Popular video conferencing software Zoom and other remote conferencing tech services have been in the news lately for failing to fully secure users’ data, especially at a time when business suddenly went 100% online remote overnight and sensitive data is at risk. One company in Ontario has created a solution. Instead of reverse engineering encryption within a platform or between technology products, a company called Tauria claims to have built a suite of remote office products from the ground up with end-to-end encryption in mind from the beginning. It’s available by free trial, only $10/month for small businesses (more for enterprise solutions), and it’s launching this month.
Startup LoanSense Uses Algorithm To Help Find The Right Loan Forgiveness Program, Even Years Into Repayment
What happens when you’ve repaid your loans for years only to find out the loan forgiveness won’t kick in because you didn’t fill out the right paperwork? What if you can’t repay loans right now because you lost a job due to the coronavirus recession? Ann Arbor’s LoanSense, a brand-new startup founded by Catalina Kaiyoorawongs and co-founder Ivan Herndon formerly of StockX, uses technology to find the right program for loan forgiveness or repayment.
The idea? Put publicly available datasets all in one place so it’s easier for researchers to do text mining and analysis on over 19 million academic articles. The CORD-19 dataset, a full-text and metadata dataset of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related research articles, is included. Amy Kirchhoff is the Text and Data Mining Business Manager at ITHAKA, the company that runs popular academic research site JSTOR. Kirchhoff is also an Archive Service Product Manager at Portico, ITHAKA’s content preservation archive. She leads a team building a new service to allow users to mine datasets related to COVID-19 research along with a host of other related data and published papers. “We are building a text mining service,” Kirchhoff says of the new program, which allows customized searches of aggregated datasets related to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Often overnight with the coronavirus outbreak shutdowns across the world, business owners and employees were asked to convert to work from home technology without any transition. Obviously that is not only a recipe for communication and infrastructure strain but a major security risk as well. We have heard a number of stories at Cronicle about companies offering work from home technology, but what really makes these suites of software and virtual work from home technology work together as a suite of secure team connectivity tools?
Ann Arbor’s Voxel51, which offers advanced machine learning tools to analyze video, has just released a tool that looks at the social impact of physical distancing from the COVID-19 epidemic. They’re calling it PDI, or Physical Distancing Index. The data can be used in a number of ways to look at the results of social distancing orders and correlated with virus spread trends.
In collaboration with Arbor Biosciences and a number of professionals in the IT and biomedical field in Ann Arbor and the Great Lakes region, we will be helping organize and will be publishing some form of collaborative discussion or networking resources on COVID-19 response from the Ann Arbor-Detroit and greater Great Lakes business and tech communities and ways the tech and health sciences communities can network to find medical and business solutions to the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on our communities.
Tomorrow in Grand Rapids, the Defense Innovation Drink & Think is taking place. This event, according to organizer Gregg Wildes of DornerWorks and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum of Michigan, is a networking opportunity for defense tech entrepreneurs–“companies doing AI and software for cybersecurity of ground vehicles or satellites.” Advanced materials is also in the mix, and machine vision and learning. The Defense Innovation Drink & Think is a way for these tech founders and professionals to meet each other and find ways to collaborate.
The ladies who run Jottful set out to help very small businesses with fewer than 5 employees create professional websites. “Our clients are often self-employed consultants, or service-oriented businesses,” says Dawn Verbrigghe, founder and CEO. The service is perfect for everything from “life coaches to management consultants to Main Street service businesses such as martial arts studios, beauty salons, and custom cake decorators.” If a business needs more than a build-your-own site but can’t afford the commonly quoted $5k price tag for a custom website from a creative agency, Jottful fills the gap in between. But then, the scope of what Jottful was managing expanded, and in more than one direction.
From Water Pollution to Cannabis Testing: Traverse City’s SampleServe Automates Environmental Survey Data
Russell Schindler is the head of TCNewTech in Traverse City, which at 1600 members averages 200 people per meeting. He’s also the CEO and founder of a company called SampleServe that uses technology to update the antiquated process of environmental sampling, from municipal water supply testing to cannabis. It sounds simple, and some of the technology is, but, Schindler tells us, the state of Michigan updated the standards for environmental sampling of soil, water, and the like, a number of years ago, and all of a sudden, it became much harder for companies to not only purchase specialized equipment required to conduct their sampling, but also to process all the data.
There are now more than 20 SmartZones across the state of Michigan, which means incubators in dozens of locations to support local startups. Right in the center of Michigan, Lansing’s LEAP program rungs the PROTO Accelerator, supporting local startups in tech-related industries. Besides geographical location, what distinguishes one startup incubator or tech accelerator program from another is often the prevailing industry in that city that supports new ventures. In the case of Lansing, that industry is insurance tech.