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News Center Top Story Archives
Week of January 23, 1997
Issue 2, Volume II
NEWS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
1. Netpreneur News Breaks The 500 Mark
REGIONAL NETPRENEURS
1. CINECOM Automatically Updates Web Photos
2. Information Inc. Provides Executive News
3. Manugistics' Net-Based Supply Chain Managers
4. DIGEX On The March
5. Free Scholarship Search Service
6. Improving Boater Safety
7. Torso To Support Multiple Web Casting Systems
8. IRE To Produce Secure Communications Chip
REGIONAL QUICK HITS
1. Debt Counselors Of America
2. washingtonpost.com's CareerPost Employment Section
3. Washington Tech/Federal Marketplace Partnership
4. Discovery Channel's Wild Discovery Wired
5. ARIS Opens Regional Office
FUNDING & FINANCE NEWS
1. Blue Water Invests In Powerway
2. ACSI Completes Cybergate Acquisition
3. NetStart Completes Expansion Financing
4. Ciena Seeks $100 Million IPO
5. Internet IPO Handbook
UPCOMING EVENTS
Jan. 28-- Washington Technology Internet Summit
Jan. 29-- Angel Investors
Jan. 29-- Unlocking Java
Jan. 29 & Jan. 31-- Publishing on the WWW
Feb. 3-6-- COMNET '97 Conference and Expo
Feb. 4-- Meet Local Providers of Capital
Feb. 4-- Cybersuds
Feb. 11-Mar. 29-- Micro-Business Development
Feb. 19-- How Leading Companies Share Equity
Feb. 20-- Writers and the Internet
Feb. 26-- Agents on the Web


News About The Netpreneur Program

1. NETPRENEUR NEWS BREAKS THE 500 MARK As of today, 520 people have subscribed to Netpreneur News and more are doing so daily. Considering that most of the growth has come from word of mouth requests, it's clear there is remarkable interest in netpreneurial activity among people inside and outside of our region.
Netpreneur News was started less than six months ago as a way to keep in touch with a handful of individuals interested in creating what would later become the Netpreneur Program. Since then, we have received daily requests for subscriptions and the News is becoming the kind of evolving, expanding, interactive network we had hoped for. Many of you have told others about the Program, forwarded copies of Netpreneur News to your colleagues and sent us dozens of kind compliments, comments and suggestions. Thank you for that, and for your continued interest in the Netpreneur Program.
Thanks also to the many people who have sent us information and stories about your organizations for inclusion in the News. Many more people are reading and acting on these stories than even we had anticipated at this stage. With the Netpreneur Exchange web site opening soon, and with greater marketing later in the year, we expect the number of subscribers to balloon, creating even more opportunity to connect, inform and promote netpreneurs in our region. Please keep the feedback and stories coming so we can make the News useful and relevant to you. Send communications to <editor@netpreneur.org>.

Regional Netpreneurs

1. CINECOM AUTOMATICALLY UPDATES WEB PHOTOS
(Woodbridge, VA) CINECOM Corp. announced the beta release of CineVideo/WebShot, a software package that allows web sites to display a series of still shots. When developers connect a video camera to a PC, WebShot software allows the camera to take a picture and store it in a file. Photos continue to be taken at specified intervals, and each successive image replaces the previous one in the file. When the photo changes, the picture on the web page is updated. The person viewing the web page does not need to click on the image to initiate movement. No special plug-ins or browser add-ons are needed, and no program needs to be launched to see the pictures change. A beta test version is available from CINECOM's web site at (http://www.cinecom.com). CINECOM develops desktop video and audio conferencing software. Their flagship product, CineVideo/Direct, is desktop videoconferencing software that works over analog telephone lines, the Internet, ISDN, LANs, and WANs. It offers real-time video, full duplex audio and text communication without the use of a central server.

2. INFORMATION INC. PROVIDES EXECUTIVE NEWS
(Bethesda, MD) Information, Inc. has been commissioned by the Gas Research Institute to provide daily industry newsbriefs for their web site, GRI/Net. Information, Inc. has created a niche in the business intelligence arena with its manually-crafted news summaries. Every morning, the company monitors more than 1,300 information sources including wire services, newspapers, business journals and industry publications. Writers consolidate stories of interest into a manageable daily report. Alain Carr, President of Information Inc. says, "Our news service enhances a web site substantially because important industry news is refreshed daily, giving the targeted audience a reason to visit the site every day."

3. MANUGISTICS' NET-BASED SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGERS
(Rockville, MD) Manugistics Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: MANU) unveiled plans for a family of Internet-based software that will help companies manage their supply chains and related business processes. The new solutions-- Collaborative Web Applets, Supply Chain Broadcasts and Supply Chain Servers-- will build on Internet products and initiatives announced last fall. Collaborative Web Applets allow users to securely collaborate inside and outside their enterprises, including mobile users. Supply Chain Broadcasts use web-enabled technology to deliver updated, personalized supply chain metrics directly to an executive's desktop. Supply Chain Servers provide a way for organizations to deliver value-added services such as continuous replenishment and transportation management to companies or trading communities. Manugistics (http://www.manugistics.com) will make all three available over the course of 1997.

4. DIGEX ON THE MARCH
(Beltsville, MD) Internet provider DIGEX, Inc. (NASDAQ: DIGX) has been a news machine this month. Washington Technology magazine named DIGEX the fastest growing technology firm in the greater Washington area, ranking first among all firms featured in the publication's annual "Fast 50" survey (http://www.wtonline.com/fast_50/fast50_index.html). DIGEX's #1 ranking is the first time that the "Fast 50" has been lead by an Internet carrier. Recently, DIGEX (http://www.digex.net) also announced: plans to work with Cisco Systems to research, integrate and test advanced routing and switching technology; the acquisition of web presence provider Electronic Press Services; and expansion of the company's national network backbone with a new Point of Presence (POP) in Louisville, KY.

5. FREE SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH SERVICE
(Fairfax, VA) Two entrepreneurial information companies, CollegeTown and Scholarship Resource Network, have joined together to provide a free resource for college-bound students in search of scholarship aid. Scholarship Resource Network (SRN) is a database of over 8,000 awards offered by more than 1,500 sponsoring agencies and representing over $25 million. SRN was developed by Daigle and Vierra, Inc., a financial aid and scholarship research company based in Gaithersburg, MD. A student can narrow down the list of awards he or she is qualified for by answering a series of questions. CollegeTown is a joint venture between ReZun Interactive Concepts, Inc. and LAM Technologies, Inc.

6. IMPROVING BOATER SAFETY
(Washington, DC) Prospect Technologies (http://www.access.digex.net/~prostech) recently designed and delivered a secure, web-based system that streamlines the entire incident reporting process for the US Coast Guard's Office of Boating Safety. Previously, the office had to collect and integrate vast numbers of reports from all 50 states whenever there was a recreational boating accident-- reports that came by fax, email, snail-mail and from many computer platforms. Documents had to be rekeyed, errors were rife and analysis was slowed tremendously. The Prospect-designed system changes all that. An open face to the site (http://www.access.digex.net/~prostech/uscg/) offers electronic versions of agency publications, news and other information.

7. TORSO TO SUPPORT MULTIPLE WEB CASTING SYSTEMS
(Washington, DC) One of the problems with webcasting and other push technologies is that each company-- PointCast, FreeLoader, etc.-- requires content providers to develop for their individual authoring platforms. That can be a massive investment if you're a netpreneurial content provider hoping to use their services. Three local entrepreneurs recently formed Torso, a company whose products will demystify the babel and allow content providers to develop for all systems at once. The complete story, including their search for funding, appeared in Washington Technology and can be found at (http://www.wtonline.com/front_page/torso.html#A)

8. IRE TO PRODUCE SECURE COMMUNICATIONS CHIP
(Baltimore, MD) Information Resource Engineering Inc. (IRE) (Nasdaq/NM:IREG), announced plans for a unique communications chip which it says will dramatically reduce the cost of secure communications devices. The new IRE chip combines encryption and communications functions, such as modems and LAN adapters, on a single, low-cost integrated circuit. The new chip can be used to build products based on a new IRE patent for portable encrypting and authenticating devices such as pocket-sized devices like PCMCIA and Smartcard-based secure tokens. The patent is adaptable to modems and newer network technologies including ISDN, ADSL and cable modems. There is support for a wide range of standard cryptographic operations and protocols. IRE is at (http://www.ire.com).

Regional Quick Hits

1. Rockville-based Debt Counselors of America is a not-for-profit organization that assists families and individuals with debt, credit, money, and financial questions, problems or difficulties. Their new web site at (http://www.dcs.org) has special programs to help consumers deal with debt including publications, information, software and a forum where they can ask debt-related questions.

2. washingtonpost.com's CareerPost Employment Section (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/classifieds/careerpost/front.htm) has a new face and functionality including a new VDB application that allows CareerPost users to construct a query, based on their personal criteria. The single query initiates a search of several databases, including the previous two weeks of The Post's classified ads. The site averages well over 300,000 job searches a month.

3. Washington Technology announced a partnership with the Federal Marketplace to enhance it's WT Online web site (http://www.wtonline.com). The site will provide tools to help users win federal contracts including access to the Federal contract database, details on existing federal procurements, searchable Commerce Business Daily, and financial and legal contracting information.

4. Bethesda-based Discovery Channel Online (http://www.discovery.com) is introducing a new feature, Wild Discovery Wired, which puts users directly in touch with experts in natural history and with one another. Wild Discovery Wired features a different topic each week linked directly to the themes featured on Discovery Channel's popular nightly series, Wild Discovery.

5. ARIS Corporation (http://www.ariscorp.com) of Seattle, WA has opened a new regional consulting and training facility in Fairfax, VA. The company is an information systems consulting, training and software development firm that helps businesses and government organizations use client/server, Internet and intranet technologies.

Funding & Finance News

1. BLUE WATER INVESTS IN POWERWAY
(McLean, VA) Blue Water Capital, L.L.C. has made an equity investment in Powerway, Inc. Powerway provides scaleable, PC-based software applications and educational programs for compliance management. The products are designed to reduce the time to perform compliance tasks by 50% or more. The customer base of more than 20,000 users world wide includes companies impacted by quality standards like ISO 9000 and regulation imposed by organizations such as FDA, OSHA and HCFA. Established in 1987, the privately held Powerway is based in Indianapolis, IN. Blue Water Capital is a venture capital firm that provides equity financing for private, middle and expansion stage companies in the US and Canada. The firm is currently raising and investing a $100 million private equity fund called the Blue Water Strategic Fund I, L.L.C.. The Fund has targeted investments in the information and telecommunications sectors, specialty chemicals/advanced materials and financial services industries. Two of Blue Water's Managing Directors, Michael Acheson and Henry Barratt will join Powerway's board.

2. ACSI COMPLETES CYBERGATE ACQUISITION
(Annapolis Junction, MD) American Communications Services, Inc. (ACSI) (Nasdaq: ACNS) announced that it has completed its acquisition of CyberGate, Inc., a Florida-based Internet Service Provider. The purchase price was paid in one million shares of ASCI's common stock, with an additional 150,000 shares issuable if CyberGate meets certain performance goals. ACSI is a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) that builds its own local fiber optic networks and offers special access, switched voice and data network solutions to business and government customers in mid-sized markets principally in the southern US. ACSI today has 21 local networks operating and 15 under construction. Subject to availability of additional funding, the company plans to have a total of 50 cities in operation or under construction by mid-1998. ACSI (http://www.acsi.net) recently announced local fiber optic network starts in six new markets: Tampa, FL; Rio Rancho, NM; Austin, TX; Roanoke, VA; Savannah, GA and Knoxville, TN. ACSI acquired CyberGate as part of its strategy to broaden sales and marketing channels for its family of data communications products and to offer customers a wider range of Internet services.

3. NETSTART COMPLETES EXPANSION FINANCING
(Reston, VA) NetStart, Inc. (http://www.netstartinc.com), developer of web-based recruiting and human resource applications, has completed an expansion round of financing, totaling $4.6 million. Venture capitalist Neil Weintraut of 21st Century Internet Venture Partners and existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA) are the major investors for this latest round. Weintraut has been appointed to NetStart's Board of Directors. He is the former head of the Internet practice at Hambrecht & Quist and recently formed 21st Century Internet Venture, based in San Francisco, CA. NEA is a $1.1. billion venture firm with offices in Northern Virginia, Menlo Park, CA and Baltimore, MD. The financing will allow NetStart to deliver new products and accelerate its marketing efforts, as well as expand its sales and marketing channels nationally.

4. CIENA SEEKS $100 MILLION IPO
(Savage, MD) Ciena Corp. is a telecommunications company seeking to launch the region's largest IPO to date-- some $100 million, which would give it a market capitalization of about $1.8 billion. The company makes MultiWave 1600, a product that increases the capacity of fiber-optic networks by 16 times. The company has already received some $40 million with it's two biggest shareholders being Sevin Rosen Entities of Dallas, TX and Interwest of Menlo Park, CA. Goldman, Sachs & Co. is lead underwriter for the IPO. For more information, see the 1/13/97 Washington Business Journal or (http://www.amcity.com/washington/stories/011397/story1.html).

5. INTERNET IPO HANDBOOK
(Arcadia, CA) For $195, Prestige IPO (http://www.prestigeipo.com) is offering The Internet IPO Handbook. According to the company, "This Regulation D 504 handbook gives you everything you need to do your own offering, up to $1,000,000." Prestige IPO also offers consulting assistance for companies seeking to sell stock over the Internet.

Upcoming Events

Washington Technology Internet Summit
Jan. 28, Contact: Esther Smith at <Esthersmit@aol.com> or 703/848-2800
Features well-known speakers from top Internet companies in the region, as well as bankers and venture capitalists.

Angel Investors...They Go Where Bankers Fear To Tread
Jan. 29, 7:30-9:30 am, Pooks Hill Marriott, Bethesda, MD
Contact: Scott Gilmore <sgilmore@wam.umd.edu>
B-W Venture Group Networking Breakfast sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center and The Private Investors Network.

Unlocking Java
Jan. 29, 7:00 pm, Nat'l Science Foundation, Arlington, VA
Contact: (http://www.shirenet.com) or <jeff_graber@compuware.com>
Presentation by Nat Hall. Meeting of the DC Internet Developers Assoc. Free.

Publishing on the World Wide Web
Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, noon-4:00 pm
YouthLink Internet Training Lab
733 15th Street, NW, Suite 251
Contact: (http://www.net-writer.org), <washwriter@aol.com> or 202/347-3973
"Learn to make your own home page and market it online. For experienced Netizens." Sponsored by Washington Independent Writers. Members, $135; non-members, $150.

COMNET '97 Conference and Expo
Feb. 3-6, Washington DC Convention Center
Contact: (http://www.mha.com/comnet/)
"The nation's largest wide-area networking event featuring exhibitions from more than 500 of the industry's leading networking companies."

Meet Local Providers of Capital
Feb. 4, 5:45-8:30 pm, Tyson's Corner Marriott, Vienna, VA
Contact: Scott Gilmore <sgilmore@wam.umd.edu>
Reception for entrepreneurs to meet local providers of capital. Sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center.

Cybersuds
Feb. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Bistro Bistro, 4301 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA
Contact: (http://www.cybersurfing.com/nms) or <lkolker@sylph.com>
Regular meeting of the New Media Society of Washington. Steve Crawford, Director of Marketing and Sales for Shore Studios, an outsource shop for ad agencies, database firms and graphic designers, will speak about the process of working with clients to put up web sites, coordinating with programmers and HTML coders and bringing it all together. This will be a peer-to-peer session, an opportunity to share problems and solutions. $5 for non-members.

Micro-Business Development Program
Tuesdays and Saturdays from February 11-March 29
Contact: 703/277-7700
A course offered by the Northern Virginia Small Business Development Center (NVSBDC). NVSBDC also offers numerous other courses including basic small business courses in Developing a Business Plan (Jan. 30) and Creating Financial Strategies (Feb. 6).

Growing Your Business: How Leading Companies Share Equity
Feb. 19, 7:30 am-5:00 pm
The Inn & Conference Center, College Park, MD
Contact: Scott Gilmore <sgilmore@wam.umd.edu> Sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center.

Writers and the Internet
Feb. 20, 6:30-9:30 pm, National Press Club
Contact: (http://www.net-writer.org), <washwriter@aol.com> or 202/347-3973 "A Washington Independent Writers Professional Development Program, taught by Gabe Goldberg. Advocates the Internet as a superb tool for research, communication and productivity enhancement." Cost: members, $45; non-members, $55.

Agents on the Web
Feb. 26, 7:00 pm, Nat'l Science Foundation, Arlington, VA
Contact: (http://www.shirenet.com/dcida) or <jeff_graber@compuware.com> Presentation by Mike McMorris. Regular meeting of the DC Internet Developers Association. Free.


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