Roundup: UW Spinouts; Funding for Illumagear, Alpental Tech & More
[Corrected 7/17/13, 8:24 pm. See below.] The University of Washington is apparently exceeding the goals set by President Michael Young for accelerating commercialization of research and innovations from its labs. Also, a safety equipment clothing company and a startup by former Clearwire technology leaders got funding; Concur made more acquisitions; and Donuts landed the domain .游戏, which means “games” in Chinese. Here are more details:
—University of Washington technologies underpin 17 new startup companies created in the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30. It’s a pace that exceeds a goal set by UW president Michael Young, who established a national reputation for university commercialization in his previous post at the University of Utah. Young challenged the university to double the number of new companies it spins out. Young plans a press conference Thursday to tout the accomplishment, which a UW news release says occurred two years ahead of schedule. The UW Center for Commercialization says UW students, faculty or technology are behind more than 250 companies.
—Illumagear, a Seattle startup trying to reinvent safety clothing, has raised $975,000 from angel investors and says it has obtained a $500,000 credit line to fund inventory. Founded last year by former construction worker Max Baker, and Andrew Royal, a veteran of Microsoft hardware products including Xbox 360, Zune, and the Courier notepad, the company is making The Halo Light, which is worn on a construction worker’s hardhat and casts a 360-degree ring of light to make the individual more visible and provide task lighting. We reported on the company last year when it won a $100,000 investment at the Seattle Angel Conference. [An earlier version of this paragraph mistakenly swapped the backgrounds of Max Baker and Andrew Royal. We regret the error.]
—Two former Clearwire technology leaders have raised $850,000 for Alpental Technologies, a startup who’s aims are as yet undisclosed, though the landing page of the alpentaltech.com promises “something quite cool” in the future. The image there hints at thrift-store shopping. Or Hawaiian vacationing. As noted by Geekwire’s John Cook, who first spotted the startup, Clearwire employees set adrift in the wake of the acquisition earlier this month by Sprint could inject fresh talent into the area’s tech startup industry.
—Travel and expenses management company Concur (NASDAQ: CNQR) says its acquisitions of technology from GDSX and TRX will better link third-party travel management companies with customers. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Bellevue, WA-based Concur is building a “T&E Cloud” to link business travelers, travel management companies, and suppliers. The goal is to “connect the travel community on a scale yet to be acheived,” Concur CEO Steve Singh says in a blog post.
—Donuts, the Bellevue, WA-based company amassing a war chest with which to acquire new generic top-level domain names (gTLD), has signed a partnership with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to administer a domain name that means “games” in Chinese. The .游戏 domain is the “first of hundreds” the company intends to introduce over the next year. More background on the gTLD process and Donuts’ strategy is in this May Xconomist Forum post by University of Houston Law Center professor Jacqueline Lipton.