August 5, 2014
R ANDY RAYESS and Pratham Mittal, both 23, are Penn grads and co-founders of VenturePact, a Center City firm that provides clients with outsourced software development. The firm started in fall 2012 building software services, and evolved into a marketplace last year. I spoke with Rayess, who lives in Old City. Q: How did you come up with the idea for VenturePact? A: We worked at startups and realized they couldn't build software and were always looking for developers.
July 17, 2014 |
Thanks to an in-kind grant from Siemens valued at $750 million, Pennsylvania State University's Great Valley campus in Malvern will offer hands-on experience to its first undergraduate students next month. The grant from Siemens will provide engineering and manufacturing software to nine Penn State campuses, including Great Valley, which is launching a bachelor's degree in engineering program. Students will have access to the same software used by companies to develop and manufacture products.
June 5, 2014
E RIC KING, 30, of Northern Liberties, is founder and CEO of Grand Round Table, a startup on 3rd Street near Market that develops software to help doctors make complicated diagnoses. GRT, which launched in 2012, is getting the correct diagnoses about 70 percent of the time. The company, which was part of the first DreamIt Health accelerator in 2013, has three full-time employees and has raised $110,000 from the Wharton Venture Initiation Program and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
May 27, 2014 |
When Leonard Tau's father opened his dental practice in New York in 1971, attracting business required very little effort. "My dad put a shingle up, and the patients just came," Tau said. By the time Tau started his practice in Northeast Philadelphia in 2007, the Internet had made life anything but smile-worthy for dentists. What are now more than 100 websites that collect and republish consumer reviews (Yelp, Angie's List, etc.) can turn a patient's miserable experience with a root canal into a reputation nightmare for a dentist.
April 3, 2014 |
How much does "pay-to-play" contracting cost the public? About $45 million, in one episode at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, according to a recent analysis of a contract for computer software. The analysis concluded that the turnpike commission paid far too much and received far too little when it bought a software system from Ciber Inc., of Greenwood Village, Colo., whose former vice president has been charged by state prosecutors with giving gifts to turnpike officials to win contracts.
January 22, 2014 |
Metro Bank P.L.C. , the fast-growing, 25-branch British bank started by Commerce Bancorp founder Vernon Hill , has raised $637 million (385 million UK pounds) from past investors. Contributors include hedge funds SAC Capital Advisors , headed by Steve Cohen , and Moore Capital Management L.L.C. , both of New York. Also, mutual fund managers Fidelity Investments and Wellington Management Co. , whose clients include Vanguard Group , and real estate investors Reuben Brothers , based in Switzerland, and Richard LeFrak , chairman of his namesake New York company.
January 19, 2014 |
Venture capitalists invested $420.3 million in Philadelphia-area companies last year, up 1.2 percent from the year before, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. and the National Venture Capital Association. The report, released Friday and based on data from Thomson Reuters, also showed that venture capitalists nationally invested $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals, a 7 percent increase in dollars and a 4 percent increase in deals. Locally, the number of companies receiving venture capital equity investments increased 9.9 percent to 122 from 111. In the fourth quarter, 34 Philadelphia-area companies received $81.6 million in investments.
January 16, 2014 |
Comcast Corp. is suing a onetime Colorado employee, contending that while he was with the company, he developed software to track TV viewership patterns with set-top box data and then attempted to license the technology back to the cable giant for millions of dollars. The employee, Robert A. Orlowski, filed for two patents and created a company, Tuning Analytics L.L.C., to market the product, Comcast says in a federal copyright-infringement lawsuit filed in Philadelphia. The software presented huge amounts of information gleaned from set-top boxes or digital cable boxes in graphic form that could be easily interpreted by executives, according to both sides in the lawsuit.
January 8, 2014 |
LAS VEGAS - HAL, do we still have a problem? As the sneaky computer character in the classic sci-fi flick "2001: A Space Odyssey," you put out those malevolent, controlling vibes. But now, in 2014, you're no scary villain - you're the dude! In fact, you are resonating all over this week's International CES tech fest, here in Vegas - although in a much kinder, gentler fashion. There's a new catchphrase going round - "The Internet of Everything," or IoE - to describe human codependence and willing surrender to the global networks, deep data banks, tracking technology and eerily predictive software that help steer today's high-tech goods and services to give us what we want, when we want it. There's even a new home automation system named HAL debuting at the consumer electronics show.
December 10, 2013 |
Philadelphia is one of the handful of cities where the mix of old and start-up software companies and engineering programs produces at least a modest and growing supply of young software developers for mobile and cloud applications and other emerging products. "It's the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Philly, Boston, Seattle, Austin. That's about it," said Patrick Matalack , director of product at Twillow, a San Francisco-based cloud and communications company. Matalack is an alumnus of Archbishop Carroll and Carnegie Mellon . Matalack's short list of tech hubs raises a question for companies that have prospered elsewhere - as the Internet freed them to do - but are now in growth mode.