Posts Tagged ‘Columbia’
Monday, September 24th, 2012
The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have disclosed the results of the Princeton Review’s annual survey that names the schools with the top 25 undergraduate and top 25 graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation.
From more than 2,000 schools reviewed, Babson College in Massachusetts captured the #1 spot on both the undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship program ranking lists this year. Babson has been #1 on the graduate list for four consecutive years and was #2 on the undergraduate list in 2011.
Coming in #2 on the undergraduate entrepreneurship program list this year is Baylor University, while the University of Houston is #3. In the graduate program category, ranking #2 this year is the University of Michigan while Brigham Young University (UT) is #3.
Eight schools new to the list
This year’s rankings include eight schools new to the lists. On the undergraduate list, they are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#9), Clarkson University (#15) and Lehigh University (#24).
Five schools new to the graduate list include: University of Utah (#15), Cornell University (#16), University of Louisville (#20), Columbia University (#23) and University of Oklahoma (#25). (Complete lists follow.)
A feature on the rankings is now posted on Entrepreneur‘s website at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges and it will appear inEntrepreneur‘s October issue, available on newsstands tomorrow, September 25.
The Princeton Review today posted the ranking lists at www.princetonreview.com/entrepreneur. There users can also access information about criteria for the rankings and topics asked in the 60-question survey for this project.
The Princeton Review conducted its surveys of school administrators from April through June 2012. The wide range of data the education services company used to evaluate the programs and tally the rankings included: the schools’ levels of commitment to entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom, the percentage of their faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and the number and reach of their mentorship programs.
The company also considered their funding for scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects, and their support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
By Allan Maurer
So, you think you have a great idea for a hot iPhone or iPad app but don’t have the wherewithal to make it happen? There’s a new company for that. Columbia, SC-based 52apps plans to create a new app every week from ideas submitted by the public and share download royalties.
The company, which is holding its first “App Idea Day” and launch party at 11:30 a.m tomorrow in Columbia, is the brainchild of two seasoned technology entrepreneurs and two young coders who built their first apps while still in High School in Arkansas.
The 52apps story began with a phone call to Stephen Leicht from his friend Bill Kirkland, fomerly CEO of Collexis Holdings, and entrepreneur in residence at the University of South Carolina. A woman sitting next to Kirkland in church saw him taking electronic notes and told him her son had created an iPad app for that.
Kirkland wanted Leicht to meet with the woman and her son at a Lexington, SC Starbucks. Initially, “I told him I didn’t have time to meet with a lady and her son with an iPad app,” he says.
Leicht, CEO of 52apps, was previously executive vice president and COO of Collexis Holdings Inc., a developer of knowledge management and discovery software, acquired by Reed Elsevier in July 2010.
While at Collexis, Leicht had a leadership role in more than $18 million in private operational fundraising, two company acquisitions, and the company’s initial public offering. He also held several positions with IBM and prior to that started, ran and sold International Telecommunications Distributors.
Started building apps at 17
But eventually, Kirkland convinced him to meet with the woman and her son, Christopher Thibault, co-founder and an engineer with 52apps, in January this year.
“He explained that when he was 17 and still in high school, he and his friend Brendon Lee (now co-founder & lead developer at 52apps), had built an app called “Algebra Solver,” essentially an advanced calculator, as a tool for their own use in math classes.
A smartnote screen shot.
“In their freshman year in college, they converted it to the iPad and built another app, “Smartnote,” intended to eliminate the need to carry notebooks and texts to classes, and Chris carried only an iPad for the rest of his undergraduate career.”
Half a million downloads later
That was all nice, but Leicht wanted to know the nitty-gritty business details. Did they try to sell it?
Yes, they had put it in the iTunes store.
Did it get any downloads?
Yes, Thibault said, “We had some moderate success.”
H’mmm, thought Leicht. What is “moderate” success?
Smartnote, Thibault said, had been downloaded more than half a million times.
Half a million times? “That got my attention. Now I was interested,” Leicht says.
He asked, “Do you know how often it’s used?”
The real kicker
On an average day, he was told, it’s opened 250,000 times. Not only that, the two students had built a store inside the app allowing users to buy other features and were seeing 40,000 to 50,000 downloads a day there.
And then came the real kicker. The two had created a library of tools and modules for creating mobile apps that meant they could build a fully-functioning product in two or three days.
After some testing the verified they indeed could create an app in days, Leicht and Kirland were sold and along with Thibault, Lee, and CFO Mark Murphy, another former Collexis Holdings exec, they created 52apps.
Now, the company wants to create an app a day for the next year using ideas generated by the public (compensating idea generators with shared royalties).
The company was recruited to the USC Columbia Incubator by Kirkland after the launch.
App Idea Day
What: 52apps App Idea Day & Company Kick-Off Party
When: Friday, June 15, 11:30 a.m. EDT
Where: First Floor Theater, IT-oLogy, 1301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
Why: Introduce new company, provide opportunity for people to make money from their app ideas
Monday, May 9th, 2011
SC Launch, an SCRA affiliate, today announced that three client companies will receive investments in undisclosed amounts for their continuing projects. Greenville-based Dannar, Columbia-based Senex Biotechnology and Charleston-based Madeira Therapeutics will each receive SC Launch funds after presentation to and subsequent approval by the SC Launch Board of Directors.
Based in Greenville, SC and developed by Gary Dannar, Dannar’s technology offers hybrid/battery-electric systems to reduce emissions in transportation vehicles. The Dannar – Mobile PowerStation (MPS) is a leading edge OEM of purpose built vehicles for the government roadside and “Right-of-Way” management market.
A company formed by recently-named USC Endowed Chair Dr. Igor Roninson and Dr. Lawrence Friedhoff, Senex Biotechnology develops novel therapeutics for the treatment of major diseases. Target technologies include the treatment of cancer, viral diseases and age-related diseases by targeting damage-inducible signal transduction pathways involved in cellular aging.
Located in Charleston, SC, Madeira Therapeutics was founded to develop new pharmaceutical products for unmet medical needs in the pediatric population. Currently the FDA does not run separate clinical trials for pediatric applications; doctors simply apply adult approved drugs at smaller doses for children. Madeira Therapeutics strives to ensure drug safety and efficiency for intended patients in the pediatric setting.
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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC – Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn has issued a statement saying that state efforts to limit municipal broadband deployments are new obstacles in meeting the goals of the National Broadband Plan.
In a statement issued April 4, she wrote:
“I have serious concerns that as the Federal Communications Commission continues to address broadband deployment barriers outlined in the National Broadband Plan, new obstacles are being erected that are directly contrary to the Plan’s recommendations and goals.
“I recently learned that several state legislatures are considering bills that are contrary to the deployment objectives of the Broadband Plan. For example, in North Carolina, the state legislature is currently evaluating legislation entitled ‘Level Playing Field/Local Government Competition.’ Last week the North Carolina House passed the bill, and it currently awaits consideration in the Senate.”
“This piece of legislation certainly sounds goal-worthy, an innocuous proposition, but do not let the title fool you. This measure, if enacted, will not only fail to level the playing field; it will discourage municipal governments from addressing deployment in communities where the private sector has failed to meet broadband service needs. In other words, it will be a significant barrier to broadband deployment and may impede local efforts to promote economic development.”
Seven of ten worst broadband deals in NC
Craig Settles, of Successful.com, a consulting firm with a heavy emphasis on municipal broadband and government use of mobile tech, tells us, “What we have here is a handful of corporations going into some of the most broadband-deficient states in the country, and subverting communities’ efforts to claw their way into the digital 21st Century. These entrenched incumbents are trying to pass rules that would make even Google’s support (similar to the Kansas City Gigabit City announcement) illegal. At least we’re now getting some attention from DC.”
That’s not just talk. Bandwidth.com, which does broadband mapping, shows that seven of the ten U.S. cities with the worst broadband connections at price per Mbps are in North Carolina. They include Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wilmington, and Charlotte. Columbia, SC, is also on the list. South Carolina is also considering a bill to restrict municipal broadband.
Congressional action needed?
Clyburn points out hat the National Broadband Plan recommends that Congress make it clear that “local governments should not be restricted from building their own broadband networks.”
“Unfortunately, ” she wrote, “this National Broadband Plan recommendation continues to be ignored by some broadband industry members that are encouraging these misguided efforts.”
She added, “Regrettably, North Carolina isn’t the only state considering such legislation. My home state of South Carolina has similar legislation pending, and the state of Arkansas is contemplating a complete ban on publicly-owned broadband facilities. I fear that preventing local governments from investing in broadband is counter-productive and will impede the nation from accomplishing the Plan’s goal of providing broadband access to every American and community anchor institution.”
Nationally, 130 communities own wireless broadband networks.
We have reported previously that the fastest and cheapest broadband networks are city run in the south.
A group called the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says that restricting municipal broadband would hurt job creation in NC.
The municipal broadband battles rages on
Here’s an excellent resource with extensive links on municipal broadband efforts:
Baller Herbst Law Group: Herbst Law
States that have already passed laws limiting municipal broadband:
State Barriers to Community Broadband Services
Wikipedia entry on municipal broadband
Municipal Wireless Snapshot report:
Fast Company: Time Warner’s Antics in Wilson, NC Give another reason to snip the cable
List of municipal broadband network organizations.
An older, but contrary view from the Reason Foundation:
Municipal broadband fails again
Fastest and cheapest US broadband systems are city run in the South
For more on the commercial providers positions:
Monday, February 7th, 2011
COLUMBIA, MD – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), in collaboration with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, have completed the Ft. Detrick Technology Transfer Initiative (FDTTI) and three final grant awardees.
Through the FDTTI program, 26 startup companies received a total of $1,300,000 for the development of technology solutions used to address medical needs of the U.S. Army. The final companies to receive funding are Oculearn, Fyodor Biotechnologies Inc., and Foxspire.
Each research team received $50,000.
The FDTTI program announced by Senator Barbara Mikulski in March 2005, allowed TEDCO to work with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to maintain awareness of new and developing technologies and to develop effective strategies for the transition of successful projects to follow-on funding.
The initial phase of the program provided funding for 11 companies, while the second phase of the program awarded funding to 15 different companies.
Oculearn,– Located in Mount Airy, Md., has designed technology to assist victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) who have had services for their injuries discontinued due to limitation of benefits or due to the lack of improvement achieved during rehabilitation.
Fyodor Biotechnologies Inc. – Baltimore-based Fyodor Biotechnologies, Inc. collaborated with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) to test, further develop and commercialize its single and recombinant antibody-based urine test for rapid diagnosis of clinical malaria.
Foxspire – Located in Frederick, Md., Foxspire, LCC is working with USAMRMC to design and develop a system that tracks stock of infectious agents.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
NGB's technology makes fuel from plants and other sources
COLUMBIA, MD – New Generation Biofuels Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: NGBF), a clean energy company deploying technologies to produce cleaner, renewable biofuels, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with a limited number of institutional investors for the placement of Senior Secured Convertible Promissory Notes totaling $1 million.
Miles F. Mahoney, president and CEO, said, “This new infusion of capital will allow us to take several important near-term steps toward establishing value-added alliances with technology partners, feedstock suppliers and strategic customers.”
He added, “Chief among these are making fuel deliveries under our existing contracts; demonstrating a repeat-delivery cycle with our technology to produce a cleaner burning renewable product; and initiating feasibility studies of new, lower-cost feedstocks that have the potential to result in positive margins regardless of government incentives
Friday, January 14th, 2011
COLUMBIA, MD – Merkle Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest database marketing agencies, has closed on a $2.8 million equity round, according to a regulatory filing.
The customer relationship marketing firm raised a whopping $87.2 million in three equity offerings in 2010. Investors include Palo Alto, CA-based Technology Crossover Ventures.
Merkle provides customer strategy, business intelligence and analytics, data sourcing, media targeting and measurement, and marketing technology solutions to Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations. With over 800 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near Washington, D.C. in Columbia, Maryland with additional locations in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Hagerstown, MD and Shanghai.
Company clients include such marquee names ad Bank of America, Dell, General Electric, Samsung and the Arthritis Foundation.
The company employs more than 1200 people. It disclosed the raise in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
To contact TechJournal South Editor & Writer Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Friday, January 7th, 2011
It was a fairly busy first week of the year for merger and acquisition activity in the Southeast.
Dell Buying SecureWorks, credit union impact questioned
ATLANTA – DELL Computers said this week it plans to buy 10-year-old, venture-backed Atlanta security firm SecureWorks for an undisclosed price. According to one report, the buy could have an impact on one set of SecureWorks clients, Credit Unions. (See: Dell Talkeover of Secureworks sparks talk of CU Impact).
SecureWorks has more than 2,900 clients. Reports say Dell made a “table-clearing bid” for the company. Other reports say Dell grabbed the firm as it was getting ready to file for an Initial Public Offering of stock with the SEC later in 2011.
North Highland buys Insight Solutions Group
ATLANTA and MINNEAPOLIS — Global consulting firm North Highland is expanding into the Midwest United States with the acquisition of Insight Solutions Group Inc., a Minneapolis-based management consulting firm. The acquisition marks the establishment of North Highland’s twentieth US office.
Financial details were not disclosed.
North Highland is a global, employee-owned consulting firm that delivers strategic business solutions to Fortune 1000 clients, government agencies and non-profits. The firm has 47 offices in the United States,Europe and Asia-Pacific.
GE Intelligent Platforms acquires SmartSignal
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – GE Intelligent Platforms has closed its acquisiton of SmartSignal, an analytics software company based in Lisle, Illinois. SmartSignal specializes in providing Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics solutions to the Power Generation, Oil & Gas and other industrial sectors. Financial details were not disclosed.
Virginia-based GEIP is a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing.
Virginia-based Rivermine acquired by Emptoris
FAIRFAX, VA - Rivermine, which develops software to help customers manage their telecom expenses, has been acquired by Massachusetts-based Emptoris, which sells supply and contract management tools. Financial details were not disclosed.
Rivermine employees joined Emptoris. CEO Mark Logan is now president of the Emptoris Rivermine division.
Rivermine manages more than $6 billion in communications spending a year for clients who include Chubb Insurance, Ford, Fannie Mae, and IKON Office.
Maryland-based Sourcefire acquires Immunet for $21M
COLUMBIA, MD – Sourcefire, which develops network security tech, has acquired Silicon-Valley based Immunet, which sells cloud-bade anti-malware software, in a deal worth up to $21 million.
Sourcefire paid $17 million in cash at closing, and will pay as much as $4 million more over the next 18 months if Immunet meets product delivery milestones.
Sourcefire said it plans to keep all of Immunet’s fulltime employees. It said the deal expands its security offerings to include a cloud-based platform.
Travel Leaders Group buys Virginia-based Vacation.com
Alexandria, VA – Minnesota-based Travel Leaders Group, a company that manages corporate travel, has acquired Alexandria-based Vacation.com. Financial details were not disclosed.
TLG says the move bolsters its offerings in the North American travel market. Vacation.com sells cruises and vacations through agencies.
Maryland-based National Office Systems buys East Coast Storage Solutions
GAITHERSBURG, MD – National Office Systems, which sells storage and information management systems, has acquired Connecticut-based East Coast Storage Solutions to expand in the Northeast. Financial terms were not disclosed.
East Coast has been a major player and our competitor in Connecticut,” said Joe Alvarez, NOS principal. “Their arrival will expand our world-class products and services even farther into the Northeastern United States, especially the Connecticut and New York markets.”
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – Lotame, a company helping advertisers and publishers use social networks and data to connect people to brands and monetize content, has raised $6 million in equity, according to a regulatory filing.
In 2008 Lotame raised a $10 million first round and later in the year, a $13 million B round, from New Hampshire-based Hillcrest Management, Boston’s Battery Ventures, New York’s Betaworks and California-based Emergence Partners.
At the time of the B round, Jason Green, general partner at Emergence and on Lotame’s board said,
“Lotame is producing unparalleled results and insight for publishers and advertisers by leveraging a unique targeting platform that translates social media inventory into valuable real estate that brand advertisers love. With dozens of blue chip advertising clients and a growing publisher network reaching tens of millions users today, Lotame is clearly the company to beat in the space.”
Lotame CEO and foudner Andy Monfried previously helped build the New York office of Advertising.com, which was acquired by AOL.
Other top company execs also came from Advertising.com and AOL.
Say what you will about AOL, it has seeded the Potomac region with Internet experienced entrepreneurs who have founded an unending stream of digital start-ups.
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
A Sensics device
COLUMBIA, MD - Sensics Inc., a company making head-mounted display devices for simulation, research, entertainment and other uses, has closed a $400,000 mixed securities offering, according to a regulatory filing.
Founded in 2003, Sensics developed panoramic head-mounted displays that provide wide field of view and high resolution for training and simulation, research, virtual prototyping, visualization, entertainment, and remote presence applications.
Its customers include NASA, Honeywell, Northup Grumman, Renault, Lockheed Martin, and a number of universities, among others.
The company raised $946,687 in funding in 2009 and has support from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).
It disclosed the latest raise in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Versions of this sort of technology abound in science fiction and popular media, but are obviously coming into their own (virtual) reality.
I wonder how long it will take for such displays to move to smaller configurations and projection devices that throw images up in front of the viewer ala the movie “Minority Report.”
TJS Editor Allan Maurer. Email Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Email TJS Editor/Writer Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Friday, November 19th, 2010
COLUMBIA, SC - SC Launch has invested an undisclosed amount in Vitasol, a life science company focused on improving therapies in emergency medicine and critical care.
SC Launch typically invests $250,000 or less in South Carolina start-ups.
Vitasol’s first product, Resuscinex, a patented multi-component IV fluid for the treatment of hypovolemia (blood and/or fluid loss from the vascular system). Resuscinex works by drawing fluid out of the microscopic spaces between cells and into the vascular system. This restores blood pressure, which often drops sharply in shock victims who have lost blood, and also restores normal heart rate.
In addition, the formula provides anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and intermediate energy to cells while increasing blood flow in capillaries, the tiny vessels that are critical for supplying oxygen and nutrients to tissue.
The company was founded and advanced by several researchers at the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine. Trauma surgeon Stephen Fann, MD, FACS is the Chief Medical Officer of Vitasol. Fann, a School of Medicine faculty member, has long wanted a better alternative to the IV fluids traditionally used to stabilize victims of severe blood loss.
Together with his colleagues, Michael Yost and John Propst, he soon might have it. Michael Yost, PhD is Director of Research in the Department of Surgery at the USC School of Medicine and Chief Operating Officer of Vitasol. John Propst, PhD, MBA, the company’s President and CEO, earned his doctorate from the USC School of Medicine while researching biomedical science with Fann and Yost. Passionate about the business implications of cutting edge biotechnology, he also earned his MBA from the USC Darla Moore School of Business.
“We started this company hoping to solve a major problem for trauma victims and improve treatment outcomes in critical care situations,” stated Vitasol CEO John Propst. “The domestic market is quite large and the global implications are significant. Our initial test results are very encouraging, and with this investment from SC Launch we will be able to secure follow on investments and move our research discoveries that much closer toward improving patient care.”
Vitasol plans to begin human trials in coming months and is currently seeking FDA approval. The company hopes to ultimately establish manufacturing of its Resuscinex product in the South Carolina.
SC Launch, an SCRA collaboration, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful resource network.
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – A new survey from BoxTone, which sells mobile service management software, says a survey of more than 800 enterprises shows that adoption of the iPad is accelerating.
“The iPad could be part of one of the biggest IT asset expansion and replacement waves of the last two decades,” said Alan Snyder, CEO, BoxTone. “Impressed by its form factor and user experience, companies are just now budgeting for large scale rollouts in 2011, with most organizations viewing the iPad as a high-value application delivery platform.”
He added, “In addition, with the upcoming release of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, the enterprise will be able to tap into enterprise-grade Mobile Device Management capabilities from BoxTone to accelerate adoption in a safe and manageable way.”
Key findings from the survey show that:
- 73 percent of respondents expect to deploy the iPad and other iOS devices within their organizations in the next 12 months, with more than a quarter expecting to rollout “immediately”
- Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed anticipate iPad deployment growth in the range of 20 percent or more over the next 12 months
- More than 50 percent plan to deploy at least one iPad application in the next 12 months, with a quarter anticipating three or more
“Enterprise CIOs are telling us that the iPad is quickly finding its way into the C-suite and across various lines of business,” stated Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research, which focuses on the communications environment. “This survey by BoxTone validates what we are hearing and emphasizes that organizations are seeing the value the iPad can deliver to the business including faster information delivery to take action, increased transaction velocity and more responsive customer service.”
When it comes to iPad management, 87 percent of those surveyed cited the process for secure iPad configuration and deployment as their primary requirement. In addition, 44 percent said readying their help desk for iPad support would be a major initiative.
All of this is good news for BoxTone, which sells software to help companies achieve those and other mobile management goals.
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
COLUMBIA, SC – Robert “Bob” Keane has been named president and CEO of Spirit Telecom and CEO of PalmettoNet. Keane brings more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry to the two firms, both headquartered in Columbia, SC.
Keane spent 18 years with AT&T in telecom equipment sales, business development, product management and access management and provided leadership in the development of local Internet, cable and access services. In 1997, he was named vice president of AT&T’s local services with responsibility for strategic and fundamental planning in support of business, consumer and Internet business units, which included the integration of Teleport Communications Group (TCG) into AT&T.
In 1999, he joined Comcast and formed Comcast Business Communications the following year. As president and CEO, he had full financial and operating responsibility for the development of a subsidiary to provide fiber-based services to small and medium business. In 2002, he joined Cavalier Telephone as its president and COO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of a regional CLEC operating in five states and an inter-city long haul optical network providing services in 15 states. Most recently he served as president and CEO of Arena Racing.
Spirit Telecom is owned by independent telephone companies and cooperatives of South Carolina and provides voice, data and Internet services to customers in North and South Carolina and 20 other states.
PalmettoNet is the largest provider of digital fiber optic networks in the Carolinas. A carrier’s carrier with more than 3,100 fiber route miles, PalmettoNet leases capacity to prominent telecommunications carriers who provide interstate, intrastate and interchange service.
Friday, September 3rd, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – Celsion Corp. (Nasdaq:CLSN), a biotechnology company developing a new cancer treatment therapy, has won a $200,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The grant supports the company’s efforts to develop its proprietary heat-activated liposomal technology in combination with carboplatin, an approved and frequently used oncology drug for treatment of a wide range of cancers.
Michael Tardugno, president and CEO said, “This initial funding will provide important financial assistance as we further expand our technology platform to incorporate known anticancer agents. Our initial market assessment indicates that thermosensitive Carboplatin has the potential to address multiple solid tumor indications that are not addressed by ThermoDox, but could be an optimal adjuvant to radiofrequency ablation, microwave or high intensity ultrasound.”
Celsion has research, license, or commercialization agreements with leading institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, Duke University Medical Center, University of Hong Kong, Cleveland Clinic, and the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System.
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – Technology Crossover Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in customer relationship marketing agency Merkle, the company says. The investment is a minority stake. It is the first outside investment in the 22-year-old company.
Merkle has experienced double-digit growth for more than 20 years, added hundreds of employees and expanded to include offices across the country. The company employs more than 1,000 people.
It says the move to seek outside capital occurs in response to several pivotal events taking place in the marketing industry today, including the rise of customer strategy as a business strategy and growing interest in digital media and channel optimization.
The company’s customers include Dell, Geico, DirecTV, Wendy’s, American Cancer Society, OnStar, Urban Outfitters, T.G.I. Friday’s, Disney and Microsoft.
Merkle Chair and CEO David Williams said, “The investment by TCV is happening at a pivotal time in the marketing industry. Companies are actively embracing customer relationship marketing and looking to expand and optimize their marketing across media and channels.”
Customer relationship marketing is one of the big buzz concepts right now. The Internet, of course, has brought a whole new set of possibilities to the field. Even an established firm such as Merkle sees the expanse of opportunity open to companies that get the equation right.
But does that mean that we’ll all be hearing from the companies we do business with more often? Personally, we already dislike those out-of-the-blue calls from banks and other companies which are really designed to up sell us new features or products.
Perhaps better targeting will mean they’ll only bring us products and services we’re actually interested in buying, but we wouldn’t bet on it. –Allan Maurer
To contact TechJournal South Editor & Writer Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) has invested $1.12 million in 15 Maryland startups, each receiving $75,000.
“From devices that will make great medical contributions to technologies that will change the face of modern agriculture, TEDCO’s Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund helps a wide-range of innovations become a reality,” said John Wasilisin, acting president and executive director of TEDCO.
“This million-dollar investment will contribute to the quality and safety of our everyday lives and we look forward to following the progression of these promising technologies as they move from the laboratory to the marketplace.”
To date, 134 companies have received funding from MTTCF and completed their projects. With an investment of more than $9.3 million, these companies have gone on to receive downstream funding from angel and venture investors, federal awards and other resources exceeding $394.8 million. This is a leverage of the state’s investment through TEDCO of $42.4 to $1.
Companies funded in this round are:
- Amidus, Baltimore, is working with the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Tech Center to provide innovative technology solutions using custom algorithms that have wide applicability, especially in the events industry.
- Cognapse, Baltimore, is a healthcare company working with the Emerging Technology Center to focus on diseases and disorders of the brain as people age, such as Alzheimer’s. Remiva, the company’s first product, expected to be launched in 2011, is a proprietary combination of natural supplements and vitamins.
- CYNCZ, Germantown, Md., is working with the Germantown Life Sciences Incubator to provide an automatic self-updating address book that can aggregate all contact data sources including emails, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), mobile phones and social networking sites.
- Differential Dynamics Corp. (DDMotion), Owings Mills, Md., is working with the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) to introduce an all-mechanical green technology called Infinitely Variable Motion Control (IVMC) which has applications for power generation, compression, air conditioning, and vehicle transmissions. DDMotion is using TEDCO’s grant to enable IVMC to convert variable wind speed into constant output, allowing wind power generation that is capable of capturing a greater portion of available energy.
- Hememics Biotechnologies Inc., Rockville, Md., is working with the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center to provide ambient temperature shipping services to in-vitro diagnostic reagent manufacturers of cells at lower cost, while also extending the shelf life of many cell-based perishable products.
- Nour Immune Inc., Annapolis, is working with UMCP to create “proof of concept” for the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), which will demonstrate the in-vivo activity of its newly created anti-inflammatory agent, Nourexin-4, in a mouse model of H1N1 influenza infections. Nourexin-4, once developed and commercialized, will also have the potential to combat overactive inflammation in other diseases such as Hepatitis C and Sepsis.
- NutriGrown, Columbia, Md., is working with the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Services (USDA ARS) to produce a line of matrix-based, soil nutrient products designed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous leaching by up to 80 percent, resulting in reduced nutrient leaching and enhanced plant growth.
- Omic Biosystems Inc., Rockville, Md., is working with the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) to create technological solutions for modern omics-based biological sciences such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and system biology.
- Pearl LifeScience Partners, Baltimore, is working with the UMBC Tech Center to bioengineer “synthetic dendritic cells” which are capable of stimulating an immune response against foreign agents. These synthetic dendritic cells will then act as host cells infected with an enveloped virus that subsequently replicates and stimulates the cell surface molecules which stimulate the immune system.
- Plasmonix Inc., Baltimore, is working with UMBI to develop Metal Enhanced Fluorescence (MEF) microplates that provide life science researchers with multiple thousand- fold increases in fluorescent signal assays. Once the MEF microplate product line is well-established, the company will introduce applications in the areas of biohazard detection and medical diagnostics.
- Quantum Medical Metrics, Baltimore, is working with the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU APL) and the UMBC Tech Center to refine, clinically test and produce an affordable, high performance Forearm Strength System for accurately estimating the strength of the forearm, which is one of the most common sites for osteoporotic fractures.
- Remedium Technologies Inc., College Park, Md., is working with UMCP to develop a propriety novel hemorrhage controlling technology called “Nano-Velcro.” Nano-Velcro is a wound care technology and user-friendly hemostat, which is able to orchestrate the rapid, self-assembly of a clot-like seal upon contact with blood.
- SAJE Pharma, Baltimore, is working with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to develop new therapeutic drugs that provide significant benefits over currently available therapies. The company’s current lead compound, SPL-334 is being developed to treat asthma.
- Seguro Surgical Inc., located in Columbia, Md., is working with JHU to develop the Lap Pak ™, a medical device for the efficient and secure packing of bowels which will expose the surgical site during major abdominal surgeries.
- Viracine Therapeutics Corp., located in Columbia, Md., is working with the USDA ARS to develop and characterize a series of genetic promoters for DNA containing viruses infecting invertebrates, such as shrimp, that are pantropic in nature and can be used to prevent plant diseases.
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
COLUMBIA, SC - SCRA, the University of South Carolina (USC) and the City of Columbia are holding a grand opening ceremony Thursday for the SCRA USC Innovation Center, Columbia.
The fully-renovated facility houses knowledge-based companies emerging from research at the University of South Carolina and the general marketplace which are entering commercialization and advanced manufacturing stages. The facility is situated and designed to stimulate and sustain clean, next-generation manufacturing, along with related development and support services.
It is the second of three facilities SCRA is providing in conjunction with its university and civic partners in South Carolina to grow the knowledge economy in the state.
“This facility is a knowledge-based technology cornerstone to serve start-up companies with intellectual property coming out of USC as well as the private sector,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO.
Wachovia is providing financing for the SCRA USC Innovation Center.
At the grand opening Thursday, Mahoney will also present SCRA “Knowledge Economist” awards to: South Carolina Representative Joan B. Brady; Dr. James L. Hudgins; Thomas E. Persons, Sr. and Dr. Barry W. Russell.
Drs. Hudgins and Russell have both served as presidents of Midlands Technical College, and as head of the South Carolina Technical College System.
Brady has been a strong advocate of Knowledge Economy initiatives, both with SCRA and EngenuitySC.
Persons is CEO and President of the South Carolina Technology Alliance, which provides collaboration opportunities among the state’s business, academic, economic development and legislative leaders. His organization also assists in developing workforce skills for knowledge-based entrepreneurial companies.
The SCRA Knowledge Economist Award Program recognizes outstanding citizens who have
made significant contributions to South Carolina’s Knowledge Economy
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
COLUMBIA, MD – BoxTone, which sells mobile service management software, has closed a $7.5 million B round of financing form Lazard Technology Partners.
The company says the money will fuel its product development and corporate expansion.
BoxTone’s software is designed to help organizations control their mobile environments. It is the market’s first automated software solution to enable enterprises, government agencies and nanaged service providers to centrally manage, secure and support all mobile devices, applications and platforms from a single, unified console.
The funding announcement comes just one week after BoxTone announced record growth in the first half of fiscal year 2010, registering a more than 40 percent increase as compared to the first half of fiscal year 2009.
The company has hired more than 20 new team members since the start of the year, with a similar number of additional hires expected by year’s end.
“Based on the trends we are seeing in the market from our customers, BoxTone predicts that mobile device penetration in the enterprise will surge from a current average of 10-15 percent, to upwards of 80 percent in the next five years,” stated Alan Snyder, CEO, BoxTone. “But the secure provisioning and configuring of all these new mobile devices is just a first step.”
A BoxTone study earlier this year, “Smartphone Management Survey: An Enterprise IT Operations Perspective,” found that enterprise-connected mobile devices of all varieties are on the rise and that half of all survey respondents said that at least 60 percent of their employees will be smartphone-equipped in the next 24 months.
BoxTone automates mobile management for one in three Fortune® 100 companies, one in four of the largest U.S. federal agencies and one in five of the Am Law 100. The company has 250 clients.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Bill Mahoney, CEO, SCRA
By Bill Mahoney, CEO, SCRA
Recently, after I had given an update on SCRA’s SC Launch program, I was approached by a colleague who stated, “Five years ago, I would never have thought so much progress could happen so quickly to build a knowledge economy in South Carolina.”
It was a very nice compliment, and one that meant a great deal considering the recent economic environment. But, SCRA had indeed set out to build a strong knowledge economy in South Carolina several years ago.
Almost exactly four years ago, SCRA started the SC launch program, to identify, develop and invest in promising knowledge economy startups. Prior to SC Launch, many technology discoveries from SC corporate, university and hospital research centers were sitting unused, or leaving the state for development elsewhere.
SC Launch seed funded 35 firms
SC Launch was created to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and infuse much needed resources into start-up technology companies commercializing indigenous research.
To date, the program has supported about 270 entities that are creating new jobs and bringing innovative products and services to the market. 149 of those entities have received both funding and support services.
Of that 149, 35 have received initial equity investment from SC Launch. Many of the SC launch client companies have secured additional funding from angel and venture capital sources. 35 SC launch client equity companies are moving from startup to revenues and margins on the strength of $71 million in private follow-on investment.
Innovation Centers incubating new companies
While SCRA has enjoyed early success from the SC Launch program, we realize that further development of the knowledge economy requires more planning and work. We must continue to provide a tuned ecosystem for emerging technology startups to grow and thrive. Providing world-class business, laboratory and advanced manufacturing facilities is a key component of knowledge economy development.
To fill this role SCRA, in conjunction with its university and civic partners in South Carolina, has introduced Innovation Centers located in Charleston, Columbia, and Anderson to complement our existing research parks. With the Charleston Innovation Center Grand Opening in December, 2009, a groundbreaking of the Columbia Innovation Center in February 2010, and announcement of the Anderson Innovation Center scheduled for availability in Spring 2011, we are already filling these centers with top-notch companies.
Four start-up companies, all created from technology formed at the Medical University of South Carolina, are already headquartered in the SCRA MUSC Charleston Innovation Center as of January.
Immunologix, Microbial Fuel Cell Technologies, Neurological Testing Services, and Vortex Biotechnology Corp. are the first tenants.
These companies embody the precise type of start-ups that each Center is designed to house. The Charleston Center consists of office and laboratory space to support biopharma, biomed, and biotech applied research and commercialization.
Slated to open its doors this June, the SCRA USC Columbia Innovation Center already has two tenant companies; Immedion, which will house a data center in the facility, and Direct Measurements. The Columbia Center is tailored to house high-tech companies emerging from both the University of South Carolina and the general marketplace, particularly those expanding to commercialization and light manufacturing stages.
The third Innovation Center will be located in Anderson, SC, within the Clemson Advanced Materials Center and next to the Clemson Advanced Materials Research Lab. This center will feature both LEED certification and limited access areas. .SCRA and Clemson look forward to opening this Center in the Spring of 2011.
At SCRA, we have a strongly executed a vision for building the knowledge economy in South Carolina. Investment resources and facilities are only part of this vision, but they are already bringing positive impacts to our state. There is a saying that, “To ensure your own future, you must create it.” SCRA continues to inspire new entrepreneurs, strengthen technology-based businesses, and create a better tomorrow for South Carolina.
From time to time, TechJournal South runs guest blogs on topics of interest to our readers. If you have an idea for a guest blog topic, contact TJS Editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.