After spending his career working for large corporations, Joseph J. Daniele has jumped into the start-up pool.

As the newly appointed chief operating officer of Acorn Technologies Inc., an intellectual property development company in Los Angeles, Daniele will be in charge of running virtually all of the company's operations, from acquiring technologies to R & D;, development and licensing.

Acorn's business model is to acquire and license new ideas and technologies from universities, individuals and more recently, Fortune 500 companies. Its staff develops the technologies until they are commercially viable, and then licenses them.

Daniele said the company typically splits 50 percent of the licensing revenues with the inventors they work with. However, they don't make any money unless value is added to the idea.

Daniele has spent a good portion of his career commercializing technology, most recently at SAIC, a San Diego based consulting firm with more than 41,000 employees worldwide, where he served as senior vice president of intellectual property and technology commercialization.

"Acorn actually came to me as a customer and I could see that they were filling a gap that needed to be filled," said Daniele.

Acorn was founded in 1997 as a three-person operation. It has since grown to 15 employees and recently acquired a Palo Alto consulting firm. Daniele said the company has raised $10 million in investment capital, all from undisclosed high net worth individuals. He also said that the company is in the process of raising another round of funding that will be used to hire new employees and grow the business.

Daniele said he was impressed by the technical know-how of the Acorn staff. "We're R & D; oriented, we work closely with the inventors and we understand what they're doing," he said.

Daniele said it's been a nice marriage thus far.

"I like the freedom and the pace," he said.

Conor Dougherty

Accounting & Consulting

Jeffrey Messner and George Peacock have been appointed to new positions at Mullin Consulting Inc., a consulting firm in Los Angeles that specializes in designing and administering executive benefits. Messner has been named senior vice president and will be charged with building new strategic marketing alliances and developing new joint venture relationships. Prior to joining Mulling, Messner was executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Security Life of Denver. Peacock has been appointed senior vice president and will head the company's health and welfare benefits practice. He was previously a principal and director of marketing for a regional registered investment advisor.

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