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Week of June 26th, 1997
Issue 13, Volume II
NEWS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
1. Ask And You Shall Receive...Some Really Good Ideas
2. New Discussion Group On Human Capital Issues
3. Think You Missed Sign-Up For Tomorrow's Coffee & DoughNets?
4. Join Us At The Freedom Forum July 23
5. Opportunity For A Proven Community Builder
REGIONAL NETPRENEURS
1. New Site For Convertible Securities
2. MCI Begins Playing Games In October
3. L-Soft Makes Listserv Software Free For Non-Profit Use
4. Orion Brings Satellite Services To Europe And Latin America
5. Simutronics Games Available On The Web
6. Manugistics Delivers Industry-Specific Solutions
7. New Release Of TeamBuilder
8. HomeCom Security Named NCSA Certification Partner
9. CAIS Delivers Fast, Cheap Voice/Data Access Via Phone Lines
PARTNERSHIPS
1. IBM Joins With Women's Connection Online
2. CNI Adds The Weather Channel As Content Partner
3. COMTEX Partners With Japanese News Service
FUNDING & FINANCE NEWS
1. Assess Your Intellectual Capital
2. Funding Content Businesses
REGIONAL NEWS
1. WDCA UPN20/Softronics, Inc. Offer Free@Email
2. Virginia Tech Expands Technology Offerings in Region
QUICK HITS
1. SCORE Launches E-mail Counseling For Entrepreneurs
UPCOMING EVENTS
1.Calendar


News About The Netpreneur Program

1. ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE...SOME REALLY GOOD IDEAS
Wondering how the Netpreneur Program discussion groups can benefit you directly? Ann Shack, president of MapSYS, posted a note to the Advertising & Marketing group asking for advice on mixing up-front cash and revenue sharing pricing models for a customized software installation. Other netpreneurs chimed in with suggestions covering issues such as:
-- realistic vs. speculative back-end revenues
-- valuation of customization services
-- reasonable up-front advances
-- revenue split percentages
-- representation by ad sales companies
"After only about 4-5 hours, I began receiving replies," says Ann. "No, not just replies -- I began receiving very valuable ideas and insights from other netpreneurs who had been there. It was wonderful! Negotiations will begin next week, and thanks to the help I received through this forum, I am much better prepared."

The Advertising & Marketing discussion group is one of ten that are up and running. We encourage you to use them to connect with other netpreneurs, explore issues and get answers to pressing questions. And if you have ideas for a group you'd like to lead-- one of direct interest to our netpreneur community-- then let us know.

Subscribe to Marketing & Advertising group: http://netpreneur.org/connect/am

MapSYS Freetrip: http://www.freetrip.com

2. NEW DISCUSSION GROUP ON HUMAN CAPITAL ISSUES
And speaking of discussions, this week we introduced the newest, the Human Capital discussion group. So, what's human capital? We thought you'd never ask. It's the corporate culture. It's public and private image. Venture capitalists try to assess it before investing. It's the commitment that people are willing to make to a company's success. Subscribe to this email group and share ideas with other netpreneurs about building excellence in human capital. The group is led by Career Movers, Inc., a career and change management company that offers consulting services to individuals and organizations in the Washington, DC metro area.

Subscribe to the Human Capital Discussion: http://netpreneur.org/connect/hc

3. MISSED THE SIGN-UP FOR TOMORROW'S COFFEE & DOUGHNETS?
The one featuring special guest Chris McCleary, chairman, president, and CEO of Digex, Inc? Nope, you're still in luck. Last minute registration is being taken at:
http://netpreneur.org/doughnets

4. AND JOIN US AT THE FREEDOM FORUM ON JULY 23
The next Coffee & DoughNets, a monthly information and networking gathering for the netpreneur community, is scheduled for July 23. This session will be hosted by the Freedom Forum (located at 1101 Wilson Blvd., in the Rosslyn area of Arlington, VA) and will be held from 7:30 - 10:00 am in the Frank Gannett room on the 22nd floor. After the meeting, guests are invited to visit the Newseum located on the lower level. The Newseum, the Washington, DC area's newest museum, is the only interactive museum of news. The Newseum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and admission is free. Register for either, or both Coffee & DoughNets at:
http://netpreneur.org/doughnets.

5. OPPORTUNITY FOR A PROVEN COMMUNITY BUILDER
The Netpreneur Program is looking for an online leader who can help us continue to build the region's growing online community of netpreneurs, funders and advisors. Someone extremely net-savvy, with extensive experience communicating over the net: discussion groups, BBSs, chat, email. Not just a user, but a leader who has helped galvanize people around ideas, products, issues or organizations. In addition to Net and oral communication skills, we're looking for a top notch writer who can turn discussions into articles and stories that will benefit others.

The right person is high voltage, positive, energetic, creative, curious . . . driven to push the envelope of new ideas and share the knowledge gained. He or she must know Net culture cold, and know first-hand how the Net is changing the way people and businesses communicate. And, most of all, someone who is a facilitator who can work well in a high-energy, high-expectations team. Knowledge and experience of business development or finance are desirable. So is a writing or reporting background. Proven experience building online communities is a must, as is experience, empathy or knowledge of entrepreneurism.

Is it you? If so, tell us how you've built online communities in an email to editor@netpreneur.org . Include your resume, but dazzle us with an explanation of why this is the job for you. If you know someone who might be right, please let them know about our opening.

Regional Netpreneurs

1. NEW SITE FOR CONVERTIBLE SECURITIES
(Washington, DC) Investors can now keep tabs on the market in convertible securities by consulting a daily comment focused exclusively on these hybrid instruments at a new site created by Federal Filings Inc. Convertible securities are generally issued as bonds in that they pay holders a fixed rate of interest. Unlike regular bonds, however, they are convertible into common stock, allowing holders to participate in any appreciation of the common. The daily comment is also available over the PointCast Network. It is currently available free of charge through both outlets. "For now, we're providing this information at no charge to better acquaint the investing public with our products and services," said Skip Martin, Editor and General Manager of Federal Filings. "At some later point, we may bundle it with other exclusive information of value to investors and offer it on a subscription basis." Federal Filings is a Dow Jones & Co. subsidiary which publishes a business newswire, various newsletters and is a vendor of SEC documents. The company also maintains an expanding Web site offering a variety of information in areas such as bankruptcies, IPOs, mutual funds and document services.

http://www.fedfil.com/convertibles

2. MCI BEGINS PLAYING GAMES IN OCTOBER
(Arlington, VA) MCI announced that it will launch a nationwide online gaming service, Wireplay. Beginning October 1, Wireplay will be available exclusively to MCI Internet customers in approximately 60 cities across the US (predominantly in the Midwest). During the limited launch period (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 1997), Wireplay will be offered as a part of the MCI Internet service package at no additional charge. Originally developed by MCI partner BT, Wireplay enables players of PC games to meet and play each other over a network platform. To play, customers dial into the Wireplay service and select a game to play (either a customer's personal game or a shareware game available from Wireplay). The Wireplay service will then find and connect the customer with opponents.

http://www.mci.com

3. L-SOFT MAKES LISTSERV FREE FOR NON-PROFIT USE
(Washington, DC) Some of the most vibrant online communities are being left behind in their ability to effectively manage email discussions because they are operated by not-for-profit initiatives who often lack the budget for commercial software packages. To allow these communities to upgrade to commercial grade software at no charge, L-Soft International, Inc. is making available a free version of its LISTSERV Lite mailing list manager, strictly for non-profit use. Dubbed the "Free Edition," this package is functionally identical to the commercial LISTSERV Lite product, with a limit of 10 mailing lists of up to 500 subscribers each. Upgrades can be downloaded at no charge as they become available and, in the Internet tradition, support is provided through a mailing list where users of the Free Edition exchange tips and solutions with each other. The Free Edition is available for Windows NT, Windows 95, 10 major Unix brands and OpenVMS.

http://www.lsoft.com/free-edition.html
http://www.lsoft.com/listserv-lite.html

4. ORION BRINGS SATELLITE SERVICES TO EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA
4. ORION BRINGS SATELLITE SERVICES TO EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA (Rockville, MD) Orion Network Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONSI) will augment the Central and Eastern European Internet backbone for Ebone Inc., the primary backbone service in Europe which ties together 31 countries with over 75 ISPs. The agreement establishes a direct 8Mbps link between the US Internet backbone and the Ebone node in Vienna, Austria. Orion's WorldCast service provides a turn-key solution that includes Internet access, a hub earth station for transmitting US-based Internet information, satellite space segment and very small aperture terminals (VSATS) for receiving data at each customer location. The company also announced that it has established strategic alliances in 14 Latin American countries and will begin providing network communications services in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Paraguay. Orion is also exploring similar agreements in other nations of the region.

http://www.OrionNetworks.net.

5. SIMUTRONICS GAMES AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
(Rockville, MD) Starting in July, Simutronics will provide direct subscription-based Internet access to its online multiplayer games GemStone III, DragonRealms and CyberStrike. Access has previously been available only through online services like AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy. Simutronics President and Founder David Whatley said, "By expanding to the Web, we will reach the broadest possible audience, provide more gaming choices and deliver the best service to our customers." According to the company, players are now logging more than two million hours of paid play in a single month on Simutronics games online. Game subscriptions are $7.95 to $9.95 per month. Premium subscriptions, enabling players to develop multiple characters and receive priority VIP treatment, will be offered for select games at an additional $20 per month.

http://www.simucon.com

6. MANUGISTICS DELIVERS INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS
(Rockville, MD) Manugistics, Inc., (Nasdaq: MANU) released Manugistics5, providing industry-specific solutions for its synchronized supply chain management products. The product suite includes functionality for Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Manufacturing Scheduling and Transportation Management. Industry-specific solutions are available for manufacturers of apparel, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, textiles, high-tech, and chemical, oil and gas. Also included in the release is Manugistics' first generation of Web applets designed to enable collaboration among supply chain partners via the Internet. Three applets allow Manugistics users to securely collaborate on supply chain management within their enterprise and with external partners, including mobile users.

http://www.manugistics.com.

7. NEW RELEASE OF TEAMBUILDER
(Reston, VA) NetStart, Inc. released TeamBuilder 2.0, an application that automates the recruiting process. The new release offers workflow capabilities to manage recruiting tasks and allows human resources departments to electronically integrate faxed, mailed and e-mailed resumes into a common database; route resumes to appropriate hiring managers; and collaborate with other decision-makers in real-time. In addition, it enables organizations to post job listings to CareerBuilder, NetStart's career-focused Web site, and automatically posts jobs to other leading career sites, including Yahoo! Classifieds, AOL Digital Cities, Monster Board, CareerMosaic, CareerWeb, Virtual Job Fair, CareerMart, JOBTRAK and America's Job Bank.

NetStart: http://www.netstartinc.com
CareerBuilder: http://www.careerbuilder.com

8. HOMECOM SECURITY NAMED NCSA CERTIFICATION PARTNER
(Atlanta, GA) -- HomeCom Communications' Internet Security Services Division, based in Washington, DC, recently received authorization from the National Computer Security Association (NCSA) to certify Internet Web sites as meeting baseline security criteria. NCSA, located in Carlisle, PA, was founded "to provide independent and objective services to a rapidly growing and often confusing digital security marketplace through a market-driven, for-profit model." As a reseller, HomeCom will perform on-site inspection and compliance testing to assess a site's security implementation and potential security exposures. Successful completion of the NCSA Web Site Certification provides access to discounted Web site liability insurance and qualification for a trustmark on handling private customer information.

HomeCom Communications: http://www.homecom.com
NCSA: http://www.ncsa.com

9. CAIS DELIVERS FAST, CHEAP VOICE/DATA ACCESS VIA PHONE LINES
(Washington, DC) CAIS Internet, a division of CGX Communications, rolled out a new high-speed Internet technology, called OverVoice. The technology uses existing telephone wiring to provide consumers simultaneous phone service with around-the-clock access to the Internet at speeds up to 300 times faster than typical dial-up service. OverVoice provides a continuous connection to the Internet at speeds from 1.54 Mbps up to 10 Mbps. Initially, OverVoice customers will have Internet access at 1.54 Mbps. CAIS is targeting the multi-dwelling unit market for OverVoice and is seeking distribution and licensing agreements with commercial real estate developers, and owners and operators of apartments, condominiums, and hotels, as well as schools, other ISPs, and value-added resellers. After the current trial period (the service is installed at the Arlington Courthouse Apartments and the Washington Marriott), it is expected to cost between $40 and $50 per month, roughly the same price for a standard dial-up Internet account and an extra phone line.

http://www.cais.net

Partnerships

1. IBM JOINS WITH WOMEN'S CONNECTION ONLINE
(McLean, VA) Women's Connection Online (WCO) and IBM have teamed to offer a special content and services package. Users of the IBM/WCO Internet Connection will start at WCO's home page. They will receive unlimited usage of IBM's Internet Connection service for $19.95 per month, plus $20 worth of WCO special features for free each month. Subscribers can also use IBM's Home Page Creator to build home pages and list them on the WCO site at no charge. Also included in the offering are private discussion groups with guest experts on business-related topics and other issues of importance to women and women business owners.

WCO: http://www.womenconnect.com
IBM: http://www.ibm.net

2. CNI ADDS THE WEATHER CHANNEL AS CONTENT PARTNER
(Vienna, VA) Community Networks, Inc. (CNI), a division of BTG, Inc. (Nasdaq: BTGI), has partnered with the Weather Channel as a national content provider for Pulse, CNI's new high-speed cable Internet service. The Pulse Forecast and Current Conditions page provides a five-day outlook specific to a community, complete with current temperature, wind reports, relative humidity and barometer readings. It also allows users to check local and regional Doppler and satellite maps as well as the latest breaking weather across the United States. CNI offers services to cable operators and other businesses that include high-speed Internet access, local content, customer support, systems integration and network management.

CNI: http://www.cninc.com
BTG: http://www.btg.com

3. COMTEX PARTNERS WITH JAPANESE NEWS SERVICE
(Alexandria, VA) COMTEX (OTC Bulletin Board: CTMX), an integrator and value-added distributor of real-time news sources, has added Kyodo News, the leading news agency in Japan, to its line-up of information providers. Established in 1945, Kyodo News is the number one news service in Japan, privately owned and operating independently of government, political or commercial influences. Kyodo has a staff of over 2,260 reporters and editors that cover news pertaining to business, finance, government and cultural affairs in Japan and the Pacific Rim.

Funding & Finance News

1. ASSESS YOUR INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
Any info tech start-up seeking investor seed money expects a full examination into all aspects of the company--from the technology itself to management styles to predicted market role--before funding will be secured. But many start-ups neglect one aspect that is sure to be examined in today's marketplace: intellectual property aspects. According to Jonathan T. Cain, chairman of the Technology Practice Group at Mays & Valentine LLP in McLean, VA, thorough investors will examine the extent to which a start-up has exclusive control over its signature technology. "Technology that is inadequately protected from use by others, or is not clearly the property of the target, will fail to sustain investor interest," Cain writes in Washington Technology (6-12-97). He goes on to list a series of questions that would likely be included in any "competent" due diligence review of intellectual property assets.

Do you own all intellectual property rights to your technology? If not, do you have a license from another party that includes all potential uses of the technology? Have you granted any other party any intellectual rights to your technology? If so, could these rights create a barrier to marketability? Are your intellectual property rights protected by any and all domestic or foreign registrations necessary? Have you done anything that would invalidate your property protections and registrations? Would development, sale or use of your technology infringe on others' intellectual property rights?

Use these questions as a base in determining the level of protection covering your technology, and you should be prepared for the investigation of potential investors. Keep in mind that the steps to ample protection are many, and saving the process until the time for due diligence will be impossible. "Protection of the value of intellectual property must be a consideration from the first inception of the company's technology," Cain writes. "Patent registrations, trademark registrations, and the management discipline that is essential to the protection of trade secrets all take months or years to implement successfully." (Copyright Information, Inc. Courtesy MCI)

Washington Technology: http://www.wtonline.com

2. FUNDING CONTENT BUSINESSES
(ATLANTA) iJumpstart (6/26) reports advice for content start-ups looking for funding. Reporting from the E3 conference in Atlanta, they say VCs remain skittish of content businesses because many were burned in the CD-ROM market. Bank of America Ventures associate Kimberly Davis says, "To the degree developers can create a recurring revenue model, VCs are interested. That's a fundamental breakpoint between business plans that get funding and those that don't." Broadview Associates managing director Stephen J. O'Leary adds, "In this climate [content] developers must bootstrap to enter the market....The content model is 'one pitch and hit it out of the partk,' but VCs are more comfortable with predictable business models." That's why he suggests creating a portfolio of products and maintaining copyright. iJumpstart is a business knowledge Web site from DC-based Phillips Business Information, Inc., who also publish 17 interactive/multimedia and Internet business publications, including Internet Week and Multimedia Wire.

http://www.interactivejumpstart.com

Regional News

1. WDCA UPN20/SOFTRONICS, INC. OFFER FREE@EMAIL
(Bethesda, MD) Television station, WDCA UPN20, and Colorado-based Softronics, Inc. are offering Free@Email software and service to regional viewers. Free@Email is an advertiser supported mailcasting package which presents advertisements to users while they are online. Viewers can send and receive email, join chat groups, place classifieds, read magazines, get daily news, weather, and sports, stock reports, and send file attachments in exchange for profile information and ad viewing.

http://www.softronics.com

2. VIRGINIA TECH EXPANDS TECHNOLOGY OFFERINGS
(Falls Church, VA) Virginia Tech has added faculty and expanded its technology-related offerings at the new Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. Working professionals in the region can choose from a larger roster of course offerings in Computer Science and Information Systems, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Information and Decision Support Systems, Applied Physics, Civil Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics. A brochure detailing Virginia Tech's technology offerings can be obtained by calling 703-538-8313. In addition, Virginia Tech designs short courses, workshops and seminars to meet specific training needs.

Quick Hits

1. SCORE LAUNCHES EMAIL COUNSELING FOR ENTREPRENEURS
(Washington, DC) The SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives) launched a new Web site to provide entrepreneurs with 24-hour access to SCORE counseling and resources regardless of location or time zone. The site is a resource for anyone thinking about starting or who already owns a small business. The SCORE Home Page launches with more than 150 pages and resources to improve quick access to SCORE services including Find SCORE for locating local chapters and counselors, and Get Email Counseling, which provides entrepreneurs with access to more than l00 email counselors. The Johnson Design Group of Falls Church, VA, created the visual look and feel of the site. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the success of small business. More than 12,400 volunteer members provide individual counseling and business workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

http://www.score.org

Upcoming Events

For more information on these and other regional events of interest to netpreneurs and funders, visit the Netpreneur Exchange calendar at (http://netpreneur.org/calendar/calendar.htm).

June 27----Netpreneur Program Coffee & DoughNets
June 27----Internet Training: Introduction to the Internet
June 30----First Annual NVTC Golf Tournament
July 1------IBG Night Owl Session: Putting The Team Together
July 5------Taking IT to the Streets
July 8------Catch the Wave..Summer Networking
July 16-----Richmond Venture Capital Club Lunch
July 16-----Electronic Entertainment Expo: Financing New Media (in Atlanta)
July 16-----Venture Capital Alternatives
July 22-----Growing Your Business with the Internet
July 27-----Beyond Virtual: Real Opportunities Real Solutions
July 31-----Making Money With Your Technology


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