Building sustainable businesses from the earliest stages of technology investing – helping seed a green revolution among cleantech startup companies.


In the News


News from September, 2008

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 TheStreet.com 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 (www.sometrics.com), 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 (http://www.oracle.com/openworld/2008).

“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 (http://www.sometrics.com) 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)


MARIAH POWER, MANUFACTURER OF WINDSPIRE®, WIND POWER APPLIANCE, SELECTED BY TECH BLOG ALWASYON, AS A “GOINGGREEN” TOP 100 WINNER

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

National Awards Sept. 15 Recognize Game-Changing Green Technology

RENO, NV, September 9, 2008- Mariah Power (www.mariahpower.com), manufacturer of Windspire®, a wind power appliance for residential, commercial and government use, announced today that AlwaysOn (www.alwayson.goingon.com), 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 www.mariahpower.com.

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.