Business, Cloud Tech, Communications Tech, Docusign, Social Media

Momentum 2014 Conference Signups Are Open

It seems that tech conferences give their attendees just enough time to recover before announcing a new get-together in San Francisco. Hot on the heels of Dreamforce 2013 last month, Docusign has announced their annual tech conference Momentum 2014 and signups are already available online.

The official website claims it will be “3 days of unparalleled networking and discovery” and it should live up to that statement if Momentum 2013 is any indication. Last year’s event gave Docusign a chance to showcase major advances in e-signature and cloud and the permeation of e-signature into almost every major industry. This year’s emphasis is on becoming 100% digital, and attendance promises “actionable strategies to cut costs, conserve resources and make your company truly unstoppable.”

Like any good technology conference, Momentum 2014 hosts numerous tech celebrity speakers. Docusign executives Keith Krach (CEO), Tom Gonser (CSO) and Roger Erickson (VP of Customer Success) will all have speaking events. The two guest stars this year are John Hinshaw (VP of Technology and Operations) from HP and Zach Nelson (CEO) from cloud software company Netsuite.

Momentum 2014 has two events March 4-6 event running in Docusign’s home in San Francisco and a London conference taking place on June 4. Early bird passes are currently selling for $795 (compared to a normal price of $995) with a 3-for-2 bundle going for $1,990 and an 8-for-5 at $4,975. Docusign has always had a strong tradition of content marketing, and the Momentum announcement combined with their recent 2014 Winter Release indicates a major effort to catch the tech community’s attention before the year closes out.

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Business, Communications Tech, Social Media, Startup Highlights

Startup Highlights: Seth Bannon And Amicus

Tech startups that intend to streamline business activities tend to hog the spotlight, but ultimately use of technology is about closing the distance between a consumer and a provider and that’s the mission of Seth Bannon and his company Amicus. Amicus has the ambitious goal of overhauling the way non-profit organizations connect with their donors and supporters, making it easier for all parties involved.

Amicus’s most recent funding run was completed in 2012, but Inc.com recently released an article on Amicus detailing Bannon’s rise from rags to (relative) riches. A dramatic conclusion to the funding round in October 2012 came in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, when the storm knocked out the power in Brad Gillespie’s neighborhood. Gillespie was a partner at IA Ventures poised to sign $3.2 million in Bannon’s direction but delayed by the storm. Luckily, technology was able to save the day. “I downloaded the papers Seth sent and used DocuSign to sign it while on the bridge,” Gillespie says, “surrounded by all these people hanging out and drinking.”

Amicus offers non-profits looking to raise funds and awareness a modern alternative to cold-calling and passing out flyers. Harnessing the reach of social media, Amicus operates on the knowledge that requests for money or favors are going to hit a lot harder coming from friends and family than a stranger. Amicus social network connections are cross referenced with target outreach populations, then those connections are tasked with contacting any of their friends that might be interested in the outreach. Successful contact rewards the caller with points and prizes. It is a surprisingly old school outreach strategy given the tech nature of the company.

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Communications Tech

Telecom Giant Huawei Commits $600 Million to 5G Research

Chinese telecom company Huawei looks to be one of the first to take major steps into the communications future. As 4G just begins to enter the mainstream, the company announced that it would be committing a whopping $600 million to 5G research and implementation.

The research money is planned to be used over the next 5 years in anticipation of 5G launching in2020, with Huawei hoping to be on the edge of the technology at that time. Though there was no specifics on how the money would be spend, Eric Xu, Huawei’s CEO, stated that “there are several issues that must be resolved before 5G becomes a reality. These include the availability of spectrum and technological challenges, such as how to engineer network architectures capable of handling increasingly higher data volumes and transmission speeds necessary to accommodate more users on the network.”

Huawei is one of several telecom giants, including Samsung and BT that have funded a research center for 5G in Surrey, which is due to be up and running by 2015. However, even with well-funded research commercial release of 5G is not expected for some time so might be best to just be happy with 4G for the time being.

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