Tech Cocktail Social 2013

Tech Cocktail Phoenix Social has ended and if you missed it, you missed not only learning about a lot of fun companies that are starting up here in AZ, but also about our growing tech community.  The event provided some of these entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch in front of a crowd for the first time.  It also allowed many to see, first hand, the incredibly supportive group that came out to encourage those pitching.

Two companies were selected by the team at Tech Cocktail to represent Arizona at the national Tech Cocktail Celebrate event held October 23-25 in Las Vegas.  Those companies are: DucoTrax, a “Cloud based inventory management platform that enables businesses to have the “Right inventory at the Right time” and TheraSpecs, “precision tinted, thoughtfully designed eyewear that filter out the harmful light that causes eyestrain, headaches, and migraines.”  Each team receives a Visa gift card to help defray the cost of travel to Las Vegas, a Traklight ID Your IP and IP Vault gift certificate and more.

My Counterpane was selected as the crowd favorite and received a ‘startup gift bag’ which included a $50 Uber ride credit.


Stay tuned….we’re looking at brining Tech Cocktail back in the spring of 2014!


A big thank you to all those who attended as well as our sponsors for Tech Cocktail Phoenix:


Starup Arizona


Quarles & Brady

Silicon Valley Bank



TCSocial Phoenix Sep4

Trademarks: Practice what we preach

An interesting email came across my blackberry ( yes I am a proud Canadian and have my “zed” 10) the other day. A CEO asked me why we were using InnovaPrep with a TM on our consulting website when his company InnovaPrep had been using it for many years. So good question.

A bit of background : Traklight had a small consulting arm that was recently reborn as a customer lab for creation of our Enterprise Innovation Program. There is a separate website at

In the past life we offered a quick consulting session that was like a prep course so we names it InnovaPrep and added it to the website.  Unfortunately it now seems that the google search for the same name did not take place.  I do recall a check on the USPTO that showed nothing filed to register the TM for InnovaPrep. Clearly that was not enough checking.  Traklight’s ID our IP tells us that a google search is mandatory!

The notion of a trademark is to avoid customer confusion. If someone is looking for consulting around innovation and googled InnovaPrep they would find both our consulting website and of course (their URL).

The other company does not do innovation consulting. They are in the biological sample collection and concentration business. That should not confuse the general public.

So were we infringing?

Technically I do not think so because no one would mistake the two different services.  Biological sample collection and related services are way outside my comfort zone!

InnovaPrep has not federally trademarked the name but they have common law trademark by using it in for many years. If we were in the same industry and providing the same services, we would likely be infringing…but because they asked very nicely and we are not moving forward with the InnovaPrep offering, we took it off our site.

Now if only the folks sitting on (traklight with a c) would be as accomodating!

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Crowdfunding Industry Leaders gather for 2nd Annual Bootcamp



Anyone and everyone who is interested in this new crowdfunding industry should attend the Crowdfunding Bootcamp 2013: 2nd Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp October 14-16th in Las Vegas. Designed for portals, startups, entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and service providers; the three days are packed with inspirational and practical education plus networking opportunities.

Education, Education, Education

Education is the key to the success of Equity Crowdfunding. Even though equity crowdfunding under the JOBS Act, passed in April 2012, is not legal until the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) promulgates the rules, companies can learn how to become compliant and fill the pipeline with qualified companies now. The recent release of the SEC rules for other parts of the JOBS Act have re-energized the industry.

In order to get started, companies interested in crowdfunding should start learning the requirements and understand the landscape.  Many of the requirements are good practices for any business and necessary for accessing capital, regardless of the source.  Best practices from portals, broker/dealers, service providers, and entrepreneurs will be shared at the Bootcamp, allowing for discussions and synergistic learning from industry leaders from in and outside the US.

Learning and Connections

The 2012 Bootcamp was a ground breaking gathering of the who’s who in the then nascent industry. The 2013 bootcamp builds on last year’s well attended event and expands to be global. The Funding Portal PavilionTM is back and the event will also feature a “Crowdfunding Expo Showcase” and “Crowdfunding Expo Marketplace” in addition to the workshops that provide hands-on access to industry leaders.

Jay Abraham, leading marketing strategist and business innovator, is a keynote speaker.  Jay’s comments on crowdfunding’s possibilities, “ …maybe an epic turning point in the history of entrepreneurship…,” sets the tone for the potential of the bootcamp and industry.

Getting Compliant

There are minimum requirements that startup and emerging business owners will need to fulfill in order to be admitted to online funding portals. For example, entrepreneurs or “Issuers” need to be completely prepared in the areas of having a plan for their business, along with legal, financial, marketing and social network capital, thus meeting the mandated requirements for registration with the SEC.

The sooner entrepreneurs start the preparation of completing the mandatory requirements for their online campaigns, the sooner they will have a competitive advantage to compete for capital formation from the “Crowd”.

Entrepreneurs who are ready and take the appropriate steps towards building an effective and compliant Crowdfunding campaign will be able to quickly onboard to a registered funding portal, showcasing their business for the huge ground swell of investment capital that is projected to flood the crowdfund investing marketplace later in 2013.  Getting complaint is a process that will be explored in depth in October.

Crowd is Key

The UK and Australia have experience in equity crowdfunding. Lessons learned suggest that building this crowd is a critical step.   Providing education is a method to increase the crowd. Thought leadership or content creation can produce a good following on social media sites. Not only will the Bootcamp be educational but also the networking opportunities will help with building a crowd.


Giving information and content in your field, creates loyal followers whether on a blog, Facebook, or twitter.  Prior to launching a campaign, building social capital is almost as important as becoming compliant.  Several workshops will focus on building this skills set. Again this takes time so it is critical to get started now.  

In summary, entrepreneurs must educate themselves on what it takes to be compliant, grow the crowd, and prepare and launch campaigns. There is no better way than attending the Crowdfunding Bootcamp 2013!

Register today at for the 2nd Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp here.




Zappos’ New Headquarters Or Las Vegas’ Win For Community?

grant-cai-9xjdQ8-zLKI-unsplashYou’ve probably heard about the new headquarters Zappos is building in downtown Las Vegas. Well, I recently had an opportunity to tour downtown Las Vegas with Megan Knedler, Traklight Director of Marketing, to learn more about the project. Of course, I knew it would be fun, interesting, weird and cool all at once because that’s what I think about when I think of Zappos.  It didn’t disappoint.  From the tour guide with rainbow-colored hair, Heidy, to the eye-popping $350 million personal investment of Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, the project already encompasses the company culture. 

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The Investment called Intellectual Property

We all knew this day would come. Given the shift the economy has taken to being more idea-driven it is about time the government gave intellectual property its due. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is responsible for calculating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of America. The GDP is probably the single most important number that reflects the state of the economy. To draw a parallel, if you are a country and the BEA is a thermometer then your temperature reading is the GDP.

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Trakers Number 13

So some might think 13 is a bad number.  Turns out it’s actually a Happy Number.  Seriously.  According to Wikipedia “A happy number is defined by the following process: Starting with any positive integer, replace the number by the sum of the squares of its digits, and repeat the process until the number equals 1 (where it will stay), or it loops endlessly in a cycle which does not include 1. Those numbers for which this process ends in 1 are happy numbers, while those that do not end in 1 are unhappy numbers (or sad numbers[1]).”  If you don’t believe Wikipedia, the rugby league and Dan Marino could vouch for the happiness of 13.

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Spotlight on Stonebridge Bookkeeping

Each month, we Spotlight a stellar company from our IP Cloud. These companies help provide you with the best and most affordable way to make your business a success. So don’t forget to regularly check in for updates or go to our IP Cloud to look around yourself! July’s Spotlight is on Stonebridge Bookkeeping

If you have a business, then you would understand the pains of bookkeeping. Started back in 2010, StoneBridge Bookkeeping has been striving to establish a standard of excellence not only in their workplace but for bookkeepers everywhere. There is no formal entity that governs bookkeeping or a code of ethics that holds them accountable. StoneBridge strives to build a community of bookkeepers who abide by a code of rules and ethics and raise the professional standard of the industry.

Apart from high level professionals, they also hold classes for people who want to learn how to bookkeep as well as provide a certification course that ensures that candidates who intend to provide public bookkeeping have a high level of professionalism and standard of ethics. For those inclined to carry out their own bookkeeping or hire someone for the job, they provide a state-of-the-art mentoring program that include monthly reviews of financial reports and data file entries as well as assistance in correcting any errors/issues found. Monthly Mentoring packages cost $150 a month but for $250 per month customers get the Full Mentoring Package which includes access to the QuickBooks/Bookkeeping weekly open forum as well as 24/7 email support for all and any questions.

For more information regarding StoneBridge Bookkeeping check out our IP Cloud or find them on their official website at:

On Our Way to Big!

Last week I wrote a post about the launch of our new website and noted that it takes a village; the extended team. Today, we’re featured in Success magazine as the winner of the Start Small Win Big contest and again I want to thank the village! With over 2,000 entries in the contest, it needs more than just one person to grow a business and compete with such companies. It took our village to help take us from a small team of just me to where we are today.

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