Business News: Week of Jan. 28, 2013


Sunny Hills Services, a private nonprofit organization with more than 15 programs throughout the Bay Area serving vulnerable children, youth, and their families, was recently named a recipient of a $5,000 grant by Umpqua Bank, through the bank’s “Joy of Giving” campaign on Facebook. Umpqua Bank randomly selected organizations to share in grants totaling $50,000 after Facebook fans were encouraged to post about their favorite nonprofits during November and December.

Redwood Credit Union recently provided $7,787 to assist the American Red Cross with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Members and employees contributed more than $3,500 to the fund over the past several weeks, making donations at all 18 RCU branches or via an option in their online banking. RCU matched the donations, bringing the total to $7,787.Wine

Santa Rosa's Food & Wine Trails, the 28-year-old tour division of the HMS Travel Group, announced that Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, one of Italy's most lauded wineries, will be the winery host on Food & Wine Magazine's fourth-annual Wine Voyage. This seven-day cruise will be on Oceania Cruises' newest cruise ship Riviera, which leaves from Monte Carlo on October 11th and arrives into Civitavecchia, the port of Rome on Oct. 18. The Riviera is a mid-sized cruise ship specifically designed for the food and wine lover, with Executive Culinary Director Jacques Pepin overseeing seven no-extra-charge restaurants, the cruise industry's first restaurant collaboration with Wine Spectator magazine and the first at-sea hands-on cooking classroom.Finance

 The Angel Resource Institute and Silicon Valley Bank released their third-quarter Halo Report, a nationwide survey of angel group investment activity with data from CB Insights. The report found that the median angel round size hit a five-quarter high of $640,000. The median pre-money valuation for early state angel group deals was $2.6 million, down from $2.7 million in the prior quarter. Investment was up in mobile companies, reaching a five-quarter high. Also, 10 percent of angel group deals were structured as convertible debt in the first three quarters of the year.Technology

2K Sports, based in Novato, announced that the company has reached an agreement with Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media to release Major League Baseball 2K13, the next iteration of the popular MLB 2K franchise. MLB 2K13 will be available on March 5 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.

Santa Rosa-based Liquid Image announced completed development of the Ego Mini, a wi-fi equipped high-definition video sport/DVR/IP camera nearly half the size of the company's Ego model, which is currently the smallest camera of the same application. This new product was displayed for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 Unveiled event on Jan. 6. With a smaller size, the Ego Mini will allow users to mount the new action camera to places and surfaces that other action cameras could not fit. Additionally, the Ego Mini addresses the needs of many potential markets beyond sports activities who have expressed an interest in a small unobtrusive wi-fi enabled camera with an interchangeable battery system for extended recording time. The Ego Mini can operate more than four hours as well as be converted into an IP camera running off an electrical plug or car power port. This will allow the Ego Mini to be used for other purposes such as security, baby monitors, automotive displays and reality television.

Calling, downloading apps and surfing the web on the Verizon Wireless network is now easier and faster for residents and travelers in Sonoma County thanks to new cell sites in Healdsburg, Petaluma and Santa Rosa. The sites improve coverage in Healdsburg near Chalk Hill Road and Highway 128; Petaluma, the area of Sonoma Mountain Road, Washington Boulevard  and Old Adobe Road; and Santa Rosa, along Highway 12. Verizon has invested more than $7.2 billion in its California network since 2000, and $70 billion nationally.

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