Click here to close now.


IoT User Interface Authors: Bob Gourley, Brian Daleiden, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons

News Feed Item

Carnegie Mellon's Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund Awards Investments to Six "Greenlighting Startups" Companies

Program Benefits 16 Startups in First Year; CMU "Destination of Choice" for Young Innovators

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnegie Mellon University's Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) has awarded $300,000 to six startup companies to assist them in growing their business ventures. The fund, established by CMU alumnus and Flip Video Camera creator Jonathan Kaplan and his wife, Marci Glazer, provides early-stage business financing and support to alumni who have graduated from CMU in the last five years.

Since June 2012, the OFEF has provided support to 16 startup companies from across the country and a variety of industries. The most recent award recipients operate in medical, technology, consumer and educational fields. The companies' objectives include everything from reducing back pain and improving pediatric heart surgery to creating a premium gluten-free beer and teaching guitar online. (See information on the award recipients below.)

"Open Field is dedicated to helping Carnegie Mellon graduates dream big and create the next great product or service," said Kaplan, CEO of The Melt and five-time entrepreneur. "We are pleased to provide these investments and encouraged by the success previous Open Field recipients have experienced in just a few short months."

OFEF is part of CMU's Greenlighting Startups initiative, which is designed to speed CMU faculty and student innovations from the research lab to the marketplace. Previous OFEF recipients include NoWait, a seating management system used by large restaurant chains including Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse and T.G.I. Friday's. NoWait recently raised $2 million in funding led by Birchmere Ventures.

"I thank Jonathan not only for his generous support, but also for his hands-on approach to helping future entrepreneurs," said CMU President Jared L. Cohon. "In addition to the financial support, Jonathan and many of his colleagues, including some former CMU classmates, are providing guidance to help our students and alumni create the types of companies and jobs that serve as the country's economic engine."

CMU's entrepreneurial culture has helped to create more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs over the past 15 years, and CMU spinoffs represent 34 percent of the total companies created in Pennsylvania based on university technologies in the past five years.

The OFEF provides $50,000 in matching investment to each recipient, who also gain access to other funding sources, receive personalized mentoring and attend an annual OFEF business workshop. The university will provide legal and accounting support for OFEF recipients. Peter Stern, a CMU classmate of Kaplan, CEO of Bitly and a serial entrepreneur, will be providing advisory support for the fund, as well as serving as a mentor to one of the OFEF award recipients. The fund will select award recipients biannually.

Mentors will be assigned to each OFEF award recipient, including select CMU alumni who are serial entrepreneurs who have helped to create an excess of $1 billion in shareholder value. Mentors also will include entrepreneurs who are based at Carnegie Mellon, including OFEF Managing Director Dave Mawhinney, a professor of entrepreneurship and four-time entrepreneur.

2013 Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund Award Recipients

Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund award recipients are Carnegie Mellon alumni who have graduated from CMU in the last five years. Alumni, their date of graduation and school or college are noted at the end of each company listing.

ActivAided Orthotics, Pittsburgh

ActivAided Orthotics has created a line of postural training apparel to eliminate back pain by training rehabilitative habits and behaviors to address and correct the root causes of spine disorders and back pain. The company developed a product that offers continuous care in a convenient, effective, wearable treatment for long-term relief of back pain. Its first product, "RecoveryAid," was released in July 2012 after beta testing found that 89 percent of users experienced a decrease in back pain. (Kelly Collier, 2011, Engineering)

Aurochs Brewing Company, Pittsburgh

Aurochs Brewing Company uses unique ingredients to provide great tasting craft beers that are naturally gluten-free. The company is commercializing a brewing method that is not currently available in the United States. This technology allows Aurochs to brew with the grains millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. The product addresses a void for the millions of Americans who follow a gluten-free diet for medical reasons and those who choose to follow the gluten-free diet for improved health and well being. (Ryan Bove, 2012, Business)

PECA Labs, Pittsburgh

PECA Labs' Masa Valve is the first valved conduit to be specifically designed for pediatric heart conduit reconstruction. The valve is specifically designed with the needs of pediatric patients in mind, unlike current options on the market, and reduces the need for additional surgeries.  With implantation in 49 people for more than four years and excellent results, the Masa Valve is fully developed, clinically validated and is currently going through the FDA approval process. Clinical results have shown that the Masa Valve should save children from one-to-two open-heart surgeries over the course of their pediatric years. (Doug Bernstein, 2012, Engineering)

Pixite, San Diego

Pixite's Unbound service provides a seamless photo management and viewing experience across computers, tablets and smartphones, ultimately allowing users to do more with their photos, be more organized and save time. Unlike current personal photo management services or Web-based photo services, Pixite provides an elegant user experience for storing and managing photos across all of a user's computing devices and includes features such as captioning and commenting, a Web sharing interface, and a native social graph with news feed. (Scott Sykora, 2012, College of Fine Arts)

StatEasy, Pittsburgh

StatEasy provides a free and easy-to-use platform to high school and collegiate teams to manage statistics and video of their sporting events. Current sports information systems and coaching software programs are expensive, difficult to use and labor intensive. StatEasy's platform makes the process more efficient, and the company generates revenue by selling highlight videos to players, parents, recruiters and television stations. StatEasy currently serves more than 120 teams. (Tom Matta, 2007, Business and Engineering; Mike Ressler, 2002, Computer Science)

Tunessence, Pittsburgh

Tunessence offers a virtual guitar teacher in your Web browser. While millions of Americans at any given time are trying to learn how to play the guitar, 70 percent of them quit within two months. To make the learning process more engaging, Tunessence combines advanced audio processing software with instructional video in order to replicate the experience of an in-person lesson in an online setting. The company's software gives note-by-note feedback to the user, tracks progress and generates personalized lesson plans. Lessons are also taught in the context of popular songs as a way to keep users interested.  (Alexander Soto, 2011, Engineering; Matthew Bauch, 2012, Engineering)

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of "Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University," which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.

(Logo: )

SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@CloudExpo Stories
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...