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Week of March 6th, 1997
Issue 5, Volume II
1. Investor Breakfast Sparks Collaboration
2. Better Living Through Connectivity
3. Look Out, Starbucks! 2nd Coffee & DoughNets Draws 100
1. Access Beyond Unveils Advanced T1/E1 Remote Access
2. Webthreads Supports Web Direct Marketing
3. Prospect Puts Hemispheric Societies On The Web
4. AOL Opens Chat Rooms To Advertisers
5. New Products From Sterling Include Legacy Integration
1. ACE*COMM And Microsoft: Desktop Network Management
2. UOL And DEC To Create Online University
1. Triad Investors Corp. Is Active In The Region
2. New Acquisition Plans... And New Name... For PAI
3. Forum To Attract Funding For Area Tech Businesses
4. Verio Invests In Maryland ISPs
1. Nominations For Leadership In Technology Award
2. WT Online: Regional Technology News On The Web
1. How Good Is Your Registration Data?
2. Narrowcasting Site Promotion
3. More Confusion Over Intellectual Property?
4. Investors Are Going To School For Net-Based Businesses
Mar. 8-- Creating World Wide Web Pages
Mar. 10-- Attracting Human Capital Via the Internet
Mar. 12-- Digital Dilemmas: Defining Ethics in the Internet Age
Mar. 12-- Venture Capital Due Diligence: How It Works
Mar. 12-- Business Growth of Privately Held Companies
Mar. 14-- NVTC Capital Formation Committee Meeting
Mar. 17-- How To Build A Successful Consulting Business
Mar. 18-19-- Networked Economy Conference
Mar. 20-- NVTC Titans of Technology General Membership Breakfast
Mar. 20-- CFO Forum: Strategic Partnering in IT and Life Sciences
Mar. 25-27-- Communication Design Engineering Conference
Mar. 26-- How to Successfully Work With the Press
Mar. 27-28-- First Annual Conference of Univ. Entrepreneurship Centers
Apr. 9, 10-- Doing Business on the Internet
Apr. 16-17-- Possibilities, Perils and Profits of Product Development in the Digital Age

News About The Netpreneur Program

On February 26, the Netpreneur Program hosted the first of a series of Investor Breakfasts with our region's venture capital community. It is part of the Program's efforts, in concert with regional venture networking groups, to encourage investment growth in Greater Washington's digital age businesses. The Breakfasts are held to stimulate discussion on ways to improve the efficiency of the venture funding process and co-investment. Peter Barris, General Partner of NEA, commented, "What I saw at Thursday's Investor Breakfast was a recognition on the part of the venture community of the real opportunity in this region. The meeting sparked an energy level that I haven't seen before. The venture capitalists who attended expressed a desire to communicate and collaborate in a way that will support entrepreneurial endeavors and create an environment that fosters growth in this region." Participating were 9 members of 8 different venture firms. It was the first time that these firms have come together as a group for the sole purpose of sharing their ideas and stories. Putting words into action, a number of the attending firms began exploring co-investment opportunities within 24 hours of the Breakfast. It is hoped that the pooling of resources by area firms will leverage the strengths of those involved.

What's the Netpreneur Program really all about? The power of communication. Here's a story, anecdotal but meaningful, of the interconnected environment we hope to facilitate. One day, while doing research for the Netpreneur News, we uncovered a story about a planned unified message product from a major software company. It was interesting enough to forward to others working on the Program. One team members, in turn, sent it to Bob Nelson, President of CrossMedia, a regional netpreneur developing a similar product. The timing was perfect and Bob researched the competing product to prepare himself for a scheduled presentation to a top-flight VC firm. He compiled a list of the advantages of CrossMedia over the competitor. At his presentation, Bob was able to nail the answer when asked how CrossMedia compared to the other product-- just 10 days after the competitor's announcement. The firm concluded that CrossMedia had clearly done its homework and invited Bob to present at their partners meeting. If we can create these patterns-- and practices-- of communication and knowledge exchange across the netpreneur community, we all increase our chance to succeed.

With 100 people attending, the second Coffee & DoughNets was successful in bringing together members of the netpreneur community to connect and exchange ideas face-to-face. The next session will be held on March 14 at the Tysons Corner Sheraton Premiere beginning at 7:30 AM. You must RSVP to attend. To do so, send an e-mail to and include your name, company, e-mail address and a brief description of your business (2-3 lines.) It is important to get this description to us by March 12 so that we can make the information available to the group. We will also provide a table for those wishing to make company information available. Please notify us if you will be bringing collateral or making a special announcement. Hope to see you there. Coffee & DoughNets are held biweekly. For more information, visit (

Regional Netpreneurs

(Gaithersburg, MD) Access Beyond, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACCB) introduced two new remote access servers, targeted specifically at Internet Service Providers, the AB-T1240 and AB-E1300. At $499 per port fully configured with all software and hardware options, the company claims the two servers offer the most advanced and lowest priced T1 and E1 remote access solutions. The servers are modular, allowing for expansion and swapping of option cards as needs change. Access Beyond is at (

(Vienna, VA) Webthreads LLC released two new products, WebTailor and ThreadTrack, both designed to support personalizing Web advertising and marketing efforts. WebTailor allows a site to store data about a visitor's demographics and preferences gathered either explicitly (asking questions) or implicitly (inferring preferences from visitor actions). Web content can then be tailored dynamically to that visitor using IDML (Interactive Direct Marketing Language), an extension of HTML. It does not require programming skills or user registration. ThreadTrack provides aggregate information used by marketing analysts to determine the effectiveness of various Web communications and promotions. For example, it can tell how much traffic has resulted from banner ads or links from other sites. It also lets marketers view the precise click stream of individual visitors.

(Washington, DC) Prospect Technologies will design and implement a new Web site for the affiliated Americas Society and the Council of the Americas. The site will broaden the organizations' educational advocacy and policy discussions efforts and will give members fuller and faster access to both policy monitoring and meetings featuring nation leaders. In addition, Prospect ( will provide support for the computer and communications networks of the Council and the Americas Society.

(Dulles, VA) America Online will open its chat rooms to advertisers, effective immediately. AOL's chat area, known collectively as "People Connection," is so popular that the system creates up to 14,000 chat rooms a day with as many as 23 people in each. Advertisements will be placed in the public areas (but not the private chat rooms) of the "People Connection" and refreshed and rotated every 60 seconds, using AOL's new ad server technology. This will generate 360 million impressions every month. Advertisers will be able to rotate up to four creative executions in any single ad space they buy. Members click the ads to go to the advertiser's Web site, AOL content area or a custom-created application. According to Robert Pittman, President and CEO of AOL Networks, Inc., "Over 70% of our members chat and we log 1,000,000 hours of chat every day, a figure that has more than doubled over the last six months."

(Reston, VA) Sterling Software, Inc.'s (NYSE: SSW) VM Software Division released VM:Webserver Gateway, an extension of its VM:Webserver product, that provides easy access to "green-screen," 3270 mainframe applications via a browser. It allows Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts to handle nonstandard, nonlinemode, and "homegrown" applications and also allows access to 3270 applications that run on other computing platforms such as OS/390 (MVS) and VSE. Using the mainframe programming language REXX, preconfigured CGI scripts can be edited or used as templates to create customized interfaces that fit into the overall look and feel of an organization's intranet. Sterling also announced Release 1.2 of VM:Webserver, adding functions that improve CGI script processing, simplify Web authoring and increase security. For more, see the Netpreneur Success Story at (


(Gaithersburg, MD) ACE*COMM Corp. (Nasdaq: ACEC) has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft to provide network management technology to the desktop, integrating Microsoft's products with the underlying technology of ACE*COMM's NetPlus WinSNMP. ACE*COMM develops operations support systems (OSS) products for networks as well as network and service management systems. According to Joe Dorr, Vice President of the NET*COMM Division. "A key component of our business plan for the NetPlus product is to penetrate the network management market at the desktop level, with a software back-plane which works with our other enterprise and carrier class products."

(McLean, VA) UOL Publishing, Inc., (Nasdaq: UOLP), a publisher of Web-based courseware for the academic and corporate education markets, signed an agreement with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to create an interactive online university. As part of the pilot agreement, UOL has received an up-front commitment of approximately $100,000 from DEC to develop the DIGITAL Virtual Campus (DVC) and a six-hour DEC sales certificate course. The DVC will offer interactive Web-based training for DEC's sales channel partners and the two companies will work to create an online version of DEC's sales certificate course. UOL is at (

Funding & Finance News

Capital Growth Interactive ( reports a number of recent regional deals, by Triad Investors Corp., including $8 million follow-on financing in expansion capital for wireless manufacturer Communications Systems Technology, Inc. (CSTI) of Columbia, MD; $1.25 million in start-up capital for Netsolv, a developer of IT asset management products based in Gaithersburg, MD; and $9 million in expansion capital for WAN products manufacturer Visual Networks of Rockville, MD.

(Annapolis, MD) The Board of Directors of Pacific Animated Imaging Corp. (PAI) (Nasdaq: PAID, Boston: PAD) has authorized, pending shareholder approval, a 3-for-2 stock split which, according to Chairman and CEO, John J. Cadigan, "can facilitate our corporate strategy of expansion though acquisitions for future growth." The company is a developer of custom interactive multimedia software in the areas of Internet/Intranet, process enhancement, technical documentation, performance support, training and groupware software integration. PAI recently acquired 2 software companies: US Technologies, a Tampa-based systems integrator best known for its work as a Lotus Notes Premium Business Partner; and Forsight Inc., a developer of interactive multimedia software. PAI also announced its intention to change its name to Strategic Solutions Group, Inc. The change will become effective upon shareholder approval and the company will change its trading symbols on Nasdaq and the Boston stock exchanges to SSGI.

Publicly-traded tech companies in the DC metropolitan area will have a chance to impress Wall Street this summer during the first Capital Region Technology Investor Conference. Alfred R. Berkeley, President of NASDAQ, and James V. Kimsey, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of AOL, are co-chairing the conference. Local investor relations entrepreneur Doug Poretz, who is organizing the event, told the Washington Business Journal (2/21/97-2/27/97) that despite the promising growth of technology business in the area, many companies still haven't caught institutional investors' eyes. This three-day, invitation-only event, scheduled for June at the Lansdowne Resort near Dulles airport), will give them that opportunity, he says. The event will serve as a forum for both emerging privately-held firms and public companies with small market capitalizations. Up to 75 companies will make presentations at the show, paying a $3,000 fee to do so ($2,500 for members of NVTC or SMHTC). Sponsors have committed more than $500,000 to the conference, and several local business groups are signed to serve as partners. For further information, contact Jeanette Carlisle or Mary Nugent at 703/442-8162. (Copyright Information, Inc. Courtesy of MCI.)

(Englewood, CO) World-Net Access has changed its name to Verio, Inc., ( becoming a new Internet network with a high-speed national backbone and service through local Internet Service Providers (ISP). A recent private venture capital investment of $80 million let Verio buy into 17 regional ISPs across the country, including Frederick Network Technologies ( of Frederick, MD, and Internet Interstate (, part of Internet Online of Bethesda, MD. Verio currently has some 50 points of presence across the US.

Regional News

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) will present its Earle C. Williams Leadership in Technology Award on May 14, 1997, at the Annual Greater Washington Region High Tech Awards Dinner. The award is named in honor of Earle C. Williams, a pioneer in the region's technology business sector. It recognizes the person who has made the most significant contribution to the growth and prosperity of the Northern Virginia technology business community. A committee made up of the previous award winners will accept and review nominations with final selections made by the NVTC Board of Directors. Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, March 28. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit ( or contact Denise Rogers at 703/904-7878.

(Washington, DC) Washington Technology has delivered a new, expanded Web site at ( which provides immediate access to regional technology news from the latest issue of the magazine. In addition, the site features Breaking News which appears between print editions, archives of previous stories, calendar and, soon, a classified recruiting section. Through a partnership with Federal Marketplace, the site delivers tools to help win government contracts, such as access to the Federal contract database, details on existing procurements and financial and legal contracting information. Access is free, but previous WTOnline users will need to register again.


How often do people falsify online registration information? According to Georgia Tech's 6th Survey of Internet Users, 33.5% of over 15,000 respondents say they have provided false information to Web site registration questions. Of those, 66.5% do so infrequently (less than 25% of the time) and 33.5% say they do it frequently (more than 25% of the time). The most widely cited reason for not registering is that use of the information is not clearly specified (70.15%) and cited almost as frequently is that the requested information is not worth being able to access the site (69.95%). Over 62% report that they do not trust the collecting site. The time it takes to complete the form is a factor (38.9%), but not as significant as the others. The complete survey, which includes considerable demographic data on age, sex, politics, buying patterns, opinions and preferences can be found at (

The first step in establishing site exposure is, of course, listing your name and URL on the search engines. But as these services continue to amass listings at a breathtaking pace, some Web users find them less useful, notes marketing expert Eric Ward in NetMarketing (3-97) ( Search for the two-word combo "business marketing" in Alta Vista and the engine will turn up 10,000 listings. "Therein lies the problem," Ward writes. "The general search engines are too good for their own good." Increasingly, users with specific subjects in mind are turning to more targeted sources, such as topic-specific search engines and directories, affinity audience collections, or subject indexes with reviews from in-the-know Netizens. List your site on an engine that targets your desired audience, and chances are good you'll see an increased number of visitors. Ward lists a few examples: For manufacturing businesses, there's the MRO Explorer (; to target women, the WWWomen Search Directory (; to draw small business owners, the Money$earch engine ( (Copyright Information, Inc. Courtesy of MCI.)

(Washington, DC) The Ad Hoc Copyright Coalition (AHCC), a group of international trade associations and Internet and telecommunications companies, has urged Congress to enact legislation to clarify the language attached to two new international copyright treaties before they are ratified. The two treaties, adopted by the UN-sponsored World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), are designed to update and extend international copyright law to digital environments and the Internet. Washington, DC-based AHCC is asking Congress to clarify in law the nature of "communication through digital means" and "right of reproduction." both troubling areas to electronic publishers and service providers. AHCC is concerned that when the two treaties establish for copyright holders "a new exclusive right of communication to the public," that the people who provide servers, facilities or software which enable the communication not become responsible for any abuses. As AHCC says, "physical facilities for enabling or making a communication does not in itself amount to communication." The issue in "right of reproduction" concerns whether or not we violate copyright when a temporary file is downloaded into Random Access Memory (RAM) while browsing or otherwise using the Internet. Although WIPO seems to reject the idea that it does, some content owners are arguing otherwise and suggest that other statements from the organization make the treaty less-than clear. "Failure to deal with these copyright issues appropriately," AHCC warns, "will lead to wasteful and costly litigation and business uncertainty, hindering the development of the Internet."

Investors are increasingly scouting colleges and universities for new Internet-based business plans that could turn into hot new ventures. Bloomberg Personal (2-97/3-97) reports that schools--particularly business schools--are fertile ground for innovative business ideas; this holds true for potential net-based startups. Entrepreneur-turned-investor George Chryssis discovered Collegescape , a company started by doctoral student John Pyrovalakis, through a business-plan contest at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Chryssis expects the new firm, which enables students to apply to colleges directly via the Net, to give him 40-50 percent return on his investment. A more famous student idea that became a lucrative investment, of course, is Netscape. Created by Marc Andreessen while an undergraduate, the program went on to make early investors very rich. While not all ingenious student ideas will prove so lucrative, Netscape is by no means an isolated success story. As a Stanford University Graduate School of Business student, Steven Aldrich had an idea for selling insurance policies on the Net. Investor backing and tweaking helped to eventually turn his plan into Insuremarket, which was sold to Intuit for about $9 million in stock last year. Both institutional and individual investors are finding Net startups at schools. Bloomberg reports that in Silicon Valley, venture firms hire business students to sniff out potential ideas among their colleagues. This approach led to the Mayfield Fund's $1 million investment in Focalink , a business started by two Stanford business students that helps ad firms and publishers place ads on the Web. Business schools, meanwhile, are working to draw individual investors--responsible for the bulk of startup funding--to their students. Some solicit local investors to help students foster their ideas. Schools also sponsor student organizations and offer alumni services to help link student entrepreneurs to investors. In one of the more ambitious efforts, the University of Texas at Austin launched the Capital Network in 1989 to connect tech ventures with investors. Capital Network has since grown to work with 1,000 potential startups across the United States. (Copyright Information, Inc. Courtesy MCI.) Upcoming Events

Creating World Wide Web Pages
Mar. 8, 9:00 am-noon, CPCUG Headquarters, Rockville, MD
Contact: ( or 301/762-9372
Sponsored by Capital PC User Group. $40 nonmembers/$20 members.

Attracting Human Capital Via the Internet
Mar. 10, 8:00-9:00 am, Tower Club, McLean, VA
Contact: (,
Presentation by Robert J. McGovern, President and CEO of NETSTART, Inc.
Sponsored by Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Digital Dilemmas: Defining Ethics in the Internet Age
Mar. 12, 8:30 am-1:00 pm, Marymount University, Arlington, VA Contact: (
Conference for high-tech companies, consumer advocates, cybernauts, academicians and policy makers surveying the landscape of ethical considerations in the Internet Age. Speakers and panelists include: Rep. Tom Bliley, Chairman, House Commerce Committee; John Sidgmore, CEO of UUNet, Technologies, Inc.; Bill Melton, President and CEO of CyberCash, Inc.; Don Heath, President of the Internet Society and many others. $100. $40 for students.

Venture Capital Due Diligence: How It Works
Mar. 12, 7:30-9:30 am
Holiday Inn Tysons Corner, McLean, VA
Contact: Scott Gilmore (
B-W Venture Group Networking Breakfast sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center.

Business Growth of Privately Held Companies
Mar. 12, 8:00-10:30 am, McLean Hilton, McLean, VA
Contact: Lynn McUmber at 703/-917-1724
Second in a seminar series on Strategic Planning for Growing Technology Companies sponsored by area businesses. Others in the series include: How to Successfully Plan and Execute an IPO, Apr. 12; and Now You Are Public, June 4. $45 each seminar.

NVTC Capital Formation Committee Meeting
Mar. 14, 8:00 am, Signal Corp., Fairfax, VA
Contact: Tom McVey 202/289-6200 or (
Presentation by Brian Scherer, Vice President, Greyrock Business Credit. Sponsored by Northern Virginia Technology Council.

How To Build A Successful Consulting Business
Mar. 17, 7:30-9:30 am
Entrepreneurs Workshop, Univ. of MD Baltimore County
Contact: Scott Gilmore (
B-W Venture Group Networking Breakfast sponsored by the Univ. of Maryland's Dingman Center.

Networked Economy Conference
Mar. 18-19, Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, McLean, VA
Contact: (
Presentations and panels by "the world's foremost business, technology and political leaders whose visions shape the Networked Economy." including Marc Andreessen, Eric Benhamou, Steve Case and Larry Ellison. $1250.

NVTC Titans of Technology General Membership Breakfast
Mar. 20, 8:00 am, McLean Hilton, Tysons Corner VA
Contact: (
Presentation by Mark Walsh, Senior VP of Enterprise for America Online Networks. Sponsored by NVTC, Signet Bank and Price Waterhouse.

CFO Forum: Strategic Partnering in IT and Life Sciences
Mar. 20, 3:00-6:00 pm, Pooks Hill Marriott, Bethesda, MD
Contact: 301/258-5005
Joint Program of the Suburban Maryland High Tech Council and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Speakers: Fred Frank, Managing Director, Lehmann Bros.; Charlie Federman, Broadview Assoc.; Marc Schneebaum, Sr. VP and CFO, Genetic Therapy, Inc. $15.

Communication Design Engineering Conference
Mar. 25-27, Washington Convention Center
Contact: (
60 tutorials offered over three days to help designers and engineers of telecommunications and data communications equipment "keep abreast of the latest technologies and applications."

How to Successfully Work With the Press
Mar. 26, 8:00-9:30 am, Greensboro Dr., McLean, VA
Presentation by Trish Gilmartin-Williams, Editor, and John Hurley, VP, both of Washington Technology. Sponsored by the NVTC. Limited space.

First Annual Conference of Univ. Entrepreneurship Centers
Mar. 27-28, Maryland Business School, College Park, MD
Contact: Scott Gilmore (
Sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.

Doing Business on the Internet
Apr. 9, 3:00-6:30 pm, Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, VA
Apr. 10, 2:00-5:30 pm, Renaissance Hotel, Baltimore, MD
Contact: (
Topics include accessing capital on the Net, intellectual property, netting your data, investigation and discovery of data. Speakers include Russ Ramsey, President of Friedman Billings Ramsey; Thomas Hewitt, President of Federal Sources; and Charles L. Bennett, Dir. of Corporate Financing of the NASD Regulation, Inc. Sponsored by McGuire Woods Battle & Boothe, LLP. $75.

Possibilities, Perils and Profits of Product Development in the Digital Age
Apr. 16-17, McLean Hilton, Tysons Corner, VA
Contact: ( or
Information Industry Association (IIA) Technology Workshop designed to help information and technology providers make better decisions about the business realities of information content and technology integration. Presentations include: Is the Internet going to break?, Which authoring tools for large Web sites?, Push vs. Pull Publishing, Is Technology Eroding Your Brand Equity?, product demonstrations and more. Cost varies.

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