Moving and Shaking in Techlandia
Thursday, May 23rd 2013 by McBruTechlandia has its share of movers and shakers. And in the past few days, some of these tech leaders have been busy doing what they do best: making moves and shaking things up.
Brian Krzanich has just taken over as Intel’s new CEO—and it hasn’t taken him long to shake up the company’s internal organization. As part of a major reorg of leadership unveiled earlier this week, Krzanich will take over Intel’s main product groups, including the PC client, data center and mobile communications units. Renée James, long-time head of Intel’s software division (and based out of Hillsboro), was recently named as Intel president, the company’s number two executive. James will oversee Intel’s manufacturing operations and all aspects of security technology. Krzanich said the reorganization is his first step toward making Intel more focused and agile.
Moving fast into the big leagues of Techlandia startups, Orchestrate Inc. has raised $3 million in venture capital to support the build-out of its technology. The lead investor is the Bay Area’s True Ventures, which has had a hand in several other Portland startups, including Puppet Labs and Urban Airship. Orchestrate makes standardized tools and technologies for building online apps that operate from cloud-based databases.
Speaking of Urban Airship, this Pearl District startup is literally on the move. After its recent $25 million investment round, Urban Airship has added 30 new employees, bringing its Portland headcount up over 120 and introducing the need to find new digs. Urban Airship has found a new home in the U.S. headquarters of wind-turbine giant Vestas (longtime Portlanders know the building as the former Meier and Frank warehouse). Urban Airship has leased the entire third floor, with room for another 120 employees.
Let’s just see how long it takes the movers and shakers at Urban Airship to outgrow this office.
We’ve Got a Ticket to Ride: Techlandia is Going Places
Monday, May 20th 2013 by McBruGetting around Techlandia just got a whole lot easier, with the recent announcement of a roller-bag’s worth of travel and transport-related apps from local startups.
A new e-ticketing app developed by GlobeSherpa for regional public transport provider Tri-Met will allow riders of buses, light-rail and streetcars to buy and validate virtual tickets via iPhone and Android devices. The online ticketing option, the first offered by a U.S. transit agency, is currently in beta testing, with a system-wide rollout planned for late summer. According to Tri-Met, the free app is the first step toward a wholly electronic fare system for the transport agency.
Indoor mapping startup Meridian, which develops apps to help people find their way within large buildings, such as malls, stadiums or airports, has just been acquired by Aruba Networks, a Sunnyvale, CA company that specializes in secure Wi-Fi and mobile networks. Meridian has developed “indoor GPS” mapping apps for such clients as Powell’s Books, the Art Institute of Chicago, Macy’s flagship store in New York City, and the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas. While ownership of Meridan departs for California, the company will remain in Portland as a wholly owned subsidiary, with plans to expand the offices here.
Getting to and from Techlandia is also getting easier. Urban Airship and Alaska Air have joined forces to build a Developer Sandbox demonstration that showcases the ability of Google Wallet APIs to deliver new mobile reward and engagement features of Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program. Urban Airship’s solution allows Google Wallet customers to engage with Alaska Airlines through a simple drag-and-drop visual builder to access such features as loyalty programs, coupons, gift cards, member cards, event tickets, and boarding passes.
Techlandia is on the move!
Awards celebrate Techlandia’s top talent
Thursday, May 9th 2013 by McBru
Los Angeles isn’t the only place that has an awards season. Here in Techlandia, we like to give out prizes too, and with a flurry of awards distributed in the past two weeks, this is a good time to step back and recognize the high achievement in our community.
The Oregon Technology Awards, hosted by the Technology Association of Oregon, are not quite as glittering as the Oscars(TM) but the gathering, held at the Portland Art Museum, was certainly very festive. It also offered a chance for local tech movers and shakers to catch up, share news and enjoy good company.
The evening’s highlight was the awards ceremony, which recognized tech excellence in four main categories. In a crowd so rich in young, dynamic entrepreneurs, perhaps the most anticipated prize was Startup Technology Company of the Year. The winner was Portland-based Cloudability, which makes management and analysis tools for the cloud. Cloudability has also proved popular with investors, raising some $8.7 million in the past year.
The Rising Star Technology Company of the Year went to Janrain, which designs social login platforms for web sites. This Portland-based company has been around since 2005, and has really caught fire recently – Janrain raised a hefty $33 million in venture capital late last year. The Growth Technology Company of the Year was Elemental Technologies, which was recognized for its outstanding performance in growing revenue, headcount and market share over the past year. Based in Portland, the company makes software that encodes video for multiscreen content delivery.
The winner of the Enterprise Technology Company of the Year was Vesta Corp, with headquarters in both Atlanta and Tigard. Vesta is a global leader in electronic payments and fraud protection for online transactions, and processes payments worth more than $3.5 billion annually.
Techlandia’s awards continued last week with the presentation of another well deserved accolade: the most influential blogger of the year, as judged by the Social Media (SoMe) Awards. The winner was Portland local Rick Turoczy, founder of Silicon Florist, a must-read site for tech news and views in the greater Portland area. Rick’s blog is particularly dedicated to coverage of the region’s bustling startup community, and Rick keeps his ear to the ground so the rest of us don’t have to – and we can focus on winning those Oregon Technology Association awards next time around.
Software Companies Are Driving the Jobs Bus in Techlandia
Thursday, May 2nd 2013 by McBruA new analysis by the Oregon Employment Department has found software job market is on a roll, growing much more quickly than the rest of the economy. Today, the state has the third-highest concentration of software developers of any state - only Washington and Massachusetts are higher.
And those jobs are growing at a double-digit percentage rate, reports Mike Rogoway of the Oregonian, in the Silicon Forest blog. Software jobs in Oregon currently include 12,637 in software publishing and 3,292 in "custom software” − the category typically associated with startups. "With average wages at $80,000 or $90,000 annually, it's also among the most lucrative sectors in Oregon,” the article states.
To dig deeper into the story, Rogoway talked to Rick Turoczy of Silicon Florist Blog and general manager of the Portland Incubator Experiment. In this podcast, you can hear them discuss top skills employers seek, the role of venture capital investment and "what start ups are most likely to be acquired over the next few years.”
Growth isn’t limited to the new sprouts; larger firms are also growing their tech staffs. For example, New Relic is building up a significant local presence and "it's hiring from across the country, drawing people from Texas, Colorado and North Carolina who want more than the excitement of working for a young company”, according to this article. Also, Intel continues a strong hiring effort for software pros and engineers through its Jobs portal and Open Source Technology Center site.
With all that happening, Techlandia is clearly going somewhere.
Startup PDX Challenge semi-finalists named; Public vote begins
Thursday, May 2nd 2013 by PDC
The Portland Development Commission has narrowed a field of 240 applicants for the Startup PDX Challenge to 16 semi-finalist companies in Portland’s search for the best new members of our growing entrepreneurial community. Up to six startup businesses will receive a $10,000 working capital grant, a full year of rent-free office space in Portland’s Produce Row, and free professional advice and services.
The Challenge selection committee will consider each semi-finalist’s application, personal interview, and the results of a public vote in determining the winners. The general public is invited to visit the Produce Row website to learn more about each semi-finalist and vote for their favorites. Public voting begins Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 a.m. and runs through midnight Thursday, May 9.
Patrick Quinton, PDC Executive Director, said, "The response to Startup PDX Challenge – the first of its kind on the West Coast – demonstrates Portland’s national emergence as a top destination to grow a business. We look forward to welcoming the winning entrepreneurs to our expanding network of experienced, innovative companies competing in the global economy."
The 16 semi-finalists are ActivEd; Alum.ni; ClutchPlay Games; CoPatient; Edison Gauss Publishing; Ento; Measureful; Newsti.ps; OnTheGo Platforms; Safi Water Technology; Seamus Golf; Shine On Rainwear; Smart Mocha, Inc.; SpaceView and Walker Tracker, all from the Portland metro area; and Society43 of Eugene.
Challenge winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 29. The move-in date into the Produce Row space is slated for late June and will include a welcome/meet and greet event.
Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994