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News Center Top Story Archives
Week of November 14, 1996
Issue 4, Volume I
1. Small Office/Home Office Pilot Program
1. Yahoo! Opens In DC, Microsoft Coming
2. Metricom Offers Portable Access In DC & MD
1. Net Impact Sales Training And Coaching System
2. Excalibur's New Image Search Technology
3. New Standard For Collaborative Forecasting
4. V-One Joins With Lockheed Martin
5. Who Wins Government Bids? GovCon Knows
6. Help For Small Business
7. More Acceptance For CyberCash
8. Student Businesses Get Professional Help
1. CIBC Creates $100 Million Investment Fund
2. Feds To Help Angel Investors
3. IBC Brings Piercom To Region
4. TechWeb Offers IPO Watch
(check the Netpreneur Exchange Calendar for more events)
1. Nov. 21--Navigating An IPO
2. Dec. 2-5--Building Business And Technology
3 Dec. 3--New Media Business Models For Content Providers
4. Dec. 12--Incubator Exposition
5. Dec. 13--Internet and International Trade

News About The Netpreneur Program

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Media General Cable (MGC) have announced the creation of a pilot program to test the impact of high-speed Internet access via cable modem technology on the growing Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) sector of the Northern Virginia business community. The program will connect approximately 25 to 50 SOHO businesses in Fairfax City to the Internet with high-bandwidth connections and study the impact of the connections on their business processes, customer service and revenues. The program, scheduled to be launched in January 1997, will also include a projection of the potential impact of high-bandwidth access on this sector of the community.
Initial support for the program was provided by CIT through a challenge award to the KnowledgeWay. MGC, with support from BTG, Inc., will provide the resources and expertise necessary to implement high-bandwidth access. The George Mason University International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology has been selected by the KnowledgeWay to plan, implement, measure and report results in conjunction with MGC during the life of the pilot project.
"This pilot program aims to facilitate the growth and start-up of new SOHO businesses by providing access to enhanced technology services that can make a home office succeed," said April Young, executive director of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project. "From the young entrepreneur to the entrepreneur with a smaller home office, our customers need this type of access in order to survive in the information age," said Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., president of CIT. "This pilot program has the potential to be implemented throughout all of Virginia and dramatically change the way Virginia does business." "We are very enthusiastic about this pilot test," said Thomas E. Waldrop, Media General Cable's chairman and CEO. "This trial will help us gauge the true value of high speed data services for both small business and residential use."

Regional Net News

Local content is becoming one of the great new battlegrounds of the World Wide Web. Home-grown operations, such as those from independent entrepreneurs, city newspapers, TV stations and other local media outlets will also have to compete with national "franchises" such as AOL's Digital City and new programs from Yahoo! and Microsoft. This week, Yahoo! launched DC Yahoo! ( , the fifth in its regional directories. The site includes a regional version of Yahoo!'s traditional pointer content, as well as other features such as bulletin boards, personals, weather, classifieds and employment listings. Yahoo! worked with local companies for content including Washingtonian Magazine, Washington Blade, WJLA-TV and Fodor's. Yahoo! also announced another in a series of agreements to develop original content, this one with MTV to develop an online music guide, to be called unfURLed, part of Yahoo!'s plans to become more than a link site. On the same day, Microsoft announced that it would include DC among the first cities that will be covered in its planned guides to local entertainment, called Sidewalk (formerly code-named Cityscape). In addition to DC, Sidewalk guides are planned for NY, SF, Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Diego and Sydney, Australia in 1997, with others to be announced. The sites will be produced by local editorial teams.

(Los Gatos, CA) Metricom, Inc. ( announced the launch of its Ricochet wireless communications network in DC and Montgomery County, MD, as part of a joint venture with PepData, Inc., a wholly-owned, non-regulated affiliate of Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO). Ricochet offers mobile wireless access to the Internet, E-mail, corporate LANs and online services. DC was chosen as the first East Coast city to be deployed with Ricochet because of the high usage of laptops. The system is already active in Seattle and San Francisco. PEPCO, the electric utility serving DC and suburban Maryland, invested $7 million in the joint venture with Metricom. PEPCO will also use Ricochet to enhance electricity restoration following storms. Ricochet is now available to all of the District and Montgomery County. Prince Georges County recently approved deployment. Coverage is planned for the Virginia areas of Tysons Corner, Merrifield, Chantilly, Fairfax, old town Alexandria, Crystal City/Pentagon City, Reston, Herndon, and the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The balance of the Virginia suburbs will be added as soon as an agreement can be reached with Virginia Electric Power Company. The Ricochet network uses small radio receivers mounted to street lights and utility poles, with portable modems about the size of a TV remote control that attach to the serial port of a laptop and transfer data at speeds of up to 28.8 kbps.

Regional Netpreneurs

(Falls Church, VA) Net Impact Systems, Inc. ( announced its new Enterprise @nswer System (E@SY), a "just-in-time" training and coaching system for sales and marketing teams that also operates as a smart front-end to corporate intranets and Marketing Encyclopedia Systems. The product lets companies build a concise database of sales answers, practices and advice which salespeople can access regardless of location, and browse as situations warrant, rather than reading traditional, linear documents. Said Bob Schmonsees, President and CEO, Net Impact Systems, "We formed the company and developed E@SY because current content publishing technologies, like HTML and Lotus Notes, are designed for documents and other large blocks of informationænot as a means to deliver rapid fire knowledge that is immediately understood and retained by the user." E@SY utilizes a new technology developed by Net Impact called Knowledge Configuration that treats answers to questions as objects. It is an extension of the Q&A model used in print and in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Internet home pages. Unlike traditional documents, which are limited to sequential lists on a single subject, Knowledge Configuration employs object-orientation that enables answers to one question to be logically linked to other questions in a network-like structure. E@SY will be generally available the first quarter of 1997. A pilot program to try out E@SY for a fixed fee is starting now.

(Vienna, VA) Excalibur Technologies Corp. ( announced the availability of Visual RetrievalWare a software system that enables users to search for visual information directly from their Intranets, corporate databases, the Internet and other sources. Built upon Excalibur's Adaptive Pattern Recognition Processing (APRP) technology, the system allows every aspect of visual data to be learned and indexed based on patterns in its shapes, colors and textures. The information is then reduced to a searchable index. Users can search conceptually, asking questions like, "Have you seen anything that looks like this?" Yahoo! will be one of the first adopters of the technology as part of a strategic agreement with Interpix, an online/Internet media technology company, which will make RetrievalWare's image based searching available as part of Image Surfer appearing on Yahoo!.

(Rockville, MD) Manugistics, Inc. (, the developer of supply chain software, is joining with Wal-Mart, Benchmarking Partners, Warner Lambert and SAP to create a new standard for Collaborative Forecasting And Replenishment (CFAR) over the Internet. The objective is to enable retailers, manufacturers and other organizations along the supply chain to work collectively on agreed upon demand, supply, scheduling and transportation forecasts using Internet and EDI connections.

(Rockville, MD) V-ONE Corporation ( , a provider of network security technologies and products, formed a business alliance with Lockheed Martin Federal Systems of Gaithersburg, MD to provide integrated information security solutions to the commercial and federal government markets. V-ONE's products allow organizations to protect almost any communication over a network for both new and existing legacy applications. Lockheed Martin Federal Systems is a systems integrator offering information security technologies and services including risk assessments, enterprise security plans and deployment of security solutions. The alliance is intended to address the need for comprehensive security solutions that unify product, technology, policy and service into one integrated, enterprise-wide implementation.

(Rockville, MD) GovCon, Inc. ( introduces the only set of reports that detail which companies are winning awards through FACNET, the federal government's electronic bidding system, including products purchased and the value of each award. This information helps companies strategically position their pricing and bidding strategies for government procurements. FACNET awards this year alone could exceed $1 billion. GovCon produces two monthly reports: The GovCon FACNET Activity Executive Summary and The GovCon FACNET Competitive Analysis Report. GovCon's advertising-supported Web site, the Government Contractor Resource Center, also offers free resource and information for organizations that do business (or want to do business) with the federal government, including teaming opportunities, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Small Business Innovation Research solicitations, and specialized newsletters, articles and tips to help businesses land federal contracts. Users can also post their own teaming, subcontracting, and job opportunities through a free "classified ad" section.

(Dulles, VA) IDC/Link says that the number of small businesses going online is expected to grow from 1.7 million in 1996 to 5.4 million by the year 2000. America Online will be chasing that growth with its new partner Artisoft, Inc. of Tucson, AZ (, maker of LANtastic, InSynch and other communications software products. The two companies will begin providing FirstWeb before the end of this year, a low cost, all-in-one Web hosting and publishing services for small businesses. For $49 per month and a one time setup charge of $49, FirstWeb will let companies set up their own domain name and use high-speed T3 Internet connections with round-the-clock site monitoring. Customers can construct their Web sites using AOLpress authoring software. AOL will also provide technical support and customer service. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also making a big play for small business, announcing the formation of the Microsoft Small Business Technology Advisory Board with participation of 14 small business leaders. Meeting quarterly, the Board's first mission is to develop the Microsoft Small Business Online effort ( . Microsoft has committed $5 million in cash and software this year to the effort, providing community and professional associations with Internet technology and assistance including Web presence, Web site content, communication forums and e-mail accreditation. Among the Board's 14 members are four from our region: Laura Henderson, Founder, President and CEO, Prospect Associates of Rockville, MD; Jose Nino, President and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC; Bennie L. Thayer, President and CEO, National Assoc. for the Self-Employed; David Voight, Director, Small Business Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC.

(Reston, VA) CyberCash has added two new partners to those which will be adopting its electronic payment technologies. Microsoft will support all three of CyberCash's payment methods--credit card service, CyberCoin and electronic checks-- in its Microsoft Merchant Server, as will iCat of Seattle, WA in its e-commerce product suite. Both companies will also work with CyberCash, Visa and Mastercard to develop and implement Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocol for online credit card transactions.

Nick Unger, a second year MBA student at George Mason University and the founder of NOSmoke, is the winner of the Century Club's 1996 Student Business Plan Competition. In addition to a cash award of $3,500, Nick will receive free consulting services from Century Club members and an opportunity to present his plan before nearly 80 potential investors, strategic partners, and clients at the Club's November 21 Grubstake Breakfast. Financed by the Century Club, the Student Business Plan Competition is an annual event organized through GMU's Graduate Business Institute. This year's competition attracted 17 entries from students throughout the University community. Mainak Mehta , a student from the School of Law, was the second place winner and received $1,500 to help finance his business, Action Endeavor. Student Peter Lierni was the third place winner and received free consulting services for his company, House By Mouse.

Funding and Finance News

(Toronto, ON) The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) announced the creation of a $100 million equity fund for knowledge-based businesses. The CIBC Innovation Fund will provide venture capital financing to early-stage information technology, multimedia and telecommunications businesses. CIBC, Canada's second largest financial Institution, makes knowledge-based business a distinct focus with dedicated resources and reporting relationships. The company also announced that it had entered into a preferred partnership with Silicon Valley Bank of California.

(Washington, DC) The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy announced the creation of a nationwide Internet network that will help match small companies and private investors. Angel Capital Electronic Network (ACE-Net) ( will allow accredited "angel" investors (wealthy individual investors with business savvy) to identify participating entrepreneurs including a searchable database and email notifications based on customized criteria. Participating angels and entrepreneurs gain access to the password-controlled site by contacting one of the regional network operators. The SBA developed ACE-Net in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, state securities regulators and their organization, the North American Securities Administrators' Association.

(Herndon, VA) Venture incubator International Business Group (IBG) announced that it is helping Piercom, Ltd. of Limerick, Ireland establish a presence in Northern Virginia. This is IBG's sixth investment since its founding earlier this year as a private venture fund of Tony Carter and Shaun Boyle. Piercom is the developer of a platform-independent tool for automatically dealing with year 2000 conversions.

(Manhasset, NY) CMP Media, Inc., publisher of such industry magazines as Information Week, Communications Week, and Interactive Age, has added a new feature, IPO Watch, to the TechInvestor section of its TechWeb site ( IPO Watch gives information about high-tech IPOs and new IPO announcements.

Upcoming Events

Navigating An IPO
Nov. 21, 7:30 am-10:00 am
McLean Hilton, McLean, VA
Five member panel moderated by Lt. Gov. Don Beyer will discuss key issues
in conducting an IPO. For information, inquire by FAX to Cara Smith at 202-408-5665.

Building Business And Technology
Dec. 2-5, Grand Hyatt, Washington DC or 888-200-4260
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co.'s third annual investor conference.

New Media Society of Washington Meeting
Dec. 3, 6:30-8:30 PM, Pettibon's, Rosslyn
Regular meeting of the New Media Society of Washington with panel
discussion on "New Media Business Models For Content Providers."

Incubator Exposition
Dec. 12, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Location to be announced
Contact: Deborah Barnett, GBC Technology Council, 410-727-2820
"Conversation and Cocktails With Venture Capitalists and Investors."
Incubator companies from across Maryland meet potential funding sources.

Internet and International Trade
Dec. 13, Washington, DC
Covering Net resources for international transactions, market research, financing, trade leads, etc.

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