Category Archives: TAG

live blogging at Ga Technology Summit pt3 – Ron Clark

Still doing the live blog thing at the GTS.  Next up Ron Clark (RC) – if it is like the last time I saw him I might be laughing too much to blog well, so bear with me.

Showing a classroom video.  The energy is impressive.  The podium doesn’t look big enough for RC to stand on, I wonder if he’ll try?

RC – getting kids to love learning – Origin: from North Carolina, taught to use things that were different, was teacher of the year, saw a program on schools in Harlem, and picked up and moved there to find the schools from the TV show.  Telling story of meeting an upset 13 yr old kid, convinced him to try.  1999 got job at that school.  Had kids that were all below grade level – every one of those kids have now graduated high school and most are in college.   Got them technology .   They tested ahead of their class by the end of a year.   Caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey.   Feels that “No Child Left Behind” as turned our approach upside down, we’re teaching to the bottom, and pulling the brightest down, instead of teaching to the top and getting them to raise up the rest.  Doesn’t want to leave anybody behind, but wants to keep the bar high, and keep raising it.   Wrote a song to pop star Rheanna’s music to teach order of operations to his class to learn algebra.  All his students have Zunes with lesson loaded on them – they all have  laptops from Dell.   Got huge growth in testing scores.

RC – 55 rules for setting clear expectations from students – manners, respect, structure — blending respect structure and innovative approaches.  Oprah told him to write a book so he listened,  he wrote it – she made it a book pick – and it sold!  Went to number 2 in nation on that announcement went #1 around the world.  Used funding to start the school here in Atlanta.  Teaching kids here and teaching teachers his approach.   Found a warehouse in run-down part of town, surrounded by crack houses, and prostitution.  Fought for that building because he felt it in his heart.  19 break-ins during construction – lots of theft of copper pipe.  Need to get the community involved – went to every house over 4 months and told everyone what he was doing – he was often scared. Often asked if he was Mormon.   Told people he was building the most innovative school in the world – got the community behind him – no more break-ins.   Ran out of money – got sponsors from the community, Veizon, Delta, Intercontinental Hotels.  Students can text message him live during class for nstant feedback.  Using Active Expressions, Dell sponsors laptops, got Definition 6 helping them to figure out what to do with all that technology.

RC – building world leaders -school of tomorrow. 3000 superintendants, teachers, principals from around the country visiting to observe and learn tools and techniques.   Congressmen and world leaders visiting to learn too.  Students are webcasting with kids around the world – traveling with the kids to make in-person connections – Delta is sponsoring travel.  Going around the world on spring field trips. Live video conferencing – virtual reality version of school.

RC – students take a test by running a gauntlet.  Made an online gauntlet so other schools can use the concept .

RC – non-profit – need donations – offering tours and visits. Warning every visitor has to go down the 2-story slide in the middle of the school and get “Slide – certified” – the slide is a symbol for how innovative they want to be. The model for innovation in education.

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live blogging at Ga Technology Summit pt2 – Top 10 innovators

More live-blogging at the Ga Technology Summit (hashtag #gts09).  For more info on live-blogging see previous post.

Dennis Zakas  (DZ) chair of Innovation committee for TAG recognizing the Top 10 innovative companies.

DZ – Thanking the committee members for their role in making this a vital summit.  Showcasing the innovation in the state – diversity of industries, large number of applicants. Process pick a top 40 then choose top 10 finalists.  Competition, that is not based on financials, but on innovation, disruption, technology.  Quick 3 minute presentations coming up from the Top 10 on why they are innovative.

DZ – see the TOp 40 displayed in the lobby – vote for winners

1. Suniva – CTO speaking – spin-off from GaTech – photovoltaic – solarcells – sunlight to electricity with zero emissions. Valu chain and Value prop – buys silicon solar cells – make cells to sell to consumers, builders.  Make superior quality solar cells at low-cost and high efficiency – seeking parity with fossil fuels in cost and efficiency.  2008 went into full production, 32 megawatt capacity, customer orders over $1billion, pipeline twice as much.  Best in class efficiency 17-18% – reaching 20% with next generation screen printing technology.  US innovation, quality and jobs.

2. Acculynk – fighting online fraud -$ 3.7 Billion in US.  3/4 cost eaten by vendors.  Only company to enable online PIN based transactions – Take POS concept to the internet.  Good for banks, consumers, and vendors.  Online pinpad that plugs into the merchant – scrambled and encrypted technology – take the debit card from your wallet and the PIN in your head to the online transaction. PIN never in the clear.  Get X/Y cordinate of mouse, not the number – so hard to fake/intercept.   300million debit cards is the potential user base.

20 minute intermission.  Be back soon 🙂

And we’re back..

3. Unicoi – embedded solutions of IP Media Devices, mobile, automotive devices.   Fusion-embedded networking and cellphone suite – develop interface to be customized for each client – new VoIP webphones coming out using the technology

4. PlayON Sports – helping content owners stream video to broadcast live events – connect with fans further down the chain – youth baseball, college lacrosse, community soccer league, etc.   Event manager software fo full user contorl of scheduling and config.   Tools for use in the field Production Manager with built in production graphics – score boards, etc.

5.  Pramana – thwarting malicious bots – automated traffic – human beings are becoming the minority on the Internet – this is a problem.  Captcha is the better know way toapproach this problem.  Correlation engine is a shield for web property to detect bot traffic – Forbes called them “invisible captcha”  – trying to protect Human Reputation online.  Technology licensed from GaTech.

6. SecureWorks – separating the good guys from the bad guys – 300 employees – targeting financial institutions, government, retail. Compliance Central – get client’s vendors into compliance.  LogVault – fault-tolerant log retention. Web App Security Service – web layer smart firewall fo protection from cyberattacks

Pause from Top 10 presentations to hear Tino Mantella’s (TM) state of the industry report:

TM – focusing on Georgia’s positioning, not an economic forecast. High-level overview of 176 page, 6 month study.  Data and feedback gathered from 500 respondents.  Comparing with CA TX, MA, FL, NC.  Downloadable from

TM- Ga – significant drop in female technology graduates, but Ga still leading and highest percentage of women-owned technology businesses.  Need to do better, but proud of our lead.

TM- we are a leader among benchmark states.  Ga Tech outspent MIT on innovation and research.  Only beat by Johns Hopkins

TM – VC funding has more than double – 5% increaase over 2007.  Software largest funding slice, Energy tech growing and now number two

TM – Ga ranks low by comparison to average VC deal size against benchmar states, but neck-and-neck with NC and MA.   Still not getting our fair share against overall US tech investment.

TM – Ga entrepreneur’s get most of their funding from personal cash and friend’s and family, some angel money – more dependence than MA and CA – majority have to bootstrap.  We’re way behind CA and MA in funding startups

TM – Entrepreneurs coming up shor in other resources behind funding, and the entrepreneurs feel that state support is low.  Where is the grant money?  Very dismal, but improving employment growth.   We’re 10th largest tech employer in nation, but we need more growth to hold or improve the position. Software and IT services are largest employers, telecom is next but shrinking, bio-sciences is growing, but employment loss is happening.  IPOs zero in Georgia in 2008.  M&A is best exit strategy for tech companies in GA. 82% of buyers from out of state.  Our best are leaving the state.

TM – Momentum and Challenges – creating opportunity.  Education – STEM – science, tech, engineering, math

TM – HOPE scholarship still putting a lot of students in play, Universities investing heavily in R&D.  VCs say they are willing to invest in good deals here.  Need to make them aware of the deals.   Capital and funding is number 1 need of Ga entrepreneurs.

TM – we need investment in money and TLC for growth in US and Ga.

Now back to Top 10 Innovators

7. CCP North America Games – began as White Wolf – book and game company – Crowded Control Productions.  EVE online massively muliplayer game.  World’s largest single online game server – military grade world’s fastest storage, 10 times the capcity of the industry.  100o players in one space battle concurrently.  Amazing graphics engine.  Game experience video is shown – it is impressive.

8. Purewire – protecting people from malicious people places and things online.   SaaS web security service.  Analyze traffic – checking corporate policy, attacks, etc

9. Asankya – worked with gov’t military, selling network service to companies providing cloud apps – improves application throughput up to 20x performance. New apps – new acceleration.  Cloud application acceleration – projected market for cloud apps $72 B.   Technology developed at Ga Tech.   Pushes packets through network faster, in the right order. Works for one way, two way, encrypted, etc.  Video demo at table. Best in class acceleration.

10. NanoLumens – world’s largest flexible video displays – thinner and lighter than LCD or Plasma – going after outdoor advertising market – $25B and growing market – Flat or curved wall – former CTO of Philips on the team.  Flexible displays made of small rigid parts, “Nixels” on flexible circuits.  Reduces volume, weight and power usage.  Can be rolled to ship!  62% less weight – 80% more energy efficient. Holding up a working product – incredible thin and flexible display.

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live blogging at Ga Technology Summit pt1 – Thomas Friedman

Okay,  if you’ve read this blog before you know what live-blogging is all about – rapid-fire stream-o-consciousness writing from a live event.  It won’t be polished, but it will be real.

Taking the stage now at the Georgia Technology Summit is Thomas Friedman, author of Hot Flat and Crowded, and the World is Flat.

TF – stands for me horribly paraphrasing Thomas Friedman.  I don’t type fast enough to give real quotes unless they’re really short.

TF – worried that US has lost it’s lustre. He’s pissed off at a billboard – advertiser dissing America for the lack of innovation.  But despite the hype we are exploding with innovation.  Excited about ET — energy technology.   The World is getting Hot Flat and Crowded.  The Hot comes from global warming – Al Gore stuff — 2 degrees different in average temperature.

So the world has a fever – that’s not a bad way to explain it.

TF – we’re 6 degrees away from being an iceball

Now I’ll really sleep well tonight.

TF – Thomas Friedman says too many Americans – we need to make Americans more sustainable.  Crowded – is about population growth.   We’re adding a billion people in 20 years.  We’ve got 6.2 billion now in 2053 forecast is for 9+ billion.   More people added between now and then, then were around when he was born.

TF- 5 global megatrends

TF – a billion lightbulbs = 20,000 metric tons.   Stats on what if you put them on – there is a number, but just too much.   Flat is the impact of the globe catching up with living like we do, and rapidly ramping up there consumption of resources and energy, and of course, outputing waste, carbon, BTUs etc. Other countries are “sprouting” Manhattans – cities springing up in deserts.

TF – said to his wife that everyone is getting hybrid cars (ironically) – the emergence of these new cities are causing energy consumption to vastly outpace any of these efforts to reduce energy usage.
TF – 300 million people living like US = an Americome (sp?)  a unit of measure to help understand the increase of global consumption.

TF – first law of Petropolitics – showing a slide –

I can’t read the handwriting on the slide, looks like an oblique baseball diamond – I don’t think that is what he meant to communicate

TF – the freedom index for countries (petrol states) that depend on oil for their GDP-  as price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up, and vice versa.

TF – Bahrain -first arab gulf state to start running out of oil, also first  to adapt more democratic principles.

TF – “global weirding” – not global “warming”, but “weirding” – warm is too nice a word.  Things will get weird (and not nice).  If we keep adding greenhouses gases, we will raise the temp – and the problems.  2 questions.  Who’s making hot? and Doesn’t Gore owe us all an apology?  We have introduced so much CO2 into the atmosphere  that we don’t know what climate effects are natural and which ones are caused by human actions.   Are we making it hot or is Mother Nature?   So now the Al Gore question – he monitored a talk with Al Gore – told him he should write an op-ed piece apologizing for “completely underestimating climate change”  – that would be an attention getter.  Climate model is changing rapidly. Showing slide of greenland in 1992 compared to 2002 showing snow melt – dramatic increase.  Summer 2007 lost twice the ice than is in all the Alps.

TF- showing slide of British Columbia – pine beetle devastation – pine beetle not getting knocked back by winter the way it used to be so it is running rampant destroying forest.

TF – 1.6 billion with no connection to the energy grid.   This will be devastating as the world gets more hot flat and crowded.   Will amplify poverty. Fall behind, no Internet, no power to get water in droughts. Students in Guinea doing homework in parking lots because thats the only place with light at night.

TF – last of the mega-problems loss of bio-diversity – extinction and near-extinction of species. “We are in the age of Noah”  – human intervention the only thing keeping some species alive.   Two turtles in captivity in China, last of their species and they are trying to get them to mate – no luck yet. Word that will disappear from the dictionary – “later” – Later was a luxury for previous generations.   Everything changing too fast now, nature was once unlimited, now “later” is gone. Later is over.  If you’re going to save something you have to save it now.

So now is Thomas going to give us any hope?

TF- Looks like we’re cooked.  Or is a list of opportunities masquerading as insoluble problems.   They all have the same solution.

  • Energy and Natural Resources Supply and Demand
  • Petrodictatorship
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Poverty
  • Biodiversity loss

TF-Abundant cheap clean reliable electrons – solves all of the above problems – Energy Technology is the key – own ET and you own security, global respect.  It has to be the United States of America, or we’re in deep doo-doo.  Someone has to solve it – We need to be “big in big things”.

Give the guy a glass of water, would ya?

TF – “Green is the new Red White and Blue” – green revolution- sarcastic “everyone’s a winner” have you ever been to a revolution where noone got hurt?  That’s not a revolution that’s a party. You’ll know it is a revolution when somebody gets hurt.  Change or die – when that’s the choice that’s when you’ll know the green revolution is really here.  when the word Green has disappeared that’s when you’ll know we won.  When a car isn’t designated as a green car, because normal means green.

TF – We’re trying to prevent the  doubling of CO2 since the dawn of the industrial age.  Massive build out – if we were only using Nuclear Energy to solve the problem = 1 new plant every day for 36 years(not sure if I got the number right)

TF – believes in capitalism – got to make this an issue of innovation not regulation.  This is a problem for engineers not regulators.   Get 10000 to try thousands of ideas, and get the best out there and build an eco-system for innovation.   Eco-system for innovation guy.  Price signals for innovation.  Stimulate the inventors in the garages and find the ideas that can change thing.   Differnece between IT and ET – IT was a greenfield, there was no incumbant, no competitive pre-existing, cheaper thing in the way.  The new Energy Technology has to be cheaper than what was before, need tax incentives to stimulate this, make it viable. Technologies vs. Commodities – price responds differently to demand.

This is the “tragedy of the commons” in action.  Without outside stimulation (government encouragement through policy and tax breaks) there is not sufficient incentive for people and companies to adopt more expensive, but greener solutions.

TF – cold we have gotten funding for the Apollo Space program if there had been a cheaper dirtier way to get to the moon already?  Of course not.  We need to create the government leverage to make this happen. Need to create a long term price signal to stimulate innovation. “Change your leaders not your lightbulbs”

TF – if only we could be China for a day – just one day to play dictator and put in the beneficial policies that could stimulate ET innovation

TF – the last chapter – leaving Iraq, the biggest transfer of air conditioners of all time.  A Democratic China or a Banana Republic? Banana – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.  Throwing in his lot with the optimists

Thanks Tom, we need that.

TF – Optimism – from the last page of the Hot Flat and Crowded book – a eulogy, ants and termites display high-intelligence collectively, but not individually, humans the opposite. All glasses half full, but not shrink from bad news, future is a choice.  Can we solve the problems – We have exactly enough time, starting NOW.

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Live bloggin' next week at GTS

Just got invited by Patrick Gaul to do some live-blogging next week at the Georgia Technology Summit. Details of the event are on TAG’s site. Should be a great day, author Thomas Friedman and innovative educator Ron Clark are the keynote speakers.   Other bloggers set to cover the event are Sherry Heyl, Grayson Daughters, Peter Fasano, Jon Gatrell, and Justin Rubner.  I’m honored to be counted in such esteemed company.

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One down – many to go

Well it was a great morning – we had a full house for the kick-off meeting of TAG‘s newest society, Enterprise 2.0.  Our society chair and vision leader, Sherry Heyl, did a great job acting as emcee and blog-journalist.  Check out her blow-by-blow report written live during the event.  And our featured speaker, Puneet Gupta, CEO of Connectbeam, gave a great summary and product demonstration, which I think helped to open our audience’s eyes to the advantages of well-managed social bookmarking in a corporate context.

The point I keep coming back to when it comes to Enterprise 2.0 is the idea that the trend toward adoption of social computing tools is already widespread – the people in your corporation are already using these tools and operating on different paradigms of communication.  The younger the employee the more likely they are to be “infected” with a web 2.0/social media mindset.  These are the people being hired by companies big and small every day.  Whether you choose to put an Enterprise 2.0 strategy in place for your organization, there is already a strong contingent of users who know from direct experience that there are other choices for communication and collaboration than those that may be already blessed by your IT department.  Progressive companies will recognize this and do what is necessary to keep apace of this wave of innovation and cultural change.  They’ll do it because they know that the young upstarts – the ones with no baggage are already there – and they are moving nimbly forward, unfettered by old-school command and control driven approaches.  The people know the tools, and like ’em and knowing the taste of transparent collaboration it is hard to go back to restricted access and cumbersome methods.  Today policies of restriction and banned IP addresses may be met with grumbling compliance – tomorrow the response might be rebellion and defection.

The Connectbeam offering was a great focal point for our first session because the concept of bookmarking is so well understood by virtually anyone who has used a browser in the last decade or so.  Shared bookmarking doesn’t require learning new and complicated skills, but through relevance algorithms and intelligent use of meta-data the social bookmarker gains advantages over the older tool.   Data becomes more meaningful and portable.  Communities of shared interest grow organically from the clustering of bookmarks and knowledge centers are exposed throughout the organization.  Now who wouldn’t want that power working for their corporation?

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New TAG Society – Enterprise 2.0

If you live in Georgia you probably know that TAG stands for the Technology Association of Georgia. TAG does a fantastic job of building communities around all the many facets of technology, culture and business. Its main vehicle for doing so is through the support of subgroups called societies.

I’m proud to say that I am on the steering committee for one of TAG’s newest societies: Enterprise 2.0. Our mission is to provide a forum for education and dialog around the topic of social computing for the enterprise. We are coming up fast on our first meeting to be held on March 5th, 2008, 7:30am – 9:30am at the Ashford Club in Atlanta. We are very pleased to have Puneet Gupta, CEO of Connectbeam, as our featured speaker for this kick-off session. Puneet’s talk entitled “Connecting People and Ideas: Using Social Software to Turbo Charge Innovation” will discuss how knowledge management and social bookmarking can help corporations to innovate and rapidly assimilate new ideas. Registration is still open, but the room is filling up fast. I hope to see you there.

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