“It’s a New Day at the PARC”

PowerCloud Systems was incubated by the PARC until our 2010 spin-out.  Intellectual property underpinning our CloudCommand software platform was developed at PARC.  Our headquarters are on its beautiful campus, and PARC is one of our investors.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal highlights PARC’s increasing importance in the startup ecosystem and touts its success with PowerCloud.  Diana Samuels writes:

It’s a New Day at the PARC

It’s a new day at the PARC.

Using technology developed at one of Silicon Valley’s most storied research centers, Jeff Abramowitz’s startup just raised $6 million.

Abramowitz said his company, PowerCloud Systems Inc., which was incubated at the Palo Alto Research Center and announced the Series B funding from Qualcomm Ventures on Dec. 14, is part of a “new wave” of innovation and research at PARC as the center’s business model has evolved.

PARC has transformed in recent years, from a research center for its parent company, Xerox Corp., into a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox that looks for broader business opportunities in innovation. In the Xerox days, PARC was famous for inventing great technologies that Xerox never capitalized on. Now, PARC’s CEO Stephen Hoover said the research center serves exactly that function: Help businesses like PowerCloud use PARC’s technology in commercially viable projects.

“There’s a history of having great scientists (at PARC), and now we have great innovators — the people who bring together that fundamental capability in technology, and couple it with a business sense and a focus on customer needs,” Hoover said.

The Business Journal notes that PARC works with about a half-dozen startups at a time, taking equity in the companies, entering into licensing agreements or taking cash fees for access to PARC’s research.

PARC originally hired Abramowitz as a consultant and then named him entrepreneur-in-residence, giving him seed funding for the development of a business based on PARC’s patented intellectual property work. PowerCloud, which has just under 20 employees and a total of about $10 million in funding, is independent but continues to work out of PARC’s Palo Alto campus. The company makes a system to manage networking equipment through the cloud.

“It really is a good environment for innovation,” Abramowitz said. “I know how to focus to get a business going, but I actually thrive in an environment where you have a lot of smart people around with creative thoughts.”

The entire article is worth a read (subscription).

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