New York ranks second nationally in tech startup acquisitions and IPOs

Venture capital database CB Insights has published its 2014 Global Tech Exits Report, which documents the number of startups that exited, that is, went public or were acquired, last year. As it did in 2013, New York came in second among U.S. states with 158 exits, behind only perennial leader California, which recorded 523. The Empire State warded off third-place Massachusetts, with 113.

New York's biggest exit was loan financing platform OnDeck, which went public on December 17 and raised $200 million, being valued at approximately $1.3 billion. Other significant deals were the acquisition of mobile and tablet retargeting company TapCommerce by Twitter and the IPO of digital media company Everyday Health, each worth about $100 million.

Prospects are good for the market to stay active in 2015, starting with the IPO of popular crafts e-commerce site Etsy, which is expected to raise about $300 million sometime during the first quarter. Funding has been increasing for established companies and the number of startups that are being valued at or above $1 billion is also on the rise.

"Prospects are good for the market to stay active in 2015."

"There are a lot more high-value startups now, and with that we could see an increasing number of venture-capital-backed exits, and bigger exits than we've seen before," said CB Insights analyst Michael Dempsey. "Two years ago, [the $1.1 billion sale of ] Tumblr was a big moment for New York. I think you're going to be seeing that a lot more frequently moving forward."

While California will continue to dominate the tech landscape in the near future, states like Massachusetts and New York have developed environments in which software developing companies can thrive and find major financial success.

FileMaker opens registration for 2015 DevCon

The 2015 edition of the FileMaker Developer Conference will take place July 20–23 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. This will be the 20th DevCon, and early bird registration is now open for developers who want to refine their skills and advance their careers. The price for registration is $2,095, but a number of discounts are available through the end of May.

The "early early bird" $800 discount is for anybody who registers between now and March 31 and includes a collection of 55 recorded sessions from the 2014 DevCon in San Antonio. The reduction between then and May 26 will be $500. All attendees will receive a free copy of FileMaker Pro Advanced, a $549 value. As a group discount, companies that purchase registrations for three employees will receive a fourth for free.

Sessions at the FileMaker DevCon cover topics from technical support and tips to best practices for businesses, delivered by experienced users and certified developers. There will be an Exhibitor Showcase of FileMaker add-ons and services, and engineers, product managers and support specialists will be present. Among this year's special events are a 20th anniversary party, a "Women of FileMaker" luncheon and a young developers social.

"Engineers, product managers and support specialists will be present."

For the first time this year, there will be a pre-conference training day for beginners and intermediate users, conducted by FileMaker Business Alliance certified trainers. Registration for this event costs $99 and does not require registration for the full conference.

Connecticut FileMaker developer Kyo Logic helps businesses make the most of the database software. We can customize it to each company's needs or provide training to help them continue to adapt and expand their databases over time.

FileMaker launches free Community to aid development

Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc., maker of the popular relational database software, has relaunched the former FileMaker Technical Network as the FileMaker Community, a free resource on the ins and outs of the software. The former TechNet has undergone a complete redesign to make it more accessible to users of all skill levels. The new Community now offers free information resources and forums to promote the exchange of ideas and tips.

All 60,000 registered TechNet members are automatically granted access to the Community and its online resources, which include examples and tools, guides and other product documentation, tech briefs and videos. Users can submit technical questions for experienced developers to answer, or simply participate in discussions on FileMaker development experiences.

As an introduction, the company has made available for free download five videos that were recorded during sessions at the 2014 FileMaker Developer Conference in San Antonio. At that event last summer, Kyo Logic's own Tim Neudecker came in second in the DevCon Developer Cup, behind only Christopher Schmitz of Skeleton Key, a Saint Louis-based company that is a partner of Kyo's in the FM Academy.

"The new Community now offers free information resources and forums."

Skeleton Key's Greg Lane is the host of one of the five videos that FileMaker is using to launch the community, "Developing with Perform Script on Server," which familiarizes viewers with one of the additions from 2013's FileMaker 13.

Kyo provides businesses in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York with all the support they need to make the most of FileMaker's capabilities. We can create database apps to your specific requirements and provide training to help you customize, expand and adapt your own databases as your needs evolve. Contact us to find out more about how we can streamline your business reporting processes.

IT sector buoys Mass. employment figures

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has published its latest report on the state's employment data. In December, Massachusetts added nearly 11,000 jobs, making a total of 60,900 new jobs in 2014, the fifth straight year of job growth, and about 200,000 since the end of the Great Recession. Over the course of last year, the unemployment rate fell from 7.1 percent to 5.5 percent, the lowest since August 2008.

As The Boston Globe notes, the tech industry, along with biotechnology and life sciences, helped Massachusetts emerge from the recession before many other states. According to the Office of Labor, the professional, scientific and business services industry added almost 13,000 jobs in 2014, behind only education and health services.

"Today's jobs report shows progress as the Commonwealth continues to reduce unemployment, but there is still much work to be done," said Governor Charlie Baker, who will be looking to build on these strong numbers after taking office this month. "Our Administration is committed to closing our state's deficit and focusing on meaningful steps to improve employment opportunities for everyone everywhere, especially veterans returning home, students entering the workforce, and those living in regions of our state still waiting for economic recovery."

The Massachusetts unemployment rate is at its lowest point in nearly seven years.The Massachusetts unemployment rate is at its lowest point in nearly seven years.

Recent developments show that state officials are relying on the IT sector to provide a further boost to the regional economy. So far in 2015, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has announced the creation of a startup portal for the city and a bill has been introduced in the General Court to promote collaboration between companies and municipalities. Massachusetts software developing companies should see their prospects improve in the coming months.

Connecticut jumps to second place for fastest broadband in the U.S.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based cloud services provider Akamai Technologies has released its latest State of the Internet report for the third quarter of 2014. The report provides valuable data on global and national broadband speeds, and this most recent edition brings very good news for the state of Connecticut.

According to Akamai's study, Connecticut's peak speeds jumped 25 percent in Q3, more than those of any other state, to 71 megabits per second. That puts it in second place in the United States, behind only Delaware at 75.7. The U.S. average is just 48.8 Mbps, dragged down by many rural states. Connecticut's 71 Mbps make it slower than just three countries: Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

Rounding out the top five states are Massachusetts (63.7 Mbps), Washington (62.6) and Virginia (61.8), with the District of Columbia at 63.1. Forty-seven states increased their speed in Q3, the exceptions being Kentucky, tied for slowest in the nation, and New Hampshire and Oregon, which are in the middle of the pack. Akamai says that average peak speeds reflect a territory's capacity better than simply average speeds.

"Connecticut's peak speeds jumped 25 percent in Q3."

"This is yet another measure in which Connecticut doesn't just compete with our fellow states when it comes to internet speed — it blows away the competition," said Connecticut Senate majority leader Bob Duff to The Daily Voice. "This is a home run for Connecticut, and the kind of news that both individuals and small businesses can really get excited about."

A growing number of state and local governments are realizing that fast internet speeds are a necessity for their businesses to thrive. Connecticut FileMaker developer Kyo Logic can help local companies grow through the development of customized databases and business apps.

“Innovative Communities” bill reaches Mass. Senate

The Massachusetts Legislative Tech Hub Caucus has finalized plans to introduce a so-called "Innovative Communities" bill to the Massachusetts General Court. The Caucus is co-chaired by State Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante. The bill, which Spilka introduced in the Senate on Friday, aims to connect the state's cities and towns with emerging technologies developed by Massachusetts companies.

Spilka met with members of the tech community following her re-election last November. At the meeting, a panel of judges that included iRobot CEO Colin Angle picked the idea for the bill in a contest modeled after startup pitch competitions. Industry insiders complained that startups often struggle to secure contracts with local councils.

"The process is lengthy and hard for them to understand," agreed Spilka. "We're trying to be innovative and creative. We're sending a message to the startup and tech community that Massachusetts is a welcoming place to do business."

"This has been a momentous week for the Massachusetts IT community."

This has turned out to be something of a momentous week for the Massachusetts IT community. During Tuesday's state of the city address, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the creation of StartHub, a startup portal to help entrepreneurs connect with the city and with each other. The city will soon begin the search for its "startup czar," who will be in charge of city-community relations, according to Mayor Walsh's chief of staff.

With the Innovative Communities bill, the Tech Hub Caucus hopes to boost both technological adoption among municipalities and growth opportunities for the state's software developing companies. By bringing private initiatives and public funding together, the Massachusetts tech scene can remain a leader on the national stage.

Boston mayor announces creation of startup portal

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh delivered his first State of the City address on Tuesday, focusing largely on education and housing. Among his other announcements was one of great interest to the Massachusetts tech sector: the launch of StartHub, a regional platform to encourage entrepreneurship. Mayor Walsh said the project would include the naming of a full-time "startup czar" to guide its policies.

There are still very few details on this initiative, but members of the tech community welcomed the news. Walsh's chief of staff, Dan Koh, told BetaBoston that StartHub is the result of a series of roundtables the mayor has held with tech CEOs, venture capitalists and accelerators. Many complained that companies were not getting enough assistance from city officials.

"I think this is a big move by the city and has the potential to benefit the startup community if done right," said HourlyNerd CEO Patrick Petitti, whose website allows companies to hire MBA candidates and graduates part-time. "Without knowing the job description, I would imagine and hope that he or she will act as a conduit between the community and the city, engaging with entrepreneurs to understand needs and challenges."

City officials want to help Boston compete on the U.S. tech scene.

As this blog reported at the time, New York City already launched a portal, Digital.NYC, in October, to help entrepreneurs connect with investors and with each other and assist IT professionals in finding work. Los Angeles also has a similar project in place to liaise with its tech community.

While this initiative has barely gotten off the ground, entrepreneurs and city leaders hope that in areas like software development Boston will be able to maintain the standard of its world-class universities.

Kyo developers obtain FileMaker 13 certification

FileMaker 13, the latest version of the Apple-owned relational database software, was released in December 2013 with enhanced mobile functionality and a server admin tool based on HTML5. This software helps organizations of all sizes and in all industries customize their data management processes. FileMaker developers can make those tasks much easier, taking charge of the database creation or even providing training to allow companies to get the most out of their data.

Kyo Logic is proud to have four certified FileMaker 13 developers among our ranks. Co-founders John Mathewson and Tim Neudecker have been recognized by their peers for their contributions to the developer community, and together with senior developer Andres Rua they have more than 25 years of experience with FileMaker. Last month, Alan Lee became the latest Kyo employee to obtain his FileMaker 13 certification.

"We are proud to have four certified FileMaker 13 developers."

FileMaker offers a certification exam to recognize highly skilled developers. This label gives prospective clients the confidence that comes from knowing that they are receiving top-notch service from experts. Since our foundation over a decade ago, we have served companies in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York in a wide variety of industries, from education to finance, manufacturing and retail, among others.

Our clients include such well-known organizations as Bayer, Madison Square Garden, Pepperidge Farm, the University of Connecticut and Yale University, as well as dozens of smaller companies. We can help you streamline all your reporting processes and teach you or your employees the finer details of FileMaker so that you can adapt and expand your databases as needed. With Kyo Logic, you can rest assured that your most important data is in expert hands.

Washington fruit marketer streamlines reporting with FileMaker

In this day and age, even companies in some of the oldest industries can benefit from state-of-the-art technology to improve their operations. In November, this blog reported on how a New Zealand firm that helps vintners find workers has boosted its efficiency by using FileMaker to track grape picking. Back in the U.S., another agricultural company has found similar success using the relational database software.

Chelan Fresh Marketing, a fruit seller based in Chelan, Washington, adopted FileMaker 16 months ago and began replacing a laborious and much less practical paper-based system. Chelan Fresh has furnished its sales reps with iPads so that they can easily access checklists, inspection logs and order information when they're working in the field. By the end of this year, the company hopes to be 100 percent paperless.

They started with a test run during the 2013 cherry season, and it was so successful that they contacted a FileMaker developer to help them create customized apps for their various products. Beyond simply making all the data that used to be on paper available digitally, the iPad allows employees to do things they couldn't before, such as take photos of the fruit and upload them directly to the database.

The database allows sales reps to easily access shipment information in the field.

"You can add a lot more depth to your data because of the flexibility of the tool," said CIO Sam Godwin to The Packer. "Let's say I get an order rejected at a market far away, I could type in that order number and it would bring me all the information about that fruit and that order."

Certified FileMaker consultants are available to help companies make the most of this software by creating customized apps that meet all their reporting needs.

Connecticut Innovations funded 100 companies in 2014

Early-stage investment fund Connecticut Innovations (CI) has announced that it supported 100 tech startups throughout the state during the 2014 calendar year, providing tens of millions of dollars to companies in various areas. CI was created in 1989 by the Connecticut General Assembly to boost the development of the state's private IT sector. The agency provides capital and loans to businesses that show promise.

In 2014, CI directly invested $20.2 million in 44 bioscience, clean energy, financial tech and IT startups, helping them attract an additional $61.8 million in angel investments and venture capital from other sources. Thirty-two of them had previously received funding from CI and were selected for their potential for future growth. Twenty-two others received $15 million in loans from CI and $37.4 million more from banks.

The agency also provided $32.4 million in tax-exempt funding to nine companies through its Specialty Finance Group, nearly $4 million to bioscience projects, $2.4 million to funding partners and $216,000 to 21 startups through the Entrepreneur Innovation Awards.

"The agency provides capital and loans to businesses that show promise."

"Increased CI investment levels and entrepreneurial community building efforts of the past several years have created incredible momentum, spurring the growth and development of young companies in Connecticut," said CEO Claire Leonardi. "In particular, we look forward to more commercialization and company spinouts from our universities, which has been a focus here at CI."

Initiatives like CI that bring together private and public funding to promote innovation are the best way to ensure that Connecticut is able to hold its own in America's tech scene in the years to come. Biosciences, energy and software developing companies can all benefit from the opportunities that these funds provide.