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Netpreneur News
Volume 7, Number 31, August 8, 2002

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This Week's Contents:

       1.1 A One Mind Track
       1.2 Recent Q&A's
      2.1 Forum One, PBS Launch Kidsą Web Site
      2.2 Infocruiser Becomes Appfluent
      2.3 Ibiquity Gets Interactive Radio Technology
      2.4 Round-up: Quick Hits from Blackboard,, Amisys

      3.1 Dough Raise Me
      ......$5 million for 2 local entrepreneurs

      3.2 Life In The Food Chain
      ...... E-Z Data acquires LifeMarkets
      ...... Telesystems Acquires Paragea
      ...... INFe Takes Stake In Mobilepro
      ...... Thruport Buys Apprack
      ...... PlanetFeedback Buys Assets of Opion

      4.1 Baltimore Incubator to Double in Size
      4.2 Virginia Tied at Top in eCommerce Initiative
      4.3 Spec Offers $5,000 for Computing Benchmarks
      4.4 relaunches site
      5.1 SureScript Gets CEO

|||||||||||||||||||| 1. News About The Program ||||||||||||||||||

You know what Will Rogers said, right? Even if you're on the right
track, you'll get run over if you just stand there. Next week in The Loop we explore a new kind of special event, "Staying On Track: Success In Strategy & Execution." We all know that planning and targeting are essential to business success. After you've composed the plan, however, it's time to act, and that's where a lot of young firms get in trouble. The successful ones are those that execute well, in a focused way, on plan, and know when the plan has to change. Our guest in The Loop next Tuesday and Wednesday, August 13-14, will be Larry Robertson. He will answer questions and share war stories from his many years as an advisor to startups in areas including managing growth, strategic planning, partnerships, and more. Larry founded Lighthouse Consulting in 1992, and, before that, filled roles with the Walt Disney Company in strategic planning and business development; Robertson, Stephens & Company in investment banking and venture capital; and J.P. Morgan in financial analysis and currency trading. Pull out your real-time challenges and compare notes on planning and execution with Larry and other Loop members. The more minds, the better the solutions.

Robertson event:

1.2 RECENT Q&A’s
And speaking of The Loop, we've mined the minds of subscribers to
capture four discussions from our most recent special events. Now available are the collected conversations with SpaceVest's Ransom Parker on "Negotiating With VCs (And Others)" and Walker Venture's Gina Dubbe on "From Customer Strategy To Revenue Reality." Plus, we've collected the additional Q&A on sales strategy with our panelists from last month's C&D which occurred only in The Loop; and a very interesting discussion on "Negotiating & Bootstrapping" that preceded Ransom Parker's appearance. Just figured we'd give you a peek at what you're missing if you haven't subscribed to The Loop yet.

Parker event:
Dubbe event:
C&D Q&A:

|||||||||||||||||||| 2. Regional Netpreneurs ||||||||||||||||||

(Alexandria, VA) Forum One Communications and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting launched Backyard Jungle, a website for children to share and network with each other about their local environments. The site encourages kids to explore the natural world around them and report their findings online through photos, drawings, and maps. Backyard Jungle's first tools enable users to construct "backyards" featuring wildlife they can find in their own neighborhoods. Users explore outside and add the plants, animals, and anything else they find to their online backyards. Finding and sharing these "discoveries" promotes learning and exploration in a fun, kid-safe format. Forum One Communications is a Web strategy and development firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, with the mission of applying technology to social and environmental issues of importance. Forum One's clients include CPB, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Department of Education.


(Arlington, VA.) InfoCruiser, a two-year-old startup, changed its business focus, named a new CEO, and got a new name: Appfluent Technology. Frank Gelbart, formerly InfoCruiser's Vice President of Sales, now takes the helm from Paul Conley, who remains chairman and assumes the role of chief technology officer at Appfluent. The company had focused on software that improves enterprise application performance. Now it is focusing on database-driven applications.  Last fall, Appfluent Technology closed on $10.2 million Series B funding led by Carlyle Venture Partners.


(Columbia, MD)  iBiquity Digital, a developer of digital AM and FM broadcast technology, said that it has acquired the exclusive rights to the interactive media technology of California's Command Audio. The deal will allow radio broadcasters to provide consumers content on-demand, from program selection via electronic guide to scanning content to pausing or saving for later listening. Advertisers will be able to develop new messages for consumers, and content providers will have new tools with which to design innovative programming. iBiquity has established a Redwood City, CA, office and has hired the former software engineering employees of Command Audio.


(Washington) Blackboard Inc., a Internet infrastructure company for e-Education, and Techne, a provider of academic management services in Brazil, formed a partnership to sell the Blackboard Learning System in the Brazilian higher education market.

(McLean, Va.) - Group Inc. and ePALS Classroom Exchange Inc. signed a strategic alliance by which Tutornet will offer its online tutoring services to the ePALS community of over 4.5 million educators and students.

(Rockville, MD) Amisys LLC, a provider of payer applications to the health care industry, announced the availability of AMISYS C/S Release 7.0, which offers several significant enhancements to previous versions of the product. AMISYS C/S supports HMOs, provider-based payers, employers, unions and carve-out entities with a cost-effective health care payer information management solution.

|||||||||||||||||||| 3. Funding & Finance News ||||||||||||||||||

$3 million for MindShift Technologies Inc. in a round of funding that was led by Columbia Capital of Alexandria. MindShift provides IT infrastructure services to small and medium-sized businesses. The company also announced the appointment of Cliff Chapman as CEO. Previously, he served on the management team of AppNet, an internet professional services and managed hosting company. In February, one of MindShift's founders and its chief executive, Michael Wheeler, resigned and was replaced by Doug Holladay, a venture partner at Columbia. Holladay will remain chairman of the board.

$2 million in a Series B round for Reston-based LightStream Technologies, developer of an apparatus that delivers pulsed ultraviolet light for water disinfection.



-- E-Z Data Acquires Lifemarkets
(Lynchburg, Va.) E-Z Data is acquiring Lynchburg-based LifeMarkets, a provider of agency management software and transaction services, from GE Financial. The combined firm will serve more than 50% of the domestic brokerage general agencies and over 80,000 insurance agents worldwide. E-Z Data, Inc., based in Pasadena, CA, is a provider of front office systems for insurance companies, broker-dealers, general agents, and investment advisors. LifeMarkets serves over 100 general agencies and approximately 20 life and annuity carriers. GE Financial will continue to be a customer of both companies. Terms were not disclosed.

-- TeleSystems Acquires Paragea Assets
(Gaithersburg, MD)
TeleSystems International, a satellite network company, has acquired the assets and product lines of ParaGea Communications, a maker of satellite systems and terrestrial communications products. TSI will continue to manufacture, market, and support all product lines acquired from ParaGea, which has a global customer base in over 30 countries.

-- INFe Takes Stake In Mobilepro
(Falls Church, VA) INFe, a provider of investment banking and business advisory services to emerging technology firms, took a minority stake in Rockville-based Mobilepro, which aims to launch third generation (3G) wireless modem solutions. It took the stake  in exchange for its lead advisory role in the recent merger between Mobilepro and Neoreach. The deal, a "reverse merger," let Neoreach, a private company, become a public company by combining with the shell company Mobilepro. INFe also arranged a $10 million equity line of credit for the company through a New Jersey-based domestic investment fund.

-- Thruport Buys AppRack
(Alexandria, VA.) Thruport Technologies Inc., a Web-hosting and Internet advertising company, has acquired the assets of AppRack LLC, a Web-hosting firm. AppRack has focused on the Sun and Linux platforms and brings a number of local and national enterprise clients to Thruport's growing Managed Hosting division. As part of the transaction, AppRack and its principals will become non-exclusive agents for Thruport's broad range of hosted services, primarily serving the mid-Atlantic region.

-- PlanetFeedback Buys Assets Of Opion
(Cincinnati) PlanetFeedback acquired certain technology and intellectual property assets of  Opion Inc.  Opion's technology  turns Internet "buzz" into scientific, consumer trending data, helping companies make informed decisions faster. Opion, once headquartered in Herndon, VA, was founded by David Holtzmann, former chief technology officer of Network Solutions, in March 2000.

|||||||||||||||||||| 4. Opportunities & Resources ||||||||||||||||||

(Baltimore) The Emerging Technology Centers announced plans to nearly double its size with the addition of the Emerging Technology Center @ Johns Hopkins Eastern.  The new 45,000 square feet center will be housed on the third floor of the former Eastern High School, a building now owned by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).  The ETC is a nonprofit business incubator program geared toward growing early stage technology-based companies in Baltimore City. As part of the Baltimore Development Corp., it provides these companies with business, technical, and networking connections.

(Richmond) Virginia tied for No. 1 in the nation with its e-commerce initiative, eVa, according to a new survey by the national Center for Digital Government. Virginia moved from eighth place and tied with Washington for first place in the "e-commerce and business regulation" category, one of three categories rating state governments and their efforts to apply information technology to democracy, the economy, and the effective management of regional and statewide institutions.

(Warrenton, VA) The non-profit Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) is offering rewards of up to $5,000 and a free benchmark license for application code and datasets accepted under its SPEC CPU2004 Benchmark Search Program. SPEC CPU benchmarks are used to measure computing power. They are quoted in new computer announcements and used to evaluate design alternatives for new hardware and software technologies. The benchmarks provide performance metrics for comparing systems, with emphasis on the system's processor, memory hierarchy and compiler. Proposals for new SPEC CPU2004 benchmarks will be accepted from now until December 31, 2002. For more information on the program and an entry form, visit SPEC's web site.

(New Providence, N.J.) Martindale-Hubbell has unveiled a new version of, a lawyer directory and legal information site for consumers and small businesses. A new "Business Needs" section on the site helps small business owners navigate legal topics, including information on starting businesses. It also offers a new way to search relevant practice areas.

|||||||||||||||||||| 5. WHO'SWARE ||||||||||||||||||

(Alexandria, VA) - SureScript Systems Inc., an electronic prescribing venture backed by the nation's independent and chain community pharmacies, appointed Kevin Hutchinson as its chief executive officer. Hutchinson has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the technology industry. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer for MedicaLogic/Medscape Inc.

Thanks for your interest in and support of the Morino Institute's
Netpreneur News is copyright 2002, Morino Institute, all rights reserved. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. It is provided "as is" and your use is at your own risk.

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