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Volume 6, Number 39 - September 27, 2001 - This Week's Contents:

--1. Entrepreneurs And VCs Assess The Market
--2. Meet Updata Venture Partners
--3. Drive The Top Line
--1. SER's Intelligent Email Management
--2. Centrivity's Private Network
--3. WorldPay Raises Security For B2B eCommerce
--4. Round-up: The Audio-Visual Club
.....But The Face Looks Familiar
.....Speaking Of Time And Attendance
.....Vodium Partners On A/V Platform
--5. Round-up: Products For Providers
.....CODEON's Optical Modulator Controller
.....Longitude's OSS System
.....Openet Opens US Headquarters
--1. Capital One Acquires PeopleFirst

I> News About The Program
For the past several weeks, Netpreneur and the Mid-Atlantic Venture
Association have been conducting surveys of VCs and entrepreneurs to
gauge the attitudinal perspectives of each group on the future of
investments for the region. Overall, VCs see a gloomier economic
picture for the region than do entrepreneurs. Half of VCs believe that
as of September 1, the region is flat but scraping the bottom in terms
of the decline/recovery cycle of private equity; 44% said that it was
still declining. In contrast, only 21% of entrepreneurs felt that the
region was still declining, and another 21% felt that the region was
beginning to see an upswing. The results of the surveys were presented
at Venture Outlook, a quarterly event MAVA hosts to bring
entrepreneurs, VCs and analysts together to delve more deeply into the
story behind quarterly investment numbers. Among other highlights, the
surveys offered tips for entrepreneurs:

- Almost half of VCs said that they expect to do between three and
four deals (new and portfolio companies) for the rest of the year, and
22% said they expect to do five or more. Slightly more than half said
that they expect to do only one to two new deals, and a quarter said
they expected to do three to four new deals.

- When it comes to what VCs are looking for in the ideal entrepreneur,
70% said that experience is most important, and nearly 80% said that
people, more than technology or capital intensiveness, are the most
important factor in deciding which companies to fund.

- More than half of responding entrepreneurs (56.4%) said that their
companies raised at least half of their funding from investors outside
of the region. This statistic reinforces the trend that investors in
the region are focused on existing companies and that the market for
early stage funding in the region has shrunk considerably in 2001.

- Despite the bad news and the trouble in the financial markets, when
asked whether now is a good time to start a company, 73% of VCs and
64% of entrepreneurs said that it is.

For more highlights from the surveys visit:
Tight times or not, investors still want to meet entrepreneurs with
good ideas. Our next Meet The Investor session will be Thursday,
October 25, with Updata Venture Partners. To apply, send us a
completed Netpreneur NET-INVEST Business Summary Form. A small group
of entrepreneurs who meet Updata's investment criteria will be
selected to present their ventures to Updata representatives for
candid feedback in private, 45-minute sessions. Get a copy of the form
by emailing The application deadline
is October 15. Updata Venture Partners prefers to invest locally,
targeting early-stage companies that develop proprietary technology to
address a large and fast growing market across multiple industry
verticals. They are particularly interested in enabling technologies
for the Internet arena focused on large-scale IT departments, in areas
such as security solutions, storage software, performance management
tools, niche applications, communication software solutions and

Updata Venture Partners:
"When you go out to find funding or when you go out to build your
business, never lose sight of the fact that sales is the underpinning
of your success," advised Gina Dubbe of Walker Ventures at last week's
Coffee & DoughNets entitled "Driving the Top Line." The transcript and
video are now available at the Netpreneur site, where you can get tips
on topics such as encouraging a sales and customer service attitude in
non-sales employees, using distributors, and how to tell when a deal's
going south.

II> The Region's Netpreneurs
(Herndon, VA) SER Solutions launched SERiMail, an email management
software product that uses SER's neural network intelligence
technology, SERbrainware. The company says that SERiMail reads and
understands the content and context of incoming email messages, not
just key words or phrases, and can learn by example from previously
processed emails. The system is targeted at government offices and
customer service departments to help organizations deliver consistent
responses to email questions from its online customers. Southwest
Student Services, a student loan processing center, is currently using
SERiMail to manage its email customer service responses to answer
financial questions.
(Herndon, VA) Backed by $3 million from its founders, Centrivity is a
new company that will offer small- to mid-sized businesses dedicated
access to a private network, hosted business applications, high-speed
Internet access and other network services.  Initially employing 45
people, the company will own and operate the private network and host
a secure data center. Centrivity is associated with a portfolio of
companies that includes Rockville-based IT services provider Digicon.
The announcement of Centrivity's plans was made by Virginia Governor
Jim Gilmore. ;
(Sterling. VA) WorldPay, a provider of multi-currency eCommerce
solutions, launched WorldPay Genesis, a new system that can fix the
identity and location of persons conducting high-value commerce
transactions. Through encryption and Global Positioning Satellite
(GPS) technology, Genesis pinpoints the user to within a few feet of
the location where a transaction is initiated and provides positive
identification. The system uses a small transaction authentication
device and encrypts information to Triple DES security levels before
transmission, confirming location via GPS. WorldPay is a UK-based
company with North American headquarters in Sterling.

--But The Face Looks Familiar
(Hanover, MD) Leading Edge Design & Systems, an integrator of
enterprise-wide multimedia content management and information systems,
introduced a Public Safety & Security Solution that uses biometric and
digital asset management technologies to track potential threats via
facial recognition and searchable video. In conjunction with
Visionics, Virage, RealNetworks, and Rockville, MD-based Artesia.
Leading Edge has designed an end-to-end solution for both real-time
and archival applications, such as creating extensive and searchable
electronic criminal dossiers for law enforcement agencies.

--Speaking of Time And Attendance
(Fairfax, VA) Audiopoint and Chantilly, VA-based NetBase have worked
together to create a voice-enabled version of NetBase's time and
attendance tracking system, easyTIMESHEET. The new functionality
allows users to perform all time and attendance operations via the
telephone by using their voice to answer questions. Features include
customization capabilities and multiple approval options. ;

--Vodium Partners On A/V Platform
(Washington, DC) Vodium and Tustin, CA-based eSynch announce Secure
MediaMosaic, a jointly developed interactive audiovisual presentation
tool with digital rights management (DRM). The product integrates each
company's technology into a platform that combines Vodium's
presentation and video search capabilities with eSynch's media rights
management technology. Its interactive presentation component allows
viewers to search through video and audio libraries by any spoken word
and facilitates the simultaneous synchronized presentation of video,
audio, graphics and Web documents. The DRM component allows content
managers to set up events where viewers may be requested to do such
things as pay a fee, log into a corporate intranet, etc. ;

--CODEON's Optical Modulator Controller
(Columbia, MD) CODEON, a designer and manufacturer of modulators,
optical transponder components and modules for fiber optic
telecommunications, expanded its Mach-10 product line with the
addition of the Modulator Controller. The device combines a 12.5 Gb/s
modulator driver with advanced bias control, dither, and power
conditioning circuitry. According to the company, the integration of
these functions into a single sub-assembly provides space and power
reductions for transponder board designs.

--Longitude's OSS System
(Chantilly, VA) Longitude Systems released Abeo, an operational
support system (OSS) designed to achieve information integration
through data reconciliation. The product uncovers discrepancies in the
data used by traditional systems to help communications service
providers eliminate billing, provisioning and customer-care problems.
According to the company, the operational inefficiencies that erode a
CSP's profitability are rooted largely in the inability to cleanse and
integrate data across OSS systems to produce a unified and accurate
view of the business.

--Openet Opens US Headquarters
(Reston, VA) Dublin, Ireland-based Openet Telecom, a provider of
telecom billing software, announced the opening of its US headquarters
in Reston. Local staffing includes an onsite technical manager,
project managers, senior systems engineers, production support
personnel and service engineers. The company says that a North
American president and additional marketing and sales support will be
added in the future. Openet's flagship product is FusionWorks, a
mediation platform that unifies customer usage patterns from legacy
network infrastructure, IP Networks and next-generation mobile

III> Funding & Finance News
(Falls Church, VA) Capital One Financial will acquire San Diego-based
PeopleFirst, an online provider of direct motor vehicle loans. Capital
One entered the auto finance business in 1998 when it acquired Summit
Acceptance Corporation and is now growing the business as Capital One
Auto Finance. The company says that the acquisition will make it one
of the nation's largest providers of direct-to-consumer auto loans. ;

IV> Who'sware

(Vienna, VA) Convera, a provider of software products that access
unstructured information, named James Buchanan as COO, in addition to
his current responsibilities as CFO.

(Reston, VA) Portris, a productivity software technology firm, named
John McLaine as CEO and Phil Garfinkle as Chairman. McLaine was
formerly with Excel Telecommunications; Garfinkle was the founder of


Thanks for your interest in and support of the Morino Institute's
Netpreneur News is copyright 2001, 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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