In this installment of “Tech in 5,” we sat down with Don Rainey, General Partner at Grotech Ventures in Vienna, Virginia, to discuss why the DC/Maryland/Virginia region continues to be a hot-bed for technology start-ups. Grotech Ventures focuses on local early stage investments and has helped guide some of the region’s top companies such as BroadSoft and LivingSocial to national prominence. Check out the video below to see what all the local start-up buzz is about and check out the Grotech website to learn more about their current portfolio of investments.
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On February 22, President Obama visited Cleveland with an impressive team of five cabinet members and two senior administration officials for the first in a series of Winning the Future Forum on Small Business gatherings across the country.
Apple’s original iPad drew big crowds during its U.S. and international launches, and the iPad 2 promises more of the same. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at some of things you need to know before braving the crowds next Friday.
We tend to correlate innovation with factors that directly impact our economy: products invented, jobs created, money generated, etc. So when the MIT Technology Review released its annual list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies last week, few were surprised at the inclusion of usual suspects such as Google, IBM and Apple.
Still this year’s list is noteworthy in that it challenges us to develop our notion of what is truly innovative. If I were to tell you of a company that has earned no money, created no jobs, and is run mostly by part-time volunteers, you might not rush to put them it in the same breath as those aforementioned behemoths. Yet Ushahidi, an open source platform run out of Kenya, finds itself on MIT’s list while traditional and innovative giants like Verizon and Nintendo find themselves – at least for this year – on the outside looking in.
Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, spawned in the wake of the infamous and devastating post-election violence that ravaged Kenya in early 2008. Users could text or tweet to report incidents of violence they had personally witnessed. At Ushahidi headquarters, those communications translated to interactive maps tracking areas of the country where the violence was most prevalent. In turn, perpetrators were brought to justice and lives were saved.
Since then, Ushahidi has served a prominent role in disaster relief, most notably in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Survivors in need of immediate assistance utilized the platform to inform first responders where to direct relief. Since then, it’s branched out to other Third World countries to map instances of government oppression, voter fraud and tracking UN Aid effectiveness.
With every decisive international event that prominently features Ushahidi, we’re seeing first-hand that there are metrics other than earnings and jobs that define innovation. For Ushahidi, it’s lives saved. And you can’t put a price on that.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) opened in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday and Google is conspicuously present, with a large banner promoting its development tools in the North Hall of the Moscone Convention Center and more than two full days of presentations.
Take care if you happen to travel through downtown San Francisco this week: The sidewalks are full of people walking with their heads down, eyes locked on their smart phone, Nintendo DS or Sony PlayStation Portable, deeply engrossed in a video game and not necessarily watching where they are going.
Oscars night guests experienced the awards in a more technologically advanced form this year, provided by ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts. A second screen was added to the set-up to be more suitable to broadcasts and portable devices.
Last night I attended Social Media Club DC’s social networking event called “Get Geeky” at Porter Novelli’s offices. On the panel were two past “Tech in 5” guests, Frank Gruber (Tech Cocktail) and Shana Glickfield (Partner at Beekeeper Group). Shonali Burke, well known social media enthusiast, accompanied the panel and Alexander Howard (Govt 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media) served as the moderator. The discussion focused on how we can use our social networking tools for better networking.
Humanize who you are through your tweets and blogs.
Use your image to build your personal brand. The same profile photo should be used on all of your social networks.
Keep your online behavior online.
Distribute substantive content on your social networks to gain credibility.
One of the things that I learned is that not everyone wants to be a part of all your social networks, nor should they! For example, if you’re connected with someone on Twitter, that person may not want to connect with you on Facebook. If you have a business contact on LinkedIn, you may not want to expose that person to your more social online personalities on Twitter and Facebook. These are key things that digital strategists should keep in mind when branding yourself online.
Did you have a chance to attend last night’s event? If so, feel free to voice what you learned in the comments section below!
We look for companies that are setting the agenda in an increasingly important market, on the verge of disrupting an established market, or creating an entirely new market. What does it mean to set the agenda? It doesn’t necessarily equate to having the biggest market share, or else Intel and Microsoft would be in the TR50. Instead, we look for companies whose ideas and technologies are being imitated by other companies.
Reeling from a crisis that wiped out some of its most lucrative products and a regulatory overhaul that will curb high margin activities, the financial sector sees information technology as its saviour.
Even according to the figures used by the New York Times itself, blogging activity is actually increasing, not decreasing. And as the story points out, plenty of young people are still blogging via the Tumblr platform, even though they may not think of it as “blogging.” What blogging is really doing is evolving.
IBM’s Watson supercomputer, which shellacked Jeopardy’s top human champions during airings of the game show this week, is powered by 90 servers and a network-attached storage (NAS) cluster with 21.6TB of data.