Technology developed at KU acquired by digital media company


From University Relations
By Michelle Ward

Veatros LLC, a University of Kansas start-up company and an alumnus of Larta Institute, was acquired recently by DivX Inc., a digital media company. Veatros technology, developed at KUs Information and Telecommunication Technology Center, will perform enhanced video and discovery searches to help better manage users media collections.

John and Susan Gauch, former faculty members in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, created Veatros in 2002 with assistance from KU. The Gauches then turned to Larta Institute to help them commercialize Veatros. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization specializes in transferring technology from government agencies and universities.

In 2005, the company presented its technology at Lartas Project T2, a technology transfer conference, under a Kaufman Foundation grant. Shortly after, it became the first company selected for Lartas venture capital affiliate, T2 Venture Capital. The foundation has long supported Lartas tech transfer programs.

According to Victor Hwang, managing director of T2VC and former president of Larta Institute, the conference focuses on companies at the cutting edge of technology and with tremendous commercial potential. Hwang mentored the company through its recent growth and acquisition by DivX and became the chief strategy officer of Veatros.

Veatros markets the digital video processing technology VidWatch, which the company developed in 1997 at ITTC. The initial application of VidWatch was to prevent foreign cable stations from using more allotted commercial time than they had actually purchased by continuously monitoring television broadcasts.

"It wasnt until we started working with Victor Hwang and Larta Institute that doors started opening for us," said John Gauch. "It is through their professionalism and contacts that we were able to find a partner to take our technology forward. We benefited from incubating the technology with support from ITTC and were able to focus on development and new applications for several years while the market for our technologies developed. Now we are thrilled to work with DivX on a mature implementation."

"This little spin-out that could shows the potential that is available in research in many parts of the country," said Rohit Shukla, CEO of Larta Institute. "At Larta Institute, we are proud to work closely with companies like Veatros who are at the intersection of research and enterprise."

DivX is a digital media format like MP3 for video. Its technology compresses video to a fraction of its original size, allowing the easy creation, storage and sharing of media. Additionally, DivX-certified products, including DVD players, cameras and mobile phones, are interoperable. More than 100 million DivX-certified devices have been shipped globally from major manufacturers and there have been more than 300 million software downloads.

Earlier this year, Susan Gauch accepted a position as department head and Rodger S. Kline Endowed Chair in Computer Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Arkansas. John Gauch accepted a position as a professor in the same department.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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