Intel Partners with Levyx to Offer Enhanced Risk Analytics and Financial Backtesting

Levyx’s Financial Backtesting solution, along with the Acceleration Stack for Intel® Xeon® CPU with FPGAs on the Intel Programmable Acceleration Card (PAC) with Intel Arria® 10 GX FPGA, allows you to accelerate financial backtesting in order to expedite your risk management analytics.

Backtesting is a highly parallel, data and compute-intensive simulation workload that has a large impact on trading revenues at many capital markets firms. Firms test thousands of trading models to find those that have been historically profitable to deploy the best trading practices to maximize profitability. To stay ahead of the competition, the models must continually evolve. With this fast-paced, compute-intensive workload and massive data sets, it is essential to have technology that can keep up and even accelerate it.

Enjoy a seamless experience that includes a complete end-to-end solution with Levyx. Explore a more powerful and integrated solution by pairing up the Intel PAC with Intel Arria 10 GX FPGA with other Intel products, such as the Intel Optane™ memory. Even those with no or limited FPGA knowledge can easily use the solution to test different types of data, techniques, and execution strategies with low-latency and high-performance outputs. Learn more from our resources below.

Impossible Objects Receives 2018 Award for Excellence in Composite Manufacturing

SME Recognizes Leaders in Composites Manufacturing at AeroDef 2018

Larry Pelham, Impossible Objects, and Bell Helicopter receive industry awards for longtime contributions

Mar 27, 2018

LONG BEACH, Calif., March 27, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — SME, a nonprofit organization that supports the manufacturing industry, along with its Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, recognized an industry leader and prominent composites manufacturing company with its 2018 Composites Manufacturing Awards.
From left to right: SME CEO and Executive Director, Jeff Krause; Paul Oldroyd, Technical Fellow, Bell Helicopter; Bob Swartz, Chairman and Founder of Impossible Objects; Carroll Grant Composites Consultant/Contractor, Aerospace Composites Consulting; Larry Pelham, Senior Engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; and Tom Kurfess, 2018 SME President and Professor and HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control, Georgia Institute of Technology.
From left to right: SME CEO and Executive Director, Jeff Krause; Paul Oldroyd, Technical Fellow, Bell Helicopter; Bob Swartz, Chairman and Founder of Impossible Objects; Carroll Grant Composites Consultant/Contractor, Aerospace Composites Consulting; Larry Pelham, Senior Engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; and Tom Kurfess, 2018 SME President and Professor and HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Composites combine different materials that work together to form, stronger, lighter or more durable new materials. The materials remain an important component of advanced aerospace manufacturing and have been applied to the automotive industry, appliances and consumer goods of every type.

“The composites industry continues to grow through extraordinary research and innovation by people whose work stands the test of time,” said Louis C. “Lou” Dorworth, co-chair of SME’s Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, and manager, Direct Services Division for Abaris Training Resources Inc. “We’re proud to recognize the highest achievers; the true leaders of our industry.”

2018 J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award

First awarded in 1986, the J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award celebrates individuals for their innovation and achievement in composites, particularly solving issues related to production and applications development.

Larry Pelham, senior engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and a composites manufacturing leader for over 10 years, is the recipient of the 2018 J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award. He was recognized for designing, developing, building and implementing the MSFC development facility to fabricate composite cryotanks and upper-stage structures using automated fiber-placement technology both for in and out of the autoclave applications to be used in next-generation launch systems to outer space.

2018 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small and Large Company)

Impossible Objects was recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small Company) for its composite-based additive manufacturing technology, CBAM, which is an entirely new process that is fundamentally different from conventional additive manufacturing technologies. The CBAM process is designed specifically for composites. It produces parts stronger than other additive manufacturing technologies, faster than traditional composite methods and with more design freedom, it has a broader selection of materials, including carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass.

Bell Helicopter was recognized with the 2018 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Large Company) for its distinction in the field of advanced composites manufacturing. Bell’s recent advancements have improved manufacturing efficiency and quality by incorporating advanced manufacturing techniques, more extensive automation, material advancements, additive manufacturing and exploitation of the digital revolution.

Honorees received their awards during SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing event on March 27 in Long Beach, California.

About AeroDef Manufacturing
AeroDef Manufacturing is a leading technical conference and exposition for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. Produced by SME, in partnership with industry OEMs, its mission is to foster innovation across the extended enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times and maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Learn more at aerodefevent.com.

About SME
SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.

Tenor acquired by Google

Making it easier to find and share GIFs with Google

When we started Google Images, we focused on making it easy to find photos and images from across the web. But as the web evolved and mobile devices changed the way people search, the way people use Google Images has changed too. Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves—case in point, we see millions of searches for GIFs every day. We’ve continued to evolve Google Images to meet both of these needs, and today we’re bringing GIFs more closely into the fold by acquiring Tenor, a GIF platform for Android, iOS and desktop.

With their deep library of content, Tenor surfaces the right GIFs in the moment so you can find the one that matches your mood. Tenor will help us do this more effectively in Google Images as well as other products that use GIFs, like Gboard.

Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand, and we’re looking forward to investing in their technology and relationships with content and API partners. So whether you’re using the Tenor keyboard or one of our other products, you can expect to see much more of this in your future.

AddStructure Acquired by BazaarVoice to Boost Machine Learning & NLP Capabilities

Startup’s machine learning and natural language processing capabilities analyze and distill the most relevant consumer reviews
AUSTIN, Texas, February 23, 2018 – Bazaarvoice, Inc., a leading provider of consumer-generated content (CGC), advertising, and personalization solutions, today announced it has acquired AddStructure, a provider of state-of-the-art search and discovery applications for e-commerce companies. The acquisition will strengthen Bazaarvoice’s core consumer-generated content offerings of online ratings and reviews and bolster shopper profiles across the Bazaarvoice Network.

Consumers rely on ratings and reviews when searching for products and deciding what to buy, but when considering products with high volumes of review content, finding the most helpful information can be difficult and time-consuming. AddStructure’s platform uses machine learning and natural language processing technology to analyze large amounts of consumer-generated content to extract and summarize product reviews based on key themes and sentiment. These solutions make product search and discovery faster, easier and more enjoyable for consumers and boost their confidence to make informed purchases.

The combination exemplifies Bazaarvoice and AddStructure’s shared vision and commitment to leverage the promise of cutting-edge machine learning and natural language processing technology, applied to one of the world’s largest sets of consumer-generated content and Bazaarvoice’s unique shopper data, to deliver next-generation product and feature enhancements across the Bazaarvoice platform.

“As consumer behavior continues to evolve, brands and retailers must keep pace with new shopping trends and technologies to deliver engaging and consumer-friendly shopping experiences,” said Gene Austin, CEO of Bazaarvoice. “AddStructure’s advanced capabilities in natural language processing and machine learning are an incredible addition to our product portfolio and we are excited to partner with the AddStructure team to bring innovative e-commerce solutions to market and deliver tremendous value to our clients.”

“We created AddStructure to make it easy and convenient for consumers to discover products across any shopping channel and on any device,” said Jarrod Wolf, CEO of AddStructure. “We’re excited to join Bazaarvoice because of their extensive experience in the ratings and reviews space and their impressive network of brand and retail websites. Integrating our technology with their network data will help shoppers across a larger number of retail verticals and categories find the most relevant products and make the best shopping choices.”

AddStructure is one of 10 companies that participated in the first-ever Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target, a program that invests in startups disrupting the retail space. Leading retailers like Target and Best Buy have used AddStructure’s cutting-edge technology to distill the most relevant online reviews and customer questions that help consumers make their purchase decisions.

“AddStructure was in our very first Techstars Retail Accelerator program and watching the team’s ideas come to life has been incredibly rewarding,” said Ryan Broshar, Managing Director of the accelerator program. “We are thrilled that Bazaarvoice also recognized AddStructure’s talent and potential; combining these companies will lead to more exciting innovations that will disrupt the retail industry and consumer shopping experiences.”

AddStructure’s employees will join Bazaarvoice’s product, engineering and client success teams and will operate out of New York City and Chicago, where the company was founded.

About AddStructure
AddStructure provides state-of-the-art search and discovery applications for e-commerce companies. Each day, millions of consumers interact with AddStructure’s products and data. Applications of the technology range from review summarization (distilling thousands of reviews of a product into digestible pros and cons) to a complete conversational commerce system (chatting with an intelligent digital assistant to find and purchase products).

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice helps brands and retailers find and reach consumers, and win them with the content they trust. Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than one-half billion consumers view and share authentic consumer-generated content (CGC), including ratings and reviews as well as curated visual content, across 5,000 brand and retail websites. This visibility into shopper behavior allows Bazaarvoice to capture unique first-party data and insights that fuel our targeted advertising and personalization solutions.

Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices across North America and Europe. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.

Tenor reaches incredible 2 billion GIF searches every month

David McIntosh’s startup Tenor builds a GIF keyboard — but he actually hopes you’ll spend as little time searching on it as possible.

Instead, Tenor’s aim has been to collapse the amount of time it takes you to find a GIF you like and send it to a friend. Instead of trying to get people to come to the service and browse around on the keyboard or a different website, Tenor’s goal has been to figure out what you are trying to say in some kind of a GIF and get it out the door as quickly as possible. And with that approach, Tenor says its users now search for GIFs on its keyboard more than 400 million times a day and 12 billion times a month.

“It comes down to search, fundamentally we’re a search product, unlike Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Snap,” Tenor CEO David McIntosh said. “They succeed by grabbing more minutes, our success is getting you the right thing faster. Can we take that 25-second session time and make it 20 seconds, or even 15 or 10. There’s a viral loop in place where every time you make search a little better it’s faster.”

This more or less dovetails with an approach for some companies that are focusing on pitching engagement instead of a raw active user metric. Snap, for example, has stressed to investors that it is getting people to come back to the service more and more and spend more time on it. It’s roughly the same principle in terms of using Tenor, which McIntosh says is more of a search engine than an actual hub or portal. Basically, you want to communicate what you want to tell a friend in as few words as possible — except with something silly from Friends. Tenor works across a number of platforms, but now its sights have shifted abroad.

That might even be more true as Tenor begins to expand internationally, planting people on the ground to figure out what localized versions of the service look like. One of the appeals of GIFs is that it can compress a ton of information (McIntosh refers to it as “emotion”) into a short semi-video object in a messenger screen rather than having to type out a bunch of text. As it expands to more and more countries, Tenor is able to start picking off that low-hanging fruit, as making small tweaks in certain regions can lead to dramatic improvements in engagement and usage, McIntosh said.

“Western content is so heavily exported all over the world that these things have almost become globally recognized objects,” McIntosh said. “Often western content with a local caption will perform better. Sometimes the local content performs better. You gotta have the right set of search data, share data, community uploads, it’s the combination of all of them. It’s kind of like the chicken and egg problem; it’s a slow grind until a spark happens — you’re guessing what’s gonna work. Once the flywheel is spinning really quickly you have so much data.”

It’s also begun running its first partner campaigns internationally as it’s started to expand, with the idea that it can go to potential advertisers and tell them that because people use the keyboard so much they’ll actually share that content. That includes campaigns with companies in even India and Germany. The whole goal is to, again, figure out how to get the right GIF in front of the right person in those couple of slots when they open the app and actually want to share it.

There is, of course, a data component to that problem, as well. But with 12 billion searches every month, Tenor can start slightly tweaking each search to figure out what a person is looking for based on a wider array of parameters — and maybe figure out how to get that Tom Brady strip-sack in the expiring minutes of the Super Bowl this year in front of people more quickly. Two months ago, Tenor says it had 10 billion monthly searches monthly (around 330 million daily).

It might sound a little ridiculous now, but in retrospect there’s been a blossoming ecosystem around both creator tools for GIFs as well as ones for sharing them in messenger products or the web. Gfycat, which targets creators with more robust tools, says it has 130 million monthly active users, while Giphy says it has 300 million daily active users. Either way, it means there is both a lot of competition and a lot of interest in this space — including venture financing.

Google’s Android Assistant to Partner with SpotHero through Android Auto

Google brings its Assistant to Android Auto

It’s no secret that for Google, this year’s CES is all about the Google Assistant. One Google product where the Assistant hasn’t really made any inroads yet, though, is Android Auto. Starting this week, though, Android Auto users in the U.S. will also get full support for the Assistant in their cars.

Now you may think that the Assistant was already available in Android Auto, given that the service always responded to voice requests. But for the most part, that was still the old Google Now-style assistant, not the newer Google Assistant (yeah, I know, this is confusing). Maybe the biggest difference here is that you will be able to access all of your third-party Google Assistant services and control your smart home devices from your car now, too.

How do you know if you’ve been upgraded? If you still see the four moving bars when the voice search starts, then you’re still on the old system. After the upgrade, these will change to the Assistant logo with its circles.

 

Looking ahead, Google will also enable Assistant-based drink orders from Starbucks and parking space reservations through SpotHero.

All of this will, of course, also be available in the Android Auto app, which works even if you don’t have an Android Auto-enabled car. As Google told me ahead of today’s announcement, the company also spent a bit of extra time to optimize the Assistant for Android Auto for the in-car experience.

Google has a bit more up its sleeve here, though. It’s also working with car manufacturers to build the Assistant right into their cars without the need for a phone. In addition, Google is also now working with Kia and Fiat Chrysler to give the Assistant access to their cars fuel levels and to allow users to lock their cars with their voice, for example. That’s something a lot of manufacturers currently charge for, so it’s interesting to see them working with Google on this. These kind of features were already available on a number of Mercedes Benz and Hyundai cars.

SwipeSense raises $10.6M for Internet of Things push

SwipeSense raises $10.6 million for internet of things push

Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina

Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina

SwipeSense’s goal to get hospital staff to wash their hands more often led to something much bigger.

The company raised $10.6 million to keep building what CEO Mert Iseri calls an “indoor GPS for hospitals.” San Francisco-based Eclipse Ventures led the round, with participation from Chicago’s Sandbox Industries.

SwipeSense, which traces its roots to Northwestern University, got its start peddling hand sanitizers that tracked how often employees washed their hands. That’s a big deal to hospitals trying to cut down on infections transmitted from staff to patients.

Iseri’s team soon discovered that only about 10 percent of the staff used portable sanitizers. Most workers preferred to use wall-mounted dispensers in patient rooms. So SwipeSense went back to the drawing board and came up with a way to put a sensor in the drip trays attached to dispensers. And it put a sensor on a card that could be paired with an employee ID badge. Add in a wireless beacon plugged into a wall, and SwipeSense basically had an IoT network for a hospital.

SwipeSense began focusing more on data and analytics after a $10 million investment led by Eclipse in 2015. It took some serious engineering and reworking to come up with the sensor network, Iseri said.

In mid-2016 it launched a pilot test, rolling it out to four hospitals. Today it has signed up 20 hospitals, including MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Iseri says. They pay for the technology with a flat per-bed fee, which SwipeSense declines to disclose.

The technology helped solve the original problem of hygiene. He says one hospital reported a 300 percent increase in hand hygiene by staff; another saw a 49 percent drop in hospital-acquired patient infections. Customers found other uses beyond hygiene, Iseri said.

“We built a low-cost, asset-tracking solution,” he said. The company has raised $23.3 million overall, and it doubled headcount to 42 in the past year, Iseri said. He’s looking to drum up more sales for the product and build out the technology for additional uses.

A bigger market also means SwipeSense will be facing off against bigger competitors, such as Stanley Healthcare in Waltham, Mass., San Diego-based Awarepoint and Versus Technology in Traverse City, Mich. “There are a lot of people doing asset tracking,” says Jim Gagnard, former CEO of Lisle-based SmartSignal, an early internet of things company focused on manufacturing that was bought by GE in 2011. “If you try to be a platform, you better have some staying power. I don’t know if (SwipeSense is) big enough to do that.”

Solovis Strengthens Analytics Capabilities with Acquisition of Madrone Software

Solovis, a multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reporting platform for limited partners and asset allocators, today announced the acquisition of Madrone Software & Analytics, Inc. a provider of portfolio, risk analytics and market intelligence for the asset management industry. With the acquisition of Madrone, Solovis clients gain access to advanced fund analytics, detailed risk analysis, and operational and investment due diligence capabilities – enabling them to make better strategic portfolio decisions.

The purchase of Madrone, based in San Francisco, CA, aligns with Solovis’ strategy to deliver a single technology platform for configurable, multi-asset class reporting that factors in performance, risk, exposure, liquidity, and fund-level transparency and aggregation. Asset owners and asset managers will now be able leverage Madrone’s behavioral-based analytics within Solovis’ highly configurable platform to more accurately measure portfolio and organizational skill and risk.

 

Progentec Diagnostics Raises $1.25M to Predict Lupus Flare-ups

New tools for predicting lupus flares now one step closer to market.

Lead investor i2E, along with Chicago-based OCA Ventures and Mayo Clinic Ventures, has funded the first round of investment to assist Progentec in creating the first-ever commercial test to predict the onset of lupus flares. Technology created by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is at the core of the platform being developed by Progentec.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that there are as many as 1.5 million lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) patients in the U.S. alone. Seen mostly in women between the ages of 15-44, Lupus causes the immune system to recognize and attack the body’s own tissues.  Lupus sufferers have periods of flares and remission with organs typically affected including the skin, kidneys, lungs and reproductive organs, as well as the cardiovascular system.

Progentec Diagnostics, led by Sanjiv Sharma and Mohan Purushothaman, is working closely with OMRF’s Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., a world leader in lupus research and an inventor of Progentec’s technology, to further advance and refine the platform and its associated algorithms to fulfill the unmet need of advanced lupus diagnostics. The company’s technologies include highly accurate tests for early diagnosis, a score to track underlying disease activity, and a predictive score for lupus flares. With the current funding round, Progentec plans to conduct a retrospective study at OMRF and prospective studies at OMRF and Mayo Clinic to further refine these algorithms.

“The ability to predict an impending flare represents significant value to lupus patients and their physicians. This test is currently not available and is a focus area for us,” said Sanjiv Sharma, Chairman of Progentec.

“Looking beyond flare prediction, a test to track underlying disease activity will fundamentally change how lupus patients are identified for specific interventions and allows for better management decisions at all levels of the healthcare system,” said Mohan Purushothaman, CEO of Progentec.

OMRF has established a significant focus on lupus. “OMRF has been at the forefront of leading scientific research, especially in the field of lupus,” said Manu Nair, Vice President of Technology Ventures at OMRF. “Progentec is going on a trajectory that we have traversed in the past, and we believe that our science, combined with the entrepreneurial and management skills brought in by Progentec, will successfully bring these tests to the market.”

“We are pleased to work with OCA Ventures and Mayo Clinic on this promising, Oklahoma-born project,” said Scott Meacham, President and CEO of i2E Inc., “It is important to work together to identify and develop technologies like these in their early stages when they most need help.”

Mayo Clinic Ventures found Progentec’s technology aligned with their clinical interest in lupus, especially in managing patients with a diagnostic to improve patient care while potentially reducing clinical costs. “We are excited to work with Progentec and OMRF to advance this technology and hopefully bring about a change in how lupus patients are diagnosed, managed and treated,” said Andrew Danielsen, Vice Chair, Mayo Clinic Ventures.

Mayo Clinic will use any revenue it receives to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and research.

Currently, no test exists that can predict when a lupus flare will occur.  Therefore, Progentec’s test could have a significant impact for patients at risk of organ damage or death caused by lupus flares that cannot otherwise be accurately predicted.

 

Regroup Therapy Uses Technology to Improve Access to Mental Health

How to get mental health help where there are no doctors.  Telepsychiatry.

Textbook economics teaches that, in a free market, supply rises to meet demand until price reaches an equilibrium. When it comes to mental health services, though, the supply of psychiatrists is declining despite widespread need, resulting in patients not getting treatment in a timely manner.

“Every single state suffers from a shortage,” says David Cohn, CEO of Regroup Therapy, a telepsychiatry company he founded in 2011, “and 55 percent of U.S. counties have no mental health clinicians.”

Regroup’s mission is to fill that void by supplying credentialed and fully vetted clinicians—psychiatrists, social workers and advanced practice nurses—who can “see” patients via a secure video platform that’s HIPAA-compliant. “Literally, the only difference is our clinicians are in two dimensions,” Cohn says.

The for-profit company’s customers are not the individuals themselves, but hospitals, primary care clinics, correctional institutions and community-based outpatient centers through which people access health care. In the Chicago market, clients include Sinai Health System, Oak Street Health and Metropolitan Family Services. They’re billed monthly for services rendered and reimbursed by patients’ insurers or government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Cohn, 37, who grew up on the North Shore, says he always had an interest in both technology and mental health, but didn’t see himself becoming a clinician. After majoring in economics at Colorado College, spending two years in Guatemala with the Peace Corps and managing sales and services in Latin America and Europe for CEB, formerly known as Corporate Executive Board, he earned his MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, where he hatched the idea for Regroup Therapy as a class project.

He started Regroup with $60,000 from friends, family and his own savings. The company has raised $8.4 million from investors including OSF Ventures, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures and Frist Cressey Ventures.

Revenue jumped from less than $500,000 last year to a projected $10 million-plus in annual recurring revenue by year-end. Regroup now employs 23 full-time staffers in its headquarters in Ravenswood, IL and serves nearly 50 health entities with a network of more than 3,000 clinicians. Roughly half of treatment hours are provided by clinicians who work full time for Regroup; the remainder are part-time contractors. Clinicians are paid $45 to $300 per hour. Full-timers also receive benefits such as health care coverage, medical malpractice insurance and a 401(k) retirement plan.

At its 2017 awards program Nov. 9 in Chicago, the Illinois Telehealth Initiative recognized Regroup with an award for Advancing Telehealth by Innovation. Nancy Kaszak, the initiative’s director, cites Regroup’s easy-to-use video platform and system integration as strengths in the telehealth field. “Hospitals are big on their records and their systems,” she says, “and if you can’t integrate into that system, it becomes an issue.”