The head of Qualcomm Inc.’s venture capital arm, Nagraj Kashyap, has left to join Microsoft Corp., the big Washington software company confirmed.
Qualcomm Ventures has invested in companies such as drone maker 3D Robotics, gene sequencing equipment maker Edico Genome, wireless fitness tracker
Fitbit and virtual reality company Magic Leap, and many others whose names are less familiar. Kashyap is credited for starting the QPrize competition as well as the short-lived Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, which shut down in late 2015 after graduating its inaugural class of companies.
Qualcomm’s venture portfolio exceeds $1 billion. The venture arm is investing in China and in September announced it would spend $150 million to fund young companies in India.
Quinn Li now oversees Qualcomm Ventures. Qualcomm shares trade on the Nasdaq as QCOM. Microsoft trades on the same exchange as MSFT.
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Data Driven: Encinitas-based Algebraix Data named Ed White as president, effective Jan. 1. White joined the company six months ago as general manager. Previously, he was general manager of Teradata Cloud in San Diego.
Algebraix produces software that speeds up databases. “It’s like a query accelerator,” White explained. Put a little more technically, the Algebraix product “dramatically improves analytical processing and data management in the big data ecosystem.” The company bills itself as the Data Algebra Company, and even has a detailed explanation on its website about its unique, mathematical approach to data.
So far, the business has nine U.S. patents, not counting provisional patents.
The business community seems to see promise in the relatively new, open-source database technology known as Hadoop. That technology, however, is not yet fully refined for a business customer, White said. Anything you can do to improve Hadoop so it runs well on large “enterprise” computer systems is going to be well-received, White said.
Charlie Silver is CEO of Algebraix, which has 22 employees, split roughly evenly between coastal North County and Austin, Texas.
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Of Wells and Wireless: Rancho Bernardo-based Ingenu said that it is extending its machine-to-machine wireless network into a network of Texas oil wells served by WellAware. The network covers 55,000 square miles. San Antonio-based Well Aware bills itself as the oil and gas industry’s only full-stack solution for oilfield production monitoring and optimization. Ingenu said it planned to deliver the service to more oil and gas fields in 2016, and that service will extend beyond the oil and gas vertical market. Some readers may remember Ingenu by its old name, On-Ramp Wireless.
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Building a NEST: CyberTECH, the San Diego nonprofit concerned with various facets of cybersecurity and the Internet of things, is launching NEST. It is a shared work and collaboration space for companies at the startup stage. Perched in the Manpower Building in the Bankers Hill neighborhood of downtown San Diego, NEST also has private spaces to accommodate teams of up to a dozen people. As of last week, four companies were using the NEST space, said Darin Andersen, chairman and founder of CyberTECH.
Another new CyberTECH affiliate is an incubator called xHive, which will focus on emerging technologies such as robotics, drones, 3-D printing and laser cutting. It joins two other incubators, CyberHive and iHive.
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Making Like Houdini: Carl Yee, who developed a slow-fading inkjet printer ink in his South Park garage, recently showed off his invention during an episode of “All American Makers” in mid-January on the Science Channel. Yee, who runs Blue Planet Ink, bills his invention as a paper saver. It comes out of an inkjet printer blue, stays legible for about three days and then fades slowly as it is exposed to carbon dioxide. Once the ink has faded to white, a person can use the paper again. The title of the television episode was “Disappearing Acts.”
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Short Takes: The state of California rolled out a minimum 9.26 percent surcharge for prepaid wireless phone service on Jan. 1. Some cities collect more. The move follows the 2014 passage of Assembly Bill 1717, carried by former Assemblyman Henry Perea of Fresno. Retailers collect the funds, which will go to support state 9-1-1 and emergency services, the California LifeLine Program and other local government programs, according to a statement from the Board of Equalization. People billed under wireless contracts already pay the surcharge. … January’s CES show in Las Vegas gave San Diego-based CleverPet some media exposure as far away as Europe and the Middle East. Even BBC News took notice. CleverPet makes a machine that entertains and engages dogs that have to stay home alone. … March 14 is Pi Day. That is, it’s the date that most closely aligns with the mathematical constant that begins 3.14. I come from a family that is hot and cold about math, but it likes any excuse to bake. Here’s to crumb crusts and sweet fruit filling in 45 days or so.
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