC in DC, Rainy outlined ten of the lessons about entrepreneurship that still guide him.

That business about price, for instance. “Price doesn’t really matter,” he says. “If you invest in something htat fails, it’s immaterial. If it wins, you might hope you had bought it a little cheaper, but you’ll always wish for that. The question is, is it something you believe in? If a deal works out, the price was right at some level. Get in good deals, and forget about getting the last dollar in a negotiation for that good deal.”

He adds, “We’re judged by whether the companies we invest in succeed, not the price.” Also, he notes, “Sometimes you do everything right and sill lose. Macro events can put real pressures on a company. Just think if you had gone into something aimed at financial services in 2007. Some things are beyond your control.”

Don’t pursue small ideas

Big ideas and small ideas are equally difficult, he says. But a venture capital firm has to have some multiple return on the capital it invests and can’t support small ideas, Rainey says. On his blog, he writes,  “What’s the point in trying to change the neighborhood when you can change the world.”

You’re not a rock star

“I’m very suspect of the venture capitalist who wants to be in front of the parade,” Rainey says. “That’s the role of the entrepreneur. We’re enablers, not the primary actors.”

Add value outside of board meetings

Portfolio company board meetings are not the place where a VC adds real value to the firm’s investment. “Private conversations over coffee, lunch, or late at night is when you really can influence the CEO,” Rainey says.

Don’t Invest in People who don’t take advice

Some entrepreneurs have a world class talent for ignoring good advice, Rainey notes on his blog. “I’ve done this 12 years and only had one CEO who ignored my advice and failed. He made a point of it. It wasn’t personal, he ignored everyone’s good advice. A good CEO listens to everyone.”

Then, he’ll let you know he heard you, saying something like, “I concur on these four items from your suggestions. “That’s what the smart ones do,” Rainey says. “They assimilate all that advice and incorporate it into their own perspective.”

Never Panic

Starting and running a business is often fraught with extreme ups and downs, more than one entrepreneur has told us. One day you land a really big customer, the next everyone you talk to says “No.” An entrepreneur has to be able to ride that roller coaster. “One of the great assets of an entrepreneur is confidence,” Rainey says.

“It does ebb and flow. There are days when you’re driving to work thinking there is no way you could be more screwed than you are at that moment, but when you get to work, you find out you were wrong, there are ways it can be worse. It’s hard. People don’t always appreciate how challenging it can be to be able to swing above your weight in the face of weeks or months of bad news. But you have to keep on fighting, even with a strong headwind.”

Be nice to people, it pays well

“In a business like ours,” Rainey says, “You have to say ‘no’ to 99 of 100 people who come to you for money. If you’re not nice to people, even when you have to say ‘no,’ they remember. They also remember if you were nice about it. None of knows where we’ll be in five years or what we’ll be doing.”


IT execs support tax reform and innovation incentives

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Washington DCInformation technology executives show strong support for simplifying the U.S. tax code, reducing small business taxes, and creating incentives for growth and innovation, says a new white paper from CompTIA.

The white paper, Smart Tax Reforms for the IT Industry, examines the policy priorities of small and medium-sized IT businesses.

The survey found that specific tax code provisions and policies, such as payroll tax and the corporate tax rate, constrain potential growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), curtailing their ability to invest in their own companies, hire high-skilled employees and serve customers in a globally competitive fashion.

Nearly one in three surveyed (32 percent) rated payroll tax filings as costly and complicated for their companies. Six in ten (61 percent) cited reduction in the payroll tax as important, while nearly the same (56 percent) prioritized reduction in the corporate tax rate.

“The IT sector is rightly concerned that outdated and poorly applied tax provisions divert their attention away from running and growing their businesses to meet market demands and compete on a global scale,” said Todd Thibodeaux , president and chief executive officer, CompTIA.

“Small and medium-sized tech businesses have room to grow if national leaders remove unnecessary tax compliance burdens and preserve tax policies that incentivize investments.”

CompTIA lays out four key principles of tax reform:

1. Simplify the Tax Code. The cost of compliance weighs heavily on small and medium-sized IT businesses. One in five (21 percent) indicated that estimated tax filings were second only to payroll tax filings as costly and complicated. Increasing the $1,000 threshold for annual payroll tax returns whereby small employers could file annually as opposed to quarterly would reduce reporting costs and errors.

2. Reduce the Tax Burden on the SMB IT Industry. SMB IT companies cite a reduction in payroll tax costs as a top concern, which if reduced would encourage businesses to hire more workers, which in turn will lead to increased economic growth nationwide. While a reduction in payroll tax leads the list at 61 percent, reduction in corporate tax rate (56 percent) and increasing small business expensing (Section 179) (44 percent) rated close behind.

3. Incentivize Growth and Innovation. Many start-up IT firms are economically unable to make needed investments in equipment, workforce and research without tax reforms that provide incentives for investments, which include deductions that allow companies to focus their efforts on hiring and market demand capitalization.

These reforms include: supporting the research and education tax credit, which would allow start-up companies to offset credits against payroll tax liability; bonus depreciation to promote investment and growth; and expanding Section 179 small business expensing to enable small businesses to invest in technologies that improve productivity and quality of goods and services.

4. Protect SMB IT Firms from New Interstate Tax Compliance Burdens. A confusing web of overlapping state taxes will create excessive compliance burdens for small and medium-sized companies. Chief among these are taxes on businesses that do not have a physical presence or workforce within a given state.

For any legislation that requires small business to collect sales taxes for foreign state taxing authorities, CompTIA recommends a robust small business exemption.

Tax reform for small businesses will be one of the top legislative priorities when CompTIA members gather for the TechVoice D.C. Fly-In on February 12-14, 2013. The fly-in gives IT business leaders throughout the country an opportunity to meet with congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., to discuss policy priorities. For more information about the 2013 TechVoice D.C. Fly-In, visit


State and local governments wasting billions to lure firms from other states

Friday, January 25th, 2013

US mapState 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

Need funding? SEVC seeks presenting companies for March event

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 andyou can view a list of past presenters here.


Telsa clinches top spot on Deloitte Technology Fast 500

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Telsa Model S

Telsa Model S

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) clinched the top spot in the Deloitte 012 Technology Fast 500 with fiscal year 2011 revenue of $204.24 million and a growth rate of 279,684 percent from 2007 to 2011.

Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company designs and manufactures electric vehicles and electric vehicle power train components. Palo Alto Networks, in Santa Clara, CA, was second.

Software firms dominated the list for the 17th straight year, comprising 40 percent of the list with 200 companies. Biotech and the Internet sector tied for second place, each with 13 percent of the list.

“The 2012 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winners have demonstrated remarkable innovation and spectacular growth,” said Eric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader, Deloitte.

“Some of the most exciting and useful developments of the future are being created by the companies on this list. We congratulate Tesla and all of the winning companies on this impressive achievement.”

“Tesla took great strides as a company this past year by successfully delivering Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan to customers, and executing a steep production ramp while creating more than 2,000 jobs in the U.S.,” said Deepak Ahuja, chief financial officer at Tesla Motors. ”

The top ten ranked companies are as follows:

2012 Rank Company Sector Revenue Growth

(2007 to 2011)

City, State
1 Tesla Motors, Inc. Clean technology 279,684 percent Palo Alto, CA
2 Palo Alto Networks Communications/


166,938 percent Santa Clara, CA
3 Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Biotechnology/


146,443 percent Schaumburg, IL
4 FireEye, Inc. Communications/


55,413 percent Milpitas, CA
5 Aerohive Networks, Inc. Communications/


44,569 percent Sunnyvale, CA
6 Avail-TVN Media and entertainment 38,479 percent Reston, VA
7 NeoStem Biotechnology/


31,721 percent New York, NY
8 Avigilon Corporation Software 29,917 percent Vancouver, BC
9 Recondo Technology Software 25,482 percent Greenwood

Village, CO

10 EcoSynthetix Inc. Clean technology 25,327 percent Burlington, ON

Innovation hot spots continue to sizzle

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winners hail from cities far and wide across North America – from Portland, Maine; to Denver, Colo.; to Vancouver, British Columbia. Of the dozens of cities represented on the list, some have a particularly strong track record of consistently attracting inventive entrepreneurs and providing them with a supportive environment.

“Creative and cutting-edge cities often have several things in common including access to capital, supportive local governments, and world-class education systems,” said Bill Ribaudo, national technology, media and telecommunications leader for audit and enterprise risk services, Deloitte & Touche.

“Many of these cities have the resources and culture that startups need to thrive, and so they have become innovation powerhouses and consistently turn out fast-growing companies year over year.”

Following is a list of innovative cities with a significant concentration of winners.

Location Percent of List Fastest-growing Company in the





San Francisco Bay area 20 percent Tesla Motors, Inc. 1
Boston 9 percent HubSpot 17
New York 6 percent NeoStem 7
Los Angeles 6 percent EdgeCast Networks 13
Washington D.C. 6 percent Avail-TVN 6
Philadelphia 6 percent MeetMe, Inc. 32
San Diego 6 percent Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 15
Toronto 5 percent EcoSynthetix Inc. 10

Software still dominates

For the seventeenth consecutive year, software companies dominated the list, comprising 40 percent of the overall list with 200 companies. The biotechnology/pharmaceutical sector and internet sectors were tied for second place with 13 percent of the list, and the communications/networking sector came in at a close third place with 12 percent of the list.

Sector rankings are as follows:

Sector Sector make-up

of Fast 500

Fastest-growing Company in

the Sector




City, State
Software 40 percent Avigilon 8 Vancouver, BC


13 percent Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 3 Schaumburg, IL
Internet 13 percent EdgeCast Networks 13 Santa Monica, CA
Communications/Networking 12 percent Palo Alto Networks 2 Santa Clara, CA
Clean Technology 7 percent Tesla Motors, Inc. 1 Palo Alto, CA
Medical devices 5 percent MAKO Surgical Corp. 18 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Media and entertainment 4 percent Avail-TVN 6 Reston, VA
Semiconductor 3 percent SiTime Corporation 38 Sunnyvale, CA
Computers/peripherals 2 percent Layer 7 Technologies 183 Vancouver, BC
Scientific/technical instrumentation 1 percent Obzerv 239 Quebec, QC

For additional detail on the Technology Fast 500 including the complete list and qualifying criteria, visit

2013 Southeast Venture Conference set for Charlotte in March

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,
  • Jonathan Perrelli, Founding Partner,
  • 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



Which states lead in the job-creating app economy?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

mobile devicesThe app economy has created 519,000 jobs nationwide and is a significant economic driver for a number of states, according to a study released today by CTIA-The Wireless Association and the Application Developers Alliance.

The report, entitled “The Geography of the App Economy,” also calculates the number of app economy jobs in each state, the “app intensity” (share of app economy jobs relative to overall jobs) and the economic impact for states. The research was conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel andJudith Scherer of South Mountain Economics, LLC

Some unexpected states on top in app economy

While app innovation is occurring across the country, particularly in renowned high-tech areas such as California and Washington, some unexpected states have emerged to the top app economy states.

For example, Virginia and Maryland have close ties to government agencies and the military thus are developing apps for those sectors. Massachusetts’ app developers are making higher education more accessible, while one Colorado app developer created the iTriage app, which helps people identify what could be wrong based on their medical symptoms.

The app economy is in its infancy, but is growing at an exponential rate. Apple iTunes and Android Market application stores first opened in 2008. According to CTIA’s research, there are more than 2.4 million apps available on more than 11 different operating systems from more than 28 independent non-carrier stores. In 2011, the mobile app revenue was almost $10 billion[1], but by 2016, it’s expected to be more than $46 billion.[2]

The top 10 app economy states, ranked by economic impact (per million each year), are:

  1. California = $8,241
  2. Washington = $2,671
  3. New York = $2,313
  4. Texas = $1,183
  5. Massachusetts = $1,143
  6. New Jersey = $1,087
  7. Georgia = $1,062
  8. Illinois = $847
  9. Virginia  = $788
  10. Pennsylvania = $632

The “app intensity” is determined by taking the percentage of app economy jobs in a state as a share of total jobs, which measures the importance of these jobs to a state. The national average is 1.

The top 10 “app intensity” states and intensity figures are:

  1. Washington = 4.47
  2. California = 2.71
  3. Massachusetts = 1.71
  4. Oregon = 1.70
  5. Georgia = 1.56
  6. New Jersey = 1.29
  7. New York = 1.16
  8. Virginia = 1.04
  9. Delaware = 0.93
  10. Colorado = 0.90

Apps are increasingly a part of consumers’ everyday lives. Consumers’ insatiable demand for apps is driving the app innovation across the country.

An example of the rapid growth of innovation, Applico, a New York-based app development firm and board member of the Application Developers Alliance, hired its first employee in May 2010 and expects to employ as many as 150 by the end of 2012.

“The app economy took off in 2008 and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a significant driver of great jobs that pay well while fostering and creating truly revolutionary and innovative ideas, products and services. Few could have known four years ago that we’d use our wireless devices to improve efficiency and effectiveness in industries such as health care, education, transportation and utilities.”

He adds, “Precisely predicting what those capabilities will be four years from now is just as challenging, but I’m confident that the wireless industry’s competitiveness and customer service-driven focus will lead to more awe-inspiring and innovative wireless devices and apps,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent.

“The app industry is a borderless economic force, providing opportunity across the country–even in places we might not expect.  In a challenging economic environment, the app industry has created more than a half million jobs in the five years since Apple’s iPhone launched. This new industry is propelling innovation and jobs in urban centers and rural states. And this is just the beginning,” said Jon Potter, President of the Application Developers Alliance.

“The mobile app economy is still in its infancy and it’s accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Mobile apps are creating a tectonic shift in how everyone lives their lives and operates their businesses. As a result, jobs are being created across the spectrum – both technical and non-technical,” said Alex Moazed, President and CEO of Applico and member of the Alliance Board.

Building on the February 2012 study by South Mountain Economics that measured the total number of app jobs nationwide, this study delves deeper into the App Economy.

Researchers examined The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) database of help wanted ads in each state to calculate the number of app jobs as well as the economic impact of each state’s app economy.

Good news and bad seen for small businesses on Intuit Index

Monday, October 1st, 2012

IntuitU.S. small business employment continued to grow slowly in September, while hours worked and compensation rose. Revenue in August declined for the sixth consecutive month.

These are among the results for the monthly Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes, which together provide a current picture of the economic health of the nation’s small businesses.

The Small Business Employment Index shows that employment rose by 0.2 percent in September, which is an annualized growth rate of 2.5 percent. The growth equates to approximately 40,000 new jobs created in September, although Intuit is recalibrating the employment index and expects these numbers to change. Average monthly compensation grew by 0.6 percent, or $17, an increase from the growth of $2 seen last month. Average monthly hours worked increased by 0.18 percent, or 12 minutes. The index is based on data fromIntuit Online Payroll and covers the period from January 2007 through Sept. 23.

The Small Business Revenue Index indicates that August small business revenue fell by 0.4 percent from the previous month. Continuing July’s trend, the retail industry, along with the accommodation and food services sector, saw the biggest declines at minus 0.7 percent respectively. Construction followed with a decline of 0.6 percent. The index is based on data from QuickBooks Online and covers the period from January 2005 through Aug. 31.

“This month’s indexes bring both good and bad news,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the indexes.

“The bad news is that while revenue rose earlier in this tepid recovery, they are now dropping for most industries. In addition, small business employment is growing very slowly, and is essentially flat.

“Couple that with the slow employment growth of less than one-tenth of a percent for big businesses, and we see a slim chance of full employment anytime soon.

Big comeback for startups seen

“The good news is that more people are going into business for themselves. After five years of declining self-employment beginning in January 2007, we began seeing a big comeback starting in November 2011.

“Nearly 600,000 additional self-employed folks have been added since then, and there are now 14.2 million people who are self-employed. One theory is that the decline in revenue per business may reflect the entry of these new businesses into the economy.”

Small Business Revenue Index

Small businesses overall saw a decline in revenue in August. The health care and social assistance saw the smallest decline of all the industries, at minus 0.3 percent, which is slightly less than the 0.4 percent decline seen in the previous month. The health care sector, has however, had the longest decline, starting in November 2011.

Sector August Change in Revenue
All - 0.4%
Accommodation, food services and drinking places - 0.7%
Retail trade - 0.7%
Construction - 0.6%
Professional, scientific and technical services - 0.5%
Real estate and rental and leasing - 0.5%
Other services - 0.3%
Health care and social assistance - 0.3%

The Intuit Small Business Revenue Index is based on data from more than 100,000 small businesses, a subset of the total QuickBooks Online financial management user base.

Small Business Employment Index

Based on September’s numbers and revised national employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Intuit revised upward the previously reported August growth rate to 0.2 percent from 0.16 percent. This equates to 50,000 jobs added in August, up from a previously reported 30,000 jobs, though these numbers are expected to change once the index is recalibrated.

Increase in Hours Worked, Increase in Compensation

Small business hourly employees worked an average of 107.2 hours in September, an increase of 0.18 percent, or about 12 minutes, from the revised figure of 107.0 hours in August, making for a 24.7-hour workweek.

Average monthly pay for all small business employees rose to $2,768 in September, an increase of 0.6 percent, or $17, from the August revised figure of $2,751 per month. The equivalent annual wages would be about $33,200 per year, which is part-time work for many small business employees.

Small Business Employment by Geography

The Employment Index showed growth in overall employment in September for all regions except for the West North Central and the Middle Atlantic divisions, which fell by 0.13 percent and 0.05 percent respectively. A state-by-state breakdown showed the largest employment increases in Washington and Michigan, a trend that continued from last month. New York and Oregon saw the largest decreases.

U.S. Census Division Percent Change in Employment
East North Central + 0.3%
West North Central - 0.13%
Middle Atlantic - 0.05%
Mountain + 0.10%
New England + 0.12%
Pacific + 0.3%
South Atlantic + 0.3%
East South Central + 0.14%
West South Central + 0.4%

Small Business Employment by U.S. Census Division continues to grow in most parts of the country. The data reflects employment from approximately 84,000 small business employers, a subset of small businesses that use Intuit Online Payroll. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

State Change in Employment
Arizona + 0.02%
California + 0.40%
Colorado + 0.30%
Florida + 0.50%
Georgia + 0.20%
Illinois + 0.20%
Maryland + 0.40%
Massachusetts - 0.04%
Michigan + 0.80%
New Jersey + 0.16%
New York - 0.20%
North Carolina + 0.02%
Oregon - 0.13%
Pennsylvania - 0.09%
Texas + 0.40%
Virginia + 0.18%
Washington + 0.50%

Small Business Employment increased for most states in which Intuit Online Payroll has more than 1,000 small business firms. The month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted and informative about the overall economy.

Need tech talent? Hacker Tour connecting startups and students

Friday, August 24th, 2012

hacker tour busIt can be tough for tech start-ups to recruit engineering and science students for internships and jobs without brand recognition. The Readyforce Hacker Tour 2012 is intended to help remedy that via an eight-week national bus tour designed to connect students and startups.

The Hacker Tour includes campus career fairs, CEO/CTO speakers, meetups, coding competitions and “maybe a party or two.”

It will stop at schools across the country, many in tech hubs from the San Francisco Bay Area to The Research Triangle, NC. It will visit Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Other stops include Boston, Austin, and San Diego.

Stops on the Hacker 2012 Tour:

hackerforce tour map

Companies invited to sign-up

Readyforce invites companies interested in joining Hacker Tour 2012 to learn more and register at:

Sponsors include early stage companies like Red Owl Analytics, Codeacademy and Quixey and later stage organizations like Etsy and Sonos.

It seems to be helping start-ups looking for talent.

“Partnering with ReadyForce on the Hacker Tour will expose ZestFinance to thousands more students across a much more diverse set of universities than we would be able to accomplish on our own,”  says Adam Redlich, Head of Talent Acquisition at ZestFinance.

“At Elance, we create opportunities for students to work for themselves while they build an online portfolio that gives them an edge in the competitive job market,” said Rich Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer, Elance. “We are excited to be a part of the inaugural Hacker Tour because it is a unique way to tell students about a unique job opportunity.”

“At SoundCloud, we are always looking to hear from talented and motivated individuals across all disciplines, so sponsoring Readyforce’s Hacker Tour represents a natural fit for us,” said Eric Wahlforss, CTO and co-founder, SoundCloud.

 Colleges like the program

Colleges and universities are also enthusiastic.

Corbett Morgan,  startup analyst at the Technology Commercialization & Knowledge Transfer Office, The Ohio State University, says,  “Readyforce is the progressive, soon to be widely adopted, method for students to interface with startups; the Readyforce Hacker Tour makes this opportunity tangible.”

He adds, “Telling a talented student, ‘Startups want you and your skills. They are coming to you and they want to meet YOU,’ is a powerful message and undoubtedly bridges the disconnect inherent in the outdated apply-online recruitment method.”


Expanded I-Corps program could result in hundreds of startups

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Steve Blank

I-Corps is built on the Lean LaunchPad curriculum pioneered by Silicon Valley startup veteran Steve Blank, above, author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual

This is a huge week for the National Science Foundation, home of the new I-Corps program that, by Friday, will have trained 100 teams of scientists how to turn their innovations into American businesses and jobs.

The NSF I-Corps teaches top U.S. scientists how to be entrepreneurs, how to commercialize their technology, and how to attract private capital. It may be the only U.S. government jobs program supported by both political parties.

The I-Corps program was designed, built, tested and scaled within a year. It leverages the country’s commitment to research, its partnership with private capital and its tolerance for failure in a uniquely American way.

I-Corps says it will taxpayers back with jobs and a competitive edge on a global scale.

On Wednesday, NSF will host an I-Corps anniversary event featuring a celebration and panel.

The nation’s 50 Governors learned about the program and its results from Steve Blank, architect of the program, based on the Customer Development model he created and teaches worldwide.

In the week ahead:

  • Congressional hearing on the NSF program today in Chicago (home to Congressman Dan Lipinski of the House Subcommittee on Research and Science Education Committee on Science, Space, and Technology). I-Corps architect Steve Blank will be called to testify on results. (Ironically, the NSF I-Corp may well be the only education and jobs creation program that both parties support this election year.)
  • A major program update/announcement at NSF headquarters Wednesday, July 18
  • Many other major government and research agencies are working to launch I-Corps programs to generate startups this year
  • NSF will soon announce expansion of the program to a dozen or so more universities
  • two new Universities–George Tech and U of Michigan–begin teaching 54 more teams this month
  • 50 teams of the country’s best scientists and engineers will go through the class every 90 days

I-Corps is built on the Lean LaunchPad curriculum pioneered by Silicon Valley startup veteran Steve Blank, author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual.

A retired serial entrepreneur, author, and educator who teaches at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and Columbia Business School, Blank is best known as the creator of Customer Development, the innovation process that launched the lean startup movement.

Additional information about I-Corps can be found at

Information about the Lean LaunchPad is here:

Entrepreneurs fuel job and revenue growth even in sluggish economy

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Ernst & YoungDespite a persistently high U.S. unemployment rate and sluggish overall economic growth, one segment of the U.S. economy continues to exceed expectations – entrepreneurs.

According to data compiled by Ernst & Young LLP from more than 600 finalists of the 2012 US Entrepreneur of the Year program, innovation-driven entrepreneurs continue to defy the odds, expanding their companies, spurring job growth and creating momentum in an otherwise moribund economy.

Research compiled from these companies, which together employ nearly 700,000 workers, affirms that, nationally, these innovative, expansion-oriented entrepreneurs continue to grow impressively, achieving the following between 2009-2011:

  • 30 percent job growth, compared to negative overall U.S. job growth (approx. -1 percent)[1]
  • 48 percent revenue growth, compared to overall U.S. revenue growth of 5.6 percent[2]

“These results are proof that entrepreneurs, who are focusing on innovation and new-market expansion, are doing far better than the national averages,” said Bryan Pearce, director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program for the Americas.

Optimistic and continuing to hire

“These entrepreneurs are more optimistic about the future and are continuing to hire.

This positive attitude and forward momentum amidst uncertainty truly characterize the entrepreneurs who have inspired our 26-year-old recognition program. Their confidence led the rate of employment growth among these companies to double between 2010-2011.”

Employment growth

Entrepreneur of the Year finalist data spans 26 regions across the US and can also be segmented into nine industry categories. Energy, cleantech and natural resources led the group in employment gains at 49 percent between 2009 and 2011; technology followed at 42 percent and services at 33 percent. Life sciences had the slowest employment growth.

Regional employment growth was led by entrepreneurial companies from the Southeast region, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, whose employee ranks jumped 71 percent over two years. Rounding out the top three were the Southwest, including Dallas, Texas and the surrounding area, which produced job growth of 42 percent, and the Northeast which turned in 35 percent employment growth.

A separate Ernst & Young global report issued in June that surveyed more than 400 award-winning entrepreneurs worldwide showed that the majority of positions these companies created were filled by experienced employees with university degrees.

Revenue growth

Revenue growth among Entrepreneur of the Year finalists was equally impressive. Sectors leading the group in revenue gains between 2009 and 2011 were energy, cleantech and natural resources at 87 percent, technology at 73 percent and retail and consumer products as well as distribution and manufacturing, both at 49 percent. Real estate, construction and lodging had the slowest revenue growth.

Regionally, East Central finalists, consisting of companies based in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C, Virginia and Maryland, turned in impressive numbers, with 63 percent revenue growth over the past two years.

Southeast, Midwest have healthy gains

Also putting up healthy gains were the finalists from the Southwest and Midwest, with revenue growth rates of 53 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

“For almost five years, the U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year awards winners have generated double-digit revenue and employment growth,” added Pearce. “Their global mindset and ability to innovate make them the success stories that will keep America competitive.”

Impact of access to capital

The Entrepreneur of the Year finalist data also showed significant differences in both employment and revenue growth for companies that acquired funding from private investors over their life-cycles versus those that did not receive outside investment.  In fact, companies that received private funding grew revenues at 178 percent and employment at 32% over the past two years.

“Companies’ challenges in accessing capital continue to drive a more intense focus on business fundamentals – as banks and other lenders are looking for long and unwavering histories of success when making their decisions,” said Herb Engert, Ernst & Young Americas Strategic Growth Markets Leader.

“These entrepreneurs have been able to provide evidence of solid year-over-year growth through the worst of the recent global recession. It is heartening to see such determination yield such tremendous success.”

Romney trails Obama in “social media brand”

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

SocialMatica, the innovative leader of social media analytics, today released results of over 5 weeks of competitive data tracking, both digital and social, on the 2012 Presidential campaign. Results show Obama with a considerable lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has been standing still in social ranking since the inception of SocialMatica’s presidential campaign tracking efforts.

Complete dashboards can be viewed on SocialMatica’s website (

“When Mitt Romney became the inevitable Republican candidate, we shifted our tracking efforts away from the GOP Primary race and onto the 2012 presidential race.

What is surprising is the use of social media by Obama’s campaign, and relative lack of visibility from  Romney. As such, Obama’s brand value, or equity, continues to rise, leaving a serious gap for Romney to contend with,” said Gary Hermansen, CEO of SocialMatica.

“When we review the Top Topics of conversation for each candidate, collected and analyzed with our proprietary web crawling technology, we see some very interesting results. President Obama is trending with topics that more closely align with a national perspective – for example Nation, Economy and Taxes.

Romney’s topics seem to be looking backwards at the Republican Primary.

His social conversations remain centered around his colleagues Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. What we also find interesting is the dominance of the Huffington Post on social media ranking, out-performing other media outlets by 5x,” continued Hermansen.

SocialMatica provides analysis and rankings of the 2012 presidential election gathered from vast amounts of available online data, including Facebook, blogs, twitter feeds, LinkedIn, online news sites, discussion groups, forums, and web traffic.

Cvent names the top 100 meeting hotels in the U.S.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Peabody Orlando

Interior of the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the number one meeting hotel in the U.S., according to Cvent

Cvent, the world’s largest cloud-based provider of event management and venue selection solutions, has named the top 100 hotels for meetings in the United States, according to meeting and event planners in the Cvent Supplier Network.

The Cvent Supplier Network is a free online marketplace that connects meeting planners with over 200,000 venues worldwide; it generated $4 billion in business for hotels in 2011 and projects more than $5.5 billion to be generated in 2012.

In addition, over 100,000 meetings were booked on the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011 alone.

The list of hotels was compiled from a pool of 80,000 hotels in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network. The ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:

  • The number of electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) the property received from the Cvent Supplier Network in 2011;
  • The hotel’s average response rate to the RFPs sent through the marketplace;
  • The number of meeting rooms available;
  • The total square footage of meeting space offered at the hotel; and
  • The amount of business the property was awarded in 2011 by meeting planners through the Cvent Supplier Network.

The list is comprised of venues from a variety of locales, spanning 17 states and the District of Columbia. Florida represents the largest number of meeting hotels in the top 100, taking nearly one-fifth of the list at a total of 19 properties.

Nevada comes in second with 14 properties, and the state of Texas takes third place with a total of 13 hotels on the list.

Top 10 Meeting Hotels in the U.S.

1. The Peabody Orlando, Orlando, Florida

2. Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee

3. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

4. Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Florida

5. The Venetian and Palazzo Resort, Hotel & Casinos, Las Vegas, Nevada

6. Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

7. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

8. The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, Georgia

9. ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Las Vegas, Nevada

10. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

For the complete list of Cvent’s Top 100 Meeting Hotels in the U.S. visit

More than 65 percent of federal agencies telework & mobile ready

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
Capitol building

DC is number one on the Norton list of the riskiest online U.S. cities.

Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the tangible value of telework, says the results of “The 2012-2013 Telework/Mobile IT Almanac,” reveals that 65 percent of Federal agencies cite above-average IT programs for enabling telework and mobility. Additionally, Federal IT executives expect mobile device use to increase by 20 percent by 2013.

The survey, a snapshot of where Federal agencies stand on enabling remote workers, delivers a forecast for mobile IT investments.

To prepare for the mobile storm, agencies are focused on improving and expanding security, networks, and wireless access.

“More than half of Federal agencies are making the grade in terms of enabling the growing mobile workforce. They serve as a model for others looking to strengthen their telework programs in the most efficient way possible”

Current Conditions

Federal IT respondents estimate 21 percent of employees currently telework. Forecasting ahead, 59 percent of respondents expect more regular teleworkers and 45 percent expect more part-time mobile workers in the next two years.

Driven by improved workforce productivity, agencies must support the most frequently used applications. Agencies with above-average programs – the 65 percent of agencies polled that scored an “A” or “B” in telework IT readiness – noted laptops, smartphones, remote desktop access, instant messaging, and video/Web conferencing as the top five telework/mobility tools.

Teleworkers across all surveyed agencies frequently use applications such as email (91 percent), HTTPS (47 percent), remote desktops or thin client computing (39 percent), instant messaging (35 percent), HTTP (29 percent), and video/Web conferencing (27 percent) to accomplish work remotely. Twenty-two percent of respondents noted that they use agency-developed work-related applications.

The report also reveals that employees are willing to invest to reap the benefits and savings associated with telework – 64 percent of agencies do not reimburse teleworkers for Internet service, but 35 percent of the top telework-ready agencies do so fully or partially.

The IT Forecast

Agencies expect a strong increase in mobility demands from now until 2013. Despite growth projections for the number of mobile workers and the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), just over half of agencies (54 percent) are currently working on a plan to reduce costs specific to issuing mobile devices in accordance with Executive Order 13589 – Promoting Efficient Spending.

To improve telework programs, agencies noted investing in mobile asset management (33 percent), data loss prevention (25 percent), and multi-factor authentication (21 percent). IT professionals are also looking to the cloud to continue to drive telework growth.

“Mobile device use among Federal workers is clearly on the rise,” said Bob Kerr, vice president, SwishData Corporation.

“Federal agencies are successfully implementing telework polices and the technology infrastructure needed to support remote workers – but there are some areas where agencies can improve. By examining successful telework programs, agencies can make strategic investments while supporting presidential mandates, telework expansion, and mobility.”

It infrastructure needed to support telework

“To support the top priorities highlighted by agencies – network performance, security, and wireless access – industry and government need to address the performance requirements needed to implement a sustainable IT environment for a successful telework initiative and to meet the mandate for efficient spending,” said William Hartwell, general manager and senior director, Federal Markets Division at Riverbed.

“As agencies look to mobilize the workforce and support telework programs for increased productivity, it is important to provide an IT infrastructure that meets the demand for delivering mission-critical applications anytime and anywhere, especially as employees will be located farther away from the data, and yet will expect the same, if not better experience while teleworking.”

“More than half of Federal agencies are making the grade in terms of enabling the growing mobile workforce. They serve as a model for others looking to strengthen their telework programs in the most efficient way possible,” said Cindy Auten, general manager, Telework Exchange.

“As the number of teleworkers and mobile workers increases over the next couple of years, it is imperative agencies invest in technology that supports the changing workforce.”

The study was Underwritten by Riverbed Technology and SwishData Corporation

Americans strongly oppose government regulation of online search

Friday, March 9th, 2012

National Taxpayers UnionWhen it comes to accessing the Internet, adults across America feel they have many options, and are strongly opposed to government regulation of online search functions.

Those are the primary findings of an IBOPE Zogby International poll commissioned by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a nonpartisan citizen group. The poll covered 2,007 U.S. adults, across a wide range of demographics, with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

Poll results speak clearly

NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp said, “These poll results could not speak more clearly: across numerous demographic categories, Americans firmly believe the marketplace for finding information online is highly competitive; and the skepticism they’ve voiced over government intervention in this marketplace should serve as a warning against current, burdensome federal investigations of online search practices.”

Among the poll’s findings:

  • 87 percent agreed with the statement “I feel I can easily switch to a competing search engine if I’m not happy with the results I receive.”
  • Respondents were then asked whether “the federal government should regulate the content and appearance of search engines and their results.” A whopping 79 percent strongly or somewhat disagreed with this idea, compared to 12 percent who strongly or somewhat agreed. The depth of opposition was striking – 64 percent strongly disagreed versus just 3 percent who strongly agreed.
  • Participants were presented with arguments about more enforcement of federal antitrust laws, and then asked to choose which statement was most true. A massive 76 percent agreed that “More government involvement and regulation will make the Internet worse for consumers,” while just 8 percent thought that such involvement and regulation “will make the Internet better for consumers.”
  • Skepticism over government involvement extended across ideological groups as self-identified liberals and Democrats expressed opposition to both search engine regulation and increased antitrust enforcement by roughly 3 to 1 margins.