Archive for October, 2009

EPIC Ventures Q3 2009 Newsletter

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009




EPIC Venture Fund Third Quarter 2009 Newsletter

EPIC Team Highlights

EPIC Ventures and Zions Bank Venture Funds Name Christopher Stone Managing Director

Former Novell Vice Chairman, Entrepreneur and Technology Operational Executive to Focus on New Deal Flow, Expansion and Fund-Raising

SALT LAKE CITY & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EPIC Ventures, the Salt Lake City based venture capital firm and Zions Bank affiliate, today announced it has added seasoned technology executive Christopher Stone as a Managing Director of the firm. Along with Kent Madsen and Nick Efstratis, Stone will join the Intermountain region’s premier venture investment firm focused on creating and funding early stage entrepreneurs in the software and technology sector. Stone is best known for creating the organization and specification for the industry software standard called CORBA; he was an advocate and leader in the open source software movement, as well as Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman/Office of the CEO of Novell. His career also involved early SaaS development and high performance computing.

“Chris has been an active participant on our Advisory Board for nine years. We began discussing the possibility of joining us officially a few years ago and couldn’t be more excited for EPIC, but more importantly, excited for entrepreneurs,” said Mr. Efstratis, Managing Director of EPIC.

Along with Mr. Stone’s technology and operational experience, he created and implemented the Novell Venture Fund in 1998 with Eric Schmidt. His investments and team (based in Provo and Boston) produced outstanding returns, with many of the companies launching public offerings or acquisitions.

“Chris has a 29-year history of creating, running and funding technology companies. With his strong operational background and industry knowledge and with EPIC’s focus on early-stage investments, Chris is the perfect complement to our team,” added Mr. Madsen, Managing Director of EPIC.

He began his career in software development and product management with Data General (EMC). He has been a public and private company CEO three times. Mr. Stone is also credited as a driving force for the adoption of open source technology (Linux), having driven Novell’s strategy to acquire SuSE Linux, Ximian and other open source technology. Through his career, he garnered numerous Linux and technology related awards, including being named a top ten entrepreneur by Red Herring, and one of The Top 50 People in High Tech by Ziff Davis. Mr. Stone is often quoted in major publications such as Business Week, Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine.

“This is a great addition to the EPIC team and even better for Utah, the Rocky Mountain region, as well as the fact Chris has significant contacts and influence worldwide. This will help expand EPIC Ventures’ reach from its regional roots to additional opportunities in the East Coast and Silicon Valley,” said Shane Robison, Executive VP and CTO of Hewlett-Packard and Advisory Board Member of EPIC Ventures.

Additionally, after 16 years at EPIC Ventures, Todd Stevens has decided to step down as Managing Director of EPIC and will now be a Venture Partner. Mr. Stevens is planning to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family. Mr. Stevens will remain active with EPIC and will continue to be involved with deal flow, portfolio monitoring and fund-raising in his role as Venture Partner.

About EPIC Ventures

Founded by Zions Bank in Salt Lake City in 1994, EPIC Ventures is a premier venture firm focused on early stage technology investments in internet infrastructure, software and services. EPIC helps to create companies, not just fund them. EPIC’s Fund IV is actively investing in creating the country’s future information economy. For more information, please visit More…

Stephanie Spong Named in New Mexico Business Weekly’s ‘Who’s Who in Technology’

The New Mexico Business Weekly honored 26 individuals from the field of technology at its first “Who’s Who in Technology” event Thursday, July 23. More than 250 attendees gathered for a reception at Intel Corp. in Rio Rancho to celebrate the honorees. The Business Weekly assembled a panel of technology experts to select the Who’s Who honorees. More…


Q&A with Chris Stone, Managing Director at EPIC Ventures.

Q: So, how long have you been working with the firm?

A: When I came to Novell in 1996, part of the strategy that we had was to use some of the cash Novell had on hand to invest in not only product development, but in companies that could create new businesses and new markets. Novell had over $2b in cash in 1998. So, Eric Schmidt and I created the Novell Venture Fund in late 1997 and invested $50m initially, growing to over $80m. I met Nick and Kent during this period and we shared ideas, deals, people, etc. They asked me to join their Advisory Board and I have been involved with them ever since.

Q: How did the Novell Venture Fund do?

A: 147% IRR during my tenure and deals realized. We invested in 20+ companies, many of which were based in Utah. Three of the employees working for me on that fund now work in the Venture Capital business here in Utah (all three partners at Utah Venture Partners). We invested in companies like Red Hat, Orbital, NetPro, EnCommerce, Entrust and many others. Coupled with EPIC ventures, we have returned more jobs and more capital to Utah than any other Venture firm with a greater than 4x return.

Q: What other changes do you foresee at EPIC?

A: All good. We will focus on expanding the Advisory board to include two executives from the leading technology firms. They will help guide us in deal flow but more importantly, help our portfolio CEO’s with advice, technology directions, business trends as well as "been there, done that…advice". We will stay focused on early stage entrepreneur’s and ideas. We will expand our investment opportunities to include Boston and New York, while still maintaining our successful formula in the Mountain states. I bring 29 years of operational experience as well as investment experience. We have a team that we hope entrepreneurs will want to work with – not work for.

Q: Were do you live or spend your time?

A: In addition to a seat on Delta, I have a place in Park City and downtown Boston. I will split my time between Boston and Utah and anywhere a good deal will take us. This is a commute for me and one I have been doing to Utah for over 13 years. After all, our Limited Partners are looking to make money, not friends.

Porfolio Company Spotlight

Nanotech Meets Computer Memory (Forbes on Everspin Technologies)

Imagine being able to turn a computer off and on instantly. That capability is closer than you think. Josh Wolfe: Let’s start with Everspin. As a Silicon Valley veteran, what attracted you to join as CEO of the company? Aurangzeb Khan: Everspin pioneered the integration of nanomagnetics with semiconductor devices. Many companies have tried to build this kind of memory (MRAM), but the folks at Everspin were the first to pull it off. I had been following the team’s work for a while, and what I particularly liked about Everspin’s approach, besides the leading-edge innovation, was that they did everything with commercialization in mind–with a view of producing something that could be manufactured in high volume with high yields. So that was a big part of what attracted me to the company. Also, over the last few years I’ve done a lot of work in system-on-chip design, including work with Sony ( SNE – news – people ) for the PS2, as well as other consumer, networking and telecommunications devices. I realized that in all of these devices, memory plays a critical role in the performance of the systems, so creating a breakthrough new memory could make a dramatic impact. I saw Everspin facing an enormous market opportunity, and that excited me. More…


EPIC Ventures invested in Medsphere Systems Corporation. Medsphere is a healthcare information technology company that provides integrated enterprise systems to manage the clinical, financial and administrative data for integrated delivery networks, hospitals, clinics and physician offices using an open source software strategy.

EPIC Ventures invested in Alliance Health Networks. Founded in 2002, Alliance Health is building the leading performance-driven healthcare marketing platform. Its network, brands, and technologies are designed to deliver two critical objectives: greater value to the healthcare consumer and greater efficiency to the healthcare marketer.

Porfolio Company Highlights

HyTrust Wins VMworld 2009 Best of Show and Gold Award (Security & Virtualization)

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly 200 products were considered in The Best of VMworld 2009 Awards in categories ranging from desktop virtualization to cloud computing. The awards, sponsored by TechTarget’s, highlight the most innovative technologies at the show. In the Security and Virtualization category, the gold award winner was HyTrust Inc. for its HyTrust Appliance. The finalist was Catbird Networks Inc. for Catbird vCompliance. The HyTrust product "provides a single point of control for hypervisor access management, configuration, logging and compliance," according to a statement from the judging panel, which is anonymous. More…

Medsphere Raises $12 Million to Meet Increased Demand for Electronic Health Records

CARLSBAD, Calif.—August 31, 2009 —Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of open source healthcare enterprise solutions, today announced that the company has secured $12 million in financing to support ongoing development and expansion efforts in the health IT sector. Hospitals are adopting Medsphere’s OpenVista® electronic health record (EHR) solution to improve clinical care and rapidly qualify for federal stimulus funding via an accelerated implementation and adoption process. "The nationwide push for healthcare reform and the focus on electronic health records as a key component in reform are having a measurable impact on health IT demand," said Irv Lichtenwald, chief financial officer at Medsphere. "We are delighted that Azure Capital Partners, Epic Ventures, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners, Western Technology Investment and a host of physicians and other private investors recognize Medsphere’s unique ability to rapidly transform the healthcare industry." More…

Alliance Health Networks Closes $3.3 Million Financing

SALT LAKE CITY, Sep 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Alliance Health Networks, Inc. today announced that it has closed a $3.3 million Series C Preferred Stock financing led by Highway 12 Ventures. EPIC Ventures, Series B lead investor, also participated in the Series C round along with other leading Internet and healthcare industry angels. Alliance Health has now raised a total of $6.6 million in venture capital. Since 2006, Alliance Health has been focused on building the tools and platforms necessary to create a universe of health-related social networks, each focused on specific diseases and health interests. Its first property,, has more than 50,000 registered members and is now the largest online social network for people living with or treating diabetes. More…

For more EPIC news, visit our new website .
Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going

September 8-10 – VCIR Fall 2009 – Park City, UT (Nick, Kent, Spencer, Stephanie, Todd)

September 14 – Sandia National Labs LDRD (Lab Directed Research and Development) Symposium and Awards – Albuquerque, NM (Stephanie and Katie)

September 17 – 7th Annual Rice Alliance Energy & Clean Tech Venture Forum – Rice University, Houston, TX (Katie on Advisory Board)

September 17 – CVF State of Venture Capital in New Mexico – Santa Fe, NM (Stephanie)

September 17-18 – Investment Professionals Conference – Provo, UT (Kent and Nick)

September 18 – Women Tech Council Awards – SLC, UT (Todd)

September 24 – Idaho Innovation Summit & 4th Annual Idaho Innovation Awards – Boise, ID (Robert)

October 5-6 – 2009 National Summit on Personalized Health Care – Deer Valley, UT (Todd & Kent)

October 12-13 – Sorenson Champions Challenge – Thanksgving Point, UT (Nick & Kent)

October 15-16 – nanoUtah 2009 5th Annual Nanotechnology Conference – SLC, UT

October 21 – TVC CCET Seminar: Preparing and Presenting the Business Plan – Rio Ranch, NM (Katie as the presenter)

October 23 – MWCN 2009 Utah 100 Awards – SLC, UT (Nick, Kent, Chris)

October 23 – UTC 2009 Hall of Fame – SLC, UT (Nick, Kent, Chris)

November 2-3 – Game Investment Conference – San Jose, CA (Stephanie as a judge & panelist)

November 7 – UofU Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Conference – SLC, UT (Kent as a speaker)

November 19 – Sorenson Inventor Showcase – SLC, UT (Kent)

December 3-4 – Summit Director & Officer Training Conference – Deer Valley, UT (Kent)

December 9-11 – Invest Southwest Capital Conference – Scottsdale, AZ (Stephanie as the Vice Chair & Nick)

News/Press Articles

Aspen Avionics Achieves FAA Certification for Multi-Function Displays and Weather Receiver

Albuquerque, NM , September 18, 2009: Aspen Avionics is pleased to announce that on September 18, 2009 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Technical Standard Order (TSO) Authorization for the EFD500 Multi-Function Display (MFD); the EFD1000 MFD; and the EWR50 Evolution Weather Receiver. With certification and production authority in hand, Aspen will begin shipping its newest products to dealers immediately. “The certification of our MFDs and the EWR50 Weather Receiver is yet another promise fulfilled by Aspen – to our 2,000-plus customer base, to our employees, to our investors, and to the industry – that we will continue to provide innovative and affordable avionics solutions to the general aviation community,” said Aspen Avionics President and CEO, John Uczekaj. “The Evolution PFD is the base component of the Evolution Flight Display System. Now Aspen customers have the ability to enhance situational awareness and increase safety even more by adding the Evolution MFDs and EHA capabilities to their cockpits.” More…

Feed Management Systems Inc. Named to 2009 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club

Feed Management Systems(TM) has been named to the 2009 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club, receiving recognition from Microsoft Corp. for its dedicated commitment to customers. This honor reflects Feed Management Systems’ success in extending the Microsoft Dynamics platform with their software solutions for animal feed industry-specific business applications, driving advantages in feed manufacturing companies worldwide. This recognition came during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 in New Orleans. It is a prestigious club, recognizing the top 5 percent of Microsoft Business Solutions partners worldwide for achieving a high level of sales and business performance while maintaining a constant dedication to customer satisfaction and innovation. More…

Workshare And NetDocuments Broaden Strategic Partnership

Workshare, a long-time leader working with the legal industry’s entrusted content, and NetDocuments, a leader in on-demand document management and collaboration services, announced a broad integration to provide a more complete document lifecycle management solution. Customers can select an original document from NetDocuments online document management system and compare it to one or more modified documents utilizing Workshare’s leading document comparison engine. Modified documents can then be saved directly back into NetDocuments. "NetDocuments has offered a basic integration with Workshare’s comparison products since 2001," said Alvin Tedjamulia, CIO, NetDocuments. "This new integration improves the customer experience and provides multiple options to leverage Workshare and NetDocuments industry leading technology together." More…

TriCipher’s myOneLogin Achieves Major Milestones in First Half of ‘09

TriCipher, the leader in on-demand identity services, today announced that the company is seeing widespread traction and validation of identity management in the cloud. Within the first half of this year, the company has seen rapid adoption of its myOneLogin service, with many new customer wins, new partners, and industry recognition for its approach to on-demand federation and multi-factor authentication. For businesses that use Web applications like Google Apps and, TriCipher’s myOneLogin delivers the convenience of single sign-on coupled with the essential security of strong multi-factor authentication. Google Apps Premier users can use their Google login for access to multiple SaaS applications. For Web application vendors, myOneLogin Identity Services enable multi-protocol federation and strong authentication services that can be deployed in hours using simple Web Services calls. More…

HyTrust Demonstrates Proof-of-Concept Policy Enforcement for Virtualized Cloud Infrastructure Based on Intel Trusted Execution Technology and the VMware Platform

SAN FRANCISCO–(Business Wire)– Today HyTrust demonstrated new technological capabilities jointly developed with Intel and VMware, aimed at enhancing security and policy enforcement in cloud computing environments. This proof of concept combines HyTrust Appliance with Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) and VMware platform technology currently in development to show customers how they can build and enforce policies that govern the behavior of virtualized cloud infrastructure. Cloud computing is gaining momentum as a way for customers to dynamically scale virtualized computing resources as a service on demand based on business need. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the "cloud" that supports them. As customers turn to cloud computing for its benefits-convenient, cost effective, on-demand access of computing resources-they are seeking a trusted platform that is secure and provides service identity. More…

Aspen Avionics Announces Helicopter Primary Flight Display

Oshkosh, WI, July 28, 2009: Aspen Avionics, Inc., maker of the award-winning Evolution Flight Display System, announced today its first offering for the rotary wing market: the EFD1000H Pro Helicopter PFD. Based on the same proven state-of-the-art technologies as its fixed-wing products, the EFD1000H Pro PFD Helicopter delivers a large attitude indicator with airspeed and altitude tapes, an altitude alerter and altitude trend vector. It also includes a full electronic HSI with dual bearing pointers and symbolic moving map with flight plan waypoints and leg overlays. When connected to a GPS navigator, the Pro Helicopter PFD also presents a full-time visual indicator of winds aloft direction and speed. More…

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