Video-conferencing firm Nuvixa changes name to Personify


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CHAMPAIGN — Nuvixa, a start-up company at the University of Illinois, has changed its name to Personify.

The company, formed in 2009, provides technology that allows people making presentations to put live images of themselves into the content. The technology can be used in video calls and online meetings, such as Web conferences.

The firm's flagship product — once known as Stage Presence — is now called Personify Live.

"We're targeting the product toward sales and marketing people," said Sanjay Patel, the UI professor of electrical and computer engineering who is on leave from the university to help the company grow.

"The product lets you, the sales person, put yourself front and center in your message," Patel said.

Adding a live image adds "emotional input" to what would otherwise be only information, the company says. Plus, it attracts the viewer's attention and makes for more effective training.

Patel said the Nuvixa name made people wonder if the company was a pharmaceutical firm.

"The name didn't convey what we're about," he said. "We wanted to create a more friendly persona for the company. We felt Personify was the very name we were looking for."

Personify has a staff of 11 in Champaign, with the local office located in the EnterpriseWorks business incubator in the UI Research Park.

The company also employs nine in Vietnam and three in Chicago, Patel said. The Chicago staff concentrates on sales and marketing, while the staffs in Champaign and Vietnam focus on development.

Patel said the company's initial product was "a great product for creating content, but we needed to morph into a product we could use for live meetings."

Personify Live is a subscription-based product, charging about $20 per month per user, Patel said. Other pricing plans are also available.

Personify's newest investor is Liberty Global Ventures, which participated in the company's Series A funding. The company already had investments from AMD Ventures, Serra Ventures and IllinoisVentures.

Patel said Personify has other products coming soon, but said he couldn't discuss them yet. The company's website is