Software firm wins funding
AMVONET, an Alliance software company, has received $250,000 from the nonprofit economic development group, JumpStart Inc.
The company’s main product is software focused on online learning. The software — dubbed AMVONET Learning Content Management System — has three platforms, including one that allows students to interact with teachers in real time and record those sessions for later viewing. The interactions can be via audio, video or text. The software also allows teachers to manage students’ grades.
AMVONET’s software can be used in K-12 and higher education markets, as well as for online training and meetings in corporate settings, JumpStart said.
JumpStart said AMVONET, formed in 2004 by Vadim Eelen, plans to use the JumpStart investment to hire new employees and expand its sales and marketing.
JumpStart, with offices in Cleveland, invests in early stage businesses throughout Northeast Ohio. The nonprofit receives funding from various sources, including the state’s Third Frontier program.
Texas Instruments idles 1,700
Texas Instruments Inc. will eliminate about 1,700 jobs as it trims spending in its wireless business. The cuts will reduce Texas Instruments’ staff positions by almost 5 percent.
Texas Instruments expects the job cuts and other changes will save about $450 million per year by the end of 2013. The Dallas company will take $325 million in one-time charges connected to the moves. Most will come in the current quarter.
Texas Instruments is shifting the focus of its wireless investments to industrial and automotive customers and away from smart phones and tablets, where the company’s biggest customers are developing their own custom chips instead of doing business with companies like Texas Instruments. Texas Instruments says the changes require fewer resources and less spending.
The company had 34,759 employees at the end of 2011.
Panasonic to cut 8,000 jobs
Panasonic Corp. plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the second half of this fiscal year as the Japanese TV maker restructures amid falling demand and a rising yen in foreign currency exchange.
The company, which eliminated 8,871 jobs in the six months ended Sept. 30, is planning further cuts by March 31 to speed up the reforms. The expense for the job cuts is already included in the company’s forecast for an annual loss of $9.6 billion. Panasonic shares this month plunged to the lowest in at least 38 years
Hostess could be near end
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said it will cease operations and liquidate if enough members of its striking bakery workers’ union don’t cross the picket lines by today to keep them open. Workers from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 after a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, N.Y., imposed contract concessions that 92 percent of the union workers voted down. Hostess Chief Executive Officer Gregory Rayburn said in a statement Wednesday that the company “does not have the financial resources” to survive a strike.
Toyota settles class-action suit
Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to settle a shareholder class-action lawsuit related to its sudden acceleration problems for $25.5 million. The settlement would put to rest allegations that the company hurt the value of its stock by hiding defects and other safety problems as well as by not acting swiftly to address vehicles that accelerated out of control. Those problems came to the surface in late 2009 following a horrific San Diego County accident that killed a family of four in a Lexus. In the months following, Toyota recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide, faced multiple congressional investigations and eventually paid record fines of almost $50 million.
Changes made at Pinterest
Pinterest is allowing small businesses and corporations to create official accounts, a move that could be an early step toward profitability. Pinterest Inc. burst onto the tech scene last year, appealing to designers, wedding planners, chefs and anyone else who likes to collect and share images from the Web. The San Francisco company said it is offering businesses free tools for their Pinterest content. Companies already use Pinterest to share photos of clothes, recipes and designs. With Wednesday’s changes, businesses can officially link their websites so they are listed on their Pinterest profiles.
Compiled from staff and wire reports