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Week of November 6th, 1997
Issue 24, Volume II
1. Act Now, With ActionNet
2. Trading Espresso Futures . . . And Java, Too
3. superSonic BOOM Sings Netpreneur Program's Praises
4. Hey Ma, We're Gonna Be On TV
1. Media Directions Releases Self-Study Courses
2. Web-Based Training From Avilar
3. Newbridge Introduces Consultant Marketing Program
4. PSINet Acquires French ISP
1. Link International Joins With Wahlberg & Selin
2. Infodata Signs LOI With Adobe
1.Who's Bringing Who To The Web? JDG
1. superSonic BOOM Gets Seed Financing From IBG
2. Net2000 Group Receives VC Investment
3. UOL Publishing Acquires HTR
4. Yurie Systems Acquires Data Labs, Inc.
1. Boost Web Traffic With Traditional Ads

News About The Netpreneur Program

Maybe you're trying to tie down a sales distribution relationship or license a technology you've developed. Perhaps you're a start-up looking for an executive or an executive seeking an opportunity. These kinds of targeted, strategic opportunities are the stock of a new free service from the Netpreneur Program called ActionNet.

ActionNet is for making connections and getting things done. It's an email broadcast of individual opportunities-- short summaries of a paragraph or so that go out while they're still hot. That's one thing that makes ActionNet different. There's no schedule. When we receive an opportunity, it will be reviewed and distributed to subscribers right away. What kinds of opportunities? That's the other difference. Strategic initiatives that are mission critical for the region's netpreneurs- finding a management team member, seeking a joint-development partner, searching for acquisition candidates, etc. Opportunities where making the right connections is essential and where action is the result.

ActionNet opportunities will begin going out tomorrow, including the following: netpreneur companies looking for a VP of Client Services, a Director of Development and a VP of Marketing; and a netpreneur who is looking for a licensing/joint venture opportunity. Subscribe now at the Netpreneur Exchange site so you don't miss a single notice. Any ActionNet subscriber can submit opportunities by Web or email, and all submissions will be reviewed to see that they meet editorial guidelines. If accepted, your submission will be distributed by COB of the next business day.

Subscribe to ActionNet:

Last week we announced the Barter Board service, and already it looks like the floor of the Chicago Commodities Exchange down there. Forty-two subscribers so far and nine barter opportunities including such swappables as Java/Perl/C++ Development for Marketing Advice, Web Development Services for Office Space and Office Espresso Machines for Business Strategy Advice. All that espresso must make for late night strategy sessions. If you haven't subscribed to Barter Board yet, we invite you to do so. And if you missed the previous opportunities -- or if you badly need a caffeine hit-- check out the Barter Board Archives.

Well, you hates to blow your own horn, so luckily the folks at superSonic BOOM say they'd be happy to do it for us. The BOOMers just got their first seed funding (see the story in Funding & Finance below) and are crediting the Netpreneur Program in no small part for that success. They first met investor Tony Carter of IBG by sending a "cold call" email to IBG's contact information listed at Netpreneur Exchange. Since then, they have met several other investors at Netpreneur Program events and received positive feedback and interest to their business summary routed through NET-INVEST, the Program's discussion group for the investor community.

"We're very grateful for the opportunities that the Netpreneur Program has offered us. It has been a very valuable resource," says company president Ted Hooban. "We are all determined to foster growth in the area and give back to the Program. We truly appreciate the hard work from members of the team." Julie MacKinnon added, "I don't think this deal would have come the way it did without the help of the Netpreneur Program. It's great that you are creating the kinds of places and pathways for making the connections that start-ups like us need." Shucks, we're blushin'. But seriously, it's great to see that the Program is having a positive effect. And thanks to everyone at superSonic BOOM for the kind words.

BTW, what lessons have the BOOMers learned from their first foray into high finance? "Make sure you focus on developing your business," says Hooban, "and when you write a business plan, think of it as an exercise to help you and not to win money. Our business plan originally started out as a tool designed to raise funds, but ended up helping us to crystallize our thoughts and focus our efforts." Sound advice, and congratulations to superSonic BOOM.

NBC Nightly News has been working on a story asking whether our region will be the next Silicon Valley. We don't know the answer they came up with, but figured we'd give you a heads up since several netpreneurs were interviewed by the NBC crew at last month's Beer & PeaNets. The spot is scheduled to air on NBC's national Nightly News on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 EST. Now, here are the caveats: 1) Feature stories can easily get bumped, especially when there's breaking news, so no guarantees the story will definitely run; and 2) we haven't seen the piece, so if it isn't everything we'd hoped or if your mama doesn't see you in any shots, it's not our fault, mon. If it's great, we'll take all the credit, but either way it's good to see the region getting attention. BTW, you can check out other recent press coverage about the region, netpreneurs and the Netpreneur Program at a new Clippings page at the Netpreneur Exchange.

Press Clippings:

Regional Netpreneurs

(Reston, VA) Media Directions Interactive, Inc. (MDI) recently released the IP TRILOGY line of interactive, multimedia, self-study courses covering TCP/IP networking topics. The series consists of three titles: "Understanding IP Routing Protocols," "Understanding IP Addressing and Subnetworking," and "Understanding Variable Length Subnet Masking." MDI is a developer of multimedia interactive software products.


(Arlington, VA) Avilar Technologies, Inc. recently released WebMentor, a browser-based training program delivered via the Internet, intranets or extranets. The WebMentor environment enables students and teachers to communicate using email, bulletin boards and forums, and includes application sharing, chat rooms and video and audio conferencing. In addition, WebMentor offers authoring and course design capabilities that enable the adjustment of courseware to the needs of individual students.

Avilar Technologies:

(Herndon, VA) Seeing more and more that value-added resellers (VARs) are teaming with consultants, Newbridge Networks has introduction the VIVID Consultant Program. The program provides consultants information support on Newbridge's VIVID products, access to Newbridge training and the opportunity to earn a higher-than-industry-standard 5% referral fee. Alternatively, the fee can be converted into additional training, service or other marketing programs. Networking consultants taking part in the program will work with the company's Channel Sales team to define RFPs, design network architectures and provide ongoing network support. Consultants will also be granted access to a customized Web site, called Consultants Corner. Newbridge makes networking products and systems, including the VIVID family of LAN internetworking products, the industry's only Multiprotocol-over-ATM (MPOA) standard-compliant system.

Newbridge Networks:

(Herndon, VA) PSINet has acquired the Internet activities of CalvaCom SA in France. The acquisition is a component of PSINet's strategy to offer Internet-based business communication solutions to European businesses. CalvaCom has designed Web sites for such companies as Total, Lacoste and French radio station NRJ, and manages more then 5,000 professional Internet access accounts. CalvaCom's electronic data interchange, international store and forward message service will continue to be offered by a restructured CalvaCom SA.



(Severna Park, MD) Link International, a satellite communications consulting and equipment provisioning firm, has signed an agreement with Swedish satellite communications developer Wahlberg & Selin Corp. (W&S) to distribute W&S's "Swe Dish" satellite communication products and services in the Americas. Swe Dish provides solutions for converting satellite earth station equipment from analog to digital technology. The two initial products to be introduced this month will be the Swe Dish digital satellite news-gathering fly-away system for the broadcast community and the Swe Dish remote station designed for military communications. Both products have been in successful operation in other parts of the world. W&S is the leading supplier of satellite broadcasting equipment in Europe.

Link International:
Wahlberg & Selin:

(Fairfax, VA) Infodata Systems, Inc. has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Adobe Systems, Inc. to cross-license and market certain technologies and and providing for Infodata to perform development services for Adobe. The nature of the products and services were not disclosed. Upon successfully performing the development and the commencement of the license, Infodata will collect license and service fees of $1.5 million over the next six months. Infodata develops products for sharing, maintaining and retrieving electronic documents across the enterprise.


Construction Crews

The Clark Construction Group, Inc., of Bethesda MD, recently launched their Web site ( ), created by Falls Church, VA-based Johnson Design Group ( JDG also recently brought the Washington International Teleport to the Web (

Funding & Finance News

(Arlington, VA) superSonic BOOM (SSB), an online music company which creates custom CDs via the Web, has finalized its first round of financing with Herndon, VA-based International Business Group (IBG), a venture incubator company. The deal, which is valued at up to $450,000, will enable SSB to grow its catalog and production capabilities. Music consumers visit SSB's Web site to preview songs and purchase customized CDs manufactured on-demand via superSonic Transport, the company's proprietary technology. Finished CDs are delivered by mail and all recordings are stored on a stand-alone device that is not connected to the Internet, thereby protecting against piracy. The company offers a growing catalog of songs by independent bands and labels, today numbering nearly 40,000 tracks in genres ranging from jazz to rock to classical. Featured artists include: Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Muddy Waters, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Percy Sledge, Patsy Cline, Woody Guthrie and others. IBG, one of the first international funds to be established in the DC area, is financed by American, British and Irish investors.

superSonic Boom:
More info about IBG:

(Vienna, VA) Net2000 Group, a telecommunications service provider and consulting organization, has received a multi-million dollar equity investment that will be used for business expansion. The amount of the investment was not announced. Blue Water Capital, L.L.C., a private equity management company, is the lead investor with Mid-Atlantic Venture Fund and Societe Generale also investing. Net2000 Group engineers local and national high-speed voice and data networks as well as Internet services. It is an authorized dealer for local exchange carrier (LEC) services from Bell Atlantic (including the NYNEX region) and GTE. Blue Water Capital is a venture capital management firm that provides equity financing for private middle and expansion stage companies. Blue Water Capital is based in McLean, VA; the Mid Atlantic Venture Fund is headquartered in Reston.

Net2000 Group:
Information on Blue Water and Mid-Atlantic Venture Fund:

(McLean, VA) UOL Publishing, Inc., publisher of interactive Web-based courseware, has acquired privately-held HTR, Inc. of Rockville, MD. UOL will issue Common Stock, warrants and options totaling 620,000 shares in exchange for all of the outstanding equity securities of HTR. In addition, UOL will pay HTR shareholders $600,000 in a combination of cash and a short-term note and assume approximately $3.5 million of HTR debt. After this transaction, the equity securities issued to HTR will represent approximately 16% of UOL's outstanding Common Stock. HTR develops turn-key training solutions for the information technology market. For the 12 months ended June 30, 1997, HTR had revenues of approximately $12 million and recently deployed a self-paced, Web-based learning and distribution platform.

UOL Publishing:

(Landover, MD) Yurie Systems, Inc. is purchasing privately-held Data Labs, Inc., the Gaithersburg, MD-based manufacturer of branch office ATM access equipment. The deal involves 358,412 shares of Yurie stock, valued at approximately $11.1 million at recent prices. The purchase is expected to be completed this month and is subject to various customary conditions. Data Labs' Virtual Access (VA) product line aggregates voice, video, and data traffic onto a single wide area network link, facilitating ATM at T1/E1 rates and lower and offering ATM access to branch and small regional offices. Yurie manufactures ATM WAN access equipment and currently resells the Data Labs VA 1000. Acquisition of Data Labs gives Yurie complete development control of its low-end enterprise solutions, enabling it to bring them more closely in line with mid- and high-end LDR offerings.

Yurie Systems:
Data Labs:

Quick Hits

According to the fifth annual Interactive Media Study by Ad Age magazine, traditional media ads are the way to drive Web traffic. When people were asked if they ever visited a site after seeing it mentioned in a print ad, 62.2% of online users said yes, compared with 50.5% last year. Other media successfully driving people to Web sites include TV spots (53.3% this year compared with 37.9% last year); product packaging (38.3% in 1997, up from 26% in 1996); and radio (22.1% this year compared with 19.3% in 1996). However, direct mail fell as a Web site driver (25% this year against 26.3% in 1996), as did outdoor campaigns (12.7% compared with 13.6% last year). The survey also provides data on use of online banner ads, demographics, etc. One interesting conclusion that bodes well for many of Greater Washington's netpreneurs, the Internet continues to be used heavily for information content. The study says that the top online activity is gathering news or information (87.8%).

Upcoming Events

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

Nov. 11-----Mid-Atlantic Venture Fair
Nov. 11-----CPCUG: Internet User Software
Nov. 12-----Workshop on Very High Speed Networks
Nov. 13-----Finding Your Wings: An Angel's View
Nov. 13-----Technology Workforce Shortage
Nov. 13-----Exporting Advanced Technology to Europe
Nov. 13-----Selling Information Technology Products to Europe
Nov. 15-----How To Survive The Year-2000 Time Bomb
Nov. 17-----Computer Security Conference & Expo
Nov. 17-----Quality of Health Information on the Internet
Nov. 17-----The State of Electronic Commerce Today
Nov. 18-----Entrepreneurship Case Study: Boomerang Virtual Market
Nov. 18-----How to Present Yourself and Your Company to Investors
Nov. 18-----Internet and the Law
Nov. 19-----The FCC in Transition
Nov. 19-----Richmond Venture Capital Club Lunch
Nov. 20-----Interboard CEO to CEO Seminar
Nov. 20-----Open Systems/UNIX
Nov. 20-----The Regulation of Internet Commerce
Nov. 21-----Netpreneur Program Coffee & DoughNets
Nov. 21-----High Technology Tax Symposium
Dec. 3-------FEDnet/FEDimaging
Dec. 4-------Managing Technology Evolution
Dec. 4-------Dingman Center Women's Conference
Dec. 9-------Navigating an IPO

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