TechJournal South Header

Posts Tagged ‘Winston Salem’

Social Sidekick app helps streamline social media posting for small business owners

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

By Allan Maurer

Ben Comer

Ben Comer

What are the main reasons a small business may not use social media?

“They face three problems,” says Social Sidekick founder Ben Comer. “It’s time intensive and they don’t have the time. Many just don’t know how to use the technology. And many just forget to post to their accounts, even though they know they should.”

Comer, Elliot Strunk and Steve Salazar founded Social Sidekick in Winston-Salem, NC, in May to launch a web app Comer says “Comes to the rescue.”

The web app “Allows them to update and manage all their social media accounts through email,” he explains.

It sends small business owners reminders to post on a schedule they determine. They can then just type what they want to post in the email and hit reply. The app then automatically posts for them.

The app, which costs $29 a month and is currently in beta, posts to the business’ social Twitter, LinkedIn, Faceook and accounts.

“It’s plug and play. We don’t do direct consulting except on setup. We will have a rep set them up with a Facebook page for free. We’d be happy to do consulting on a contractual basis, but the idea of this is to empower people to do it themselves rather than for us to take ownership of their social media,” Comer says.

Clients can use the app via their email on smartphones or tablets, but the firm plans to do a separate mobile app in the future.

He says the firm already has half a dozen customers but is still experimenting with marketing.

Comer previously worked for a Wake Forest University startup called mySavu, Although it faled, he says he learned a lot.

Although the company is headquartered in Winston-Salem and will stay there, Comer may move to the Research Triangle region soon, he says.

 

Don’t try to “pull a fast one” with ad disclaimers

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Wake ForestWINSTON-SALEM, NC – You have heard those lightning fast disclaimers at the end of radio and television advertisements. Do they scare you away or just seem like white noise required by regulatory agencies?

Wake Forest University Schools of Business and Northwestern University research reported online in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that fast disclaimers can give consumers the impression that an advertisement is trying to conceal information. However, trusted brands (versus trust-unknown or not-trusted brands) are immune to the adverse effects of fast disclaimers.

“Speak slowly or carry a trusted brand,” said Kenneth Herbst, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Wake Forest University Schools of Business and co-author of the study.

Recommendations to marketers

Eli J. Finkel, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University and another co-author, offers concrete recommendations for marketers: “If you’re promoting a brand consumers don’t know or don’t trust, use a slow disclaimer. Because consumers don’t know whether they can trust you, you have to be careful to avoid seeming sneaky. Fast disclaimers can seem sneaky.”

“In contrast, if you’re promoting a trusted brand, feel free to save time by using a fast disclaimer. Use your precious advertising seconds promoting your product rather than spending them on your disclaimer,” he said.

The study shows that when consumers either lack trust information about an advertised brand or believe that the brand is not trustworthy, fast disclaimers undermine their purchase intention. In contrast, when consumers trust an advertised brand, they appear to be unaffected by the disclaimer speed.

These findings have practical implications for advertisers and policy makers.

According to Herbst, policies that regulate disclaimer content but not disclaimer speed could systematically favor some companies over others.

“On the Dangers of Pulling a Fast One: Advertisement Disclaimer Speed, Brand Trust and Purchase Intention” is now available online and will appear in the February 2012 printed edition of Journal of Consumer Research.

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.

TechJournal South is a TechMedia company. TechMedia presents the annual conferences:
SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org
Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com
Digital East: www.digitaleast.com
Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

FCC Commissioner questions state attempts to limit municipal broadband

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Mignon Clyburn

Mignon Clyburn

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn has issued a statement saying that state efforts to limit municipal broadband deployments are new obstacles in meeting the goals of the National Broadband Plan.

In a statement issued April 4, she wrote:

“I have serious concerns that as the Federal Communications Commission continues to address broadband deployment barriers outlined in the National Broadband Plan, new obstacles are being erected that are directly contrary to the Plan’s recommendations and goals.

“I recently learned that several state legislatures are considering bills that are contrary to the deployment objectives of the Broadband Plan. For example, in North Carolina, the state legislature is currently evaluating legislation entitled ‘Level Playing Field/Local Government Competition.’ Last week the North Carolina House passed the bill, and it currently awaits consideration in the Senate.”

“This piece of legislation certainly sounds goal-worthy, an innocuous proposition, but do not let the title fool you. This measure, if enacted, will not only fail to level the playing field; it will discourage municipal governments from addressing deployment in communities where the private sector has failed to meet broadband service needs. In other words, it will be a significant barrier to broadband deployment and may impede local efforts to promote economic development.”

Seven of ten worst broadband deals in NC

Craig Settles, of Successful.com, a consulting firm with a heavy emphasis on municipal broadband and government use of mobile tech, tells us, “What we have here is a handful of corporations going into some of the most broadband-deficient states in the country, and subverting communities’ efforts to claw their way into the digital 21st Century. These entrenched incumbents are trying to pass rules that would make even Google’s support (similar to the Kansas City Gigabit City announcement) illegal. At least we’re now getting some attention from DC.”

That’s not just talk. Bandwidth.com, which does broadband mapping, shows that seven of the ten U.S. cities with the worst broadband connections at price per Mbps are in North Carolina. They include Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wilmington, and Charlotte. Columbia, SC, is also on the list. South Carolina is also considering a bill to restrict municipal broadband.

Congressional action needed?

Clyburn points out hat the National Broadband Plan recommends that Congress make it clear that “local governments should not be restricted from building their own broadband networks.”

“Unfortunately, ” she wrote, “this National Broadband Plan recommendation continues to be ignored by some broadband industry members that are encouraging these misguided efforts.”

She added, “Regrettably, North Carolina isn’t the only state considering such legislation. My home state of South Carolina has similar legislation pending, and the state of Arkansas is contemplating a complete ban on publicly-owned broadband facilities. I fear that preventing local governments from investing in broadband is counter-productive and will impede the nation from accomplishing the Plan’s goal of providing broadband access to every American and community anchor institution.”

Nationally, 130 communities own wireless broadband networks.

We have reported previously that the fastest and cheapest broadband networks are city run in the south.

A group called the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says that restricting municipal broadband would hurt job creation in NC.

Additional resources:

The municipal broadband battles rages on

Here’s an excellent resource with extensive links on municipal broadband efforts:
Baller Herbst Law Group: Herbst Law

States that have already passed laws limiting municipal broadband:
State Barriers to Community Broadband Services

Wikipedia entry on municipal broadband

Municipal Wireless Snapshot report:

Fast Company: Time Warner’s Antics in Wilson, NC Give another reason to snip the cable

List of municipal broadband network organizations.

An older, but contrary view from the Reason Foundation:
Municipal broadband fails again

Fastest and cheapest US broadband systems are city run in the South

For more on the commercial providers positions:

www.techjournal.org/news/article.html?item_id=7334

NC House votes to restrict municipal broadband efforts

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

By Allan Maurer

Broadband networksRALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina state House has approved a bill that would restrict the efforts of municipalities to create their own broadband Internet services.

The bill, which supporters say levels the playing field for commercial and municipal providers, passed 81-37 and now goes to the state Senate.

It restricts municipalities from borrowing money for capital costs without voter approval and bars offering Internet service below cost and prevents cities from using funds from other city utilities.

The bill will not affect cities that have already established their own broadband networks, such as Wilson and Salisbury.

Commercial providers argue that municipal broadband services are unfair because governments have inherent advantages.

Cities have argued that they cannot get commercial providers to deliver economically priced high speed service.

Seven of the ten worst cities in NC

Bandwidth.com, which does broadband mapping, shows that seven of the ten U.S. cities with the worst broadband connections at price per Mbps are in North Carolina. They include Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wilmington, and Charlotte. Columbia, SC, is also on the list. South Carolina is also considering a bill to restrict municipal broadband.

Nationally, 130 communities own wireless broadband networks.

We have reported previously that the fastest and cheapest broadband networks are city run in the south.

A group called the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says that restricting municipal broadband would hurt job creation in NC.

 

Additional resources:

The municipal broadband battles rages on

Here’s an excellent resource with extensive links on municipal broadband efforts:
Baller Herbst Law Group: Herbst Law

States that have already passed laws limiting municipal broadband:
State Barriers to Community Broadband Services

Wikipedia entry on municipal broadband

Municipal Wireless Snapshot report:

Fast Company: Time Warner’s Antics in Wilson, NC Give another reason to snip the cable

List of municipal broadband network organizations.

An older, but contrary view from the Reason Foundation:
Municipal broadband fails again

Fastest and cheapest US broadband systems are city run in the South

For more on the commercial providers positions:

www.techjournal.org/news/article.html?item_id=7334

 

 

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

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

 

Student entrepreneurs rake in $40K in cash in Wake Forest event

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Wake ForestWINSTON-SALEM, NC – More than $40,000 in cash prizes were handed out to student entrepreneurs at the 12th Annual Wake Forest University Schools of Business Elevator Competition. Thirty-five teams from around the world converged at BB&T Headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C. on March 26 to make two-minute elevator pitches to a panel of judges in hopes of winning seed capital for their business ventures.

Medtric Biotech from Purdue University took home the top $20,000 prize in the Traditional Track for OSMOSETM, a unique method of destroying bacteria for the prevention and treatment of infected wounds. The team members are Rob Einterz, Sean Connell and Jianming Li. They received automatic entry into the Venture Labs Investment Competition and can qualify for up to a $500,000 investment from the Piedmont Angel Network.

OsComp Systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished second, BlackLocus from Carnegie Mellon University was third, Hemova Medical from Johns Hopkins University was fourth and Medici Medical Technologies from Duke University placed fifth in the Traditional Track.

EYEChina from the University of Oklahoma won first place in the Social Entrepreneurship Track and $10,000 to invest in a plan to provide one million residents of rural Sichuan with high-quality, accessible and affordable cataract surgeries by 2020. EYEChina team members Patrick Loung, Lucas Rice, Samantha Toth and Barry Conrad will also advance to the final screening round of the Echoing Green Foundation’s business plan competition.

Other Social Entrepreneurship finalists included: Ix-Neox from Johns Hopkins University (second), SMILE Floss from Thammasat Business School (third), Antenatal (fourth) and SevenFOUR (fifth).

BOLD from Ball State University won $1,000 for garnering the highest number of Fan Favorite votes on ElevatorCompetitionLIVE.com. The website had more than 18,000 hits over a 24-hour period. Visitors from Europe, Asia and North America were able to follow the competition through student blogs, videos and photo galleries on ElevatorCompetitionLIVE.com.

Team SMILE Floss from Thammasat Business School in Bangkok, Thailand received a special “Road Warrior” award. The team traveled 27-hours to get to Winston-Salem, N.C. for the Elevator Competition.

The Elevator Competition is a student-run event organized and produced by 2nd year co-chairs: Will Dow (MBA ’11), Chris Van Roekel (MBA ’11) and Roy Hykal (MBA ’11) with a team of MBA, MA, and undergraduate steering committee members and over 50 other student volunteers. The faculty advisor is Stan Mandel, Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University Schools of Business and Director of the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship.

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

SoutheastVentureConference: www.seventure.org

Internet Summit: www.internetsummit.com

Digital East: www.digitaleast.com

Digital Summit: www.digitalsummit.com

SilkRoad weaves $40M financing for talent management software

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

SilkRoadWINSTON SALEM, NC – SilkRoad technology Inc., which sells talent management software, has raised $40 million round of equity financing led by investments from by new investors Intel Capital and Tenaya Capital and including existing investors Foundation Capital, Azure Capital and SilkRoad Equity. Although now headquartered in Chicago, SilkRoad was established and maintains offices in Winston-Salem, NC.

Plans for the current round of capital include a significant expansion of SilkRoad’s worldwide direct sales and marketing efforts, strategic acquisitions and continued product development.

Since launching in 2003, SilkRoad has become a leading provide of talent management solutions with more than 1,500 customers worldwide, including 62 Fortune 500 companies.  The company currently services customers in more than 50 countries and reaches over 3 million users globally.

NC-based InterAct Public Safety Systems names new CEO

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

InteractWINSTON-SALEM, NC - Interact Public Safety Systems, which sells safety and security software to government agencies and commercial clients, has named John McNulty CEO.

Andrew J. “Flip” Filipowski remains as executive chair.

McNulty brings over 40 years of success in the technology industry having held leadership positions including general manager, senior vp, president, CEO and chair of companies in the software, semi-conductor, hardware, networking, and communications industries.

Most recently, for the nine years from mid 1999 to 2008, he served as chair, president and CEO of Secure Computing Corporation, a NASDAQ company acquired in November 2008 by McAfee Corp.

InterAct provides integrated multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional public safety and homeland security systems technology.

The InterAct Connections Framework is a platform upon which customized comprehensive public safety solutions are built and presently used by more than 2,000 government agencies and private enterprises globally. The company’s telephony, computer aided dispatch/mapping, mobile data sharing, and records management systems deliver emergency responders vital information they need.

NC-based Academy Funds shuts its doors

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The Targacept Building in Winston-Salem. Targacept, which is still working on its treatments for central neverous system disorders, was one of Academy Funds portfolio companies.

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Academy Funds, which raised two small venture capital funds ten years ago, has closed down. The firm’s Web site is not longer active and goes to a hosting service.

Academy focused on North Carolina companies.

The Winston-Salem based funds portfolio companies included Admetech; Amplistar Inc.; Anasazi; Curry Pharmaceuticals; Kucera Pharmaceutical Company; Pilot Therapeutics Inc.; Targacept Inc.; and VetXcel.

It invested primarily in seed, and A and B round deals.

It focused on therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, medical devices, platform technologies, agriculture, chemicals/reagents and supplies.

Tengion, company with NC ties, raises $30M IPO

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Tengion logoWINSTON-SALEM, NC – Tengion Inc., an East Norriton, PA-based regenerative medicine company focused on replacing human organs such as bladders, raised $30 million in its initial public offering of stock. The company has offices and laboratories in Winston-Salem.

The company sold 5 million shares at 6 per share, rather than the 4.44 million shares at between $8 and $10 per share previously planned.

The company raised more than $140 million in venture backing.

For more about the company and its ties to Dr. Anthony Atala’s work in Winston-Salem, see:

Regenerative tissue firm Tengion files for $40M IPO

Regenerative tissue firm Tengion files for $40M IPO

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Dr. Anthony Atala, co-scientific founder, Tengion

Dr. Anthony Atala, co-scientific founder, Tengion

EAST NORRITON, PA – Tengion, a company that creates working organs using a patient’s own cells, plans to raise $40 million in an initial public offering of stock. Tengion has a research laboratory and pilot facility in Winston Salem, NC, where co-scientific founder Dr. Anthony Atala heads the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Tengion plans to offer 4.4 million shares at $8 to $10 a share. It will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol TNGN.

The company’s patented integrated technology platform  was developed over the past two decades by scientists at Children’s Hospital Boston (a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School), MIT, and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

It harnesses the body’s ability to regenerate tissues and organs, and has the potential to allow adults and children with organ failure to have functioning organs created from their own tissues.

Founded in 2003, the company has no revenue.

company owns or licenses over 30 US patents and patent applications and over 100 international patents and filings related to its platform and nine product candidates.

It has a urological treatment in Phase II clinical trials.

We have always been impressed with the progress of regenerative medicine in recent years and Dr. Atala’s work is at the forefront.

Dr. Atala and his lab have created working human bladders on cell scaffolds, a unique sort of construction work. Part of his research is funded by the U.S. Armed Forces. Regenerative technology could be a boon to wounded soldiers. It sounds like science fiction, but one day they may even be able to regrow injured limbs and replace severely damaged organs.

Dr. Atala conducted research and practiced pediatric urology at Harvard’s Children’s Hospital Boston for 15 years, until 2003, when he became Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina. Dr. Atala’s numerous awards and honors include the Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, funded by the US Congress and bestowed on a living American whose discoveries will significantly benefit society; and the Scientific American, Research Leader Award, for his contributions to tissue and organ regeneration.

Tengion’s corporate headquarters and commercial manufacturing facility are in East Norriton, Pennsylvania. The company has research offices, a development laboratory and a pilot manufacturing facility in Winston Salem.

Triad Semiconductor connects with $1.72M financing

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

WINSTON SALEM, NC - Triad Semiconductor Inc., which develops, prototypes and produces mixed-signal ASICs, has closed on $1,72,000 in equity from nine investors, according to a regulatory filing.

Founded in 2002, Triad Semiconductor says its groundbreaking via-configurable array technology delivers ASICs with silicon-proven analog and digital functions more quickly and at lower cost than traditional full-custom approaches.

An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is an integrated circuit  customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use.

The company says cuts its patented technology cuts engineering effort and fabrication time, resulting in fast-turn prototypes and allowing design changes to be made at minimal cost.

We noticed that the company just introduced a new product this week, the TSX1001.

It is a single-chip, mixed-signal processor that an embedded product developer can use to measure sensors and control actuators.

It can used in products such as accelerometers, automatic meter readers, temperature sensors, capacitive touch inputs, touch screens, medical sensors and other devices requiring analog and processor resources integrated into small spaces using small, low-power batteries.

Triad disclosed the raise in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We’ll be giving the company a call to follow up on the raise, so check back for possible updates. — Allan Maurer

www.triadsemi.com