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U.S. cities with the most gaming early adopters (infographic)

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Mobile gameMaxPoint, a company that helps retailers and brands drive local in-store sales, has identified U.S. cities with the neighborhoods most interested in gaming.

By analyzing billions of in-store purchases and online data points, MaxPoint identified two distinct groups of gamers: early adopters, or those looking for the latest gaming technology, and latecomers, or gamers who prefer time-tested technologies.

According to the NPD Group, retail sales of gaming hardware, software and accessories totaled $13.26 billion in 2012. As the industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important for advertisers to know where to find gamers and what motivates them to buy.

MaxPoint’s proprietary interest data indicates that these groups approach gaming-related products from different perspectives and have different needs in the purchase cycle.

Here’s an infographic detailing the findings:

 

Top ten cities for private tech M&A ranked

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Washington DC

Washington, DC made this years list of the top ten cities for private tech M&A at number 7.

PrivCo has released rankings of the Top U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A, based on the number of private tech companies acquired in 2012.

PrivCo has provided its Exclusive Top 10 Ranking below, with Silicon Valley ranking as the #1 metro area with 226 private tech company acquisitions in 2012.

Ranked just behind it were New York (Ranked #2) & Boston (Ranked #3).

San Diego, Research Triangle miss top ten

Interestingly, up-and-coming tech hubs like New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta are challenging traditional leaders like Raleigh-Durham’s “research triangle” and biotech hub San Diego, who missed this year’s Top 10 U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A.

Top 10 U.S. Cities For Private Tech M&A in 2012

(Ranked By Total Number of U.S. Private Tech Companies Acquired in Each Metro Area)

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

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

http://www.privco.com/products/2012-m-and-a-industry-overview-technology-sector-volume-I

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 Dice.com.

“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.”

 

Telsa clinches top spot on Deloitte Technology Fast 500

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Telsa Model S

Telsa Model S

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

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

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

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

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

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

The top ten ranked companies are as follows:

2012 Rank Company Sector Revenue Growth

(2007 to 2011)

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

Networking

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

pharmaceutical

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

Networking

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

Networking

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

pharmaceutical

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

Village, CO

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

Innovation hot spots continue to sizzle

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

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

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

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

Location Percent of List Fastest-growing Company in the

Region

Company

Overall

Ranking

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

Software still dominates

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

Sector rankings are as follows:

Sector Sector make-up

of Fast 500

Fastest-growing Company in

the Sector

Company

Overall

Ranking

City, State
Software 40 percent Avigilon 8 Vancouver, BC
Biotechnology/

Pharmaceutical

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

For additional detail on the Technology Fast 500 including the complete list and qualifying criteria, visit www.fast500.com

Need tech talent? Hacker Tour connecting startups and students

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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

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

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

Stops on the Hacker 2012 Tour:

hackerforce tour map

Companies invited to sign-up

Readyforce invites companies interested in joining Hacker Tour 2012 to learn more and register at: www.hackertour2012.com.

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

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

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

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

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

 Colleges like the program

Colleges and universities are also enthusiastic.

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

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

 

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: http://www.cvent.com/en/sem/top-50-meeting-destinations-us-2012.shtml.

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: http://www.cvent.com/en/sem/top-50-meeting-markets-us-2012.shtml.

 

Two Colorado entrepreneurs start crowdfunded relief effort in aftermath of theater shooting

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Two Colorado entrepreneurs have initiated a relief effort for the community affected by the horrific midnight movie shooting that killed 12 people and injured 50 at a movie theater showing the new Batman film.

Roger Toennis and Alex Montoya were so disturbed after learning of Friday’s attack on innocent movie goers, they sprung into action and initiated their own relief effort. Both men are Denver residents; Alex grew up within minutes of the now infamous Century Cinema and his father still lives nearby.

Tapping into their technology backgrounds and entrepreneurial expertise, they decided to use internet CrowdFunding.

CrowdFunding pools together small donations from many people to raise money for a shared goal: in this case – financial relief for medical treatment, travel and memorials for the survivors and families involved in the Aurora tragedy.

Roger explains that they chose START.ac “because they do not charge a fee for disaster relief projects and the site encourages charitable projects.”

Alex adds that “all of the donations will go to the community except for MasterCard / VISA / AMEX processing fees.”

San Diego, CA based START.ac launched in May.

When asked about the Aurora Relief Fund project, START.ac Founder / CEO Rod Turner (Ashton Tate, Symantec – SYMC / Norton, ArtSlant), said, “I am happy to help raise money for such a good cause. I hope that this effort helps the injured, and the families of those who were taken. Our team members were some of the project’s first supporters.”

CLICK HERE to donate or learn more about the Aurora Relief Fund.

People are also encouraged to leave messages of support on START.ac’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/CrowdFundYourFuture

Want to sell more online? Make your call to action stand out

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Shopping cartSan Diego-based Miva Merchant, a leader in small business shopping cart software, is offering tips to online small business merchants to help them avoid costly website mistakes.

The company aims to change the way online merchants deliver their Internet shopping experiences by helping merchants develop more effective calls to action.

“Online shoppers want a smooth transaction experience,” says Jesse Ness at Miva Merchant. “Merchants benefit by being simple and direct with their online visitors. Consumers prefer buttons labeled “Buy Now” or links that read, “Learn More – ” over longer calls to action that may not be as clear.” As an added benefit, phrases that are shorter and more direct are also friendlier to the consumer who’s using a mobile device.

Here at the TechJournal we interview many digital marketing gurus and not infrequently note that some ecommerce websites still make it unnecessarily difficult to even find a buy button. It’s not as if they’re expensive to use or difficult to code.

Keep it simple, make call to action stand out

Way too much clutter that turns site navigation into a maze is one reason. But whatever the reason, Miva Merchant warns merchants to make sure that a call to action stands out.

“By building a site that is simple, pleasant to look at and uncluttered, merchants can help consumers find and respond to a call to action more quickly.

Using complementary colors and keeping the space around a call to action on the site clear encourages consumers to spend more time looking at the site and focusing on the call to action.

Jesse says that it is possible to overdo a call to action on a website.  “By repeating the call to action too many times, the site becomes a turnoff to consumers who haven’t yet made up their minds to buy, sign up or subscribe. A better approach uses the site to build consumer confidence in the product or service and make it easy for a customer to act once a decision is made.”

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.”

Open Table names 100 U.S. restaurants providing best service

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

OpenTableBusiness travelers frequently need restaurants that have great food, but also good service, since they’re often on the run. If you’re looking for U.S. restaurants with top notch service, here’s some help from Open Table.

OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN), a  provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants, has disclosed the 2012 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the 100 restaurants in the United States providing the best service.

Open Table founder Chuck Templeton is among the top speakers at the Southeast Venture Conference which started this morning in Tysons Corner, VA, and runs through tomorrow.  Templeton created and defined the restaurant reservation space after founding OpenTable in 1998, after his wife spent a frustrating evening one night trying to make dinner reservations for his visiting in-laws one night in San Francisco.

OpenTable’s successful IPO in 2009 was a milestone that helped to reopen the public market for tech companies.

Awards reflect millions of opinions

These awards reflect the combined opinions of nearly 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Regionally, the honorees span 29 states and Washington, D.C. The South reinforces the notion of southern hospitality, with 22 restaurants in the region being singled out for best service. The Northeast boasts 15 winning restaurants, including 10 in New York alone.

The Pacific region accounts for 14 winners, 10 of which are in California, as does the Mid-Atlantic, with six restaurants in Virginia claiming spots. Eleven winners come from the Great Lakes Region, four of which are in the Twin Citiesarea.

The Pacific Northwest and the Southwest follow with seven honorees apiece. The Rocky Mountain States count five winners, while the Central Plains has four, three of which are in Missouri. One restaurant in Hawaii also earned a nod.

American food restaurants rack up 40 winners

Superior service can be found across a number of cuisines. Restaurants serving American food, however, account for 40 winners. French restaurants earned 25 places on the list.

Steakhouses followed with 17 spots. Seven Italian restaurants are among the winners. Other cuisines include continental, global international, Japanese, seafood, and sushi.

“The most memorable part of a meal may not be just what’s on your plate, but also, that exceptional staffer who goes the extra step to ensure an enjoyable dining experience,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable’s Chief Dining Officer.

“These winning restaurants understand this concept and have consciously created a culture of hospitality that is embraced by both front and back of house professionals. Whether it’s a grand gesture, such as a tour of the kitchen, or a simple one, like a warm smile from an attentive server, diners are coming away from these restaurants feeling special.”

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the top 100 restaurants providing the best service are generated from nearly 5 million reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between February 2011 and January 2012. All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the highest average rating in the service category.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the top 100 restaurants with the best service in the U.S. according to OpenTable diners.

The complete list may also be viewed athttp://www.opentable.com/bestservice.

2012 Diners’ Choice Award Winners for Restaurants in the U.S. with the Best Service

Acqua Restaurant & Wine Bar – White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Acquerello – San Francisco, California

Addison at The Grand Del Mar – San Diego, California

Bacchanalia – Atlanta, Georgia

Bibou – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Binkley’s Restaurant – Cave Creek, Arizona

Bistro L’Hermitage – Woodbridge, Virginia

Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, New York

Bluestem – Kansas City, Missouri

Bones – Atlanta, Georgia

Cafe Renaissance – Vienna, Virginia

Canlis – Seattle, Washington

Capital Grille – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Castagna – Portland, Oregon

Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse – Downers Grove, Illinois

Charleston – Baltimore, Maryland

Charleston Grill – Charleston, South Carolina

Chez Francois – Vermilion, Ohio

Chez Nous French Restaurant – Humble, Texas

CityZen – Washington, D.C.

Congress – Austin, Texas

The Copper Door – Hayesville, North Carolina

Corbett’s Fine Dining – Louisville, Kentucky

Cyrus – Healdsburg, California

Daniel – New York, New York

Daniel-Lounge Seating – New York, New York

Del Posto – New York, New York

Dewz – Modesto, California

The Dining Room-Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina

Eleven Madison Park – New York, New York

Elizabeth on 37th – Savannah, Georgia

Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant – Forestville, California

Fat Canary – Williamsburg, Virginia

Fearrington House Restaurant – Pittsboro, North Carolina

Fig Tree – Charlotte, North Carolina

Forage – Salt Lake City, Utah

Fountain Restaurant – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, Colorado

The French Room – Dallas, Texas

Genoa Restaurant – Portland, Oregon

Gordon Ramsay at the London – New York, New York

The Grill-The Ritz Carlton – Naples, Florida

Grouse Mountain Grill – Avon, Colorado

Halls Chophouse – Charleston, South Carolina

Hannas Prime Steak – Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Herons – Cary, North Carolina

Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama

The Hobbit – Orange, California

joan’s in the Park – St. Paul, Minnesota

Kai-Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort – Chandler, Arizona

Killen’s Steakhouse – Pearland, Texas

The Kitchen Restaurant – Sacramento, California

La Belle Vie – Minneapolis, Minnesota

La Grenouille – New York, New York

La Mer at Halekulani – Honolulu, Hawaii

L’Auberge Chez Francois – Great Falls, Virginia

Le Bernardin – New York, New York

Les Nomades – Chicago, Illinois

L’Etoile Restaurant – Madison, Wisconsin

Madrona Manor – Healdsburg, California

Mahogany Prime Omaha – Omaha, Nebraska

Marcel’s – Washington, D.C.

The Melting Pot – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Menton – Boston, Massachusetts

Michael’s-South Point Casino — Las Vegas, Nevada

Mitchell’s Ocean Club – Columbus, Ohio

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Portland, Oregon

New York Prime – Myrtle Beach, Florida

Niche – St. Louis, Missouri

Nicholas – Red Bank, New Jersey

o ya – Boston, Massachusetts

Opus 9 Steakhouse – Williamsburg, Virginia

Orchids at Palm Court – Cincinnati, Ohio

The Painted Lady – Newberg, Oregon

Palace Arms at the Brown Palace – Denver, Colorado

Peninsula Grill – Charleston, South Carolina

Pepper Tree Restaurant – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Per Se – New York, New York

Plume at the Jefferson Hotel – Washington, D.C.

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse – Dallas, Texas

The Restaurant at Meadowood – Saint Helena, California

Restaurant Iris – Memphis, Tennessee

Rover’s – Seattle, Washington

Rudy & Paco’s Restaurant & Bar – Galveston, Texas

Russell’s Steaks, Chops, and More – Williamsville, New York

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Jacksonville, Florida

Saint Jacques French Cuisine – Raleigh, North Carolina

Sedgley Place – Greene, Maine

Sonoma – Princeton, Massachusetts

St. John’s Restaurant – Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Steak House at Silver Reef – Ferndale, Washington

Tony’s – St. Louis, Missouri

TRU – Chicago, Illinois

Uchi – Austin, Texas

Uchiko – Austin, Texas

Vetri – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse – Las Vegas, Nevada

Vintage Tavern – Suffolk, Virginia

White Barn Inn – Kennebunk, Maine

Woodfire Grill – Atlanta, Georgia

Diners can also read more about the Diners’ Choice Awards for the Best Service restaurants in the U.S. by visiting OpenTable Chief Dining Officer Caroline Potter’s “Dining Check” blog.

Where the social media jobs are and what they pay (infographic)

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Where are the social media jobs and how much do they pay? The most jobs are in New York, San Jose, San Francisco, LA, Boston, DC and Baltimore, says Onward Search. They pay the most in New York, San Francisco, LA, Boston and DC.

Social media jobs initially fell into the hands of traditional marketers, but more and more it is separate job category. Onwardsearch.com not only offers advice on how to find a job in social media, it has created a series of infographics outlining the best cities for social media positions, and now a social media salary guide.

The blog also offers some solid advice to those in social media. Brian Chappell of Ignite Social Media, for instance, suggests, “Steer away from fuzzy metrics and focus on social media marketing that can move the needle.”

For more, see Onward Search feature, “Social Media Advice from Leading Marketers.

Here’s the firm’s infographic on social media salaries:

infographic social media

 

 

 

 

salary infographic

Which U.S. cities are best for tech jobs?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

SeattleWhat are the best cities for technology jobs now? You can probably guess that Seattle, would be high on the list, and it indeed came in at number one on a list compiled by newgeography.com. But if you guessed the Silicon Valley, you would be wrong.

The Valley, despite a concentration of tech jobs- six times the national average – it came in at 17 on the site’s list of the top 51 cities for tech jobs. It points out that the Valley was one of the biggest tech job losers over the last decade, dropping 80,000 positions, despite the more recent dot-com funding craze.

San Francisco itself is way down at number 29.

Newgeography used high-tech employment data from EMSI, an economic modeling firm. It then charted those areas that have gained the most high-tech manufacturing, software and services jobs over the past 10 years.

The top ten, newgeography says, are:

Seattle, Baltimore, Columbus, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Riverside/San Bernardino, and San Diego.

The next batch inlcudes more surprises: Indianapolis is 11, Buffalo 12, San Antonio 13, and Charlotte 14. Boston is way down at 22.

Factors affecting high-tech job creation, the site says, include the presence of a major research university – although that wasn’t of much help to Boston, which lost 45,000 tech jobs (18 percent) in the last decade.

Business costs are another factor. They’re high in the Valley, Boston, and the Bay area, less so in many of top ten cities. Even low business costs are not a sure path to tech job creation though. Texas has good business metrics, but nevertheless experienced losses in tech jobs, primarily due to cutbacks in telecom, electronics, and communications equipment manufacturing.

Personally, we think a careful look at the results of this study suggest something we’ve said all along: big manufacturing operations are not the be all and end all of job creation. Placing an emphasis on creating a welcoming atmosphere for startup tech companies is a better way to go, and some areas, including Durham in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, are taking that route.

Newgeography suggests that two up and comers in this decade might be Detroit, which it says “has some real high-tech mojo,” and New Orleans, which has expanded its tech workforce by about 10 percent since 2009.

Software companies dominate Deloitte’s 2011Tech Fast 500

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

DeloitteSoftware companies dominate on Deloitt’s 2011 Technology Fast 500, an annual ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Software firms account for 39 percent of the entire list, with 194 companies. Not surprisingly the West is home to the most (37%) Fast 500 tech firms.

Five of the top 10 companies in this year’s rankings are from the software industry, including Avigilon (No. 4), ServiceNow (No. 5), NexJ Systems Inc. (No. 6), Real Matters (No. 7) and HubSpot (No. 8).

MAKO Surgical Corp., an orthopedic medical device company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., ranked No. 1.

MAKO Surgical Corp.’s fiscal year revenue of $44.29 million and five year fiscal growth rate of 70,211 percent topped this year’s ranking which is based on the percentage of fiscal year revenue growth from 2006 to 2010.

“Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 recognizes some of the most exciting technology companies in North America today,” saidEric Openshaw, vice chairman and U.S. Technology, Media & Telecommunications leader, Deloitte LLP. “We are proud to honor MAKO Surgical Corp., and we congratulate all of the ranked companies for their extraordinary achievements.”

The top ten ranked companies are as follows:

2011 Rank Company Sector Revenue Growth(2006 to 2010) City, State
1 MAKO Surgical Corp.www.makosurgical.com Medical Equipment 70,211 percent Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2 Accedian Networkswww.accedian.com Communications/Networking 50,136 percent Saint-Laurent, QC
3 RTI Cryogenics Inc.www.rticryo.com Clean Technology 46,278 percent Cambridge, ON
4 Avigilonwww.avigilon.com Software 38,796 percent Vancouver, BC
5 ServiceNowwww.service-now.com Software 32,048 percent San Diego, CA
6 NexJ Systems Inc.www.nexj.com Software 29,161 percent Toronto, ON
7 Real Matterswww.realmatters.com Software 28,265 percent Markham, ON
8 HubSpotwww.hubspot.com Software 27,746 percent Cambridge, MA
9 AVI BioPharma, Inc.www.avibio.com Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical 25,483 percent Bothell, WA
10 ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.www.ariad.com Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical 19,875 percent Cambridge, MA

Mark Jensen, managing partner of Deloitte’s national venture capital services group, added, “During the 17 years Deloitte has published this list, some deeply entrenched patterns have evolved. Software companies have dominated year-over-year, and the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. have consistently attracted innovative, high growth companies.”

West region yields highest concentration of Fast 500 companies, followed by Northeast

Overall, the West remains home to the highest concentration of Technology Fast 500 companies (37 percent), trailed by the Northeast (24 percent), Canada (15 percent), Southeast (12 percent), Midwest (6 percent), and Southwest (6 percent).

Region Percent of List Fastest-growingCompany in the

Region

City, State
West 37 percent ServiceNowwww.service-now.com San Diego, CA
Northeast 24 percent HubSpotwww.hubspot.com Cambridge, MA
Canada 15 percent Accedian Networkswww.accedian.com Saint-Laurent, QC
Southeast 12 percent MAKO Surgical Corp.www.makosurgical.com Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Midwest 6 percent Gevo, Inc.www.gevo.com Englewood, CO
Southwest 6 percent SoftLayerwww.softlayer.com Dallas, TX

Software sector dominates – again

Five of the top 10 companies in this year’s rankings are from the software industry, including Avigilon (No. 4), ServiceNow (No. 5), NexJ Systems Inc. (No. 6), Real Matters (No. 7) and HubSpot (No. 8).

The software sector comprises 39 percent of the overall list with 194 companies, followed by biotechnology (15 percent), communications/networking (12 percent) and Internet (11 percent).  Medical equipment, scientific/technical instrumentation, semiconductor, computers/peripherals, media/entertainment and clean technology companies round out the remaining 23 percent of the list.

The percentage of companies from industry sectors are represented on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 as follows:

Sector Percent of List Fastest-growingCompany in the Sector City, State
Software 39 percent Avigilonwww.avigilon.com Vancouver, BC
Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical 15 percent AVI BioPharma, Inc.www.avibio.com Bothell, WA
Communications/Networking 12 percent Accedian Networkswww.accedian.com Saint-Laurent, QC
Internet 11 percent SAY Media, Inc.www.saymedia.com San Francisco, CA
Medical Equipment 7 percent MAKO Surgical Corp.www.makosurgical.com Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Clean Technology 5 percent RTI Cryogenics Inc.www.rticryo.com Cambridge, ON
Semiconductor 4 percent MaxLinear, Inc.www.maxlinear.com Carlsbad, CA
Media and Entertainment 3 percent Collectivewww.collective.com New York, NY
Computers/Peripherals 2 percent PlumChoicewww.plumchoice.com Billerica, MA
Scientific/TechnicalInstrumentation 2 percent Digital Ally, Inc.www.digitalallyinc.com Overland Park, KS

Technology Fast 500 Ranking Methodology

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500™ recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues.  Companies must have base-year (2006) operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD, and current-year (2010) operating revenues of at least $5 million USD or CD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of five years, and be headquartered within North America.

Ranking is rounded to the nearest percentage point. Revenue growth is calculated as follows: [(FY’2010 revenue – FY’2006 revenue)/ FY’2006 revenue] x 100.  For example, a company with reported revenues of $350,000 in 2006 and$7,500,000 in 2010 would have fiscal year revenue growth of 2,043 percent during the period from 2006 to 2010.

The ranking is compiled from nominations submitted directly to the Technology Fast 500™ Web site, and public company database research conducted by Deloitte.  Deloitte has not audited the ranking and, accordingly, does not express an opinion or any other form of assurance on it.  Some companies that may be eligible to appear on the ranking are not included because they did not submit the required information or otherwise declined to participate.

For additional detail on the Technology Fast 500™ including the complete list and qualifying criteria, visit www.fast500.com.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please seewww.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

 

SOURCE Deloitte

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Funded: Coupons.com, $200M; Rally Software, $20M; App47, $1M; ADmantX, $2.8M

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Rally SoftwareFUNDINGS – Boulder, Colorado-based Rally Software, which has offices in Raleigh, has raised $20 million in new funding led by Meritech Capital Partners. Meritech also backs Facebook, Salesforce.com, Zipcar, Presidio, Broadsoft, and NetSuite, among other well known tech firms.

Rally sells Agile application lifestyle management. According to a study by QSM Associates, software-driven companies that rely on Rally’s Agile ALM products and services are 50 percent faster to market and 25 percent more productive than industry averages.

Rally acquired Raleigh, NC-based Sixth Sense Analytics in 2010 and is hiring to fill two engineering positions in the Raleigh office. It currently has 17 employees. Vice President of Products, Todd Olson is based in Raleigh.

Coupons.com nabs whopping $200M round

Mt. View, CA-based Coupons.com, which provides digital coupons, has raised $200 million in new equity backing. The company did not name investors, but they’ll show up sooner or later in an SEC filing. It says up to $100 million of the funding will facilitate liquidity for employees and early investors.

Obviously, with Groupon, LivingSocial and a hoard of daily discount deal sites raking in venture backing of well over $1 billion, investors love anything to do with online discounts.

CT-based AdmantX gets $2.8M for semantic page-level analysis

AdmantxADmantX has closed a $2.8 million in growth funding from Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno, the venture capital Fund of Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank. ADmantX sells cookieless tracking technology.

ADmantX offers an advanced semantic page-level analysis that surfaces reader emotions, behaviors, motivations and intentions in order to match ads with similar emotional appeal, without using tracking cookies. This is the first outside funding since ADmantX was spun off last year from Expert System, the leading global provider of semantic software.

ADmantX says it goes beyond relevant SEO and flat keyword-based terms, ensuring brand protection against questionable content for publishers, ad networks and various buy- and sell-platforms. It also incorporates emotional intelligence into the mix, increasing campaign segmentation and targeting for better ad reach and success.

Reston, VA-based App47 tallies $1M first round for mobile app development tools

App47 has raised $1 million in first round funding from Valhalla Partners. It closed the funding in January.

App47 says it delivers enterprise Mobile Application Management tools and intelligence to optimize the mobile user experience and provides a powerful, integrated, lifecycle view of mobile applications and the entire mobile user experience-without compromising the privacy of enterprise data.

Their cloud-based Mobile Application Management solution can be deployed in minutes, providing key analytics and performance data to assist in design, deployment, configuration, and security of mobile applications.

Founders are Chris Schroeder, CEO, and Sean McDemott, who earlier created RealOps, the pioneer in enterprise management Run Book Automation solutions, which was acquired by BMC Software in July 2007.

Schroeder saiys, “Our solution focuses on managing mobile applications, not devices, allowing enterprises to manage and automate highly complex, multi-tired mobility workflows. With App47’s powerful, context-aware tools and deep application intelligence, enterprises can ensure the best possible user experience for the mobile applications and unleash their true business value.”

The way mobile apps are thriving with only a third or so of cell phone users having smartphones bodes well for growth in the industry. One thing that sets mobile apart from the way the Internet developed is that people have been willing to pay for mobile apps from the start. The real question, of course, is how mobile app makers can develop ongoing revenue streams.

Still, we’re betting firms related to mobile apps will be coming out of the proverbial woodwork for the next several years. Any firm that helps developers figure out what works and what doesn’t and why is likely to do well, we suspect.

VirtuOZ gets $7M for intelligent virtual agents

VirtuOz  Inc., s provider of intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) for online customer service, today announced that it has raised $7 million in additional funding from existing investors Mohr Davidow, Inventures Group and Galileo Partners to finance growth in the U.S. and E.U.

The company says its intelligent virtual agents offer companies a new channel for contemporary online customer service that delivers the best possible customer experience at one-tenth the cost of traditional channels.

The company processed over 144 million conversations on behalf of our customers in 2010 and with the largest number of live enterprise intelligent virtual agents for Global 2000 companies including eBay, SFR, H&R Block and L’Oreal.

San Diego-based Skinit secures $12M debt financing for customized electronic devices tech

Skinitwhich sells on-demand personalization of electronic devices, and home and automobile products, has closed a $12 million in debt financing from BlueCrest Capital Finance. The funds will be used to expand Skinit’s current initiatives for delivering personalization capabilities to consumers and support the company’s continued growth.

Skinit’s online ordering and customization tools allow consumers to create branded, designed, and personalized electronic device covers.

The growth strategy includes expansion of Skinit’s fully branded ecommerce partner sites and promotional landing pages, as well as wholesale, retail and B2B solutions. It already features an extensive library of licensed artwork from some of the most prominent brands in sports and entertainment including NFL skins and MLB skins, major colleges and universities, Disney, as well as original Skinit designs and works from independent artists.

Virginia-based Three Pillar Global gets $10M for mobile software development services

Fairfax, VA-based Three Pillar Global has received a $10 million investment from Texas-based Nestors Financial.

The company said it will use fhte funds to sclae its operations, expand its global footprint and possibly pursue acquisitions.

Three Pillar Global offers a  flexible approach for clients through its innovative Virtual Development Centers that deliver transformative levels of productivity. The company, founded in 2006, has respected and leading customers in media, healthcare, education and financial services

DC, Baltimore, Raleigh-Durham, among top ten cities for staying young

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Capitol BuildingSAN DIEGO–Want to live a longer life? Move to Salt Lake City, the DC-Balitmore area, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill,  San Francisco, or Austin. On the other hand, Knoxville and Nashville, TN, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Tampa and Jacksonville, FL, may make you old before your time. So says and new report by RealAge.

Southeast and western cities are among the top ten on RealAge’s list of the “youngest” cities in America—metropolitan areas with such healthy lifestyles that on average their residents are physically at least two years younger than their chronological age, and many are years younger than that. RealAge analyzed data from the largest 50 metropolitan areas to compile the rankings.

A passion for fitness and a loathing for smoking are key factors in Salt Lake City’s number one ranking. At the other extreme, residents of Knoxville, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Nashville are aging faster than they should. (Get an infographic of the 10 youngest and oldest cities here.)

What are the 10 metro areas where you have the best odds of staying young?

1. Salt Lake City, Utah
2. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif.
3. Austin, Texas
4. Denver, Colo.
5. Boston, Mass.
6. Washington, DC/Baltimore, Md.
7. San Diego, Calif.
8. Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C.
9. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
10. Seattle/Tacoma/Bremerton, Wash.

Which metro areas are likely to make you old before your time?

1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, N.C.
3. Nashville, Tenn.
4. Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Mich.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.
7. Oklahoma City, Okla.
8. Las Vegas, Nev.
9. Jacksonville, Fla.
10. Tulsa, Okla.

“Each city’s ranking is more than just a number,” says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of RealAge and a co-creator of its test. “It’s a unique assessment of the healthy lifestyles, or lack of them, in each metro area—of how people live there, what they’re doing right and what they need to change. If you live in one of the 10 oldest cities, take this as the alarm on your body’s aging clock going off! It’s never too late for a fresh start.”

Note that half of the 10 youngest cities are in the Western U.S., from Denver to Seattle.

“Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the mountains, but Western cities have adopted active lifestyles that can slow down the aging process,” says Dr. Roach.

Behind the Rankings

To compile the rankings, RealAge analyzed data for America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas generated by its landmark online assessment, the RealAge Test, taken by over 27 million people. This is the first time the company has analyzed aggregated results on a city-by-city basis.

A random sample of 1,000 RealAge members was drawn from each city. The sample data was adjusted for age differences, so a metropolitan area that’s a magnet for retirees wasn’t penalized, and a city jammed with university students didn’t benefit.

The Test uses a powerful algorithm that combines the latest scientific studies with lifestyle, genetics, and medical history to calculate your RealAge—how old your body thinks you are.

What Makes a City Younger or Older

While multiple lifestyle factors are involved, here are four big ones that help people in Boston (the 5th youngest city), for example, stay younger and healthier than those in Cincinnati (the 5th oldest):

     
1.   Getting the right amount of sleep. Six of the 10 youngest cities are among those with stellar sleep habits. And (surprise) New York isn’t the city that never sleeps—the Big Apple ranks second in ZZZ’s; Austin is first. Sleeping six to nine hours a night can make your RealAge as much as 3 years younger.
2.   Stubbing out cigarettes for good. Four of the five fastest-aging cities have the highest percentage of smokers.
3.   Not sitting around. Six of the 10 youngest cities are among the most physically active in the country. A daily 30-minute walk can make your RealAge up to 3.5 years younger.
4.   Controlling your blood pressure. Five of the 10 fastest-aging cities—Knoxville, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, and Tulsa—are among the worst for high blood pressure. Nothing ages you faster. Who has the lowest BP? Residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the 9th youngest city.

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JMI Equity closes Fund VII at $875M

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

JMI EquityBALTIMORE & SAN DIEGO – JMI Equity, a growth equity firm that invests in leading software, internet, business services and healthcare IT companies, has closed the JMI Equity Fund VII, L.P. (JMI VII), an $875 million fund. With the closing of JMI VII, JMI Equity has successfully raised over $2.1 billion of committed capital since its founding in 1992.

“We are pleased to announce the closing of JMI VII,” said Harry Gruner, JMI Equity managing general partner and co-founder. “In this very challenging fundraising environment, we are grateful for the continued support of our longstanding investors, as well as the substantial interest from new investors.”

Since 1992, JMI Equity has invested in more than 100 businesses in its target markets. Through JMI VII, JMI Equity will continue its longstanding investment strategy of providing capital to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and buyouts. The new fund will invest primarily in North American companies, targeting equity investments of $10 million to $100 million each.

Square 1 Bank CEO and founder, Richard Casey dies

Friday, November 12th, 2010
Richard Casey

Richard Casey

DURHAM, NC – Richard Casey, founder and CEO of Durham, NC-based Square 1 Bank, has died. The cause of death was not disclosed.

“Richard had immense passion for innovation and the entrepreneurial community. He believed this was the foundation upon which America was built and will continue to prosper.”

It noted, “Square 1 Bank was founded in 2005 by Richard and his wife Susan to help entrepreneurs succeed by creating a bank exclusively devoted to the unique needs of startups. Richard’s vision was to build a bank that was quick, flexible, accessible and high-touch, and run by highly-experienced talent who understood the needs of entrepreneurs,” Square 1 said in a statement.

Square 1 now has 10 offices throughout the United States and $1.2 billion in assets. Headquartered  in Durham, it also has offices in Austin, Bsoton, Boulder, McLean, New York, San Diego, Santa Monica, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. Square 1 is a full service commercial bank exclusively  serving the financial needs of the venture capital community and entrepreneurs in all stages of growth and expansion.

Bob Keith, Square 1 Bank’s Lead Director, said “Richard was an inspiration to his family, employees and the larger entrepreneur community. We will work tirelessly with the experienced management team that Richard built to honor his legacy and continue to grow an institution that supports entrepreneurs whose efforts drive innovation and economic growth.”

Casey is survived by his wife Susan, his daughter Leigh and his father, John.

Services will be held Saturday, November 13, 1:00 PM at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richard J. Casey Foundation whose mission is to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in America; c/o Square 1 Bank, 406 Blackwell Street, Suite 240, Durham, NC 27701.

CRO Synteract expanding in NC, adding jobs

Monday, November 1st, 2010

SynteractMORRISVILLE, NC – Synteract, a contract research organization (CRO) based in California, is expanding its North Carolina space in Morrisville and will add 30 new jobs over the next year, the company says. CROs sell services to life sciences companies.

It is enlarging its Morrisville offices by 11,000 square feet, tripling its size.

The San Diego company currently employs 14 people in Morrisville.

The company says it will seek staff in project management, clinical operations, biostatistics, and data management.

North Carolina is a hotspot for CROs due to its position among the top five biotechnology hubs in the US.

Small job gains such as this do not seem like much viewed one at a time, but over the period of a year can make a significant difference in an area’s employment picture. Not only that, high paying life sciences industry jobs tend to put more money into the local economy so that everyone from grocery stores to restaurants and dry cleaners make more money.