BRIDGEPORT — The greater Bridgeport chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) has made available online video versions of its most popular workshops. SCORE'S workshops are designed to help small-business owners and start-up business owners improve their companies. Some of the key videos are the popular five-session “Simple Steps to Starting a Business” program. Other videos cover subjects such as business funding, Internet business, patents and social media. The videos are free and can be found at Greaterbridgeport.score.org on the tab labeled "Video Workshops." The videos are being produced through a joint project of SCORE and the Trumbull Education Channel.
Greater Bridgeport SCORE is a chapter of the nationwide SCORE, which offers free business-based counseling, mentoring and workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
By staying ahead of the technological curve, Lou Goldberg has made Goodcopy an Elm City institution for three decades
Lou Goldberg is one Elm City business owner who has been around.
Like many other business proprietors, he of course considers great staff, top-quality work and positive cash flow significant factors in staying afloat the competitive business world. What makes Goldberg different from other business holders, however, isn’t his love and passion for what he does or his experience in his industry. As president of Goodcopy Printing & Digital Graphics, Goldberg wields a greater advantage at hand: the ability to embrace.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the ever-evolving world of print media, which many consider to be in certain eclipse, one may ask not only what Goldberg has done to keep his head above water, but how he has surpassed other similar businesses and sailed on to be recognized among the top 100 quick printers in the country.
“The key to surviving the recessions,” he says, “you have to be willing to change.”
By offering a wide variety of services and products including graphic design and typesetting, bindery, mailing and fulfillment, multimedia marketing, web-to-print solutions and various printing, Goodcopy extends “beyond that print production world,” according to 12-year client Jennifer Poudrier of MicroCare Corp.
“Their foundation of the business as a whole has always been valued as a learning organization,” Poudrier says. “Goodcopy thrives on the source of intelligence — they tap into a sort of innovation power in all aspects.”
When Goldberg acquired the small, "two-and-a-half-person staff," ten-year-old company in 1978, his vision was to grow the company from the perspective of understanding the importance of technology and always maintaining the flexibility to adapt to changing business conditions. Today maintaining almost 40 pieces of equipment and a product line numbering about 80, the now 21-employee Goodcopy has received 15 national awards.
Goldberg and his wife Edie, vice president of the CPrint International alliance-certified Goodcopy, also attribute the company’s success to its secret weapon — their creations. What distinguishes Goodcopy isn’t its production services, as there were companies that offered those three decades ago. Design services, which were unusual for a quick print company back then, as Edie Goldberg explains, are what have put Goodcopy “ahead of the curb by being creators.”
“I have to sell Goodcopy — and sell myself,” adds her husband, “and we’re trying to do that all the time.”
To thrive in any industry, it may take that “extra push” to rise above and beyond the norm, the Goldbergs agree. To look at challenges through a different lens, Edie says, involves creativity — which may be exactly what Goodcopy offers that enables the company to be successful.
Lou Goldberg defines creativity as “thinking outside of the box.”
Whether it entails encouraging employees to offer new ideas, introducing innovative changes, examining clients’ needs from an unusual perspective, or learning through adversity, as Edie says creativity courses through the veins of the company.
“From my perspective there [are] many different struggles being an owner of a business for a long time,” Lou explains. “First is developing a team of employees that will produce the quality of work you want produced and creating an atmosphere that encourages that creativity. There’s always a financial struggle.”
So how are these challenges faced? Through being both proactive and reactive, the pair explains. The Goldbergs emphasize their emphasis on the glass being half full for them, while other companies are busy focusing on struggles instead of "blessings." In addition to this positive outlook, Lou Goldberg stresses the importance of staying on top of trends and the need to have extensive involvement with social media to advance in the vast communication world.
With the aim to be a leader in the communications field, for Lou, technology has made it easier to “stay afloat,” as he seeks to identify the next wave of communications technology, "hook onto that" and introduce it to clients with the idea it will become mainstream at some point — and how they'll benefit from it.
"It’s not ‘printing,’" says Lou. "It’s the new way of making a living. I see what is needed in the industry, what people want, and give it to them.”
“It isn’t just about pens and pencils and coming up with creative solutions,” Edie adds. “Having access to all of these different vendors [trade shows in addition to an online presence], we have an opportunity to produce a different kind of solution.”
Then not all dependency lies within the media world. Both Lou and Edie say the majority of business comes to Goodcopy through referral; there is “much to be said about reputation.” The trustworthy and long-standing relationships that have been maintained with clients have occupied a sizable bulk of Goodcopy’s business.
As far as continuing the new client horizon, Lou has got that covered with the help of marketing and sales — thanks to tools such as e-mail blasts — but old-fashioned print still has a place in the mix.
The challenge of adapting to, and even staying ahead, of advancing technology never ceases as the Goldbergs manage to creatively embrace the race to the future, rather than run and hide. Then there are different challenges that require a stronger grasp of the business: namely, the jobs that require thinking not only forward, but backward — literally
As Lou puts it succinctly, “People still need ink on paper.”
NEW HAVEN — Ten local startups made a pitch for some prime investment to take their companies to the next level.
A total of 11 entrepreneurial teams took part in Connecticut Innovations Inc.’s (CII) TechStart Demo Day on May 18, where emerging technology companies got to pitch their companies to venture capital and angel investors in the hopes of winning funding though CII’s TechStart Fund.
The event was the culmination of CII’s TechStart program, which had the teams take part in a ten-week program at Yale’s CTech@Science Park, which provided up to $25,000 of initial funding per team, as well as resources and access to mentors and professional services, to make each company ready to launch.
Seven TechStart Fund teams made their pitches, three of which were born out of last fall’s Startup Weekend New Haven. Four teams in CII’s Pre-Seed Fund program also made pitches for follow-on investments.
The TechStart Fund was created to build tech companies in their early stages and help them determine whether future funding can be obtained. The PreSeed Fund is for companies younger than seven years with fewer than 25 employees, annual revenues of less than $2 million, and with technology in the development stage.
Only two of the 11 teams at the event — New Canaan’s My Luck Club (a social e-commerce site), and Hamden’s Snippet (an online portfolio for photographers and journalists) — were not from New Haven. TechStart teams also included Applivate, which created teen diabetes tracking app ShugaTrak; MeritBooster, a Kickstarter-like funding platform for students ages 13 to 19; industrial waste recycler Red Ox Technologies; liquid cooling developer Scaled Liquid Systems; and Seldera, a Yale-spawned startup developing touchless sensor controls.
The Pre-Seed Fund teams were C8 Sciences, developer of neuroscience-based cognitive improvement products; CMD Bioscience, which specializes in computer-aided analysis, modeling and design of therapeutic peptides; Green Life Guides, which connects eco-conscious consumers with green products and resources; and Grey Wall Software, which developed a mobile app to aid team collaboration during crisis events.
Applicants for the next TechStart Fund program can apply between June 15 and August 15, and the next group of teams will take part in the business accelerator program from mid-September through mid-December.
NEW HAVEN — Software developer Notifyi, LLC received a $150,000 investment from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) to complete development of a cloud-based physician collaboration program.
The platform will allow doctors to communicate securely with other doctors via e-mail, texts, pager and fax; with recipients being able to choose how they receive messages. The system will also include conferencing functions, discussion forums and blogs, as well as message receipts.
Notifyi’s messaging system will adhere to privacy standards laid out in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The CII investment comes from the organization’s Pre-Seed Fund for Connecticut-based startups and early-stage tech companies.
WEST HAVEN — Biochemical company NanoViricides has received a fundamental patent for its anti-virus technology, which will last through 2026.
The US Patent (No. 8,173,764) for “Solubilization and Targeted Delivery of Drugs with Self-Assembling Amphiphilic Polymers” is for the tiny molecules the company has developed intended to combat viruses including influenza, hepatitis and HIV by tricking the virus into landing on artificial host cells that will then destroy the virus.
The patent will be in effect through October 1, 2026, and may be extended.
WALLINGFORD — Cloud hosting provider NextCloud has relocated its U.S. headquarters from Sacramento, Calif. to Wallingford, and the company is bringing some extra cash with it.
The firm, which provides cloud services to enterprise, smart building, health-care, government and education customers, has received a $1 million investment from Connecticut Innovations Inc.’s (CII) Eli Whitney Fund.
The company is developing management capabilities for servers, as well as storage, security, backup and disaster recovery.
WALLINGFORD — Biomedical company CyVek has received a $445,683 grant from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) to continue development of a blood testing platform.
CyVek’s patent-pending system will allow for simultaneous measurement of multiple markers in blood samples; a device that could be useful in determining drug doses for patients.
The CyVek system will consist of an instrument with disposable cartridges, which will measure proteins in blood and other bodily fluids, which would reflect the presence or severity of a disease.
CII awarded the grant through its Eli Whitney Fund as part of $3 million series C round of funding. CII invested $802,500 in the company in 2010.
NEW HAVEN — Biotechs Axerion Therapeutics and MedImmune have joined forces to research and develop a commercial treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
MedImmune is the Maryland-based biologics arm of AstraZeneca, The agreement with Axerion is the first collaboration with AstraZeneca’s new Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit. Axerion has granted an exclusive sublicense to the company to investigate and commercialize a biological approach to binding A-beta oligimers to prion proteins. In return Axerion will receive upfront and milestone payments, plus research and development funding, as well as royalties on product sales.
STORRS — It looks like there will be a different set of wings over Storrs.
The University of Connecticut was granted authority by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly drone aircraft at the school’s campus.
The school’s mechanical engineering department says the authority was granted to build a self-flying helicopter so the United Technologies Research Center can conduct research.
The project involves using a large hobbyist remote control helicopter called the Maxi Joker 3, and will guide research into the development of autonomous navigation and guidance systems.
Project investigator Chengyu Cao says similar work is being done at other universities, including Virginia Tech.
UConn is one of 63 sites authorized to fly drone aircraft in the U.S., 25 of which are also institutions of higher education, though school officials had to dismiss the notion that the FBI would be using UConn to fly surveillance drones.
The project has not yet been funded, and no flights have taken place.
ROCKY HILL — Tech innovation hub Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) hopes to bolster state students’ technology skills for the workforce.
CII is launching the Technology Talent Bridge Program, an initiative to provide learning activity experiences for Connecticut college students (those at least studying for bachelors degrees) through mentored internships at small, technology-based businesses in the state.
The program is designed to ease students’ path to finding jobs post-college, and to keep graduates in the state by linking them with local companies. CII hopes the program will also strengthen school curricula by building industry skills, and stimulate job creation.
Eligible companies must present a student or team of participating students a project involving a technology problem that must be solved within three to nine months. The inaugural internships are set to begin at the end of summer 2012 and continue into the fall and winter months.
Participating companies will be eligible for grants of up to $25,000 for intern compensation.
NEW HAVEN — The Connecticut Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA) is getting a boost to its computer-training program, thanks to First Niagara Bank.
The bank has awarded SAMA a $150,000 grant over three years to support its Empresario Computer Training Program at its offices in New Haven, Hartford and Willimantic. The program will give low- and moderate-income businesses and start-ups instruction in several Microsoft software programs, as well as in Quickbooks accounting software.
Each session will last ten weeks, with 30 hours of training per student, and will cap at 20 students per class. The program is offered twice a year.
The Empresario program was started in 1999 as part of the Empresario Development Center, which focuses on providing small-business owners and entrepreneurs, their family members and employees with education in management, finances, human resources, technology, health and safety.
More information can be found at samact.org.