Pittsburgh Tech News Update: PLSG, Matrix Solutions, Direct Energy & CMU

This just in for breaking Pittsburgh Tech News:

Matrix Solutions Adds Features to Matrix Locker

Matrix Solutions, a provider of Media CRM and Sales Analytics software, announces the new features included in the next release of their industry leading solution. Matrix Locker™, a shared document storage module at an enterprise level, will be part of the product release enabling content to be stored within the system and attached to applicable records.  Additional features of the release that were designed to help drive operational sales efficiencies include shared accounts and enhanced reporting that is keyword search driven. The release will be fully deployed to current Matrix customers October 26, 2013.

Matrix Locker, our new document storage module, allows users to save e-mails as activities with attachments such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents. The Matrix Locker, where a user can download or upload files, is available within Account, Agency, Contact, Deal, and Activity locations. Matrix Locker users will have the option to create and manage personal folder hierarchies, customize file storage types and to send files via a unique generated URL to anyone within or outside of the Matrix system.


PLSG Closes $338K in Investments

On the heels of an updated vision and mission in the firm’s strategic focus at the end of the second quarter, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the region’s only pure life sciences investment firm, and managing member of the PLSG Accelerator Fund, announced today the closing of $338,000 in new investments at the end of the third quarter.

“We have committed to working hard and staying focused on raising funds for both the PLSG and our portfolio companies,” said John Manzetti, President and CEO of PLSG. “The redefined business structure put a laser focus on later stage investments and we are pleased that it has helped to deliver more opportunities for our growing life sciences region, even during times of the uncertain economy.”

The most recent PLSG direct investment commitment includes $200,000 into Complexa, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on treating inflammatory and metabolic disorders with nitrated unsaturated fatty acids, and $138,000 into Cognition Therapeutics, Inc. a drug discovery company focused on neurodegenerative disorders that uses proprietary and biologically-relevant screening technology. PLSG has invested multiple times in both of these companies. PLSG has invested into Complexa a total of $550,000 and into Cognition for $1.1 million, which is PLSG’s largest investment to-date. In addition, the PLSG Accelerator Fund has also invested heavily into Cognition.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Powers Up with Direct Energy and SolarCity

Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services companies, and SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY), America’s no. 1 full-service solar power provider, announced  that they will provide solar electricity to a club location of BJ’S Wholesale Club, a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States. SolarCity will install solar panels at BJ’s North Brunswick, New Jersey location at little to no cost, and BJ’s will pay for the solar electricity produced at a discount to current energy rates.


NSF Grant Will Integrate Carnegie Mellon Robotic Kits Into Middle School Courses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

An innovative program that introduces robotic technology into non-technical middle school classes will be used by suburban Pittsburgh and rural West Virginia schools in a federally funded research project to identify and nurture students with an affinity for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

All 7th and 8th grade students at Springdale Junior-Senior High School and all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the Mingo County (WV) Schools — a total of 900 children annually — will use robotic kits developed at Carnegie Mellon University. They will use the kits to complete at least one project or assignment each year in required courses such as health, earth science and language arts.

The three-year Creative Robotics project, supported by a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, seeks to increase the number and diversity of students in the STEM education pipeline.

Pittsburgh Tech News in a Flash

NetScout Wins Award

Winners were just announced in People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Products. NetScout Systems won Favorite Telecommunications Product with its nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch.

Through the acquisition of ONPATH Technologies in 2012, NetScout offers the nGenius 3900 series packet flow switch for test automation. This family of highly flexible, scalable and dense physical layer and packet flow switching systems, is designed to accommodate a variety of high-performance connectivity and monitoring applications.

Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A fifth program, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, will debut later this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.


NoWait Makes TechCrunch

NoWait just released its consumer app for beta last week. It caught the attention of TechCrunch garnering the company coveted coverage in the quintessential tech blog.

NoWait allows Pittsburgh-area restaurant goers the ability to view the real-time wait time at their favorite restaurants and get in line remotely, right from their phones.

When a patron views restaurants on NoWait, he may select the restaurant and get in line. NoWait automatically sends a message to the guest confirming that he has been added to the wait list, and the patron may then view his place in line within the app.  The place in line updates in real-time as he moves closer to the head of the line.

Read the TechCrunch Article here. Get more deets on NoWait here.
Wombat Security Technologies Unveils CyberStrength

Wombat Security Technologies (Wombat), a leading provider of cyber security awareness and training solutions, today announced CyberStrengthT, a new and unique cloud-based assessment solution which provides an easy and effective way for CISOs to evaluate employee knowledge of today’s cyber security threats. This simple but powerful tool helps security officers measure the effectiveness of security training programs by creating focused and custom assessments on specific topics such as mobility, Internet browsing, social networking, passwords, smartphones, and phishing. CyberStrength is a key component of any robust and effective security awareness training program that includes ongoing assessment, interactive training, and detailed analysis of program effectiveness.

“By providing valuable feedback on the strength of employee knowledge of cyber threats, CyberStrength offers a new and unique defense against evolving cyber attacks,” said Joe Ferrara, President and CEO of Wombat Security Technologies. “This innovative product empowers the security officer to drive targeted training and organizational compliance to give companies an overall stronger security posture in spite of escalating attacks.”

Pittsburgh Tech News Round Up

roundupNothing slips through the grill at Techburgher. We have the choicest cuts of news cooking up nicely with our Pittsburgh Tech News Round Up. Dig in!

Pittsburgh Tech News Round Up

It’s been a fast-paced week for Pittsburgh tech news. Now that we’re finally emerging from winter temps, some of these Pittsburgh tech news nuggets just thawed out. We thought now is the perfect time to serve them up as part of our Pittsburgh Tech News Round Up.


Giving Pay the Finger

Four Carnegie Mellon University seniors tired of digging through backpacks, pockets and purses for their student identification and debit cards have developed PayTango, a fingerprint-based identification and payment system.

With majors ranging from information systems and human-computer interaction to industrial design, Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee, Umang Patel and Christian Reyes combined their expertise to launch their startup. Get the whole enchilada right here.


Moving on Up

Management Science Associates, Inc. (MSA) promoted Susan Buchman, Ph.D., to be MSA’s first Chief Data Scientist. Dr. Buchman joined MSA in August 2010 and most recently served as Director, Analytic Services. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, an M.S. in Statistics in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Statistics in 2011, both from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), specializing in nonparametric statistics and high-dimensional data.


It’s a Mad, Mad World

Ken Nagy, vice president of Confluent Translations will be attending MadCap Software’s MadWorld 2013 Worldwide User Conference. The conference will take place April 7-9, 2013 with over 40 sessions in San Diego, CA at the Hard Rock Hotel. MadCap has assembled a team of speakers from around the globe, including representatives from Caradigm/GE (Microsoft), N-able Technologies, and Blackbaud. Attendees have the opportunity to take part in sessions covering the latest trends and techniques in technical communication.


Blood in the Water: Shark Tank Auditions Set for May

Pittsburgh’s been representing on ABC’s “Shark Tank” this season with cellhelmet and Simple Sugars making appearances. Let’s represent next season, too!

There’s an Open Call on May 11 in Philly. Yeah Philly ;-(

Get your applications at abc.go.com/site/casting-shark-tank.

Show ‘em how Pittsburgh rolls!



Pittsburgh Tech News Roundup

roundupSo much news, so little time. Here are some snippets from the past week of Pittsburgh tech companies making headlines. This is tastier than a rack of ribs smothered in BBQ sauce. Dig in, no napkins required:

In the Running

YinzCam made the cut for the nominees for the SBJ/SBD 2013 Sports Business Awards in the category of Best in Sports Technology. If you look at the other nominees, you can see YinzCam is in great company.

Watch the Radio

FutureDerm just announced its latest funding round. Check out Nicki Zevola being interviewed on TechVibe Radio with Steeler Charlie Batch and the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Audrey Russo. The segment will also air Saturday, March 23 at noon on FM News Talk 104.7.

Go with the Flow

Angstrom Sciences announced an agreement to distribute the FloTronTM series of reactive gas control systems from Nova Fabrica. Flotron and FloTron X (fast CCD spectrometer-based) systems are high-speed closed-loop process controllers, designed for real-time, in-situ precision control of reactive sputtering-based vacuum coating and plasma treatment processes.

Drink Responsibly

Clique Vodka launched its new DrinkyPal app. It lets users pull up a list of the nearest taxi companies and the nearest list of hotels to help prevent drinking and driving. You can now book a hotel room directly from your phone within the application, as well as call the taxi company directly. Deets here.

It’s a Gas

Industrial Scientific said its Gas Detection as a Service solution, known as iNet®, was recognized as “Health & Safety Initiative of the Year” at the Gulf Coast Oil & Gas Awards. The “Health & Safety Initiative of the Year” award recognizes specific initiatives or products that have significantly reduced the risks to workers and/or members of the community in the Gulf Coast region.

On the Road Again

Matrix Solutions, the leading provider of Media CRM and Sales Analytics Software, announced today that their CEO, DJ Cavanaugh, will be presenting “CRM is Leading the Way for Sales in Broadcast Media” on Monday April 8, 2013 at 10:45AM during the NAB Show. The presentation, open to all attendees, will be part of the Enterprise Computing PIT happening on the tradeshow floor in booth #N6621 within the North Hall.