For many startups, being acquired by a like-minded, well-respected large company is the ultimate payoff for years of hard work and planning. Here are just a few of the unique ventures from USC alumni that caught the attention of major tech companies.
Founder: Adrian Aoun ’05, MS ’05
Acquired by Google in 2013
Wavii offered users quick news updates, tailored to favorite topics such as celebrities or athletes, that could be accessed through an iPhone app. Its features were folded into Google.
(originally called EdCanvas)
Founder: Amy Lin ’08, MS ’09
Acquired by TES Global in 2014
The Blendspace app helps teachers organize digital content, giving them convenient access to YouTube videos, PDFs, pictures, Dropbox files and more. It also allows teachers to share their content with students and track student learning with built-in assessments.
VirtualTourist.com and Onetime.com
Founder: J.R. Johnson ’93
Acquired by TripAdvisor, a property of Expedia, in 2008
VirtualTourist.com is a free online community with user-generated travel guides, reviews and online forums for traveling. OneTime.com is a price comparison tool for booking flights and hotels.
Founder: David Hodge ’11
Acquired by Apple in 2013
Embark makes free, fast and simple mobile apps for mass transit riders. It includes a unique transit map for 10 cities, allowing users to access the application without an Internet connection.
Founders: Tom Robinson ’07, MS ’07; Francisco Tolmasky ’06; Ross Boucher ’07, MS ’07
Acquired by Motorola in 2010
This Y Combinator startup developed tools such as the Cappuccino programming language, which allows developers to build rich Web applications with little programming knowledge though a proprietary framework and toolkit.