Monday, March 23, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- March 23

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- March 23, 2015
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Livermore-Based Topcon Positioning Group Acquires Digi-Star
San Mateo-Based Sierra Ventures Names Tim Stanley as Partner
Redwood City-Based AcelRx Cuts Workforce by 36%
San Jose-Based eBay Adds Directors in Preparation for PayPal Spinoff
FTC Launches New Consumer Protection Unit Focused on Tech Issues
Briefly Noted: Rovi,  Technology Crossover Ventures, National Data Science Bowl


> Job/Event/Marketplace Classified Listings (Full Listings Below Stories)

--Director, Solution Consulting - Washington, DC
--Director, Site Experience - Washington, DC
--The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium - May 20 - Cambridge, Mass.
--Sales Operations Manager - FirstFuel Software (Massachusetts)
--Business Development Representative - FirstFuel Software (Massachusetts)
--Associate - North Atlantic Capital - Portland, ME
--Principal Analysts, Enterprise Security
--Intellectual Property Services/Patent Applications Drafted

Ad Descriptions Below Briefly Noted Section
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o Livermore-Based Topcon Positioning Group Acquires Digi-Star

Livermore, Calif. -- Topcon Positioning Group, a Livermore-based maker of precise positioning products for uses such as surveying, construction and mapping, said on Monday it has acquired Wisconsin-based Digi-Star, a developer of agricultural technology for manufacturers of feeding, planting, fertilizer and harvest equipment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The two companies had previously partnered for several years. Ray O'Connor, the president and CEO of Topcon, said the acquisition will bring "complementary technologies and distribution channels to our rapidly growing precision agricultural division." Digi-Star is a supplier of electronic equipment, sensors, displays, position verification and software used by farmers and other equipment operators to precisely measure and analyze data from critical farming processes. The company currently has more than 220 employees in its three locations. Its operations will continue to be based in Fort Atkinson, Wis. 

o San Mateo-Based Sierra Ventures Names Tim Stanley as Partner

San Mateo, Calif. -- Sierra Ventures, a San Mateo-based venture capital firm, on Monday named Tim Stanley as a partner, leading the firm's business development, marketing, strategic partnerships and programs. Stanley most recently was the founder and CEO of Tekexecs, and previously served as the senior vice president of enterprise strategy and industry solutions at Founded in 1982, Sierra invests in early-stage technologies companies. Recent exits include the IPOs of InvenSense, Sourcefire and AuthenTec, and the acquisitions of Ooyala (by Telstra), Nexgate (by Proofpoint), Greenplum (by EMC), DynamicOps (by VMWare) and Bina Technologies (by Roche). 

o Redwood City-Based AcelRx Cuts Workforce by 36%

Redwood City, Calif. -- AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, a Redwood City-based specialty pharmaceutical firm developing therapies to treat acute pain, said it has cut 36% of its workforce -- or 19 employees -- and appointed board member Howard Rosen as its interim CEO. The cuts come as the company looks for ways to reduce operating costs as it seeks approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin marketing Zalviso, a tablet designed to help hospital patients self-manage their pain. Rosen, who has served on the company's board since 2008, previously held senior-level roles at Gilead Sciences and ALZA. 

o San Jose-Based eBay Adds Directors in Preparation for PayPal Spinoff

San Jose, Calif. -- Preparing to complete its planned separation of PayPal, San Jose-based eBay on Monday announced the appointment of two new independent directors -- Tony Bates, the president of GoPro, and Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. They essentially will replace current directors William Ford and Richard Schlosberg, who plan to step down from the board at the company's May 1 annual meeting. Both have served on the board for more than a decade. In addition, the company said that Jonathan Christodoro has been elected to its board as part of a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn. eBay plans to complete the PayPal separation in the second half of this year.

o FTC Launches New Consumer Protection Unit Focused on Tech Issues

Washington, DC -- Hoping to better protect consumers in an age of evolving new technologies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday launched the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI). The office, part of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, will succeed a unit that focused solely on mobile technology. Its focus, however, will be much broader, covering technology issues such as privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, big data and the Internet of Things. With the formation of the office, the FTC also announced the creation of several new positions, including a two-year Technology Policy Fellowship program, a research coordinator and a technical internship program. "We believe OTRI will be an instrumental source for research and information on technology’s impact on consumers," wrote Ashkan Soltani, the FTC's CTO, in a blog post. 

o Briefly Noted:

(Santa Clara, Calif.) Santa Clara-based Rovi, a developer of entertainment search and navigation technology, on Monday named Steven Lucas to its board of directors. Lucas is the global president of SAP's Platform Solutions business. His appointment expands the size of the board from six to seven directors. 

(Palo Alto, Calif.) Palo Alto-based venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) on Monday named Bret Bolin as a venture partner in the firm's London office. Bolin most recently was the executive chairman and CEO of Misys, a developer of financial services software. In his new role, he will focus on investments in enterprise software and technology-enabled products in the financial services, industrial, manufacturing and energy sectors. 

(San Francisco) Following 90 days of competition, a team of deep learning specialists has won the inaugural National Data Science Bowl, a competition co-sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and San Francisco-based Kaggle. The event, which utilized data from oceanographers at Oregon State University, challenged participants to create an algorithm automating an ocean health assessment process, which would have taken marine researchers more than two lifetimes to manually complete. Team Deep Sea from Ghent University developed the most effective algorithm to automatically classify more than 100,000 underwater images of plankton, which are key indicators of ocean health. The seven-person team of grad students and post-doctoral researchers automated the classification process for the first time in history. Together, they beat more than 1,000 other teams and achieved better results than more than 15,000 competing submissions in distinguishing 121 distinct categories of oceanic organisms.

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> Director, Solution Consulting - Washington, DC

Recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the country, Optoro is transforming the retail industry by helping to build more sustainable supply chains. We're backed by some of the most prominent investors in the country, including Kleiner Perkins & Revolution Growth. The Director of Solution Enablement will provide leadership to the Solution Enablement team, ensuring they are inspired, engaged and motivated. This person is expected to contribute to the organization’s growth and development in a variety of ways including: Client Engagement, Client Management, Solution Development, Business Development, People Development and Thought Leadership Development. Requirements: A Bachelor's degree from a 4 year college (or equivalent). An advance degree is preferred. Proven leadership experience in a client facing role. At least 7 years of relevant consulting experience within a top tier consulting firm or leading supply chain software solution provider. For more information or to apply, go to:

> Director, Site Experience - Washington, DC

Recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the country, Optoro is transforming the retail industry by helping to build more sustainable supply chains. We're backed by some of the most prominent investors in the country, including Kleiner Perkins & Revolution Growth. The Director of Site Experience will work closely with the Vice President of Ecommerce to deliver the business objectives of increasing revenue from our ecommerce site The responsibilities of this new created position will be focused on delivering a winning online shopping experience that is on-brand and maximizes conversion. Requirements: Minimum 4 years of experience in marketing/ecommerce. Preferred Bachelor 's degree in Math, Finance, Marketing, Social Science. Minimum 2 years of experience with analytics and a proven track record in driving tangible results and actionable insight. Skilled knowledge of key digital analytics tools, particularly Google Analytics, including implementation/tagging experience and data analytic skills. Preferred experience with site search platforms, testing platforms and customer research. For more information or to apply, go to:


> The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium - May 20 - Cambridge, Mass.

The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium will help CIOs to invent their future and accelerate success through technology. CIOs will engage with business leaders, technology trendsetters, and academic thought leaders in panel discussions and explore new thinking and practices. Panel discussions include: Academic Keynote Panel -- The Impact of Automation; Platform Shift -- How New Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, and the Role of CIOs; Leading Digital: A Manifesto for IT and Business Executives; The Board, CEO and CIO Roles in Dealing with Digital Disruption; Cybersecurity - New Approaches to Assessing and Maximizing Your Protection; Demand Shaping: How IT Becomes a Distinctive Advantage; and Cashing in on Your Data. Use code 15NETECHWIRE when registering for a $200 discount. Register at


> Sales Operations Manager - FirstFuel Software - Massachusetts

FirstFuel is looking for an experienced and diligent self-starter to lead FirstFuel's Sales Operations group. As manager, you will be responsible for directly supporting the Field Sales Team and supervising a lean team of talented individuals to manage sales systems and processes, customer proposals and sales training. The Sales Operations Manager will directly report to FirstFuel's SVP of Global Sales & Business Development and will work cross-functionally with Marketing, Regulatory, Product Management and Customer Solutions to help drive continued company success and rapid growth. For more information or to apply, click here.

> Business Development Representative - FirstFuel Software - Massachusetts

Our Lead Generation Representative thrives in a fast-paced environment and is accountable for identifying and qualifying new business opportunities for the sales team. He/she enjoys prospecting and is skilled at qualifying new customer opportunities. He/she is capable of challenging a prospect’s existing business practices, introducing and aligning FirstFuel’s products, solutions, and service. You will be driving initial discovery calls to confirm a business need. For more information or to apply, click here.

> Associate - North Atlantic Capital - Portland, ME

Portland, Maine based North Atlantic Capital is seeking an Associate to play a crucial role in executing our investment strategy by researching promising technology market segments and proactively reaching out to the CEOs and CFOs of leading private companies within those market segments. He or she will also participate in all phases of investment process including: due diligence, meetings with management, focused company and industry research, financial modeling and writing investment recommendations. All candidates considered must have: 2-4 years work experience, investment banking or corporate development experience, experience working with or strong affinity for technology companies and an exceptional educational background. Send resumes to:


> Principal Analysts, Enterprise Security

Current Analysis, a Progressive Digital Media company, is seeking a Principal Analyst to work in our Enterprise Security group with expertise spanning secure messaging, data security and governance, firewall/VPN and intrusion prevention and detection. Of particular importance is the ability to view security broadly and speak to its impact upon the entire IT technology landscape such as mobility, data center, application development, big data, and collaboration. Qualified candidate should have the ability to identify market trends and weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of companies and products while delivering high quality analysis under tight deadlines. The goal is to deliver intelligence that alerts and helps sales professionals respond to competitive threats and opportunities, and gives end users insight into the strengths and weaknesses of competing products/strategies. Companies covered include, but are not limited to CA, Checkpoint, Cisco, EMC/RSA, IBM/ISS, Juniper, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, and Trend Micro. Send resumes to For more information about the position, go to: 

> Intellectual Property Services/Patent Applications Drafted

ROARK IP ( provides a wide range of services relating to intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing. We charge $3600.00 (excluding government filing and drafting fees) to prepare a utility patent application for filing with the US Patent & Trademark Office in the mechanical and electrical technology areas. Sample patents drafted include: 6,134,944; 6,158,244; 6,225,635; 6,226,346; 6,417,754; 6,490,469; 6,515,737; and 6,850,920. Flat fee, no surprise billing offered. We are located in San Jose. If you are interested, please contact us at

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