Vulcan Inc.

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This article is about the Paul Allen company. For other companies, see Vulcan (disambiguation).
Vulcan Inc.
Private
Founded 1986
Founder Paul and Jody Allen
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA
Key people
Paul Allen, Jody Allen, Barbara Bennett
Owner Paul Allen
Subsidiaries Charter Communications, Rose City Radio Corporation, Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Mojave Aerospace Ventures (among others)
Website http://www.vulcan.com/

Vulcan Inc. is a company whose chief mission is to find solutions for some of the world's challenges.[citation needed] Vulcan was founded in 1986 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and Jody Allen. The company is the big "umbrella" company under which a host of Allen family entities fall. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Subsidiaries include Vulcan Aerospace.[1]

Areas of Practice[edit]

The following is a partial list of what Vulcan is and does.[2]

Sports[edit]

  • Seattle Seahawks: Owned by Vulcan Owner Paul Allen since 1997, the Seahawks were the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions. Seahawks fans are known as some of the loudest in the league.[3]
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Since basketball fan Paul Allen acquired Portland’s NBA team in 1988, the Trail Blazers have been in the playoffs 18 times, an achievement few NBA teams have surpassed.[3]
  • Seattle Sounders: Paul Allen helped bring Major League Soccer to the Northwest when Vulcan Sports and Entertainment joined the ownership group behind the Sounders FC. The 2007 announcement that the Sounders FC would become an MLS team was the result of years of work and enthusiasm on behalf of soccer fans.[4]
  • Green Sports Alliance: The Green Sports Alliance was conceived and founded by Vulcan Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Inaugural members and partners of the Alliance include the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders FC. Green Sports Alliance Members have made a commitment to improve their environmental performance; reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and eliminating toxic chemicals, among many other ongoing initiatives and accomplishments.[5]

Technology and science[edit]

  • Allen Institute for Brain Science: Founded in 2003, the Institute is dedicated to accelerating understanding of the human brain. The team has produced groundbreaking public resources that now serve as staple research tools for scientists worldwide.[6]
  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence: The core mission of The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) is to contribute to humanity through high-impact AI research and engineering. We will do this by constructing AI systems with reasoning, learning and reading capabilities. Major projects include Project Halo,[7] Project Aristo,[8] diverse incubator projects with a strong engineering focus, and community activities dedicated to spurring technology development for student innovators.
  • Allen Institute for Cell Science: Founded in December 2014, the Institute is modeled in large part on the Allen Institute for Brain Science and received the same initial financial commitment from Allen—US$100 million over five years.[9][10] The two Institutes also share the same building.[10]
  • Octopus (yacht): At 414-feet long, Paul Allen’s M/Y Octopus is one of the world’s largest private yachts. This luxury research vessel is equipped with advanced equipment and is regularly loaned out for exploration projects and used to assist scientists with research.[8]
  • Stratolaunch Systems: A unique air-launch-to-orbit spaceflight system designed to continue the United States’ legacy of progress in space travel. Its 13,500-pound (6,100 kg) carrying capacity is designed to take everything from satellites to supplies into low-Earth orbit, with the possibility of carrying people in the future. Initial test flights are projected to take place as early as 2016.[11]

Museums[edit]

Media and Entertainment[edit]

  • Seattle Cinerama:[12] The marquee screams “retro” but inside this downtown Seattle gem is a state-of-the-art theater with all the big-screen bells and whistles. Remodeled inside and out in 2014 to include digital laser projection and Dolby Atmos surround sound, 3D, high-frame-rate compatibility, and the ability to show 35mm and 70mm films. It’s regularly voted one of the city’s best places to catch a film.
  • The Hospital Club: In 2002, Paul Allen reopened the doors of the old St. Paul's Hospital in London's celebrated Covent Garden neighborhood, revealing a new 60,000-square-foot creative hub. The Hospital Club is now one of London's most important creative communities, providing a professional and social hub to those working in the film, television, music, advertising, contemporary art and design, publishing and journalism, interactive media, theatre and fashion industries.[13]
  • Vulcan Productions: Vulcan Productions produces compelling films, innovative digital programs and outreach initiatives designed to explore critical issues and inspire people to take action. Its programs have won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award and the Wildscreen Panda Award. Acclaimed films and series from the documentary group include: Racing Extinction (2015); We the Economy (2014); Years of Living Dangerously (2014); Girl Rising (2013); This Emotional Life (2010); Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (2007); Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge (2005); No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005); Strange Days on Planet Earth(2005); Black Sky: The Race For Space and Black Sky: Winning the X Prize (2004); Lightning in a Bottle (2004); The Blues (2003) and Evolution (2001).[14]

Global Citizenship[edit]

  • Great Elephant Census: The Great Elephant Census is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants by using standardized aerial surveys of thousands of square miles. Dozens of researchers flying in small planes will capture comprehensive observational data of elephants and elephant carcasses. In many countries, surveys have not been flown in as many as 10 years, and without this data, it is challenging to assess the current state of elephant populations. Additionally, the existing data isn't well organized. The resulting database will provide valuable information to governments, scientists and NGOs so they can make smart decisions on how to manage elephant populations.[15]

Real estate[edit]

Vulcan Real Estate division offers a full range of development and portfolio management services from site selection and urban planning to build-to-suit construction, leasing and asset repositioning. Its real estate model is based on quality, sustainable development that builds new value across the entire community. Vulcan Real Estate is widely known for the redevelopment of the South Lake Union neighborhood immediately north of downtown Seattle and nestled along the south shore of Lake Union. Today South Lake Union is a mixed-use neighborhood that is home to many innovative companies that are leaders in technology, life sciences, global health and business, many of which are located in Vulcan developed properties.[16] Vulcan has developed 6.3 million square feet of new residential, office, retail and biotechnology research space and has a total development capacity of 10,000,000 square feet (930,000 m2). The South Lake Union redevelopment represents one of the largest urban revitalization projects in the country. Chairman and founder Paul Allen's investments in South Lake Union have proven to be an economic catalyst and more than $5.7 billion has been invested in the neighborhood since 2002 for development projects and public infrastructure improvements. Vulcan advocated for the Seattle Streetcar line known as South Lake Union Streetcar, which runs from Seattle's Westlake Center to the south end of Lake Union. The Streetcar is a public and private partnership made possible because of a Local Improvement District (LID) supported by businesses and residents along the line; The LID provided 50% of the funding while the remainder came from Federal and State sources with no city money used for its development costs.[17] The streetcar officially started operation on December 12, 2007. This development has been criticized as a city-supported real estate investment for Vulcan Inc.,[18] and concerns over the loss of low-income housing have been expressed.

In 2012, The Wall Street Journal called Allen's South Lake Union investment "unexpectedly lucrative" and one that led to his firm selling a 1,800,000 square feet (170,000 m2) office complex to Amazon.com for US$1.16 billion, one of the most expensive office deals ever in Seattle.[19] "It's exceeded my expectations," Mr. Allen said of the South Lake Union development.

In September 2014, Vulcan made a commitment to invest $200 million at Yesler Terrace where it will purchase three land parcels from the Seattle Housing Authority as part of an ambitious redevelopment plan for the 30 acre site located southeast of downtown Seattle.[20]

Technology ventures[edit]

Vulcan, Inc. has also directly led some technology projects, including the following:

Wireless spectrum[edit]

Vulcan Spectrum, a branch of Vulcan, Inc., participated in the United States 2008 wireless spectrum auction, paying $69 million for "A Block" spectrum in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area, and $43.6 million for "A Block" spectrum in Portland-Salem.[21]

Vulcan FlipStart[edit]

In 2003, Vulcan began developing the Vulcan FlipStart, a subnotebook with a 5.6-inch screen. The company began to manufacture and sell the FlipStart in March 2007, and ceased production in May 2008.[22]

Project Halo[edit]

Project Halo[23] was a project that ran from 2002 to 2013, with the goal of creating a "digital Aristotle" that can correctly answer queries about scientific information, using artificial intelligence technology. Project Halo led to a number of spinoff technologies, including the wiki software bundle SMW+, the Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge (SILK) project[24] and the Automated User-Centered Reasoning and Acquisition System (AURA).[25]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Controversy[edit]

In April 2015, United Launch Alliance (ULA) named their new launch vehicle Vulcan, and Vulcan Aerospace President Chuck Beames has "informed ULA of [Vulcan's] trademark rights."[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (2014-11-26). "SNC, Stratolaunch expand on proposed Dream Chaser flights". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 2014-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Homepage - Vulcan". vulcan.com. 
  3. ^ a b "Organizations - Vulcan". vulcan.com. 
  4. ^ "Paul Allen". Seattle Sounders FC. 
  5. ^ "ABOUT -". greensportsalliance.org. 
  6. ^ "Allen Institute For Brain Science". vulcan.com. 
  7. ^ "AI2 : Project Halo : History". allenai.org. 
  8. ^ a b "AI2 : Home". allenai.org. 
  9. ^ Callaway, Ewen (11 December 2014). "Microsoft billionaire takes on cell biology". Nature 516 (7530): 157. 
  10. ^ a b Doughton, Sandi (8 December 2014). "Allen gives $100 million for new Seattle institute to unravel cells". The Seattle Times. 
  11. ^ http://www.stratolaunch.com/news.html
  12. ^ "If the New Cinerama Can't Save Movie Theaters, Nothing Can". The Stranger. 
  13. ^ "The Hospital Club". thehospitalclub.com. 
  14. ^ "Vulcan Productions". vulcanproductions.com. 
  15. ^ "Great Elephant Census". Great Elephant Census. 
  16. ^ Nick Timiraos. "A Look at Six U.S. Cities Pioneering New Economic Zones". WSJ. 
  17. ^ "Amazon plan adds more streetcar trips". The Seattle Times. 
  18. ^ "Venture Capital: Airplanes ... to antibodies". seattlepi.com. 
  19. ^ "Amazon to pay Vulcan $1.16B for headquarters campus in South Lake Union - Puget Sound Business Journal". Puget Sound Business Journal. 5 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Vulcan to buy three blocks in Yesler Terrace". seattlepi.com. 
  21. ^ "Verizon Gets the “C” Block - dailywireless.org". dailywireless.org. 
  22. ^ Is FlipStart closing up shop?, Joshua Topolsky, Engadget, May 4, 2008
  23. ^ "AI2 : Home". projecthalo.com. 
  24. ^ "The SILK Project: Semantic Inferencing on Large Knowledge". semwebcentral.org. 
  25. ^ "Automated User-Centered Reasoning and Acquisition System". Artificial Intelligence Center. SRI International. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  26. ^ a b Patrick Clarke (17 April 2015). "Paul Allen Launches 'Vulcan Aerospace' to Enhance Space Travel". Travel Pulse. 
  27. ^ "United Launch Alliance Boldly Names Its Next Rocket: Vulcan!". NBC. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-04-13. Vulcan is a trademark of Vulcan Inc., and we have informed ULA of our trademark rights. Paul Allen and Vulcan were early leaders within space exploration with the launch of SpaceShipOne more than a decade ago. We are flattered by ULA's tribute to our legacy by naming their new rocket 'Vulcan.'