Bluefin Technology connects with customers, Worcester

A downtown startup is putting its expertise through its paces, right down to the family dog. Indeed, its most recent product is receiving wide acclaim. Art Simas hooks up with the IoT innovators for a closer look.

Pete Levesque on living the dream and a musician’s harsh reality

Art Simas jams with the city resident and former WPS teacher as he prepares to release his new album, “Wander.”

Worcester Sun, March 8: Mariano takes city officials to task on PCBs + OPEB needs attention ASAP

In the unlikely event you need more reasons to check out this edition, we have Hitch on Gary Rosen, Top 5 Stories, a big move for Becker’s Robert Johnson … and a bunch of other good stuff. It’s your Wednesday, March 8, Worcester Sun.

Bluefin Technology connects with customers, Worcester

When a company decides to “do the right thing” and stay with it, good things can happen after all.

For founding partners Jay Cahill and Michael Po, the entrepreneurial escapades of Bluefin Technology Partners eventually landed them in downtown Worcester in 2013. The company has 12 employees in a recently renovated building which was the former home of the Telegram & Gazette.

After several forays spanning eight years as a team with ventures in the States, Cahill and Po built a mobile application in the social media space for Instagram in Shanghai during the late 2000s that was solely for the Chinese market.

Because they had established their business before the Chinese government crackdown on social media, they were grandfathered in and allowed to pursue their business.

“We had millions of customers on the platform and we eventually sold the company to SINA Corp. of China, which has a Weibo platform that hosts their own social media content of its users,” Po explained.

After the sale Bluefin struck out as a consulting organization.

“A lot of people were tapping us for our … experience in developing large-scale applications for consumers that can handle millions of customers on the back end,” Cahill said. “That was what our pedigree had been, and we connected with Josh (Croke) and brought in a lot of the user experience design and a back end piece with our mobile experience.”

As the team was working within these parameters, the IoT (Internet of Things) market emerged as the next wave. So that’s when they established residence in Worcester.

Worcester Sun, Feb. 5-11: Mariano (and you) on sanctuary cities, Hitch and Petty, a super dose of sports + much more

A downtown startup that’s latched onto the IoT revolution is in our Local Business Spotlight. The ABA’s back and looking at you, Worcester. A pair of local scholastic gridiron greats gird for the next level. Don’t worry, Sinacola’s on sanctuary cities, too. And much more in your Feb. 5-11 Worcester Sun.

Pete Levesque on living the dream and a musician’s harsh reality

Making music for a living can be a fine thing — except for the part about making a living.

So why do so many people choose it as a career?

For Pete Levesque, it is a lifelong commitment to constantly tune a noble craft … of practicing, learning, and sticking with it … of showing your skills to the world on large and small stages. But it requires facing truths about yourself and doing what needs to be done for your family.

His career choice started on the infamous “Choose Your Instrument Day” when he was in fourth grade in Pennsylvania.

“I chose the saxophone because it was nice and shiny and it looked good. I wasn’t interested in the trumpet. That looked like it was going to be too hard to learn, and the sax was definitely cooler-looking than a clarinet.”

His father’s Smithsonian Jazz Record Collection was his first inspiration. But it was the innovative sounds and playing speed of Ornette Coleman, the father of the free jazz movement of the 1960s, that converted him to an apostle of the instrument.

“I’d listen to him play tunes that had some really fast rhythm changes to it … I remember just laughing at the thought that someone could play that fast. That’s when I decided what I was going to do with my life. I was going to try to play like that,” Levesque said.

Worcester Sun, Jan. 22-28: Mariano in defense of immigrants, Hitch on Mosaic, a Kevin Mensah update + much more

Also, a local jazz saxophonist on “making a living” as a musician. Augustine Kanjia’s incredible tale continues with disappointment and perseverance. Sinacola channels Stalin in an open letter to Betsy DeVos. An inauguration editorial. Inbox, On Beacon Hill, Worcester Weekly. It’s all in your Jan. 22-28 Worcester Sun.

Ashley Jordan’s path to music stardom winds through Worcester

Many musical influences, lots of talent and her own take on “country” make Ashley Jordan one-of-a-kind as a singer and songwriter. Venue by venue — many of those along Park Avenue and in the Canal District — song by song, she’s working hard and enjoying it all. Find out about a hometown musical up-and-comer before it’s too late to jump on the bandwagon.

Local Business Spotlight: More than a century of sweet sounds at Union Music

“I started working [here] when I was 9 years old (1955), which was about the same time that my grandfather gave me a guitar. … And I still play classical guitar,” said Carl Kamp, owner and president of this three-generation family business. Trusted for instrument purchases, repairs, lessons and expertise, Union Music’s rambling old store on Southbridge Street echos with notes of history as it keeps today’s musicians supplied and inspired. Which makes it an apt entry in our Survivor Series, highlighting Worcester businesses standing the test of time.

Ukulele players string together a community at Union Music

“I couldn’t have the club meet in a bar or a hotel. But I knew that Union Music has a performance space that can hold 50 performers. So I approached Carl and he thought it was a great idea,” said Rich Luefstedt, who considers himself more of a facilitator than leader of the Ukulele Club, which he started with five or six people per month six years ago. That figure has now grown to 20 to 30 per month at Union Music. Art Simas tiptoes through the tulips to tell this timeless tale.