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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Category: Entrepreneurs & VCs
November 5, 2008 at 6:00 AM

Microsoft emerging business boss talks startups in the tough economy, new BizSpark program

Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Strategic and Emerging Business Development, has a good view of the tech startup climate from his post in Silicon Valley, where he helps get Microsoft’s tools into young companies’ hands.

He shared his observations and more about the announcement today of the “BizSpark” program, giving qualified startups three years of access to an array of Microsoft software for $100 (story, program site), in an interview yesterday.

Here are condensed excerpts:


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May 5, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Buffett and Gates talk business

A day after Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting, billionaire buddies Warren Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman, and Bill Gates, a Berkshire director, were interviewed today on Fox Business Channel. Here’s a short story summarizing the conversation, and here are some interesting excerpts from a transcript provided by the Fox Business Network.


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January 10, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Intelius files to go public

Intelius, the company that provides online background checks and sells cellphone numbers to consumers, filed for an initial public offering today, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The Bellevue-based company said it hopes to raise up to $143.8 million in the offering. It would trade on the Nasdaq market under the symbol “INTL.”

Co-founder, CEO and President Naveen Jain previously founded InfoSpace, which at its height was worth more than Boeing. He was ultimately let go and paid a multi-million dollar settlement amid allegations of insider trading.

A Seattle Times investigation published in 2005 found that Jain, 48, and other InfoSpace executives appeared to have boosted the company’s stock value with accounting tricks and dubious deals in 2000. The investigation found they concealed revenue shortfalls and made “lazy Susan” deals in which company officials invested in other firms that, in turn, sent money back that InfoSpace could count as revenue.


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January 4, 2008 at 12:01 AM

Sweat365 hopes to cash in on your new year promises

At the beginning of every year, millions of Americans make resolutions to get in shape and lose weight.

Sweat365 couldn’t have better timing.

Four days after the ball dropped, the Seattle-based company is launching an online social network to help people keep their word.

The company was co-founded by Brad Hefta-Gaub, a former executive at RealNetworks and Revenue Science, who said his desk-bound job made it a struggle to stay in shape. But he managed to work hard to go from 36 percent body fat to a two-time Ironman.

Sweat365 is sort of a cyberspace gym where people gather to talk about work-out preferences. For registered users, the site provides a blogging platform, fitness tracking tools and training information.

But Hefta-Gaub said the beauty of it is that average people are giving advice to people like themselves rather than experts speaking down to them.


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January 2, 2008 at 5:00 PM

WSA announces finalists for tech awards

The WSA today announced 21 finalists in seven categories for the 13th annual Industry Achievement Awards..

The winners will be announced at a gala taking place Feb. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle. Suzie Reider, YouTube’s chief marketing officer, will be the keynote speaker.

This year there was a record number of entries, said Ken Myer, the WSA’s president and CEO. Also new to this year’s awards is a category called “Technology Leader of Tomorrow,” which honors middle school students participating in a technology program at the Technology Access Foundation.

Here’s the complete list of finalists:


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December 11, 2007 at 10:14 AM

Smilebox raises $7 million in VC

Redmond-based Smilebox said today that it has raised $7 million in venture capital from Bessemer Venture Partners, and Frazier Technology Partners. Smilebox is the modern-day Hallmark of sorts. It allows you to upload your digital photos, and then make slideshows, electronic cards, scrapbooks and other stuff. The company’s Web site has a blog link where you…


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December 6, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Strong links between entrepreneurs and dyslexia

A new study suggests that a “staggering” number of entrepreneurs in the U.S. identify themselves as dyslexic, according to a story in the International Herald Tribune. The report said that of the entrepreneurs interviewed, 35 percent said they were dyslexic. The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely to delegate authority and to excel…


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November 29, 2007 at 4:21 PM

NetMotion Wireless is on the upswing

The Seattle-area is known for its expertise in the wireless industry. It is and has been the home of the biggest in the game, including AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Western Wireless, Nextel Partners, Clearwire and more. Although T-Mobile and Clearwire are the only remaining wireless operators here, it’s no less of a wireless town. Tthe focus is…


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