Tech industry collision to benefit Chicago
January 17, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
are bad. Mike Mulica, CEO of Bridgeport Networks, thinks the smashing
together of cellular-telephone technology with emerging voice
over Internet protocol technology will be a boon for Chicago.
Thursday, Mulica hosts a Global Convergence Summit at the Fairmont
Hotel to explore the coming seismic shift in the telephone business.
His aim: make
Chicago headquarters for the revolution. He wants to position
his Chicago-based company as a leading software merchant for the
pioneering mobile VoIP," Mulica says. "There's a real
opportunity to build an ecosystem that's local because there are
a lot of companies in Chicago that are going to benefit from the
convergence." He cites Motorola, PCTel, UTStarcom and Lucent.
industries are colliding," says Mulica, referring to the
powerhouse cellular industry invented here by Motorola and the
emerging Internet telephony business.
to town tech legend Bob Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and inventor
of the Ethernet, to evangelize about Internet telephony. Presenting
the cellular industry view is Tom Wheel-er, former CEO of the
Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, who guided
the cellular industry through its phenomenal growth.
going to be a dramatic reduction in cost to subscribers and an
enormous change in the way that service providers [phone companies]
are structured," says Mulica, who worries about potential
chaos in the future communications marketplace. "We bring
a place for the industry to land that isn't a free-for-all."
wondering what new technology is going to rock the world, it's
VoIP, and the future will be outlined by Mulica Thursday at the
buys Ingate Tech
president of Chicago-based Concourse Communications, a provider
of wireless networks in major North American airports, today will
announce the acquisition of California-based Ingate Technologies.
Ingate specializes in placing for-profit Internet terminals at
airports. The acquisition allows Concourse to offer Web access
to travelers who don't have their laptops. Terms of the deal were
CFO John Connors stepped down last week, few Chicagoans noticed
he joined Bellevue, Wash.-based VC firm Ignition Partners.
Two of Connors'
partners, Bill Malloy and John Zagula, were recently in Chicago
searching for promising early stage companies in software and
communications. Malloy trained at Kellogg, and resides on the
North Shore. Zagula grew up in the west suburbs, and trained at
Marquette. Can they be persuaded to open a Chicago office? Just
last week confirmed that NextFest will be held at Navy Pier. NextFest
showcases state-of-the-art innovations, and is expected to draw
more than 25,000 visitors.
kicks off with a free-for-students education day on June 24. World
Business Chicago's Dan Lyne snared Wired's NextFest for Navy Pier.
native Katie Graham is looking to fill one of the top technology
posts in Chicago. The Heidrick & Struggles search executive
is screening candidates for the CIO role at Sara Lee. The position
is a plum in this town, and Graham's phone has been ringing fiercely.
are big this week. i. c. stars holds its third annual stakeholders
meeting today at Bin 36, Judith Sprieser, CEO of Transora speaks.
... Office of Emergency Management and Communications Executive
Director Ron Huberman appears Wednesday at the Society for Information
Management meeting at Spiaggia. .. . Joel Berez convenes the MIT
Enterprise Forum Wednesday at Gardner, Carton & Douglas to
reflect on, "What happened to my stock options?"
Partners CEO Adarsh Arora hosts TiE (The IndUS Entrepreneurs)
Thursday evening at Gardner, Carton & Douglas for an "Acquisition
Transaction Role-Play." The event explores what goes on behind
the scenes when a start-up company faces an acquisition offer.
... Bruce Montgomery advises the 700-member Chicago chapter of
the Black Data Processing Associates when it holds its 16th annual
awards ban- quet Saturday at the Hyatt Regency.
Krauss is a Chicago-based tech writer and consultant.