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Welcome to the news section of the Ecosystem Ventures website. Here you will find recent news coverage on Ecosystem Ventures and our portfolio companies. Be sure to check back often for regular updates.

Ecosystem Ventures in the News

Executive MBA - Digital Transformation

Ecosystem Ventures is a proud partner and contributing docent at the Digital Transformation Executive Program.



Born Global Venture Lab II
August 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Alexander Fries, President of Ecosystem Ventures, to be a panelist at Born Global

ScribbleLive Acquires Visually To Combine Their Content Marketing Tools


Integral Ad Science Acquires Video Measurement Startup Veenome

Image result for yahoo finance logo

Lear Acquires Intellectual Property from Autonet Mobile, a Leading Developer of Communication Software and Devices for Automotive Applications

L.E.S.S. SA closes CHF 3.0 million Series A financing round to boost the commercialization of their revolutionary lighting systems.


Head-To-Head Mobile Fantasy App Draft Raises $3.5 Million Led By Upfront Ventures


3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara, California: Alex Fries, President of Ecosystem Ventures,  to be part of the investment panel - October 22nd - 2014


Image result for Techcrunch logo

DraftKings Raises Another $41M And Acquires Daily Fantasy Sports Competitor StarStreet http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/25/draftkings-41m-starstreet/

Fall EXPO 2014 @ PlugnPlay

Ecosystem Ventures' President, Alex Fries, will be judging the start ups at Fall EXPO 2014.
EXPO, Plug and Play’s quarterly pitch competition event, will feature 40+ startup pitches, panel discussions and corporate networking. Join us on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 to see the latest tech trends and meet the entrepreneurs who are bringing to market new and exciting solutions!

PowerInbox And ActivePath Join Forces, Raise $10 Million Series A For New, Combined Company


Interactive email platform providers PowerInbox and ActivePath join forces, raise $10 Million Series A for new, combined company.


DraftKings Raises Another $41M And Acquires Daily Fantasy Sports Competitor StarStreet


Alexander Fries, Ecosystem Ventures talks European investment


Igniting Europe's Silicon Valley
(Presentation by Alex Fries, President of Ecosystem Ventures)


Jawbone Snaps Up Playground.fm (aka NoiseToys Inc.)


Indie E-Book Printer Blurb Buys Graphicly, Will Shut Down Comic E-Publishing Platform


‘Airbnb For Retail’ Startup Storefront Raises $7.3M From Spark Capital, Expands To LA


World Web Forum 2014

WorldWebForum 2014

Ecosystem Ventures on panel discussion at the 2014 WWF conference in Zurich, Switzerland

President of Ecosystem Ventures, Alexander Fries presents to class of 2014 Executive MBAs - Skolkovo School of Business and Management, Russia.

Alexander Fries invited to a Panel at the Red Herring Global 100 - 2013

Red Herring Global is the culmination of a year’s work of scouring the globe and reviewing thousands of privately held companies from around the world. The pool of candidates for the award are the top private companies from the Regional competitions in Europe, North America, and Asia.
The Red Herring Global 2013 forum features presentations from the Red Herring 100 Global short-list, and keynote addresses from leading investors and CEOs of game-changing companies.


Alex Fries key note speaker at IDIAP - International Create Challenge 2013

The International Create Challenge is a free of charge, 3-week immersive super accelerator program that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to drive their projects to a Minimum Viable Product. It is a unique program combining state-of-art technologies and cutting edge research, mentors-lead coaching, micro-seed investment and a star prize of more than CHF 100’000.-. The event is organized by IDIAP http://www.idiap.ch/

Nordic Start-ups Panel:
Alex Fries invited to be on investor panel for Scandinavian Start-ups event - 2013



Veenome, a startup that analyzes video content to improve ad targeting (as well as analytics and SEO), just announced that it has raised $600,000 in new funding


5. Weiterbildungsworkshop für Dozenten und Akteure im Bereich Entrepreneurship
Echte Werte im Internet – Online-Geschäftsmodelle, die funktionieren
11./12. September 2012 auf Bocken, Horgen ZH

Alexander Fries key note speaker

Cooperation with:

Nuance Acquires Speech Company SVOX


Nuance is picking up another company today, acquiring SVOX, a company that developers voice recognition software for in-car systems and consumer electronics. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Understanding Diseases – Financing Drugs: A Need for Innovative Strategies

January 11, 2011 – swissnex San Francisco

Roundtable with Speakers: Alternative Strategies to Finance Drug Development
moderated by Alexander Fries, President, Ecosystem Ventures LLC


Video Platform Startup Veenome Raises $500K From Ecosystem VC & Angels

Nanotion raises CHF 1.2 millions in Seed Financing Round


Visa approves this transaction: PlaySpan for $190M

VentureBeat  09 Feb 2011 08:52 AM PST

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced an agreement to acquire PlaySpan Inc., a privately held company whose payments platform handles transactions for digital goods in online games, digital media and social networks around the world. The acquisition of PlaySpan complements Visa's 2010 CyberSource acquisition and extends the company's capabilities into one of the fastest-growing segments of eCommerce - digital and mobile commerce.

MicroVentures Raises $300,000 Fund To Invest In Facebook On Secondary Markets


PowerInbox completes $1.74M funding


Highlights CNO Panel No. 9 – Innovation

Montag, 9. November 2009, 16.30.Uhr bis 21.00 Uhr, Kultur-Casino Bern, Herrengasse 25, 3011 Bern

Social App Maker NoiseToys Raises $1.2M


Entstehung eines Swiss Founders Fund für das Rheintal
Alex Fries, Venture Capitalist

SWISS MADE SOFTWARE: Fehlt es Schweizer Softwareschmieden an Mut zum Risiko? 

Alex Fries, Ecosystem Ventures:.
«Beste Kombination: Schweizer Engineers und US-Marketeers»
Schweizer Software fehlt es nicht an Qualität, wohl aber an globaler Präsenz. Liegt das zum Teil an unserer Mentalität? Die Netzwoche fragte bei Alex Fries, Schweizer Investor im Silicon Valley, nach.                                             Nr. 01 vom 13. Januar 2010


SWISS MADE SOFTWARE: Fehlt es Schweizer Softwareschmieden an Mut zum Risiko?

Nr. 01 vom 13. Januar 2010

Alex Fries, Ecosystem Ventures:.
«Beste Kombination: Schweizer Engineers und US-Marketeers»
Schweizer Software fehlt es nicht an Qualität, wohl aber an globaler Präsenz. Liegt das zum Teil an unserer Mentalität? Die Netzwoche fragte bei Alex Fries, Schweizer Investor im Silicon Valley, nach.


Alta tecnologia e crisi economica

Il mondo visto da Silicon Valley

Novembre 2008, Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana,

Alex Fries, grigionese d'origine, è il presidente di una piccola società di venture capitalist, che si è improvvisato guida per i colleghi della RSI e li ha guidati nella "Valley". Un viaggio nella fabbrica delle idee. Un piccolo salto nel futuro anche dal punto di vista socio-economico: la concorrenza è costituita da giovani indiani e cinesi con doppio Master, triple specializzazioni e soprattutto disponibilità a lavorare a metà salario. Tra le persone che Giuseppe Bucci ha incontrato c'è anche Karl Mehta, immigrato indiano, numero uno di un'azienda che sviluppa software per l'e-commerce, uno dei moltissimi indiani dell'India che hanno un ruolo importante nel famoso polo high tech a sud di San Francisco, visto che il 45% delle nuove società nella valley ormai è creata da indiani.

Listen to the reportage:


LOCATION: Greenv Sustainable Center of South San Francisco, 1 Chestnut Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080


We brought together the leaders in energy and environmental policy from Sweden and California and the trendsetters within clean tech for a dynamic dialogue about their goals, successes, current technology gaps---and insights into where business opportunities exist within this framework.

Venture and Angel Investing in Europe
February 23, 2009 - Skilling Auditorium - Stanford University


"La Suisse a tout ce qu'il faut pour créer sa Silicon Valley"
5. Janvier 2008

Destination: la Californie.C’est le choix que font beaucoup de jeunes ingénieurs ou entrepreneurs suisses désirant lancer leur start-up. Beaucoup trop, selon Alex Fries, patron grison d’une petite firme de «venture capital» basée à San Francisco. Lui est persuadé que la Suisse pourrait freiner cet exode en créant sa propre Silicon Valley. SAN FRANCISCO NICOLAS HUBER

Installé à San Francisco, Alex Fries voit arriver beaucoup de start-up helvétiques. Il est aussi bien placé pour constater combien l’Oncle Sam achète volontiers des jeunes pousses helvétiques actives notamment en informatique, nanotechnologies ou biotechnologies. Une migration inverse à celle des grands noms de la technologie américaine qui – comme Google ou Yahoo! – s’installent en Suisse. En tant qu’investisseur (il a fondé Ecosystem Venture il y a 18 mois), il n’a pas grand-chose à y redire. En tant que citoyen suisse, par contre, il estime que l’exode des start-up est «un gros problème» pour son pays. «C’est une fuite de cerveaux, une perte de savoir technologique et scientifique, une perte d’entreprises et de places de travail potentielles.» La cause de cette immigration? «L’argent! Rien d’autre ne leur manque vraiment en Suisse.» Il y a bien des «masses d’argent qui dorment au pays», note le spécialiste. Mais pas celui dont les start-up ont un besoin à leurs tout débuts: du «seed money», ces sommes «modestes» (de une à plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars) qui leur permettent de définir leur produit, dresser un business plan ou construire un prototype. Autant d’étapes obligatoires pour réussir, ensuite, à convaincre de gros investisseurs. En Suisse, ces derniers ne s’occupent guère des start-up naissantes. «Ils n’en voient pas le potentiel, ou ils sont trop conservateurs», note Alex Fries. C’est vrai aussi que, à ce stade, les jeunes pousses ne promettent pas encore de profits rapides et mirobolants. «Investissant par millions de dollars, ils ne veulent pas non plus le faire à coups de 100 000 dollars. Alors ils préfèrent investir dans les grandes firmes de venture capital, notamment américaines. Leur cash – helvétique – profite donc surtout à des start-up étrangères!»

La Suisse n’en est pas un désert pour autant, estime le spécialiste. «La Confédération est consciente de la valeur des start-up. Elle fait notamment du très bon travail via sa Commission pour la technologie et l’innovation, qui aide les startup liées aux universités.» Mais «vu l’inventivité qui règne dans notre pays, il y aurait de quoi investir dix fois plus!» La Suisse, rappelle-t-il, est classée dans les tout premiers pays au monde en terme d’innovation. «Il faut exploiter ce formidable potentiel, ne pas garder de fantastiques inventions dans les vitrines des universités!» «La Suisse devrait créer un fonds mixte public-privé», propose l’investisseur.Qui pourrait aussi inclure une dimension sociale en prévoyant l’engagement de jeunes travailleurs. Cette formation sur le tas pourrait aussi contribuer à changer les mentalités, glisse-t-il en riant. «Nous sommes trop modestes, pas assez ambitieux! Aux Etats-Unis, ils décrochent la lune avec des logiciels, des inventions scientifiques ou technologiques souvent moins bons que les nôtres, juste parce qu’ils osent viser les étoiles!» «Notre pays a tout ce qu’il faut pour créer sa Silicon Valley!», lance Alex Fries. Il en est persuadé depuis qu’il a cofondé l’une de ses start-up, sVox, en 2001. D’autres le sont aussi, sans doute. Reste à en persuader beaucoup. En attendant, il rêve déjà d’inverser l’exode en attirant des start-up étrangères dans une Helvétie devenue la Silicon Valley de l’Europe. Pour y arriver, la Suisse devra oser viser les étoiles. /NHU-ats

Business Finance Climate 2006: A Perspective from German-American Venture.
GABA and the German Consulate present this opportunity to meet leading international venture capital and private equity fund managers from Europe, Germany and the U.S. who will share their views of next year's overall financial climate and funding for international technology companies. Speakers include: George Pierce, Operating Partner, Primus Capital Partners; Thomas Gieselmann, General Partner, BV Capital; Alexander Fries, President, Ecosystems Ventures and Co-Founder, European American Angels Club; Tom Schulz, Member, The Angels' Forum and Partner, Halo Fund.

Comment ces entrepreneurs suisse sont réussi aux Etats-Unis
«Ici,c’est la jungle,il y a une vraie guerre économique» Alex Fries est un entrepreneur né. On ne compte plus le nombre de sociétés qu’il a fondées. A 40 ans, ce Zurichois d’origine vit dans la Silicon Valley mais travaille entre la Suisse et les Etats-Unis. Sa société, Ecosystem Found, finance des start-up. «J’investis à hauteur de 1 million
en moyenne. Cette somme permet à des start-up de passer d’un prototype à un pilote», explique-t-il. Une étape
importante, qui donne des chances à un projet de voir le jour. Aujourd’hui, il chapeaute 15 jeunes pousses et travaille sur la commercialisation d’une eau grisonne au label «PURE SWISS». «Les Etats-Unis offrent beaucoup
d’opportunités, les gens se battent, ce qui les conduit au succès», affirme-t-il. Il s’est installé là-bas parce que le
marché est colossal. Mais il reconnaît aussi: «C’est la jungle, il y a une vraie guerre économique.» L’entrepreneur
avoue qu’il regrette que la Suisse ne soit pas plus ambitieuse: «Je pousse le gouvernement à créer une Silicon Valley helvétique car nous avons des compétences technologiques extraordinaires et il y aurait aussi de l’argent à faire chez nous.»

Portfolio Companies in the News

10 IT security companies to watch
Video surveillance, data leakage and application whitelisting among start-ups’ focus areas

NexTier in the news: By Ellen Messmer, Network World, 11/17/2008

TubeMogul Lands $3 Million in Series A Funding


Cars Gone Wireless
April 9, 2009, 12:01AM ESTAutomakers and tech companies are adding a growing array of information and entertainment extras such as Web access in vehicles http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2009/tc2009049_588284.htm chan=technology_technology+index+page_top+stories

SVOX Acquires Siemens' Speech Unit
By Adam Boretz - Posted Jan 26, 2009

SVOX—a provider of embedded speech solutions for the automotive and mobile industries—acquired the Professional Speech Processing Group of Siemens, the company announced today.

Included in the deal was all of Siemens’ speech-related intellectual property developed during the past 25 years, including the SpeechAdvance speech recognition product suite and more than 60 patent families.

Because of the acquisition, SVOX will be able to offer its own automatic speech recognition (ASR) products and complete speech dialogue solutions, a move that will allow the company to reinforce its position in embedded speech solutions for the automotive and mobile phone industry.

According to Alexander Davydov, marketing strategist at SVOX, the acquisition means that SVOX no longer needs to combine its own text-to-speech (TTS) products with the ASR products of other companies to deliver full speech solutions. “Now we are able to offer a complete set of speech solutions,” he says. “Now we are in a position to offer the whole suite. So that will be enormous synergy there.”

Prior to the acquisition, Davydov says SVOX had been working with Siemens “all the time” because many SVOX customers were already choosing to pair the two companies’ technologies.

“In that sense, there was already, for some years, some cooperation between the two units,” he says. “All significant players in this market, they all have both TTS and ASR. So for that reason there was strategic intentions for SVOX to acquire ASR technology…And Siemens has very strong technology.”

According to Davydov, the acquisition is a boon for SVOX customers, who can now simply come to SVOX and get a complete solution. This one-stop shopping will make things simpler for customers and reduce the complexity inherent to combining various products from different suppliers. “The combined solution would be more than just the sum of two parts,” he says. “There would be some synergies”

Although Davydov said it was too early to talk about any impending product announcements, he noted the main focus at SVOX would likely be Polyglot TTS, miniaturization for mobile devices, and natural language understanding technologies.

The majority of the employees at Siemens’ Professional Speech Processing Group, with offices in Munich and Berlin, will be integrated into SVOX’s operations in Munich. SVOX is headquartered in Switzerland.

From minivan to mobile hot spot

Personal Technology By Edward C. Baig

Your family is piled in the minivan. The front passenger is surfing the Web and checking e-mail. A teen with his own laptop in the back row watches a YouTube video, while another downloads music and wirelessly transfers pictures from a digital camera. Your youngest connects with friends on a Sony PSP.

And everyone is on Wi-Fi.

Delphi, Autonet To Expand Car Internet
Car Internet Could Diagnose Repair Issues

Autonet in the news: Twice, 11/4/2008, 9:26:00 AM

By Amy Gilroy

Troy, Mich. — Delphi and Autonet Mobile have agreed to develop and market new car-based Internet products, including a remote diagnostics and repair system that can be added to an entertainment system.

Autonet and Delphi are working on an Internet based product that integrates into the bus system of a vehicle to allow remote diagnostics and repairs of the car, including an instant answer to what a “check engine” warning references. Software problems with the car could be fixed remotely.

TubeMogul Acquires Flash Player Analytics Firm Illumenix

Illumenix in the News: PR Web, Oct 29, 2008

TubeMogul's distribution and Illumenix's detailed metrics combine to create one of the most comprehensive online video services available to publishers, advertisers and video sharing sites.

Emeryville, CA (PRWEB) October 29, 2008 -- TubeMogul, the Web's most popular syndication and tracking service for online video, announced the acquisition of video metrics firm Illumenix today.

Lifetime Networks to Acquire ParentsClick Network, Inc., Marking First-Ever Digital Acquisition
August 27, 2008 9:49 AM ET

Mother`s click in the news: MSN money News

Social Network and Digital Media Technology Company to Power Community Functionality for Growing Lifetime Digital Properties Including www.myLifetime.com and LMN.tv

NEW YORK, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Lifetime Networks today announced its first-ever digital acquisition with the purchase of ParentsClick Network, Inc., a privately held social network and digital media technology company that has developed an online community application for creating customizable, content-rich websites for active parents and their real-life groups. The announcement was made byDan Suratt, Executive Vice President, Lifetime Digital Media and Business Development, Lifetime Networks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stealth Startup Unveils Breakthrough Semantic Analysis for Information Security

Nextier in the News:
TradingMarkets.com, April 2, 2008

Microsoft and SVOX to speech-enable automotive applications

SVOX in the news: Jul 10, 2008

SVOX and Microsoft will join forces to provide speech for in-vehicle communication, entertainment, information and navigation products.
This new generation of in-car speech solutions will be designed to meet the automotive industry's growing demand for multilingual high quality text-to-speech solutions.
The SVOX-Microsoft collaboration will enable the partners to turn around projects much faster than the typical automotive industry's product development cycle.
The latest Microsoft Auto 3.0 SDK with SVOX text-to-speech is available now

Nextier Emerges From Stealth With Series A Plans

NexTier Networks in the news:

Santa Clara, Calif.
Nextier Emerges From Stealth With Series A Plans
By Scott Denne 7/16/2008

Nextier Networks Inc., a provider of data loss prevention technology, has emerged from stealth and is looking for its Series A round. The company, officially founded in April 2007, has already raised less than $2 million in convertible notes from seed investors Archimedes Capital and Ecosystem Ventures as well as individuals, said Tarique Mustafa, the company's founder, chairman and chief technology officer. Mustafa declined to disclose the exact amount of funds raised so far.
Nextier Networks' software performs a semantic analysis of unstructured data to ensure compliance with security policies. The core technology was originally envisioned as a semantic search engine, but Mustafa said he realized that there was a more urgent need for the technology in data loss prevention.
It is "highly likely" that the company will raise between $5 million and $8 million of Series A financing within the next three months. The company has already been offered two term sheets, but is in "no hurry" to close the round, Mustafa said.
Nextier Networks also has received offers from corporate acquirers, but the board is "tilting toward growing the company," Mustafa said. The company's products are currently in beta mode. General availability is expected in September, Mustafa said. Mustafa also founded wireless infrastructure start-up Network Utilities in 1999. He also served as CTO of Andes Networks Inc. and a principal architect of Nevis Networks Inc. The company will compete against data loss protection offerings from EMC Corp. and Symantec Corp. as well as venture-backed companies Code Green Networks Inc., Fidelis Security Systems Inc., Reconnex Inc., Verdasys Inc. and Vericept Corp.
Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Nextier Networks has about 20 employees, Mustafa said.

In-Game Commerce Firm PlaySpan Acquires PayByCash

Playspan Inc. in the news:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Get ready for home automation

Lagotek in the News:
The Seattle Times, March 31, 2008

Massage chair company Zubio gets funding to help stressed techies relax

The weekend’s here at last, and thank goodness — I’m totally beat and stressed from a week of blogging and running around at Web 2.0. If you’re feeling the same way, now might be a good time to enjoy a massage at Zubio in downtown San Francisco. Not only was the company co-founded by David Palmer, inventor of the massage chair, it also just raised a second round of funding, according to VentureWire.

Dubbed as the potential “Starbucks of chair massage” (because Palmer is working hard to make massage mainstream) by the Atlantic Monthly and others, the company raised an undisclosed first round and opened the studio in 2006. Zubio’s financial district location puts it in a prime spot for both SoMa-based techies and the financiers who back them, but the company also makes its massages (and specially-designed massage chairs, which support you as a specialist works over your acupressure points) available in other locations like corporate offices and malls. The company’s website even suggests holding meetings and conferences in its studio, which would certainly be a memorable experience.

The size of the new funding was not disclosed, but chief executive Sam Keller told VentureWire it was “not far off from” the $2 million to $5 million that he was targeting earlier. It comes from individual investors including Philip Schlein of U.S. Venture Partners, former Yoga Works co-chief executive Rob Wrubel, Gary Grace of Supercuts and Rob Wilson, president of Tiburon Research Group. Keller plans to go out for more funding to finish the round in June, and to open at least one more studio by the end of this year.
Tags: co:Zubio, people:Gary Grace, people:Philip Schlein, people:Rob Wilson, people:Rob Wrubel

Collanos und Axes Systems: Finalisten bei Red Herring 100 Europe 2008

Die beiden Schweizer Start-ups Collanos Software und Axes Systems haben sich für das Finale von Red Herring 100 Europa 2008 qualifiziert. Dieser Award wird jedes Jahr den 100 besten privaten Technologie-Firmen in der EMEA-Region vergeben.

POOCH in the News:

Tux and Tails

In Tokyo, High Fashion Is Going to the Dogs


The Wall Street Journal Online

February 1, 2008

TOKYO -- Flaunting a neon-green wig and red-and-black vest, the model sashayed down the runway to the beat of Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Then, rather than pose for the photographers, she turned tail and sniffed the floor, before being whisked away by her handler.

Roll over, Gisele Bündchen. The stars on this catwalk last month were pooches like Honoka, a yellow Labrador retriever, primped for Tokyo's first Pet Fashion Week. Her vest -- fashioned from figure-hugging breathable rubber and lined in faux fur -- was designed by MODRuff of Toronto. Other "models" were clad in creations by such canine clothiers as Manfred of Sweden, Doggi Dog Paris and Milan's For Pets Only.

Pet Fashion Week New York, a U.S.-based concern that started holding dog runway events at trade shows it organizes in New York two years ago, targeted puppy-mad Tokyo for its first overseas foray. "In the U.S. dogs are dressed to a degree, but not as meticulously or as coordinated as you see" in Japan, says Mario DiFante, a partner and executive director of Pet Fashion Week. "In terms of pet boutiques," he declares, "Tokyo may even have reached the point of oversaturation."

Pet fashion has been hot ever since Paris Hilton was snapped toting her uber-chic Chihuahua Tinkerbell to society soirees (Ms. Hilton has since launched her own line of pet clothing and accessories). Yet the industry is still novelty-driven, with "a lot of holiday items, like when you dress your dog as Santa Claus," says Alexa Cach, a Pet Fashion Week executive director. "We're trying to lift it out of that, to take the design aspect and the utilitarian aspect and combine them." Dressing pets is particularly popular in Japan, which has a declining population. "The low birthrate here has left a niche for something to fill, and it seems that pets are filling it," says Adam Bigelow, Japan representative for San Francisco-based Poochonline.com, a purveyor of designer apparel and furnishings for dogs and cats. According to market research company Euromonitor International, Japan is home to more than 13 million dogs, ranking it fourth globally behind the U.S., China and Brazil. The research company credits the "humanization of pets" as "the main driver of growth" behind certain products aimed at their care. Tokyo-based Yano Research Institute estimates that owners in Japan spent $10 billion in 2006, the latest figures available, on everything from food to clothes to the purchase price of the pets. Phenomena that would be noteworthy in some places -- restaurants that allow pets, for example, or state-of-the-art pet spas -- are taken for granted in many Tokyo neighborhoods. Dog strollers are common; in fact, the audience assembled at the fashion show, which was part of a two-day trade show called New Year Dog Party, looked like a toddlers' convention, but for the wet black noses poking inquisitively out of the passing baby carriages. "In contrast to the U.S. or China, the Japanese tend to see their dogs as a reflection of their own status," says Naohisa Tsujihara, chief executive of Sepia Pet Care School and Sepia Grooming Shop, which provided the dogs for the runway show. "It's a way of projecting themselves to outsiders." That may be why mutts and mongrels appear scarce: Walk through a Tokyo park and nearly all the dogs on parade appear to be purebreds, a preposterous percentage are miniature dachshunds or toy poodles -- and few of them are naked.

Among the hundreds of dogs attending the event, along with an estimated 20,000 humans, was a handsome Dalmatian who wore just his birthday spots and a firehouse-red collar. He seemed scandalously underdressed next to the pair of Italian greyhounds decked out as harlequins. A bull terrier managed to make a sailor suit look both dapper and intimidating; a trio of panting Maltese sported matching denim bodysuits and yellow booties.
And then there was Hana-chan, a 10-year-old toy poodle dressed as Audrey Hepburn in a white satin dress with black lace trim, and a matching bonnet. Her owner, Kazuo Nagai, 56, an entrepreneur, looked more like a truck driver than the kind of guy who would spend his time shopping for frilly dogwear. But he even brought two additional outfits for Hana-chan -- a replica of the gown that enka singer Hibari Misora wore for her legendary farewell performance at the Tokyo Dome, and a miniature kimono. "Time for a costume change!" Mr. Nagai chirped as he slipped off the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" ensemble and struggled to get the kimono over Hana-chan's trembling legs. "I'm not sure if the dogs are enjoying it, but the owners are," he exclaimed. Most of the dogs in the audience seemed to welcome the chance to socialize at the trade show, which among other things offered pet yoga classes, an area for testing vacuum cleaners -- which sent passing dogs into fits of terror -- and endless opportunities to sniff and be sniffed. "I think they're enjoying it," Hiromi Sato, 40, a housewife, said of her Wilshire terriers Choco, 7, and Banana, 3. Banana looked chic in a black sweater, white collar and black-, gray- and white-checked pants. But she wasn't quite as hip as Choco, whose identical outfit was topped by dark goggles worn on his forehead. Between them, the pair has more than 100 changes of clothes. "It seems to relax them to wear clothes," Ms. Sato confided.

Manfred of Sweden displayed a Swarovski crystal-bedecked gold-and-silver colored leather jacket retailing at $5,000 at the trade show. Manfred also makes a $20,000 diamond-encrusted leather doggie jacket. At the lower end, there are "hoodie" sweatshirts, made of stretchable sport material emblazoned with a snapshot of the Beatles, which sell for about $300 each.
"Our main goal is that the clothes should have both functionality and design," says the line's designer, whose name is not Manfred -- that's the three-kilogram Yorkshire terrier that serves as a muse -- but Bjorn Gardsby. "And all the materials should be good for the dog." For the pet with a more hip-hop edge, designer Pup Rock showed doggie dresses fashioned from Gorillaz or Outkast concert T-shirts.

Some of the humans came hoping to leave with new ideas to spur their puppy-fashion sales. "The challenge that the market has right now is that it's difficult to find really innovative fashion," laments Poochonline.com chief executive Marjorie Scholz. "That's one reason we came to Japan, not only to show what we're innovating but also to see what they're innovating here. The Japanese take everything they do very seriously, and they do it to extremes."

--Hiroyuki Kachi and Megumi Fujikawa contributed to this article

Collanos in the news, January 24. 2007:

Collanos Gets Zürcher Kantonalbank on Board

Additional institutional investor for the Swiss-American Start-up

Zurich, San Francisco, January 24, 2008 – The third largest Swiss Bank, Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB), comes on board as an additional institutional investor in Collanos Software, a Swiss-American start-up.

Experienced management, promising products, an innovative business model, and a compelling market with a demonstrable growing global user community were the key criteria for the decision. ZKB joins existing notable private and institutional investors American Ecosystem Ventures, and serial Swiss entrepreneurs Andreas Danuser (Swiss VoIP Pioneer) and Reto Hartinger.

The ZKB investment allows Collanos to continue the development of free teamwork and phone solutions and get ready for the launch of the much anticipated Premium services developed along with partner Translumina Networks. ZKB intends to take on a role as an active investor, as Oliver Schärli, Head of ZKB Start-up Finance, was quoted:  “Collanos will for sure profit as well from our great networking with other institutional investors“ .

 “We are excited that the thorough financial, technical and economical due diligence, conducted by Switzerland’s third largest bank’s Start-up Finance specialists, resulted in this outcome,”  said Peter Helfenstein, CEO of Collanos Software. “Since we have been a certified CTI start-up company for a while now, ZKB’s decision further substantiates the quality and outlook of our venture. We are well prepared and confident that we will close our Series A financing round very soon”.

About Collanos Software
Collanos is a global start-up that focuses on the collaboration needs of teams who demand a secure, cross-platform, server-less solution, on- and off-line.  By leveraging open-source technologies, open standards, the familiarity of existing tools, and a global development model, Collanos delivers a friendly, all inclusive team-based solution that combines the benefits of classic client/server, web, and peer-to-peer architectures.
In 2007, Collanos was selected as a candidate for the Emerging Tech Award by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.
Collanos was founded in November 2003 and has offices in San Francisco and Zurich, Switzerland.


Zikon Inc. to present at the Nanotech Ventures 2007 on May 23rd at 5pm http://www.nsti.org/Nanotech2007/Development/ventures.html

6th Grader Gets $6.5M Funding For In-Game Commerce Startup


Collanos and beteo Bundle Resources (German)

Autonet Mobile in the news: http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=20532&hed=Wi-Fi+On+Wheels

Svox in the news: http://www.svox.com/News-Items-SVOX-wins-Intel-for-the-Navigation-Day-at-CeBIT-2007.aspx

 Listen to Autonet Mobile's CEO speak at the 2006 CES show http://www.cnbc.com/id/16524078  
Spectralus Coporation will be attending the Photonics West Exhibition from January 24-26 at the San Jose Convention Center.

Meet with Zikon Inc. Executives and Engineers at the 2006 SID Forum in San Francisco from June 4-9, 2006. Zikon will be exhibiting at booth #1520.

May 10-12, 2006 - Crowne Plaza Downtown San Jose, San Jose, CA                                                                               

Zikon Inc. will be presenting a Paper on Applications for Electronic Inks. Speaker will be Mr. Steve Winters, CEO Zikon Inc. www.intertechusa.com/flexible.html

Autonet Inc. will be presenting in front of the European-American Angels Club on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 6:00pm. Venue: Golden Gate Yacht Club, San Francisco http://www.ggyc.com/directions.php
COO Bettina Hein will be happy to SVOX AG's introduce you to mobile and in-car navigation speech products and services

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