Author: Grace Ford

  • The IdeaRoom Where It Happens

    The IdeaRoom Where It Happens

    By Sharon Fisher | August 10, 2022 While COVID-19 affected many industries, the effect wasn’t all bad with everyone. Particularly if you had just happened to start a business that made it easier for people stuck at home to design and order custom buildings such as sheds and carports without having to leave their houses. “COVID was a massive stimulant to our business,” said Russ Whitney, CEO and cofounder of IdeaRoom Inc., in downtown Boise. “We operate at the cross section of home improvement and e-commerce, and both got stimulated by COVID.” Whitney’s background If Whitney’s name sounds familiar, it

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  • You’ll Swear This Video Is Genuine

    You’ll Swear This Video Is Genuine

    By Sharon Fisher | August 2, 2022 You may remember a video by director Jordan Peele showing former President Barack Obama warning about fake videos – which turned out, itself, to be such a fake video. Known as “deepfakes,” these videos can make anyone, with just a snippet of video and audio data, say anything they want. And Peele’s video was done in 2018 – they’re a lot better now. Consequently, there’s been a great deal of effort since then in the hopes of detecting such deepfakes before they cause serious problems. But a Boise-based entrepreneur says that’s the wrong approach. “It

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  • Silverdraft Rendering Its New Future

    Silverdraft Rendering Its New Future

    By Sharon Fisher | July 26, 2022 You may not know it, but you’ve probably seen Silverdraft’s work.  The Boise-based – well, for now, but more on that later – company makes hardware and software used for virtual production, such as virtual and augmented reality (known individually as VR and AR, and collectively as XR). Silverdraft’s work has been used by Madonna on the broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards, as well as by CBS Sports, National Football League games, and March Madness. “Pretty much any of the XR broadcasts you see, whether it’s for live or broadcast, is driven

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  • What’s up with George Mulhern?

    What’s up with George Mulhern?

    By Sharon Fisher | July 19, 2022 Cradlepoint had long been on the list of Idaho’s Startups Most Likely to Exit, so it wasn’t a surprise in September 2020 when the company announced it was being acquired by Stockholm, Sweden-based telecommunications company Ericsson for *$1.1 billion, with the deal closing in November. Almost two years later, it seemed like time to check in with CEO George Mulhern and see how it was working out. “It is actually going quite well,” Mulhern said in an email message. “Because they have run us as more of a standalone business, we have been

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  • How Travel and Tourism Companies Can Speak Their Customers’ Liiingo

    How Travel and Tourism Companies Can Speak Their Customers’ Liiingo

    By Sharon Fisher | July 13, 2022 Think of Liiingo – with three Is – as a QR code on steroids. Except instead of getting just a single canned text item when you scan it, the system automatically knows your preferred language and can present all sorts of content to you without your having to download a separate app for it. “Forbes reported that, for 90% of people, their pet peeve is that they hate downloading a separate app for every business,” said Andrea Sorensen, CEO of Liiingo, based in Boise. “Now you don’t have to. You have the improved

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  • How Idaho Startups Can Weather The Upcoming Economic Storm

    How Idaho Startups Can Weather The Upcoming Economic Storm

    By Sharon Fisher | June 28, 2022 What goes up must come down. Fortunately, in economics, what goes down can come up again, but only if your startup is still there when it does. That’s the message local and national venture capitalists and other sources of funding are giving to startups who might be about to experience their first financial crisis. The good news is that with problems come opportunity.  “Economic downturns often become huge opportunities for the founders who quickly change their mindset, plan ahead, and make sure their company survives,” wrote YCombinator, a startup incubator, recently in a

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  • Rescription Has Rx For Prescription Drug Pricing

    Rescription Has Rx For Prescription Drug Pricing

    By Sharon Fisher | June 23, 2022 Median drug prices for a year’s supply increased from $2,115 in 2008 to more than $180,000 in 2021, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s something Scott Martin, founder and CEO of Ketchum-based Rescription Inc., wants to change. “A drug is made,” Martin said. “There’s a distributor. There’s a pharmacy. Employees get a prescription. It goes to insurance. This should not be that complicated. They’ve turned that into an insane system that doesn’t need to be like that.” The creation of Rescription “This is my

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  • Four Boise-based Startups Hope For Funding

    Four Boise-based Startups Hope For Funding

    By Sharon Fisher | June 16, 2022 With a return to in-person events, Trailhead held a live Pitch Night on June 7 in Boise, with four Boise-based startups looking for funding. The event didn’t feature “winners” as such, but enabled the founders to present their companies to a variety of people in the startup ecosystem who could help them develop further. Here are the four founders and what their companies do. Ryan Bokan, Prima Medical Prima Medical is pattern recognition software that helps assist doctors in treating atrial fibrillation (AF), said founder Ryan Bokan in an email message. It was

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  • Soiltech Aims To Be Outstanding In Its Field

    Soiltech Aims To Be Outstanding In Its Field

    By Sharon Fisher | June 9, 2022 It’s hard not to make jokes about “seed rounds” and “growth companies” when talking about agricultural technology such as one Idaho startup’s Internet of Things entry. The device is a sensor that can detect factors critical to crops, such as temperature, humidity, and moisture. Moreover, it’s not only planted in the field, but is harvested with the crop to continue sensing those factors, which can affect storage and processing. “Farmers grow on the edge,” said Ehsan Soltan, founder of Soiltech Wireless Inc. “The difference between making money and losing everything per season is

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  • Startup Uses Crowdfunding To Get It Off The Ground

    Startup Uses Crowdfunding To Get It Off The Ground

    By Sharon Fisher | May 31, 2022 Pitch Aeronautics Inc., developing a drone that can perform high-altitude inspections more quickly and safely, launched its crowdfunding raise on May 31 on StartEngine, a crowdfunding platform geared to startups. The crowdfunding round, with which Pitch Aeronautics hopes to raise $1 million, is a follow-on from the $250,000 IGEM grant it received from the Department of Commerce in partnership with Boise State University in 2020, and will enable the company to develop a prototype model for demonstrations this summer, said Zach Adams, cofounder and chief engineer. “The people we’re competing with aren’t other

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