Category: Beaverton

Silicon Forest and the Identity Management Working Group

Sometimes, I get pretty focused on OpenID-flavored identity management. But there are other startups in town working on a different type of identity management. The kind that involves your offline existence. (If there is a such a thing.)

The Santa Fe Group, a respected consultancy focusing on fraud reduction, has just announced the formation of its “Identity Management Working Group.” Among the group’s top concerns will be the growth of business identity theft, in which bogus entities use existing business names to compromise business accounts.

And the group has two Silicon Forest ties, one direct and one tangential.

First, the direct. Rick Kam of ID Safeguards, a Beaverton-based startup focusing on the identity fraud protection and compromised identity recovery, has been named the chair of the new organization.

“Collaboration is a critical component of curbing identity theft ,” said Kam. “This group will work together and with the industry at large to share knowledge that will find new and effective ways to protect us all.”

Second, the tangential. CheckFree, parent company of recently acquired Hillsboro-based startup Corillian, is also part of the working group.

Interesting news for the Silicon Forest, and perhaps the early rumblings of an opportunity.

What if all of the “identity” focused folks here in town got together and started working on this whole problem? I’m thinking these fraud protection folks, the Portland-based OpenID folks like JanRain, and the soon-to-have-a-Portland-office, rethinking-online-credentials Vidoop folks could have a pretty interesting conversation.

Digital Watermarks: Has Digimarc’s time finally come?

Beaverton-based Digimarc, while far from being a startup, is—like many startups in the Silicon Forest—very much in the position of being way ahead of its time in terms of digital watermarking. (Full disclosure: I used to work there.)

But the impending demise of music DRM may be just the opening Digimarc needs to shine. At least, Wired’s David Kravets thinks so.

In an article entitled “DRM is Dead, But Watermarks Rise From Its Ashes,” he asserts:

Watermarking offers copyright protection by letting a company track music that finds its way to illegal peer-to-peer networks. At its most precise, a watermark could encode a unique serial number that a music company could match to the original purchaser. So far, though, labels say they won’t do that: Warner and EMI have not embraced watermarking at all, while Sony’s and Universal’s DRM-free lineups contain “anonymous” watermarks that won’t trace to an individual.

The article also goes on to mention:

Microsoft is betting on watermarking’s future, winning a patent for a “stealthy audio watermarking” scheme called El Dorado in September.

I’m betting that Digimarc’s digital-watermarking-patent portfolio would likely be an area of interest, as well.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this flag raised. It will be interesting to see if it elicits a rallying cry, this time around.

For more information, visit Digimarc. For more on the benefits of digital watermarking, visit the Digital Watermarking Alliance.

OTBC looking to refill empty nest

The Beaverton-based Open Technology Business Center (OTBC) has recently seen two of its fledging startups—Remote Technologies and Earth Class Mail—leave the nest.

And because of those successful departures, the OTBC has found a bit of room on the ol’ floorplan.

What’s this mean for you? It means that if you’re an early stage high-tech or biotech startup looking for some digs, this could be a perfect match.

So let’s start this little dance, shall we?

To show off the facilities to prospective roomies and to provide some networking opportunities for everyone, the OTBC will be holding a catered open house on November 28:

At the open house, you’ll hear a brief overview of how OTBC helps startups, and you’ll have plenty of time to talk with some of our Entrepreneurs and Ventures in Residence to get the inside scoop on OTBC. We’ll provide munchies and beverages.

For more information on the open house or to RSVP, visit the OTBC Meetup page.

OTBC is a non-profit corporation that helps startup companies succeed with office infrastructure and coaching, advising, networking, entrepreneurship education, and consulting services. As a technology-focused business incubator, OTBC’s goal is to provide participating entrepreneurs and small start-up companies with access to industry leaders and coaches, extensive education programs, and office facilities designed to nurture the next wave of technology-driven companies in the region.

Northwest Innovation interviews YourList CEO

YourList, a recently launched classified service headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, is the latest offering to take on mainstream media classified ads. Oh, and a little Web site called craigslist.

Charlie Parks, CEO of YourList, recently sat down with Northwest Innovation for an interview, discussing YourList and its place in the crowded classified ad market:

[Charlie Parks:] No question that the online classifieds space is crowded right now. A lot of companies are trying to offer a different take on the established Web sites. There is a lot attention on the industry and new sites keep coming out with different business models as they compete for market share. We’ve spent the last couple of years studying the sector and believe there is a lot more room for growth –if you pay attention to the needs of the online consumer.

To read the full interview, visit Northwest Innovation.

YourList takes on Craigslist

Beaverton-based YourList recently announced it was open for business and ready to take your classified ad.

Classifieds can be a challenging space, primarily because most folks tend to think online classifieds are synonymous with a guy named Craig. Still, YourList boasts several features which way help it gain traction:

Users are able to search by city or choose a mileage distance from their zip code. They can set up alerts to notify them when a particular item or job posts in their vicinity, thus saving them valuable time searching listings. Users can also sign up for a free account to manage their posts in one interface without having to confirm their classified ads through numerous emails.

The classified listing service is free. Job postings will run $15.

Next, YourList has to see if they can overcome the traffic conundrum. Given that they just launched as a tabula rasa, postings are slim, at best. Classic chicken or the egg. You need traffic to get listings, and you need listings to drive traffic.

In attempt to short-circuit this problem, YourList is giving away iPhones. One a month, for a year.

For more information, visit YourList.

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