Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bay Area Tech Wire - Feb. 14

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- Feb. 14, 2017
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Campbell-Based Komprise Raises $12 Million in Second Round
Oakland-Based Conductor Technologies Raises First Round of Funding
Accion Venture Lab Sells Stake in Palo Alto's Clip for Second Exit
Study: Cybersecurity Skills Gap Leaving Organizations Short-Handed
o U.S. Information Technology Employment Shows Strong Growth in January
o Briefly Noted: Yewno, Talkwalker, Folloze

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

The Shifting Sands of Employee Motivation
--Job Listing: Director of the Department of Technology/Chief Information Officer
--Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit - April 21 - DC

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o Campbell-Based Komprise Raises $12 Million in Second Round

Campbell, Calif. -- Komprise, the Campbell-based developer of an analytics-driven data management platform, said on Tuesday it has raised $12 million in its second round of funding, led by Walden International. Previous backer Canaan Partners and individuals such as Bill Moore (co-founder of ZFS, ex-EMC Fellow) and Sanjay Mehrotra (ex-CEO of SanDisk) also participated. The company, which also announced the available of its Data Management Grid product, said it will use the funds to expand operations globally. Komprise's core platform, released last summer, is designed to help businesses better deal with the massive growth of unstructured data. The platform uses analytics to intelligently manage, archive, replicate and protect data across both on-premise and cloud storage,

o Oakland-Based Conductor Technologies Raises First Round of Funding

Oakland -- Conductor Technologies, the Oakland-based developer of a cloud rendering platform used in movies such as "Deadpool" and "Star Trek Beyond," said on Tuesday it has raised an unspecified amount in its first round of funding. Walden Venture Capital led the round, which also included participation by Autodesk. The company said it will use the capital to fuel hiring in product development, engineering, sales and marketing, as well as to kick-start its go-to-market plan. Conductor, a spin-out of visual effects company Atomic Fiction, has developed a cloud-based rendering platform used to minimize costs and keep pace with rapidly growing demands in movies, TV shows, video games and emerging mediums like virtual reality. The company manages the entire process of rendering in the cloud, from when artists hit the "render" button to when the resulting final image is downloaded back to them. Customers pay an all-inclusive price for computing power, software licenses, networking and file transfers.

o Accion Venture Lab Sells Stake in Palo Alto's Clip for Second Exit

Palo Alto, Calif. -- Accion Venture Lab, the seed-stage investment arm of microfinance nonprofit Accion, said on Tuesday it has sold its stake in Clip, a Palo Alto- and Mexico City-based provider of digital payment technology to often financially underserved small businesses in Mexico. Venture Lab co-led the first institutional investment in Clip in 2013. Now, the company becomes its second exit, following its exit from India-based lender Varthana in November. Michael Schlein, the president and CEO of Accion, said the exits demonstrate "the viability of achieving both profit and purpose by investing in early stage start-ups that promote high-quality financial services for underserved customers." Clip combines a card reader plug-in for smartphones with a back-end risk management platform to enable nearly any merchant in Mexico to accept all types of debit and credit cards. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

o Study: Cybersecurity Skills Gap Leaving Organizations Short-Handed

San Francisco -- Though most organizations now view cyber security attacks as inevitable, the majority of organizational leaders surveyed fear they are ill-equipped to address these threats head-on, according to a new study by ISACA's Cybersecurity Nexus. Only 59% of surveyed organizations say they receive at least five applications for each cyber security opening, and only 13% receive 20 or more. By contrast, studies show most corporate job openings result in 60-250 applicants. Compounding the problem, more than a third of respondents said that fewer in one in four candidates possess the requisite qualifications. "The survey underscores a fundamental disconnect between employer expectations and what candidates can actually bring to the table," said Matt Loeb, the CEO of ISACA. "Employers are looking for candidates to make up for lost time, but that doesn't necessarily mean a significant academic investment. Many organizations place more weight in real-world experience and performance-based certifications and training that require far less time than a full degree program." More than 1 in 4 companies said that the time to fill priority cyber security and information security positions can be six months or longer. And in Europe, almost one-third of cyber security job openings remain unfilled. The complete report is available at the link below.

o U.S. Information Technology Employment Shows Strong Growth in January

Alexandria, Va. -- Information technology employment showed healthy gains in January, according to new figures from the TechServe Alliance. The organization said the number of IT jobs in the U.S. grew 0.3% sequentially to 5.26 million, and has increased 3.9% over the past year. "While a single month does not establish a trend, I am pleased IT showed some strength as we begin the new year," said TechServe CEO Mark Roberts. "While bullish that demand will increase as the year unfolds, I remain concerned with the rhetoric supporting more restrictive immigration policies for high skilled workers. Given the shortage of many IT and engineering skill sets, such policies could limit domestic IT and engineering job growth pushing those jobs overseas -- an undesirable outcome for both U.S.-based businesses and workers."
https://www.techservealliance.org/files/IndexReleaseFeb2017.pdf (PDF)

o Briefly Noted:

(Redwood City, Calif.) Redwood City-based Yewno, a developer of inference engine technology designed to mimic the human brain, on Tuesday named Franny Lee as its chief operating officer (COO) for education. Lee currently serves as a board director at MIT Press, and recently was a general manager and vice president at ProQuest.

(San Francisco) Talkwalker, a New York-based developer of technology providing social media insights through real-time social listening and social media analytics, said on Tuesday it has opened a new office in San Francisco. The company, which recently landed $5.4 million in funding, also has named John Zhao as its head of sales for the West Coast. Zhao most recently served as the head of sales at AirPR, and previously was the director of sales at BrightEdge and Boost Media.

(Palo Alto, Calif.) Palo Alto-based Folloze, developer of an account-based marketing sales platform, on Tuesday named Christian Hjorth as its chief revenue officer. Hjorth most recently served as the senior vice president of global sales at Tradeshift, and previously was a senior sales executive at Salesforce.com and SAP.

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> The Shifting Sands of Employee Motivation

The old "if-then motivators" of giving bonuses for the achievement of goals no longer work. Work has become too complex and is changing too rapidly for such simple formulas to be relevant and to motivate performance. Here, we summarize research on shifts in employee motivators.

> Director of the Department of Technology/Chief Information Officer

The City and County of San Francisco is conducting a national search for an engaging, customer-service driven executive to oversee the award-winning Department of Technology with over 220 employees and an annual operating budget of nearly $100 million. The Director of the Department of Technology/Chief Information Officer (Director of DT/CIO) is at-will management-level position reporting to the Mayor with functional reporting to the City Administrator. Interested candidates should apply by by submitting a compelling cover letter, comprehensive resume, and current salary to apply@ralphandersen.com. Confidential inquiries welcomed to Ms. Heather Renschler at (916) 630-4900. Detailed brochure available at www.ralphandersen.com.

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