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BoldIQ Team BoldIQ’s Mike Christensen in GeekWire’s Most Important Tech of 2015

2015 was the year of the wearables, drones, 3D printing, virtual reality and more — but amid all this innovation, how do you distinguish fad from future staple? To put the question another way: What was the most important technology of 2015?

We asked CEOs, engineers, and innovators across the Pacific Northwest that question as part of our regular Geek of the Week feature.  Continue reading to find out why they picked everything from brain organoids to good old-fashioned smartphones, and click on any name to read each person’s full Geek of the Week profile.

BJ Lackland, CEO of LighterCapital: “Lots of financial technology. Of course I’m biased here, since I work at a fintech company. Overall, increasing access to capital on reasonable terms enables lots more people to have opportunities and improve their lives.”

Forest Key, CEO and co-founder of Pixvana, former CEO of Buuteeq: “Ubiquitous video and still photography via cell phones.”

Brian Fioca, serial entrepreneur, Partner at Madrona Venture Labs: “Apple Watch. Just kidding, but I love mine anyway.”

Akash Badshah, Product Architect for Socedo: “Wearables.”

S. “Soma” Somasegar, Partner at Madrona Venture Group, former Microsoft exec: “Machine Learning.”

Priya Cloutier, Founder and Patent Attorney at Cloutier Global Intellectual Property: “Nuclear Power.”

Joe Beda, Entrepreneur in Residence at Accel Partners, Google vet: “Hard to pick one thing. Is this the year of the drone?”

Austin Dale Wheat, Senior Manager, OpenMarket: “Hands down, 3D-printing.”

Rahul Singh, Founder and CEO at Distelli Inc. “Aerial drones.”

Yarelly Gomez, Software Engineering Student at the University of Washington: “3D Printing, for sure.”

Vikram Jandhyala, Innovation Ambassador at the University of Washington: “Drones.”

Brett Greene, co-founder of New Tech Seattle: “Driverless cars.”

Mike Christensen, Senior Software Engineer at BoldIQ: “The Cloud. We’re now finally seeing devices as a commodity, and real innovation happening on the back end.”

Mina Yoo, Founder of Lulabop LLC: “Micro Drone 3.0: Flight in the palm of your hand.”

Kimberly Amundson, Program Officer at PATH: “Speech-jammer app — not really, but it’s quite entertaining.”

Sharon Magliano Feliciano, Founder of ParentingGeekly.com: “Wearables.”

Darren Hardman, COO of Avanade: “Skype for Business. I use it every day to connect and collaborate. Can you remember life without such a collaboration and communication tool?”

Ben Gifford, UX designer at Array Health: “Not wearables. I’d say battery technology: getting smaller, more energy dense. Eventually, this will enable us to do more than we can currently imagine. It would be appropriate to tack graphene on to this discussion as well.”

Carole Tomko, General Manager of Vulcan Productions: “3D imaging enabling all the amazing work being done in the medical field.”

Rahul Bhardwaj, Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Student at Purdue University: “3D printers”

Kassy Coan, Program Manager at Microsoft Bing: “One of the most impressive advancements I’ve noticed recently is the increasing affordability of 3D printers. As they become more affordable, 3D printers are showing us the potential impact of improving on existing technologies. The product output quality is improving and the cost of development is dropping, making them more widely accessible than ever. The reason this price drop is so important is because it widens the audience who have access to this creative medium and puts the creation of technology into more hands.”

Sriharshita Musunuri, High School Student, Thermoelectrics Innovator: “Brain Organoids.”

Jonathon Loucks, Lead Game Designer of Loot & Legends: “Smartphones.”

Colin Walker, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer for ExtraHop: “Yet to be seen, but if they can finish up 5G and get it to the masses, I’d say it’d be a game-changer. Other than that, the IoT movement is making a big push.”

Nick Berry, Data Scientist at Facebook: “There are a few, but I think they are stealth and it will take a few years to appreciate the fruits of their labors. Looking back in a couple of years I hope we’ll see the immense value that technologies like: 3D printing, DIY boards like Raspberry Pi/Arduino, and incredibly cheap cloud computing options have provided. These tools are the Petri dishes for the engineers of our future. The people who are playing with these technologies today will be next decades’ entrepreneurs. It’s investing in the future.”

Erez Benari, Sr. Service Engineer, Identity and Access Management (IAM) at Microsoft: “VR Sets.”

Lesley Baker, Founder of For Jack and Jill: “3D printing. I think there are a lot of exciting applications that are going to continue to happen, evolve in this space.”

Click to see the GeekWire story

BoldIQ Team Ride-Sharing Drivers can Unionize – Surprise?

In case you haven’t heard yet – Seattle is the first U.S. city to give Uber, and other contract drivers the power to unionize. The Seattle City Council voted 8-0 Monday afternoon to enact Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s ordinance giving taxi, for-hire and Uber drivers the ability to unionize.

Surprise surprise…how long did we think that this so called new-age sharing economy, growing and profiting on the backs of ‘contractors’ would last? Seattle may be leading the way in this specific ruling, but many cities in the U.S. and across the globe have had issues with ride-share companies and it is no surprise.

Ride-sharing is when a company acts as a so called broker, collecting demand for transportation and then providing registered drivers with the option to pick up a person or package and drive them to the required destination. The company does not actually schedule the ride, as in they don’t pick which driver should do that job and then assign them to the job. Rather they ‘post’ the job and the first driver that wants it, gets it. Because of this model, there is inherently significant waste which leads to congestion, fuel burn and emissions that aren’t required. Why?

If I as the company, don’t control my resources (as in drivers with their cars), rather I just propose jobs to them, then in order for me to ensure I have the ability to provide quick pick up for my customers, I must have multiple empty cars driving around waiting for the ‘app to ring’. The resulting challenge is twofold – more cars burning fuel and rubber on already packed roads; and a much larger pool of drivers roaming the streets hoping to make some money on a much smaller pool of demand – a pool of demand that if handled by an optimized network of vehicles, would require fewer drivers, each actually earning a decent income.

Lets look at a fish bowl – if I only have a set amount of fish food to throw into the bowl each day, then the more fish I add to the bowl, the less each fish will eat on average. What happens in reality is some fish eat fine, while others starve to death.

In the fish bowl of our streets, demand is set. It of course fluctuates, but overall the same number of people are requesting a ride or delivery on any given day. If you have too many drivers trying to make money on that, some drivers do fine, while others…don’t. In the meantime the ride-sharing company makes out phenomenally well since it takes a cut of the revenue without taking the risk of the costs.

Any wonder they want to unionize!?

The challenge is what the response will be to unionizing. Ride sharing companies may choose (or not have a choice) to simply stop doing business in markets that allow it and thus everyone loses; or they can choose to control their resources i.e. actually schedule their drivers, and thus be able to meet demand efficiently. The obvious downside is that less drivers will be needed (unless demand grows) but in turn each driver will make the money they should be making and the ride sharing companies still make their cut too.

And what about the argument that by having less ride sharing cars on the road, the passengers will now have to wait longer for service – thus it is bad for the community? Well, if transport companies continue to behave the way they do today, that is probably a fair argument. But if the taxi companies, and ride sharing companies, start utilizing advanced dynamic optimization software, that enables them to operate truly on-demand, then everyone will benefit.

BoldIQ is On The Map…Literally

BoldIQ is included in Washington State’s robust technology ecosystem. The iconic map has been widely used to convey the richness of our tech industry. It hangs at the MOHAI and in state legislators’ offices. This past November, it was featured in a TEDx talk on innovation ecosystems.

Click images to see full story, large map, and to order a copy of the poster

Our Customer PlaneSense, Delivers Food Drive Cargo by PC-12 Aircraft

PlaneSense, Inc., a fractional aircraft ownership company based in Portsmouth, NH, collected over 7,000 pounds of food for the NH Food Bank. The PlaneSense® team then filled a Pilatus PC-12 with the food, and it was flown to the Manchester Boston Regional Airport today. Manchester, NH Mayor Ted Gatsas, Chairman of the Pease Development Authority, George Bald, and Executive Director of the Pease Development Authority, Dave Mullen, personally greeted the aircraft full of food.

NH Food Bank executives and members of its advisory board were also on hand at Signature Aviation to gather the food for distribution. Mayor Gatsas, and PlaneSense, Inc. President and CEO George Antoniadis (who piloted the plane) helped to load the NH Food Bank vehicle with the non-perishables. The remainder of the food was brought by truck and delivered to the Food Bank.

“The New Hampshire Food Bank works with more than 400 partner agencies throughout the State of New Hampshire, reaching so many families in need,” Antoniadis said. “We are pleased to be able to help for a second year in a row, and I am very proud that our employees and their families contributed substantially to this food drive. We are also delighted that community members and our friends at Pilatus Business Aircraft, the Pease Development Authority, BoldIQ, Constant Aviation, and businesses on Pease Tradeport, including Teledyne and Medtronic Advanced Energy, have given donations to help as well.”

This is the company’s second year flying a PC-12 full of food in support of the NH Food Bank. Last year’s donations totaled around 800 pounds of food, which provided over 600 meals. This year’s donations will provide over 5,800 meals.

“It is my great pleasure to be here with the New Hampshire Food Bank for the second year in a row, to help accept and thank the PlaneSense team for being so giving during the holiday season” Mayor Gatsas said. “Their donations today will give so many Queen City and New Hampshire residents a wonderful meal this holiday season. I am truly appreciative of their dedication to our local and state communities.”

According to Mel Gosselin, the Executive Director of the NH Food Bank, the food will be brought back to the Manchester, NH facility and sorted into categories. It will then be placed into the NH Food Bank’s online ordering system and later dispersed accordingly to help feed over 140,000 NH residents who are food insecure.

“We applaud PlaneSense employees and their families for generously partnering with the NH Food Bank on a food drive for the second year in a row,” said Gosselin. “The holidays and winter months can be a very difficult time for those who are faced with ‘Eat or Heat’ decisions by the limitations of their resources.”

Antoniadis said that while filling an airplane – and in this case, needing “supplement lift” in the form of a truck to carry the excess food donations – was the initial goal, increasing the public’s exposure to the needs of the New Hampshire Food Bank was an equally important result of the holiday food drive.

For more information on fractional shares with the PlaneSense® program, visit PlaneSense, Inc. online at http://www.planesense.com.

About:
PlaneSense, Inc. is a fractional aircraft ownership program based in Portsmouth, NH, that has been in operation since 1995. The PlaneSense® program manages the largest civilian fleet of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in the world, and has more experience with the PC-12 than any other aircraft management and maintenance team. PlaneSense, Inc. has also placed the largest launch agreement order for six new Pilatus PC-24 jets.

Offering optimal access to many airports, and fractional owner flexibility that suits any flying profile, the PlaneSense program offers compelling value through affordable pricing, world-class service, and a practical, comfortable aircraft.

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The STRR Act: A Jumpstart to a Connected, Smart Transportation System

The STRR Act (Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform) passed in the House last month, paving the way for funding an overdue upgrade to our country’s vast transportation system. The bill, which focuses on improving infrastructure, reforms, and refocused national priorities, will welcome innovation to make our system safer and improve our quality of life. This bill, if taken advantage of correctly, could and in-fact should, radically change our transportation system as we know it.

Passing the STRR Act is a great step towards implementing smart infrastructure and encouraging new innovations like connected cars and autonomous vehicles, but what it lacks is a specific focus on network efficiency. The same number of driverless cars for example, replacing ‘regular’ cars, will still lead to the same congestion levels.

Extended railroad systems, updated freight and highway projects, and improved surface transportation are crucial to jumpstarting a new smart transportation system, but think how our system could be transformed by connecting all these aspects together with demand, to provide an optimized transportation network that requires less moving parts pun intended). Smart cars might power this new system, but real-time dynamic efficiency is what will enable the system to live up to expectations of less congestion, waste and emissions, while providing better results.

As we move into a future of driverless cars and connected transportation, we need an optimized network layer operating above the smart infrastructure to maximize efficiency. This layer could tell us exactly how many cars we need to have on the road to meet demand while not using additional resources. This would mean less emissions and resources needed to keep up with customer demand.

A focus on efficiency in the planning stages of implementing a smart transportation system is critical. As more and more companies invest in driverless cars, we can expect more cars to hit the streets which means more waste and more traffic.

But, if we have an optimized system in place – if we implement the most efficient network to operate these new innovations – we can expect a better quality of life as we enter this new era of transportation.

BoldIQ immortalized on U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion memorial park at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

To remember our fallen heroes and pay tribute to the achievements and sacrifices of the men and families of 2nd Ranger Battalion, a memorial park was built in their honor.  Constructed of granite and stone, inscribed with the names of Rangers who died in combat and training, the memorial is landscaped into a reflective setting–a physical reminder of Ranger selfless service befitting those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

BoldIQ is proud to be part of this great heritage and tradition.

BoldIQ CEO shares vision and reality of optimized on-demand operations at Seattle Biz-Tech conference

Roei Ganzarski, president & CEO of BoldIQ shared with the audience of the 3rd annual Seattle Biz-Tech conference, what the convergence of Big Data, Fast Data, Dynamic Operations, and Internet of Things looks like. Ganzarski shared the vision and the reality of how real-time optimization software, like that offered by BoldIQ, is shaping today’s reality into tomorrow’s intelligent future. Home visits by nurses, driverless transportation, deliveries by drone, and repairs to your washing machine, all coordinated and scheduled efficiently by a centralized dynamic optimization system.

BoldIQ CEO discusses Big Data and Optimization at BigDataBellevue

The convergence of Big Data, Fast Data, Dynamic Operations, and Mobility, all around Real-Time Optimization, was the topic of discussion at BoldIQ CEO’s presentation at Big Data Bellevue.

In front of a ‘BigData-centric’ crowd, Roei Ganzarski presented a vision for a fully integrated, automated, and optimized future while sharing how current technologies and a pro-active design, will ensure such a future in fact comes to be.

BoldIQ featured in 425Business

Bellevue-based BoldIQ is committed to doing only what it is good at, which is helping companies optimize their resources. BoldIQ created a software platform that evaluates demand and its constraints, supply, and the environment surrounding a company, and produces a plan for the best use of resources to solve a problem.

The platform is most easily applied to transportation solutions, but the company also is looking at improving the efficiency of the healthcare and energy systems.

“These industries are purely on-demand,” said CEO Roei Ganzarski. “We want to help them make the best use of their resources to meet whatever demand-customer mission they have to do.”

The software accepts a series of inputs about resources available, such as the number of taxi cabs, airplanes, or hospital beds; the constraints, such as weather, traffic, available doctors, or road closures; and the demand, such as cargo, patients, or travelers, and provides a plan to achieve the optimum efficiency. As the variables change, the software modifies the plan.

It’s about “practice what you preach” for Ganzarski when it comes to optimizing BoldIQ’s own resources and people. It’s easy for young companies to get distracted by the array of problems in the marketplace and try to fix them all, but Ganzarski said that’s how some companies get into trouble.

“The ability and requirement of us to focus on what we are good at as a company, where can we add value for customers, and where will that combination provide the best return for us and the customers,” Ganzarski said. “That really drove us to focus on only a few key industries and turn down other potential business, which is hard to do but really important. Otherwise you spread your resources really thin and not do a good job, or as good of a job as you could, for your customers.”

BoldIQ’s mission of doing only what the company is good at is more than just a customer-facing initiative. The company translates that mission internally as well, where all 12 employees focus on product development. Ganzarski hires external firms to handle other tasks of running a company, such as finances, marketing, sales, legal, and human resources.

“It allows me as CEO to truly focus on our product, our service, and our customers, and not a bunch of other things,” Ganzarski said. “It allows me to pick the best of each industry to hire the service that I need.”

Being passionate about resource allocation comes naturally to Ganzarski, who said he’s sometimes accused of being too passionate. “The reason is because I don’t do things I’m not passionate about.”

The company was founded in Seattle, but when it needed more office space, Ganzarski moved the headquarters to Bellevue to accommodate its employees, most of whom live on the Eastside. Ganzarski puts a lot of effort into ensuring employees have a balance between their work and home lives.

“We provide phenomenal healthcare at no expense for the employee because what we don’t want is an employee sitting in front of their computer but focused on affording their children’s braces or the cost of an extra lab test,” Ganzarski said. “I want you to know that your family’s health is taken care of so when you’re at work you can focus on work.”

The same thought process is applied to vacation time, which is unlimited for BoldIQ employees.

“An employee should not be concerned about taking a vacation day to attend their child’s recital or school play,” Ganzarski said. “If you’re doing your job, go home when you need to. If you want to flex hours to get the job done, do that.”

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