Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Small Business Tech Grants Open


Innovate Washington the statewide public-private partnership that is the catalyst for economic growth in Washington’s innovation economy, has launched its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant-writing program.

Innovate Washington connects innovators and researchers across the State with the entrepreneurial and financial capital needed to produce world-class companies and high-value jobs that will form the backbone of our region’s future economy.

Under the program Innovate Washington provides grant-writing support for qualified Washington-based small technology businesses interested in applying for SBIR/STTR Phase I federal R&D funding.  The program’s primary goals include enlisting first-time SBIR/STTR participants as well as those in rural and economically disadvantaged areas, minority and women-owned businesses and to increase their chances of submitting a successful proposal.

“This is an excellent opportunity for small technology businesses across Washington to increase their chances of receiving funding from these federal programs,” said Bart Phillips VP of Economic Development for Innovate Washington.  “As these businesses grow, Innovate Washington and its partners can provide additional business consulting services to help accelerate their growth.”

The program is made possible by a $55,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration under its Federal State and Technology (FAST) program. Interested technology businesses are strongly encouraged to first view the Innovate Washington SBIR/STTR introductory web presentation in order to gain a clear understanding of the program and eligibility requirements. All grants must be awarded on or before March 31, 2013.  Candidates are encouraged to contact Jim Sampson, Senior Program Manager, Special Projects for Innovate Washington for more details on how to apply.

“The SBIR/STTR program is but one example of how Innovate Washington is expanding market opportunities for the citizens of Washington,” said Phillips.  “Initiatives in advanced energy, aviation biofuels and the smart and efficient building technology sectors are just a few of the areas where Innovate Washington is creating value.”

Contact: Innovate Washington, Jim Sampson, 509.358.2006.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tacoma's Topia Launches Skoot Cloud App


Topia Technology, developer of secure, cloud-based file syncing and sharing solutions for individuals and businesses, announced the Skoot cloud application.

Topia’s New Skoot Cloud App Provides Unmatched, Secure File Access and and Sharing Across Devices, Storage Locations and Cloud Services.

With Skoot, you are able to browse all your files, devices and cloud services at once; access, share and move content across PC, Android, Dropbox, Google Docs and more.


Skoot is a new, simple and secure way for users to quickly browse, access and share files saved across devices and services, such as PC, Android, Dropbox and Google Docs, with support for iPhone and iPad coming in the next couple weeks. With Skoot, subscribers securely cloud-enable everything they have, so they can log in once and view all their content. Users grab what they need, share files with others and even remotely move documents between devices. Unlike other cloud, file sharing or remote access services that work in a silo or require that all content be uploaded to the cloud, Skoot makes all your files accessible no matter where they sit.

Traveling with just your laptop or iPad and need a doc off your work desktop? Or forget to put something into Dropbox? Open Skoot to grab it and browse securely through your other stuff while you’re there. Try Skoot for free for 30 days.

Cloud services have dramatically improved the way users store and access content in their home and business lives,” said Janine Terrano, CEO of Topia Technology. “Yet for individuals with more than one device, location or service, we saw an untapped opportunity to put the user in the center of their own personal cloud for the utmost convenience, privacy and security. Logging in just once on the device at hand, users have all their content – stored across computers, cloud services, mobile devices and more – right at their fingertips.

Skoot is designed for users that want to easily access all their content, regardless of where it’s saved. It creates a personal, secure cloud encompassing all a user’s computers, files, devices – even other cloud services. Can’t remember where you put something? Skoot makes everything easy to get to; log in from any device and search content by location (i.e., device), file type or file name.

Users can now make thoughtful decisions about what goes in the cloud, stays on the device or is protected in Skoot’s Vault. This is the first time individuals get to put files where they want them without limiting access, and files no longer have to be uploaded to the cloud to be accessed remotely.

Skoot is:

All your Stuff – Browse and securely grab your content regardless of where you are, where it’s stored and what device you have. Access your files across PC, web, tablet, smartphone, etc. and between devices. Continue to use all the free storage your favorite cloud and file-sharing services (Dropbox, Google Docs, etc.) provide. Skoot is your personal content browser.

How you Want it – You are the center of your own personal cloud. Put files where you want them (device, cloud, Vault) and fill your cloud with as much or as little as you want. Easily share your content any time. Browse or search all your stuff on every device at once, without multiple services and log-ins.

Wherever and Whenever – Don’t worry about where you put content, you can still get it using whichever device is at hand – PC, Android tablet, iPhone, etc. No longer pre-plan (or forget) to have the right file, at the right time on the right device.

Protected and Private – Secure your content with end-to-end encryption and protect your file-sharing services for the first time. Use the Skoot Vault to secure and encrypt all your sensitive files.

Skoot enables users to treat sensitive documents, such as business files or financial documents, with care, so they are not exposed in the cloud. Most cloud services store data on their servers “in the clear” with little or no protection. Skoot’s end-to-end encryption provides users with a secure alternative. Skoot never moves a user’s file until requested, and when a file is moved it is heavily encrypted. For even further protection, subscribers can use Skoot’s Vault. Based on the same principle behind a safe or safe deposit box, users place electronic documents in a Vault that is accessible from anywhere, but only they hold the key.

“Today’s cloud providers offer great value and convenience to users, they just don’t work well with each other,” added Terrano. “We’re excited to show prosumers how easy it is to use all their favorites – together and securely – for the first time. No longer feel burdened to choose, consolidate or manage them separately.”

Skoot starts at $4.95 a month and includes 2GB of Vault space.

Skoot for Business: Highly Secure and Flexible

Skoot helps businesses support secure employee access to multiple cloud file syncing and sharing and data storage services (Dropbox, Google Docs, internal SMB stores, etc.). It offers employees an improved way to grab and share content while ensuring enterprise-grade security, enforcing policies and connecting and consolidating different cloud data stores. Skoot adds unparalleled data encryption to existing solutions during the file transfer process, so businesses can protect the cloud file syncing and sharing services employees use. And the Skoot Vault gives employees a simple means to protect sensitive files.

Skoot makes bring your own device – BYOD – a great productivity opportunity for businesses of all sizes,” added Terrano. “It not only helps IT teams improve remote access via a broad mix of devices, but across the range of cloud services employees connect to them. Staff also have insight into where employees are storing files.”

Deployed by SMB and enterprise organizations as a cloud service or platform, Skoot enables employees to browse and grab files regardless of where they are, where it’s stored and what device they have at hand, increasing productivity, collaboration, efficiency and unmatched security over the wire and at rest. To learn more about the unique benefits of Skoot for Business, visit www.skootit.com

About Topia Technology

Topia Technology develops secure, cloud-based file syncing and sharing solutions for individuals and businesses. The company’s applications create “personal clouds” to make files accessible on a user’s every device – computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone – regardless of where they are stored. Need to find, search or share all your stuff whenever you want? Get Skoot atwww.skootit.com


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Retail Internet Spending grows 15%

In what is often seen as a leading indicator, online shoppers spent more than $51 billion online in the second quarter, up 15.1% from a year ago, according to just released U.S. Department of Commerce reports.

This quarter also marks the first time e-commerce accounted for more than 5% of seasonally adjusted total retail spending.

For more information, visit Internet Retailer .

Courtesy of Bill Kaufmann,
Kaufmann Kreative E-Commerce & Marketing

Monday, July 23, 2012

Most Wired Hospitals in Most Wired Metro

Madigan Army Medical Center (1 hospital, 232 beds) and MultiCare Health System (4 hospitals, 893 beds) were among the 215 hospitals nationwide to receive designation as Most Wired in the Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) 14th annual survey.

H&HN uses its Most Wired Survey to evaluate IT systems across four categories: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. It focuses on how hospitals use information technologies for quality of care, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.

For the health care industry, the focus on information technology has been directed towards clinical applications — like computerized provider order entry, clinical decision support, health information exchange —and the potential to improve patient safety and create greater efficiencies. That’s largely to the federal government’s push to digitize health care and to because of regulations governing meaningful use. Most Wired hospitals emphasis goes beyond what’s prescribed by those mandates.

High-performing hospitals are hardwiring best practices to improve outcomes and quality of service.

Hospitals are leveraging new communication channels such as social media that offer engaging and supportive programs to enhance the patient experience. Nearly half of Most Wired hospitals use social media for crisis communications compared with one-third of total respondents. More than 25 percent of Most Wired hospitals offer care management messages and chats with physicians.

Seventy-five percent of Most Wired hospitals monitor the performance of their applications and infrastructure proactively to resolve IT issues. Ninety percent of Most Wiredhospitals and 73 percent of all surveyed hospitals use performance improvement scorecards to reduce inefficiencies.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Congressman Adam Smith's Technology Issues Update


National Defense Authorization Act Highlights


Recently, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013. The legislation included many provisions to help improve the technology acquisition process as well as assist small businesses working with the Department of Defense.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Adam sponsored an amendment that would remove commercial satellites and related components from the United States Munitions List. The amendment also creates an interagency process to coordinate additional modifications to the United States Munitions List and requires an annual report to Congress that includes a review of space and space-related technologies on the United States Munitions List as well as an assessment of the national security risks of removing certain technologies from the list. The annual report is also required to include recommendations to improve the space export control policy and process that do not adversely affect national security. The amendment passed by Voice Vote.
  • Directs the Department of Defense to review and consolidate the certification and accreditation process for IT systems to make it more efficient and easier for businesses to understand and comply with.
  • Allows the use of the research and engineering network of the Department of Defense to support regional advanced technology clusters and to encourage the development of innovative advanced technologies.
  • Allows the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to establish an Advancing Innovation pilot program to accelerate the commercialization of research innovations
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a national security strategy for the technology and industrial base.
  • Establishes a pilot program to assist in the growth and development of advanced small business concerns.
  • Requires the notice of small business contracting opportunities to be posted on an appropriate Federal Web site as determined by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
  • Establishes a goal for participation by small business concerns of not less than 25 percent of the total value of all prime contracts for each fiscal year and a goal of 40 percent of the total value of all subcontract awards for each fiscal year.
  • Requires the Small Business Procurement Advisory Council to conduct reviews of each Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization and to identify best practices for maximizing small business utilization in Federal contracting.
  • Increases the maximum surety bond amount from $2 to $6.5 million, with the Small Business Administration able to guarantee a surety bond of up to $10 million. Increasing the maximum surety bond amount, in certain cases, may increase small business contracting opportunities with the Department of Defense.

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Innovation Funding Opportunity


Last week, the Obama Administration released a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), announcing a multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and promote advanced manufacturing and cluster-based development in regions across the United States.

The deadline for applications is July 9, 2012. For more information, please visit: www.manufacturing.gov/accelerator/index.html. An informational webinar for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs Accelerator will be available for viewing on that site in approximately two weeks.  

A total of 14 Federal Agencies are supporting the competition, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and National Institute of Standards and Technology; the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the Small Business Administration; and the National Science Foundation.


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President Obama Signs Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization into Law


Yesterday, Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement after President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) into law:


"I’m pleased the President signed this important legislation into law. The Ex-Im Bank is the vehicle that promotes the sale of U.S. exports abroad and is critical to creating and sustaining jobs at home. With one in three jobs in Washington State dependent on trade, financing from the Ex-Im Bank is crucial to giving small businesses the security needed to complete important transactions and to promote their products in the global marketplace. This law is important step forward in supporting our small businesses and in keeping us on the path to getting our economy back on track."


For more information on the signing of this important legislation, please click here.


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If you have questions or comments, please contact Linda Danforth, Senior Advisor, at: 253-593-6600 or via email at: Linda.Danforth@mail.house.gov. 



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New E-Commerce Educational Course to Start


Can adding an E-Commerce component or strengthening an existing E-Commerce model benefit your business?  Could formal employee education on the subject be part of your solution?

If so, please contact Brian Dunnicliffe with the Keller Center for Corporate Learning of DeVry University for information on a brand new E-Commerce specific educational opportunity starting soon  BDunnicliffe@devry.edu.

Monday, April 16, 2012

National Retail Federation Report: Online Channels Eclipse Retail Stores

Washington, February 15, 2012 –

According to a just released report by the National Retail Federation, retailers’ websites and online channels have eclipsed physical stores as the top channel for marketers for the first time.

The NRF report, which surveyed 247 retail executives from various sectors, finds retailers are focusing more than ever on customer-centric tech functions including e-commerce, customer service and mobile platforms in an effort to build customer engagement, capture wallet share and accelerate sales growth.

Retail executives say they will invest in programs that directly resonate with today’s shopper. According to the survey, 85% will emphasize increasing online sales, up from 83 percent in 2011, and 38 percent will have a greater focus on increasing mobile mCommerce sales over the next year, up from 29 percent in 2011.

Additionally, more than half (53%) of those surveyed say they will specifically focus on web personalization engines in the coming months, which includes such enhancements as location-based services and tracking methods unique to shopping habits.

To grow customer interaction, 45 percent of companies are actively developing widgets, gadgets or advanced links that can be incorporated with their social media pages, and another 41 percent are planning to develop these items over the next 18 months.

To better serve mobile-savvy shoppers in their stores, retailers also stated enhancing handheld technologies, such as mobile point-of-sale, will be a core focus over the next 18 months. While 17 percent already use mobile POS technologies in their store, an additional 33 percent indicate they plan further POS investments during that timeframe.

As the number of multichannel shoppers continues to grow, the NRF study found retailers’ will continue to expand price optimization - more than one-third (35%) of respondents will focus on solidifying their price optimization technologies over the next 18 months.

Nearly six in 10 retailers say new customer acquisition and customer satisfaction are their top strategic priorities for 2012. More than half (52%) of respondents plan to increase their IT budgets in the coming year, investing in IT, e-commerce, customer service, and mobile platforms.

For more details and other results from the NRF report, visit their website at:
http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1312

Bill Kaufmann

Manager, Digital Marketing Strategy

Acquity Group | BRANDS AND BUSINESSES. ELEVATED.

www.acquitygroup.com

Friday, March 23, 2012

Green Investment Forum


ZINO Green Investment Forum
CALL TO ENTREPRENEURS! 
Bellevue City Hall Council Chambers
April 17, 2012
12:30pm - 5:00pm



Application Deadline:
April 2, 2012
ABOUT:
 ZINO Society's Fifth Annual ZINO Green Investment Forum will showcase companies and experts in the areas of:
· Clean Tech
· Alternative Energy
· Sustainable Products
· Social Innovation

APPLY TO PRESENT:
We are currently accepting applications from companies seeking funding. Present your investment opportunity to more than 150 attendees at ZINO Green Investment Forum.

Application deadline is April 2nd -Click here to apply.

 PRESENTATION FORMAT:
 5-minute presentations (seed stage and expansion stage companies) 

FEES:
Application fee: $75
5-Minute Presentation / Membership fee: $995 (due only if selected to present)
  
PRESENTATION BENEFITS:
5-Minute Presentation / Membership fee includes:
· 5-minute presentation at ZINO Green Investment Forum (using PowerPoint deck)
· Eligibility for ZINO Zenith Awards
· Exhibition space at forum
· Individual coaching sessions with members of the 
   ZINO Society Coaching Board
· Admittance to ZINO Green Investment Forum 
· Annual membership to ZINO Society giving you access to
   30 events, many at no additional charge
   
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Contact Kate DesRosier or by phone at 206-686-3768

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ISSA Meets Tonight

ISSA is on tonight at the UWT in the Tacoma Room. Please note there is now free food and networking before the presentation.




































Click on image for full view.