Kodak Spins Out Wireless Technology to Form a New Company
Press release from the issuing company
Company Provides Funding and Intellectual Property to Venture
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--Jan. 9, 2002--Eastman Kodak Company will form a new company based on patented wireless technologies from its research and development labs called Appairent Technologies Inc.
Appairent will use Kodak's intellectual property to enable current and future wireless products to work more efficiently. Appairent will develop market-leading technology for the wireless transmission of high quality video, still images and data, supporting Kodak's goal of commercializing its technologies to expand the infoimaging category -- a $225 billion industry created by the convergence of images and information technology.
Kodak and the Monroe Fund, a private venture capital fund managed by a unit of Rochester, N.Y.-based Trillium Group, are the initial investors in Appairent. The amount of the investment is undisclosed. Kodak will also contribute a number of patents and patent applications. The spinout follows several years of technology incubation and seed funding by Kodak for development of the products Appairent will launch commercially.
"Wireless communication is critical as imaging and information technologies converge,'' said James Stoffel, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "The greatest value in this intellectual property and the technology it enables lies in making it broadly available. We look forward to using Appairent's wireless communication technology in our own products and to seeing much broader applications and infrastructure.''
"Trillium Group is delighted to work with Kodak in the launch of Appairent,'' said Dennis DeLeo, General Partner, Trillium Group and Manager of the Monroe Fund. "Trillium Venture Development and the Monroe Fund were established to provide human and financial capital for early-stage businesses like Appairent, which have outstanding prospects for achieving both venture returns on investment and significant economic development in Western New York.''
Appairent's management team includes executives from Kodak, from Trillium Venture Development, the commercial development arm of Trillium Group, and from other industry companies. Ted Wurzburg, entrepreneur-in-residence at Trillium Group, joins Appairent as chief executive officer, with extensive leadership experience at start-up and established companies including VoiceWeb, Nortel Networks and Wang Laboratories.
As Appairent's chief technology officer, Robert Heile contributes expertise from his work in development of wireless personal area networks (WPAN) technology at Verizon, GTE and BBN Technologies. Jim Allen, Appairent's vice president, research & development, also provides deep knowledge of wireless technologies and standards from his tenure at Kodak's Research & Development Department and the company's Digital and Applied Imaging business. Both Heile and Allen are committed to leadership roles in IEEE wireless standards committees.
Appairent is housed in High Tech Rochester's Lennox Tech Enterprise Center, a regional incubator facility in Rochester, N.Y. At the Lennox Center, the company will be co-located with other high technology startups in an environment designed to foster entrepreneurial growth.
Trillium Group LLC
Trillium Group is a venture capital and commercial development firm based in Rochester, N.Y. Founded in 1997 by experienced and successful business professionals, Trillium Group invests in and supports early-stage companies in high-growth, technology-based markets. The Monroe Fund, managed by a unit of Trillium Group, invests in startup, early-stage and turnaround businesses in the Monroe County region and provides capital in the range of $250,000 to $1 million.
Kodak and infoimaging
Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, enhance, preserve, print and enjoy pictures -- for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging - a $225 billion industry comprising devices (digital cameras and PDAs), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (the software, film and paper that enable people to access and print images). Kodak harnesses its technology, market reach and a host of industry partnerships to provide innovative products and services for customers who need the information-rich content that images contain.
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