Partners to Support Lessons About Space Copy

Cox Communications has formed a partnership with Xtronaut to help it develop educational kits that link STEM learning products to the science and engineering associated with space missions such as OSIRIS-Rex, which was developed at The University of Arizona to have a spacecraft travel to an asteroid and return to Earth with a sample.

The kits will include teacher and student workbooks, videos by scientists and engineers, online opportunities for students to connect to mission leaders, and hands-on experiments for classrooms and after school programs. Starting in August, the program will be provided to schools free of charge.

Besides jointly developing an app based on the OSIRIS-REx mission, Cox and Xtronaut will offer companies the opportunity to sponsor placement of the kits in schools and receive promotion through Cox Media outlets.

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Pitch Contest Finalists Announced for StartupConnect AZ

logo-startupconnectThe Arizona Technology Council’s Startup + Entrepreneurship Committee is excited to announce the five finalists for its StartupConnect AZ Pitch Contest, presented by Hool Coury Law, which will be held at the Scottsdale Hilton on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. The Committee received over 35 applications and the five finalists were selected by a sub-committee of local industry leaders and market experts. The sub-committee evaluated candidates on overall business vision, market knowledge and technology innovation. The five finalists are:

  • Crowd Mics (@crowdmics) powers audience engagement with an app that lets people use their phones as wireless microphones. Participants can also interact with text commenting or live polling. Crowd Mics is the microphone for the people!
  • EndoVantage provides computer simulations of medical procedures on the actual patients before surgery, for the first time enabling thorough treatment planning which is dramatically improving patient care and reducing cost. Using the technology medical device companies also now can virtually test their devices in hundreds of patient anatomies without endangering any patients, revolutionizing medical device development.
  • Searchlight (@protectmywords) is a website content monitoring platform with a special focus on detecting and remediating plagiarism online. Searchlight specializes in helping customers keep total control over their content, with no effort required, and no matter the size of the website.
  • ShootersRev™ (@shootersrev) is a sports technology company focused on increasing athletic productivity and performance through tech-infused products.
  • Storybyte (@storybyte) Instantly turn the photos already on your phone into beautiful story websites for free. Storybyte automatically suggests stories, and allows you to seamlessly share your stories with Facebook friends and Twitter followers or more privately through email, SMS, and copied links.

The Pitch Contest portion of StartupConnect AZ goes from 3:45pm – 5:00pm and will be moderated by attorneys Jonathan Coury and John Carter of Hool Carter Law. All five finalists will pitch live in front of the entire StartupConnect AZ audience and the audience will vote on the winning company. The winner will be awarded a cash prize comprised of the net revenue of all ticket sales for the event. If you have not registered yet, please register here and check out the full agenda at

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Cancer-Fighting Hormone OK’d for Use in Europe

A synthetic hormone developed at The University of Arizona Cancer Center and the UA’s Colleges of Medicine and Science, and shown to offer relief for a rare skin disease has been approved for use by patients in Europe.

The molecule was developed, patented and initially tested at the UA under the name afamelanotide. It is a key ingredient in the drug Scenesse, which reduces and prevents painful reactions to sunlight experienced by people with erythropoietic protoporphyria.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Ltd. of Australia received permission from the European Medicines Agency to market Scenesse. The company says it plans to seek approval for the drug from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and for use with patients in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Avnet IT VP Part of Elite Group

Brian Chan, vice president of IT for Avnet, was named by Computerworld as a 2015 Premier 100 IT Leader. The honor goes to individuals from both the technology and business sides of companies with exceptional tech leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.

Chan is responsible for Avnet’s global IT shared services organization. Using a business-centric approach to IT, he and his team recently redesigned Avnet’s data analytics platform. With these new capabilities, Avnet can better assess its performance on growing its business profitably by accessing key metrics.

The Premier 100 awards ceremony will be one of the highlights of the AGENDA15 Conference starting in late March in Amelia Island, Fla.

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Scanner Recognized as a Top Security Product

The Retina Network Security Scanner produced by Phoenix-based BeyondTrust to provide context-aware solutions for privilege and vulnerability management is a winner of the 2014 Information Security Magazine and Readers’ Choice Award for Best Application Security Product.

The scanner uses agent-based or agentless scanning to identify specific vulnerabilities, assess risk and prioritize remediation based on various factors. Application security has grown as an important component of enterprise security strategy due to the large number of corporate applications accessed by employees.

To determine winners, Information Security surveyed readers to rate top security products in 22 categories and asked them to vote only on products they use.

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$100,000 for Raising Water Consciousness

A prize of $100,000 will go to the team that offers the best strategy to increase the awareness of water scarcity and Arizona’s water future in the Water Consciousness Challenge. Deadline for registration is Dec. 19 with application and proposals due Jan. 16.

The competition is open to student as well professional teams. The strategy must include digital media and sample content in the application.

Besides the cash prize, every team that enters will receive feedback from credible authorities and get the chance to connect with others. To register, go to

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Deloitte Honors ‘Connected Car’ Company

Inilex has been included in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.

The Phoenix-based company was ranked No. 247 in recognition of its 394 percent growth. This is the second time Inilex has been on the list.

The firm is a member of the “connected car” ecosystem with its specific technology for new and used cars, consumers and dealers, and fleet managers. This entire segment is expected to be valued at nearly $17 billion by 2018.

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Easier Way to Open E-Commerce Store

The GoDaddy Online Store has been launched to help make it easy for small businesses to create an e-commerce presence with a customized web store and sell products online without the need for knowing how to code.

Although small businesses can find building e-commerce websites challenging, 30 percent of local small business revenues come from online purchases, according to research firm BIA/ Kelsey. Merchants using the new service only need to choose their theme, add products, and assign descriptions and price points.

The Scottsdale company’s Online Store provides an easier end-user shopping and checkout experience, including for mobile devices, with built-in payment processing tools. Also included are flexible shipping options for shoppers and inventory tracking.

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