Nebula, Incubators, Bubbles: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News

8/16/11Follow @wroush

The Google-Motorola bombshell on Monday shifted the timeline, pushing our roundup of last week’s news to today (Tuesday).

—I profiled Nebula, a Palo Alto startup adapting open-source cloud computing technology from NASA to build an enterprise cloud appliance—a device that helps companies with large data centers set up private clouds similar to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. Nebula CEO Chris Kemp, former chief technology officer at NASA, told me that he decided to start the company after Andy Bechtolsheim—the famous Sun Microsystems co-founder and the initial investor in Google—offered to slide a check across the table.

—Xconomy published its third annual Guide to Venture Incubators, which includes profiles of 64 organizations offering mentorship, investment, space, and other forms of support to startups. That’s nearly double the number of incubators surveyed in our 2010 guide—and in my Friday column I argued that there’s an incubator bubble, and that only the largest, most prestigious incubators are likely to survive as businesses over the long term. (All the more reason to choose carefully if you’re a startup considering going the incubator route.)

—In a one-on-one interview, TIBCO CEO Vivek Ranadivé shared some recent thoughts about the death of science, the rise of pattern recognition in business, and the importance of data in basketball. The latter point is of more than passing interest for Ranadivé, who is now part owner of the Golden State Warriors.

—IT management provider ServiceNow of San Diego opened a big San Jose office, making what it called a “long overdue debut” in Silicon Valley, as my colleague Bruce Bigelow reported.

—Zendesk introduced an enterprise version of its online support desk software with more features and a higher price. CEO Mikkel Svane told me that customer research indicated “many large companies were interested in adopting Zendesk if we could just cater for some of their needs related to security, administration and operating globally with multiple brands.”

—San Francisco-based utility PG&E is testing electric powertrain technology from Auburn Hills, MI-based ALTe on its truck fleet, as my colleague Sarah Schmid reported from Detroit.

—In financing news, Bloomspot raised $40 millionOkta raised $16.5 million, PivotLink raised $8.1 million, Hotlink raised $10 million, BVI Networks raised $8 million, Couchbase raised $14 million, RocketLawyer raised $18.5 million, Link A Media raised $16 millionNuvoSun added $8.6 million to its January funding round, and a regulatory filing put the amount of a previously reported funding round for ParAccel at $10 million.

—In M&A news, Say Media bought Remodelista, and Twitter bought Bagcheck.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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