News

Crowdfunding–it’s growing as you think

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Capital is naturally the bottleneck—the source of resistance to expansion for many of our tech sector companies. We find that the solutions to capital can vary greatly and serve different markets. One of the newer and less understood markets is that of crowdfunding.

Lara Merriam Smith from the Innovation Resource Center describes, “Crowdfunding is multifaceted in its dimensionality. I know that sounds so esoteric, but it truly is more complex than it appears and goes beyond its ability to help a business or individual raise capital. Companies big and small are rapidly adopting crowdfunding for product development, marketing and customer acquisition, because it gives them the ability to get buy in for new products or business ideas before they sink millions of dollars into it. With the right strategy, crowdfunding can provide the same invaluable information for early stage companies that need an edge over the competition.”

Join our expert panel of Lara, Glenn Butler from the Bellingham Angel Investors, John Stewart from Heritage Bank and Paul Grey, entrepreneur and investor as we explore the very important topic of Access to Capital on March 20th, 2015 from 11:30-1:30 at the Pickford Film Center.


Access to Capital March 20th

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It’s a well known issue. Capital is a concern for businesses at many different points in their life-cycle. The most appropriate choice is determined by many factors.

Come explore the options with the experts. March 20th 11:30-1:30 at the Pickford Film Center.

Click to learn more about Access to Capital


The Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act.

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CONGRESS of the UNITED STATES

Lawmakers introduce bipartisan privacy reform legislation

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation today updating a decades old communications privacy law to better shield Internet users and wireless subscribers from overly broad government surveillance programs.

 

The Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act, introduced by U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ted Poe (R- Texas), and Suzan DelBene (D- Wash.), modernizes the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by requiring government agencies to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause prior to intercepting or forcing disclosure of electronic communications or geolocation data.

 

The 1986 law – intended to set legal standards that law enforcement agencies must meet to access electronic communications – has failed to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, leading to weak and convoluted privacy protections from government access to user data. As consumers and businesses increasingly use cloud computing and location-based services, the law’s standards no longer reflect the way these services are used today, nor adequately protect Americans’ right to privacy.

 

“Fourth Amendment protections don’t stop at the Internet, and Americans rightly expect Constitutional protections to extend to their online communications and location data,” Lofgren said. “Establishing a warrant standard for government access to cloud and geolocation provides Americans with the privacy protections they expect, and would enable service providers to build greater trust with their users and global trading partners.”

 

“Technology may change, but the Constitution does not. Whether an individual’s property is physical or digital, it must be protected from snooping government eyes, as required under the Fourth Amendment. It’s time for Washington to modernize this outdated legislation and protect individual privacy,” said Poe.

 

“Advances in technology and the Internet have dramatically changed the way we communicate, live and work. In this constantly evolving world, Congress must be a good steward of policy to ensure our laws at least keep pace,” said DelBene. “When current law affords more protections for a letter in a filing cabinet than an email on a server, it’s clear our policies are outdated. This bill will update privacy protections for consumers while resolving competing interests between innovation, international competitiveness and public safety.”

 

As currently written, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act does not clearly require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to access the content of Americans’ online communication – instead, ECPA permits law enforcement to access content with a mere subpoena if the content is more than 180 days old.

 

ECPA also fails to include any clear standards for law enforcement access to location information, such as tracking an individual’s cell phone location. The unclear and complex standards have led to confusion in U.S. courts, a significant compliance burden for businesses, a competitive disadvantage with international businesses in countries with stronger laws against government access, and inadequate privacy for Americans.

 

The Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act fixes ECPA by applying Constitutional privacy guarantees under the Fourth Amendment to an individual’s digital communications and location data while minimizing the impact on law enforcement investigations. The bill will:

 

  • Require the government to obtain a warrant to access to wire or electronic communications content;
  • Require the government to obtain a warrant to intercept or force service providers to disclose geolocation data;
  • Preserve exceptions for emergency situations, foreign intelligence surveillance, individual consent, public information, and emergency assistance;
  • Prohibit service providers from disclosing a user’s geolocation information to the government in the absence of a warrant or exception;
  • Prohibit the use of unlawfully obtained geolocation information as evidence;
  • Provide for administrative discipline and a civil cause of action if geolocation information is unlawfully intercepted or disclosed.

Click here for a section-by-section summary of the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act.

 

CONTACT:   

Peter Whippy (Rep. Zoe Lofgren)

202-225-3072, Peter.Whippy@mail.house.gov

Shaylyn Hynes (Rep. Ted Poe)

202-225-6565, Shaylyn.Hynes@mail.house.gov

 

Ramsey Cox (Rep. Suzan DelBene)

202-225-6311, Ramsey.Cox@mail.house.gov


The First Tech Mixer was a Great Success!

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Thanks to Mindfly and Western Washington University’s College of Science and Engineering for making such a wonderful event possible. Special thanks to the CoinBeyond team and Invent for all of their help!

Tech Mixer


CEO Forum: Nimble Decision Making with Lori Michelle Leavitt

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As leaders, decisions can generate the momentum you seek or they can be short-sighted. Or worse, they can keep you up at night. Sometimes we are too slow. Sometimes we are too fast. Sometimes we lose sight of the fundamentals of our business and sometimes we lose sight of the human-side. Join Lori Michele Leavitt and your peers to discuss smarter decision making. For even better decisions, gain perspective from a peer group. Bring your challenges and opportunities to experience what Lori has penned, “aligned momentum.”

Register now


Mark your calendars for Mark R. Anderson Jan 9th 2015

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It’s that time of year again. Mark R. Anderson joins us for the annual predictions luncheon on January 9th at Syre Hall at Whatcom Community College. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

Mark Anderson, Founder and CEO – Strategic News Service Chair – Future in Review Conference Corporation Founder and CEO – INVNT/IP

REGISTER FOR EVENT

Mark Anderson is the publisher of the SNS Global Report, read by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Vint Cerf, Michael Dell, Paul Allen, Paul Jacobs, Bill Janeway, Robert Hormats, and technology executives and investors worldwide. He is also the founder and chair of the Future in Review (FiRe) Conference, named “the best technology conference in the world” by The Economist.  Mark’s intellectual contributions include: Resonance Theory, the first physics Theory Of Everything based on the resonant properties of empty space; the AORTA (Always-On Real-Time Access) concept, subsequently taken as the name for Europe’s first broadband network; the AORTA Manifesto, a proven process for schools integrating technology, backed by NGOs and educators around the world; Equilibrium Genetics, a new theory of evolution and genetic variation; “Twinning,” a solution set to slow global warming, based on linking commercial graphene production to energy plant CO2 emissions; and “Flow Economics” and “Hyperstructural Economics,” two new pragmatic descriptions of the forces behind the post–Information Age economy. Mark is a frequent guest on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” as well as the BBC World News and Bloomberg TV; and he regularly appears in The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other media. Mark is also the Founder and CEO of INVNT/IP (Inventing Nations vs. Nation – sponsored Theft of IP), a consortium of global technology firms and governments working on this critical issue. As CEO, Mark has briefed the White House, regulators and agencies at the cabinet level in the U.S., U.K., Australia and the E.U.

CitizenFour at the Pickford Tonight! Are you joining us?

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Join in the discussion. TAG and the Pickford Film Center are hosting a moderated viewing of CitizenFour - a riveting film about privacy – this Friday at 6:30 at the Limelight Theatre at 1416 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA. TAG member Shay Colson will moderate a discussion after the screening. This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!
CitizenFour will be showing through November 26th at the Limelight Theatre.

2014 TAG Influencer Awards and Next 25: Celebrating the Internet and Influencers

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tech influencer award cropped final

*Nominations are due by November 21st, 2014

 To learn more about the event, please click here.

The TAG Tech Awards are back! TAG will present awards to  influencers  in the technology industry in Whatcom County. Nominations are open to Whatcom County in the following categories:

Influencer of the Year

Hats off to those who’ve impacted our local workforce, educational system, economy and culture. Northwest Washington is truly enriched by their vigor, commitment and heart for the tech sector. Here’s the chance to recognize and name their good deeds and impacts. TAG’s Awards Committee will evaluate nominations on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Results  (financial and other)

 


Young Influencer of the Year

You’ve seen that student, entrepreneur, leader. There’s just something about them, their acts, their behaviors, their abilities that stands out from the rest. They look to create a kerfuffle and change the world. TAG’s Awards Committee will evaluate nominations on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities
  • Results (non-financial)

Nominations must be received no later than November 21st and winners will be chosen by the TAG Awards Committee based on the criteria listed for each category. Awards will be presented at the TAG Holiday Luncheon and Awards Ceremony in December at Bellingham Technical College on December 5th. Learn about last years TAG Tech Awards recipients here


Cyber Risk Summit Comes to town 10/30/14

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Technology Alliance Group Partners to Bring Cyber Risk Summit to Bellingham

Register now for Oct. 30 event at Whatcom Community College

 

BELLINGHAM, WA – September 25, 2014 – Cyberattacks are widely recognized as one of the most significant threats facing business today. While not long ago lone hackers were the only concern, threats have evolved to include attacks by organized cyber criminals, disgruntled employees and even sovereign governments. Distributed networks, unsecure vendors and an array of mobile devices have complicated these issues as well. The Economist Magazine in February 2014 estimated cybercrime costs the world $113 billion a year and affect 378 million people, and estimated malicious cyber attacks in 2012 cost U.S. companies $277 for each customer’s or user’s account put at risk.

 

To help business owners understand and address these issues, the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG) has joined forces with Whatcom Community College – the lead institution of Cyber Watch West – and Western Washington University to bring a cutting-edge Cyber Risk Summit to the northwest business community on October 30.

 

“Cyber Risk is a massive threat to the strength and resiliency of our region’s businesses. The threat must be approached holistically,” said Meg Weber, Executive Director for TAG. “It’s no longer a question of if you will be compromised, but how and when. Through this summit, TAG, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University have partnered to connect businesses with experts who can help them address strategies for CyberSecurity. Businesses must understand their risk, should have a plan ready, and everyone in the organization must be a part of that plan for it to be executed properly. ”

 

“As a leader in the field of cybersecurity education, Whatcom Community College is honored to host the Cyber Risk Summit,” says WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown. “A skilled cyber workforce is a critical link in our nation’s cyber defense. At Whatcom, we’re training and graduating highly qualified cybersecurity professionals who will help businesses develop and activate plans to combat cyber risk.”

The Cyber Risk Summit will be held October 30th at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham. Speakers include:

  • Agnes Kirk, Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Washington
  • Timothy Wallach, Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI who leads the Cyber Task Force in the Seattle Field Office
  • Gerald Baron, crisis communications expert and author of “Now Is Too Late”
  • Shay Colson, cyber-security engineer for the US Treasury Department
  • Mark Anderson, Founder and CEO, Strategic News Service and SNS Conference Corp (parent of Future in Review Conferences)
  • Jim Straatman, Technologist at Faithlife.
  • And other experts …

 

In response to the extreme workforce shortage in this field, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University recently launched an innovative partnership for higher education degrees in cybersecurity. This conference will highlight the northwest’s higher education competency and present to businesses the additional critical importance of shoring up resources around cyber threats across organizations. Cybercrime has been increasing worldwide, and the risks and liabilities to businesses have been increasing along with it. Cybersecurity now affects every department from legal to HR and administration, forcing the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to preventing and protecting against cyber risks. The Cyber Risk Summit will provide those in attendance with a Scorecard by which they may assess the overall health of their organization in order to identify strengths and weaknesses in their company’s cybersecurity plans.

Individual early-bird registration for this one-day event is only $195 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and an evening networking event. Space is limited! To learn more and to register for this event online, visit www.cyberrisksummit.org.

TAG is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization based in Bellingham, Washington that was formed to address the needs of a growing technology industry in Whatcom County. TAG’s mission is to inform, represent, and connect Whatcom area technology businesses and professionals. The organization is committed to accelerating the growth of technology businesses in Bellingham and surrounding areas. For more information, please visit www.tagnw.org.

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Advanced Persistent Threats And How To Stop Them

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Recently our friend at Infotech discovered that one of the biggest topics weighing on the minds of IT professionals is the battle to secure their critical systems and intellectual property against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Fortunately we have some methods that can help the stem the effectiveness of APTs. But first what exactly is an APT, and is it really important?

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