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Parchment Inc. Doubles Staff and Raises $6 Million

February 20, 2012

AZTC member Parchment Inc. is hosting with Tallwave, Weiss Brown and Silicon Valley Bank the February After5 networking event on Wednesday, February 29 at Tech Ventures at the Forum in Scottsdale. Parchment recently announced it has raised six million dollars from Salmon River Capital to expand its credentials data venture. This post is written by Parchment Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Pittinsky.

Just one year after landing in Arizona, Parchment Inc. has doubled our staff and more than doubled the venture capital investment that fuels our growth as a leader in the burgeoning education credentials data exchange and analysis field.

Some of our success may be attributed to the fact that Arizona and Parchment are at the intersection of three important trends: the modernization of America’s education infrastructure, the ability to mine data to improve individual and institutional performance, and the advantages of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a business and technology model.

Venture investors have a keen eye on the education market.  And Arizona is quickly becoming an industry cluster for education ventures.  As the second largest industry in the U.S. after healthcare in terms of GDP, education is under enormous pressure to transform access, quality, efficiency and equity. Consider just a few of the industry leaders headquartered or significantly staffed here: Arizona State University, Apollo Group, Blackboard, Grand Canyon Education, Universal Technical Institute, and Pearson. Complimenting these players are dynamic early stage companies like Parchment, and national events like the ASU Education Innovation Summit, which attracts a who’s who of venture capitalists and early-stage companies in the education-technology space.

Investors are equally excited about the potential of data analytics. Indeed, Facebook’s impending IPO is exciting not for the Company’s scale of users and social connections per se, but the potential of the data that is generated when so many people conduct and express their daily lives through the Facebook platform.  The New York Times Magazine’s recent profile on Target Corp. is another great example. At, we are mining transcript data to help students gauge which college is their best fit and see how they can incrementally improve their chances of admission. With smart investments in our research universities, Arizona can attract the quantitative expertise that is so critical to leading in this new category of technology-enabled value creation.

Finally, the Software-as-a-Service business model is fast becoming the norm.  SaaS companies make money on a subscription basis through annually recurring fees for applications users access via the Internet (the Cloud). No need to install complicated software on your business’s servers. Just sign a subscription license, create an account, and use software like Docufide by Parchment as a utility. Local companies such as TrueCloud, Sycara and Parchment exemplify the trend.

It’s an exciting time to be building a dynamic early stage technology venture in Arizona. As an education credentials data company with a SaaS solution, Parchment is an example of what attracts today’s investors. We are on the move with aggressive growth and a powerful mission to unleash education credentials by unlocking the critical data they embody. And we are proud to help build Arizona with this energy as well as attract new talent as we double our headcount in 2012. For more visit,


UA Tech Park Impacts Pima County Economy

February 13, 2012

The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park and its resident companies had an economic impact of $2.67 billion in Pima County in 2009, according to a new report.

The amount included $1.81 billion in direct economic impacts such as wages paid and supplies and services purchased and $861 million in indirect and induced dollar impacts, according to University of Arizona Science and Technology Park: Economic Impact Calendar Year 2009 from The University of Arizona Office of University Research Parks.

During the year, the park was home to 40 companies and business organizations that employed 6,494 workers. In total, the park and its companies generated 14,322 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) in the regional economy, with an average annual wage was $74,400 compared to the Pima County average of $40,900 during the same time period.

The full report can be accessed online at

AZBio Names New Board Leadership

February 11, 2012

Glen Galster, co-founder of Algae Biosciences in Overgaard, has been elected chairman of the AZBio Board of Directors.

The treasurer of the board is Phil Howard, assurance and advisory business services senior manager of Ernst & Young. Board secretary is Halina Janus, founder of Halina Janus and Associates.

AZBio is a not-for-profit trade association promoting the growth of Arizona bioscience companies. The association is comprised of member organizations in business, research and education, economic development, government, and other professions involved in the biosciences.’s First Signature Event of 2012

February 9, 2012

This post was written by Gelie Akhenblit, founder and CEO of, the Valley’s premier online resource for entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals, will host its first Signature Event of the year on Wednesday, February 15th at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale from 6:00-9:00pm. 

Over 1,500 local entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals are expected to show up for some good old fashioned networking. If you’re looking for new clients, more exposure for your business or are in a career transition – this FREE event is not to be missed!

  • Expected attendance of 1,500+
  • Exciting door prizes (must RSVP to be eligible for prizes)
  • Networking Passport members get expedited check-in, access into the VIP Passport Lounge, and one free drink ticket
  • Cash bar
  • Dress business casual and bring lots of business cards

Top 5 tips for the Signature Event:

  • Want to know who else is coming to the Signature Event? Click “See Who’s Attending” in the “Event Tools” bar on the right. Select the “RSVP” option to get on this list. Look through the attendee list, find the people you’d like to get to know and make an appointment to meet at the event!
  • Sign up for the Networking Passport membership before attending the event and get a free drink ticket, complimentary appetizers and access into the VIP Passport Lounge! Get your first month for only $5 by using group code: just5 [annual plan only $89 with group code: 89promo] 
  • Get there early to mix & mingle with all the other early birds. This is especially great for the shy networkers.
  • Nervous about coming alone? Bring a co-worker or a buddy! Networking is always more fun when you can share it with a friend.
  • And the BEST thing you can do to help you get the most out of the Signature Event is to attend the FREE networking seminar held right before the main event. Click here for all the details and to RSVP.

Also, the Arizona Technology Council, one of our favorite organizations, is going to have an exhibitor booth at this event, so make sure to visit them as well!

For more information and to see who else is coming, click here.

To see the video invite to get a better understanding of this event, please click here.

Impress Labs Hires Veteran Technology Journalist-Blogger To Lead Solar Energy Practice

February 6, 2012

Arizona Technology Council member Impress Labs, Arizona’s largest global technology PR/marketing agency, has hired industry veteran Tom Cheyney to head up its emerging solar energy practice. Cheyney joins the firm after a 25-year career in technology journalism and publishing with MICRO magazine, Chip Shots blog, and International.

“Tom has a very solid reputation and industry following, and he brings a wealth of industry knowledge on the global solar energy industry,” said Impress Labs CEO Martijn Pierik. “Having covered solar companies, conferences and projects from Arizona to Shanghai, Tom adds great strategic value to our renewable energy customer base.”

“We’re not building a solar and cleantech practice from scratch,” Cheyney added. “Impress has solid experience in the field, working with big companies such as SolarWorld, GT Advanced Technologies, M+W Group, and many others. I will bring more strategic focus to the agency’s solar energy practice and make connections for our clients on a global scale to help them expand their business.”

Capitalizing on his strong following as industry commentator and reporter, Cheyney will continue to cover the solar energy markets through an innovative content platform, which will explore new pathways for sharing and providing information to the vertical spectrum of the solar professional community.

Top 5 Reasons to Participate in the Arizona Technology Industry Salary Survey

January 20, 2012

Update: the Arizona Technology Industry Salary Survey deadline has been extended to Friday, February 17. Getting started is easy. Participating in the survey involves reporting information such as current salary ranges, base pay salaries, and bonus information on as many job titles of the 100+ provided, as are relevant to your businesses. Please forward the linked Excel spreadsheet to the person in your business who handles these HR/Payroll-related matters.

This post was written by Mountain State Employer’s Council‘s (MSEC) Karen Stafford. The purpose of this survey is to build a timely and locally-based salary and benefits survey specifically targeted to aerospace & defense, bioscience, cleantech, electronics, information technology, optics, and telecommunications job positions and/or companies. This survey comes as a result of input from the Council’s annual Listening Survey and is a natural follow up to the Arizona Technology Workforce Study that was shared with AZTC members last month.

I know what you’re thinking, “Why in the world should I participate in this survey?”  With more than your share of work piled high upon your desk  or weighing down your mobile device of choice, adding one more thing might seem overwhelming.  And I’m guessing responding to a salary survey may not be on the top of your “To Do” list this week or next, or even this quarter (this year?). If I’ve struck a chord, bear with me for five reasons to participate, because this is really about…

1. YOU: Completing this survey fills the need for collecting highly specific wage information you need to make good decisions. Have trouble finding relevant data for tough to fill positions? Participants get discounted rates on the results and an invitation to a “Results” session in the second quarter. Additionally, those participants who also purchase the survey will receive a customized executive summary of your data versus the compiled results.

2. Your company’s success: As a natural follow up to AZTC’s Workforce Study, participating in this survey provides an opportunity to dig a bit deeper and review your current pay and benefits practices so you can benchmark with your industry in your local community.  If reports of voluntary terminations rising as the economy recovers are correct, knowing where your practices stand becomes critical to attracting and retaining key talent.

3. Your industry and your market: This survey was designed by the Council and for the Council with the goal of canvassing relevant job descriptions for the technology industry as well as companies that have tech-related positions on staff. With over a 100 different jobs to consider, chances are you will find plenty of survey jobs that match positions within your company.

That’s only three, so I get two more, right?

4. This isn’t your typical survey process: The good news is, you aren’t in this alone. A team of survey consultants stand ready to assist with your questions, walk you through the participation process, and support your data collection and reporting efforts. Our survey gurus are just an email or phone call away: (800) 437-9262.

5. You report. We analyze: In addition to providing a “Results” session, did we mention that those who participate and purchase the results receive a customized survey analysis of your company data vs. the aggregate data?

Invest in your organization. Participate today by downloading the Arizona Technology Industry Salary Survey Collection Sheet. Completed survey spreadsheets can be submitted by email to or by fax: (602) 955-4545 by the end of business on Friday, February 17th.

Still on the fence? As a long time HR “Geek” myself, I’m happy to answer your questions so please don’t hesitate to contact me: , (602) 955-7558 or (800) 437-9262 x. 5533, or follow me on Twitter.

PADT adds Flownex to Software Tool Offering

January 18, 2012

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT), an active member of the Arizona Technology Council, made an announcement today that they have added the Flownex Thermal-Fluid Simulation Environment to their simulation product offerings.  A long time distributor of simulation products from ANSYS, Inc, PADT felt that the system level capabilities of Flownex would be a perfect compliment to the tools they already offered their customers.  You can read the official press release here.

Flownex is used by companies who make any type of system where a liquid and/or a gas are moving around in the system to predict the systems behavior on the computer rather than through the use physical testing.  This allows companies to understand their systems sooner and with lest cost.  Users come from a variety of industries that include mining, power, water treatment, public utilities, chemical plants, aerospace, and medical devices designers.

You can learn more about Flownex by visiting or by registering for PADT’s Webinar: “Meet Flownex” at

PADT, whose new slogan is “We Make Innovation Work,” offers a lot of different products and services that can be found at