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Welcome to the Derek McGinty Show. They call Washington, DC, a company town, and that company is the federal government. Much of the business done here is done here because Uncle Sam resides nearby and there are those who say without the federal government Washington, DC, is a shell. But that might be less the case in the near future if my guests this hour have their way. The nation’s capital is also one of the centers of the nation’s rapidly expanding high-technology sector and, unlike in past years, the firms involved are not all making their money by selling to the federal government.

The expansion of the Internet as a means of commerce has opened the doorway for new jobs, new economic development, the growth of new companies and fast-moving firms in regions ready to make the leap. My four guests today say the DC area ought to be on the frontier of that. They have been dubbed "netpreneurs," for combining their business acumen with a sense of the possibilities inherent in all these new technologies.

William Melton is founder and CEO of CyberCash, he’s trying to make it easy for you to buy things over the Net. You’re probably already familiar with the VeriFone, which does credit card verification. We see that in action all the time. He was behind that, as well.

Mario Morino is founder of Legent Corporation. He is the current chair of the Potomac Knowledge Way Project, which is trying to network the right people together for high-tech business projects and is in the middle of hosting a special meeting about our topic today.

W. Russell Ramsey is founder and president of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Company (FBR), an investment banking firm specializing in raising capital for high-tech firm expansion.

And James Kimsey is the founder and former chair of American Online (AOL), the nation’s largest online service.

I’m Derek McGinty. Call us at 202-885-8850. My guests have been dubbed by some "The Barons of the Beltway," and it is not, as some have said, a yuppie motorcycle gang. Gentlemen, welcome to the show. It’s good to have the four of you here.


An Evening With the Barons

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