San Diego BizTech Roundup: Active Network, Accelrys, Entropic, & More

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—San Diego’s Active Network (NYSE ACTV), which provides online event registration and related services, acquired Philadelphia-based StarCite for about $51 million in stock and cash. StarCite, which provides Web-based event management services for companies around the world, has about 300 employees. The Active Network said StarCite will become part of its newly launched “Business Solutions” division, which will serve the events industry.

—San Diego-based Accelrys (NASDAQ: ACCL), which provides scientific enterprise research and development software and services, said it’s paying $35 million to acquire VelQuest, a Boston-area developer of systems that support good manufacturing practices for FDA-regulated industries. Accelrys said the VelQuest acquisition would expand its product line to include software used in pharmaceutical quality assurance and quality control.

—San Diego’s Entropic Communications (NASDAQ: ENTR), which specializes in Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) technology used in home entertainment systems, said it wants to purchase certain assets of Trident Microsystems’ set-top box and system-on-a-chip business. Entropic submitted its $55 million offer as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that Sunnyvale, CA-based Trident filed last Wednesday. The bankruptcy court in Delaware must approve the Entropic offer, which could happen by the end of March if no other bidders step forward.

Qualcomm Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs is set to deliver the opening keynote address tomorrow morning at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Jacobs is expected to talk about Qualcomm’s vision for mobile computing as smart phones and tablets increasingly become a mainstay tool for consumer media and entertainment. The three-day show also will serve as a global stage for Sony Electronics, the San Diego-based arm of Sony’s U.S. business. San Diego’s Razer, Entropic Communications, Leap Wireless, Independa, Skin-It, and Marchon 3D, also are displaying products at the show.

—I profiled San Diego-based Verimatrix, a venture-backed company that develops encryption software and related security technologies for pay-TV networks. Verimatrix CEO Tom Munro told me the company has been successful in creating piracy protection software for Internet-Protocol Television (IPTV), and today more than half of the company’s business is in so-called unmanaged networks, such as Netflix, which provides streaming video “Over the Top” (OTT) of a cable- or satellite-based broadband Internet platform.

—The 2011 executive compensation survey showed a 3.7 percent increase nationwide in tech sector CEO pay over 2010. The annual CompStudy survey produced by executive search firm J. Robert Scott and law firm WilmerHale in collaboration with Noam Wasserman, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. The study found that non-founder technology CEOs brought in average base salaries of $242,000 in 2011, up from $233,000 in 2010.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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