NEW HAVEN — Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Have an idea for a new business you want to develop and bring to market? Well, it’s time again to make it happen.
The fourth Startup Weekend New Haven is taking place November 14-16, throwing budding entrepreneurs and tech people together into groups to develop a startup company over 54 maddening hours, presenting at the close of the weekend to have a crack at three prizes that offer varying amounts of resources and investment cash to take their companies to the next step.
Applivate is to date the only Startup Weekend-birthed company to have brought its product — the diabetes-tracking smartphone app ShugaTrak — to market. The company emerged from New Haven’s first Startup Weekend in 2011; ShugaTrak went on sale in fall 2013.
For more information and to register for this year’s event, visit newhaven.startupweekend.org.
WEST HAVEN — A University of New Haven (UNH) cyber forensics group has exposed a laundry list of security flaws in the Android smartphone platform that could affect as many as 968 million users.
UNH’s Cyber Forensics Research & Education Group (cFREG) exposed the security issues via five videos uploaded to its YouTube account (youtube.com/unhcfreg) in mid-September. The videos covered instances of security flaws, breaches of privacy and vulnerabilities in over a dozen chat, dating and social media apps on the Android platform including OKCupid, Instagram and Meet Me.
As demonstrated in the cFREG videos, the group tested the vulnerabilities on a Windows test network with an Android phone, allowing the group to monitor all sent and received traffic. Chats, photos and personal communications between two mobile devices were shown as being recorded and stored on the test network unencrypted, along with passwords and other private information. The companies behind each app involved in the trials have been contacted by cFREG about the group’s findings, which follow tests last spring that found security flaws in the WhatsApp text-messaging app.
cFREG was established in fall 2013 as part of UNH’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science to research digital forensics, security and privacy issues. The group includes students Daniel Walnycky of Orange, Jason Moore of Branford and Armindo Rodrigues of Bethel. cFREG encourages smartphone users to learn how to run their own security checks.
WEST HAVEN — Local pharmaceutical firm NanoViricides is hot on the heels of the Ebola virus and the growing world public-health threat its reemergence is posing.
The company is currently progressing in development of novel drug treatments for the virus that may work in spite of mutations. It has some previous research into Ebola treatments under its belt already, but those were sidelined to finish development of its leading drug candidate, the anti-flu treatment Injectable FluCide, in 2013.
The company is currently in negotiations with regard to testing the eventual treatments and has the capacity to produce the drug for clinical trials at its Shelton manufacturing facility.
The World Health Organization reports a total 3,967 suspected Ebola cases and 2,105 deaths as of this September. The virus has no known cure.
Looks like Connecticut’s technology infrastructure is movin’ on up.
The Center for Digital Government’s 2014 Digital States Survey, which biennially grades state governments on their use of information technology to serve the public, gave high marks to Connecticut with an A-minus grade. This was a big improvement from the last survey in 2012, when the state merely pulled a C.
The jump netted the Nutmeg State first place recognition as “Most Improved,” as well for “Adaptive Leadership.” Connecticut also earned second-place recognition in the “Health & Human Services” category.
Connecticut shared its A-minus grade with four other states (including Pennsylvania). Only three states earned an A (Michigan, Missouri and Utah).
New York earned a B grade, and Massachusetts a B-minus. Just one state got the lowest grade of C-minus: Alaska.
MERIDEN — Vaccine and biopharmaceutical developer Protein Sciences has scored major funding for research into lung cancer treatments.
The company received a $669,156 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Cancer Institute, through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
The company will use the money, partnering with the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA) and Beverly Hills biopharmaceutical company Vault Nano, to produce vaults (barrel-shaped molecular capsules) that deliver chemokine protein treatments directly to cancerous cells, while stimulating the immune system to identify and attack the cancer cells.
The company used similar technology to develop its flu vaccine Flublok. The new cancer drug is in early stage research.
NORWALK — A California tech company is acquiring Bolt Technology in a $171 million deal.
Teledyne Technologies produces electronics for engineering systems, aerospace and defense, digital imaging (including software) and instruments. Teledyne is acquiring Bolt to expand its range of marine-instrumentation products.
Founded in 1965, Bolt produces marine seismic energy sources and parts for offshore energy exploration, as well as underwater cables and connectors, controllers and auxiliary equipment. It also designs and manufactures remote-operated underwater vehicles through its SeaBotix brand.
ROCKY HILL — Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state’s quasi-public technology investment arm, has announced the upcoming launch of the fourth annual Sikorsky STEM Challenge. The event, designed to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and workforce development by creating opportunities for students to apply their classroom learning and innovative thinking to real-life technical challenges, will ask nearly 150 students to reconfigure the Corsair aircraft to deliver as much potable water as possible in a 72-hour period from Beaumont, Tex. to Wichita Falls, Tex. Winners of the challenge will be awarded in May 2015 at the Student Innovation Expo in Hartford.
Are you an established small Connecticut technology company seeking interns? Then you may wish to consider Connecticut Innovations Inc.’s (CII) Technology Talent Bridge program, which makes grants of up to $25,000 available to help tech firms attract and hire the state’s top talent.
The Technology Talent Bridge Program is intended to develop stronger university-industry collaborations in Connecticut for the purpose of strengthening the state’s workforce and retaining talent in the state. Its mission is to provide experiential learning activities for university, college, and community college students (associate degree and above) currently enrolled in a degree program at a higher education institution or a Connecticut resident attending an out-of-state higher education institution through technology and innovation-based internships at existing small businesses that will lead to employment for the students.
There is a limit of one Talent Bridge project per company per 24-month period. The primary use of funds is to provide for student internship compensation, with a total funding maximum of $25,000 per project. A 50-percent match is required (25 percent in cash and 25 percent in kind).
Companies must have been in business for at least 12 months and registered as a business in Connecticut with the office of the Secretary of the State prior to submittal of a project plan and budget. For companies that have moved or set up operations in Connecticut within the last 12 months, evidence of prior registration in another state will be accepted.
Only junior, senior and master's level students who are currently attending a university or college are eligible to participate. Students attending community colleges must be pursuing an associate degree or professional certification. All students must be hired as W-2 employees. No 1099 relationships are allowed.
NEW HAVEN — A New Haven platform is keeping an eye not just on the power meter, but on the building itself to help owners manage energy costs.
Developed by Science Park-based Seldera, Building Dynamics is a software platform that measures energy usage in buildings but also employs sensor technology (such as occupancy sensors) to track the usage behaviors of people occupying the buildings to spotlight energy inefficiency or redundancy.
This technology has made it a useful tool for large facilities such as manufacturing centers, universities and other large-capacity structures where there is large variability of use. Building Dynamics is in use by 30 companies and municipalities including Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport and various industrial sites locally, as well as in larger-scale projects in Chicago and at the University of Illinois.
Seldera was founded in 2011 and acquired by Middletown-based energy management company Amaresco the following year. This summer Building Dynamics was adopted by Massachussets-based energy provider Energy New England to work in tandem with its own management software.
Seldera CEO and founder Andreas Savvides, a former Yale University professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has a background in researching sensor technology. He saw an opportunity in using the potential information gathered from sensors as useful in energy-efficiency applications.
That even includes new buildings. The technology was demo’d in several Yale buildings, including the 2009-commissioned Rosenkranz Hall, where initial tests of Building Dynamics spotted 20 percent more potential energy-saving measures than were already in use.
“That made the case pretty clear that even when buildings are recently commissioned, once they’re occupied and the occupants come in and figure out how they’re going to use the building, there are additional savings you can find,” Savvides explains.
Building Dynamics users can leverage information gained from sensors to monitor everything from occupant behavior to building automation systems to better manage energy use. It can even zero in on individual breakers.
“The ability to expose information and communicate how the energy is consumed raises awareness and triggers people at all levels to try and save,” Savvides says. “Sometimes it’s just behavioral changes like turning off a light switch when you leave a room, but also it can be in building automation systems. People might be in a building for ten hours a day, but the systems run for up to 22 hours per day. That’s a redundancy.”
The platform even factors in changes in weather and fluctuating building occupancy, such as for holidays. This makes Building Dynamics a better fit for large buildings and college campuses where there is significant variability of use throughout the calendar year. Its primary customers in Connecticut are industrial.
“Connecticut shines with very specialized manufacturing, and this means sometimes you can’t just buy a new machine off the shelf,” Savvides says. “So having the ability to manage energy is key to those businesses’ survival.”
It’s that basis in information that Savvides says sets Building Dynamics apart from competing platforms from companies like Schneider Electric or Siemens. He plans additional functionality and controls in the platform in the near future, including for lights and thermostats.
“The way technology is maturing today [is] enabling a whole suite of smaller systems, controllers, sensors and thermostats,” he says. “That technology is going to enable us to keep integrating more pieces into Building Dynamics.”
It’s time again for the cream to rise to the top.
Fourteen area companies were among the 40 named to the seventh annual Marcum Tech Top 40, an annual list of Connecticut’s fastest growing technology companies.
The elect are divided into six categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Energy/Environment/Green Technology, IT Services, Life Sciences, New Media/Internet/Telecom and Software, with one winner from each being announced at an October 2 event at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. An overall winner demonstrating the largest growth across all tech sectors will also be announced.
Local companies making the grade this year include:
• Advanced Manufacturing: APS Technology (Wallingford) • Energy/Environmental/Green Technology: Proton OnSite (Wallingford)
• IT Services: Cervalis (Shelton)
• Life Sciences: Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Cheshire), Bio-Med Devices (Guilford)
• New Media/Internet/Telecom: HealthPlanOne (Shelton), iSend (Middlebury); Reality Interactive (Middletown) • Software: Clarity Software Solutions (Madison), Core Informatics (Branford), Fitlinxx (Shelton), Higher One (New Haven), Square 9 Softworks (New Haven), Tangoe (Orange).
Eligible companies are those who have a demonstrated record of growth in each of the past four years, generate a minimum of $3 million in annual revenue (although four of this year’s finalists have broken through the $1 billion barrier).
The Marcum Tech Top 40 is a joint program of the Connecticut Technology Council and investment firm Marcum, LLP. More information and a full list of the Top 40 may be viewed at ct.org.
WALLINGFORD — Emerging startups get another chance to show what they’ve got this year at the Connecticut Innovation Summit, the state’s largest entrepreneurial confab.
The Summit features exhibits from 150 early stage and growing companies hoping to attract the attention of potential partners, investors, customers and talent. There also will be mentor meetings, a funding fair for business owners to meet capital sources and services including investors, incubators and government programs, a “Pitch Fest” for companies to give a three-minute presentation before a panel of judges (think: Shark Tank), and awards ceremony recognizing the most promising talent.
The Innovation Summit takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. November 12 at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. Particulars can be found at ct.org.