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In the News

News from 2008

Help for stressed-out global supply chains

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008


The software-as-a-service business model is such a good idea that it amazes me that it’s taking so long for it to penetrate Corporate America beyond the initial foray in sales force automation. I attribute this to the don’t-change-a-thing ethic that took over the IT strategies of many companies in the wake of the dot-com boom and bust. Behind the scenes, though, additional SAAS applications are being rolled out and are being adopted by big companies.

One example I came on recently was Aravo Solutions, an 8-year-old San Francisco company that has only 60 employees but seems to have a very useful piece of software. Aravo’s application allows companies to manage their far-flung supplier networks. The company just raised $7 million from a group of patient investors who have been backing it since its beginnings in 2000. Its seems like their patience may be paying off. This software seems to be just what manufacturers need at a time when their supplier networks are under incredible stress. Figuring out which suppliers are weak links and responding quickly could be crucial for them over the coming months. (Full Article)


Monday, December 22nd, 2008

ZDNet – Blog by Paul Greenberg

Now Presenting:  The Up and Coming Companies of 2009 Social CRM/CRM 2.0 Space

These companies are the ones that you just might not know but must be on your 2009 CRM social calendar or 2009 Social CRM radar screen. I insist – which means “please?” Each of them is a genuine gem – in the case of Helpstream, I can’t even find a flaw.  Don’t worry though, that’s way too out of character since I’m a New Yorker.  I will. In the meantime. enjoy all of them – they are actually interesting in addition to being on the rise. Real studmuffins and for the most part, outright cool.

1.    InsideView – This is a company that just figured out how the world of CRM and business knowledge (not BI) intermingle when it comes to traditional competitive intelligence and the social information needed to know the customer. They have this kick-butt product called SalesView in three editions (the basic one is free, the other two are $99.00 per month per user) that draws competitive and profile information from some 20,000 sources ranging from Reuters to Facebook.  But it doesn’t just provide that information to you in some unstructured way. For example, it can do what the folks at InsideView call “Connection Analysis” so you can identify who the key influencers are at the companies that you are targeting. So what? Social Network Analysis does that?  Yeah, but not from 20,000 places including the oft used Reuters and Hoovers but also Jigsaw, Facebook, LinkedIn and a myriad of other social networks. It then actually does the analysis and provides you with an extensive view of who’s who.  Cool, salesguy, huh?  But it goes so much further – best target market sales prospects, repeatable alerts for events of interest or importance to you.  Oh, it just goes on.  Their very bright management team comprised of industry veterans like Rand Schulman, realized that CRM was a natural integration for these extended social services so they partnered not just with the usual –, but with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, Oracle (in their on demand incarnation, and Landslide (see below for Landslide). They are deeply rooted and involved. Their service is invaluable – and most of all is cool without being there to be cool. They are an incredibly capable provider of intelligence that sales and marketing folks can use – with a business and pricing model that works. What do they need to do better? I’ll let you know. Right now, they need to just keep on keepin’ on. (Full Article)

Startup Boasts World’s Largest Enterprise Software As A Service Web Site

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008


Aravo Solutions will announce this week $7 million of new funding that despite the sour economy will let it hire sales, service and engineering staff.

But the more inspiring news from the San Francisco startup might be this: it boasts the world’s largest enterprise software-as-a-service Web site, which it built for General Electric. Half a million suppliers use the site to feed information on products, themselves and compliance issue to GE, with thousands of new suppliers joining each day, says Tim Albinson, founder and CEO.

Aravo is a supply-chain company that claims its can take cost and complexity out of a customer’s relationships with its suppliers. For the eight-year-old startup of between 50 and 60 workers, taking on the GE project “was a big deal,” says Albinson.

It took 5 months to sell GE on the effort and seven months to implement the technology – a “tremendous amount of work and effort,” he says.

The $7 million in financing brings to $30 million the amount of money Aravo has raised. The series D round was led by Charles Schwab/Big Sky Partners and included Stephen Friedman, a retired chairman of Goldman Sachs, and Tony Mayer, a former CEO of JP Morgan Capital.

Aravo raises $7M more for supply chain management

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

VentureBeat – By Anthony Ha

Aravo Solutions, which dubs itself (of the supply chain world), has raised $7 million in a fourth round of venture funding.

The San Francisco company offers software delivered via online subscription in three categories — supply chain, risk management and sustainability (which involves making the supply chain more environmentally friendly). Aravo says its partnership with General Electric — through which GE manages 500,000 suppliers — is the largest single deployment using the software-as-a-service business model.

The new funding was led by Charles Schwab/Big Sky Partners, with participation from Stephen Friedman (retired chairman of Goldman Sachs), Tony Mayer (former chief executive of JP Morgan Capital), and a syndicate of partners and executives from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Aravo will hold a second close on this round in January. It has raised a total of $30 million. (Article)

Aravo Raises $7 Million Series D Following World’s Largest Single SAAS Deployment

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

TechCrunch IT – by Jeff Widman

Despite the economic downturn, companies that solve real problems are still successfully raising money. Aravo, a SAAS supplier information management tool, announced today that they closed $7 million in Series D funding.

Headaches with managing vendor information–think for suppliers, rather than prospects–is a very real problem. Last summer, I worked in supply chain at a small manufacturer, and I remember calling over a hundred suppliers to get e-mail addresses. (Those addresses were never transferred into our ERP system.)

Currently, Aravo claims their GE installation is the largest single SAAS deployment. “We are now managing over 500,000 suppliers and their data in Aravo, and have just gone live in six languages,” said Gary Reiner, CIO of GE.

Aravo’s software hooks directly into SAP & Oracle, and includes options to track ISO certifications, sustainability initiatives, and risk analysis.

Given the cost-cutting emphasis in supply chain, it’s no wonder Aravo continues to grow during a downturn. Surprisingly they do not expect to be profitable until 2010. CEO Tim Albinson told me this latest financing round provided the runway to emphasize growth over profits, and they plan to double in 2009.

Aravo has raised $30 million so far–almost exclusively from individual investors, with the majority of the firm’s Series A, B, and C investors participating in the Series D round. The round was lead by Charles Schwab/Big Sky Partners, who made their fourth investment in the company. Other investors in this round included Stephen Friedman (Retired Chairman, Goldman Sachs) Tony Mayer (Former CEO, JP Morgan Capital), and a syndicate of senior partners and C?level executives from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. A second close on the round is planned for mid January. (Full Article)

Aravo raises $7M in Series D funding

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

San Francisco Business Times

Aravo Solutions Inc. has closed $7 million in Series D venture funding and says it expects to announce a second close in January “to accommodate additional investor interest.”

The San Francisco-based company, a provider of on-demand software and services focusing on supply chain management, said it will use the money to expand sales, engineering, and delivery capacity, to open new offices in the United States and India, and to bolster its green business and risk management products.

Aravo has raised $30 million in total funding to date, almost exclusively from individual investors, with the majority of previous investors participating in the Series D round. The round was led by Charles Schwab/Big Sky Partners, a four-time investor in the company.

Other investors in the current round included Stephen Friedman, retired chairman of Goldman Sachs, Tony Mayer, former CEO of J.P. Morgan Capital, and a syndicate of senior partners and C-level executives from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Aravo was founded in 2000 by Tim Albinson, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

Aravo Closes $7 Million Series D Round to Fuel Explosive Company Growth

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Marketwire – Aravo Solutions Press Release

Funds Will Be Used to Expand Sales, Engineering, and Delivery Capacity, Open New Offices, and Enhance Aravo SIM Product Offerings

Aravo Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of on-demand Supplier Information Management (SIM) software and services, today announced that it has closed $7 million in Series D funding. The funds will be used to expand sales, engineering, and delivery capacity, to open new offices in the US and India, and to fuel further enhancement of Aravo’s sustainability and risk management products. The firm also plans to hold a second close on the Series D round in January to accommodate continued investor interest.

Aravo has raised $30 million in total funding to date, almost exclusively from individual investors, with the majority of the firm’s Series A, B, and C investors participating in the Series D round. The round was lead by Charles Schwab/Big Sky Partners, who made their fourth investment in the company. Other investors in the round included Stephen Friedman (Retired Chairman, Goldman Sachs), Tony Mayer (Former CEO, JP Morgan Capital), and a syndicate of senior partners and C-level executives from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. (Full Article)

7 Eco Lighting Startups to Watch

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Earth2Tech – by Josie Garthwaite

Big players in the lighting market have snapped up startups in recent years at a breakneck pace. Cree acquired LED Lighting Fixtures in March. Lighting Science Group bought Lamina Lighting’s assets in July. Philips spent $5.4 billion on startups between 2005 and 2007 and acquired four LED companies: Lumileds, TIR Systems, Color Kinetics and Genlyte. We’ve rounded up some of the brightest startups working on lowering the cost of LEDs, developing energy-management software, and devising ultra-efficient lighting technology — and raising millions from investors while they’re at it — to see where they’re headed.

HID Laboratories: American River Ventures, Big Sky Ventures, Greenhouse Capital Partners and the CalCEF Angel Fund have invested in HID Labs, which is working on a demand-response platform to control and dim high-intensity-discharge lighting, often used for large areas (think stadiums, warehouses, big-box retail stores). The company says its digital ballast can boost efficiency by 40 percent over existing magnetic-ballast options. (Full Article)

Mariah Power completes round of venture financing

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Northern Nevada Business Weekly – NNBW Staff

Mariah Power Inc., a Reno company that manufactures wind-power appliances, closed its second round of financing, drawing support from a group of venture capital and angel investment firms in California and Nevada.

Neither the privately held company nor the venture firms disclosed the amount or terms of the financing.

The investment is led by Noventi Ventures, a venture capital fund in Menlo Park, Calif., that specializes in early-stage companies in emerging technology.

Other participants are Big Sky Partners and Greenhouse Capital, venture capital funds headquartered in Sausalito, Calif., and the Sierra Angels, an angel-investment firm at Lake Tahoe.

Mike Hess, president and chief executive officer of Mariah Power, said the additional capital will allow the company to ramp up manufacturing of its Windspire product. (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches Industry’s First Virtual Currency Platform to Help Publishers Manage, Optimize Multiple Offer Networks from One Place

Monday, December 15th, 2008

BusinessWire – Sometrics Press Release

First Ad Server to Manage All Virtual Currency Monetization; Measures Results So Social App Publishers Can Optimize to Increase Revenue

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sometrics ( today launched its Virtual Currency Platform – the industry’s first ad server to manage all virtual currency monetization from multiple offer providers.

As the benefits of the incentivized virtual currency revenue model are becoming more apparent, the industry is seeing an influx of providers in the space. Sometrics’ new platform will manage offers from any ad network, including Super Rewards, Offerpal and SocialMedia Networks. Sometrics will measure and report revenue, completion rates and demographic details, to help application developers analyze the effectiveness of each offer network.

Developers are then able to optimize and create new unique offers for all of these networks directly from the Sometrics Virtual Currency Platform.

“Sometrics will optimize existing virtual currency revenue, providing lift with current offer vendors,” said Ian Swanson, Sometrics co-founder and CEO. “Our platform also provides a more transparent and updated dashboard – one place to see all virtual currency revenue, across all apps and offer providers. There’s a host of offer networks available to developers, but most don’t provide much in the way of detailed reporting or transparency of results. Our platform is game-changing as the first solution designed to tackle this problem and give developers a way to optimize revenue streams across the board.” (Full Article)

Funds blow in for Mariah’s residential wind turbine

Friday, December 12th, 2008

VentureBeat – by Camille Ricketts 

Mariah Power, manufacturer of the relatively compact Windspire energy system, has closed the first half of an undisclosed second round of financing (PDF) that it will use to purchase a $2 million share in a Michigan manufacturing plant. The plant prompted a five-year partnership with MasTech Manufacturing, which has already kicked in $1.4 million toward the facility.

MasTech will also manage mass distribution of the Windspire, a 30-foot-tall propellerless turbine capable of generating 25 percent of a single home’s electrical needs (about 2,000 kW-hours per year, given an average wind speed of 12 miles per hour). Mariah has publicly called it the only vertical-axis wind energy system appropriate for widespread residential use, claiming that it can be installed by an average homeowner in just two hours and pay for itself in saved energy costs over the course of a decade. (Full Article)

Q & A: Ray DeRenzo, MobiTV’s SVP of product, programming and marketing

Friday, December 12th, 2008

RCR Wireless News |Colin Gibbs

An update with the company that counts 5M customers, $100M in VC funds
Wireless video services and trials are spinning their wheels all over the world, but MobiTV Inc. somehow continues to gain traction. The Emeryville, Calif.-based firm has parlayed $100-plus million in venture capital into an impressive, 5-million-strong subscriber base. We chatted with Ray DeRenzo, MobiTV’s SVP of product, programming and marketing, about consumer demand for on-the-go video, the threat of bogged-down networks and the potential impact of a widening recession.

RCR Wireless: There’s been a lot of talk about the potential network hazards of increased uptake of data services, particularly multimedia offerings. How big a threat is network overload in the immediate future?

DeRenzo: This is the persistent question in the life of MobiTV: What is the impact on the network when large numbers of individuals tune in? I think we’re very sensitive to that; we’re very aware of that. But the reality is that we have yet to encounter any kind of load issues that have caused any type of service degradation. I think there’s a little bit more of a concern about what could occur, as opposed to acknowledgement about what is occurring. (Full Article)

MobiTV’s sales boom

Friday, December 12th, 2008

San Francisco Business Times

MobiTV, the pioneering television and radio service for mobile phones, is continuing its blistering growth pace.

The Emeryville startup said this month it had reached the 5 million subscriber mark, even as competition has increased and doubters have questioned the long-term prospects for mobile television. MobiTV has added more than 1 million new subscribers in less than five months.

“MobiTV is widening its lead in the mobile media delivery industry,” said Charlie Nooney, chairman and CEO of MobiTV.

A MobiTV official said annual revenue has more than tripled in three years, up from $20 million in 2005, and expects to become profitable in the first quarter of 2009. (Full Article)

Sometrics Continues Robust Growth – Now with 1,800 Publishers, 1 Billion Social Ads Served in October Alone

Monday, December 8th, 2008

BusinessWire – Sometrics Press Release

‘Demand for Social Advertising and Measurement is Strong, and Continues to Climb,’ Says Co-Founder and CEO Ian Swanson

Continuing its steady momentum since the company’s launch in October 2007, Sometrics ( today announced that 1,800 publishers of social applications and communities are now using the company’s social advertising and measurement solutions to increase traffic and boost revenue.
Sometrics also said that it served 1 billion ads across its publishers on social networking sites using Sometrics’ Social Ad Manager during October – the first full month after the Ad Manager’s official launch.

The company made the announcement from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Leadership Forum on Audience Measurement, held here today. Sometrics co-founder and CEO Ian Swanson is on the panel for the 11:30 a.m. session, “Measurement and Emerging Platforms – Spotlight on Social Media.” The session will provide an inside look at how leading companies are working to capture metrics on audiences across the sharable web.

“Publishers and advertisers alike are eager for solutions that will help them successfully connect with and build their audiences in the social web,” said Swanson. “We see the trend continuing full force throughout 2009. They’re getting a taste of what’s possible in terms of measurement, targeting and in-depth audience analysis. And those possibilities will only get bigger as we continue to expand our capabilities and the social web continues to grow.” (Full Article)

Three Green Tech Startups Offer Unique Business Plans For Electric Cars, Alternative Fuels And Energy For Industry

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

TechPulse 360 – Mark Boslet and Jean-Baptiste Su

The alternative-energy revolution was chugging ahead at the AlwaysOn Venture Summit on Wednesday, where three green-technology companies hoped to turn the auto, electric and new-fuels industries on their heads.

The companies sketched out unique plans to recharge electric cars, find more efficient energy from the sun and make diesel from vegetable oil using an unusul cost-effective process.

All claimed they would make for a cleaner world with fewer greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Here are the startups:

Renewable Fuel Products boasts of a new way to make diesel fuel from vegetable oil without the hydrogen and methane that other alternative-fuel processes require.

The process also is portable and therefore can be set up where the vegetable oil is made or the fuel is needed. “Our technology fits on the back of a trailer,” says Peter Bell, co-founder. “What this allows is distributed refining.”

Bell said the technology is being tested at the University of California at Davis and is presently producing 10 gallons of diesel fuel an hour. (Full Article)

MobiTV Surpasses Five Million Subscribers

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008


MobiTV Sees Rapid Increase in Subscriptions and More Use as a ‘Second Screen’ in the Home

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – December 3, 2008 – MobiTV, Inc., today announced its managed network for mobile television and radio has surpassed the five million subscriber mark. Available on more than 350 handsets across 20 carrier networks including AT&T, Sprint and Alltel in the U.S., MobiTV continues to shape the mobile TV market it introduced more than five years ago, including becoming the first to launch a vertically focused mobile media application, Mobi4Biz.

“With the addition of over a million new subscribers in less than five months, MobiTV is widening its lead in the mobile media delivery industry,” said Charlie Nooney, chairman and CEO, MobiTV. “We’ve seen our subscriber base accelerate rapidly by creating an exceptional experience for the consumer and continuing to develop innovative offerings.”

Along with an increase in subscription numbers, MobiTV experienced an unprecedented level of interest in this year’s presidential election.  Large numbers of subscribers utilized their wireless devices to tune into the ABC News NOW, CNBC, CSPAN, FOX News and MSNBC broadcasts of the presidential debates and election day news on MobiTV. (Full Article) 

groSolar Helps Fruit Packing Company Add the Sun to its Lineup of “Harvested” Products

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

VACAVILLE, CA – For more than a hundred years the Mariani Packing Company has relied on the sun to nurture the plums, apricots, blueberries, apples and other fruit that made its products popular on grocery shelves throughout the world. But with a newly constructed 1.1 megawatt solar power system operational at its Vacaville, Calif., headquarters, the company now uses the sun to produce a different type of product; electricity.

The solar power project, a partnership between Mariani, groSolar, and SunEdison celebrated its activation today with a “flipping the switch” ceremony. Guests and speakers included company officials, solar power advocates and Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine.

Besides the positive impact it will have on the environment, the project is particularly notable for what Mariani paid to construct the system; zero. The partnership efforts of groSolar and SunEdison constructed and financed the system at no cost to Mariani. Under a long-term solar power services agreement, SunEdison will maintain the system and sell the electricity produced by it to Mariani at costs less than retail rates for traditional energy sources.

“This is a great example of how being environmentally sensitive can also be financially beneficial,” said Frank Griffin, Vice President of Construction for groSolar, the company that designed and constructed the project. “This type of project is helping to verify the truth that doing something good for the environment is also good for the corporate bottom line.” (Full Article)

Synq Solutions Adopts InsideView to Optimize Sales Team Performance

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Marketwire- Press Release

SalesView Helps Atlanta-Based Marketing Communications Company Improve Customer Engagement, Leverage More Efficient CRM Strategy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – December 2, 2008) – InsideView today announced that Synq Solutions, a leading provider of merchandising, training and marketing solutions, has implemented InsideView’s unique on-demand Sales 2.0 application, SalesView, to equip its sales force with relevant intelligence on target accounts and maximize sales team productivity. SalesView, a leading Sales 2.0 application, combines social Web technologies and intelligence living across the Web with strong CRM mash-ups to arm sales teams with the insights needed to unearth profitable leads and close opportunities.

Synq’s decision to integrate SalesView stemmed from their objective to improve the quality of their sales contact database, as well as to increase adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM by giving the sales team a good reason to interact with the tool on a regular basis. InsideView’s tight integration into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the CRM solution currently deployed at Synq, was a key factor in choosing SalesView, as their sales teams can now receive news alerts, relationship analysis and real-time, intelligently aggregated research results from across the social Web directly within the CRM application already being deployed. (Full Article)

Windspires inspire

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Pair of developers hope wind turbines catch on in state’s massive coastal region

Two area entrepreneurs hope the introduction of a Windspire, an alternative wind-energy resource, at an eastern North Carolina development, will inspire homeowners and businesses to consider using green-energy sources.

Addie Randall and Jeremy Peang-Meth, developers of Cedar Shores, a waterfront community on the Albemarle Sound, recently installed a Windspire at one of the community’s storage sheds.

Peang-Meth, an architect/contractor by trade, said the Windspire was installed at the shed as an experiment to determine how much energy it may be able to produce.

Randall and Peang-Meth eventually intend to move the Windspire to the community’s clubhouse and install one or two additional Windspires to provide power to the building.

Peang-Meth and Randall said their involvement with Mariah Power, creator of the Windspire, started with a phone call of inquiry about the Windspire system. (Full Article)

MongoNet Releases New Web-Based Version of its “Open PDF Scanning” Solution

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 – MongoNet Press Release

MongoNet Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of a ground-breaking new “open PDF scanning” service — MongoSCAN — which enables users to instantly scan hardcopy documents, such as signed contracts and agreements, to any email address using ordinary fax machines.

“MongoSCAN puts PDF scanning functionality into the world’s existing fax network. Now, all 130 million ordinary fax machines can send documents directly to any of the world’s two billion email addresses, with no additional software or hardware required,” said Matt Henry, Founder, CEO and Inventor of MongoNet’s patented, open PDF scanning concept.

MongoSCAN is the new Web-based consumer version of MongoFAX, the company’s popular branded PDF scanning service for the enterprise. Consumer demand for a pay-per-use version of MongoFAX prompted the company to develop MongoSCAN. The new PDF scanning solution is ideal for time-sensitive, paper-based business transactions where the sender lacks access to a scanner but has access to a traditional fax machine. MongoSCAN opens up a new channel of document delivery, providing a more immediate and affordable solution than courier or overnight delivery services.

MongoSCAN is distinctly different from other fax-to-email providers. The system is open – anyone can scan to anyone without the need for personal fax numbers. Additionally, users are not required to sign up for an account, pay a monthly fee or install any software. Senders can also add a subject line and name their PDF attachments. This is significant because, worldwide, fax machines outnumber working scanners by a ratio of about five-to-one, respectively. MongoSCAN’s service enables time-strapped consumers to adapt familiar fax technology to their unique document delivery needs. (Full Article)

Sometrics measures ad effectiveness on the social Web, says founder Ian Swanson

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

New tools from a wide range of companies including incubator Betaworks (with its new product, Chartbeat),  Lotame, Kissmetrics, Kontagent and Sometrics Inc. are delivering the ability to analyze Web 2.0 sites in much more depth than traditional statistics, such as page views and unique monthly visitors. The new tools measure very specific audience demographics, user behaviors and levels of engagement. There are so many new tools that Dave McClure, the former PayPal Inc. executive who is now an angel investor, recently held a day-long conference called Startonomics and featured analytics aimed at startups, which are under increasing pressure from investors to produce measurable results.

In this Behind the Money video interview, Sometrics co-founder and CEO Ian Swanson talks about these trends and about his company’s new tools for the social Web, which are aimed at measuring brand perception and advertising effectiveness. Sometrics’ backers include the Mail Room Fund and Greycroft Partners LLC.

Click here to watch video 

Mariah Power’s Windspire(R), Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, Receives ‘Best Of What’s New’ Award in Popular Science, December 2008 Issue

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

MarketWatch- Press Release 

Mariah Power (, manufacturer of the Windspire(R), a residential and commercial wind power appliance, was recognized in “Best of What’s New” in the green tech category by Popular Science in its December 2008 issue. The Windspire is a 30-foot-tall, propeller-free, vertical-axis wind turbine designed for harnessing wind power in urban, suburban and rural locations for residential and commercial use. Each year, Popular Science reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 11 categories for inclusion in its annual “Best of What’s New” issue, the most-read issue of the year. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.

This award comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of its first volume manufacturing facility in Michigan that will be up and running next year, and the first multi-unit commercial installation of six Windspires at Devon Bank (,  the first “green bank” in the Chicago, Illinois area. (Full Article)

Solar firms to bring in new jobs

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Despite a bleak economy, two established solar energy companies are opening facilities in the Grass Valley area, leasing thousands of square feet of building space and creating new jobs, their executives told The Union.

In one case, KACO Solar USA, is opening a engineering and logistics facility once used by a solar company that left the area last year for Rocklin— SMA America.

“Solar left, and now it’s back,” said Vince Lucia, KACO’s vice president of operations, referring to KACO reoccupying SMA’s facility in the Loma Rica industrial area. “We will be doing development and logistics in Grass Valley and growing at a rapid rate — typically 35 percent a year.”

San Francisco-based KACO Solar USA is leasing 7,500 square feet of space at 12438 Loma Rica Drive and expects to double the space in a year. The staff will grow from 7 to 12 workers within five months and should grow to 20 during the next three years, according to Lucia.

In the other expansion, groSolar is leasing a 10,000 square foot space at 900 Golden Gate Terrace.

“We’re starting up a California operation,” said John Berdner, vice president of technology for the Vermont-based company. (Full Article)

Big Companies Want Software that Works

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Cheerleaders of online software probably hope more big corporations will mimic General Electric’s approach to the latest trend in software delivery.

GE last month began using online software—where businesses access applications over the Internet instead of on server computers operated by their information-technology departments—from Aravo Solutions to manage information from about 500,000 or so of its suppliers. It’s not the first time the Fairfield, Conn., conglomerate has turned to the technology, sometimes called “software as a service.” GE also uses online software for applications that allow employees to collaborate and share information online.

GE says that in choosing Aravo’s system, it focused more on quality of the service itself, rather than how it would be delivered. (Full Article)

MobiTV begins European re-transmission

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Platform ‘beachhead’ to pave the way for renewed Euro managed content offering.

MobiTV says the rollout of its Optimised Delivery Server (ODS) in Europe will eventually allow it to offer more comprehensive and ambitious streaming TV services.

The company, which pulled out of Europe 18 months ago (having managed mobile TV services for the likes of 3 and Orange), is now taking steps to establish new relationships with operators and broadcasters alike.

Speaking to ME, MobiTV’s European managing director Anders Norström said: “We are taking on Europe again, but this time with a more solid platform that will help us trampoline into the market.

It’s a fresh start and we expect to ramp quickly.”

The company is striking out from its Stockholm engineering facility, which Norström says has enabled it to address one of its main issues from the first foray into Europe, which was that technical support for its customers was always an eight-hour time difference away in the Californian HQ.

In an industry as young as mobile content it’s unusual to find a company that’s even five years old, let alone ten, but it’s the latter anniversary that mobile TV pioneer MobiTV will be celebrating next year. (Full Article)

General Electric signs on with a San Francisco startup

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Startups all over Silicon Valley are cutting costs, but one, at least, claims to be doing well.

Aravo CEO Tim Albinson said Wednesday that General Electric–Aravo’s biggest customer yet–is using Aravo’s software to manage relationships with more than 500,000 of its suppliers in six languages.

The software acts as an online hub between GE and its suppliers and manages a long list of information about the suppliers–their product catalogs, certifications, licenses, insurance information and so on.

Albinson founded Aravo in 2000, “just before the lights went out,” he said, and the startup struggled to grow and gain customers through the dot-com bust.

His first idea was to create a business-to-business exchange where companies could barter for supplies, he said, but that changed after he found that he had no good way to manage the information he needed about the exchange’s members.

He has now raised around $22 million through individual investors, including the Charles Schwab family’s Big Sky Partners and the Getty family, and has tripled Aravo’s workforce since last year. The company is still hiring. (Full Article)

SuccessFactors Taps InsideView to Add Social Web Intelligence to Sales Process

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Marketwire – Press Release

SalesView Helps SuccessFactors to Better Prioritize and Target Leads

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – November 4, 2008) – InsideView today announced that SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions, has implemented InsideView’s unique on-demand business search and intelligence application, SalesView, throughout their sales organization to tap into more C-level connections and increase overall sales productivity. SalesView is one of the first true socialprise applications, designed to bring together intelligence from subscription-based sources and the rich, unstructured information living on the social Web directly into existing CRM applications to drive sales results.

SuccessFactors considered a number of applications before bringing InsideView’s socialprise application on board. Ultimately, the company selected SalesView due to the product’s ease of use as well as unique features, such as alerts on key business events and connections to prospects garnered from the social Web relevant to SuccessFactors’ core sales efforts. Additionally, a key determinant in the selection was the InsideView mash-up with Oracle CRM On Demand, the CRM solution currently used by SuccessFactors. (Full Article)

Sometrics Unveils New Rich Media Ad Units for the Social Web; Units Measure Brand Perception, Ad Effectiveness

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Giving advertisers a cost-effective way to acquire brand intelligence that will help them increase ROI across the board, Sometrics ( today unveiled new rich media ad units for the social web that will measure brand perception and ad effectiveness. The company made the announcement at the ad:tech digital marketing conference, which kicked off today in New York.

The move expands the value of the social web for advertisers, by harnessing Sometrics’ targeting and measurement capabilities to turn highly engaging social ads into a resource for gaining insight a company can use to make all of its advertising (TV, print, online) more effective.

Sometrics’ new ad units let advertisers target video and other ads based on user demographics and social interests, within social networking and other community sites. Using incentives designed to appeal to the particular audience – like extra points for someone playing an online game – Sometrics encourages people to view the ad and to answer questions about the ad and the brand, ensuring a high level of engagement with the ad itself.

Those questions will measure brand awareness, attitude, favorability, purchase intent and brand preference. Sometrics will couple that brand perception data with user demographics like age, location and gender, along with interests and social actions – to give advertisers a significant amount of actionable intelligence that will help them better understand their audiences and identify which messages are successful.  (Full Article)

GE Goes Live with Supply Information Management in Largest Software-as-a-service Deployment

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Supply & Demand-Chain Executive – Editorial Staff

Company taps Aravo SIM solution to automate and streamline supplier information-related business processes globally across business units; 500,000 suppliers, six languages, 10 countries

San Francisco, CA — October 31, 2008 — GE is working to transform its global supplier information management (SIM) process by deploying what is quite possibly one of the largest software-as-a-service deployments to date, using the Web-based SIM solution from Aravo to automate and streamline supplier information-related business processes across all of its business units worldwide.

The Aravo SIM solution, which forms the basis of GE’s Global Supplier Library, offers the company’s suppliers a self-service interface to author and maintain information required to do business with GE at both the corporate and business-unit levels, helping both GE and its suppliers increase efficiencies, improve supplier data quality, drive compliance and reduce costs. (Full Article)

MobiTV Named Silicon Valley Technology Fast 50 Company

Friday, October 31st, 2008

MobiTV praised for technology innovation as winner of the Internet, Media & Entertainment and Communication Category

MobiTV was awarded first place as a Silicon Valley Technology Fast 50 company, receiving top honors in the Internet, Media & Entertainment and Communication category.

The Silicon Valley Technology Fast 50 is a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences companies in the Silicon Valley based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over five years (2003-2007).

This year’s program is co-presented by Deloitte, Silicon Valley Bank, Korn/Ferry International, Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Cornish & Carey Client Solutions, and ABD Insurance and Financial Services — A Wells Fargo Company.

“This accomplishment is a great barometer of success in our mission to continuously anticipate, develop and deliver a compelling mobile media experience,” said Charlie Nooney, Chairman and CEO of MobiTV. “We take great pride, and it’s a testament to the skill and dedication of the team at MobiTV, that our technologies, products and the experiences they provide are being recognized and celebrated.” (Full Article)

GE Will Use SaaS To Manage 500,000 Suppliers

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The electronic firm’s partnership with Aravo’s Web-based software service is the latest example of how even the largest of companies are getting comfortable with SaaS.

GE is using a small software-as-a-service company for an online repository of information on 500,000 global suppliers. It’s an example of how even the very largest of companies are getting more comfortable with having their critical business data managed in a SaaS environment.

GE, with revenues last year of $172.7 billion, made Aravo Solution’s supplier-information management service available to employees in mid-October. It’s available in six languages to any of GE’s 300,000 employees worldwide involved in the supply procurement process, including workers that order office supplies, managers that negotiate large commodity purchases, and legal staffers that ensure suppliers are in compliance with local laws and taxes. Features, functions, and information access vary depending on user roles.

The system is expected to bring GE “significant cost savings, while improving data accuracy, compliance and productivity,” said GE CIO Gary Reiner in a statement issued Wednesday. GE established a data repository of supplier information more than 10 years ago, but it wasn’t built for widespread access via the Web. The Aravo service will be used across GE, including GE Capital, NBC Universal, and numerous companies it runs in such areas as appliances, aviation, energy, and healthcare. (Full Article)

Zola Brazilian Superfruits Sweeps “Best of Show”

Thursday, October 30th, 2008


Zola Wins BEVNET “Best of Show” at Natural Products EXPO East; Zola Wins “Best of Show” Top Honors at PMA Fresh Summit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — (Marketwire) — 10/30/08 — Zola, producer and marketer of the world’s first Açaí juice, announced today that Zola’s Brazilian Superfruit Açaí Juices and new line of functional Brazilian Superfruit Smoothies were given top honors by BEVNET at the 24th annual Natural Products EXPO East in Boston, MA, taking home “Best in Show” out of more than 100 beverage exhibitors. The 2008 Expo East Show took place at the Boston Convention &Exhibition Center from October 15-18, showcasing over 2,100 food and beverage companies and their brands. The show’s high attendance underscores the continued strength of natural and organic products in the United States, up 9.8 percent in 2007 to more than $62 billion in sales (Natural Foods Merchandiser’s(TM) June 2008 Market Overview).

Zola also took home top honors in the annual “Best of Show” contest at last week’s PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, FL, Oct. 24 – 27, 2008, winning first place in the in-line booth category. (Full Article)

GE’s SaaS launch validates Aravo, a for supply chain

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Think for a minute about the third-party vendors who service your company – the folks who run the cafeteria, deliver office paper, clean the restrooms or provide security services, just to name a few. Now, think about a company the size of General Electric, an international conglomerate with more than 325,000 employees working on everything from the set of Saturday Night Live to a parts facility for GE Aviation.

Keeping track of the vendors that service GE – all 500,000 of them – is no easy task. Some offer bulk pricing while others are required to provide proof of licensing or special insurance. And with so many different divisions within a company like GE, who’s the say the Joe the Vendor isn’t providing one company under the GE umbrella with one price and another company under the same umbrella with a different price. That doesn’t sound very efficient, does it?

This week, General Electric announced the official launch of a Web-based Software-as-a-Service platform from Aravo Solutions, a San Francisco company that’s hoping to do for vendor management what did for customer relationship management. Since March, GE has been rolling out Aravo SIM (Supplier Information Management) as a way of increasing efficiency and reducing costs throughout the company. (Full Article)

Aravo Solutions Transforms Global Supplier Information Management at GE

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Aravo SIM(TM) Goes Live Globally With GE — 500,000 Suppliers, Six Languages, Ten Countries

Aravo Solutions, Inc., the leading provider of on-demand Supplier Information Management (SIM) software and services, today announced that GE has launched Aravo SIM(TM) to power and transform GE’s supplier information management processes across all of its business units worldwide.

Aravo SIM(TM) is a web-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that allows GE to automate and streamline supplier information-related business processes to increase efficiencies, improve supplier data quality, drive compliance, and reduce costs. Furthermore, Aravo SIM(TM) offers GE’s suppliers an easy-to-use, self-service interface to author and maintain information required to do business with GE at both the corporate and business-unit levels.

GE manages what is arguably one of the world’s most complex supply chains, conducting business with over 500,000 suppliers across thousands of entities in more than 100 countries. GE sought to control this complexity with a Web-based software solution that was highly configurable and easily adopted by users. The implementation began in March 2008 and is now live globally. The initial implementation phase supports GE’s corporate supplier management organization, and will be rolled out to all GE business units by year end. Additional phases are planned for 2009. (Full Article)

Clean tech seen as safe bet

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Financial market turmoil, public support boost investment in sector

Buffeted by worldwide economic turmoil, some investors are pumping cash into renewable energy companies with ties to Nevada, saying the bipartisan political support being heaped on the industry all but makes it a safe harbor for investments.

Adding to its attraction: Inventive entrepreneurs are forsaking Internet-based businesses in favor of what they see as a more stable clean-technology industry.

Among the indicators that renewable energy investments are faring well:
• Reno-based wind spire company Mariah Power says it has raised enough money to launch a more powerful wind turbine, open a manufacturing plant in Michigan and pursue research and development of wind-powered parking lot lights, street lights and residential rooftop models. (Full Article)

Seasoned Photovoltaic Supply Chain Manager Joins Solaicx

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Reuters – Solaicx Press Release

Steven Concklin to Support Scale, Cost-Reductions for Solar Manufacturer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Solaicx, the only manufacturer of monocrystalline silicon ingots and wafers to use proprietary growers designed exclusively for solar applications, today announced that Steven Concklin has joined the company as supply chain director. As Solaicx continues to focus on scale in order to meet growing customer demands, Mr. Concklin will represent the company’s interests with key global vendor partners and streamline the company’s supply chain as it executes on its plan for mass production.

“Steven comes aboard as Solaicx continues to ship globally to fill customer orders, and his ability to establish and maintain synergistic relationships throughout the supply chain supports our company growth strategy well,” said Bob Ford, president and CEO of Solaicx. “His experience building world-class processes for component procurement while improving logistics will accelerate Solaicx’s production expansion.” (Full Article)

Popular ABC Primetime Series Now Available on a Mobile Device Near You Courtesy of MobiTV

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

MobiTV delivers full-length episodes of Desperate Housewives, Lost, Ugly Betty and more over major mobile networks

From the living room to any room MobiTV and Disney-ABC Television Group have reached an agreement to distribute ABC Mobile, a channel featuring full-length episodes of many of ABC’s most popular series, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Samantha Who?” and “Ugly Betty.”  ABC Mobile also features additional content from ABC Daytime, ABC Family and ABC News.

“Adding ABC content to the MobiTV lineup reflects our dedication to bringing high quality, popular entertainment to the mobile consumer, and to offering content providers the ability to reach the broadest audiences,” said Charlie Nooney, Chairman and CEO, MobiTV. “ABC has some of the most watched primetime shows in America, and we’re excited to partner with them to deliver this exceptional entertainment.”

Full episodes featured on ABC Mobile are available to MobiTV subscribers on AT&T Wireless and Sprint the day after their broadcast airing. The new primetime shows add to MobiTV’s daily lineup of live TV, made-for-mobile and video on demand (VOD) with more than 40 channels of content from partners including NBC, ESPN and Discovery Networks™.

“Partnering with MobiTV to offer primetime shows on mobile phones expands ABC Mobile’s distribution in the marketplace,” said Matt Murphy, senior vice president, digital video distribution, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.  “We are thrilled to be able to provide fans of ABC with additional opportunities to catch up on their favorite shows.”

MobiTV has more than 4 million subscribers on 350+ mobile devices, and powers the mobile TV-viewing experience for major carriers like Sprint, AT& T Wireless and Alltel, among others.

The availability of ABC primetime follows the announcement of Mobi4Biz, a vertical financial application from MobiTV aimed directly at the business consumer.  Debuting in October on the RIM Blackberry Bold device, Mobi4Biz combines live TV and VOD content from CNBC, Bloomberg Television, FOX Business and with up-to-the minute stock market data from CNBC. (Full Article)

Behind The Money: InsideView’s Umberto Milletti brings social networking to the enterprise

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

The Deal – Mary Kathleeen Flynn

Time for a new term to describe the marriage of social networking and the enterprise.

“We’re a ‘socialprise’ application,” explains InsideView Inc. founder and CEO Umberto Milletti, who came up with the coinage (which is already in Wikipedia). “We help enterprises leverage social information within their customer relationship management application to allow their sales and marketing people to be more effective.”

“Companies see their users using Facebook, their employees getting on LinkedIn and doing blogging, but they don’t quite know how to use it, how to make sense of it,” Milletti says. “Socialprise applications allow an enterprise to use social media, but do so in a structured environment, which is an enterprise application. In our case, it’s a CRM application.”

InsideView last year raised its first round of venture capital, led by Emergence Capital, with participation from Rembrandt Venture Partners and Greenhouse Capital Partners. Milletti is currently raising another round.

We spoke with Milletti at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York last week. For video interviews with other attendees, see our talks with Union Square Ventures co-founder Fred Wilson, conference organizer Tim O’Reilly, Lonelygirl15 creators Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried and Get Satisfaction co-founder and president Lane Becker.

Watch Video Interview

Sometrics Helps Clients Monetize the Social Web With Addition of Digital Element’s IP Intelligence

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Social Intelligence Pioneer to Use IP-Technology For Enhanced Analysis and Targeting

Sometrics, the first company to create analytics and ad serving solutions expressly for the social web, is adding Digital Element’s industry-leading IP Intelligence technology to help clients better understand how social audiences drive revenue and to leverage that knowledge when targeting advertising online.

With social networking sites now the hottest attraction on the Internet, Sometrics is addressing the key challenge that lies in monetizing these networks: the lack of insight into user activities. By leveraging Digital Element’s technology within its social analytics and ad platform, Sometrics will add new levels of insight to its current audience analysis capabilities and will also enable the delivery of precision-targeted advertising to an audience whose potential has until now been evasive.

Digital Element’s industry-leading IP Intelligence provides global, city-level geotargeting information as well as other data including user domain; Internet Service Provider (ISP); connection speed and type; home or business user; and company name based on a user’s IP address.

“The ability to geographically segment social networking audiences and to leverage that knowledge when serving online ads is a powerful way to deliver truly relevant and meaningful messages within a publisher’s website,” said Ian Swanson, Sometrics co-founder and CEO. “This, in turn, will allow our clients to enhance the online experience for users of the social web and to drive new revenue through the delivery of pinpoint-targeted advertising and content.” (Full Article)

Interview with Ian Swanson, Sometrics

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

As companies figure out a way to monetize social media, one of the areas which has been lacking is a way to measure the impact and effectiveness of social media advertising. To gain some insight into the area, we spoke with Ian Swanson, one of the founders of Sometrics (, which develops software to gather information on social media and optimize advertising. Sometrics is venture backed by The Mail Room Fund, a Los Angeles-based early stage fund backed by Accel, Venrock, and the William Morris Agency. The firm has also received investments from Greycroft Partners and AT&T.

What’s the idea behind Sometrics?
Ian Swanson: Sometrics is a social analytics and advertising company. My partners and I were all involved in the social media space in one fashion or another. I worked at Userplane, building social applications for sites like MySpace. To better understand the audiences using applications, we built out an analytics system a little over a year ago. We just recently started rolling out ad-related products, like Ad Manager, which is like Google’s ad manager with baked-in social targeting.

What do you mean by social targeting?
Ian Swanson: It’s demographic targeting, targeting around a bucket. That bucket could be a user with a particular affinity to rock music, or a user which likes a comic movie. You want to be able to target these buckets–for example, an advertiser like Warner Brothers might want to promote their Batman film and show a trailer to a user that fits a certain profile. (Full Article)

InsideView Integrates On-Demand Socialprise Application With Oracle CRM On Demand

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Marketwire- InsideView Press Release

Enterprise Mash-Up Brings Powerful New Capabilities to Oracle Customers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – September 22, 2008) – InsideView today announced the integration of SalesView to Oracle® CRM On Demand in support of Oracle’s CRM On Demand Inner Circle Partner initiative. SalesView is one of the first true socialprise applications, which through mash-ups is designed to collect and scan subscription-based sources and the rich, unstructured information living on the social Web to deliver the meaningful insights salespeople need to increase results. InsideView will announce their mash-up with Oracle at the invitation-only Social CRM Inner Circle Community Reception at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld 2008 conference (

“Our product management team has thoroughly reviewed the partner ecosystem for the most synergistic solutions from our partners,” says Julie Adams, Vice President CRM On Demand Products at Oracle. “We believe InsideView, as part of the Oracle CRM On Demand Inner Circle Partner Initiative, will provide our customers and prospects complementary value-added functionality in the ‘socialprise’ arena.”

“InsideView is pleased to work with Oracle and contribute to their industry leading position in social CRM technology,” says Umberto Milletti, CEO of InsideView. “The sales intelligence generated by socialprise applications such as SalesView has been proven to greatly benefit salespeople by increasing both the quality and quantity of their sales leads, as well as the number of deals closed.” (Full Article)

MasTech Strikes a Deal

Friday, September 19th, 2008

A local manufacturing company has a verbal agreement with a startup company in Nevada to produce a wind generator in Manistee County.

Officials with MasTech Manufacturing Inc. said they’ve reached a deal with Reno-based Mariah Power to produce a vertical wind axis called a “Windspire” at MasTech’s plant in Manistee.

MasTech operations manager John Holcomb confirmed the deal after the Manistee County Board of Commissioners this week formally accepted a $400,000 federal block grant to assist the project.

“Right now, it’s verbally closed,” Holcomb said of MasTech’sproduction agreement with Mariah. “We hope to have it formally closed next week.” (Read More)

Making Money from Social Ties

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Advertisers are building complex applications to try to engage users on social networks.

Social networks might be popular, but the industry is struggling to find a way to turn all those users into a big payday. This conundrum is the focus of industry executives gathered at the Social Ad Summit in New York this week, and while no company has yet found the perfect solution, advertising campaigns that make far better use of social-network functionality are starting to offer hope of richer returns.

But to make social advertisements truly engaging, advertisers need to better understand how to grab, and hold on to, users’ attention. Ian Swanson, CEO of Sometrics, a company that provides tools for measuring social-advertising success, says that user response to banner advertising tends to plummet dramatically after the first five page views. For this reason, Swanson says, efforts to integrate ads with the actions that users want to take on the site are particularly important. Buddy Media’s Lazerow adds that in the future, advertising applications will need to be even more complex and scalable so that they can handle large numbers of users if necessary. (Full Article)


Personalized Mobi4BIZ uses viewer-created watch lists to dynamically hunt down personalized content

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Broadcast Engineering

MobiTV is turning the conventional TV broadcasting model on its head with Mobi4BIZ, a personalized business and financial news service offering live TV, video on demand and stock data. The first in a series of audience-specific offerings, Mobi4BIZ lets viewers create personal watch lists and then finds content dynamically based on their lists.

“We’re trying to turn you into your own programmer” and “eventually let people share their unique programming with friends,” said Ray DeRenzo, senior VP of MobiTV Products, Programming and Marketing. “Rather than a broadcaster presenting content, the viewer picks the content he or she wants — they pull the company-specific content they want. When people can get content that’s relevant to them, they engage with it more frequently.”

“Mobi4BIZ combines three different elements: graphics and text, video on demand that’s personalized to your interests, and live streaming TV,” DeRenzo said. It behaves like on-demand video “until you enter a company name. Then MobiTV finds content dynamically. (Full Article)

Solaicx Hires Former Applied Materials Director as VP of Product Engineering

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Volume Manufacturing Expert to Lead Solar Ingot and Wafer Engineering Effort

Solaicx, the only manufacturer of monocrystalline silicon ingots and wafers to use proprietary growers designed exclusively for solar applications, today announced that Peter V. Schwartz, PhD has been appointed vice president of product engineering for the company. Dr. Schwartz, most recently the vice president of process and equipment for Nanoconduction Inc., comes to Solaicx as increased demand for high quality silicon ingots continues to drive production and company expansion.

“Peter’s wealth of experience in leading high throughput manufacturing makes him well-suited to align Solaicx’s increasing product volume with the needs of our valued partners and customers,” said Bob Ford, president and CEO of Solaicx. “Peter has a unique combination of deep technical experience and enthusiasm for efficiency that clearly demonstrates that he is the right person to oversee Solaicx’s solar ingot production process.”

Dr. Schwartz has spent more than a decade guiding manufacturing improvement programs that enhance product viability, reduce costs, increase volume, and ease serviceability. Under his direction, the team of engineers at Torrex Equipment Corporation developed a high volume manufacturing system that caught the eye of Applied Materials, which acquired the company and retained Dr. Schwartz as a director. A winner of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Research Initiation Award, Dr. Schwartz has published more than 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Princeton University. (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches ‘Social Ad Manager’: One-Stop-Shop for Optimizing Entire Ad Inventory, with Social Targeting

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Developers, Social Sites Can Serve Third-Party and Direct Ads from One Place, Boost Revenue with Targeting Based on Demographics and Social Interests

Sometrics ( today launched its new Social Ad Manager, designed to help developers and social networking sites easily manage and optimize their entire ad inventories from one place – decreasing costs while increasing revenue.

Sometrics made the announcement at the Social Ad Summit in New York. Sometrics founder and CEO Ian Swanson is participating in the Social Advertising Metrics panel discussion at 2:45 p.m. EDT today.

The Social Ad Manager, offered at no charge, aggregates all ad inventory – from third-party ad networks and from the publisher’s own direct ad sales. It eliminates server costs and gives developers and social networks (collectively known as “publishers”) the ability to manage and optimize all inventory in one place.

Sometrics enables publishers to socially target all inventory based on user demographics and social interests, helping them serve ads that their audiences are more likely to be interested in – and therefore more likely to interact with. In addition, the Sometrics Social Ad Manager creates custom reports detailing traffic, making it easy for publishers to package themselves as attractive channels for brands and advertisers wanting to reach the publisher’s audiences.

“We’re making it possible for publishers to apply our social intelligence to their entire ad inventory, to optimize the delivery of their ads and increase revenue,” said Ian Swanson, Sometrics CEO and co-founder. “We’ve built a system that combines analytics, targeting and branding capabilities all designed to help developers and advertisers reach their audiences within the social web. Now our clients can apply this social intelligence to every ad they serve.”

The Sometrics Social Ad Manager includes ad hosting, serving and precision-targeting using the most relevant and effective audience analysis available. The platform is coupled with Sometrics’ groundbreaking social analytics solution, which was created expressly to track and analyze traffic, demographics, interests and actions within the social web.

Available in beta since June 1, the Sometrics Social Ad Manager has been serving tens of millions of ad impressions daily. (Full Article)

MobiTV Reveals Product Strategy to Deliver Targeted Applications for Mobile Customers

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

MobiTV – Press Release

Leading Mobile TV Service Provider Previews Mobi4BIZ Offering with Live Video for the BlackBerry Bold Smartphone

MobiTV, Inc., the leader in the delivery of rich media mobile content and services, today announced the next phase of its product development strategy which entails a series of vertically-customized products and services that combine live video, VOD and up-to-the-minute data together in a personalized, compelling and easy-to-use interface for mobile professionals and on-the-go entertainment enthusiasts.

Mobi4BIZ is the company’s breakthrough product offering from its vertical development strategy and will make its market debut in the U.S. supporting the BlackBerry® Bold™ smartphone from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM). Mobi4BIZ is a video-centric application for mobile consumers and business professionals that combines live TV and VOD content.  (Full Article)

How Small Businesses Can Join the Green Revolution

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The green revolution, once relegated to the environmental fringe, is real and gaining momentum as oil prices remain persistently high in the face of growing worldwide demand. Global warming, now widely accepted as science fact instead of fiction, is also contributing to the growth of green technologies. But do small businesses fit in?

The green revolution is providing similar opportunities for small businesses in solar energy as well. James Resor is chief financial officer for groSolar Inc., in White River Junction, Vt. It’s a national distributor, integrator and installer of solar photovoltaic systems for residences and commercial enterprises. In less than two years the company has grown from about 25 employees to more than 100 employees, has raised about $15 million in investment capital, and has established a national network of customers and offices.

Resor says the company has hired engineers, installers (e.g. electricians, construction workers), managers and sales persons. “In many cases, we are hiring people from other industries that are contracting due to the economic slowdown. These jobs cannot be exported to other countries, since our work involves the hands-on design and installation of solar systems. These jobs truly represent the broad foundation of an emerging alternative energy economy,” he says. (Full Article)


Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

National Awards Sept. 15 Recognize Game-Changing Green Technology

RENO, NV, September 9, 2008- Mariah Power (, manufacturer of Windspire®, a wind power appliance for residential, commercial and government use, announced today that AlwaysOn (, a technology blog network, honored the company as one of the “GoingGreen Top 100” Winners, recognizing the creation of new business opportunities in green technology industries. Mariah Power was specially selected by the AlwaysOn editorial team and global industry experts, based on innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and “media buzz”. The awards will be officially announced at the GoingGreen 2008 conference, September 15-17, 2008 in Sausalito, Calif.

This two-and-a-half-day executive event features CEO presentations and high-level debates on the most promising emerging green technologies and new entrepreneurial opportunities.   Fifty top CEOs, including Mike Hess, CEO of Mariah Power, will present their market strategies to a panel of industry experts in the “CEO Showcase.”

“It is an honor to be selected by AlwaysOn as one of the GoingGreen Top 100 Winners,” said Mike Hess, CEO of Mariah Power. “Mariah Power is committed to making wind power a viable option for today’s environmentally-minded and cost-conscious consumers, whether in urban or rural areas.”

“Alternative energy is taking on a more important role in providing the nation’s energy supply,” continued Hess. “As the price of oil continues to rise, consumers and businesses are looking to affordable renewable energy options like the Windspire.”

“Mariah Power’s Windspire is revolutionizing the clean energy technology market,” said Tony Perkins, founder and CEO of AlwaysOn. “We congratulate Mariah Power on their success in driving the next phase of greentech innovation and on being a GoingGreen Top 100 winner.”

Mariah Power provides low-cost, attractive renewable wind energy generators to residential, business and government customers.  Mariah Power’s patented technology maximizes energy conversion from wind into electric power, regardless of changing wind speed and direction.

About Mariah Power
Based in Reno, Nevada, Mariah Power provides low-cost, low-noise, attractive wind power appliances for use with residential, business, and commercial buildings.  The company’s patented technology maximizes energy conversion from wind into the electric power, regardless of changing wind speed and direction.  The company’s first vertical axis wind
power appliance, Windspire®, is now available for shipment.  For more information, visit

About AlwaysOn
AlwaysOn ignited the open-media revolution in early 2003 by being the first media brand to launch a community blog network.  In 2004, AlwaysOn continued to lead the industry in innovation by engaging its bloggers in a social network. AlwaysOn is also revolutionizing the media business by applying its open-media principles to its executive event series (Stanford Summit, OnHollywood, Breakout, OnMedia, GoingGreen, NordicGreen, and Venture Summits East and West) and quarterly print “blogozine”. No other media brand has dared to create such open interaction with its readers and event participants.

Wind power to bring rebates

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

The electric company, which for several years has provided financial incentives to homeowners who install solar power systems, will start doing the same for home wind turbines in a few days.

Nevada Power Co. of Las Vegas and affiliate Sierra Pacific Power Co. of Reno are offering rebates of $2.50 per watt for wind turbines, based on the turbine’s electricity production capacity. The maximum rebate for each customer would be $25,000.

Wind systems that generate more than 10,000 watts of power qualify for a $1.50 per watt rebate, but most home wind turbines will be smaller and will qualify for the $2.50 rebate.

Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity at homes, businesses, farms, schools and public buildings.

“I believe (wind turbines) will get pretty popular,” said John Hargrove, RenewableGenerations program manager for the two electric companies. “People want choice. They want the opportunity to be as green as they can.” (Read More)

InsideView CEO to Speak on Sales 2.0 at Top Enterprise Industry Conferences

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Umberto Milletti to Speak About the Socialprise Benefits of Bringing Social Media to the EnterpriseInsideView today announced CEO Umberto Milletti has been invited to speak at several upcoming conferences exploring trends in applications built for the socialprise, Enterprise 2.0 and web-based business intelligence, including Office 2.0, Interop New York and Web 3.0 Fall 2008. InsideView’s application, SalesView, is one of the first true examples of a socialprise application, designed to leverage social data in the enterprise by bringing together the insights gained from both subscription-based and user-generated sources to drive sales results.

At Office 2.0, scheduled for September 3-5 in San Francisco, Milletti will be joined by a host of business intelligence industry leaders to examine this year’s theme: Enterprise Adoption. He will participate in a panel titled “Office 2.0 Intelligence,” which will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of Web-based business intelligence, along with the increasingly complex range of social tools available in the market today. (Read More)

HID Labs and the Modern Dimmer Switch

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Greentech Media

HID Labs new dimmer switch could potentially save megawatts of power, says Greentech Media Senior Analyst Michael Kanellos.

It’s a dimmer switch that potentially could save megawatts of power.

HID Laboratories, a Silicon Valley startup armed with technology from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has developed a digital ballast for controlling high intensity discharge (HID) lights, the bright bulbs that illuminate stadiums, streets, industrial and big box retailers. American River Ventures, out of the Sacramento region, recently invested in the firm.

Overall, HID’s digital ballast can cut the power consumed by an HID light by 40 percent or more, said CEO Antonio Espinosa. Lighting consumes 22 percent of the power generated in the U.S. and the majority of the juice of that total goes to more than 100 million HID sockets in the country. Thus, if used universally, you’re talking a big whack in electricity consumption.

VCs have been putting money into energy efficient lighting for the last several years, but mostly into companies that produce bulbs. Companies with complimentary technologies have received less attention, but some, such as Nuventix (air-cooler for LEDs) and Intematix (designer phosphors) have emerged.

(Link to Article)

Sometrics Appoints Jennifer Bartlett, Michael Maher as Business Development Managers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Advertising and Technology Experts Join as Sometrics Continues to Expand Roster of Brands and Developers Using Its ‘Social Intelligence’

Sometrics (http://www.sometrics) today announced the appointment of Jennifer Bartlett and Michael (Mickey) Maher as business development managers.

“Their combined experience reaches across advertising, digital media and technology, further deepening the expertise Sometrics brings to the social space,” said Ian Swanson, Sometrics co-founder and CEO. “The breadth and depth of our talent here are keys to our fast growth. Our mission is to help both brands and developers be successful in social media, so we’ve built a team of people who understand the unique needs of each group.” (Full Article)

Green Venture Firm Looks to Close Early Stage Funding Gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Cleantech Group – by Emma Ritch

The venture firm says it’s in talks to raise its second fund in early 2009, and has already invested about half of its first fund. About $6 million has gone into eight companies, including Solaicx and Mariah Power [1], said Pete Henig, managing partner of Greenhouse (see Two more IPOs to watch for [2]).

The Sausalito, Calif.-based firm’s investments range from $250,000 to $2 million, and Greenhouse plans to continue to make small investments to fill a funding gap in the cleantech sector for early-stage companies, Henig said (see Southern Water leads dealmaking [3]).

“It’s less about building a bigger venture capital firm and more about trying to establish early-stage and seed-stage investment funds for the cleantech field,” Henig told the Cleantech Group. “We’re also looking at the possible opportunity of creating a cleantech incubator to do true, true seed-stage deals where we find interesting technologies and work with the companies.”

Greenhouse often partners with Big Sky Partners on investments that are too small for most venture firms, Henig said (see Two funds expand cleantech plans [4]). Big Sky founder and Managing Director Michael Schwab serves as general partner at Greenhouse, and the two firms share office space in Sausalito.

Greenhouse plans to close its first fund by reinvesting in some companies and making two-to-three new investments in the sectors of water, carbon, diesel technology, energy management or green retail products, Henig said.


Fund aims to plug cleantech money gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Venture capitalists have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into cleantech companies in the last few years, yet a small cleantech fund aims to address what it sees as a “funding gap.”

“Something we’re trying to do in our little way is fill that funding gap that’s still out there between the very early stage family-and-friends round and venture capital,” said Sue Preston, who manages the fund.

Preston runs the CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund set up by the California Clean Energy Fund, formed with $30 million from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. bankruptcy settlement. The San Francisco-based angel fund closed a $7 million first round of funding in February and is seeking to close a second round in coming weeks that will bring the fund tab near $20 million.

Compared to the multi-hundred-million-dollar dedicated cleantech funds rampant throughout the venture universe, $20 million might seem like pocket change. But Preston insists it fills a need.

Its first investment — a $4 million infusion the fund split with other firms — went to HID Laboratories Inc., a Menlo Park-based lighting company whose technologies target those energy-sucking block lights in commercial and industrial buildings like Costco. (Full Article)

Green venture firm looks to close early stage funding gap

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The venture firm says it’s in talks to raise its second fund in early 2009, and has already invested about half of its first fund. About $6 million has gone into eight companies, including Solaicx and Mariah Power, said Pete Henig, managing partner of Greenhouse.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based firm’s investments range from $250,000 to $2 million, and Greenhouse plans to continue to make small investments to fill a funding gap in the cleantech sector for early-stage companies, Henig said.

“It’s less about building a bigger venture capital firm and more about trying to establish early-stage and seed-stage investment funds for the cleantech field,” Henig told the Cleantech Group. “We’re also looking at the possible opportunity of creating a cleantech incubator to do true, true seed-stage deals where we find interesting technologies and work with the companies.”

Greenhouse often partners with Big Sky Partners on investments that are too small for most venture firms, Henig said. Big Sky founder and Managing Director Michael Schwab serves as general partner at Greenhouse, and the two firms share office space in Sausalito.

Greenhouse plans to close its first fund by reinvesting in some companies and making two-to-three new investments in the sectors of water, carbon, diesel technology, energy management or green retail products, Henig said.

Wider Adoption of Supplier Information Management Fuels Growth for Solution Provider

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Aravo sees new customer adoption and record revenue growth as research report sees software-as-a-service adoption “penetrating and disrupting traditional enterprise software”

On-demand supplier information management (SIM) specialist Aravo Solutions is pointing to its recent customer wins and increased revenues as evidence that software-as-a-service (SaaS) supply chain management solutions are gaining wider acceptance among global enterprises.

Aravo, a pioneer in the on-demand SIM industry, announced this week that it has signed a number of major new customers and quadrupled company revenue over the last 12 months. Aravo now claims three of the top 20 Fortune 500 companies as clients, along with two of the nation’s top five financial services firms. (Full Article)

Reno firm’s wind turbine a huge success

Monday, August 4th, 2008

In a small warehouse space on Rock Boulevard, a start-up company called Mariah Power is assembling the first affordable, wind turbines small enough to fit a backyard.

Company President Mike Hess, his staff of six and temporary workers in June started selling 30 wind turbines to produce electricity for $4,995 each and plan to build 30 more in August. The parts are built in machine shops in Carson City.

Without much publicity, the company already has a backlog of 2,500 orders. The two-foot blades of Mariah’s Windspire rotate around a vertical 30-foot pole, using patented technology to maximize the energy produced.

Hess projects the company will produce 18,000 units in its first year at a retooled factory in Youngstown, Ohio, starting this winter. The expansion plans hinge on getting $7 million to $10 million in financing. “We’re on the verge of busting out,” Hess said. (Full Article)

With New Partnership, Application Developers Using zembly Now Have Access to Sometrics Social Analytics

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Sometrics Will Give zembly Developers the Most Relevant Audience Analysis Available, and Tools to Use That Data to Build Thriving Communities

— Developers using zembly ( to create and publish social applications will now automatically receive Sometrics ( social analytics data to help them understand their audiences and boost traffic and revenue, both parties announced today.

All apps built with zembly will have analytics enabled by Sometrics’ groundbreaking social analytics solution, which was created expressly to track and analyze traffic, demographics, interests and actions within the social web. Sometrics goes beyond typical analytics to track social actions after ads are served, helping developers know exactly who’s engaging and optimize their ad networks accordingly to increase revenue.

zembly is the world’s first development environment for Facebook, OpenSocial, Meebo and other social platforms. At, the act of creating applications is itself social–working together with friends and thousands of other people, users reuse pieces within zembly and on the web to create social applications. Once an application is ready to be deployed, zembly hosts and scales it to any number of users. zembly is a service of Sun Microsystems.

Sometrics is a cross-platform, one-stop-shop, aggregating data from any social networking or community-based site, big or small. zembly developers will start seeing the Sometrics analytics data in the coming weeks. (Full Article)

Software Sales Veteran Greg Brush Joins InsideView

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Brush to Lead Growing Sales Team and Build on Customer Momentum

InsideView today announced that Greg Brush, an experienced leader in multi-channel enterprise sales, has joined the company as vice president of sales. In his new role, Greg will help to increase sales of InsideView’s unique on-demand business search and intelligence applications as the company expands into new markets.

Brush brings close to 20 years of enterprise software sales experience, having led the expansion at high-growth companies of all sizes. Prior to joining InsideView, Brush served as vice president of sales at Movaris, where he created significant sales momentum and growth that contributed to the company’s acquisition by Trintech. Before Movaris, he was director of sales at Hyperion Solutions (now Oracle) in both national and strategic regional roles, and he served in various sales executive and management positions at Siebel Systems. Greg has also held senior sales positions with Pure Software, where he was recognized as a key contributor in the rapid revenue growth that led to a successful IPO in 1995 and subsequent acquisition by Rational Software (now IBM). He began his career with Oracle Corporation, where he was consistently recognized as a top revenue contributor.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Greg to the InsideView executive team as we look to take advantage of the strong interest in our business search and intelligence offerings,” said Umberto Milletti, CEO and cofounder of InsideView. “Greg’s extensive experience will contribute greatly to the momentum behind InsideView as we enter into new customer segments. Greg’s a proven sales expert and brings a strong strategic sales acumen that will help take InsideView to the next level.”

Brush’s appointment comes at a time of strong customer momentum for InsideView. More than 100 customers have embraced the company’s flagship sales intelligence application, SalesView, with 30 customers added during the last quarter. SalesView aggregates real-time information from across the social Web and combines it with enterprise customer data to provide the most up-to-date, actionable intelligence. Brush will lead the overall sales efforts for SalesView as well as spearhead market introductions of forthcoming InsideView products.(Full Article)

Insideview Delivers Socialprise To All Landslide Customers

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Landslide Technologies Leverages the iView Platform to Fully Embed Business Search and Intelligence

InsideView today released SalesView for Landslide™, a fully bundled business search and intelligence application available to all Landslide Technologies customers. InsideView and Landslide share a singular focus on generating sales results from the ground up by helping individual salespeople.

SalesView is one of the first true examples of a socialprise application, designed to leverage social data in the enterprise by bringing the insights gained from both subscription-based and user-generated sources to drive sales results. Landslide’s Sales Workstyle Management offering is the first sales management tool designed to directly help individual salespeople close more deals.

Landslide leveraged InsideView’s iView platform APIs and mash-ups to integrate SalesView into their Sales Workstyle Solution in a matter of weeks. SalesView business search and intelligence is now available to all Landslide customers as an embedded, “always-on” application. As a result, Landslide customers can now better aggregate, sort and prioritize both subscription-based and social media data in order to find the most up-to-date, actionable intelligence.

“With InsideView’s socialprise application, Landslide’s customers can now leverage data on the social Web to quickly identify opportunities, get a jump on competitors and speed up their sales cycle,” said Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies. “The InsideView/Landslide partnership brings immediate value to sales and marketing teams.”

“Our collaboration with InsideView highlights our commitment to salespeople,” said Razi Imam, CEO and founder of Landslide Technologies. “This partnership, combining the selling power of Landslide with InsideView’s business search capabilities, gives the salesperson an unprecedented advantage over their competitors.” (Full Article)

Award Winning Tech Leader Selects SYSPRO ERP Solution

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Solaicx Chooses Pragmatic, but Visionary Software over Larger Suppliers

SYSPRO, a provider of visionary ERP for the manufacturing pragmatist, today announced that the company has won a significant deal to provide an ERP solution for Solaicx, an award-winning manufacturer of silicon ingots and wafers for the solar industry. Solaicx was recently named winner of a 2008 Managing Automation Progressive Manufacturer award for solar manufacturing innovation and is shipping to leading solar cell manufacturers from its facility in Portland, Ore.
SYSPRO continues to prevail among small- to mid-sized businesses in the manufacturing sector, where it has amassed more than 14,000 global customers. Solaicx is typical of the rapid-growth enterprises seeking SYSPRO’s pragmatic, but visionary software solutions, and will deploy SYSPRO order management, financials and manufacturing solutions. (Full Article)

groSolar & Winn Development Partner To Reduce Energy Costs For Low Income Families

Monday, July 21st, 2008

groSolar, the Vermont-based North American leader in value-added distribution, residential and commercial sales of solar power systems, has contracted with Winn Solar LP, a division of WinnDevelopment, one of the largest affordable housing developers in the U.S., to install 831 kW of solar electric systems at multiple sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The systems will provide solar electricity to these affordable properties, and will be completed in 2008.

“groSolar is very pleased to be able to perform this difficult, multi-site project,” according to Jeff Wolfe, CEO of groSolar. “Winn Development has been very far-sighted in creating this opportunity, and is leading the affordable housing industry into solar. groSolar’s multi-state presence, secure PV supply, and construction expertise make this a perfect project for us.”

“WinnDevelopment is glad to partner with groSolar on this important project,” said Heather Clark of WinnDevelopment. “The addition of solar to these facilities will allow Winn to continue to provide truly affordable housing for the long term. groSolar has made the process of adding solar simple, providing all design, procurement, and installation services.”

The projects will use Evergreen Solar modules and inverters by SMA and SatCon. Systems will be installed on both flat and sloped roofs, and vary in size from 37 kW to over 248 kW. Systems received partial funding from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Sometrics and appssavvy Partner to Pair Social Analytics with a Direct Sales Team…

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

 to Match Brands and Apps Within the Social Web
Agreement Helps Create a Social Presence for Brands While Increasing Revenue for Developers; Both Companies to Discuss Partnership at SWAT Summit

Sometrics ( and appssavvy
( today announced a partnership that will increase revenue for developers while helping advertisers build their brands and pinpoint their audiences within the social web.

Both companies will discuss the new partnership today at SWAT Summit in San Francisco.

By pairing appssavvy’s direct sales team with Sometrics’ social intelligence – which is a one-two combo of analytics and ad serving, both designed specifically for the social web – the two companies are making it easy for developers to share their audience demographic information to help brands more effectively find and reach their audiences within social networking communities.

Starting today, developers working with Sometrics can choose to share with appssavvy basic analytic information about who’s using their apps and how – including audience demographics, traffic, interests and actions within the social web. appssavvy proactively seeks out advertisers who want to reach those audiences, significantly increasing a developer’s advertising revenue. (Full Article)

groSolar Acquires Chesapeake Solar

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

North American Solar Energy Leader Strengthens Mid-Atlantic Base

groSolar, North America’s premier provider of solar energy solutions, announced today the acquisition of Chesapeake Solar, a leading installer of solar energy systems in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The acquisition makes groSolar one of the nation’s largest solar energy providers and extends the company’s reach, enabling groSolar to install more solar solutions on more homes and businesses in its effort to fight climate change and save customers money on energy costs.

“The missions of Chesapeake and groSolar are one and the same,” said groSolar CEO Jeff Wolfe. “The acquisition of Chesapeake will support our growth strategy and our commitment to deliver clean solar power in a cost effective way to as many consumers and businesses as possible. It made absolute sense to bring them into the groSolar family. The expertise of the people at the company will fortify our management team and enhance our ability to serve the market and create the industry.”

Richard Deutschmann and Jeff Gilbert founded Chesapeake Solar in 1999 as Chesapeake Wind & Solar LLC. They started the company based on their years of engineering experience and their passionate commitment to the development of renewable energy in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“We could not be more excited to join Jeff and the rest of the groSolar team,” said Deutschmann. “Given the incredible growth of the solar industry around the world, we think it is the right time to bring the regional strength of Chesapeake Solar into a company with the North American reach of groSolar. Our joining together will benefit Chesapeake, our past and future customers and, of course, the environment.” (read more)

Middle School, Police Station Getting Solar Panels

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Furnace Brook Middle School and the Marshfield police station will receive free solar energy systems from NStar as part of the Marshfield Energy Challenge.

The cost of the police station’s system is around $24,000, and the middle school will receive two systems, valued at $23,000 and $22,000. Each system consists of photovoltaic modules totaling 2,660 watts of peak power and has a life expectancy of about 25 years — though they can last much longer.

Besides providing energy from a renewable source, NStar spokesman Dennis Galvam that by being on display on two town buildings, the systems will educate citizens and encourage energy efficiency in Marshfield. The panels at the police department will be visible from the south-facing roof and from Parsonage Street. The systems at the middle school, though on a rooftop, will include some type of visual, such as a Webcam, Galvam said.

“We want to have an educational element for the students to get further educated on solar energy,” he said.

The Marshfield Energy Challenge is a pilot program designed to reduce peak energy use through energy efficiency, solar power and peak-demand control. NStar and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative are investing $4 million to help Marshfield businesses and homeowners install energy efficient technologies in their homes and businesses.

Galvam said the two buildings were chosen after NStar and groSolar, the company contracted to install the panels, went to all the schools, the police station, town hall and pumping stations. (Full Article)

Sometrics Achieves Milestone – 1,000 Developers Now Using Its Social Analytics Tools

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Sometrics (, the first company to create analytics and ad serving solutions expressly for the social web, today announced that 1,000 developers are now using its analytics tools.

Sometrics reached this milestone “because developers trust us to give them detailed social intelligence that helps them make money with their applications or social networking communities,” said co-founder and CEO Ian Swanson. “Sometrics is a reliable and trusted partner that really cares about helping developers be more successful.”

Sometrics delivers social intelligence – a deep understanding of who’s doing what within social networking websites and applications, and a way for developers to use that information to boost traffic and make more money. Some developers participating in Sometrics’ beta test have reported 200 percent growth in traffic. Developers can use the company’s analytics tools across multiple social networks, including Facebook, MySpace, Hi5 and Bebo. Its standard API also works on any community-based website. (Full Article)

groSolar Hits Home Run With Fenway Park Installation

Monday, June 30th, 2008

The Boston Red Sox formally unveiled a solar heating system, which consists of 28 Heliodyne solar hot water collectors and four 400-gallon storage tanks tied to the historic ballpark’s water system.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The left field wall might not be the most impressive “green” feature at Fenway Park — at least not from an environmental point of view.
On Monday, the Boston Red Sox formally unveiled a solar heating system, which consists of 28 Heliodyne solar hot water collectors and four 400-gallon storage tanks tied to the historic ballpark’s water system.

While Heliodyne Inc. of Richmond, Calif., manufactured the panels, the system was installed by groSolar — a Vermont-based company.

Between May 7-12, groSolar installed the panels through the media level on the fifth floor. The panels face south and will only be covered by shadow for a few hours during the winter solstice. The hot-water heaters are located in a mechanical room on the roof in close proximity to the panels.

The system is expected to be fully operational this week. (Full Article)

County fair’s theme: Red, white, blue and green

Monday, June 30th, 2008

AT 30 FEET TALL, the gleaming silver “Windspire” looks like it belongs in a science-fiction movie.

Yet the antenna-like device, which will take center stage at the Marin County Fair from Wednesday through Sunday, was designed to let the average family turn its house or farm into a power station.

“It looks like a tall stick and rotates vertically rather than horizontally, so it doesn’t have big propellers,” said Julie Murphy, a spokeswoman for Mariah Power of Reno, Nev. “It generates about 2,000 kilowatt-hours per year, and it has a design that’s believed to be more bird-friendly and less noisy (than traditional windmills) so that it fits into residential neighborhoods.”

That’s the essence of the county fair this year, said fair chief Jim Farley: combining the forward-looking technologies of a World’s Fair with the family-friendly traditions of a country fair, such as fireworks, art and agriculture competitions, racing piglets, a 10-story Ferris wheel and 27 other carnival rides. The fair’s solar-powered stage will host headliners America, Elvin Bishop, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Los Lobos, Steel Pulse and War, as well as local favorites Crunchy Frog, Lara Johnston and the Tommy Castro Band.

“This county fair serves as a national model,” said Farley, head of the county Department of Cultural Services. “We’re inspired by the World’s Fair to show a sense of the future. At the same time, we have ties to an older tradition, to celebrate America. We’re going red, white, blue and green.” (Full Article)

groSolar Signs $175 million Deal for Solar Panels

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

North American solar energy leader groSolar announced today the signing of a $175 million, long-term sales contract for solar electric panels with leading manufacturer Evergreen Solar, Inc.

The contract will assure fast-growing groSolar a steady supply of solar panels for the exploding commercial and residential solar market.

The contract with Evergreen (Nasdaq: ESLR) continues a relationship that saw the two companies sign a previous contract for $88 million in 2006.

Evergreen Solar is a manufacturer of solar power panels with its proprietary, low-cost String Ribbon(tm) wafer technology. The solar panels will be manufactured at the company’s Devens, MA. facility, which will begin panel production in July. The contract will continue through 2012.

Jeff Wolfe, CEO of groSolar, said: “groSolar is excited about extending our partnership with Evergreen. Our first long term contract provided a strong impetus for groSolar’s tremendous growth. At the same time, Evergreen Solar has grown into the company that we knew it would, creating the highest quality product. Their increased US-based manufacturing, lowest carbon footprint product, and leading innovation will assist groSolar in continuing to lead the solar industry.”

“groSolar’s confidence in Evergreen’s abilities and the quality of our product is a testament to the work we have done with them over the past two years,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “The two companies have grown and emerged as true leaders in the solar industry. We are proud to have groSolar as a partner and look forward to continuing to grow our business together.”

About groSolar
groSolar is a leading North American solar power company focused on designing, distributing and installing high quality solar electric and solar hot water systems. groSolar provides residential installation in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, and commercial installation in California as well as the eastern US, serving other areas through an extensive dealer network. With a system of warehouses across the continent, groSolar has the broadest distribution capabilities of any solar provider. groSolar integrates components from leading solar manufacturers including Evergreen Solar into efficient solar energy systems for its customers that generate clean, reliable energy for decades. groSolar was also recently recognized as the second fastest growing company in Vermont and one of the best places to work in Vermont. For information, contact Kevin Ellis 800.498.5390 or Kelli Pippin at 800.374.4494 x3085 or visit

About Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets solar power products using proprietary, low-cost manufacturing technologies. The Company’s patented wafer technology, known as String Ribbon, uses significantly less polysilicon than conventional processes. Evergreen’s products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power for residential and commercial applications globally. For more information about the Company, please visit
Evergreen Solar(r) is a registered trademark and String Ribbon(tm) is a trademark of Evergreen Solar, Inc.

How Your Phone Can Make You Smarter

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Good news: Your cellphone may soon be able to help you skirt a big traffic snarl. At least, that’s what Nokia believes, based on research that it did earlier this year to uncover more ways to use wireless technology.

The project was part of a trend called “crowd sourcing,” which aims to harness the brainpower and energy of crowds to develop useful services.

People are using their cellphones to review restaurants, share their favorite hometown hangouts, discover new jogging routes, even dodge speeding tickets. “The Internet is about the long tail,” notes Rajeev Chand, a managing director and wireless analyst at Rutberg & Co. “Mobile is about pushing that even further out to the ultimate edge: an individual, at all times, with his device.”

Such crowd-sourced applications point up the power of mobile networks to relay data in real time. “Nearly everyone has a mobile that they carry with them all the time,” says Hugh Bradlow, chief technical officer of Australian operator Telstra. “Phones are perfectly suited for this type of automated reporting, and potentially a much more pervasive device than the online Web.”

Smart applications also represent the industry’s shift to mobile software and services as well as phones. Innovative applications will “arguably [be] the most interesting question for mobile over the next few years,” says Chand. (Full Article)

Popular Science- Best of What’s New ’08: Mariah Power Windspire

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Down-to-earth wind power

Mariah Power Windspire

Zoning laws often forbid tall wind turbines. The Windspire captures breezes at 30 feet and below with a design in which blades run up a pole’s length and spin around it. Contoured airfoils make the Windspire the first vertical-axis turbine that can start in slow winds without help from a motor or inefficient scoops or wings. $5,000;

(Full Article)

Congress Hears from Small Companies to Jolt Green Tech

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Congress must develop further incentives for “green” technology small companies because these more energy-efficient industries are growing, which will bolster the U.S. economy, leaders of a House small business committee said Thursday.

“With jobs vanishing, payrolls falling and the cost of living skyrocketing, green technology promises to lift us back up. Once considered an exclusively environmental issue, the search for renewable energy has taken on a new role,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez D-NY, chairwoman of the Small Business Committee.

In May, the House passed the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act to extend and expand tax incentives for companies using renewable energy. The House committee is reviewing the role of green technologies in spurring U.S. economic growth – particularly the importance of small businesses in bringing alternative energy to real-life situations.

“Around 90 percent of the renewable and more efficient industries are small companies, and only the wind power industry is expected to create 400,000 jobs in the short term,” Velazquez said at a committee hearing Thursday.

Gregory Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association said the U.S. is the world’s biggest market for wind energy development. (Read More)

Small-scale wind picks up speed

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Mariah Power, manufacturer of the Windspire vertical-axis wind turbine, shipped its first turbine in May. Rising energy costs and attractive incentives for renewable energy generations is driving demand for renewable energy systems such as the Windspire.

The turbine sells for about $5,000, which includes a high efficiency generator, integrated inverter, hinged monopole and wireless performance monitor.

“We set out to make a low-cost system the average person can buy,” says Mariah Power co-founder and CEO Mike Hess.

Mariah Power, backed by angel investors, Big Sky Partners and Greenhouse Capital, plans to open a $10 million venture capital funding round this summer, according to Hess. He would not reveal the name of the “Tier 1 venture capital firm” that he says will lead the round. Hess says the money will be used to build a manufacturing firm on U.S. soil.

The Windspire, which was developed by inventors Chris Gabrys and Tim Rodgers with help from Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power Companies, is 30 feet tall and 2 feet in radius. It produces about 2,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year in 12-mile-per-hour average winds.

Comparatively, a 1-kW peak solar system generates about 1,600 kWh per year in a sunny climate and about 750 kWh per year in a cloudy climate, according to Solarbuzz research firm. Mariah Power shipped its first 20 turbines to dealers in May, and has received a total of 2,000 orders, according Hess. “We can’t manufacture them fast enough.” (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches Social Ad-Serving Platform

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Social networks analytics firm Sometrics has launched what it calls the first ad-serving platform designed especially for social media.

Combined with its analytics software, the free platform will enable application developers to target ads based on user demographics, geography, interests and social actions within networks such as sending links and uploading photos.

Leading online ad-serving systems such as DoubleClick’s DART and aQuantive’s Atlas “don’t come out of the box with this level of social targeting,” said Ian Swanson, CEO of Sometrics. “In the social media space, it’s about how you move beyond the click to be able to tell who was the person engaging with an ad.”

Advertising on social networks has proven to be a major challenge for marketers because of the sheer glut of inventory across millions of member Web pages and the difficulty of pairing standard online ad units with user-generated content and communications.

The dearth of analytics and measurement around social media has also been an obstacle to monetization efforts.

With Sometrics ad-serving software, developers will be able to test campaigns based on various demographic and other factors to hone in on the right audience, according to Swanson. Warner Bros., for instance, might use the platform to promote its upcoming Batman sequel by devising a social ad campaign targeting fans of “Iron Man” and other comic book-based films.

By virtue of its social hyper-targeting, Sometrics expects to be able to deliver CPMs of $1 to $2 for application-based ads, which typically command rates of 10 cents to 80 cents today. The company’s system could also be used to serve premium and remnant display advertising on social networks. (Full Article)

Mariah Power Launches Windspire, Consumer-Friendly Small Wind Power Appliance

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Priced at Half the Cost of its Competitors, Windspire Gives Consumers Affordable, Attractive Option for Controlling Energy Costs

Environmentally conscious consumers now have a new, affordable choice for renewable energy options for their home or business. Mariah Power ( of Reno, Nevada announced today at Windpower 2008, the nation’s largest gathering of the wind industry, that its small wind power appliance Windspire(R) is now available for purchase. Priced at $4,995 for a fully-integrated unit with a five year warranty, Windspire provides power and efficiencies comparable to propeller turbines at a very competitive cost. A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), Windspire offers a sleek design that sets it apart from more traditional horizontal (propeller) turbines. Its sleek structure and customizable paint colors enable Windspire to blend into many different settings, an aesthetic that sets it apart from its competitors in the small wind turbine market.

With an eye toward building consumer confidence and trust in its new product, Mariah Power has taken the rare step of subjecting Windspire to independent, real world testing at Windward Engineering in Spanish Forks, Utah.

“In the current economic climate, an increasing number of consumers and businesses are demanding affordable renewable energy options to control rising energy costs,” said Mike Hess, CEO of Mariah Power. “The challenge has always been creating a renewable energy option with proven effectiveness that doesn’t throw aesthetics out the window. Windspire’s tall, sleek unit is attractive and unassuming and the design’s effectiveness is being confirmed by an independent test facility. As in any emerging industry, there have been product misfires. We are securing third-party validation, a very unusual step, because we want to prove that Windspire is the real deal — efficient, powerful and reliable.” (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches First Ad Platform Engineered Expressly for the Social Web

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Baked-In Social Targeting Capabilities Help Developers Increase Revenue by Micro-Targeting Ads Within Social Networks and Niche Community Sites

Sometrics ( today launched the first ad serving technology specifically engineered for the social web. Offered for free, the platform incorporates social targeting capabilities that help developers monetize the social web – increasing revenue by hyper-targeting their ads within the major social networking communities and niche sites.

The company made the announcement at Dealmaker Media’s Under the Radar Conference, “Monetizing Social Media and Entertainment,” held here today. Sometrics CEO and social media insider Ian Swanson is presenting in the Targeting Tools session at 1:30 p.m.

The Sometrics ad platform includes ad hosting, serving and precision-targeting using the most relevant and effective audience analysis available. The platform is coupled with Sometrics’ groundbreaking social analytics solution, which was created expressly to track and analyze traffic, demographics, interests and actions within the social web.

Sometrics goes beyond typical analytics to track social actions after the ads are served, helping developers know exactly who’s engaging and optimize their ad networks accordingly. It can target by demographics, geography and social interests (music, sports, etc.), within the major social networking communities and to the far reaches of ultra-targeted niche sites, as well.

“We’re giving developers the tools to help them know more about their audiences and better target their ads to increase revenue,” said Swanson. “We’ve combined our analytics with ad serving technology, two solutions designed specifically for the social web. What developers get is social intelligence – a deep understanding of who’s doing what within social networking websites and applications. The result is precision-targeted, more effective advertising within the massive playground that is the social web – a world that’s been frustratingly hard to quantify and monetize until now.”

Sometrics is the first recipient of capital from the Mail Room Fund, an investment consortium that combines big Hollywood (the William Morris Talent Agency) with Silicon Valley (Accel and Venrock). The funding round also included AT&T and Greycroft Partners. (Read More)

The Mail Room Fund Delivers its First Investment

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Social Analytics Company Sometrics Receives Seed Funding from The Mail Room Fund LOS ANGELES

The Mail Room Fund, a seed level investment consortium formed by Accel, Venrock and the William Morris Agency in March 2008 announced today that it has completed its first investment.  The Mail Room Fund led the seed round for Los Angeles-based Sometrics; AT&T and Greycroft Partners have also co-invested along with The Mail Room Fund in this first investment.

Sometrics, founded in October 2007, is a fast-emerging leader in analytics tracking and measurement for publishers and developers of applications and services deployed on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and others. The traffic, demographic and conversion details provided by Sometrics allow developers to better understand their customers and make design tweaks geared towards increasing traffic and, therefore, advertising revenue. While still in Beta, Sometrics has over 500 developers using its analytics tools across multiple social networks.

“Led by an impressive group of founders, Sometrics has already achieved significant success,” said Richard Wolpert, managing director of The Mail Room Fund.  “The Los Angeles area is fertile ground for startup companies and we are proud to play a role in helping grow and mature this market.”

“Understanding your audience is core to a company’s success, but not easily achieved,” said Ian Swanson, CEO and Co-founder of Sometrics.  “After less than a year, we have already seen impressive results from our beta testers and continue to grow at a rapid pace. We look forward to working with The Mail Room Fund and Greycroft, leveraging their extensive expertise and collective network to further our business.”

With the initial seed investment, Sometrics will add Richard Wolpert as its newest board member.

AspenAir, KeyTech, and Linkage Biosciences Selected as “Most Valuable Presenters” at 2008 Venture Vineyard in Santa Rosa

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

AspenAir, KeyTech, and Linkage Biosciences Selected as “Most Valuable Presenters” at 2008 Venture Vineyard in Santa Rosa

Improve lives, earn profits, create jobs. With these goals in mind, three companies made the grade as the “Most Valuable Presenters” at the 2008 Venture Vineyard venture capital forum at the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel in Santa Rosa, California on April 30, 2008.

KeyTech LLC ( of San Rafael was selected as the “North Bay Region Most Valuable Presenter.”

AspenAir ( of Martinez and Linkage Biosciences, (, of San Francisco, shared the overall award of “Most Valuable Presenters.”

More than 30 companies competed for the honor during a day packed with presentations from early stage companies from throughout the western U.S seeking qualified equity capital.

Each company participated in rigorous screening and coaching prior to showcasing the merits of their ventures during a 15 minute presentation session before panels of active, accredited angel and venture capital investors and industry experts. The top six were selected to compete in the finalist showcase.

KeyTech captured the attention of the audience and panelists with a patented, kiosk-based solution to a problem that many have: 24/7 key duplication. Aspen Air is tackling the indoor air purification market with a line of patented air filtration products that fit into existing HVAC units. Linkage Biosciences is capitalizing on its founder’s work with the Human Genome Project to dramatically improve and expedite complex genetic testing to identify a variety of disease characteristics.

The Most Valuable Presenters were selected by a panel of investors including:

•    Steve Rothenberg, North Bay Angels;
•    Cliff Detz, North Bay Angels;
•    Mike Rizzo, Five Star Bank; and
•    Peter Henig, Greenhouse Capital Partners.
(Read More)

Beefing up Supplier Information Management

Monday, May 5th, 2008

SIM 10 from Aravo aims to provide collaborative platform for self-service management of supplier information with pre-packaged solutions for sustainability and risk management

Supplier information management specialist Aravo Solutions has taken the wraps off the latest version of its flagship SIM platform, offering tools for self-service management of supplier information along with pre-packaged solutions for sustainability and risk management, among other new capabilities.

The launch announcement was made today at the Institute for Supply Management’s annual conference in St. Louis.

According to Aravo, the SIM 10 platform was designed and built to assist global enterprises in gaining control over supply chain management challenges while minimizing the risks of inefficiencies and unanticipated failures in the supply chain.

“More stringent regulatory mandates and increased pressures to outsource have significantly increased the challenges global enterprises face in managing supplier information,” said Aravo CEO Tim Albinson. “Enterprises in all industries can improve their bottom lines by replacing the traditional jumble of legacy point-solution supplier information tools with a single, comprehensive platform that provides collaborative functionality and real-time visibility into supply chain processes.” (Full Article)

Beefing up Supplier Information Management

Monday, May 5th, 2008

SIM 10 from Aravo aims to provide collaborative platform for self-service management of supplier information with pre-packaged solutions for sustainability and risk management

Supplier information management specialist Aravo Solutions has taken the wraps off the latest version of its flagship SIM platform, offering tools for self-service management of supplier information along with pre-packaged solutions for sustainability and risk management, among other new capabilities.

The launch announcement was made today at the Institute for Supply Management’s annual conference in St. Louis.

According to Aravo, the SIM 10 platform was designed and built to assist global enterprises in gaining control over supply chain management challenges while minimizing the risks of inefficiencies and unanticipated failures in the supply chain.

“More stringent regulatory mandates and increased pressures to outsource have significantly increased the challenges global enterprises face in managing supplier information,” said Aravo CEO Tim Albinson. “Enterprises in all industries can improve their bottom lines by replacing the traditional jumble of legacy point-solution supplier information tools with a single, comprehensive platform that provides collaborative functionality and real-time visibility into supply chain processes.” (Full Article)

Aravo Launches SIM 10TM: The First Enterprise-Class Global Supplier Information Management Platform

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Cohesive, Comprehensive, Collaborative Platform Offers Self-Service Management of Supplier Information With Pre-Packaged Solutions for Sustainability and Risk Management

Aravo Solutions has unveiled its new on-demand Supplier Information Management (SIM) platform Aravo SIM 10™. The platform was designed and built to assist global enterprises in gaining control over supply chain management challenges while minimizing the risks of inefficiencies and unanticipated failures in the supply chain. The launch announcement was made today at ISM’s 93rd Annual International Supply Management Conference in St. Louis.

“More stringent regulatory mandates and increased pressures to outsource have significantly increased the challenges global enterprises face in managing supplier information,” said Aravo CEO Tim Albinson. “Enterprises in all industries can improve their bottom lines by replacing the traditional jumble of legacy point-solution supplier information tools with a single, comprehensive platform that provides collaborative functionality and real-time visibility into supply chain processes.”

Developed from Aravo’s market-proven, industry-leading supplier information management platform, Aravo SIM 10™ was designed to address global enterprise requirements for comprehensive functionality, security, reliability and scalability in one integrated, easy-to-deploy enterprise solution. Like other enterprise-ready SaaS-based platforms such as, Aravo SIM 10™ employs a collaborative self-service model that can be quickly deployed around the world to solve the most formidable, costly and risky supply chain challenges.

“The management of supplier information, complex CSR programs, and initiatives is no longer a back-office task operating in the shadows,” said Carolyn Duffy, Executive Director of Insite Compliance Services, a leading-edge compliance management organization. “Daily front-page headlines on product recalls, lead-tainted consumer products and unethical procurement practices have brought supplier information management to the forefront and highlighted the broader role it plays in adding value to companies’ global supply chain.” (Full Article)

Mariah Power gets funding, prepares for global rollout

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Since Mariah Power reworked the design of its residential and commercial wind power appliance — the Mariah Power Windspire — representatives of 37 countries want to sell or manufacture the product, says Mike Hess, chief executive officer.

The Reno company has attracted an additional $500,000 in seed-stage funding from Big Sky Partners of Los Angeles and Greenhouse Capital Partners of Sausalito, Calif.

Executive have said the company needs to raise $10 million in venture capital this year, following the $750,000 in angel funding that it raised from the Sierra Angels and the Keiretsu Forum.

Last year, after installing a few sites for beta tests, the company halted production to retool the product for greater efficiency. This year, it hired Robert Holland, based in Palo Alto, Calif., as vice president of global sales.

“Bob will help us put our channel strategies together — electricians, wind installers, contractors. I’ve known him 20 years; he’s a first-rate mind who will help us put our strategy together,” Hess says.

The company also has added Michael B. Schwab, managing director of Big Sky Partners, to its board. Mariah expects to break even in 18 months, when sales support production, says Hess. (Full Article)

Green Pay Day

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Celebrating the reality of green-collar jobs on Earth Day.

There’s lots of buzz about green-collar jobs these days (sort of like blue-collar jobs, but with a sustainable edge) — whether you’re listening to Obama, McCain, or Clinton; Gregoire, Kulongoski, or Schwarzenegger.

You hear this kind of thing a lot: A study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the University of Tennessee found that producing 25 percent of all American energy fuel and electricity from renewables by the year 2025 would produce the following: “$700 billion of new economic activity, carbon emission reduction by 1 billion tons, and 5 million new jobs.”

Fine and dandy, but, some might ask “where are those five million new jobs? When will we see them?” Some skeptics have begun to ask whether it’s not bordering on hype.

Big projections are just that — big projections. But there’s nothing like local industry reporting 2000 new jobs here and 500 jobs there — right in our neck of the woods — and a steady stream of investment dollars, to keep skeptics pondering the possibilities.

So, we’re happy to report a real-live green-collar workforce is materializing in the Northwest, and it’s likely the wave is just gathering strength. With more policy measures encouraging green-tech investments and training programs it could swell to something much bigger. Looking at Oregon’s green-collar boom, Ted Sickinger of the Oregonian calls it a “small tsunami.” (Full Article)

Leader Ventures Provides $5 Million in Equipment Financing to MobiTV

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

— Leader Ventures, an investment firm offering blended debt and equity financing, announced today that it has provided $5 million of equipment financing to MobiTV, the leading provider and platform for content delivery over mobile and broadband networks.

“Millions of subscribers enjoy mobile and broadband entertainment services,” said Patrick Gordan, managing director at Leader Ventures. “MobiTV gives wireless carriers and other operator partners the ability to deliver content almost anywhere,” Gordan added.

“We are delighted to be working with Leader Ventures on our equipment financing,” said Charlie Nooney, chief executive officer and chairman of MobiTV. “As we continue to expand our footprint and bring our services to an even larger audience, new equipment is essential to our goals of improving the performance of mobile television’s content delivery infrastructure and delivering a richer, more rewarding media experience to viewers.”

MobiTV is a leader in mobile content and services, developing and offering technology that powers an end-to-end managed network for content ingestion, encoding and optimized delivery over mobile and broadband networks. MobiTV’s platform technology delivers live television, premium and primetime programming, video-on-demand, satellite and digital music services from top broadcast and cable television networks and major music labels through its carrier and operator partners to more than three million subscribers worldwide. (Read More)

Changing the Current

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

State Environmental Laws Drive Power Producers to Renewable Resources

The Imperial Valley of California is ideal country for solar and wind power. It rains less than three inches a year. Temperatures hit 110 degrees in the summer. The wind blows pretty steadily, too. And it’s just east of San Diego.

Now, because of a California law requiring utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, this untapped renewable-energy basin has caught the attention of Sempra Energy. The utility, based in San Diego, gets only 6 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, so it has proposed building a transmission line to bring solar power from the desert to the city.

California is one of 25 states that have adopted laws that require electric utilities to use more renewable resources, and that has sent utilities scrambling to line up wind and solar projects across the country. Electric utilities that have long relied on coal, nuclear energy and natural gas to power their generating plants are buying into biomass projects from Minnesota to Virginia, solar plants in the deserts of California and Arizona, and wind farms from Maine to West Texas.

Yesterday, Dominion, a utility based in Richmond, said it would work with BP’s alternative-energy unit to develop, own and operate wind farms in Virginia, part of an effort to meet a goal of getting 12 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022.

“There is a lot of opportunity for wind projects in Virginia, and we would hope we’d be able to bring a lot to the table working with BP,” said Mark McGettrick, president and chief executive of Dominion Generation. McGettrick said the company was looking at several sites in western Virginia and onshore near the coastline. (Full Article)

SalesView from InsideView: feature or product?

Monday, April 21st, 2008

I’ve had several conversations with InsideView in an effort to understand how its recently released SalesView product fits into the scheme of enterprise applications. Described as leveraging the convergence between social media and enterprise applications, SalesView is designed to provide sales people with fine grained information about prospects. The theory runs that the more information at a salesperson’s fingertips, the less likely they are to waste time and the better equipped they are to handle sales prospects.

SalesView provides sales people with details about who they’re talking to at the point when that information is needed. This will typically occur in a call center but could easily apply to the lone salesperson. It acheives this by mashing up internal, structured sales information from whichever CRM system it is integrated ( or sugarCRM right now with more to come) with some 20,000 external data sources. These sources include paid subscriptions like D&B and Hoovers along with unstructured sources like publicly accessible blogs and wikis. The software then applies some intelligence to ensure the aggregated data relates precisely to the person concerned. (Full Article)

NAB 2008: MobiTV Moves Into Server Technology’s Heavyweight Division

Friday, April 18th, 2008

With the introduction of its Optimized Delivery Server at NAB, MobiTV is going head-to-head with the likes of Real and Microsoft in the mobile video server market.
MobiTV, Inc., “arguably, operates the largest mobile TV service in the world,” according to Paul Scanlan, who is the company’s President and Co-founder. Sure, every company likes to boast about being a market leader, but in this class of service providers MobiTV is probably the champion of its division. After all, the company delivers video content to more 3 million mobile phone subscribers, including customers of Sprint/NexTel and AT&T. But this week at NAB it moved up into the heavyweight division of streaming server technology providers (a division that also includes the likes of Microsoft and Adobe), when it announced its Optimized Delivery Server at NAB this week.

According to MobiTV’s press release, its Optimized Delivery Server is scalable, secure and optimized server software for the distribution of enhanced live and downloadable media over broadband and wireless networks. The company plans to license this technology to others. (Full Article)

They Call the Small-Wind Firm Mariah

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Nevada-based Mariah Power has developed a propeller-free turbine that turns wind — which sets the clouds a-flyin’ — into energy.

Mariah Power claims its spire-shaped turbines can cut costs 44 percent, compared to propeller-based systems.

Fans might think of the Western comedy musical “Paint Your Wagon” as one of Clint Eastwood’s least Clintwoodian films, as the film that turned Lee Marvin’s voice into a hit in Europe or the film that inspired the Simpsons’ “All Singing, All Dancing” episode.

But it’s a lesser-known fact that one of its songs, “They Call the Wind Mariah” — an ode to a wind strong enough to blow the stars around and set the clouds a-flyin’ — also is the melodic inspiration behind the naming of a small-wind-power developer called Mariah Power.

Founded in 2005, the Reno, Nev.-based startup has been trying to harness air currents and turn them into energy for residential and commercial markets.

The company has caught the eyes of investors and government alike. The company this month said it had closed $500,000 in funding on the way to raising a round of up to $10 million (see Mariah Power Gets a Gust of Financing).
In March, the company was selected to demonstrate its turbine on the National Mall next to the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The demonstration will be part of the “One Planet — Ours! Sustainability for the 22nd Century” exhibit starting in May at the U.S. Botanical Garden.

And later this month, the company expects to deliver its turbine, the Windspire, to its first customer. (Read Full Article)

Attracting Jobs in a Competitive World

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Oregon has been the target of surprisingly strong interest from the newly emerging photovoltaic solar industry. With the arrival of Solaicx in Portland and SolarWorld in Hillsboro, the state can actually brag about becoming the solar manufacturing capital of North America. Not bad for a place where many of us spend much of our time complaining about the rain. So what are the factors that have led to this level of success so quickly?

A major reason is the long-term presence in Oregon of a silicon-based semiconductor industry led by Intel and others. This existing industry has prepared an experienced and well-trained work force adaptable to manufacturing silicon solar cells. Longstanding public-private partnerships with Portland State University and Portland Community College have helped develop a higher-ed curriculum that has supported the transition for our local students into these manufacturing jobs. Those partnerships are now extending into exciting new “green collar” job opportunities. (Full Article)

InsideView Wins Beagle Research Group’s 2008 WizKid Award

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Highlights InsideView as Helping Take CRM to the Next Level and Giving Customers a Competitive Advantage in the Sales Process

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire) – InsideView today announced it has been named a recipient of Beagle Research Group’s 2008 WizKid Award. Since 2004, the WizKid award has annually recognized some of the best and brightest leaders in CRM. This year, InsideView was one of seven companies honored for reinventing business processes in their specific industries.

Selected by Beagle Research Group, a consulting and market research organization focused on emerging companies and technologies, InsideView won top marks based on Rearden Commerce’s deployment of the company’s unique on-demand Business Search and Intelligence SalesView application. Beagle Research penned a report showcasing Rearden Commerce’s experience with InsideView, detailing its implementation, ease of use and integration within Salesforce. The report is available at:

Rearden uses InsideView’s SalesView application to bring insight gained from subscription-based and user-generated sources to the enterprise. As one of the first socialprise applications, SalesView aggregates and delivers relevant customer data, through specialized research providers and social networks, within a customer relationship management (CRM) application. (Full Article)

Mariah Power Announces Investment Partners and Expansion of Executive Team and Board of Directors

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Working towards the formal launch of Windspire, a residential and commercial wind power appliance, Mariah Power has announced it has expanded its executive team, investment partners, and board of directors. Michael B. Schwab, managing director of Big Sky Partners, will join the board as part of an additional round of seed stage funding by Big Sky Partners and Greenhouse Capital Partners.

Mariah Power has also announced that twenty-year sales veteran Robert Holland has been named vice president of global sales.

These appointments follow Mariah Power’s recent announcements that it has completed ETL certification on Windspire in anticipation of launching the Windspire to market this spring.

Michael Schwab is an active investment professional with nearly a decade of experience investing in, and mentoring, early stage companies through every stage of company growth and development.

Since founding Big Sky in 1999, Mr. Schwab has remained disciplined in his investment approach across all 18 portfolio company investments, and has recently focused Big Sky’s investment strategy on emerging cleantech and green technology startups, as well as high growth Web 3.0 startups.

In addition to Mariah Power, Mr. Schwab sits on the Board of Directors of MongoNet and Solaicx, and is also a Partner in Greenhouse Capital Partners.

“Mariah Power is exactly the type of cleantech investment we are interested in, a high growth business with a unique market opportunity, exceptional management and a global focus.

“We feel Mariah has the potential to become a dominating force in ‘small wind’ and look forward to the company’s exceptional growth curve in the US and abroad,” says Schwab. (Full Article)

Small wind: Mariah Power lands cash for spire-shaped turbine

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Mariah Power said on Wednesday that it has raised additional funding to bring its small wind turbine to market.

The company said it has secured $500,000 in funding from venture capital firm Big Sky Partners. As part of the investment, Michael Schwab of Big Sky Partners will join Mariah Power’s board.

Mariah Power, based in Reno, Nev., makes a ground-mounted vertical-axis wind turbine that is designed for people’s homes or businesses. It’s expected to be available later this month for about $4,000.

Company Mike Hess told Greentech Media that its forthcoming spire-shaped Windspire turbine can generate one third of the home’s electricity use.

The business of building wind farms with giant turbines is booming. But the world of small wind is getting more attention.

Marquiss Wind Power in January raised a Series A round to build up its square-shaped turbine meant for placement on top of the flat roofs of commercial buildings.

Southwest Wind Power, which raised a series B round of $6.5 million last year, makes a ground-mounted propeller-type turbine for individual homes or business.

Mariah Power Gets a Gust of Financing

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

The small-wind turbine maker grabs $500,000 to get its spire-shaped turbines onto the market.

Small-wind turbine startup Mariah Power has raised $500,000, CEO Mike Hess told Greentech Media this week.

The investment, from Greenhouse Capital Partners and Big Sky Partners, brings Mariah’s total capital to $1.25 million. Last year, the Reno, Nev.-based company raised $750,000 in angel funding led by the Sierra Angels and the Keiretsu Forum (see Cleantech Investing post).

Hess said Mariah will spend the latest chunk of change on manufacturing 50 models of its first product, a small-wind turbine for the residential and commercial markets called Windspire.

Hess said Mariah is seeking more cash and expects to close a round in the range of $5 million to $10 million by June.

Unlike larger traditional wind turbines that use propellers similar to those on airplanes to generate electricity, Mariah Power uses a 30-foot-tall spire that has a 2-foot radius.

Hess expects to begin shipping the first Windspires around April 18.

So far the company has 1,200 preorders for the device, which produces about 1,800 kilowatt-hours per year in 11 mph average winds. By Mariah’s calculations, the company’s turbine is capable of generating a third of the electricity for a U.S. single-family home.

The Windspire will have a price tag of $3,995, with installation adding another $1,000.

Without government incentives, most customers will see a return on their investment, in the form of lower electricity bills, in about 10 years — about half the expected life of the turbine, Hess said.

With government assistance, which can vary from state to state, the financial dynamic can change greatly. For example, customers in California could see a payback in 4.2 years, Hess said.

Although it hasn’t received as much attention or financial support as large-scale wind, small wind has been gaining more traction.

Companies like Marquiss Wind Power, which raised $1.3 million in its first round of financing in January, and Southwest Windpower, which was named one of the 100 fastest-growing energy companies by last year, also are vying for a big piece of the small-wind action.

GroSolar Tapped for Marshfield’s ‘green’ Plan

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Solar distributor GroSolar Inc. has been named the exclusive provider of photovoltaic systems for Marshfield’s “Green Energy Challenge,” a $4 million pilot program sponsored by electric utility NStar and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Executives at White River Junction, Vt.-based GroSolar call the partnership with NStar a rare occurrence in the industry, but a step in the right direction.

“It’s great to see two companies that are usually at the opposite ends of the energy spectrum working together on something like this,” said Kelli Pippen, marketing director at GroSolar.

The program is aimed at providing Marshfield residents with affordable energy-efficiency options, including individual energy audits, advanced demand control products and solar power. The initiative will include 1,200 homes, which will receive free energy audits, 500 of which will be eligible to receive free “smart thermostats” and 30 of which are targeted for solar-power systems. Under terms of the program, and in conjunction with additional state and federal incentives, residents and commercial sites in Marshfield can install photovoltaic systems for about one-third of the typical cost, or about $7,300, according to Pippen. (Full Article)

Cast Iron Systems Announces Record First Quarter 2008 Results

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

SaaS Integration Leader Builds on 2007 Momentum With Substantial Growth in New Customers, Partners, and Solutions

Cast Iron Systems, the fastest growing SaaS integration vendor, today announced that its first fiscal quarter, which ended on February 29, was the largest in the company’s history. Last year, Cast Iron doubled its business, with demand for SaaS application integration using the company’s integration appliances reaching its tipping point. This momentum continues into the new fiscal year with Cast Iron adding new products and partners, plus gaining customers in a wide variety of industries including AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest pharmaceutical services companies in the world; Aravo Solutions, the leading provider of on-demand Supplier Information Management (SIM) software and services; IBA Molecular, a global manufacturer of radiopharmaceuticals, isotopes, and cyclotron solutions; Krueger International, one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the country; and The Sports Authority, the largest U.S. full-line sporting goods retailer. (Read Full Article)

MobiTV Appoints Vice President of Technical Operations

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Leading Mobile Television Service Provider Taps David Turner to Lead World-Class Managed Network Operations

MobiTV, Inc., the leader in mobile and broadband entertainment services, today announced that David Turner has joined the Company as Vice President of Technical Operations. Turner brings more than 10 years of executive and managerial experience building and maintaining profitable worldwide operations organizations, including delivery of 24×7 software as a service (SaaS) operations, IT Teams, customer support teams, and engineering services teams. He will report directly to Bruce Gilpin, Chief Operating Officer. His appointment is effective as of March 3, 2008.

“MobiTV is pleased to have Dave joining to lead its technical operations team, bringing with him a deep understanding of high traffic, high availability systems,” said Bruce Gilpin, Chief Operating Officer, MobiTV. “With David’s experience in building out and scaling several, successful high uptime managed services, he will be a valuable addition to MobiTV as we continue to rapidly grow our subscription base, expand our service offerings and provide world-class managed network services to our carrier partners.” (Full Article)