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News Center Top Story Archives
Week of January 9, 1997
Issue 1, Volume II
NEWS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
1. Virginia Coalition Launched, A Model For MD & DC
REGIONAL NETPRENEURS
1. TeleGrafix Releases Multimedia Telnet Browser
2. Free Enews By Email
3. MCI Introduces 40GB Transmission Speeds
4. Marc Teren Named President Of Digital Ink
5. ARIES Online Games Tops Million Hour Mark
PARTNERSHIPS
1. ACE*COMM And NEC To Supply Kiosks
2. AOL And InterZine Create Ski Cybersoap
FUNDING & FINANCE NEWS
1. Network Imaging Stock Repurchase
2. Red Herring's Venture Market South
REGIONAL NEWS
1. Bell Atlantic Offers Home ISDN Service In DC
QUICK HITS
1. Schrage On Marketing
2. Recruitment Woes
3. Report On State/Local Taxes
UPCOMING EVENTS
Jan. 14-- Teleports And Economic Development
Jan. 14-- Comparison of Major Web Browsers
Jan. 15-- Optimizing Graphics For The Web
Jan. 16-17-- International Virus Prevention Conference
Jan. 19-- An Overview of Java
Jan. 21-- MIT Enterprise Forum Case Study
Jan. 22-- SIGCAT Meeting/Multimedia Job Fair
Jan. 23-- Titans of Technology Breakfast
Jan. 28-- Washington Technology Internet Summit
Jan. 29-- Angel Investors
Feb. 3-6-- COMNET '97 Conference and Expo
Feb. 4-- Meet Local Providers of Capital
Feb. 11-Mar. 29-- Micro-Business Development


News About The Netpreneur Program

1. VIRGINIA COALITION LAUNCHED, A MODEL FOR MD & DC As part of the Netpreneur Program, the Potomac KnowledgeWay and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) have successfully launched the Virginia Coalition. The objective of the Coalition is to open a two-way channel between the Netpreneur Program and Virginia's economic development and business assistance organizations, and to establish a linkage that will enhance our collective ability to identify, engage, encourage, and serve netpreneurs in the Commonwealth. "The business paradigm is changing and survival is still a critical issue for net-based entrepreneurs," said Catherine Renault, CIT's Managing Director for technology commercialization. "This program is designed to address the needs of the net-centric companies and augment CIT's Entrepreneurship programs."
Over 30 economic development and business assistance agents from all regions in Virginia have already joined the coalition to participate in discussion groups and electronic forums hosted at the Program's Web site, the Netpreneur Exchange. Future plans include Currently, over thirty economic development and business assistance agents from all regions in Virginia have joined the coalition to participate in discussion groups and electronic forums hosted at the program's web site, the Netpreneur Exchange. seminars throughout the coming year that will address the current problems, solutions and unique situations of netpreneurs and how the coalition can better serve their needs.
As part of its overall support of the Potomac KnowledgeWay and the Netpreneur Program, CIT will serve as the lead party in Virginia to bring together its partner agencies and institutions. Other coalition members include Small Business Development Centers, Economic Development Authorities, Chambers of Commerce, Technology Councils, and related trade and business associations and agencies. With its geographically and organizationally diverse membership, the Virginia Coalition will serve as a model for similar efforts in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
For more information, please email <coalition@netpreneur.org> with the name address, telephone number and, most importantly, the email address of an individual in your organization who will serve as the contact person for the coalition.

Regional Netpreneurs

1. TELEGRAFIX RELEASES MULTIMEDIA TELNET BROWSER
(Winchester, VA) TeleGrafix Communications Inc. has released test versions of the first multimedia Telnet browser, RIPtel Visual Telnet. Using RIPscrip-3 imaging technology, the product brings web-style multimedia to any Telnet site, Multiple User Dungeon (MUD) site, bulletin board system (BBS) or legacy mainframe system. According to TeleGrafix CEO, Patrick Clawson, the technology eliminates the need to convert information on legacy mainframe systems to WWW format, thus potentially saving millions of dollars in data conversion and intranet costs. As an alternative to the Web, TeleGrafix expects RIPtel Visual Telnet will help open new Telnet "channels" on the Internet. RIPscrip-3 encoding creates exceptionally small files that can be transmitted rapidly over consumer-grade modem connections. An 80K GIF is only a 4K RIPscrip-3 image and, unlike HTML, RIPscrip-3 is not tied to any particular communications protocol. A pre-release version of the RIPtel Visual Telnet browser is available for $9.95 through January 31 at . The final commercial version is expected in mid-February. TeleGrafix recently moved from Huntington Beach, CA to become the first tenant in Winchester, VA's CyberStreet Technology Zone.

2. FREE ENEWS BY EMAIL
(Washington, DC) The Electronic Newsstand (http://www.enews.com), has unveiled "Enews by Email," a free service that allows users to receive email delivery of selected Electronic Newsstand content. Electronic Newsstand aggregates magazine-related content on the Web and is a provider of Internet services to the magazine publishing industry. Users of the Enews by Email service may choose to receive email delivery of Enews features such as: Magazine Monitor, a daily summary of the contents of top magazines; Off the Rack, original essays on hot media topics; and Hype Heaven/Hype Hell, daily rundown of the media's darlings and devils.

3. MCI INTRODUCES 40GB TRANSMISSION SPEEDS
(Washington, DC) This month MCI (Nasdaq: MCIC) will begin deploying the "world's fastest network" which will carry data at speeds of 40 Gigabits per second (Gbs). Initially to be implemented on a 275-mile route between Chicago and St. Louis, the company eventually plans to use the high-speed, high-capacity technology throughout its network. At 40 gigabits, the entire US Postal Service list of names and addresses can be transmitted from New York to Los Angeles in about four seconds. In teleconferencing, 40 Gbs allows for the simultaneous transmission of 6,400 channels of premium quality video. MCI (http://www.mci.com) developed the new system in conjunction with Hitachi Telecom (NYSE:HIT) and Pirelli.

4. MARC TEREN NAMED PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL INK
(Washington, DC) Marc Teren has been named president of Digital Ink Co., The Washington Post Company's digital media and electronic information services subsidiary. Teren, 39, was formerly vice president of Disney Interactive's entertainment division where he served as general manager. He is chairman and president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and is vice chairman of the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA). At Digital Ink, he succeeds Ralph S. Terkowitz, acting president of Digital Ink, who will resume his duties as The Post Company's CTO. Digital Ink is the publisher of washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com), PoliticsNow (http://www.politicsnow.com) and PhotoStore (http://www.photostore.com).

5. ARIES ONLINE GAMES TOPS MILLION HOUR MARK
(Charlottesville, VA) ARIES Online Games (http://www.ariesgames.com) announced that it is the first multiplayer games network ever to generate over one million paid hours of usage in a single month. The figure was driven by a core customer base of over 100,000 paying customers. According to the company, ARIES leads the world in billable multiplayer online game usage by a large margin. "These are huge numbers, completely unprecedented in the industry, with over 50 percent growth every month," said Chris Holden, CEO of Kesmai Corporation, ARIES' parent company. ARIES provides third-party game publishers and developers with the tools, technology, and consulting services necessary to bring their products online. Current development partners include Accolade, Discovery Channel Multimedia and Twentieth Century Fox. The ARIES 96 platform can accommodate 10,000 simultaneous users in a single game. Access is provided through server farms located in Charlottesville and Vienna, VA; and London, England. "ARIES has become one of our leading game content providers," said Lawrence Schick, General Manager of the Games Channel at America Online. "Their strong games and the communities around them are among the most successful areas on AOL." ARIES Online Games is a subsidiary of Kesmai Corporation, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Partnerships

1. ACE*COMM AND NEC TO SUPPLY KIOSKS
(Gaithersburg, MD) ACE*COMM Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEC) has signed a contract with NEC Australia Pty. Ltd. to provide Windows NT-based SNMP network management components for networked information kiosks. These kiosks, designed and developed by NEC, will be located in public areas and provide access to information for government, public transportation, ticketing, banking transactions and the Internet. The company will modify and license its NetPlus(R) WinSNMP technology to provide an extensible SNMP agent framework (master agent and API) for the kiosk and each of its components: printers, card readers, EFT terminals, displays, etc. ACE*COMM will also provide generic SNMP management applications, such as performance and fault monitoring for the kiosk network operations center. ACE*COMM develops, markets and services operations support systems products for networks deployed by telecommunications service providers. The Company also markets service and network management systems to large enterprises operating data and voice networks. (http://www.acecomm.com).

2. AOL AND INTERZINE CREATE SKI CYBERSOAP
(Dulles, VA) Telluride, CO is the setting for a new interactive production from America Online (AOL) Greenhouse Studios and InterZine, with the help of the Broder, Kurland, Webb, Uffner literary agency and Pedroff Productions. Designed as a "participatory novel," the cyberserial, Avalanche, takes its cue from episodic television formats like Melrose Place. The cast includes Olympic ski star Suzy Chaffee and the real Mayor of Telluride, Elaine Fisher. Other creative talent comes from Clay Frohman, who wrote the Academy Award nominated script for "Under Fire" and Robert Holley, a world renowned ski photographer. Avalanche can be reached at (http://www.iski.com) or (http://www.solsnowboarding.com) or through AOL at keywords ISKI or SOL.

Funding & Finance News

1. NETWORK IMAGING STOCK REPURCHASE
(Herndon, VA) Network Imaging Corp. (Nasdaq-NNM: IMGX; IMGXP) announced that it has repurchased all 1,792,186 shares of its Series F Preferred Stock. These shares, which were held by an affiliate of a French bank, contained a "put" feature at $9.00 per share or $16 million. The purchase price of $9.0 million and warrants, increases shareholders' equity by approximately $7.0 million. The original issuance of preferred stock to the French bank affiliate was done in connection with the Company's 1993 acquisition of Paris-based Dorotech. NIC develops and markets object management, Web Internet, workflow, and engineering document management and COLD (Computer Output to Laser Disk) software products. Its flagship product, IView, is a suite of solutions that provides businesses with an automated method of electronically storing, accessing and managing large volumes of information.

2. RED HERRING'S VENTURE MARKET SOUTH
(Atlanta, GA) Red Herring has added a new venue to its Venture Market conferences, Venture Market South to be held this year in Atlanta. The Venture Market East, West and European conferences have been joined by the new event, responding to the huge growth in Internet and technology businesses in the region. Some 90 technology companies are nominated to present their business plans to technology execs, venture capitalists, and investment bankers--20 of them from Virginia. Each company presentation will be followed by a breakout session. Hosts for the event are Arthur Andersen, NASDAQ and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP. For more information visit (http://www.redherring.com/events). To register call Laura Bartholomew at 415/865-2277 ext. 228 or send email to <laura@herring.com>. To nominate a company, email Jeff Whitaker <jeff@herring.com>.

Regional News

1. BELL ATLANTIC OFFERS HOME ISDN IN DC
(Washington, DC) Consumers in the District of Columbia can now get high-speed access to cyberspace through Bell Atlantic's residential ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) service. The DC Public Service Commission has allowed Bell Atlantic to offer ISDN to the home at interim residential rates, pending further review by the commission. Previously, ISDN has been available in the District only at business rates. Pricing options for monthly residential ISDN service include 5 packages ranging from $31 a month for 20 hours of B-channel use to $120 monthly for 500 hours of B-channel use for voice, data or video transmission. ISDN provides two B channels that each transmit data at 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). An unlimited ISDN usage package is $249 monthly. Less frequent users can buy measured service for $23.50 monthly plus a local usage fees. ISDN installation is $125, not including inside wiring or equipment installation which may be required. ISDN is an all-digital network technology that combines voice, data and video signals on a single telephone line, and transmits them at speeds up to 128 Kbps, or even as high as 500 Kbps with common compression techniques available in some ISDN-capable equipment. More information is available on Bell Atlantic's residential ISDN home page at (http://www.bellatlantic.com/isdn/consumer).

Quick Hits

1. Michael Schrage of MIT's Media Lab says that to focus too much on the impact of the Net is to miss the point of what is really happening now in the technology marketplace. "Making better products, offering better systems, providing better services isn't enough anymore. Doing what you do better and cheaper may have absolutely no bearing on future profits." Why? Because changes in technology aren't just driving changes in products and services, they're bringing about fundamentally new business models "where the distinction between products, systems, hardware, software and services are becoming less distinct." Schrage heralds the primary importance of marketing, and predicts that next year's successes won't be based on breakthrough products or services but on the way breakthrough products and services are bundled, packaged and priced. (Michael Schrage, Annual Report," Marketing Computers, December 1996)

2. The December 2, 1996 WebWeek (http://www.webweek.com) reports on how Internet companies are competing fiercely for qualified employees. "Everybody's desperate to hire," says Samuel Goldstein, head of the programming department of at BoxTop Interactive, a Web design firm in Los Angeles. "In terms of real programmers--server-side scripting, for instance--we're in real trouble. We're getting into bidding wars." Several companies say the shortage of good hires constrains growth more than a lack of money. With so many companies aggressively recruiting, employee retention has become more of a problem. Stock options have become so prevalent as to weaken their hold on people, and they can be offset by salary and other benefits. Says David Zinman, founder of Focalink, the best way to retain staff is a job worth having: "The environment you create is really important." (Media Professional, 1/01/97)

3. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) has published "Straight Talk: Internet Tax And Interstate Commerce," a paper presenting background, FAQ and recommendations on state and local tax issues related to interstate commerce and the Internet. ITAA is a trade association with 11,000 direct and affiliate members representing the many sectors of the information and communications technology industries. The paper is available free at (http://www.itaa.com).

Upcoming Events

Teleports And Economic Development
Jan. 14, 9:30 am to noon, CIT Building, Herndon, VA
Contact: Jennifer Volk at or 703/689-3045
Sponsored by Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), provides an overview of teleports, examples of the forms they take and specific applications in Virginia. Free.

Comparison of Major Web Browsers
Jan. 14, 7:00 pm, Washington Gas Light Auditorium, Springfield, VA Contact: (http://www.cpcug.org/user/internet)
Regular meeting of the Capital PC User Group. Featured speaker is Michael Kane, technology educator at the World Bank. Free.

Optimize Graphics For The Web
Jan. 15, 6:30 pm., Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Tyson's Corner, VA
Contact: (http://fitechnology.com/fit/mmug)
Regular meeting of the Metro Multimedia Users Group (MMUG). Featured speaker is John Steffey of Westlake Solutions. Free.

International Virus Prevention Conference
Jan. 16-17, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA
Contact: (http://www.ncsa.com) or <IVPC97@ncsa.com>
National Computer Security Association's sixth international conference dedicated to the exchange of ideas, policies, and methodologies for implementing practical virus protection.

An Overview of Java
Jan. 19, 9:00 am to noon, NIH--Lipsett Amphitheater, Washington, DC
Contact: <rex@aussie.com> or 703/860-0091
Consultant, author and Chairman of the ANSI C Standards Committee, Rex Jaeschke, presents Java application creation at this CPCUG event. Participants should have a working knowledge of at least one procedural, high-level programming language.

MIT Enterprise Forum Case Study
Jan. 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, NSF Building, Arlington, VA
Contact: (http://web.mit.edu/entforum/www) or 703/758-4021
Regular meeting of the Washington/Baltimore chapter. At each meeting entrepreneurs present their business plans for interactive discussion and review by a panel of experts. This meeting features 20/20 Laser Centers.

SIGCAT Meeting/Multimedia Job Fair
Jan. 22, 8:30 am to 2:00 pm, NOAA Auditorium, Silver Spring, MD
Contact: (http://www.sigcat.org)
Special Interest Group on CD Applications and Technology's (SIGCAT) regional meeting featuring numerous speakers and a workshop on search strategies for the lifelong learner in cyberspace. Free. Companies interested in recruiting at the job fair should call 703/435-5200.

Titans of Technology Breakfast
Jan. 23, 8:00 am, Reston Hyatt, Reston, VA
Featured speaker is Peter Erskine, President and CEO of Concert Management Services, Inc., a joint venture between MCI and British Telecomm.

Washington Technology Internet Summit
Jan. 28, Contact: Esther Smith at <Esthersmit@aol.com> or 703/848-2800
Features well-known speakers from top Internet companies in the region, as well as bankers and venture capitalists.

Angel Investors...They Go Where Bankers Fear To Tread
Jan. 29, 7:30-9:30 am, Pooks Hill Marriott, Bethesda, MD
Contact: Scott Gilmore <sgilmore@wam.umd.edu>
B-W Venture Group Networking Breakfast sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center and The Private Investors Network.

COMNET '97 Conference and Expo
Feb. 3-6, Washington DC Convention Center
Contact: (http://www.mha.com/comnet)
"The nation's largest wide-area networking event featuring exhibitions from more than 500 of the industy's leading networking companies."

Meet Local Providers of Capital
Feb. 4, 5:45-8:30 pm, Tyson's Corner Marriott, Vienna, VA
Contact: Scott Gilmore <sgilmore@wam.umd.edu>
Reception for entrepreneurs to meet local providers of capital. Sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center.

Micro-Business Development Program
Tuesdays and Saturdays from February 11-March 29
Contact: 703/277-7700
A course offered by the Northern Virginia Small Business Development Center (NVSBDC). NVSBDC also offers numerous other courses including basic small business courses in Marketing Your Business (Jan. 15), Developing a Business Plan (Jan. 30), and Creating Financial Strategies (Feb. 6).


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