Sunday, March 31, 2013

New App Lets You Delve Into Industry News

Launched in November of 2012, Delve is a social news reader for organizations. With the information landscape so crowded, the team at Delve discovers and curates news in select industries, including technology, education, energy, healthcare, politics, environment, and media and advertising. Delve delivers the news relevant to your industry, profession, or company, making it easy for you to monitor your field and follow industry leaders and experts.

As a social app, Delve also allows for easy sharing of important news among co-workers. You can recommend articles, start discussions, see what your team is reading, and save important articles for future reference. In addition, Delve sends daily or weekly newsletters and an email roundup of your team's activity.

Based in New York City and San Francisco, Delve believes that quality journalism and information can lead to better decision makers, problem solvers, organizations, and individuals. The startup aims to help teams turn news into knowledge and knowledge into action.

Kuato Studios Introduces a Fun, New Way to Learn Code

Kids want new ways to learn. According to studies, they want tools that are interactive, challenging, and graphically rich. Kuato Studios, a London- and Palo Alto-based development studio, is rising to the challenge of creating a gaming platform that makes learning fun and engaging. Founded in 2011 by Frank Meehan, Kuato develops apps and games that teaches the principles of code, science, and design in a supplemental non-school environment. The studio's first product, Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior, is a JavaScript-based strategy game where players build their warrior robot and write code in order to move, fight, and survive.

Meehan, who serves as Kuato's chief executive officer, says his company is focused on making coding fun. “We want to innovate when it comes to teaching our kids. The whole point is to get kids to learn, but it is targeted at anyone who wants to program.”

In Hakitzu, you are assigned a code warrior robot that you can modify in a “chop shop”. You learn JavaScript in a battle arena and write code to add weapons and make your robot perform an action. The game will tell you if you make a mistake in your coding. There is also a full tutorial to get your feet wet. According to Meehan, “Nobody has done anything like this before. By the end of it, you will learn variables, functions, core construction of code, and syntax for JavaScript. That's just the first pack.”

Hakitzu is available for free on the iPad (versions 2 to 4) and iPad Mini. Updates will be released every four weeks based on user feedback.

Backed by SRI International and Horizons Ventures, Kuato currently has 22 employees who came from notable game studios such as Konami, EA, Rockstar Games, and Sony. The team consists of award-winning education experts as well.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teespring: Custom Shirts Made Easy

Dubbed “a Kickstarter for T-shirts” by VentureBeat, Teespring is a Y Combinator startup that allows amateur merchandisers and marketers to create and sell custom tees. Users create a T-shirt design, upload it to the Teespring website, set a goal for the number of shirts they wish to sell, and promote the tee on their own site using an embedded sales page. If the sales goal is reached, Teespring will print and ship the shirt while the user collects the profit; if not, the campaign simply gets canceled.

Teespring was co-founded by Brown University alums Walker Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton. A few years ago, a local college dive bar was raided by police and shut down, leaving students angry. The enterprising duo realized that a T-shirt would bring the campus together, so they designed a shirt with the bar's name and logo and posted it on Facebook. They sold hundreds of tees within 24 hours and soon received requests from other people who also wanted to sell T-shirts to their communities.

Launched in April of 2012, Teespring has already reached $750,000 in monthly revenue.

Inovus: Innovative Solar Street Lighting

Founded in 2007, Inovus delivers world-class, outdoor solar lighting solutions. Not much has changed in outdoor and area lighting since the early 1900s, and traditional street lighting is expensive to operate and maintain yet provides relatively poor light quality. Current street lighting also releases billions of tons of greenhouse gases each year. Moreover, the cost to establish the infrastructure to support traditional outdoor lighting in remote and developing markets is very high. Inovus aims to address all these issues with a new generation of innovative products.

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Inovus offers solar street lighting that are well-designed in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. Economically and environmentally superior to traditional street and area lighting technologies, the company's products combine solar energy generation and LED light fixtures to create extremely efficient, truly net-zero lighting systems. All Inovus systems feature a unique pole design that provides the lowest operating costs in the industry. A thin, flexible solar collector wraps around the pole, creating a self-cleaning design that eliminates wind and snow loading. Additionally, all components are contained in a secure compartment within the base of the pole, resulting in easier installation, lower maintenance costs, and enhanced safety. 

Inovus seeks to use creative technology solutions and business models to significantly improve the economic and environmental impact of street and area lighting. Inovus currently has installations across the United States and in other countries such as Brazil, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. In the US, the company's products can be found lighting up the cities of Boise, Louisville, Atlanta, Henderson, Boaz, San Francisco, Tucson, and more. Establishments that are reducing their carbon footprint and operating costs through Inovus solar street lighting include the University of Texas, West Los Angeles Community College, Fresno Air National Guard Base, various Army Reserve Centers, and WinCo Foods.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taboola Curates Video Content for Publishers, Makes 1.5 Billion Recs Daily

The premier content distribution and monetization platform on the web, Taboola connects people with content they may like by making personalized video recommendations. Taboola accomplishes this through its EngageRank technology, which analyzes how users interact with content in real time in order to accurately predict and recommend videos that may interest them, including those from external sites.

Founded in 2007, Taboola is used by brands and publishers to recirculate their own traffic and gain ROI. Clients include, USAToday, NY Times, Fox, and Bloomberg. Serving 1.5 billion recommendations per day, Taboola grew 7.5 times in revenue in 2012.

Adam Singolda, founder and CEO, says he started the company with a long-term vision to help content owners worldwide tell their stories to the right audience. “We all have stories to tell; the only reason people are not searching for them yet is because they don't know they exist. That's not how it is supposed to be.”

Indeed: Delivering More Jobs Than Any Other Site

The number one job site in the world, Indeed was launched in 2004 by Paul Forster and Rony Kahan. With offices in the US, England, and Ireland, Indeed gives job seekers in more than 50 countries free access to millions of jobs from thousands of job boards, company websites, newspapers, and associations. A recent study by SilkRoad revealed that Indeed delivers more hires than CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn combined. In January 2013, the site saw over 100 million unique visitors who searched and applied to jobs, posted resumes, researched salaries, rated and reviewed companies, and more. In fact, Indeed pulls in more than half of the job search traffic in the US. Global traffic continues to increase as well, with the fastest growth happening in Russia, Japan, Australia, India, and South Africa.

According to vice president of product Chris Hyams, “We've been working incredibly hard to get jobs the minute they are posted in every country. Our key metric is people getting jobs.” He also shares that since its inception, the company has remained focused on having more jobs on the site, making the site as fast as possible, and providing the best possible experience for job seekers.

At any given time, there are 16 million jobs in every industry, at every skill level, and in every country on Indeed. The site's comprehensiveness attracts more than one new account every second, which translates to over 3 million new signups per month. This past January alone, job hunters posted 2 million resumes, conducted 3 billion searches, and those who got jobs shared 57,000 success stories. Indeed also reigns on mobile, ranking first among job apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad. A third of all searches on Indeed come from a mobile device. And while Indeed is already the world's leading job site, the company intends to continuously improve the experience of finding jobs for its millions of users.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lloyd Schwed and the Schwed, Kahle & Jenks, P.A. Team: Experienced in Complex Litigation Defense and Arbitration Matters

In guiding Schwed, Kahle & Jenks, P.A., Lloyd Schwed maintains a respected Florida litigation and insurance defense firm with offices throughout the state. He and his five partners have more than a century of combined experience in law and are supported by a dedicated team of paralegals. The firm notably engages with several of the nation’s leading insurance companies as approved counsel, including Jefferson Pilot Financial, Lincoln Financial Group, and Zurich North America.

Over the past decade, Lloyd Schwed and his colleagues have successfully represented hundreds of clients in defending diverse claims related to personal injury and casualty insurance, construction and professional liability, and disputes involving financial institutions. High stakes matters handled encompass state, federal, and appellate court cases, as well as settlements achieved through out-of-court arbitration.

Schwed, Kahle & Jenks, P.A.‘s experienced attorneys include Partner Douglas Kress. He earned his J.D. cum laude at the University of Toledo College of Law and subsequently gained extensive litigation experience. Over the course of his career, Mr. Kress has guided in excess of 80 cases decided through arbitration, mediation, and trial processes. Areas of defense expertise include automobile liability, medical malpractice, insurance, and premises liability. He is also well versed in construction, business, and wrongful death litigation, and in appellate advocacy.

Managing Partner Lloyd Schwed maintains a particular emphasis onprofessional liability, securities litigation and arbitration, and insurance law and regulation. With Florida practice experience with Fowler White extending to 1985, Mr. Schwed is a respected public speaker and has past experience as University of Miami School of Law Adjunct Professor. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Evolv Uses Big Data to Improve Workforce Quality and Productivity

Founded in 2007, Evolv is a San Francisco-based startup that uses big data and predictive analytics to connect qualified employees with employers. Developed by an in-house team of data scientists, Evolv's pioneering workforce performance solutions help businesses choose, retain, and grow a more productive and more profitable staff. In other words, as founder and CEO Max Simkoff put it, “We prevent the wrong person ending up in the wrong job.”

According to the company, its software can boost workforce performance by 5 percent and workforce tenure by 15 percent. By matching workers with the right opportunities, Evolv improves the lives of millions of individuals while delivering million dollar profits to its clients, one of which is Xerox.

Evolv recently raised $15 million in funding, which will be used for international expansion and the growth of its sales and marketing team. The round, which is the startup's fourth, was led by Vantage Point Capital, with participation from Khosla, GGV, and Lightspeed Ventures.

New Word Processor Draft Lets You Focus on Your Writing

Inkling and Cityposh founder Nathan Kontny wants to help people write better. So he created Draft. Launching today, the online word processor does away with what Kontny calls the many inconvenient things that get in the way of good writing, such as complicated version control. Consequently, Draft provides distinct version control for multiple users. Thus, if you share a document, your master copy remains intact even when a collaborator makes changes. With Draft, no overwriting occurs and any modification stays on your collaborator's copy of the document until you accept it. Or, you can choose to ignore it.

Draft also has an “ask a professional” button that lets you send whatever you're working on to a team of copy editors who will suggest edits for a fee. Likewise, you can easily add in or disregard their changes. Another unique feature of Draft is its ability to capture “snapshots” of your work. Mark major revisions of your document with the “mark draft” button and compare different versions of your work side by side later on. Draft shows you what you added or removed and where using different colored highlights.

And if you have a lot of bits and pieces of writing scattered across your cloud services, Draft has got you covered, too. You can import your documents from Evernote, Box, Google Drive, and Dropbox, and edit and share them with your friends on Draft. For instance, if you get a blog idea while outside, you can begin writing the post on Evernote and complete it on Draft when you get home. Whatever you do to the document is automatically synced back to the cloud account you imported it from.

Draft was beta tested by more than 1,500 people prior to launch. According to Kontny, he has more ideas in mind for the word processor but wanted to start with a “simple, useful kernel”.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Songdrop Keeps All Your Streamed Music in One Place

The Internet is like one big record collection. A ginormous collection that's scattered all over your house. To help music lovers organize the tunes they stream online, London-based entrepreneurs Brittney Bean, James Towers, and Richard Taylor have founded Songdrop. The newly launched web app (coming soon to mobile) lets users “bookmark” and share music from various sources like YouTube, Vevo, Soundcloud, and blogs. Users collect tracks via the Chrome extension or cross-browser bookmarklet and create playlists that can be shared within Songdrop or on Facebook and Twitter.

“We believe the API for music already exists: it's the whole Internet. Songdrop is a way to make sense of the chaos,” says Bean.

Songdrop recently completed its first round of funding and hired former EMI Music Publishing exec Chris Helm as finance director. Additionally, Songdrop plans to partner with brands and media companies that need help establishing an identity through music and reaching new audiences.

Edicy Simplifies the Web Building Process

Based in Estonia, Edicy is the “simplest web creation tool” that lets anybody make a professional-looking website in a few minutes, even without coding or design know-how. The service is the brainchild of the team at web and design agency Fraktal, who originally wanted to reduce the amount of repetitive tasks in their work. T├Ánu Runnel, co-founder and CEO of Edicy, explains that instead of installing a server for each client, they decided to bring them all onto a single, unified platform. They then realized that the tool didn't have to be reserved only for their high-profile clients; it could also be used by anyone who wanted their own website. Thus, Runnel and company added some design templates, made the pricing more affordable, and Edicy was born.

Incredibly easy to use, Edicy allows anyone to “design like a pro” and “forget the tech”. All the editing happens live on the page, and you can drag and drop almost anything onto your website, including text, photos, and forms. You don't even need an editing program for your images, as you can crop, rotate, and scale photos directly on Edicy. Additionally, you can build feedback forms, present your website in different languages, and create password-protected pages. Free accounts get a address, but you can easily buy or import your own domains. Once your website is up and running, you can check out your stats and see how many visits you're getting and from where.

Edicy isn't just for newbies and the tech-clumsy, though. Designers and developers can take advantage of the service to create and host fully customized websites and product catalogs. And because the Edicy team handles all the system updates and fixes, no system maintenance is needed.

To date, nearly 330,000 websites in 150 countries have been built with Edicy.