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Week of April 23rd, 1998
Issue 16, Volume III
NEWS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
1. Recruiting Is The Focus Of Coffee & DoughNets
2. Take The Law Into Your Own Hands
3. Let's Get Physical
4. Newly Assembled At The FAQtory
REGIONAL NETPRENEURS
1. Hot Off The Coffee & DoughNets Griddle
2. Luftwaffe Meets Aliens At Kesamai
3. US Interactive Opens Washington Office
4. Free Wireless Email
PARTNERSHIPS
1. Ventera Develops Site Management Software For Nextel
2. e-Net And CyberFone To Buiild IP Smart Phone
CONSTRUCTION CREWS
Who's Bringing Whom To The Web? VisionFoundry, US Interactive
FUNDING & FINANCE NEWS
1. ORBCOMM Plans Public Offering
2. Executive Telecard Acquires IDX International
3. New Fund To Focus On Telecom Ventures
NETPRENEURS RECOGNIZED
1. iapps Wins Award For Design Excellence
REGIONAL NEWS
1. WashTech Covers The Region's Technology Scene
2. Oh Give Me A Home Where The Silicons Roam
3. Marc Andreesen Speaks At NVTC


News About The Netpreneur Program

1. RECRUITING IS THE FOCUS OF COFFEE & DOUGHNETS
If you couldn't make this morning's Coffee & DoughNets meeting, you missed success stories, networking and Mario Morino discussing issues in recruiting, including why it is one of the most important things a business does, crafting compensation packages, understanding your recruiting needs and how to quickly assess a candidate. Not to worry though, an article summarizing the event is up now at the Netpreneur Exchange Web site and a transcript of the talk will be available next week.

C&D article: http://netpreneur.org/events/doughnets/article.html

2. TAKE THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS
If you act fast, you may still be able to get into the upcoming free seminar on "Business Law for the Netpreneur" to be held Monday, May 18, 6:00pm-9:00pm. Co-produced with the law firm of Covington & Burling, the seminar will feature a panel discussion on legal concepts including Forming the Start-Up, Agreements Between Founders, Compensation and Stock Incentives for Key Employees and Methods of Initial Financing. The topics were suggested and selected by members of Talk-the-Talk, the Program's netpreneurs-only email discussion group.

For more information on the seminar: http://netpreneur.org/events/cb

Register by sending email to seminar@cov.com and include your name, the name of your company, a brief description of the company, mailing address, telephone number and email address.

Join Talk-the-Talk: http://netpreneur.org/connect/talktalk

3. LET'S GET PHYSICAL
The region's netpreneurs are taking charge of building their community. Andrew Forbes, of RedBridge, wanted to compare notes with colleagues on online advertising issues, so he invited members of the Program discussion groups Talk-the-Talk and Ad-Marketing to meet over beers in Great Falls last night, . His idea was to share a focused exchange beyond email. Over a dozen netpreneurs attended--a mix of marketing, sales and technology professionals. While they meet online weekly, even daily in the discussion groups, a physical forum also has its advantages. Ann Shack of MapSys, one of the participants, feels that meetings like this one are great because she can set aside the time to focus on a topic and share ideas.

The pub setting was well-suited for the vibrant interchange focused on ways in which to draw traffic to a site -- from search engines to banner ads. The conversation moved all over the topic, reflecting the range of interests of the attendees. In addition, netpreneurs were able to make one-on-one connections and put faces to email addresses. Christine Moore of Next-Wave Communications said she enjoys small, focused group meetings, which complement the larger Netpreneur Program meetings and online discussions. The group, or a subset thereof, will likely meet again soon.

Netpreneur Program discussion groups: http://listserv.morino.org/archives

4. NEWLY ASSEMBLED AT THE FAQtory
There's a new FAQ on "Sweat Equity" just starting up in the Management area. The usual FAQtory caveat applies: not a complete explication, it reflects recent discussion among our netpreneur community. Please contribute your comments.

FAQtory: http://netpreneur.org/netcorner/faqtory

Regional Netpreneurs

1. HOT OFF THE COFFEE & DOUGHNETS GRIDDLE
(Bethesda, MD) As always, netpreneurs shared their recent news and milestones with the group at today's Coffee & DoughNets. Here's a round-up of announcements so new that nobody's had time to do the press release yet.

Lisa Amore said that TV onthe Web ( http://www.tvontheweb.com ) just inked a deal to produce a Web documentary on Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, entitled "An Eagle's Journey."

Oron Strauss announced that Net.Capitol ( http://www.netcapitol.com ) recently closed several major clients including the National Association of Realtors, the American Hospital Association and Amnesty International.

Lynne Filderman of D.C. Orbit ( http://www.dcorbit.net ) has added six new sites on their Web advertising network, several of which are from netpreneurs met at Program events.

Santiago Testa said that Financial Roadshow ( http://www.financialroadshow.com ) will do the multimedia for an upcoming Goldman Sachs conference in San Diego and has signed a deal with Nextel.

2. LUFTWAFFE MEETS ALIENS AT KESAMAI
(Charlottesville, VA) Kesmai Corp., creator of massively multi-player games on the Net, released two new games at its GameStorm online service. The first, Aliens Online, is a joint project between Kesmai and Fox Interactive based on the second installment of the Alien film series. It pits Colonial Marines against a group of murderous aliens that have infested a space station. Also new is the latest entry in the Air Warrior flying series that includes 49 different aircraft, 3D accelerated game play and real-time voice communications. Air Warrior III Online will also feature historically accurate World War II missions with emphasis on group play. The WWII feature is in open beta testing this month at the BigWeek site, prior to its release at GameStorm.

GameStorm: http://www.gamestorm.com
BigWeek: http://www.bigweek.com

3. US INTERACTIVE OPENS WASHINGTON OFFICE
(Washington, DC) US Interactive, a creator of electronic enterprise solutions, opened a new office in Washington, DC near DuPont Circle, joining the company's other offices in New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA. "This extension of our company into Washington allows us to better serve our existing clients in the region," said Richard Masterson, co-founder and Executive Vice President of US Interactive. Those clients include IBM, Calvert Group, Sky Alland Marketing, Network Solutions and the US Senate. Current plans for the DC office are to offer a range of services including consulting, marketing and technology. In an unrelated announcement, the company said it has formed a strategic alliance with Parsippany, NJ-based Incurrent, a developer of Internet customer support and account access capabilities for the payment card industry.

US Interactive: http://www.usinteractive.com
Incurrent: http://www.incurrent.com

4. FREE WIRELESS EMAIL
(Owings Mills, MD) Infinite Technologies rolled out MailAndNews.com, a free wireless communication service for users of Unwired Planet's HDML-compatible devices, such as an AT&T PocketNet phone or a 3Com Palm Pilot. MailAndNews can be used to access existing email accounts or, alt ernatively, users can create free personal mailboxes on the Infinite Technologies mail server. MailandNews.com supports a variety of email systems, including Microsoft Mail, cc:Mail, ExpressIT!, Microsoft Exchange, and any MHS/SMF/Connect-compatible email application, as well as POP3 and IMAP4 mail systems over the Web or Wireless IP.

Infinite Technologies: http://www.InfiniteMail.com
Unwired Planet: http://www.UnwiredPlanet.com

Partnerships

1. VENTERA DEVELOPS SITE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR NEXTEL
(Vienna, VA) Ventera Corp. has created a Web-based database application to track physical tower site assets nationwide for Nextel Communications, a McLean, VA-based provider of all-digital mobile radio and cellular services. The software package, called AnaSites, is based on the same site management foundation used by Ventera to develop a Web-based site engineering database for Metrocall, the second largest paging company in the nation. AnaSites permits Nextel's Analog Services division to manage the physical assets for its network of tower sites. Employees in each market can record and review global site management data, allowing Nextel to reduce management and operating costs. A generic version can be configured to support other databases, such as Oracle, as well as all major Web servers for Windows NT and Solaris.

Ventera: http://www.ventera.com

2. E-NET AND CYBERFONE TO BUIILD IP SMART PHONE
(Germantown, MD) e-Net, Inc. will work with Wayne, PA-based CyberFone, Inc. to build and sell a smart phone that provides Internet telephony capabilities and which is expected to be available by the end of the third quarter of 1998. The companies say that CyberFone's product, which will shortly begin a retail rollout priced at under $400, is the functional equivalent of an entry-level desktop computer with an Intel x86 compatible CPU running at 66 MHZ, a 6.4" full color screen, keyboard and standard mouse or touchpad, as well as peripheral connections. Integrated with e-Net's Telecom 2000 product, it allows users to make long distance calls over the Internet. The two companies will also develop specific applications for vertical markets including, banking and healthcare.

CyberFone: http://www.cyberfone.com
About e-Net: http://www.datatelephony.com

Construction Crews

WHO'S BRINGING WHOM TO THE WEB?
VisionFoundry ( http://www.visionfoundry.com ) of Washington, DC has created a new site and online auction news service for AuctionLIVE! ( http://www.auctionlive.com ), a project of Antique Marketing Services, Ltd. Through live network telecasts, the Web site and news service, AuctionLIVE! will deliver celebrity art and antiques auctions.

A new site for Deloitte & Touche Consulting ( http://www.dtcg.com ) debuted this week, created by US Interactive ( http://www.usinteractive.com ).

Funding & Finance News

1. ORBCOMM PLANS PUBLIC OFFERING
(Herndon, VA) ORBCOMM Corp. has filed a registration with the SEC for a proposed offering of $125 million of its common stock, all of which is to be isssued and sold by the company. Bear, Stearns & Co. and J.P. Morgan will manage the underwriting as joint lead managers and joint book runners. ORBCOMM provides two-way monitoring, tracking and messaging services through a commercial, low-Earth orbit satellite-based data communications system.

2. EXECUTIVE TELECARD ACQUIRES IDX INTERNATIONAL
(Fairfax, VA) Denver, CO-based Executive TeleCard, Ltd. signed a letter of intent to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of IDX International, Inc. for stock and cash. Both boards have approved the transaction and the companies expect to complete all conditions and approvals within the next few months. IDX is a privately-held supplier of IP fax and voice platforms and services to telecom operators and ISPs in 12 countries. The company has 50 employees and annualized revenue of approximately $6 million. For at least the first year, IDX will operate as a separate subsidiary, although its platform services will begin to be used immediately to serve the Executive TeleCard customer base. Executive TeleCard is a supplier of global calling card services and related validation, billing and payment systems.

IDX International: http://www.idxii.net
Executive TeleCard: http://www.etcard.com

3. NEW FUND TO FOCUS ON TELECOM VENTURES
(Denver, CO) Independent venture capital firm Telecom Partners announced the creation of Telecom Partners II, L.P., a $125 million fund that will be used to make initial and early-stage investments in new telecommunications and electronic media companies. Institutional investors include Brinson Partners, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and CIBC Wood Gundy Capital Corp. Telecom Partners II is led by the company's principals, Stephen W. Schovee and William J Elsner who say they intend to build a portfolio of eight to ten companies operating in the industry's fastest-growing arenas: the Internet, global telecom, wireless networks and broadband last-mile networks. "Our intention," said Schovee, "is to build large companies with national or international focus that can capture significant market share, attract quality management teams and gain access to lower-cost capital through secondary investors and strategic partners." Telecom Partners' previous start-up companies include: Verio Inc.; Formus Communications, Inc.; InfoBeat, Inc.; SMR Direct Corp.; and Intergram Corp.

Telecom Partners: http://www.telecompartners.com

Netpreneurs Recognized

1. IAPPS WINS AWARD FOR DESIGN EXCELLENCE
(Washington, DC) The Web site for the International Fresh-cut Produce Association (IFPA), designed by Net presence provider Interactive Applications Group (iapps), won the bronze medal of the SNAP EXCEL Award for Excellence in Web Design. Chosen from over 900 entries, the site uses iapps' Orgitecture service to make updating content quicker and easier. Orgitecture is a set of modular services including editing tools, security framework, conference board, marketplace and user management.

iapps: http://www.iapps.com
IFPA: http://www.fresh-cuts.org

Regional News

1. WASHTECH COVERS THE REGION'S TECHNOLOGY SCENE
(Arlington, VA) washingtonpost.com debuted WashTech, a comprehensive online source for news, information and analysis on greater Washington's high-technology industry. The site draws on tech coverage from across Washington Post Company properties, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Washington Technology, Integration Management, Government Computer News, TechCapital and Newsbytes, as well as other sources. It also features original content, including Beltway Bootup, a daily column of news and gossip on the local technology community by Mary Beth Regan, and weekly columns from industry insiders. WashTech feature sections include: Tech News, Tech Careers, Tech Stocks, a searchable database of Companies section, Tech Events, Tech Talk and Fast Forward which covers consumer technology. The Tech Careers section contains a special area for entrepreneurs, which this week features a Q&A with Dr. Charles Heller, director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. You'll also find updates from the Netpreneur Program in this area.

WashTech: http://www.washingtonpost.com/washtech/
WashTech Entrepreneurs area: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/washtech/techcareers/entrepreneurs.htm

2. OH GIVE ME A HOME WHERE THE SILICONS ROAM
When Marion Morrison started calling himself John Wayne, everything worked out pretty well. Now a lot of folks think the region would be similarly better off with a name that reflected our high-tech industries. Washington Post reporter Mark Leibovich wrote about it in "A Moniker to Put Us on the Tech Map?" in the Friday, April 17, 1998 issue, which chronicles the region's high-tech epithets, as well as the rash of Silicon implants that have struck other areas of the country. Find his article at the WashTech site, where you can also vote on front runners for the region (including, ahem, the Potomac KnowledgeWay) and nominate ideas of your own.

Now this just in!-- apparently the problem of a zippy name for the region is so acute that Silicon Valley-based TechWeek is stepping in to help out. Recognizing that "America's newest high-tech hothouse has flourished so fast it forgot to name itself," the magazine is sponsoring a nationwide contest to name our region. TechWeek's contest will run through June 20. The winner will be selected by a panel of Washington-area technology leaders and will get a VIP weekend offered by the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. TechWeek is soliciting suggestions via its print and online editions. Send email suggestions to editor@techweek.com.

Your editor will humbly be submitting: Cyburbia, so you can't use that one.

Hey, anyone for a regional song? You know, the only problem with all this Silicon stuff is that it's gonna make for some really monotonous songs. "This land is your land. This land is my land. From the Silicon Valley to the Silicon Seaboard. From the Silicon Forests to the Silicon Gulf Stream Waters..." Nah, that last line doesn't work.

WashTech article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/frompost/april98/silicon17.htm
TechWeek Live: http://www.techweek.com

3. MARC ANDREESEN SPEAKS AT NVTC
John Casey of Sushi Software attended last night's Tech Extravaganza '98 sponsored by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and featuring Marc Andreessen of Netscape as keynote speaker. "Here are a few of Andreessen's observations," writes John, "which I thought I'd pass along to my fellow netpreneurs:

- Eventually the price of the PC will fall below $0; i.e. that companies will give you the PC to try and get you hooked into their service the way cellular companies give you the phone to get the annuity business.

- Expect more fissures in the WinTel alliance as the hardware and software businesses are increasingly out of synch in their business models. As the price of the PC hardware plummets, and Microsoft charges more for the Windows license than the hardware vendor is getting for the box, then the industry dynamics between bit peddlers and box peddlers will change *very* rapidly.

- The free software and freely available source code trends have redefined the software business (e.g. Linux OS, the Apache Web server, Navigator). Andreesen believes the Linux phenomenon reflects an underground movement among programmers that parallels the underground movement he saw in the early days of the Web explosion.

- The pace of browser innovation will increase with availability of free source. Maybe someday all software will be developed/deployed using the Linux model. Andreessen told a story about how Netscape stripped all encryption-related code from Navigator source to comply with US export laws. When they made the source code available on the Web, a group of Australians had put encryption back into the code base within a day.

- More people are buying lower-end PCs because they are moving away from working in an application-focused environment (using bloated apps that require a lot of RAM and processor speed) to an Internet-focused environment using smaller apps that require less RAM and processor speed."

Thanks for the heads-up, John.

Sushi Software: http://www.sushisoftware.com

Lisa Amore of TVontheWeb tells us that Andreesen's speech should be up on NVTC's site sometime next week.

NVTC: http://www.nvtc.org



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