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Week of August 21st, 1997
Issue 17, Volume II
1. We May Have Underestimated The Interest In PR
2. What's The Buzz?: PR For The Start-Up Netpreneur
3. Making Connections ... Fast
4. Navigating Cyberspace Tax Policy
1. The Sync Brings Classic Films To The Net
2. Biztrans Offers Billing Software And PC-To-Phone Calls
3. IsoQuest Releases Personal Discovery Tool
4. Simutronics Launches New Advertising Program
5. WirelessNOW Adds Industry Updates
6. CAIS Offers Global Internet Roaming Service
7. Federal Filings Launches High-Yield Securities Comment
1. UOL and Trade Compass Create International Biz Academy
2. CyberCash Offers Yen-Based Transactions in Japan
1. IPO Satisfaction Survey Results
2. Bear Stearns Launches New Venture Capital Effort
3. Best Software To Offer Shares
4. Second Quarter VC Investments Surge to All-Time High
1. IIA Seeks Nominations For Entrepreneur Of The Year Award
2. A Little Light Reading For The Beach
3. What's The Future Of Wireless?
4. AGD Database Of Net Professionals

News About The Netpreneur Program

If we were an airline, we'd be offering an upgrade to first class on your next flight to Newark, but since we're a non-profit, all we've got to give are apologies. By this morning, more than 160 of you had already signed up for the September 3 event, Ask The PR Experts, and requests are still coming in. That's just a little more than the room can hold. We've started sending out confirmation messages and will continue over the next several days, doing our best to accommodate as many people as possible. Unfortunately, some will have to be turned away. As mentioned in the original messages, preference will be given to netpreneurs. Clearly, PR is a high interest area (see the next story), and we've already begun kicking around other ideas for events, resources and discussions on the subject, so if we miss you this time, look for more to come. Please send any ideas of your own to And look for the transcript of September 3 event at the Netpreneur Exchange Web site within a few days of the event.

Speaking of PR, how did you choose your PR firm? Are firms worth it? What experience have you had providing the press with unsolicited releases about your new company or product? Are there specific avenues to take that could render a better response rate?

Speaking of PR is one thing they've been doing in Talk the Talk, our netpreneur email discussion group. Pam Maloney of Inner Vista Corporation & Eolian, Inc., seeks advice from netpreneurs who have dealt with (or decided not to deal with) public relations companies. Do they really give a new company a jump-start in the industry? One participant commented, "Even on your own, when you come out shooting that aggressively, you are bound to hit targets." But adds, "The question is at what cost. Is the CEO in the position to devote a percentage of time to PR? My experience has been that generally they are too busy moving forward to delegate their vision for the marketing." Another individual adds, "Many small PR firms have little experience with the Web and promotion on the Web. You need to find somebody with that kind of experience."

What do you think? Join in on this and other engaging discussions at Talk the Talk.

Talk the Talk:

The Netpreneur Program's thematic discussion groups are bringing together people who have questions on net-centric business with those who have the experience to answer them. Netpreneurs are finding these answers and solving problems in a matter of days. In mid-June, Gene Bellinger of OutSights asked Talk the Talk for an ISP that would meet his very specific processing and operating needs. He got ten referrals and wrote, "Of the ten ISPs that contacted me, three seemed to have the right mental frame of mind to deal with me and my requirements. Of the three, one has been selected." OutSights will get online by October 1. As a result of Gene's inquiry to the discussion group, he found Brent Stock, president of Internet Connection, a regional ISP. "I found just what I seemed to be looking for," comments Gene.

Internet Connection: or

Ernst & Young LLP and Netpreneur Program cordially invite you to attend a breakfast seminar on "Navigating Cyberspace Tax Policy." The seminar will take place on Tuesday, September 23, from 8:00-10:00am at the Fairview Park Marriott, 3111 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, Virginia. The hotel is located at Exit 8 off 495, Route 50 East. There is no fee to attend and CPE credit will be given. Income taxes, sales and use taxes and other taxes are very real in the virtual world of cyberspace. Much uncertainty exists as to how these taxes should be applied to the Internet and online services. Join us to learn more about this matter and how your company may be impacted. CFOs, Controllers, Directors of Tax, ISPs, content providers, telecommunications providers, enabling services and equipment providers will find this seminar to be informative and timely. The information provided will be useful to companies at all stages of development and may very well help corporate executives and netpreneurs alike avoid some unnecessary pitfalls and stumbling blocks in the future.

For additional information or to reserve your seat, please visit:

Regional Netpreneurs

(College Park, MD) Nosferatu, the 1922 classic silent horror film, is now available on the Internet. The Sync, an Internet audio/video cybercast consulting company, has arranged with Lennane Communications and the Jeff Aikman Archive to make this film available in RealVideo format. Other films from the Archive such as "The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari" (1919), will also be made available at The Sync Web site. In other news, The Sync is introducing its Upload Your Visions campaign, where the company will encode and host for free the first 12 five-minute and the first 6 ten-minute videos received. "We want to see what kind of creative genius there is out there to use the new medium of Internet video," says Thomas Edwards, president of The Sync. "We envision The Sync as being a virtual video village of independently produced, on-demand video and exciting, large-audience live cybercasts of interest to Internet viewers." The free offer is only available to non-commercial videos, and the submitters must have the appropriate rights to the audio and video content. Both VHS and 8mm formats will be accepted.

The Sync:

(Springfield, VA) Biztrans Technology, Inc. announced the roll out of BizBill, calling it the first billing software dedicated for Internet Service Providers (ISP) offering voice-over-the-Internet services through the VocalTec Internet Telephony Gateway. Biztrans, a system and software development company as well as an Internet Telephony solution provider, introduced the Windows-based software to assist ISPs in managing their POP accounts. The BizBill product integrates customer account management, invoice management, payment log control and system administration. Additionally, it provides analytical tools to effectively assess the usage of the Telephony Gateway service and help maximize efficiency and operational capabilities. The company also announced its participation in VocalTec's virtual worldwide PC-to-phone calling network. Through the network, business and home users anywhere in the world with multimedia PCs and dial-up Internet connections can make low-cost calls to regular phones in the US, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Lebanon and Korea. By calling through the Biztrans Internet Telephony Network service, international calls to these regions can save subscribers up to 80% off traditional calling rates. You can get the software and account registration information at the Biztrans Web site.


(Fairfax, VA) IsoQuest, Inc. announced the newest update to the company's personal information management tool, NetOwl Desktop. Incorporating advanced natural language processing technology, NetOwl extracts, analyzes, indexes and summarizes information from files on the user's local drive, networked file servers, corporate intranets and the Internet. The new preview version of NetOwl incorporates Outside In file-viewing and text access technology from Inso Corp. as well as a full-text indexing engine from Utah-based InfoSphere, Inc. Features of NetOwl include: a browsable index, summarization, personalized intelligent agents, relevance ranking, support for over 200 file formats and native viewing.


(Rockville, MD) Simutronics Corp. launched a new advertising sales program for its line of multiplayer game sites on the Web. Former CBS SportsLine ad executive John Oberg has joined the company as Advertising Director to lead the new program which will consist of a combination of sponsorship and traditional advertising opportunities, including banner ads, built-in incentives, new title sponsorships and targeted ads and offers to specific audiences.


WirelessNOW is offering a new series of publications to subscribers. The first, Finance Update, is a monthly update produced exclusively for WirelessNOW by FactsOnline which tracks wireless companies who have recently received financing, entered into joint ventures, and are poised to make their move within the industry. The second new feature, the Patents Update, is a weekly which tracks all patents filed that have anything to do with wireless. Additionally, a new calendar of wireless industry events has been created. WirelessNOW is from CommunicationsNOW, a subsidiary of The Strategis Group.


(McLean, VA) CAIS Internet, a division of CGX Communications, is offering a new global Internet roaming service, allowing subscribers to access the Net from virtually any location worldwide without incurring long distance telephone charges. To make the service available, CAIS has joined the iPass Alliance, a worldwide network of ISPs that offers global Internet roaming with points-of-presence (POP) in 150 countries, including 628 POPs in North America, 133 in Asia, 200 in Europe and 122 throughout the rest of the world. CAIS provides iPass Dial Wizard software, allowing dial-up access to the roaming network, including an international phone book of access numbers. Subscribers continue using their preferred browser and email package and maintain one relationship with their ISP. They can access the Internet through other ISPs when away from home with a user ID and password.

CAIS Internet:

(Washington, DC) Investors who follow high-yield debt, sometimes called junk bonds, can now consult a daily market wrap-up available over the Internet. Federal Filings, Inc., part of Dow Jones & Co., has launched a high-yield debt comment on its Web site, linked to a daily list of indicative prices for active issues and to Federal Filings' daily comment on convertible securities. Both comments are also available via push technology over the PointCast Network. Federal Filings specializes in covering companies that issue high-yield debt and is often first to report important information affecting the prices of such securities. As a result, the company's real-time news displays can be found in the high-yield departments of most major securities firms. The company also publishes a business newswire, various newsletters and is a vendor of documents that companies file with the SEC, both in electronic and paper form. It maintains a Web site offering a variety of information in areas such as bankruptcies, IPOs, mutual funds and document services.

High Yield Comment:


(McLean, VA) UOL Publishing, Inc., (Nasdaq: UOLP), a publisher of Web-based courseware for the academic and corporate education markets, and Trade Compass, an Internet-based information service providing international business information and applications, announced the signing of a development, distribution and marketing agreement to develop a Web-based education delivery site entitled the Trade Compass International Business Academy (IBA). The IBA will offer online courses, training and information programs to Trade Compass' customers. The Trade Compass Virtual Campus is expected to be introduced in September. Trade Compass and UOL will co-develop courseware and training products targeted towards Trade Compass' vertical markets in international trade. Among the first courses to be offered online is a 20-hour International Trade Certificate Course which provides training on penetrating overseas markets. UOL also recently announced an arrangement with Framingham, MA-based Interactive Training, Inc. (ITI), a developer of interactive training products and an electronic source for the evaluation and purchase of business-related training products and services. That agreement calls for the conversion and delivery of an interactive Web version of ITI's Training On-Demand Courseware and to develop new courseware targeted towards the training of professionals in the healthcare industry.

International Business Academy:
Trade Compass:
UOL Publishing:

(Reston, VA) CyberCash, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYCH) will introduce Yen-based payment services in Japan to be offered through CyberCash K.K. (CCKK), a joint venture of CyberCash, Softbank Corp. and leading Japanese banks, credit card companies and technology companies which include Omron Corp., Sakura Bank, Sumitomo Bank, Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank, Fuji Bank, Daiwa Bank and Orix Corp. CCKK will offer a localized version of CyberCash's popular Internet commerce services and provide secure Internet payment services to banks, credit card companies, merchants and consumers in Japan. The service will launch with approximately 20 Japanese merchants selling products online. CCKK will also introduce into Japan the CyberCoin service which allows purchases of low-priced items for amounts as small as 25 Yen (approximately $0.25).


Funding & Finance News

(Mountain View, CA) Stapleton Communications Inc. released the results of its Second Annual IPO Satisfaction Survey. Among its conclusions: a banking firm's research group is its most important selling point to new IPO candidates; respondents are least happy with their underwriter's aftermarket support; CEOs and CFOs rely mostly on their colleagues for information about specific banking firms; and almost all the respondents wish they had conducted more research before choosing their underwriter. The Survey was sent to 200 technology companies that went public in 1996, with some 21% responding. It rates management's' satisfaction with various aspects of the IPO process including: how companies chose their lead underwriter and what sources of information they used; how helpful their lead underwriter was in marketing, pricing, allocation and post-transaction activities; the strengths of their lead underwriter's research analysts; overall satisfaction with their lead underwriter's performance; and how they made decisions before, during and after the IPO. "The IPO process has become a commodity," said Deborah Stapleton, President of Stapleton Communications, a Bay area investor relations and public relations company. "Every firm conducts the IPO process in basically the same way. What sets banking firms apart is their ability to place the stock with the sought-after long-term investor and to be there to support the companies long after the deal is done. Aftermarket support is paramount in a CEO's mind when he rates his relationship with a Wall Street firm." When asked what they would do differently if they had the IPO process to do over again, respondents' answers tended to concentrate on three main topics: timing, research and co-managers. Answers included:

* "(I would) focus more attention on understanding the underwriter's knowledge and background in a particular industry. (I would also) understand the underwriter's evaluation of its success."

* "I would spend more time thinking about post-IPO events and changes to our business."

* "(I) would have had it co-managed in order to have another firm writing research immediately."

* "...The main issue is the post-IPO support and the underwriter's ability to bring in additional market makers and liquidity for the stock..."

To receive a complimentary copy of the full results, call 650/988-9207 and ask for the 1996 IPO Satisfaction Survey or visit the Stapleton site.

Stapleton Communications:

(New York, NY) Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. has hired Clifford H. Friedman as a senior managing director to spearhead a new media, communications and technology venture capital effort. This effort will focus on investments in the areas of intellectual property, content creation, communications and technology. Friedman comes to Bear Stearns with over 16 years of venture capital investment, financial, technical and media industry experience. For the past three years he served as senior vice president of Universal Studios where he was responsible for the creation of Universal's New Media Group's growth strategy and new business effort; and as vice president of strategic development at NBC. From 1990 to 1995 he was a senior managing director in the Equity Research Department at Bear Stearns focusing on the technology and media sectors.

(Reston, VA) Best Software Inc. has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register an IPO offering of up to 3.65 million common shares which it expects to sell between $11 and $13 each. The software company said it will sell 2.75 million shares and a group of shareholders will offer 900,000 shares. Underwriters for the offering, Hambrecht & Quist and William Blair & Co., have an over-allotment option of up to 547,500 shares. Proceeds will be used for general corporate needs, the company said. After the offering, Best will have 10,865,722 shares outstanding. For the year ended March 31, the company reported net income of $4.4 million, on revenue of $39.5 million. That compares to net income of $3.5 million, on revenue of $39.2 million, the year earlier, according to the SEC filing.

(San Jose, CA) Driven by an unprecedented increase of investments in high-technology companies, venture capital activity across the US surged to an all-time high in the second quarter of 1997 and set a pace to break 1996s record levels, according to the quarterly Price Waterhouse National Venture Capital Survey. VC investments hit $3.18 billion in the second quarter breaking the $3 billion barrier for the first time and easily eclipsing the previous mark of $2.8 billion invested in the second quarter of 1996. The number of companies receiving venture capital backing also reached a new level with 697 companies receiving funding a 23 percent increase from the same period last year. Technology companies dominated all investments, grabbing 70% of all venture capital funds ($2.23 billion) and accounting for 71% of all companies receiving VC backing. The number of dollars invested in Internet-related companies continued to skyrocket, nearly tripling from the same period a year ago. In a signal that the Internet category has matured beyond the start-up/seed stage, VC investments broke the $500 million mark for the first time, with each company receiving an average of $5 million, a 68% increase from the second quarter of 1996.

Price Waterhouse National Venture Capital Survey:

Quick Hits

(Washington, DC) The Information Industry Association (IIA) is accepting nominations for its 1997 Entrepreneur of The Year Award and 1997 Breakout Company of The Year Award. Coordinated by IIA's Emerging Business Council, and sponsored by the Nasdaq Stock Market, these awards salute the vision, creativity, leadership and tenacity necessary to create and build a business, and recognize the vital role emerging businesses play in the growth of the information industry. The awards are open to IIA members and non-members alike. The 1997 Entrepreneur of the Year Award will honor an individual who has created or implemented a particularly innovative product or service, and in doing so, has caused his or her company to become recognized as an industry pacesetter. The 1997 Breakout Company of the Year Award will recognize a company that has become a significant industry player by successfully penetrating a specific market. The entry deadline is September 19, 1997. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner during the 1997 IIA Annual Conference, October 5-7, 1997, in San Francisco. To request nomination forms, or for additional information call Irene Hughes at (202) 319-0158, email or visit the Web site.

1997 IIA Annual Conference:

Two books have recently received praise from netpreneurs in the Program's discussion groups, so we thought we would pass along the recommendations. Christine Moore of NextWave Communications is impressed by the recently-published "M&A: A Practical Guide to Doing the Deal" for any corporate manager or financial officer who needs to know their way around the merger and acquisitions process. Published by John Wiley & Sons, the book is written by Jeffrey C. Hooke, a Washington, DC-based independent corporate finance consultant. Hooke worked for 10 years as a Wall Street investment banker with Lehman Brothers and Schroeder Wertheim, and another six years as an investment executive at the International Financial Corporation, a World Bank affiliate. He decided to write a real-world, how-to book when he was unable to find an appropriate one for the classes he taught at the University of Maryland's Graduate School of Business.

With public relations such a hot topic, Katim Touray highly recommends "6 Steps to Free Publicity" by Marcia Yudkin, published by Plume/Penguin. At 230 pages and priced around $10.00, Katim says, "for the bang you get for your buck, I think the book is great." Eldon Sarte, technical publications consultant and publisher of the SOHO Solutions Web site, seconded the endorsement. "Yudkin's good and the book's a quick and easy read." Eldon also recommends Yudkin's other book, "Marketing Online: Low-cost, High-yield Strategies for Small Businesses and Professionals."

NextWave Communications:
SOHO Solutions:

In a scene reminiscent of Beta vs. VHS and Windows vs. Macintosh, a technology battle among giant wireless industry manufacturers began taking shape last week. The story, revealed in an exclusive report from WirelessNOW, shows that makers of wireless gear are maneuvering for position to set the standards for the next generation of wireless Internet connectivity, multimedia applications and portable phone services. The eventual winner will determine how these services will be delivered over cellular and personal communications services (PCS) frequencies. Read the story exploring where wireless has been and where Third Generation Wireless (3GW) systems may be going at:

(Simi Valley, CA) AGD Studio is offering a new, free service for online professionals, the Web Development Talent Bank Worldwide which offers a database of Web masters, art directors, Web developers, graphic designers, database developers, Perl script programmers, Java language programmers, marketing specialists and copy writers. To add your profile, visit:

Upcoming Events

For more information on these and other regional events of interest to netpreneurs and funders, visit the Netpreneur Exchange calendar at (

Aug. 22------Coffee & DoughNets
Aug. 23------Using Netscape to Surf the Internet
Aug. 26-27--Federal Business Council Tech Expo
Aug. 27------Better Business On the Internet
Aug. 27------Emerging Business Network
Aug. 27------Using Venture Capitalists to Build Your Company
Aug. 31------Internet Primer
Sept. 2-------FBR Investor Conference
Sept. 3-------Maximizing PR Efforts for the Start-Up Netpreneur
Sept. 5-------Technology Forecast: 1997
Sept. 6-------Strategies for the Internet
Sept. 7-------WebStrategies '97
Sept. 8-------Raising Capital via Private Placement
Sept. 9-------Electronic Commerce Policy Conference
Sept. 11------Internet Business Summit: Back Office Solutions
Sept. 11------InforWARcon '97
Sept. 15------Online World Conference and Expo
Sept. 16------Titans of Technology Breakfast
Sept. 17------Designing the User Interface
Sept. 17------Richmond Venture Capital Club Lunch
Sept. 18------Expo '97 Gateway to Tomorrow
Sept. 20------Interactive Multimedia '97
Sept. 23------Navigating Cyberspace Tax Policy
Sept. 23------Venture Fairs--How Can They Benefit Your Company?
Sept. 25------FastTrack Awards Luncheon Sponsor
Sept. 25------Sixth National Computer Ethics Conference
Sept. 27------Telecommunications Policy Research Conference
Sept. 30------Coffee & DoughNets

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