Tag: Portland

Elemental Technologies sparks $7.1 million investment

Now, I don’t usually write about traditional software companies. But it seemed like this one definitely deserved it.

Portland-based Elemental Technologies has secured more than $7 million in its first round of funding.

Okay. So what’s being funded and why am I writing about it?

Utilizing general purpose, programmable “off-the-shelf” graphics processing units (GPUs), ETI software performs video encoding, transcoding, and filtering at unprecedented speeds while maintaining the highest video quality.

Who’s a-what-uh hunh? Okay. Maybe this will help:

[This technology] allows consumers to format their media up to 10 times faster than existing solutions.

Ah ha! Now you’re talking.

With the growing popularity of services like Seesmic, Vimeo (Portland connection), and Viddler—oh and that little site called YouTube—it’s obvious that video is very much a part of our future existence in the Web world. And while any number of companies have come up with ways to deliver that video content on the Web, there always seems to be one major sticking point to widespread adoption: Encoding video content for posting is excruciatingly slow.

To be successful, we’re going to have to be able to encode and upload video as quickly as we can download it. And Elemental may just be able to deliver.

According to NewTeeVee:

The first product out from Elemental is consumer oriented, will arrive sometime before September and is expected to cost between $30 and $100, depending on the features. The software will allow consumers to take HD inputs such as a Blu-ray disc or homemade HD video and rip it to a computer, iPod or other device five to 10 times faster than existing technologies using the CPU.

No doubt, the infusion of cash will go a long way in promoting this offering—and ensuring that development continues.

Industry-leaders General Catalyst Partners of Boston, Massachusetts and Voyager Capital of Seattle, Washington co-led this $7.1M investment. Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and the Silicon Forest blog notes:

In Oregon’s venture capital community, [Elemental]’s new investment represents the second big funding round this month. Last week, NexPlanar Corp., a small semiconductor company that recently moved to Hillsboro, announced it had raised $14.5 million in venture capital.

And let’s hope that greases the skids for other Silicon Forest startups looking for some backing.

For more information on the funding, see the Elemental press release on the investment. For more on the company and its technology, visit Elemental Technologies.

Portland Start-up Index for July 2008: Clicky and Vidoop debut in top 20

Hard to believe, but it’s already time for another Portland Start-up Index from Techvibes.

For July, three new Portland startups have joined the listing, which is based on Alexa and Compete rankings. Clicky debuted at 6, Vidoop at 15, and GreenRenter at 46.

The top five slots remained static, but there was a great deal of movement further down the list. Kryptiq was the highest riser, moving up three slots to 37. Others slid substantially. GoSeeTell dropped 10 slots to 49, (my own) Kumquat dropped nine to 52, and IDP Solutions down eight to the last spot on the list.

Enough analysis. Here’s the list:

  1. AboutUs
  2. Kongregate
  3. Discogs
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. Frappr
  6. Clicky
  7. Jive Software
  8. Splashcast
  9. MyOpenID
  10. Earth Class Mail
  11. Sandy
  12. Platial
  13. Gone Raw
  14. eROI
  15. Vidoop
  16. NetworthIQ
  17. Stikkit
  18. GadgetTrak
  19. Active Reload
  20. Walker Tracker
  21. Grabbit
  22. Attensa
  23. Iovation
  24. Iterasi
  25. Art Face Off
  26. UrbanDrinks
  27. Pibb
  28. ChoiceA
  29. KnitMap
  30. Lunarr
  31. FreeRange
  32. Goboz
  33. Rocketbook
  34. WeoGeo
  35. Jama Software
  36. fmyi
  37. Kryptiq
  38. GoLife Mobile
  39. Picktastic
  40. MomHub
  41. Imindi
  42. VocalNation.net
  43. Cendix
  44. Pheedo
  45. Workplace2go
  46. GreenRenter
  47. Box Populi
  48. Collaborative Software Initiative
  49. GoSeeTell
  50. Avnera
  51. Lightfleet
  52. Kumquat
  53. YourList
  54. Techchex
  55. Worldwide Nest
  56. IDP Solutions

For more on the movement of these sites, including the Alexa and Compete rankings that determine position, see the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index for July 2008.

WordCamp Portland begins drafting plans for September 27

Hard to believe, but WordCamp Portland is only a few months away. So now, it’s the time for planning. And getting folks ready to lead sessions.

That’s why Aaron Hockley has scheduled a WordCamp Portland planning session this Thursday, July 17, at the Green Dragon starting at 6:00 PM. What’s on the agenda?

We’re going to nail down some details on registration, scheduling, speakers, and facilities/logistics. All are welcome; volunteers are needed….

We’re actively seeking those who want to lead a discussion. If you have an idea for a session, please contact Aaron Hockley with your idea. Any topic related to WordPress could be a potential WordCamp session.

WordCamp is a grassroots event centered around using and hacking WordPress, a popular blogging engine and content management system. In fact, you’re soaking in it. Silicon Florist runs on WordPress.

WordCamp Portland will be held on September 27th, 2008 at CubeSpace. For more information or to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, visit WordCamp Portland.

Vidoop scoops up Bob Uva

VidoopPortland-based Vidoop continues to attract leading talent. Their latest hire, Bob Uva, is an industry veteran with an impressive development history. His most recent efforts have been focused on .NET C# distributed application development.

So what does Vidoop gain with Bob’s talents? Good question. And I say that, mostly, because it’s exactly the same question I asked Bob.

“I have been a software developer for twenty-two years, working mostly with the Microsoft stack, everything from Windows 16-bit to 32-bit programming in C, C++ and C#/.NET,” said Uva. “I bring a lot of experience with Microsoft technologies to Vidoop, as well as a desire to help the company realize a larger vision in open web technologies for identity management and security.”

Glad to see the Vidoop team continue to grow even as they ready themselves for a mass influx of Tulsa talent. I, for one, can’t wait to see what this team is able to accomplish.

For more information, see Bob’s profile on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit his personal blog. For more on the company, visit Vidoop.

Charlene Li tweet up Wednesday night at the Governor

[Update] Unfortunately, due to a flight delay, Charlene Li will be unable to make it tonight.

The parade of A-listers continues through Portland.

This time, it’s Charlene Li, co-author of Groundswell and (until very recently) a Forrester analyst focusing on social media.

Charlene will be in Portland to speak at the Internet Strategy Forum. And while I highly encourage you to attend the event, I wanted to let you know that you’ve also got the opportunity to meet Charlene in a more casual environment. At the Governor on Wednesday night.

Charlene Li Portland Tweet up

This is one of those rare opportunities to spend time with one of the thought leaders in the industry. And truly one of the leading proponents for the corporate use of social media.

Geek or not, it’s not an opportunity that should be passed up. (Which, as cruel irony would have it, is the very thing that I will be doing.)

If you’re considering meeting up tweeting up with Charlene (and I highly encourage you to take the chance to do so—or wasn’t that obvious?), please RSVP via Upcoming.

I’ll be living vicariously through your tweets, from my hotel room in Chicago.

(Hat tip Justin Kistner)

SplashCast lures MySpace exec, goes Hollywood (literally)

Portland-based SplashCast, a service that has become one of the entertainment industry’s favorite ways to create immersive advertisements for social networks and Web sites, has finally gone Hollywood by luring a MySpace executive to the company.

Today, SplashCast announced the launch of its Los Angeles office with the hiring of Tim Lane from MySpace—not to be confused with Tom from MySpace, who is everybody’s friend.

According to the release, the hiring and expansion was sparked by the traction the company has seen in the entertainment industry, especially with regards to MySpace where SplashCast currently owns the lion’s share of top music apps:

SplashCast’s Los Angeles-based office will open later this summer. This expansion reflects the company’s recent successes in helping major brands reach social network site users. According to statistics presented on the MySpace music application directory more SplashCast music applications in general have been shared and installed on individual MySpace pages than any other artist-specific applications across the entire MySpace application platform.

As far as Lane’s role goes, he will be heading up the SplashCast sales team and helping manage the company’s continued—and apparently aggressive—expansion plans. Which will likely be fueled by SplashCast’s funding, announced earlier this year:

Lane will be responsible for managing SplashCast’s sales team based out of the company’s new Los Angeles sales office scheduled to open later this summer. In his new position, Lane will be responsible for managing SplashCast’s US based sales team out of the company’s new Los Angeles office and opening offices throughout New York, Chicago and San Francisco within the coming months.

Given this continued interaction with companies outside of Portland, one would begin to wonder if SplashCast was long for our Portland climes.

Well, okay, I wonder.

Not that it completely allays my fears, but one thing that might point to them sticking around Portland is the fact that they’ve recently graduated from the Portland State Business Accelerator to their own digs in Old Town.

Time will tell if the draw to a more big-media hub is in the works, or if the LA office will simply remain a satellite for this Portland-based company.

For more information on SplashCast, see the SplashCast release on the expansion and the new hire.

Ignite Portland 4: Thanksgiving comes two weeks early

Ignite Portland 4Seems like it was just yesterday that we were still basking in the afterglow of the last Ignite Portland.

But, as well all know, that Ignite Portland blaze is a hard one to keep under control. So it comes as no surprise that, fast on the heels of the last event, the Legion of Tech has announced the date and location for Ignite Portland 4.

So mark your calendars, kids. It’s two weeks before Thanksgiving, November 13. And as with the past two, the Bagdad Theater will serve as the venue.

Other details? You know the drill.

First, RSVP for Ignite Portland 4 on Upcoming.

Second, start thinking up your presentation ideas. Like now.

And I’ll make sure to give you a heads up as to when it’s time to submit. Because I’m looking forward to seeing your proposal.

Mashing Twitter and Identi.ca: Following the conversation

[Editor: I always love a good hack. So when Gary Walter approached me, asking for somewhere to publish this technique, I jumped at the chance. Hopefully, this will be useful to many of you who are straddling the worlds of Twitter and Identi.ca.]

I found Twitter through Jott.com. Being a consummate earlier adopter, and seeing a tool that I had not yet tried, I had to sign up. Little did I know that I was a late-bloomer when it came to Twitter. But, late or not, I dove right in and haven’t looked back.

Fail Whale

Like many, I’ve found the frequent appearance of the Fail Whale discouraging, if not downright frustrating. Not only has Twitter expanded my horizons, it has become an essential tool. Other services just don’t offer the same means to an end.

There are many who have jumped onto FriendFeed in a frenzy of gluttonous excitement. But I haven’t found FriendFeed to meet that real-time need.

Pownce and Jaiku are both serious contenders that many extol as having “superior architecture.” However, the threaded conversations break down the flow in much the way FriendFeed does.

There is something about the simplicity of Twitter that empowers open conversation, almost like SecondLife but without the sexy avatars.

And, of course, there have been a number of other attempts to steal the userbase of Twitter. But most of these attempts have misinterpreted the appeal of Twitter. (Don’t even get me started on Plurking!)

Then, last week, a Canadian company released an open source competitor to Twitter—on the Fourth of July no less!

Identi.ca reproduced many of the features we like about Twitter, but didn’t introduce a lot of the stuff we don’t like about Pownce, Jaiku, and Plurk. In short, identi.ca is simple and because of its architecture, there is a great potential for scalability—something Twitter hasn’t been able to achieve.

So, I quickly jumped on the identi.ca bandwagon. It is everything I like about Twitter, but without the community of users I’ve come to love at Twitter.

Which leaves darting among multiple conversation streams.

So now I have conversations in multiple places

I, like many, have been evangelizing Ping.fm as a great tool to crosspost to all of the sites I’ve mentioned above. Some are using Hellotxt.com, but either will accomplish this task.

But this doesn’t solve my real problem—receiving posts from multiple sites. Ping.fm is like a reverse Grandcentral.com. It allows me to contact all my contact points at once. But what I need is a Grandcentral.com for my microblogging sites.

I need to follow the conversations – as @turoczy said to me last night, regarding following replies via RSS: “Yes, but then I can’t listen to the conversation. I can only listen to people talking to me.

So, as an INTJ, I am constantly looking at new ideas. I’ve thrown some pings out there to try and be a catalyst to my tech-geek friends, but I’ve not seen anyone bite. (Maybe they’re too busy with their day jobs.)

Anyway, I’ve been working on this #afterhours for about a week. I’ve experimented with FriendFeed, Google Reader, Swurl, Lifestream.fm, and almost every Twitter app I could find on del.icio.us. I tried to develop a Pipe to do this, but I kept running into roadblocks—mainly because Twitter’s RSS is broken. FAIL!

Combining Twitter and Identi.ca into one feed

Then I had a mindstorm, and came up with this solution. (I’m assuming the reader of this post knows how to sign-up and create the various accounts and services mentioned. If not, you probably won’t need this solution.)

  1. Install, and use, this GreaseMonkey script . If you haven’t discovered all the cool G-Monkey scripts available for FriendFeed, this is your opportunity and this author has a few of the great ones.
  2. Add as many friends on FriendFeed as you want.
  3. Click on the Twitter only link/filter as provided by the above script.
  4. Subscribe to the RSS feed created by FriendFeed and post it in your reader.
  5. Go to identi.ca and subscribe to your “All” RSS feed.
  6. Now, here is where it gets fun: I put both of these feeds in a new folder/tag and made that folder public. Google Reader gives me a link that I can share here. Or, I can just view it in Google Reader. (You can go directly to FriendFeed and read the feed there. Also, I’m thinking there must be a good way to use Twhirl with this filtered feed. But, I haven’t had the time to experiment with that yet.)

Thanks to Silicon Florist for letting me share this process with you all. We would be thrilled to hear about your experiments in the comments. And if someone can figure out how to get this to work via Twhirl—and a Twitter/identi.ca mix on FriendFeed—we’d like to hear that too.

OSCON 2008: Prepping for Portland, Oregon

Portland skyline at night

We here in Portland, Oregon, like to think of our town as the de facto hub of open source and open web technologies. I mean, Linus Torvalds lives around here, so does Ward Cunningham.

And, that’s not all. We’ve got the OpenID contingent with Vidoop and JanRain, too. What’s more, Portland is home to a bunch of cool open source shops and developers. Oh, and don’t forget, we used to host RailsConf, too.

But there’s one little get-together that causes our collective open source head to swell ever so slightly. And that event is just around the corner.

OSCON 2008, the premiere open source conference, will be again gracing Portland with its presence, beginning July 21. And with it, thousands of open source types will be descending upon town. No doubt, many of them will be wondering, “What the heck am I supposed to do when I’m not in sessions?”

Have no fear, open source aficionado! There are a few activities with which you can keep yourself entertained, a handful of establishments where you can slake your thirst, and a joint or two where you can get your fill of vittles.

As you’re planning your trip to Portland, here are some links that might help:

  • Hacking PDX: A geek’s guide to Portland International Airport
    “We have a great airport with plenty of features that just about any traveler could need. But, despite all its ease-of-use, there are always a few tips-and-tricks that make the experience that much better.”
  • Falling in love with Portland, again and again
    “This is the beginning of a fantastic renaissance period for Portland. It’s such a vibrant, eclectic, talented and diverse city with so many things going on, that it inspires the mind and spirit around every corner you turn.”
  • Amy Winkelman says “Hi Vidoop, Welcome to Portland!” (An extensive primer on the Rose City)
    “As a native Oregonian and fanatic Portlander, I love recommending things to new folks visiting the city.”
  • What to do in Portland while you’re at RailsConf (or OSCON)
    “If you’re attending RailsConf this year and are from out of town, you might be like me when you’re in another city: I don’t really find much outside of the touristy areas, or what’s immediately around where I’m staying. But you’re in luck! I live here in Portland, Oregon and I have a list of places to go and things to do that I think are quintessential Portland.”
  • Portland’s top 30 tech Twitter-ers
    “And that got me thinking. I began to wonder: Who is at the top of the Twitter heap when it comes to Portland startup and tech types? Who has the most ‘influence’? Who is the holder of the mythical ‘Twitter juice’?”

Still feel like you need some help? Drop a comment here, or feel free to ping me on Twitter. Or look for me at OSCON. I’d be happy to answer any Portland questions for you.

Whatever your question, rest assured that Portvangelists are standing by.

Photo courtesy Matt McGee used under Creative Commons.

Portland Web Innovators’ Demolicious features five new apps

Last week marked the debut of Portland Web Innovators “Demolicious,” an opportunity for folks to provide a quick demo of some of the new apps and side projects on which they’ve been working.

The event was well attended and has been extremely well covered by Amber Case, Doug Coleman, organizer Adam DuVander, Dawn Foster, and Bram Pitoyo.

So I’m going to do what I do best and steal round-up their content:

Matt King demoed the Interface Content Management Framework (Pre-release)

  • Matt King: “It’s a content management system for content management systems.”
  • Amber Case: “Watching King make a website is like watching a chef make something, put it in the oven, pause the camera, and take it out again, completely finished. Except there’s no baking time.”
  • Doug Coleman: “For someone like myself that is interested in building content managed sites, this is cool. It should make my life easier. I will look for it when it is released.”
  • Dawn Foster: “It’s a pretty slick DIY, highly customizable CMS.”

Don Park demoed Do-it-yourself Friendfeed: An XFN spider. (Early release)

  • Amber Case: “He’s working on solving the problem that everyone faces when they join social networks and have to re-enter all of their social connections.”
  • Adam DuVander: “Try your Twitter page and see where it takes you.”
  • Dawn Foster: “The spider is pretty cool, and I’m going to have to take a closer look at this. It also reminded me to finish adding my rel=”me” tags; I added a couple a while ago, but was distracted by something shiny and never finished adding them.”

Lev Tsypin demoed Green Renter (Available)

I’ve had the opportunity to cover Green Renter before. It’s a service that helps people find green housing options in the Portland area.

  • Amber Case: “The founders also own greenowner.com and are looking into develop that, but feel it is more important to really nail down a niche before going on to develop other things.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Once again, Portlanders are leading the way in the whole ‘green’ movement.”
  • Dawn Foster: “The goal is to be the resource for sustainable buildings starting in Portland, but expanding out to other areas.”

Kevin Chen demoed Metroseeq (Available)

Metroseeq automatically find deals and coupons from local restaurants. The Wheel of Meals alone makes it worth a visit. And the recalibrating search algorithm makes is pretty cool, too.

  • Amber Case: “The ability for users to be able to find information from both offline and online sources effectively is the difference between Citysearch and Yelp.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Any product that grew from a college student’s free food association is alright in my book.”

Mounir Shita demoed GoLife Mobile (Available)

GoLife Mobile allows developers to build apps for use on any Java-enabled mobile handset using GoLife’s framework.

  • Amber Case: “It’s as semantic as a roving a meeting maker that negotiates meetups across dynamic time and space, as if the entire geography were a mobile, roaming office.”
  • Doug Coleman: “Their built-in advertising generator automatically generates revenue for your applications and objects and shares it with you.”
  • Dawn Foster: “It’s an object-oriented development framework with a revenue share built in to give developers a way to monetize their applications.”

And the most important part?

“As always, I am blown away by the things that are happening in the Portland Web Community,” wrote Amber Case. “Something amazing is happening in Portland. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone I meet is always working on something so interesting, and has an positive and innovative mindset on their shoulders. I’m eager to see what’s next.”

Doug Coleman echoes her response. “There are so many exciting things happening in Portland,” he writes. “I am happy to be part of such a thriving, creative and nurturing scene. I am looking forward to the next event put on by PDX Web Innovators.”

It’s like I always say. Everyone here has at least one side project; a side project that—anywhere else—would be a fully funded full-time job.

Cool stuff happening, to be sure. And that’s why I eagerly await the next Demolicious.

%d bloggers like this: