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Top ten cities for new college grads named

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Raleigh is number six on the list of the top ten cities for new college grads from

Raleigh is number six on the list of the top ten cities for new college grads from

College graduates from across the country have more in common than that shiny new diploma and the class of ’13 distinction. No matter where they received their degree, they all face the same life-changing decision: where to work and where to live.

 While the national unemployment rate is moving down, competition for jobs is still stiff, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing 11.7 million unemployed persons (April 2013) and a mere 3.8 million available jobs (March 2013).

With apartment rents increasing each year and the continuing challenges of a slower economy, it is becoming more important for recent grads to explore the possibility of starting their professional lives in a city that offers the best overall opportunity for employment, career success, living affordability and an energetic, youthful culture.

Making the decision easier

For the sixth year, has complied the “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” to help make this big decision a little easier.

“When starting the search process, it can be tempting to focus on just the biggest cities,” said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for “In fact, many other ‘best of’ lists tend to be heavily weighted toward the country’s largest markets, which obviously offer a lot of career opportunities.

However, it is important to carefully consider all aspects that a city, even a smaller market, has to offer before deciding where to settle down.”

Personally, we’d look at how these cities and the states they are in treat the “creative class,” and their support for education, and recreation, as well, for instance.

Kotula added that the first step should be to identify cities that offer affordability alongside professional opportunity. Hand-in-hand with this qualification is to try and determine if the city’s demographics line up with those of a recent college graduate.

“If you are single and in your early to mid-20s, chances are the lifestyle in a city with a similar demographic profile will be more appealing than it would if you were striking out on your own in a market that is heavily skewed toward married households with a higher median population age,” continues Kotula.

The sixth annual “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list is a resource designed to help identify the best places in the country for new graduates to begin this chapter of their lives, taking into account employment opportunities, salary, rent for a one bedroom apartment and the city’s median age and percentage of male and female only households, as an indicator of the youthful singles’ scene.

The 2013 “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list, along with the average rent for a one bedroom apartment, includes: 

Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates Average Rent for 1 Bedroom Apartment
1.        Phoenix, AZ $ 708
2.        Orlando, FL $ 857
3.        San Antonio, TX $ 794
4.        Columbus, OH $ 634
5.        Austin, TX $ 1,006
6.        Raleigh, NC $ 788
7.        Oklahoma City, OK $ 722
8.        Fort Worth, TX $ 795
9.        Dallas, TX $ 983
10.     Minneapolis, MN $ 1,177

The “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates” list distinguishes itself from other “best of” lists through its comprehensive view of what qualifies a city to be considered.

“Over the past six years that has been culling this list, we have adapted to economic changes and have adjusted our methodology accordingly,” states Dick Burke, senior vice president and general manager, “This way we are evaluating what is most meaningful to recent graduates in the context of the bigger picture in unemployment, affordability and other key factors.”

Affordability, unemployment considered

This year’s list took into account affordability vs. just median income, which gave advantage to cities where the average rent for a one bedroom apartment falls within the recommended 25% of gross median income. In addition, unemployment was a major factor in determining this sixth annual list. Cities with unemployment above 7% were eliminated.

Burke adds, “We believe that a low unemployment rate contributes to a vibrant community with more job opportunity across the board, which is good not only for entry level positions, but also as an indicator of potential as a person moves through his or her career.”

In addition, this year’s list takes into account demographics. Added weight was given to cities with the highest percentage of population between 25-29 years of age and men-and-women-only households, as an indicator of the youthfulness and singles scene in each market.

In addition, cities with significantly low or high median age for population were eliminated. Kotula comments, “This helped steer our list away from all college towns, which is reflected by a low median population age, as well as cities that skew more middle to retirement age population-wise.”

2013 could be a turning point in business travel, report says

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Airline JetWhile business travelers have endured economic and other challenges these last few years, 2013 seems as if it may be the turning point that will influence wherewhen and how business executives and others meet in the future.

This, according to 2013 Predictions for International Business Travel, Meeting and Events, a report released by

“Business travelers are placing a greater emphasis on why they need to travel, and that is helping them to better demonstrate a clear return on investment,” says Rob Hard , publisher and editor of BusinessTravelDestinations.

Many countries around the world – including the U.S. – are also showing signs of recovery in their business tourism sectors, and they are preparing to attract greater numbers of international business travelers.

Hard says that these factors are coming together at the same time to create an optimistic environment. 10 travel industry predictions for 2013 include:

1.  Business travelers will travel more than ever and meet globally.

2.  Barcelona, Berlin, Las Vegas, London, Orlando, Shanghai and Singapore will be top cities, among others.

3.  Business travel will have a greater focus on content and purpose.

4.  Technology will complement travel, not replace it.

5.  Business travelers will focus more on wellness when on the road.

6.  Local experts will enhance the travel and meeting experience.

7.  Air fares will remain reasonable, globally.

8.  Hotel prices will increase the most in North America.

9.  Business travel will be recognized as a revenue generator.

10.  Business meetings and events will contribute to the creation of new travel industry jobs.

“It also helps that there is now a greater level of acceptance by local and national governments that business travel is favorable for communities and their economies,” Hard adds.

In 2012, more people traveled internationally than ever – surpassing one billion travelers. That was an important milestone. Industry data also shows that travel will continue to expand each year through 2021.

The full report is free and available at


Tech salaries see biggest jump in a decade

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

DiceTechnology salaries in the U.S. saw the biggest jump in more than a decade, according to the 2013-2012 Salary Survey from Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineer professionals. Tech professionals earned a greater than five percent increase in average annual wages to $85,619, up from $81,327 in 2011.

The increase in wages comes at a time when the vast majority of tech professionals (64%) are confident they could find a favorable new position in 2013 and when employers are stepping up to the plate to retain and motivate staff with more interesting or challenging assignments, increased compensation and the ability to telecommute, according to respondents.

“Employers are recognizing and adjusting to the reality of a tight market,” said Scot Melland , Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc.  “The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days, at least for technology teams, companies are doing both.”

Bonuses down slightly, but more get them

When asked the primary reason for changes in compensation, 36 percent of technology professionals tagged company actions, like merit or company-wide raises and internal promotions, as the root cause.  Meanwhile, another 19 percent of respondents changed jobs during the year which brought a salary increase along with the move.

After a considerable jump last year in both size and frequency, average bonuses were down a touch to $8,636 from $8,769 in the previous year; however, slightly more tech professionals 33 percent vs. 32 percent received the extra payout in 2012.

“In the early stages of the recovery, companies were staying flexible by using performance pay to reward their top performers,” added Mr. Melland.  “Now, companies are writing the checks that will stick. With a 3.8 percent tech unemployment rate, no one wants to lose talent.”

In fact, tech professionals just starting out, those with two years or less experience, earned their first year/year increase (8%) to $46,315 in three years.  And, there was a milestone at the other end of the spectrum.  Average salaries for tech professionals with at least 15 years of experience topped six-figures for the first time, growing four percent year/year to $103,012.

Double-Digit Debuts 

While Silicon Valley is still the only market were tech professionals average six-figure salaries ($101,278), seven markets saw double-digit increases in average tech salaries year/year – the most ever registered by the Dice Salary Survey.

Leading the surge with an 18 percent year/year increase to $76,207 are Pittsburgh-based tech professionals, followed by San Diego ($97,328) and St. Louis ($81,245) each garnering 13 percent year/year increases.

Phoenix ($83,607) and Cleveland ($75,773) had strong gains, up 12 and 11 percent year/year, respectively.

Rounding out the double-digit debuts is Orlando ($81,583) and Milwaukee ($81,670), both up roughly 10 percent year/year.

“This recovery has been particularly hard for employers in non-traditional tech markets if they want to grow their staff,” said Mr. Melland.

“With mobility down, the pool of available talent isn’t as deep which pushes salaries up and makes companies scramble to come up with creative solutions.”

The top 10 market with the greatest year/year increase:  Boston, up seven percent to $94,742.  That just edged out Atlanta where tech salaries average $87,556 and Los Angeles with a six percent gain to $92,498.

For additional market information, an interactive map of average U.S. tech salaries for the 48 continuous states and key metropolitan areas is provided on Dice.

“Mad Skills, More Money”

Out of the big three, mobile, cloud and data, there’s one that is having a disproportionate impact on salaries – it’s big data.

Salaries reported by those who regularly use Hadoop, NoSQL, and Mongo DB are all north of $100,000.

By comparison, average salaries for technologies closely associated with cloud and virtualization are just under $90,000 and mobile salaries are closer to $80,000.

“We’ve heard it’s a fad, heard it’s hyped and heard it’s fleeting, yet it’s clear that data professionals are in demand and well paid,” said Alice Hill , Managing Director of

“Tech professionals who analyze large data streams and strategically impact the overall business goals of a firm have an opportunity to write their own ticket.  The message to employers? If you have a talented data team, hold on tight or learn the consequences of a lift-out.”


Orlando, DC, Vegas, Miami top Cvent list of top meeting cities

Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Peabody Orlando

Interior of the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the number one meeting hotel in the U.S., according to Cvent in a different ranking list. Orlando is number one on Cvent’s just released list of the top meeting cities in the United States.

Cvent, the leader in cloud-based event management solutions, has ranked the top 50 cities for meetings and events in the United States, according to meeting and event booking activity in the Cvent Supplier Network.

Cvent operates the number one marketplace for group meetings business in the world, expecting to source $7 billion of meetings business in 2012.

TechMedia does digital media conferences in several of these cities, such as the upcoming Digital East conference near DC in October, annual events in Atlanta, and new this year, a digital conference slated for Dallas.

The top 10 cities are:

  1. Orlando, FL
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Miami, FL
  5. Chicago, IL
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Phoenix, AZ
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. Dallas, TX
  10. New Orleans, LA

To see the full list of the top 50 cities, see:

Cvent evaluated 1,000 cities and 200 major metropolitan areas (MMAs) in the U.S. on the Cvent Supplier Network to create the list. Activity was tracked between July 2011 and June 2012, and the ranking was then determined by a set of qualifying criteria, some of which included:

  • The number of total room nights booked through the Cvent Supplier Network;
  • The number of unique electronic request-for-proposals (RFPs) sent through the marketplace to venues within the city;
  • The total value of the RFPs submitted;
  • The actual awarded value for meetings booked.

In addition to ranking top cities, Cvent also ranked the top MMAs to represent select markets where notable meetings activity takes place near, but outside the limits of the city core. To see the list of the top 50 MMAs, see:


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

Downtrodden but not whipped, Sunbelt economies are resurging

Friday, March 16th, 2012
John Sikaitis

John Sikaitis, SVP of Research, Jones Lang Lasalle

Recent economic and real estate factors indicate that most of the Sunbelt geographies have already hit their cyclical lows and during the next six to 12 months are likely to surpass national growth rates, according to a special office report issued by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Many of these areas are also hotspots for the digital economy, particularly San Diego, LA, and South Florida. This is also more evidence for something we have pointed out repeatedly at the TechJournal – the resilient U.S. economy is climbing out of its recessionary doldrums.

Although nearly all areas of the U.S. were negatively impacted by the recession, some of the hardest hit were the Sunbelt markets of Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orange County, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

“The Sunbelt markets witnessed substantial drops in their overall economies in 2007-2009 with relatively no recovery in 2010-2011. However, despite ongoing negative perceptions, most of these markets are undergoing a resurgence and poised for dramatic changes in 2012 and beyond,” said John Sikaitis, Senior Vice President of Research at Jones Lang LaSalle.

“These economic upswings bring much optimism for future office and employment levels, as well as investor interest for the capital markets.”

Sunbelt office recovery indicates future gains to surpass national levels
Currently nearly all Sunbelt markets posted substantial upticks in occupancy, experienced declines in vacancy and moved closer to seeing office rents and concession levels hit bottom.

In 2011, occupancy gains in these beaten-down housing economies totaled nearly 6.0 million square feet and provided evidence that, as we move forward in 2012, most of these geographies will start to outpace the national recovery.

This resurgence is due to strengthening employment, migration and housing market shifts with absorption rates in the 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent range across most the Sunbelt geographies.

Sunbelt-wide employment gains outperforming national averages of late and picking up speed month by month
Markets such as Jacksonville, Miami, Orange County, San Diego, Tampa and West Palm Beach have surpassed the national average in total non-farm, private and professional and business services (PBS) job growth.

Floridian markets have dominated the jobs recovery of late: Jacksonville’s 5.9 percent annual increase in PBS jobs is among the largest in the nation, whileTampa’s 2.5+ percent annual growth in all measures shows signs of revival and diversification. Miami also surpasses both national expectations, increasing at around 1.9 percent overall annually.

Sunbelt migration trends starting to turn positive
In terms of domestic migration, the majority of Sunbelt cities display a common pattern: a net loss of residents in 2007, shifting to an inflow of residents in 2008 or 2009 and then stable, yet increasing, population growth in 2010 and through 2011.

Nearly 75 percent of the Sunbelt markets are now, once again, showing significant positive migration with Florida reporting the largest increase of at least 20 percent. As the hub to Latin America, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are leading the charge due to strong immigration trends from Latin America that drive population, business and economic growth.

Sunbelt’s housing crunch on the verge of stabilizing
Since their pre-recession peaks, housing markets within the Sunbelt have experienced drastic reductions in price and sale volume, far greater than any other region of the United States. In most cases, these housing markets have yet to begin recovery.

However, as a result of positive office demand growth, employment and migration indicators, there is a strong chance that most of these geographies are hitting their market low and will soon begin to recover, if this has not begun already.

Since employment and other indicators point to recovery while housing prices are only beginning to stabilize or in some cases are still decreasing, continued economic, employment and office sector growth will lead to gradual, but steady, gains in the housing sector moving forward.

2007 levels far off but future gains are on the horizon
Vital to the continued improvement of most Sunbelt geographies in 2012 will be consistent gains in employment across multiple sectors with emphasis on diversifying economies.

Since job performance has remained either constant or accelerating in these metropolitan areas not only among themselves, but also outpacing national results, it is probable that most Sunbelt markets will recover faster than the U.S. as a whole in 2012 and 2013.  They will see rebounds in their housing markets as well, driving even further office demand from the housing-sectors (i.e. homebuilding, mortgage companies, etc.)

Sikaitis added, “Whereas migratory patterns drove the Sunbelt to unprecedented growth in the pre-recession years, those patterns will now be reflective of recent strong office recovery in these markets, being more economically sustainable and diverse than before with the potential to surpass the rest of the country.

“Even with these positive shifts, most of these geographies are two to three years away from returning to pre-2007 levels; so, while we are upbeat about the recovery for these markets, we remain realistic and guarded in the fact that we are not yet back to 2006 territory and likely will not be until the 2014-2015 timeframe.”

Gartner warns of looming period of “unprecedented uncertainty”

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

GartnerGartner Inc. analysts warned IT managers that they see a second recession on the horizon and that IT managers face a period of “unprecedented uncertainty,” according to a Computerworld report.

Speaking at the annual Gartner Symposium/IT expo in Orlando, FL, the Gartner analysts told IT managers they may need to “reimagine” their departments for a post-modern world of information, collaboration, and mobility, all of which will lead to users seeking higher levels of interaction with companies.

Peter Sondergaard, the firm’s head of research, said, “The second recession is about to hit.”

The Gartner analysts suggested that IT managers consider “creative destruction,” by knocking down organizational walls so companies can innovate together. Analyst Tina Nunno urged, “Embrace calculated risk.”


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

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Be proactive and take measures to protect your mobile devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smartphone Malware Report Overview:

Key topics covered in the report include:

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

How Can You Protect Your Mobile Device?

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

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

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


Orlando game developer startup Row Sham Bow rocks $1.5M

Friday, May 6th, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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Hackers use videos, installers, social media to lure victims

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Panda SecurityORLANDO, FL – How are cyber criminals snaring their victims? A new study from cloud anti-malware firm Panda Security says they’re using videos, installers, “cracks” and social media most often.

According to the research, 25 percent of sites used video and multimedia content as bait; 21.63 percent referred to installers or program updates; 16.53 percent claimed to contain cracks and keygens and 16 percent were social media URLs.

A crack is a small software application that serializes a piece of commercial software and enables users to operate any software application. It also enables hackers to illegally modify software, such as remove protectors like the trial/demo version, serial number, CD checks and any other software protection method.

“Users continue to fall victim to malicious links offering to take them to an exciting video or the new episode of their favorite TV show. This technique has become a weapon of choice for hackers as it requires minimum investment and attracts a large number of victims,” said Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. “Most of these sites download Trojans onto users’ computers without their knowledge. Therefore, a good security solution capable of blocking them proactively is extremely helpful for users who, in most cases, can’t distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘malicious’ websites.”

eBooks are in fifth place on the list comprising 5.25 percent of occurrences, followed by Peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads and adult content. The ranking rounds out with sites offering software programs, operating systems, browsers, videogames and antivirus software (all of them used in less than three percent of cases). For detailed graphical analysis of these ranking, please visit: and

Most Blocked URLs in Q1

The three most blocked sites by Panda Security in Q1 2011 were three Brazilian web pages. The first was a video released by the Japanese consulate showing the rescue of a group of tsunami survivors; the second, a video supposedly showing a short circuit causing the death of 15 people; and the third supposedly contains footage of a police officer being fired because of his Internet activities.

“Attackers exploit hot topics and users’ morbid curiosity,” explained Corrons. “Who isn’t interested in watching the latest footage of such a devastating natural disaster as Japan’s recent earthquake?”

Popularity Ranking

The study shows user preferences in relation to the malware lures used. When taking a look at P2P applications, Panda found that the most popular program is Ares, followed by Torrent and eMule. As for social networks, Facebook tops the list ahead of Messenger, Tuenti and MySpace.

The most searched for operating system is Windows, followed by Mac and Linux. Finally, Explorer still dominates the web browser market, with Firefox and Chrome trailing behind.

“There are no hidden secrets when it comes to finding out if a website is legitimate or not, but it is becoming increasingly complicated for users to differentiate them. Unfortunately, many users don’t know if their security system is good enough to protect their systems, which is where a lot of these problems originate,” said Corrons.

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Digital Summit: connects entrepreneurs, small businesses and investors

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

moneyBy Allan Maurer

ORLANDO, FL –, an Orlando-based Internet company has just launched its site, which connects entrepreneurs and startups with investors, but already has five deals in term sheets and expects to see its first deal close by the end of the first quarter.

Founded in 2010 by David Bayer, CEO of DataBanq and of and a founder of Chamberperks (2002), a web-based group buying program in Flordia, and Seth Ellis, managing partner of the $450 million Florida Mezzanine Fund, the site is free to both investors and entrepreneurs. DataBanq and the FMF funded the project.

Investors can pay a membership fee for increased deal flow and more sophisticated deal matching/searching features.

“Entrepreneurs and CFOs are turning to the web to find investment and lending resources,” said Bayer, managing partner of FindVenture.

“What they are finding is that most investors are still operating offline and seeking deal flow by utilizing traditional methods. brings both the investor, or fund, and the business owner or entrepreneur into a more efficient marketplace exchange.”

Using a sophisticated matching algorithm, FindVenture connects investors with individuals and organizations. “Eliminating the need to filter through investment opportunities that don’t fit the core criteria of a fund saves both the investor and the business a tremendous amount of time,” said Bayer. provides detailed profiles of both funds and prospective investment companies, in addition to a platform and subscription model similar to, where like employers; investors have access to view prospective investment opportunities.

Bayer tells us, “Our focus is on creating enough deal flow that we can attract a senior management team and raise money to deploy to the deal flow as a venture fund.  Similar to what Lending Tree has done by starting off in mortgage lead generation and then eventually becoming a mortgage underwriter themselves.”

The five-employee firm has more than 50 funds/investors registered on the platform in just its first 30 days.

We asked Bayer what differentiates the company from others in the space.

“We are in a unique position,” he said,  “in that we have no immediate need to make money off of our customers. Our model – instead of needing to make money off of investors, entrepreneurs or the connecting of the two – our focus is simply deal flow.”

He added, “In partnership with Acxiom and, we have a direct communication channel to more than 14MM businesses.  Using a sophisticated algorithm we are able to identify those businesses which are likely to need and qualify for funding and approach them directly to participate in our platform.  The net result, higher volume and quality of deals in the system and a fraction of the cost of most other companies in the space.”

. When a business posts a funding request on, they put their idea and business plan in front of thousands of investors and funds. Additionally, FindVenture provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources and education to find the fund that’s the right fit.

FindVenture’s resources section provides insight into the fundraising process with articles written by industry leaders such as Karen Klein – an expert in small businesses and entrepreneurship who has appeared in Bloomberg Business Week and the Los Angeles Times for more than a decade.

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DC, 1st, Atlanta 2nd most socially networked cities, Raleigh 12th

Friday, March 11th, 2011
Atlanta skyline

Atlanta is 2nd on the list of most socially networked cities.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE, NC – Washington, DC took the top spot as most socially networked, followed by Atlanta in the number two position in a ranking by Men’s Health magazine, it calls “Twittertowns.” Raleigh ranked 12th, Orlando, 7th, Tampa, 31st, and Baltimore 58th.

The magazine ranked US cities by adding up the number of Facebook and LinkedIn users per capita and overall Twitter use as monitored by NetProspex.It also measured traffic generated in each city by social networks and factored in the percentage of households checking out chat rooms and blogs.

You can meet some of the most wired people in Atlanta at TechMedia’s Digital Summit May 16-17 at the Cobb Galleria.

Here’s the top ten, according to the magazine:

Most socially networked
1 Washington, DC
2 Atlanta, GA
3 Denver, CO
4 Minneapolis, MN
5 Seattle, WA
6 San Francisco, CA
7 Orlando, FL
8 Austin, TX
9 Boston, MA
10 Salt Lake City, UT

Here’s the Full List.

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


Internet Summit:

Digital East:

Digital Summit:

Good news: malware infections fell in February

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Panda SecurityORLANDO, FL – You don’t often hear good news about online security, but here’s some. Malware infections fell 11 percent last month, according to Orlando-based Panda Security.

Panda Security, a Cloud Security Co., says that during the month of February, data gathered by Panda ActiveScan, the company’s free online scanner, found that only 39 percent of computers scanned in February were infected with malware, compared to 50 percent last month.

Trojans were found to be the most prolific malware threat, responsible for 61 percent of all cases, followed by traditional viruses and worms which caused 11.59 percent and nine percent of cases worldwide, respectively.

Personally, I’ve noticed that Trojans targeting java have been prevalent.

These figures have hardly changed compared to similar data collected in January. A graphical representation is available at: The most prevalent malware specimens detected this February also remained consistent with last month’s findings. The CI.A, Downloader.MDW or Lineage.KDB Trojans continued to spread and infect systems in approximately the same numbers.

China, Ukraine, Thailand and Taiwan held the top four highest rates of infection (more than 50 percent of cases). Other countries such as Italy, the U.S. or France recorded rates below 40 percent, but ranked higher than last month.

Guide to social media security for small, medium-sized businesses

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Panda SecurityPanda Security , The Cloud Security company, is providing guidance to small-to-medium sized businesses on ways to safely and securely integrate social media strategies into their businesses.

After conducting its 1st Annual Social Media Risk Index for SMBs last September, Panda Security discovered that 78 percent use social networking sites to support research and competitive intelligence, improve customer service, drive public relations and marketing initiatives and directly generate revenue.

However, corporate social media strategies and security policies usually overlook crisis management plans to face the challenges posed by social media, and authenticity, security and privacy continue to be of utmost concern.


Protecting brand or digital identity should be a priority for all businesses, but in reality, neither the top social media platforms nor companies themselves seem to pay much attention to it.

The fact that anybody can create a fake online profile in the name of a real business means that people can speak on behalf of a company without having anything to do with it. This could lead to the creation of communities of users tricked into believing that a corporate account is authentic. It could also lead to publication of information that could damage the brand and result in public relations disasters.

Only a few social media sites like Twitter allow users to show their account is authentic through a Verified Badge, but most of them do not include that option. It is therefore recommended to proactively register all company trade names on the main social media sites, clearly identifying a business official communication channel if there is no other verification mechanism available.


Companies are affected by the same problems as individual users are who connect to social media sites. The main security concerns businesses should monitor for include:

  • Identity theft: Administrators could become infected and have their profile login data and passwords compromised. This could result in anybody taking control of the corporate account to perform actions including scheduling events (on Facebook, for example) with malware links. Similarly, a malicious user that takes over an account could post information from a company’s official profile with disastrous effects.
  • Infection risks: Attackers could take advantage of instant messaging applications or the timeline feature in microblogging platforms to send users information with hidden links to malware sites. In the case of large corporations, this could result in targeted attacks designed to infect users’ computers in order to penetrate networks and access confidential information. Similarly, malicious links can be posted on profile walls contributing to the spread of computer malware. Any of these actions could clearly compromise brand integrity.
  • Platform vulnerabilities: 2010 saw a number of security exploits in popular social networks like Facebook or Twitter, putting millions of users at risk. As more users join these sites, there will be more researchers looking for security flaws, so users must be aware that the platforms will become more vulnerable as time wears on.

Following good password management practices like changing them regularly and strengthening them through the combination of alphanumeric characters can help protect corporate integrity. Security awareness and education as well as keeping oneself up to date on the latest security threats will help corporate profile administrators to stay alert and detect any irregular activities.


The study showed that 77 percent of SMB employees use social networking during working hours and could share confidential information there. This information can potentially be used by malicious users to post information about corporate finances, practices or internal work processes, which becomes a major risk.

Adequate training programs and social media policies will greatly minimize the risk of confidential information leaks. According to Luis Corrons, Technical Director at PandaLabs, “In the past, most social media sites were for personal use, but now we are witnessing a boom of social media strategies in the corporate sector. Web 2.0. has proven to be an extremely efficient way to implement marketing, communication and customer service activities, but companies must understand the risks involved in these channels.”

“Corporate security plans, whether for large or small businesses, must include contingency action plans in the event of public crises caused by any of these online platforms and resulting in reputation damage and financial losses. It is clear that cybercriminals will start shifting their attention to companies using social media as corporations return much more benefits than individual users.”

To access the Social Media Risk for SMBs in its entirety, please click the following link:


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Radixx software gets airline profits off the ground

Friday, February 18th, 2011

By Allan Maurer

RadixxORLANDO, FL – Getting airline profits off the ground is tougher than one might expect, considering how essential air travel is to our business and personal lives in the modern world. But airlines large and small have gone belly up because they couldn’t land enough paying passengers. Radixx, a software firm in Orlando, puts some jet fuel in airline profits.

Ron Peri, founder and CEO of Radixx, tells us that building an advanced airline passenger service system is a complex endeavor that defeated several major players who spent hundreds of millions and years trying. “There have been a lot of attempts to build this type of software that failed,” says Peri.

Radixx itself only succeeded by doing it incrementally over many years, he says at a cost of about $50 million.

A myriad of problems have to be solved: chief among them, getting the airlines specifications and working with legacy software systems, but the whole thing is complex, Peri says. The air industry business model is in a rapid state of change. You must find a way to compete profitably in an environment where low cost structures and non-traditional business models are now the rule not the exception.

Presenting at SEVC

Radixx, spun out of a previous airline focused company in 1998, is among the 50 innovative firms presenting at the fifth annual Southeast Venture Conference in Atlanta March 2-3. And what a story Radixx has to tell.

“We have a variety of airline clients who will state emphatically that implementing Radixx Air made them profitable, more profitable, or kept them in business,” says Peri. Great Lakes Aviation, for instance,  stated in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Radixx was the reason for the company’s first profitable quarter.

Air Iceland made its first profit in 40 years of operations after installing Radixx software.

Another airline saw a 250 percent increase in bookings using the software. Go Air, which had never had more than 100,000 passengers in a month leaped to 147,000 the month it first used the product and moved to 250,000 a month.

“It’s had a tremendous impact,” Peri says. “It’s just a more effective and better way of selling.”

The Internet changed everything

The Internet changed everything for airline ticket sales just like it disrupted publishing and music sales and many other aspects of modern business. In the old days, Peri says, a travel agent would book you with the airline that gave them the best commission and you took what you got. Now, on the Internet, “Airline fares are obvious to everyone,” Peri notes.

To deal with that new transparency, which lets people find the cheapest fares quickly, airlines sell everything they can sell as services, from baggage fees to meals or better placement in line. That requires a software system that can handle constant adaptations.

Radixx has about 30 airline clients now and no two do things the same way, Peri says. “But we are at a point now where we have a product,” which he notes was far from easy to create. Now the company is looking for venture backing to help it build out its brand and sales channels.

Radixx Air charges on a transaction basis. It allows selling through any distribution channel, e-ticket or ticketless, legacy or modern.

“There have been many attempts to build this type of software that failed,” says Peri. “We’re kind of the little engine that shouldn’t have been able to but did, little by little.”

He says that if the company lands funding, the lessons it has learned creating its product give it some insight into what’s coming out of the clouds. “We could do some things along the lines of breakthroughs,” he says.

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


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Two new exploits aimed at Facebook and Twitter users

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Panda LabsORLANDO, FL – Our vigilant friends at Panda Security have discovered two new security exploits taking advantage of popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter. In the last several days, two new malware strains have been wreaking havoc on Facebook users.

The first, Asprox.N, is a Trojan delivered via email informing users their Facebook account is being used to distribute spam and that, for security reasons, the login credentials have been changed. The email includes a fake Word document attachment, supposedly containing the new password, with an unusual icon and the filename Facebook_details.exe.

Deceiving victims by opening a .doc file upon opening the attachment, this file is really a Trojan that downloads another file designed to open all available ports, connecting to mail service providers in an attempt to spam as many users as possible.

The second new malware strain, Lolbot.Q, is distributed across instant messaging applications such as AIM or Yahoo!, with a message displaying a malicious link. Clicking the link downloads a worm designed to hijack Facebook accounts, blocking users’ access while informing that the account has been suspended.

To “reactivate” their account, users are asked to complete a questionnaire, promising prizes such as laptops and iPads. After several questions, users are asked to subscribe and enter their cell phone number, which is in turn charged a fee of $11.60 per week. Victims can restore access to their Facebook account only once they subscribe to the service and receive a new password.

“Once again cybercriminals are using social engineering to trick victims and infect them with malware,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. “Given the increasing popularity of social media, it is no surprise that it is being exploited to lure victims.”

To avoid security threats such as these, PandaLabs recommends users be wary of any unexpected messages with unusually eye-catching subjects and avoid clicking on external links, running executable files or entering personal data into unknown applications or web forms.

Social media success driven by engagement and “Hierarchy of Needs”

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

AlineanORLANDO, FL - Alinean, an Orlando-based company selling B2B sales and marketing tools, says research reveals that return on investment ROI success in social media is often driven by level-of-engagement, and that engagement success was driven by a set of best practices termed the “Social Media Hierarchy of Needs,” a phrase Alinean has trademarked.

The findings revealed that social media level-of-engagement, the ability to attract and dialogue with followers, advocates, influencers and readers, drove the capture of new prospects, improved existing customer loyalty and provided a platform for collaborative innovation.

These engagements eventually led to incremental revenue opportunities and cost savings, the key benefits in the realization of ROI.

“The research looked at engagement success and how it led to tangible benefits and ROI, revealing that marketers who implemented a layered, hierarchical set of engagement best practices, including Content, Campaigns, Monitoring and Collaboration, achieved superior ROI results,” said Tom Pisello, chairman and founder of Alinean.

“Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, each successive layer relies on a solid foundation for success, with those implementing successive approach achieving the most success.”

The Soc
ial Media Hierarchy of Needs includes:

* Tier 1: Content– Achieving social media ROI required a foundation of content, particularly focused on delivering value, presenting new ideas, improving credibility, driving personal connections and providing entertainment.
* Tier 2: Campaigns – Users won’t know that the content exists without campaigns, a promotional “push” of messages via the social media channels. Campaigns can include basic messaging like tweeting, updating status, posting discussions and links, and more advanced campaigns such as contests and sweepstakes.
* Tier 3: Monitoring – Above the campaigns, monitoring is required to actively listen to the user community. The monitoring can listen for campaign and content effectiveness, advocacy and customer intelligence, trends, competitive intelligence, incidents and issues, as well as responding to direct questions and incident response.
* Tier 4: Collaboration – Interacting with the user base is a key differentiating element to the most successful social media campaigns. This includes promoting and participating in collaborative discussions and engaging users in collaborative product reviews, shared designs and innovation, an initiative termed “collaborative innovation.”

Along with the hierarchical tiers, the research indicated two key additional supporting best practices, highlighting the importance of:

* Measurement of social media metrics, benefits and success; and
* Integration of information, such as lead nurturing and CRM, and processes, such as centralizing and coordinating governance and resources.

“In order to drive the most effective engagement, marketers need to implement each successive tier of the Social Media Hierarchy of Needs to drive the highest ROI from social media efforts,” adds Pisello.

Many of these findings support advice we’ve heard from numerous speakers at Tech Media’s Internet focused events ( and, with a new event slated for Atlanta this spring).

Here is the full Social Media ROI white paper and research findings.

Summit Broadband, Orlando Telephone dial in $14.8M

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Summit BroadbandORLANDO, FL – Summit Broadband, parent company of Orlando Telephone, has closed a $6.4 million offering, and Orlando Telephone an $8.4 million equity round, according to regulatory filings.

Summit Broadband sells Internet, phone and TV service in Orlando, boasting speeds as high as 50mbs, increasing to 100mbs in 2011, which it says is “the fastest in the US.” It competes with larger Internet, phone and TV providers in the Orlando market.

Orlando Telephone had its beginning in 1982 with Orlando Business Telephone Systems. In 1985 it launched Brevard Business Telephone Systems, then 1997 started Gulfcoast Business Telephone Systems and Orlando Telephone Company.

The companies disclosed the fundings in filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Email TechJournal South Editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournal South dot com.

The ten biggest cyber security threats for 2011

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Panda LabsORLANDO, FL -PandaLabs, the antimalware laboratory of Panda Security, the cloud security company, has forecasted several radical innovations in cyber-crime for 2011. Hacktivism and cyber-war; more profit-oriented malware; social media; social engineering and malicious codes with the ability to adapt to avoid detection will be the main threats in the coming year. There will also be an increase in the threats to Mac users, new efforts to attack 64-bit systems and zero-day exploits.

Following is a summary of what PandaLabs predicts as the ten major security trends of 2011:

1. Malware creation: In 2010, PandaLabs witnessed significant growth in the amount of malware and discovered at least 20 million new strains, more than in 2009. At present, Panda’s Collective Intelligence database stores a total of more than 60 million classified threats. The actual rate of growth year-on-year however, appears to have peaked. Several years ago it was over 100 percent and in 2010 it was 50 percent.
2. Cyber war: Stuxnet and the WikiLeaks cables suggesting the involvement of the Chinese government in the cyber-attacks on Google and other targets have marked a turning point in the history of these conflicts. Stuxnet was an attempt to interfere with processes in nuclear plants, specifically, with uranium centrifuge. Attacks such as these, albeit more or less sophisticated, are still ongoing, and will undoubtedly increase in 2011, even though many of them will go unnoticed by the general public.
3. Cyber-protests: Cyber-protests , or hacktivism, are all the rage and will continue to grow in frequency. This new movement was initiated by the Anonymous group and Operation Payback, targeting organizations trying to close the net on Internet piracy, and later in support of Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. Even users with limited technical know-how can join in the distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) or spam campaigns.
Despite hasty attempts in many countries to pass legislation to counter this type of activity effectively by criminalizing it, PandaLabs believes that in 2011 there will be more cyber-protests, organized by this group or others that will begin to emerge.
4. Social engineering: Cyber-criminals have found social media sites to be their perfect working environment, as users are even more trusting with these than with other types of tools, such as email.
Throughout 2010, PandaLabs witnessed various attacks that used the two most popular social networks – Facebook and Twitter – as launching pads. In 2011, not only will hackers continue to use these networks, but it is predicted that they will also be used more for distributed attacks.
BlackHat SEO attacks (indexing and positioning of fake websites in search engines) will also be widely employed throughout 2011, as always, taking advantage of hot topics to reach as many users as possible. In addition, a significant amount of malware will be disguised as plug-ins, media players and other similar applications.
5. Windows 7 influencing malware development: It will take at least two years before there is a proliferation of threats designed specifically for Windows 7. In 2010, PandaLabs began seeing a shift in this direction, and predicts that in 2011, new cases of malware targeting users of this new operating system will continue to emerge.
6. Mobile phones: In 2011 there will be new attacks on mobile phones, but it will not be on a massive scale. Most of the existing threats target devices with Symbian, an operating system which is now on the wane. Of the emerging systems, PandaLabs predicts that the threats for Android will increase considerably throughout the year, becoming the number one mobile target for cyber-crooks.
7. Tablets: The dominance of the iPad will start to be challenged by new competitors entering the market. Therefore PandaLabs does not believe that tablet PCs will become a major consideration for the cyber-criminals in 2011.
8. Mac: Malware for Mac exists, and will continue to exist. And as the market share of Mac users continues to grow, the number of threats will grow. The greatest concern is the number of security holes in the Apple operating system. Developers will need to patch these holes as soon as possible, as hackers are well aware of the possibilities that these vulnerabilities offer for propagating malware.
9. HTML5: HTML5 is the perfect target for many types of criminals and could eventually replace Flash. It can be run by browsers without any plug-ins, making it even more attractive to find a security hole that can be exploited to attack users regardless of which browser they use. PandaLabs expects to see the first attacks on HTML5 in the coming months.
10. Highly dynamic and encrypted threats: PandaLabs expects dynamic and encrypted threats to increase in 2011. PandaLabs is receiving more and more encrypted, stealth threats designed to connect to a server and update themselves before security companies can detect them. There are also more threats that target specific users, particularly companies, as information stolen from businesses will fetch a higher price on the black market.

Five predictions on B2B marketing strategies for 2011

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

AlineanORLANDO, FL- B2B buyers are more frugal than ever, so  Alinean, a creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors, has listed five predictions on B2B sales enablement and marketing strategies for 2011.

“In the face of the recent economic downturn, B2B buyers are more frugal than ever. Even with recovery predicted for 2011, a new ‘age of austerity’ keeps buyers seeking bottom-line impact and value from every investment,” states Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean. “At the same time, B2B buyers are taking advantage of information available via the Internet and social media to become empowered, taking charge of the buying cycle.”

From Alinean research and best practices work with leading B2B sales and marketing groups, here are the Company’s top 5 predictions for 2011:

1. Internet Fueled Buying Cycles on the Rise – Similar to the B2C buying revolution where the Internet fundamentally changed how goods are bought and sold, B2B prospects are taking charge of the buying cycle using online content marketing, resources and tools to drive research, comparisons and purchase decisions. Savvy B2B marketers will recognize the “consumerization” of B2B, significantly increasing content marketing investments in 2011 to deliver the right content and interactive decision support tools at the appropriate right step in the buying cycle.

2. The Death of a Salesman? At the same time as buyers are becoming more empowered, sales professionals are seen by these buyers as less valuable in the decision making process. As a result, sales professionals are being invited later in the buying cycle, often coming after key decisions have already been made. In 2011, many organizations will go to a direct Internet model and “buy it now,” while others will redefine the sales role and invest in making sales professionals relevant again with important content and tools.

3. It’s Only a Matter of Trust – B2B buyers will rely more on online presence to make judgments as to whether they will do business with a company. So, online presence needs to overcome typical vendor skepticism, convey credibility and gain trust. In 2011, significant investments in content and tools will be needed to create a “circle of trust” with skeptical buyers, including independent endorsements, peer and analyst reviews, success stories and validation.

4. Information Overload – Even though B2B buyers are relying on the Internet to fuel purchase decisions, these buyers are inundated with marketing messages over diverse channels, leading to information overload, confusion and stalled decision making. Significant investments in better content, targeting and personalization will be made in 2011 to end “carpet bombing” B2B marketing techniques, evolving to create a dialogue with buyers to guide them through the decision making process and buying lifecycle with personalized one-to-one advice.

5. Fight Frugalnomics – Today, B2B buyers are focused more than ever on what solutions are available to enable “doing-more-with-less,” driving savings and realizing quantifiable bottom-line impact. To fight Frugalnomics, savvy marketers will need to make even more investments in content and tools for 2011, aimed at helping buyers assess and quantify the economic impact of implementing the proposed solutions, quantify the cost of “doing nothing” and prove competitive cost advantages and value.

“B2B sales and marketing are fundamentally being shaped in 2011 by the Internet empowered buyer, increased skepticism, information overload and Frugalnomics, driving the need for key investments in content marketing, personalization, interactive tools and sales enablement,” adds Pisello.

“The savvy marketing and sales enablement professional will proactively recognize the issues that the frugal and empowered decision maker creates, using 2011 to reshape the strategies and investments to better engage, dialogue and sell to ever more empowered, skeptical, overloaded and frugal buyers.”

Click here for the full article.