Meet the Communications & IT Finalists!

Nov 2, 2015

Most Innovative New Product Awards Finalits: Communications & IT

There’s a lot of talk about San Diego as a science town, not a tech town. Well this year’s slate of Finalists in the Communications & IT category have really blown that thought away. The ideas coming out of San Diego in the tech sector are second to none and the fact that these ideas, which seem like science fiction, are actually being developed and launched in reality -that is just amazing. We won’t make you wait any longer, the Finalists for the Most Innovative New Product in the category of Communications & IT are:

FieldLogix for Goose

Goose is a software that remedies the headaches that comes with dispatching routes. Say goodbye to 4 hour service appointments! Goose is an innovative dispatching solution that messages clients when drivers are in route to their homes. The drivers receive their daily routes on their smartphones so they can complete their days more efficiently. Goose allows dispatchers to optimize their drivers’ routes and remain in direct communication with them throughout the day. It ensures that drivers have optimized routes, job details, and navigation all on their iPhone.

FieldLogix’s CEO, Founder & Chief Service Promoter, Yukon Palmer, chatted with the CONNECT team about

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Palmer: We have yet to take on external funding. Cash flows have always required careful management and the recession made things very difficult for us. During the recession, many of our customers went out of business and one of our primary financing partners went out of business. We had to operate in an extremely lean manner during this time and eventually generated a profit every year thereafter. 

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Palmer: San Diego has excellent community resources for small businesses and startups. It also has a tight knit financing network that many aspiring entrepreneurs can tap into. Local organizations such as CONNECT, CommNexus, and others provide excellent resources and opportunities that startups won’t have access to in other markets. And to top it off the weather is incredible and it isn’t difficult to recruit talent to San Diego.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go-to app right now?

Palmer: I’m a little biased, but my favorite app is Goose. We built Goose to allow organizations to build optimal routes for their delivery drivers and send them to the mobile app, which then navigates the drivers to their destinations. Drivers can send their ETA’s to whoever is waiting for them. I constantly use this feature to send my wife my ETA when I’m leaving the office late. To her benefit, it gives her a more reliable arrival time than when I tell her that “I’m just 5 minutes away”.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Palmer: My favorite books are The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, and Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I’m also a follower of the Lean model and love the books written by Eric Ries and Steve Blank.  

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Palmer: Goose is a product that was very painstaking to build since we had to add a number of resources and costs in order to accomplish it. Doing so definitely took us outside of our comfort zone as a company. Being placed in the same category as other innovative products gives us a sense of validation for our efforts. We believe that this product will take our company to new levels and the fact that the judges for the Most Innovative New Product Awards see this potential gives us the motivation necessary to keep pressing forward. 

Lytx, Inc. for Lytx DriveCam

Lytx DriveCam is an advanced video-based safety solution for commercial fleets that can help solve the $175 billion problem of distracted and drowsy driving. Lytx’s new solution combines sophisticated detection of risky driving patterns like lane departures, an in-depth understanding and analysis of contextual safety such as poor road conditions, and video capture of driver behavior to deliver comprehensive real-time and post-drive coaching.

We caught up with the Lytx Team to talk to them about what drives them and what drives San Diego’s innovation economy:

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Lytx Team: At Lytx, we’re problem solvers at heart. Our DriveCam program with the new ActiveVision service, has solved the biggest problem in driving, and that’s the detection of distracted and drowsy driving. This is a problem that kills 6,000 people each year, injures another 500,000, and is responsible for $175 billion in costs annually. This has been four years in the making and to know it’s already saving lives is a big achievement.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Our biggest challenge is a common refrain from among today’s innovators, and that’s simply creating a platform that’s open enough to enable the interoperability and integration of data from future sources that may not have even been developed yet. Sensors are rapidly evolving, and we must be able to accommodate the volume and varieties of data they will be able to generate in the future to fortify the long-term value of the Lytx DriveCam solution.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Lytx Team: San Diego lives and breathes innovation, and the capable and accomplished talent pool here is deep. This is especially important because Lytx DriveCam technologies incorporate elements of wireless, video, data science, software and hardware disciplines, all of which are well represented here.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Lytx Team: It’s truly an honor that the CONNECT community recognizes Lytx’s innovative spirit. Even though we’re nearly two decades old, we’re innovating and problem-solving like a start-up, and being a finalist validates that. 

Check out how DriveCam works in real life in this amazing video:

Mushroom Networks, Inc. for VOIP Armor

VOIP Armor is a “Voice over IP” gateway device that automatically heals and works around any network problems that otherwise negatively impact phone calls. You set it and forget it for crystal clear phone calls with unbreakable reliability for your business.

Dr. Cahit Jay Akin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at Mushroom Networks took some time to talk with us about where he gets business ideas and inspiration and what it means to be a Finalist in CONNECT’s Most Innovative New Product Awards.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Dr. Cahit Jay Akin: My biggest achievement has to do with being able to connect my daily life with a higher level of meaning that satisfies me. If you can connect the so called philosophical “human condition” with a meaning of life that speaks to you, that is an accomplishment that can drive many other achievements for you. For me, life and consciousness that we possess are so unique, so surprising and so precious that it can’t be wasted and must be used to contribute to humankind’s progress. This could be the art of an artist, performance of a sportsman, or for me, to bring new technology and new businesses that helps society. That’s why I value craftsmanship and taking pride in what you do, so highly in any part of life.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Akin: I’m not good with balance, so learning how to surf was a tough one for me. I can’t claim to have overcome that challenge yet.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go-to app right now?

Akin: My go-to app was Circa, but unfortunately they closed doors. I like Google-now, I like where Google is going with that. 

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Akin: I read business books and blogs daily. I’ve been a fan of and for many years now.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Akin: This year the MIP award is extra special for us because we just released the VOIP Armor after working on for years to make it just right. All of our team members are very proud of VOIP Armor and what it means for our clients. We look forward to the event!

So who says San Diego isn’t a “Tech Town” now? Join us on December 1st to find out who will be named the Most Innovative New Product in Communications & IT this year! For more information on the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards visit the event page! You won’t want to miss it!