Category Archives: Tech

Fundraiser launched for West Sound CoderDojo

CodeDojo_17743908_ver1.0_640_480Last Saturday I sat in on the first meeting of West Sound CoderDojo.

The group was organized by West Sound Technology Association to offer computer programming classes to kids and their parents, as part of the global CoderDojo movement. 

The Saturday classes are free for participants and staffed by volunteers, but of course they cost money to host.

CoderDojo meetings require large gathering spaces with Wi-Fi connectivity, and the group tries to provide loaner laptops for kids who don’t have them.

West Sound CoderDojo just launched a GoFundMe campaign to help fund their courses. The group is hoping to raise $10,000. The campaign is posted here.

Millions of Premera customers affected by cyber attack

Hackers broke into Premera Blue Cross computer systems, potentially accessing personal information for 11 million customers, including 6 million in Washington State.

According to Premera, the initial cyber attack occurred nearly a year ago, in May of 2014. Premera discovered the attack on Jan. 29. The company informed the FBI and is coordinating its investigation with the bureau.

Premera announced the security breach to the public Tuesday and created a website with information for customers.

The carrier has begun mailing out letters to affected customers and is offering them two free years of credit monitoring and identity protection services.

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler posted a response to the announcement Tuesday, saying he was concerned about the amount of time it took Premera to report the breach to his office.

The full announcement from Premera is posted below:  Continue reading

Poulsbo firm creates real estate mapping app

LMS-dashboardPoulsbo tech company Velosys has launched a mapping service for land brokers marketing, large, high-value properties.

The service, called Land Map Solutions, helps brokers create detailed maps of properties.

Maps can be edited show details like parcel boundaries, areas of crops and timber, trails and pipelines.

The service is cloud based and maps can be embedded directly into brokerage websites.

“We created LMS to give our customers better management and control of their listings,” Tyler Van Meeteren, principal of Land Map Solutions, said in a news release.  “It was developed by professionals in the land industry and experts in GIS technology.  We provide a high level of data visualization and functionality that does not exist in the market today.”

According to the release, the mapping service is the first of several technology releases planned from the firm’s emerging products division. Velosys is a tech consulting and software development firm with clients in the financial, energy and government sectors.

$100M investment announced by Avalara

gI_113668_PrimaryLogo_Tagline_RGB_Bainbridge Island sales tax software firm Avalara announced a $100 million investment Monday.

The injection of capital came from an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, according to a news release.

“This investment by Warburg Pincus will allow us to put more dollars to work in our growth initiatives,” Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in the announcement. “It also validates our fundamental belief that sales tax compliance automation is inevitable, and Avalara is at the forefront of this movement.”

According to the release, the company’s growth plans include international expansion and strategic acquisitions. Including the investment by Warburg Pincus, Avalara has raised more than $200 million since 2004.

Avalara provides cloud-based software that helps companies comply with complex sales tax requirements. The company’s headquarters are located in the Island Gateway development, near Highway 305.

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Warburg Pincus investment comes amid rumors Avalara could go public.

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

Bainbridge company recognized for ingenuity

ozone

Ozone International LLC. makes products that keep food processors clean and safe.

This week the Bainbridge Island company was recognized for efforts to make its own organization cleaner and leaner.

The Association of Washington Businesses announced Ozone International as the recipient of its annual Operational Excellence Award for manufacturers. In the announcement, AWB highlighted the companies success in streamlining its production processes.

Over the past two years, Ozone improved efficiency by 25 percent and increased capacity by 80 percent, while cutting production time from 27 days to nine days per unit, according to a news release.

The company also reduced overtime costs by spreading work from its busy seasons to slower times of the year, and heightened safety for employees.

Ozone was founded in 2003. It creates ozone-based sanitization systems for food and beverage producers.

Our colleagues at Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal recently wrote an extensive profile of Ozone International.

 

Kitsap tech summit features Apple executive

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Improving technology education in Washington will be the subject of an upcoming summit in Suquamish.

The discussion, hosted by the West Sound Technology Association, will feature Renee Radcliff 168Sinclair, leader of strategic initiatives for Apple Inc. and a former state representative.

Other participants include U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, Olympic College President Dr. David Mitchell, and WSTA Director Charles Keating.

They’ll discuss how technology is transforming student learning and and whether state education policy is keeping up.

The program runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at Clearwater Casino. Pre-registration is requested. See full information here.

Poulsbo medical imaging office adds cutting-edge MRI, CT machines

New 3T MRI 9-14I wrote a story about the five-year anniversary of Peninsula Cancer Center for our Monday paper.

One of the center’s medical neighbors in Poulsbo, InHealth Imaging, also celebrated a milestone recently.

UnknownThe office introduced a 3Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, which it says is the first of its kind in the West Sound region.

The 3T MRI uses a more powerful magnet, and offers a wider opening for patients, faster exam times and higher resolution images, according to a news release.

InHealth also added a 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner, which uses lower levels of radiation and provides better images than older CT machines.

This system will allow us to have one of the widest ranges of imaging capabilities while being able to cater those services to patients in almost any situation,” InHealth founder Dr. Manfred Henne said in the release.

InHealth Imaging is a private outpatient practice located at 20700 NE Bond Road. It offers a wide spectrum of imaging services including 3D mammography.

Contributed photos

Kitsap Bank awards $20k to pet licensing tech firm

WA dogs in winter coats

A tech company focused on streamlining pet licensing won Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 Edg3 FUND award.

Pawzii, Inc., founded by Bremerton resident Alec Matias, develops software tools for animal licensing programs at shelters and local governments. The company has its headquarters in Seattle. It partners with the Kitsap Humane Society, King County and Seattle Animal Shelter among other organizations.

pawziiMatias, a former Zillow employee, said he believe his startup can help increase pet licensing rates by making the process easy.

“We’re just passionate pet people trying to fill this void,” Matias said in a recent interview.

While providing licensing software platforms for organizations, Pawzii.com offers a portal for pet owners to register their animals online. The site automatically files their paperwork with the nearest licensing office. Customers pay a small fee to Pawzii for each transaction.

A panel of judges awarded the inaugural Edg3 FUND small business prize to Pawzii Wednesday at an event in Bremerton.

“They are innovative and truly focused on making a difference in the community in a socially and environmentally responsible way,” Kitsap Bank President Tony George said in a news release.

Pawzii was one of five finalists for the award, which recognizes small businesses that benefit their communities economically, socially or environmentally. The company will use the prize money to expand its technology and scale up its business, according to the release.

Report: Bainbridge Island’s Avalara could go public

gI_113668_PrimaryLogo_Tagline_RGB_Bainbridge Island tax software company Avalara could soon go public, according to Emily Parkhurst of the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Parkhurst reports the company is preparing to file an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a first step toward trading stock publicly.

As she notes, Avalara recently raised capital from its existing investors and could be poised for rapid growth as more Internet retailers are required to collect sales tax. The company is even working with Bitcoin.

Avalara provides software for sales tax calculation and compliance.

Read the full PSBJ story here.

Bainbridge Island’s Avalara raises $30 million

Avalara, a Winslow tech firm providing automated sales tax compliance tools, announced a $30 million fundraising round last week.

The investments will help the company build its technology and business Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in a news release.

“Avalara is proud of its growth and excited about completing this latest financing round,” he said in the release.

Avalara has raised more than $100 million since opening in 2004.