Category Archives: Startup

Plug Into Easier Data Storage

by Categorized: Entrepreneur, Startup, Uncategorized Tagged: , , , , , Date:

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Managing the thousands of documents, songs, videos and other media across laptops, smartphones and other smart devices is a cumbersome process without an easy solution.

Even with countless data management services like Dropbox and iCloud, users can still have trouble maintaining universal access across all of their devices.

Plug is a Kickstarter project that seeks to make data management a simple and stress-free process for users.

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The device is small box that connects a USB device to the Internet and syncs data on the device to a storage space on the Internet. After the data transfer is complete, Plug makes your data, including music, pictures and videos, universally available across all compatible devices.

While the concept is similar to cloud storage such as Dropbox, there are differences that make Plug a new experience for users. For example, the device has a physical presence in your home and to upload data, you simply plug in a flash drive, external hard drive or other device. The data syncs with the online storage and remains located on the physical device for easy access. With cloud services, the entire exchange takes place between your computer and the internet.

According to the Kickstarter page, users can increase storage size for any compatible device by terabytes, regardless of the original size. With this extra space comes the ability to access countless songs, movies and other media without the burden of capped storage space on devices.

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In addition to just increasing storage size, Plug allows users to easily and quickly share content and it is even compatible with services such as CrashPlan which backs up data.

The creators, Cloud Guys Corporation, also place a huge focus on security. Using secure technology, the creators emphasize that only you have access to your data.

According to the Plug’s Kickstarter Campaign “The security of your Plug device is our first priority. Like a private datacenter, your Plug is far more difficult to hack than your computer. Our team works continuously with security experts to make sure it remains so. Like high security servers, your Plug will be frequently updated with security patches to keep it unaccessible from badly intentioned governments and individuals.”

Plug isn’t quite a storage service that cloud storage users are used to. According to the Kickstarter page, users own the device and their storage space, whereas other services merely rent the space. In fact, the creators emphasize that Plug is not a service, but a product that you buy once (although there are options to expand the service if you choose so).

The Kickstarter campaign explains the product’s goal, “Plug brings the kind of unity that can make or devices really work together. It opens an era where we can think of all our devices as a single group; where playing with two devices from two different manufacturers can really make us live a single and continuous experience.”

The team has been working on Plug for about two years and expects that the service will be ready to ship at the end of the year.

Plug’s Kickstarter page is open for contributions now and ends on September 8th.

Photos Courtesy of Plug

 

Digital Media Company Gets VC Funding

by Categorized: Startup Date:

Fullscreen, a digital media company that grew out of the YouTube partnership program, has received venture capital funding from companies more rooted in the traditional entertainment world.

The Chernin Group, Comcast Ventures and WPP Digital have invested in FullScreen according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

[T]he infusion of cash will allow Fullscreen to increase its investment in original programming, expand its presence outside of North America in markets where it sees opportunities.

Oculus Rift Gets Upgrade

by Categorized: games, Startup Date:

virtual realityOutside of the gaming community, you might be excused if you haven’t heard of Oculus Rift. That will probably change soon.

The maker of a virtual reality device wowed The Verge with new screens in it’s headset. In the simplest of terms, the company now has two cell phone displays mounted in a helmet and paired them with a controller to translate the movement of the viewers head to the motion on the screen along with the video feed. The result will be an immersive experience for the viewer for games, movies, and training programs.

The 1080p screen is split in two, so each eye sees a 960 x 1080 portrait display — [CEO Brendan] Iribe said the company was worried about how the switch from landscape to portrait might affect the games, but said he’s seen no issues. Nor have they had problems with the games created by the 10,000 developers who now have Oculus Rift dev kits — the SDK is built to scale its resolution, so Iribe said it’s only the beginning. As cellphone displays get better, so does the Rift, and the company gets to outsource its R&D to Apple, Samsung, and the like.

 

Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times

Google Finds Waze To Keep Maps Business Strong

by Categorized: Apple, Apps, Google, mobile phones, Social Media, Startup Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Date:

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Google has reportedly agreed to purchase Israeli mobile mapping startup, Waze, for $1.1 billion.

The deal, which could be announced as early as this week, marks the end of a bidding war between Silicon Valley heavyweights, Google and Facebook.

Waze is a social mapping app that provides directions for travelers using traffic updates crowd-sourced from users. The app has grown in popularity in the wake of the Apple Maps fiasco that provoked Apple CEO Tim Cook to recommend alternative services, including Waze, Google Maps, and MapQuest.

The app, which reportedly has more than 40 million users, is a lucrative venture for Google, who will have the opportunity to boost their maps services with the addition of users who contribute data to help fellow travelers avoid traffic delays.

Additionally, the acquisition eliminates a competitor for Google.

Is the acquisition a good decision for Google?

Connecticut Innovations Gives Funds To Six Startups In State

by Categorized: Connecticut, Government, Startup Tagged: Date:

Six firms received funding from Connecticut Innovations this week. The state’s quasi public agency works with technology start ups to help them grow.

Ancera LLC (Branford, Conn.)    $150,000

Green Life Guides LLC (New Haven, Conn.)  $100,000

Pattern Genomics LLC (Madison, Conn.)  $150.000

P2 Science Inc. (New Haven, Conn.)  $200,000

RPM Sustainable Technologies Inc. (Guilford, Conn.) $150.000

Shizzlr LLC (Orange, Conn.)  $200.000

The funding is part of the states Pre-Seed Fund and is designed to support the formation of new technology business in the state.


$150,000

3 Questions With Katherine Yarbrough, Founder Of Chic and Beautiful

by Categorized: 3 Questions With, Connecticut, Startup, Startup Weekend Tagged: , , Date:

Back in March at Startup Weekend Stamford, Katherine Yarbrough won second place for her pitch — Chic and Beautiful.  (Read my April profile here).

The site, an online wellness community and clothing exchange, has come a long way in a short time.  If you’ve lost some weight and have clothes that no longer fit or need to add to your wardrobe, Chic and Beautiful is now live for buying and selling.

Here’s more on where Chic and Beautiful’s been and where it’s going:

What have you changed or improved upon since Startup Weekend? 
Since we last talked, I hired a part-time web designer (who is in Texas!) that created my current website!  It is up and running, complete with inventory to be purchased, space for more inventory, and blog topics like “Rack the brain of an RD” (you can ask questions to a Registered Dietitian – coming soon), “Tasty Thursdays”  (I share recipe ideas and weekly meal planning menus and tips), and some health-related 
blog topics.  I am trying to get into a rhythm — I’ve never really blogged before — but am looking to post blogs regularly Mondays and Thursdays of each week.  I also really want to know what people are curious about — what health and wellness questions they have — so I can write blog posts that people want to read.  
Other than a part time developer it’s still just me on the team.  During my “daytime job” I work with a team of Registered Dietitians and PhDs with a background in nutritional science so that’s how I can pick their brain for accurate health and wellness information.  
What are you still looking to add, expand upon, or improve?

With such financial constraints (bootstrapping it now!) my growth plans are slower than I would like, but I am still hopeful.  I am designing an expansion to my website that will turn my website into a social platform for women to sell their own clothes and create their own wellness community.  I imagine the space being the “go to” place where women can gather to share their health and wellness goals, achievements, suggestions, tips, and ideas.  As they move through their weight change (or maintenance) and life changes they will also be able to sell their own clothes and earn more in return than at a consignment shop.  Chic and Beautiful, inherent in its name, is about women feeling beautiful inside and out throughout all the crazy moments in life.I am always in need of inventory. I am looking for women who have designer and brand name clothing they want to sell.  Right now, my sizes are limited (mostly smalls and mediums) so I want to add a greater variety of sizes, design styles, and brand names — and that can only come from sellers!

As demand increases, I also want to bring on more staff, with a focus on paid student internships in fashion, marketing, or web design.  I have had some outstanding mentors throughout my educational career (on campus jobs and internships) that were instrumental in developing me into the person I am, so I aspire to create a similar experience for other students.

What do you anticipate the next year or so will be like for you and Chic and Beautiful?
Within the next year, Chic and Beautiful will have the social component I envision, which will lead to growth.  During the year, I will also begin considering plans for expansion — a specific component for maternity and perhaps a brother site for men.

Innovation Challenge

by Categorized: Connecticut, Entrepreneur, Startup Date:

Get your idea presentations ready!

Connecticut Innovations, a quasi public agency that provides funding and advice for state firms, is soliciting entries for  innovative ideas that will stimulate job and economic growth.

The idea is to promote growth and collaboration between private companies and academic institutions. Winners in the competition will receive up to $150,000 for up to one year for the project they propose.

What is your biggest challenge to getting your idea out there?

Tech Startups In Connecticut’s Mill Towns

by Categorized: Connecticut, Entrepreneur, Startup, Uncategorized Date:

There will be a panel discussion of high tech start up businesses in Connecticut’s oldest towns next week at Eastern Connecticut State University.

The panel is scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m., Nov. 15 in the J. Eugene Smith Library on campus.

The panel will feature state entrepreneurs who will discuss launch and growth strategies for for tech firms in towns that once were home to textile manufacturers.

There is no charge  but registration is required, call (860) 465-5000, or visit easternct.edu.

Gearing Up For ‘Start Up Weekend’

by Categorized: Connecticut, Entrepreneur, Startup, Startup Weekend Date:

If you are starting a new business, you need a business plan. Can you imagine putting it together in just one weekend? Those participating in Metro Hartford Alliance and Hartford Area Young Professionals Startup Weekend will being doing just that this weekend.

During the weekend, participants pitch ideas to a group and get feedback about the ideas. Once the ideas are discussed, the group decides by vote which ones to pursue. Then the group works to put the project together over the next 54 hours. Once the project is together, it’s presented to local entrepreneurs for more critiques.

The event will be held at the Hartford Public Library. Cost to participate runs from $75 to $99 depending on area of expertise.  Students with ID can register for $25. The event runs from Friday, September 21 at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday, September 23 at 9:00 p.m.

For more information and a full schedule, visit, http://hartford.startupweekend.org