Monday, June 30, 2008

Grants Available to Inventors and Educators Through National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance has announced grant programs to help launch new products or technologies. The grants are funded by the Lemelson Foundation and provide up to $50,000 in support of efforts that move products or technologies form the imagining phases into prototype. Grants are also available in support of innovative education programs focused on the goal of commercialization. Deadline for the next round of grants, the Sustainable Vision Grants, is October 17.

For more information visit the NCIIA Web site:

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Did you know? $4.2 Billion Dollar Supply Chain Company right here in Central Ohio


What company, headquartered, in Westerville, ohio generates $4.2 billion in annual revenue, operates 511 locations and employs more than 40,000 associates. This company offers the most comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions in the industry—from consulting and network design to warehouse management and promotional packaging. It is the supply
chain partner for industry leaders and fast-growing companies in the consumer, retail, life sciences, automotive, chemical, industrial, aerospace and technology markets.


Exel America Contract Logistics

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

State proposes nearly $20 million for research work

Ben's note: Out of $20mm proposed - $5.5mm to Central Ohio. A key component of tech growth in basic research. The trick is then how to translate that basic research to commercialized product/services. I am personally astounded how LITTLE of all the research happening in Central Ohio turns into commercial opportunities benefitting Central Ohio. For example did you know that the Ohio State Research Foundation (with 95 employees)publishes that their annual award volume is $379mm? Battelle's 1997 annual report indicates that they oversee $4 billion (yes billion) dollars worth of R&D activity? I know that the whole issue of tech transfer is very complicated and that there are all sorts of challenges from going from lab to profitable commercialization but don't you think that we ought to see more than the trickle happening in Central Ohio. What do you think?

Originally run in Business First of Columbus 6.27.08

A state technology development commission has proposed sending nearly $20 million to seven Ohio research institutions and universities.

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has recommended the state spend $19.6 million for the proposals through the commission's Wright Projects Program. The proposals aim to attract research projects in areas such as pathogen detection, rubber production, fuel cells and commercialization.

"These projects demonstrate the teamwork between our educational institutions and private companies that is so critical to ensuring a solid foundation for our growing industries," Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher said in the release. "Strengthening the links among education, research and economic development is not only our mission but our obligation in making sure we attract and retain jobs of the future."

Fisher is chairman of the commission and director of the Ohio Department of Development. The proposals must be reviewed by the State Controlling Board.

Included in the funding recommendations:

* $3 million for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to build the Case Center for Surface Engineering. The center would commercialize industrial products for surface imaging and materials analysis.
* $3 million for a project between the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Portage County and Pathogen Systems Inc. and Kent State University. They would research and commercialize a real-time pathogen detection instrument to be adapted for the military, homeland security and the food industry.
* $3 million for Rhodes State College in Allen County for an Advanced Materials Deposition Center. The center would collaborate with research institutions and Ohio Northern University to create engineered and faux stainless steel finishes for sheet metal goods.
* $3 million for Stark State College of Technology in Stark County to expand its partnerships with Rolls-Royce Fuel Cells Systems Inc. and Contained Energy Inc. for fuel cell commercialization and product development.
* $2.1 million for the Center for Excellence in Advanced Materials Analyses at Youngstown State University.
* $2.5 million in development funding for the Columbus-based Edison Welding Institute.
* $3 million for the Ohio State University Research Foundation, which is working with research centers and area businesses to develop a domestic source of natural rubber.

Projects that receive funding from the Wright program must include at least one Ohio company and focus on areas of advanced materials, power and propulsion, information technology and instruments and controls and electronics, the commission said.

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Friday, June 27, 2008


Release Date: 24 June 2008

Pioneering work in bio-based toners earns highest environmental award from EPA

Columbus, OH—Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research and development organization, today announced its work in developing bio-based toners and resins has earned a 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Award from the EPA.

The award will be presented at the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 24th. The EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge promotes research to develop less-toxic alternatives to existing technologies, and to reduce or eliminate waste generated from industrial production. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society selected the winners from the nearly 100 nominations for this recognition.

More than 200,000 tons of petroleum-derived electrostatic dry toners and resins are used annually in the U.S. to make 3 trillion copies in photocopiers and printers. The biggest environmental problem with conventional toners is the difficulty with which these inks are removed from the paper during recycling. Previous attempts have been made by other companies to develop an environmentally friendly approach to ease the de-inking process, but have failed due to high costs and inadequate performance.

With early-stage funding from the Ohio Soybean Council, Battelle’s novel method uses soy oil and protein along with carbohydrates from corn as its chemical feedstock. The incorporation of chemical groups that are susceptible to breaking down during the standard de-inking process allowed Battelle to develop new bio-based inks that are significantly easier to remove from the paper fiber. The result is a higher quality of material recovered and streamlines the recycling process.

Additionally, a preliminary life-cycle analysis shows significant energy savings and reduced carbon dioxide emission in the full value chain. With an expected 25% market penetration by 2010, Battelle estimates this technology could save 9.25 trillion British thermal units per year (Btu/yr) and eliminate over 360,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

In 2006, Advanced Image Resources (AIR), the licensee of the technology, successfully scaled-up production to manufacture resin and toner that is compatible with current hardware. The new toner will be sold under trade names BioRez® and Rezilution®.

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Great first Startup Drinks at the Surly Girl Saloon

Great first Startup Drinks at the Surly Girl Saloon
Posted by wyliemac on June 26th, 2008 on

Columbus? I think we have liftoff!

Startup Drinks Columbus pics

The first Startup Drinks Columbus event kicked off last night at the Surly Girl Saloon thanks to the efforts of Brian Jones, of Jones Insight, and Ashley Routson, a/k/a the Columbus Beer Wench.

The event was a total success! Driving there, I expected only 5 to 10 people due to the torrential rains. But we had about 25-30 people show up. I met a lot of cool and interesting people that are interested in startups and technology. And they live right here in Columbus. The turnout demonstrates that there is indeed a startup community here. People just have to find one another!

Oh, and Ashley brought along a game of Apples to Apples. I played it for the first time last night. Definitely a fun game to play with a large group. And a nice low tech diversion for the high tech crowd.

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Central Ohio Entrepreneur and Inventor, Dr. John Robertson, Recognized for Lifetime Achievement in Electrostatics

Dr. John Robertson of Chillicothe was recently honored by the Electrostatics Society of America (ESA) with its lifetime achievement award in recognition of his contribution to this branch of science. The award was presented during the ESA’s recent annual conference June 17-19, 2008.

The ESA is a nonprofit professional society founded in 1970 that is devoted to the advancement and understanding of electrostatics. The organization provides a central forum for technical discussions between individuals interested in this diverse area of scientific study.

The award cited Dr. Robertson as the ultimate entrepreneur and inventor, creating both jobs and applications in electrostatics, giving those who work in electrostatics a lofty goal to emulate.

Dr. Robertson is the founder and past owner of Telesis Technologies, headquartered in Circleville, founder and owner of InfoSight Corporation of Chillicothe, a leading manufacturer of barcode marking and identification systems, and co-founder and chief innovation officer of NanoStatics, a leading edge company located in Circleville that is able to do large scale electrospinning of nanofibers on varied substrates.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Council mulling incentives for startup ventures (Dublin)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:02 PM
ThisWeek Staff Writer
Dublin City Council is considering an economic development agreement that would give startup companies a place to grow.

The agreement with 7001 Post Road LLC would secure about 1,800 square feet of space to be used by startup companies working with TechColumbus, along with a training room and space for networking events.

"We're going to establish a sense of place," said Dana McDaniel, deputy city manager and economic development director.

Five companies have signed leases to move into the building, with several others expressing interest, according to a memo distributed to council.

The space, on the fourth floor of 7003 Post Road in the Central Ohio Innovation Center (COIC), would cost the city $105,000 over three years.

The funds include $45,000 in technology grants to be paid the first year for improving technology infrastructure at 7001 and 7003 Post Road. This would improve access to and reliability of telephone and Internet services, including giving the companies access to the Central Ohio Research Network (CORN), the Ohio Supercomputer Center Network and Ohio Supercomputer Center.

In years two and three, the city will pay $30,000 to lease the space.

The buildings at 7001 and 7003 Post Road are owned by 7001 Post Road LLC.

Dublin City Council is expected to vote on the agreement at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, at the municipal building, 5200 Emerald Parkway.

In exchange, the city will gain naming rights for the building at 7003 Post Road and market the building as one of its anchors in the COIC and as a place for startup businesses. While a name hasn't been picked, the building is currently referred to as the Center for Entrepreneurship.

The agreement will permit the city to hang banners and display information in the first-floor lobby to promote the building as the "poster child for the entrepreneurial center," McDaniel said.

"I have to give credit to the property owners," he said. "They're reaching out to these smaller startup companies and offering them the opportunity to lease office space by the room or by the small suite, which is something that isn't easy to find. The rate they're paying is market rate, but the flexibility they are getting for that is better than what we're able to get elsewhere."

The agreement also will provide an opportunity for outside groups to host networking events and conduct training.

For example, the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio has agreed to hold office hours beginning this summer and might utilize the fourth floor training room for some of its course offerings, according to a report from Rich Coplin with TechColumbus.

TechColumbus is a nonprofit that focuses on technology-based economic development in 15 central Ohio counties.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to present these outreach services and localize them," McDaniel said. "To bring those services to Dublin and establish them in Dublin is a huge step forward in our business and job creation."

Dublin signed an agreement with TechColumbus in February 2007 to increase the level of entrepreneurial activity and provide support services to better ensure the success of startup companies. Council also committed $250,000 annually for three years toward an entrepreneurial signature grant program.

Since the city started working with TechColumbus, 19 Dublin-based companies -- representing 45 full-time and seven part-time jobs -- have used its services, according to a memo to council.

"It's a great indication of the potential in Dublin," McDaniel said. "The demographics could suggest É there would be people with experience starting companies and running them or people with great technology or entrepreneurial ideas. I think the 19 we found in a relatively shot period of time is a good example of the possibility out there."

Ohio State receives $34 Million NIH grant!!

The Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is being established at The Ohio State University Medical Center through a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health grant for $34 million. This is one of the largest grants ever received by Ohio State.

The award will provide support services to Ohio State researchers while fostering collaboration with other medical centers that are recipients of the grants.

This NIH grant marks a new era in collaboration internally and externally, enabling research and clinical trials to be quickly translated into treatments benefiting patients and the entire community.

Under the direction of Rebecca Jackson, MD, associate dean for clinical research, the CCTS will leverage expertise from several colleges at Ohio State, along with scientists and clinicians from OSU Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to improve the quality of health care in the community. The grant award will provide administrative support needed to develop improved methods for analyzing research data and managing clinical trials, allowing for greater community outreach, and creating partnerships.

Faculty and staff from 16 colleges at Ohio State will be involved in the project, creating a collaborative network focusing on science, education, research design and implementation. Training and developing the next generation of researchers is an integral part of the strategic focus.

Ohio State is one of more than 30 institutions across the country receiving the NIH grant targeted to strengthening clinical and translational science. Led by the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the NIH, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program funds diverse and far-reaching approaches related to all aspects of research.

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How to Part Company with a Smile

By Wil Schroter - Founder and CEO of the Go BIG Network

No matter how well your startup company does, sooner or later you're going to be faced with the fact that someone has to go. It may be a disgruntled co-founder or it may be the intern that looked great on paper but turned into a disaster when they walked into the office.

While parting company is a tough thing to do, there are definitely better and worse ways to go about it. There's an art to ending a corporate romance on a positive note, and it starts with looking past the moment of departure and into the future.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Unlike the big corporate machine where everyone is expected to fit in, a startup company is a perpetually chaotic, anxiety-inducing rollercoaster of emotion that fits very few people real well. Chances are the person you are sitting across from is just not a fit for any startup company, let alone yours.

A great way to set the stage is to explain how well you understand the incredible challenges of being in a startup company and that it’s very difficult for anyone to maintain their footing in this environment. This isn’t about you patronizing your co-workers – it’s about recognizing the fact that there are often very good reasons the fit just isn’t right and using those reasons as a platform for departure.

In many cases the person you’re sitting across from has had to endure a lot of sacrifices just to be able to contribute at all. Even if they didn’t work out as an employee, it’s a good idea to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices they have made up until this point. Those sacrifices were part of their contribution.

Leave the Door Open

Although today you may feel like you can’t possibly get this person out of the door fast enough, always be sure to leave that door open for them to return. This may sound ridiculous, since the last thing on your mind right now is ever seeing this person in your office again.

Yet your corporate life is very long, and it extends down many roads. The gal that just walked out of your office today may be the key customer that hires you a few years from now. It may be the person that was a bad fit in the formative stages of your company but is exactly who you need three years from now. It never pays to be short-sighted when winding up any relationship, no matter how tenuous at the time.

Leaving the door open also shows a gesture of good faith. If people know that they might have to deal with each other again in the future they’re a lot less likely to spew fire and brimstone today. You may find that a few years from now, after you’ve both forgotten a about what brought you to this departure, that there’s a much better opportunity to re-connect.

Send People off with Dignity

There’s a big difference between just terminating someone and terminating someone with dignity. No matter what the situation is, everyone deserves to be shown the door without being crucified in front of their peers.

Aside from the fundamental respect of another human being, you’re also setting an example for how you will treat the rest of the organization. If all of your employees watch a person get humiliated in front of their peers the first thing that you’ve instilled in everyone else is that they will be treated the same way. That kind of fear is incredibly unhealthy in any organization. (Unless you are a pirate, in which case you’ll probably be just fine.)

Instead, go out of your way to make sure that this person’s departure ends on a positive and supportive note. Even if the rest of the organization dreaded their existence, it’s important for you to be the bigger person and show that everyone will come and go with dignity at your company.

Think About the Ripple Effect

A departure affects more than just one employee. It creates a ripple effect through the entire organization that’s impossible to ignore. If you think that an employee walking out the door takes their drama with them, you’re dead wrong.

The gory details of what you’ve said, how the employee responded, and every moment thereafter will be repeated in infinite detail inside and outside of your organization. Think of the termination event like a video clip on YouTube that is about to get re-broadcast endlessly.

A simple, positive parting isn’t worth gossiping about. There’s no story. But an ugly and bitter battle is something that will keep lots of people talking for a long time, all at your expense. When it comes to parting, creating as little drama as possible is absolutely critical.

Look at the Big Picture

Every time you let someone go you’re changing the face of the company and setting the tone by which it treats its people. If you can use this opportunity to show that you’re supportive and respectful of the people leaving your company, you’ll make both the people that work there now and the people that will work for you in the future far more comfortable with living in your world.

Wil Schroter is the Founder and CEO of the Go BIG Network, the largest network of startup companies and entrepreneurs at . He is also the author of the new book “Go BIG or Go HOME”.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spotlight on emerging Columbus Tech Companies

Go Big Media, LLC

The Go Big Network is an online service that allows business professionals to connect and interact with one another. Users are represented on the site with personal profiles. You choose the information in your profile and therefore control what can be seen by other users. The Go Big Network must collect certain pieces of information in the normal course of its business and Go Big Media retains the ownership rights to this information.


GotCast is the internet's premier casting website. Members of the GotCast community create unique talent profiles and audition for Hollywood roles while Casting Directors and Agents search for undiscovered stars.


Provides solutions that measure and troubleshoot IT system performance by monitoring the flow of information end-to-end. Key accounts include: JP Morgan Chase, American Electric Power, State of Ohio (Jobs & Family Services). Strategic partners include: Hines Ltd; GotPlanB; West-Monroe Partners.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Startup Drinks at the Surly Girl Saloon

Ben recently posted about the upcoming Columbus Startup Weekend. For those of you interested, there is a related event that will be held tomorrow evening, Columbus Startup Drinks, at the Surly Girl Saloon starting at six. It looks like it's a good opportunity to connect with like-minded startup enthusiasts.

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Ohio State researchers awarded $12M grant to study thyroid cancer

Published in Business First

The National Cancer Institute has awarded Ohio State University researchers a five-year, nearly $12 million grant to study thyroid cancer.

The project, funding for which totals $11.9 million, will involve faculty members in several OSU departments of its Comprehensive Cancer Center, the school's veterinary medicine and pharmacy colleges and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The study, titled "Genetic and Signaling Pathways in Epithelial Thyroid Cancer," aims to pinpoint genes that predispose patients to develop the cancer and distinguish benign and malignant thyroid nodules to boost the accuracy of diagnoses. Researchers also plan to look at the genetics that change patients' sensitivity to treatments and work on therapies for patients with progressive thyroid cancer.

The research team is led by Dr. Matthew D. Ringel, a professor of internal medicine and co-director of Ohio State's thyroid cancer unit.

An estimated 37,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year, while another 1,500 are expected to die from the disease, Ohio State said in a release. Statistics from the institute show thyroid cancer as the third-fastest growing cause of death for cancer patients in Ohio from 2000 to 2004.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Initial Funding and Three Unexpected Lessons Learned

Contributed by: Patrick Murphy founder Brand Thunder

We’re happy to announce our initial funding from TechColumbus. It’s truly a great moment that’s helping make browser customizations a more available marketing tool. As a quick reflection, and for the benefit of other startups working toward their funding, here are three unexpected lessons learned from this process.

1. Coach-ability – Our investors wanted us to listen more than we talked. From the Entrepreneurs in Residence to the investment advisors, they all stated they looked for entrepreneurs that could take advice. Too many startups ask for advice, but then refuse or ignore it. They want to help you succeed. And early on, they look for that willingness to accept the help.

2. The Story in 10 Minutes or Less – It’s got to be a refined story, and that happens over a lot of lunches and phone calls. It starts with close friends and family, evolves to the professional network and gets polished with the investors. Ten minutes is the most time we had in a formal presentation. It forced us to be clear and concise – and ultimately, it worked.

3. Validation – It takes a lot of thick skin to keep the drive to build an unproven and unknown product – and there are moments the confidence wanes. This initial investment is concrete proof that others see the potential of our idea. Now, we not only have funds in the bank to build the product, we’ve received an emotional deposit that’s fueling our energy and spirits. Coming into this, we didn’t realize the importance of the psychological victories.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Show me the money - companies to watch - $400k invested in local start-ups

TechColumbus announced that four start-up companies in Central Ohio will receive investments to help them grow their businesses. The investments have been made through the TechColumbus Regional Commercialization Fund and TechGenesis Grants, which are financed by the Ohio Third Frontier Program and local investors.

“These investments will help these four local start-ups further develop their products and strategies so they can succeed in the global marketplace,” said Ted Ford, president & CEO of TechColumbus. “The ultimate goal is to identify and assist companies, like these, that have high-growth potential to be very successful, to generate substantial revenue, to attract further investment, and to create high-wage jobs throughout the region."

These investments are part of a $22.5 million initiative – known as TechStart – that will drive the launch of new technology-based companies in Central Ohio over the next three years. TechGenesis Grants are designed to help very early stage companies and precompany commercialization opportunities validate their market and their product. The TechColumbus Regional Commercialization Fund is designed to invest services and money in companies that exhibit the best opportunities to build a scalable, high growth company that can attract follow-on capital. Both funds are available to technology companies, including IT, healthcare, advanced materials, and others, in the 15-county Central Ohio region. To date, TechColumbus has invested $2.0 million in 15 companies as part the TechStart program.

The following company received investments from the Regional Commercialization Fund:

Brand Thunder LLC (Dublin, OH) $250,000 – Brand Thunder has simplified internet browser customization which allows corporate brands to easily maintain a more persistent presence with their internet consumer which results in more frequent visits and increased revenue. Through a simple software installation, end users can change the look and feel of the internet browser and enjoy an immersive experience from their favorite sports team, music group, movie, and television show or internet site. Built in collaboration with corporate brands, the custom-browser themes feature official logos, colors, content and functionality, but can also extend capabilities to incorporate video, music players or other internet widgets. Current clients include the NHL, NCAA, Go BIG Media, The Huffington Post, Starpulse and Universal Music.

The following companies received investments from TechGenesis Grants:

ColdPhase Corporation
(Pickerington, OH) $50,000 – The Coldphase Corporation has developed a more efficient and cost effective way to package and ship products that need to remain cold. The Coldphase Corporation Packaging System (CCPS) changes the way climate controlled shipping occurs by keeping the packaged product at a consistently cold temperature longer than any product currently on the market; saving transportation dollars by extending the time available for the shipping cycle and using sturdy, reusable, and recyclable materials.

Got Game Media LLC (Pickerington, OH) $50,000 – Game Media is a sports information software organization. Its mission is twofold: To improve how colleges and universities recruit and attract high school student athletes; and, second, to become an advocate for high school athletes and their parents. GotGame has software tools and services that take the guessing out of being recruited and finding the right recruit.

ODSM, LLC (Westerville, OH) $50,000 – ODSM is developing a noninvasive, portable, method of determining orthostatic hypo-perfusion of the brain. The main objective is the prevention of falls which are commonly caused by brief drops in blood pressure in response to standing up from a prolonged recumbent posture. Such falls are a common cause of hip fractures, head injury and litigation.

Company Contacts:

Brand Thunder LLC– Patrick Murphy/614.408.8202/

Cold Phase – Joseph Altomonte/614.755.5405/

GotGame Media LLC – MarKel Snyder/614.402.1636/

ODSM - Tracy Amigo/

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Thursday, June 19, 2008


It's always easy to take the next step and always impossible to take two steps at a time. —Seymour R. Cray
The capacity to envision a future that is different from the present is often called “imagination.” Sometimes, just a little bit of imagination is required to solve a minor annoyance or inconvenience. For example, we can easily see that having to open certain doors for ourselves—like those in the grocery store—is a pain. “What if,” someone asked, “we could have a door that opens itself?” That is the beginning of a process that can lead ultimately to a useful invention being brought to a market that is willing to pay the price of the invention to solve the problem it addresses.

In other cases, we need to use more imagination. “What if,” for example, “we could use a machine to augment human intellect, to make a person better able to address a complex problem?” Such a question seems pretty straightforward today, though that has not always been the case. It was especially insightful when Doug Engelbart addressed the question in 1962. Pursuing an answer to that question led to a great many developments in what is now computing technology, including breakthroughs in human interfaces and the development of hypermedia. Much of the Web is essentially a reimplementation of what had been dreamed up, built, and demonstrated before 1970.

Each of us every day has probably a hundred or a thousand thoughts that could be articulated in the form of a question that begins “What if?” I propose that at the core of progress great and small is not whether an idea occurs in the first place, but in what happens to the idea. Do we let it vanish into the cosmic void or do we discipline ourselves to capture the thoughts and to turn them into questions that help us to envision a future more clearly?

Even if we have created a clear picture of the future, it does us little good without development. We need not just the idea, but to break it down into the steps necessary to bring that idea into reality. Sometimes, when our imaginations are highly active, we need to invent entire disciplines that will create enabling technologies. This, in essence, is the creative process. It is methodical. Imagination is vital—the rest simply is not possible without it—but imagination alone will not make anything useful actually come about.

So what do you do to develop the power of your imagination? How do you harness those ideas? How do you set about turning those ideas into tomorrow’s reality?


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spotlight on emerging Columbus Tech Companies

Aetion Technologies LLC

Aetion’s patent-pending software enables users to identify the best choice when faced with an impossibly large number of options. Each alternative is rated on several criteria of merit, using large-scale simulation where necessary, while the user navigates the tradeoffs between the best options. The technology is employed to solve problems in military situation awareness and planning, financial decision making, and reducing manufacturing costs. Aetion grew out of the Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence Research at The Ohio State University, and its founders include some of the world’s most respected names in the field of applied computer power for decision support.

3X Systems (formerly Boxicom)

3X Systems will offer the only data backup solution with the ease, performance, and peace of mind that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) expect from modern backup solutions without the high, recurring costs of an online service provider. Further, as a dedicated, all-in-one appliance, 3X customers leverage the strong relationship between their business and IT provider, confident that their data is in the hands of a trusted partner rather than a faceless web provider

CallCopy, Inc.

Develops a feature rich contact recording system used by contact centers in quality assurance and training programs and in compliance with federal regulations. Recently selected for membership in the Avaya DeveloperConnection Program, CallCopy’s QM/Recording application suite will now be available as part of Avaya’s global integrated solutions services.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Show me the money

Desire, drive, talent, and ideas can only get a entrepreneur so far before he/she needs some money. For many getting funding is little like walking into a dark room and feeling your way around until you find what you're looking for.

To shine a little light on funding opportunities take a look at this overview presentation about the Central Ohio Entrepreneurship Signature Program.

The presentation describes several type of funding mechanisms administered by TechColumbus including the:

TechGenesis Fund ($2 million)

Regional Commercialization Fund ($2.25 million)

Ohio TechAngel Fund II ($4.65 million)

Co-Investment Fund ($2.5 million)

For further info contact :
Chris Anderson


Start-Up Specialist


In future posts I'll share with you some companies who have been funded and some of their experiences.

Peace Out,

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Columbus Startup Weekend Coming


Daily Reporter Staff Writer

Starting a new business can be daunting, but doing it in one weekend is a challenge beyond most people's imagination. Regardless, more than 100 Columbus-area information technology specialists will take on the challenge this summer.

The city is scheduled to host a 54-hour networking event designed to link software technicians and business developers wanting to start new technology businesses.

The event, Columbus Startup Weekend, is part of a national series of such events that began last year.

Columbus was chosen through voting on the event's primary Web site,

"They try to identify which city has interest in doing this and they contacted us about whether we can pull this off," said Chris Anderson, start-up specialist at TechColumbus, a Columbus organization that promotes the area's technology development efforts.

TechColumbus will host the event at its offices on July 18-20.

"One unique piece we'll offer is that we have tech labs and platforms right here on site," Anderson.

He said between 100 and 140 people are expected to attend the event and that there already are 50 people registered for the event.

The concept of the event is to bring IT specialists together with entrepreneurs, businessmen and people specializing in marketing to essentially transform an idea into an application in 52 hours.

Attendees will select ideas and then break into teams to develop the application, create the marketing strategies and chart the revenue model.

Teams consist of entrepreneurs, software developers, attorneys, marketers, designers, sales professionals and others working together to create multiple businesses from scratch all in one weekend.

Not that organizers are expecting the next Google or Yahoo! to be formed during that short period, but if nothing else, some long-term networking relationships should be formed.

"The companies that have been created (in other cities), there has been some interest from big players. I don't know if we'll see any venture capital interest," said Anderson. "We could see five or so individuals move on something that's viable."

Since its inception less than a year ago there have been similar events held in 15 cities, including London and Hamburg, Germany. Five other cities, besides Columbus, are scheduled for this year.

Columbus has received nearly 400 votes through the StartUp Weekend Web site, whereas North Carolina's Research Triangle has 190 votes.

"I've never seen a city rise so fast in a mere matter of hours," said Raymond Angel who runs the events for Startup Weekend LLC.

Much of the voting for Columbus has been spearheaded by local IT bloggers, Anderson said, noting that many of those individuals work in the IT field in the Columbus area.

"The majority of people who are going are people who are employed somewhere else and are looking to move on or start their own company. Or, they have started a company and are looking for help," Anderson said.

The event will start with short presentations by entrepreneurs who will describe the business idea.

"People will then gravitate toward the ideas that they are interested in and want to develop," said Anderson.

Even if no businesses are formed, he said that the Columbus IT community will benefit in the long run.

"The primary focus is on the IT side, the software development. Getting the idea person together with the software developer," said Anderson. "We want the two groups interacting, the software people and the business developers. Our role is to help any company think through the competitive landscape."

He said there are not many resources in the Columbus area to help link software developers with business developers.

"I think a lot of relationships will develop after this," said Anderson. "This sounds like a great opportunity to help talented software developers network with people who know how to develop a business model."

Web consultant Andrew Hyde of Boulder, Colo. created StartUp Weekend last year when he decided to bring his friends together for a spontaneous project.

The cost to participate is $40. For more information, visit:

Ben's note: Since this article was written more people have singed up bringing the total to 70

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tech Around Town

Serial entrepreneur at it again - a really cool workstation

Question? What happens when you mix a serious serial technology entrepreneur with a need.

Answer? In this case a incredibly well engineered desk.

Larry Tracewell way back when needed a desk. He look around and didn't find himself anything so he decided to build one. Along the way he engineered a desk that is designed to keep your equipment cool, secure, and hidden while providing a comfortable, adjustable and aesthetically pleasing work environment and then decided to start a furniture company - Caretta desks.

Caretta Desks is a line of computer desks that locks laptop computers in a temperature controlled compartment while allowing them to remain wired to power and network, hides most other computer wires and has provisions for rackmounted and other equipment. The desks are manufactured of beautiful solid black walnut or cherry, and are designed to work in an engineering development lab, home or executive office, or anywhere else that uses a lot of computer hardware. The manufacturing facility uses the latest woodworking and 3D cad design tools. Caretta has a full line of products including desks, tables, a book case, hutch and many other functional accessories. For more information, go to our website at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spotlight on emerging Columbus Tech Companies

Here's a few to check out:
Great Migrations

"My firm develops state of the art software translation technologies. We help people modernize their legacy applications using our unique tool-assisted rewrite methodology. We have been refining our technology and successfully delivering migration projects for over twenty-five years. Our approach is proven to dramatically reduce the cost and risk of software migration without sacrificing quality or control. Our present focus is to respond to a more recent problem: the migration of large Visual Basic and classic ASP systems to .NET. Moving legacy applications to a new platform delivers major competitive benefits to those with the vision to take advantage of what the new platform has to offer."


ClaritySoft provides Contact Management Software and CRM for Small
Business. Our solution is the fastest and most cost effective path to
CRM for small companies. Typically our customers can have their
companies live on ClaritySoft in less than a 1/2 day.

Bostech Corporation

..helps businesses seamlessly share, exchange, and transact critical information with their customers, suppliers, partners, and employees.

The ChainBuilder® enterprise integration platform from Bostech is a world-class software solution for enabling internal and business-to-business software systems and databases to exchange information. ChainBuilder combines the ease of point-and-click graphical consoles with the power of flexible customization to enable application-to-application, business-to-business, database-centric, Web Services, EDI, and multi-channel retail application integration.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Web 2.0 presentation video in now online

Thanks to Jeff Beeler and Stacey Elicker at Sync Creative the video from the presentation is now online.

Monday Morning Muses - June 8, 2008 - Workforce development and gas cards

Last week my friend Rick sent me a thought provoking presentation about developing our workforce. Here's a few points from the presentation to whet your whistle. I'd encourage you to take a few moments of your time to view the full presentation. The competition we're facing isn't local it's global and it's getting ready to pass us....

Sometimes size does matter.
- If you’re one in a million in China . . .
- There are 1,300 people just like you.
- In India, there are 1,100 people just like you.
- The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQ’s . . .
- Is greater than the total population of North America.
- In India, it’s the top 28%.
- Translation for teachers:
- They have more honors kids than we have kids.

Here's the link:
The presentation was authored by: Ron Faulds and Barb Fardell from the Michigan Department of Ed.


Wanted to share a great morale booster idea for your employees I overheard at a recent gathering..

With the rise in gas prices, consider providing a monthly gas card ($50) to all your employees as a offset to their increased commuting costs, it's a great way to remind them that you care..

Peace out,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hyperconnected multitasking nonsense

The world, we are told, is changing. I think not; the only thing that's changing is a greater willingness to accept that which should be judged unacceptable.

We hear that gone are the days when people just beginning their careers could be tasked with something that they would then be finished and turned into a part of a larger whole. These Millennials, quoth fonts of wisdom to whom we look for guidance on management of the generations in the workplace, won't stand for that. The “typical” Millenial is smart and creative; they don't have time for schedules. They don't want to deal with hierarchies; they want to talk all the time to anyone they think necessary at any level of their organization. They're not happy doing their work with people in their own workplace; their workplace is a CIDR block that's just a few hops away from the rest of the world. There's no inside and outside anymore. It's just online and offline—which is to say, dead. It's all about keeping your Facebook profile updated and a blog post every hour. Around the clock. Unaffected by the artificial constraints of The System, this new generation is going to save humanity. They understand the world now. The old people just don't get it.

This is a complete load of tripe. The only thing that we need to add to this story to see where it winds up are the lines that reflect the sentiment, as expressed in an earlier age. Tune in and drop out, man. Don't trust anyone over thirty! The bad news for the baby boomers who espoused this nonsense is that not only did they fail to change the fundamentals of how the world works but they're going to manage to bankrupt social security in the process, taking more out of society than they put into it.

Despite the prognostication of staffing consultants and other such experts, the simple fact is that I'm not going to change the way that my business fundamentally operates so that my employees can keep their MySpace pages fresh with all of the latest gossip from their social circles. We're not going to assume that there's no longer a difference between public and private, or that there's a difference between being engaged at work and elsewhere.

“But the kids today know how to multitask!” is the retort that I hear building. Yes, the kids today know how to flip quickly from one application to the next, how to carry on five conversations of nonsense at once, and how to be completely surrounded by communication technology. The “kids today” know how to do everything but focus their attention and to think things through. This isn't something that we should encourage. We should not marvel at this. I believe that we should instead be taking a hard look at the kinds of expectations that people beginning their careers have and make sure that we're not continuing to coddle them as their careers get going just as we have during their entire childhood, when we were giving them trophies just for showing up.

As it turns out, science is demonstrating how multitasking dumbs us down. This is, in my opinion, big news—even if it is badly underreported.

The reason why this is so important is that we as developers and purveyors of technology need not to forget that as a society, we're going to have to remain competitive. That's going to require skills greater than being able to respond the most quickly to a pop-up on our screen. Ultimately, if we lose the ability to think things through and to see the likely conclusions before we even begin to undertake major endeavors, we're pretty well doomed. This is, sadly, something that I think that is often overlooked in the schools that think about computing as the work of either an engineer or a less sophisticated technician. Contemplative inquiry is the sort of thing that one studies only in liberal arts programs. Nevertheless, I believe that we have a responsibility to demonstrate reasonable use of the technology, recognizing that there's a time to be connected and a time to be focused. There's a time to take advantage of the ability to harness the last generation's supercomputing power in the palms of our hands and there's a time to think, to process all of the information that has been thrown our way, to sort it, and to make sense not just of the content, but the context in which it all works together.

In my opinion, the real trick is to ensure that we always understand why we're doing things. This contrasts sharply with the always-on and hyperconnected “power users” of social networking technology. I have observed that these do not drive the technology: the technology drives them. A buzz or a beep makes them jump. Focus can be lost such that the person standing in front of them is tuned out in favor of a message that was asynchronous in nature and probably had nothing to do with the purpose for which someone is paying them. By knowing our objectives always, we can be sure that the technology is helping us to do what it is that we choose to do, to achieve the ends that we strive to reach.

It's time for us to end the charade. The only change that's taking place in the world is the same one that has always been in force: the complacent fall to those willing to push themselves to do better and to achieve their objectives.

It's not the technology that matters: it's what we make of it.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday Morning Muses - June 2, 2008 - TopCAT Innovation Awards mid year reunion

Last Wed evening I had the opportunity to attend a reception for all the nominees and winners of he 2007 TopCAT awards hosted by Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (thanks Craig Auge and Anker Bell)

For those of you unfamiliar with the TopCAT Innovation Awards it is the tech community's equivalent of the Emmy's. It's a truly an honor to be a nominee and and even greater honor to win.

The energy in the room palpable. I've been fortunate to been part of the organizing committee for a few years and have seen the awards grow in stature, scope, and meaning. It's a reflection of the growth of our tech community. Let's keep the momentum going.

Here's a list of the 2007 winners. Take a look at their websites and get a feel for what's happening right in Columbus.

Student Innovation Award: Laura Phillips of Bishop Hartley High School and Aaditya Shidham of Upper Arlington High School.

Outstanding Woman of the Year: Jeanne Gokcen of FutureCom Technologies Inc.

Outstanding Product (less than 50 employees): Pam Springer, EC Next for their product

Outstanding Product (50 or more employees): Joseph Sanda, Astute Solutions RealDialog

Innovation in Non-Profit Service Delivery: John Hrusovsky and the GroundWork Group

Executive of the Year (less than 50 employees): William Dawson of NexTech Materials

Executive of the Year (50 or more employees): Bob Irwin of Sterling Commerce

Outstanding Start-up Business: Doug Stewart, AirCraft Logs

Minority Owned Enterprise: Ravi Kunduru and Ventech Solutions

Green Innovation: Dr. Bruce Monzyk and Battelle

Inventor of the Year: Dr. Wayne Poll of Minimally Invasive Devices

Outstanding Service of the Year (less than 50 employees): Adel Mikhail and Phylogeny

Outstanding Service (50 or more employees): Ben Blanquera representing the Progressive Medical team

Outstanding Technology Team: Michael von Fahnestock and the AMD VEP Team from Battelle.

Here is quick video of the event taken with a flipvideo device -

Peace Out,

P.S. On the lighter side - congrats to Kenny Perry for winning the Memorial. I got the opportunity to attend and enjoy a "truly world class event" with my wife Sandy. A special thanks to Accenture, Advizex, and the City of Dublin for their hospitality.