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Originally published July 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM | Page modified July 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM

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Brier Dudley

Tech Alliance showcases early stage ventures

Five startups made presentations Tuesday at the state Technology Alliance's Innovation Showcase, an event intended to connect more early-stage companies with investors.

Seattle Times staff columnist

Five startups made presentations Tuesday at the state Technology Alliance's Innovation Showcase, an event intended to connect more early-stage companies with investors.

Half the companies that have made presentations originated at the University of Washington, probably because the school is more aware of the program, said Linden Rhoads, the school's vice provost for commercialization.

Here's a rundown of their presentations.

Assay Dynamics: An automated medical-testing platform with a special card to analyze fluids and run multiple tests simultaneously on the same fluid sample. A key innovation is that the machines automatically calibrate every time they're used.

"What we're trying to do is allow physicians to do more and more testing in their office," founder Kjell Nelson said.

The Seattle company has $4 million in federal NIH funding, five issued patents and two more in the pipeline. It sees a $3.3 billion potential market for first set of tests that can be done with its system, which could eventually be used for testing in pharmacies and developing countries.

Kaleetan Pharmaceuticals: Co-founder Grand Risdon explained that his company's developing therapeutic cancer vaccines to treat patients with cancer and suppressed immune response.

It draws on principles similar to Dendreon's Provenge therapy procedure, but Risdon said Kaleetan's vaccine platform is more easily manufactured and injectable.

The primary inventors are UW scientists Jeffrey Ledbetter and Martha Hayden-Ledbetter.

Mercer Island-based Kaleetan is preparing for clinical trials with dogs with cancer.

Vitriosic: Federal efforts to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 50 percent by 2015, plus energy efficiency credits, have created an opportunity for Vitriosic's electrochromatic glass.

The glass can darken or become shaded by applying electricity, which changes the state of a layer of polymer sandwiched in the material.


The concept isn't new but Vitriosic's system doesn't require as much electricity and may be powered with solar energy, according to co-founder Todd Ostrander. A key difference is that Vitriosic's material won't draw electricity after its state has changed.

Mobisante: Sailesh Chutani left Microsoft's mobile group as a director to start Mobisante, which is developing a mobile, affordable ultrasound system that could make the technology more accessible.

The system uses mobile phones and an ultrasound wand. It could be used for primary care, emergency care and obstetrics. Markets include the military and emerging markets.

Redmond-based Mobisante is now testing a beta version of its product. It's working on getting FDA approval and has an exclusive deal with the manufacturer of the sensor component.

Legacy of Kin

Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that the coolest feature of its Kin phones is still alive.

That would be the companion website that Kin phone buyers get for viewing and sharing photos and other files on the device.

Photos taken on the phones automatically show up on the website, where they can be viewed, saved or moved around.

The the company confirmed, via the Windows Phone Blog, that similar pages will be provided to people using devices based on its upcoming Windows Phone 7 software.

Microsoft is calling them Windows Phone Live companion sites. They'll give people "a central place to see pictures they've published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts, exchange OneNote files and access other information shared between the phone and the Web," according to the post by Aaron Woodman, a director on the mobile team.

A Microsoft distinguished engineer, Mike Toutonghi, developed a similar automatic photo-synchronization system at a Seattle startup called Vizrea starting in 2004.

It closed in 2007 and sold its technology to Microsoft and Toutonghi returned to the company.

The companion sites announced Tuesday will have more than just photos.

They'll extend the phone activity to computers and bigger displays, and connect to other services such as Microsoft's free SkyDrive online storage service and "Find My Phone," which helps people map their phone's location if it's lost or make it ring so they can find it around the house.

Growth on the Tableau

Data aren't the only thing that Tableau Software is visualizing. It's also seeing crazy growth.

The data-visualization company, headquartered in the Fremont neighborhood, announced this week that its sales grew 106 percent from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010, and it's going on a hiring spree to double its team.

Tableau is privately held but disclosed that it grossed more than $20 million last year and is adding new clients daily to a list that has 5,000 customers, from Apple to Zynga.

It employs 136, up from 100 at the start of the year, and plans to fill 100 new positions in the next 12 to 18 months.

That's more than double the pace of hiring that Chief Executive Christian Chabot expected in April, when he launched a free online version of the company's visualization toolbox.

Brier Dudley: 206-515-5687 or

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About Brier Dudley

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest. | 206-515-5687



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