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Wayne : Innovation + Job News

41 Wayne Articles | Page: | Show All

UgMo Technologies introduces a wireless soil sensor for small irrigation systems

In 2009, Tampa, Fla., experienced the worst drought in its history, causing quite a stir in the city's water department. From January to March, water enforcement officials had issued six citations a day for improper water usage. The situation became so dire that the city issued a ban on sprinkler systems, until the drought was under control.

King of Prussia sprinkler firm UgMo Technologies is helping Florida business and home owners protect against drought without throwing the baby out with the lawn water. They created ProHome, a wireless soil sensor that detects when soil has been adequately saturated and automatically shuts the water off, saving customers an average of 53 percent on water bills. Along with Florida, the company has sales teams in drought-plagued areas in Texas, California, Florida and Georgia. This week, Ben Franklin Technology Partners announced $500,000 in investment to help UgMo expand ProHome to larger, more commercial projects across the country.

"This is a true green product that allows you to cut down on your water usage and provides real savings," says UgMo CFO Joe Cahill. "That is something you don't see much in the green tech market."

After launching in 2004, UgMo began developing ProTurf, a version of ProHome marketed to sports facilities and golf courses. After releasing ProTurf in 2009, UgMo was well along developing its second product, ProHome. The Ben Franklin investment will help UgMo launch a new commercial version of its technology. The company looks to expand drastically in the next year, hiring in every department and expanding into home and commercial markets.

"The next generation of UgMo will address larger irrigation systems; everything from office parks to municipalities and strip malls," says Cahill. "As we spend the next year developing this product, the investment will help us continue our growth."

Source: Joe Cahill, UgMo Technologies
Writer: John Steele

LeverSense develops new way to test complex materials like milk, blood or urine

Leversense CEO Pete Nagy doesn't have a particular affinity for fluids like blood or urine. But after selling his fiber-optics business to a Fortune 100 company, Nagy was looking for his next project and found himself in the laboratories of Drexel University's Dr. Raj Mutharasan. Mutharasan was working on a testing technology that could remain sensitive in dirty, unprocessed materials. Nagy, a career tech entrepreneur, immediately saw the commercial applications and decided to seed fund Leversense, making blood and urine testing his mission.

"The sensitivity we have is pretty extraordinary," says Nagy. "Most products out on the market require a lot of steps, a lot of processes in order to get samples to testing. It is usually very expensive and requires you do it in a lab and not in a practical setting."

This week, the company announced a new Ben Franklin Technology Partners investment of $300,000 for continued development efforts, getting Leversense ready to approach a waiting market with its biosensor diagnostics. In the months spent testing the technology, Nagy has been telling everyone who will listen, drawing attention from markets he didn't expect. One market has been food testing. The average food sample is much more complex and much dirtier than the average human fluid sample so they are much harder to work with. Leversense maintains its sensitivity in milk, which Nagy hopes will give the product great potential in the food-testing market.

"One of the things that attracted me to the technology is how much commercial interest there was," says Nagy. "We have had people approach us about food testing and bio-processing, so we are pursuing those things now as well."

Source: Pete Nagy, Leversense
Writer: John Steele

Are We Home Vet? brings pet health home with mobile veterinary practice

One of the hardest parts of a veterinarian's job is dealing with scared or skittish animals. Oftentimes, your four-legged friend knows they are going to the doctor and they don't like it. But Wayne veterinarian Dr. Holly Connolly has discovered a way to virtually eliminate these fears and the bad behavior that comes at the traditional vet's office. She took her practice on the road.

Earlier this month, Connolly started Are We Home Vet?  a mobile veterinary office run out of the back of a truck, offering all the same services of a traditional veterinary office, but without the hassles of leaving home.

"Pets are so much happier at home and we are able to catch them before their anxiety level gets so high," says Connolly. "By the time you get them in the car and make that 20-minute trip, they are already worked up so those animals that were a handful at the traditional office are completely different animals in the mobile setting."

The truck is fully equipped with an x-ray machine, a full-service lab, a laser for laser surgery and an exam table. Connolly says that, in the brief time she has been doing it, many of her regular clients have already taken advantage of the service. But perhaps more successful in attracting clients has been the truck itself. Connolly says she receives calls on a daily basis from people who have seen her out and about on her way to her next pet project.

"We will be driving around and you are basically driving a big billboard," says Connolly. "We have literally gotten calls while we are on the road. So the mobile unit has been a draw in and of itself!"

Source: Holly Connolly, Are We Home Vet?
Writer: John Steele

Phoenixville's Arctic Ease plays it cool at Philadelphia Marathon

In Philadelphia in late November, keeping cool has never been a problem. That is, unless you run the Philadelphia Marathon. The annual race, which took place on Sunday, Nov. 21, attracted a field of over 11,000 runners, all battling for the finish line. When they got there, runners were greeted by the folks at Arctic Ease, a Phoenixville company specializing in cryotherapy wraps and pads proven to reduce swelling and stay cool for hours. The wraps require no time in the freezer and can be attached for more mobility.

A veteran of the health care industry and avid athlete, CEO Carol Forden founded Arctic Ease in 2009 after creating a chemical compound in her garage. Designed to remove heat from injured tissue, Arctic Ease keeps affected areas at a safe 60 degrees, reducing swelling and pain.

"If you are a weekend warrior and you overdo it or you are a runner in a marathon, on Monday, it is going to be a little tough to move around," says Forden. "What this product does is removes that swelling so you don't have that pain on Monday."

Along with offering wraps to runners at the finish line, Arctic Ease added a product sample to each marathoner's registration info and sponsored a massage tent. The company has appeared at marathons across the country and, after hiring four top-level positions in October 2009, is looking to expand into new markets in 2011. Along with expansion into other sports, Forden says the product may soon help osteoarthritis sufferers return mobility to creaky joints. 

"If you have ever twisted an ankle and wound up in the ER, you know that until they reduce the swelling, they can't do much," says Forden. "If you have nerve damage or a sprained ankle, they will tell you to come back three weeks later and they want you icing that whole time. Arctic Ease makes this process a little easier."

Source: Carol Forden, Arctic Ease
Writer: John Steele

So far, so good for Berwyn cloud-computing darlings Boomi since Dell acquisition

It isn't very often that you get the best of both worlds, especially in the world of technology mergers and acquisitions. Mark Zuckerberg isn't the only one to lose a couple close friends along the way. But to hear the heads of Berwyn cloud computing firm Boomi tell it, it is possible to get acquired without selling out.

Founded 10 years ago, Boomi created a niche connecting all disparate online applications together in a cloud. Say you have taken on a new client and you want to add them to your finance records. Boomi helps you automatically add the information, without having to create a separate file in a separate program. After raising $4 million to date, worldwide computer manufacturer Dell, which was interested in creating a line of office services, took notice. The deal Dell struck two weeks ago to acquire Boomi will let its newly acquired firm keep all employees and continue all client relationships.

"They kept the team in tact, I still run the team," says former Boomi President and CEO Bob Moul. "I just have a boss for the first time in five years."

After shelling out $3.9 billion acquiring Perot Systems a little over a year ago, Dell created Dell Services, a cost-saving, business solutions arm of the business. With the acquisition of Boomi, Dell hopes to create a full service office suite so that all facets of a business can run through Dell products. For Boomi, the company cloud kings are still innovating, using the Dell name to explore partnerships with new application developers and take on projects that come their way.

"Dell wants us to continue to offer the best cloud integration platform in the world but now we also have the backing of a major, global brand that gives everybody more comfort in adopting Boomi technology," says Moul. "In the first week, I have had at least a half dozen new opportunities that we are very excited about and probably wouldn't have known about otherwise."

Source: Bob Moul, Dell Boomi
Writer: John Steele

HireOneCC.com brings Chester County job openings to the people

With unemployment hovering at 9 percent nationally, there have been hundreds of theories posited for how we have created the first "jobless recovery" in our history. Have you ever thought maybe people just aren't good at job hunting? A group of Chester County development professionals have. They launched HireOneCC.com, an online community where employers can pledge to hire at least one local worker in the next year and employers can find the companies who are hiring.

"There are 18,000 people currently unemployed in Chester County and a lot of them have advanced degrees and are really struggling trying to find new jobs," says project director Stan Schuck. "Our hope is that we can put the right resources together to get them the right set of skills or put them in touch with someone who is indeed hiring. I think traditional ways of getting jobs--blindly sending resumes out--just aren't working today."

Hire One was founded as an employment task force last July after Joseph's People president Cheryl Spaulding, who heads the faith-based social organization, contacted local development officials from the Chester County Economic Development Council about getting business involved in hiring. Since launching the site a week ago, eight businesses have already listed multiple available positions and pledged to not only hire one local employee but reduce worker reduction plans by 2.5 percent.

"In order to do this right, we had to be a resource for both job seekers and employers," says Schuck. "There are companies that don't have the financing they need or can't find people with the right skill sets. We want to make sure we link them up with the right resources."

Source: Stan Schuck, HireOne
Writer: John Steele

With Cyber Monday approaching, Monetate.com prepares for the holiday rush

Everyone is familiar with Black Friday. The frenzied dash of hungry holiday consumers to price-slashed stores the day after Thanksgiving has become an American tradition as timeless as the Christmas tree. But have you heard of Cyber Monday? Between 2008 and 2009, website retailers showed a 43 percent traffic increase on the Monday following Black Friday where online retailers begin their holiday sales.

This year, Conshohocken website optimization firm Monetate.com broke some records of its own, doubling in size over the last six months. From Dicks Sporting Goods to Urban Outfitters, Monetate offers a revolving door of keywords targeting the changing tastes of consumers without calling the IT department. As the holiday season gets underway, the quick turnaround of this solution has new clients joining up.

"If it's raining outside, the store owner pushes the umbrellas up front and adds 30 percent to the price and makes a lot of money that day," says Monetate VP of Marketing Blair Lyon. "Large retail sites have a hard time doing that because of all this overlapping technology that is in place, requiring the IT departments to get involved, preventing retailers from trying things."

With a year of record growth under its belt, Monetate isn't waiting for the holidays to make some purchases. With five open positions listed on its website, Monetate looks to hire 10 new employees in the next six months to handle the demands of an ever-expanding client list. With a veritable whos-who of Philadelphia retailers, Monetate looks to expand its footprint and hopes Cyber Monday can be its coming out party.

"We can have this implemented in minutes, giving it about two weeks to be effective," says Lyon. "That's why we are excited about attacking Cyber Monday. A lot of customers don't think there is enough time before the holidays. We can have them up and running for the holiday season right now."

Source: Blair Lyon, Monetate
Writer: John Steele

Real Time Tomography's breast cancer screening product goes to commercialization with new funding

Susan Ng and her team at Villanova's Real Time Tomography have made a living at perfecting the science of mammogram imaging. Their software products have made traditional film-screen images obsolete, allowing faster mammogram results and more accurate imaging. With a new $275,000 match grant from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, RTT begins the commercialization process this month, bringing their software to the giants at Seimens and GE and, hopefully, saving lives.

"With digital imaging, the image that is produced is not what the radiologist sees, it is processed and enhanced so that lesions are more visible," says Ng. "As the industry moves from film screen to digital, we can process images six times faster, reducing patient wait-time and making images clearer for doctors."

After introducing their 2-D imaging software, Adara, in 2009, Ng and her team have created a 3-D platform to give radiologists an even better view of critically affected breasts. Ng hopes commercialization goes smoothly as RTT has gone to great lengths making compatible software, not just for large companies but for small and mid-sized manufacturers as well. Because everyone deserves a great picture.

"There are a lot of mid-sized companies in Europe and a very big market opening up in Asia," says Ng. "These mid-sized companies have smaller R&D groups and often purchase their software from third parties like us."

Source: Susan Ng, Real Time Tomography
Writer: John Steele  

Advanced Mobile Solutions goes shopping with listing applications, draws investment for new hires

As anyone who has ever tried to buy a car in Philadelphia knows, dealers are closed on Sundays. The same puritanical blue laws that used to restrict alcohol sales still prohibit car dealerships, to the chagrin of salesmen and shoppers alike. Wayne's mobile application firm Advanced Mobile Solutions provides a solution to shopping restrictions like blue laws, allowing car shoppers and home shoppers to access dealer information right from their smartphones with a simple text-message code. Launching brands like Cars2Go, Homes2Go and Classifieds2Go, AMS hopes to modernize digital listings markets made famous by sites like Craigslist many years ago.

"The difference between us and (Craigslist) is that we take data that is already out there and make it mobile ready, whereas they only have data that has been edited and listed by another person," says AMS Marketing Director Dan Curry. "We take, for example a builder that has 80,000 homes nationwide. That is something that is impossible for them to go in and list in that way. With us, they can do anything on the phone that they would be able to do anywhere else."

Since its founding in 2006, AMS has shown marked growth, finding partnerships with clients like Apartments.com and Builder Homesite. Recently, the company has eyed further expansion, bringing new features to their iPhone applications and adding compatibility with the Android market. This summer the company received financing from Ben Franklin Technology Partners to expand its staff by four and prepare to increase sales and features for 2011.

"We want to go a little heavier on updating the whole platform and adding new features every month from here on out," says Curry. "The product has been proven, tested and now we are just going to go into further making this product something that no one can really touch.

Source: Dan Curry, AMS
Writer: John Steele

Wayne's Molecular Detection goes down under with Australian distribution

Something is wrong down under. Infection rates at Australian hospitals have increased over the last few years, causing patients and medical professionals to call for hospitals to come clean with infection statistics. Wayne's Molecular Detection Inc. hopes to lend a hand as they announced that the product rollout for its Detect-Ready MRSA diagnosis platform would head to Australia this week, marking the start of a global sales strategy targeting the Asia-Pacific Corridor, parts of Europe and the United States. This strategy targets countries in need of infection prevention abroad before returning to the U.S. to set up a local base.

"(Australians) have the same problems in hospitals that we have here in the states," says MDI CEO Todd Wallach. "Patients are contracting MRSA and other bacterial infections in hospitals after a successful surgery or procedure. Many hospitals have to start implementing infection control procedures that identify patients at risk and force these hospitals to really look at how they take care of a patient from entry level to exit."

Aiding in MDI's transition into the Australian market is Sydney's Integrated Sciences, a medical products and research company that, through a newly minted partnership with MDI, will aid Detect-Ready sales reps in chasing down leads and understanding the needs of the Aussie medical community.

"Our strategy has been very consistent around the world by identifying what we perceive as being the best-in-class, best-in-breed molecular diagnostic distributors," says Wallach. "They become our right-hand-man in the field. We work with them closely to ensure we get the right information conveyed but they bring the right skill set to be able to market a technically advanced product."

Source: Todd Wallach, MDI
Writer: John Steele

Interactive mapping platform launched to connect Philadelphians to their local communities

It's one of life's great mysteries: you can travel to a thousand cities and eat at a hundred fancy restaurants and drink a dozen craft beers at each of the bars along the way. But a meal never tastes as good as one at your favorite neighborhood haunt. And according to Philadelphia's sustainability leaders, this phenomenon is not just good for your appetite, it can be good for your neighborhood and your city as well.

Based on a concept created by the William Penn Foundation, partners from the Sustainable Business Network, Azavea and NPower created Common Space, a new mapping platform that creates a network of neighborhood establishments within a certain walkable, bikeable or busable distance to help residents support local business.

"The really cool thing is, I can map my friend's common space as well as my own," says SBN Executive Director Leanne Krueger-Braneky. "So if I am leaving from my office in Center City and meeting my husband who is coming from our house in West Philadelphia, he could say he is going to bike for 15 minutes and I could say I was going to walk for 20 minutes and Common Space will map the area where we would be able to meet up and map local culture events and businesses in that field."

Partnering with tastemakers like UWISHUNU and Yelp, Common Space shows you the best spots in your transit area, allowing you the most sustainable way possible to hit your next favorite haunt. After their trial run, organizers hope to partner with citywide festivals and cultural events like LiveArts and Philly Beer Week.

"Sustainability was one of the values William Penn outlined, which is why they wanted to partner with us," Krueger-Braneky says. "Because the application does encourage walking, biking, and public transit, it's a way of showing what's going on in the city while encouraging alternative transit."

Source: Leanne Krueger-Braneky, SBN
Writer: John Steele

41 Wayne Articles | Page: | Show All
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