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|Updated On||:||April 19, 2019|
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3Com Corp. (COMS) has greater its focus accomplice application, and says it now offers channel companions even superior alternatives for growing to be company and extending revenue. Enhancements had been made to expertise specializations and to the associated 3Com college practicing to boost companions’ competencies and professional knowledge.
technology specializations are available at accomplice and Elite levels in protection, enterprise LAN, enterprise wireless and SMB solutions; and at accomplice, Elite and Reseller ranges in IP telephony. The 3Com center of attention partner software makes use of a elements-primarily based scheme to reward companions for reaching and protecting specializations, and for expanding earnings. It additionally measures companions’ skills and helps them boost in the course of the software’s Registered, Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers. companions can also become licensed to convey or resell 3Com capabilities for added profits talents.
The 3Com focus partner software includes 3Earnings, a quarterly target-based money-lower back incentive linked to increase pursuits. 3Earnings raise according to the specializations and degrees done.connected
AlgoSec incorporates accomplice feedback in improved, greater associate program
AlgoSec’s community protection coverage management offering is available as an on-premise solution and a SaaS offering.
Databricks ambitions Consulting, SI companions with global companion application
right through the last 365 days, Databricks has supported customer engagements with more than 70 consulting partners and SIs across a number of markets.
Broadvoice to aid partners with Public-Sector revenue
govt is the greatest vertical in the u.s..
Vonage Rolls Out New associate application for Its API Platform
Vonage's Nexmo accomplice application works without delay with utility, integration and know-how companions.
3Com has suffered in the course of the pitfalls of strategic shifts and ignored know-how alternatives, but analysts say Benhamou leaves it an altered, yet reliable, company.
Benhamou, one of the crucial few final admired networking technologists, the day before today announced plans to step down via yr's conclusion. he'll be replaced by way of president and chief working officer Bruce Claflin, a former IBM and Digital equipment executive who has led 3Com's daily operations the past two years.
"Benhamou is terribly tech savvy, however he failed to have in mind the market dynamics and the tempo of change," talked about Lehman Brothers analyst Mark Sue. "Claflin will accelerate the pace of alternate at 3Com as it aims new growth markets. The company has taken a lot of steps to enrich revenue growth, and he'll increase the tempo."
In fresh times, 3Com become seen on Wall street as lacking some fundamental operational points, certainly throughout a tough stretch following the company's 1997 acquisition of US Robotics.
however after 10 years as CEO, during which he guided the business through a couple of years of economic turmoil, Benhamou is stepping down from his post with the enterprise's fortunes headed in the correct direction. he'll continue to be the enterprise's chairman.
3Com on Tuesday posted amazing first-quarter earnings, which comes after a major reorganization past this year when the enterprise spun off Palm and shed its gradual-becoming businesses. 3Com lost $forty one.3 million, or 12 cents a share, beating analysts' predictions of a lack of 33 cents a share. revenue grew 20 % sequentially to $806.three million for the quarter.
The good results induced a few Wall highway analysts to foretell 3Com will turn into ecocnomic within the next two quarters, despite 3Com executives' declarations that the enterprise will develop into ecocnomic three quarters from now, in the fourth quarter.
Handing over the reins With 3Com's fiscal woes reputedly over, Benhamou talked about now's the superb time to surrender the reins to Claflin. besides the fact that children Claflin's historical past is with workstation manufacturers, Benhamou referred to he has been a brief examine within the networking business the previous two years.
"Bruce became now not a networking trade professional coming in, however he is realized a very good deal about our company, our know-how and our competitors," Benhamou observed in an interview. "He co-architected the transformation we went through the closing year. His fingerprints are everywhere the business, and the business is in first rate form strategically. It feels like the company is now on a increase route."
Benhamou of late has been extra often linked to aiding a considerable number of motives, equivalent to narrowing the so-known as Digital Divide, with Claflin serving because the business's primary spokesman extra commonly.
3Com has grown smaller during the last year after spinning off Palm, shedding its gradual-turning out to be analog modem enterprise, and killing off its networking machine arm for large groups. The enterprise now caters to small and midsized corporations and patrons, as well as utility and machine to service providers.
3Com's new focal point on rising markets, such as excessive-speed modems, wireless and residential networking, and information superhighway telephony, is beginning to take cling, accounting for 18 % of complete income. in the first quarter, income from rising applied sciences grew 70 p.c sequentially to $147 million.
Analysts say the government alternate is high quality for 3Com.
"They mandatory some fresh blood," observed Cahners In-Stat community analyst Mike Wolf. "no longer that Benhamou did a bad job, however some CEOs would have been fired over the USA Robotics acquisition and all the indigestion that brought about."
below Benhamou's helm, 3Com's salary grew from $430 million in 1990 to $5.eight billion last year. but Benhamou's leadership had been puzzled through analysts, traders and company insiders for the previous yr. Analysts say Benhamou is a technologist at heart but took too long to ponder strategic selections when short, decisive motion was essential.
The troubles all started in 1997, following 3Com's $6.6 billion acquisition of modem maker US Robotics. The company discovered itself with an all of sudden giant stock of analog modems that temporarily forced it to discontinue earnings.
afterward, Benhamou tried a number of different strategies, but none of them proved sustainable. First the business attacked Cisco by way of pushing revenue of excessive-end equipment to telecommunications carriers. When that effort failed, 3Com concentrated on its sales to agencies.
In 1999, 3Com in brief introduced it might enter the market for storage area networks, however then instantly backpedaled. in the spring of 1999, Benhamou declared the popular Palm handheld equipment as significant to 3Com's average strategy. Then in the late summer time, he switched gears and announced the company would spin off its Palm Computing unit so 3Com could concentrate on its networking roots after failing to persuade the 3Com board of directors that Palm should still be stored as an in-condominium asset.
After the fits and begins, the enterprise now seems to be on the correct music with its reorganization previous this year. And analysts say they are expecting Claflin will do an outstanding job.
"Benhamou has been associated with things of the previous--the united states Robotics merger...the Palm spinout," referred to Lehman Brothers' Sue. "Bruce is terribly (Wall) street savvy. He knows the significance of improving shareholder cost and relocating faraway from the legacy fairly quickly. He is aware he has a big probability with the brand name that 3Com carries, and he'll do very neatly."
news.com's Ben Heskett contributed to this record.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (CBS.MW) -- Shares of Silicon Valley networking firm and Palm Pilot maker 3Com rose once more Tuesday as Wall highway persevered to show enthusiasm for the Palm unit's planned IPO.
Shares of 3Com coms received 5/eight to fifty one 3/8 in Tuesday trading and edged up an additional 1/sixteen in the after hours. They'd risen four 3/16, or 5 percent, to 50 3/four on Monday as analysts and buyers mulled the company's Friday announcement of the terms of the eagerly anticipated Palm stock providing.
Palm PALM, -2.36% -- of which 3Com took possession with its $7.3 billion 1997 buy of U.S. Robotics -- talked about it's going to sell about 26.5 million shares at a maximum expense of $16 every in a deal led via Goldman Sachs. At $sixteen a share, the offering would carry $424 million.
SG Cowen analyst Chris Stix advised shoppers that, according to a possible put up-pricing valuation of $36 to $forty two for Palm, representing a valuation of $fifty six to $62 for 3Com, he was elevating his advice on 3Com to "purchase" from "impartial" and atmosphere a $60 12-month price goal for the company's shares.
The Friday submitting with the Securities and alternate commission was the first that the enterprise has made on the IPO on the grounds that it first registered the deal Dec. 13. The IPO is now expected Feb. 28, in response to a spokeswoman within the Goldman Sachs press office.
With the rise of wireless-connected stocks corresponding to Qualcommin recent months and the effective debuts of new shares equivalent to Friday's instant utility expert 724 options, Palm is considered more likely to rank among the many most well-liked IPOs of the yr.
Palm is already a profitable business, with a market-leading share of the hand held desktop market, analysts pointed out.
And David Menlow of IPOFinancial.com gave the stock his optimum score. "there's well-nigh nothing in this offering that makes it seem unhealthy," Menlow referred to in a contemporary note. "far and wide you circulate in this deal, you step in pleasant."
As of Dec. 31, Palm had bought greater than 5.5 million hand-held devices global, and greater than 33,000 third-birthday celebration builders had registered to create applications in line with the Palm platform.
profits elevated to $564 million in 1999 from about $1 million in 1995, long before 3Com purchased U.S. Robotics.
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Specialist distributor Wireless Distribution has ceased trading, according to trading partners, after struggling to develop close relationships with vendors.
The company was formed in 2001 as AAA Computers. In November of that year it became Layer 7 Distribution, only to be renamed Galaxy Systems after six days.
It emerged in its final guise, Wireless Distribution, in April last year, specialising in the burgeoning wireless local area network market.
As recently as June, Wireless Distribution opened a second office in Hampshire as part of what it said was a planned expansion the UK and Europe.
But according to Companies House, it last filed its accounts in August last year. Its latest figures, due in June, are now overdue.
Neil Hunt, wireless product manager at reseller Skynet Systems, which bought from the distributor, said Wireless Distribution has ceased trading.
"We used to buy Bluesocket products from it but we will have to move to EquIP," he said.
EquIP is Bluesocket's sole distributor in the UK, with Wireless Distribution acting as a sub-distributor.
Graham Smee, director at EquIP, confirmed that his company is no longer dealing with Wireless Distribution, and added: "Any resellers that bought Bluesocket from the distributor can move to buying from EquIP."
Martin Cassidy, vice president at wireless vendor Bluesocket, said Wireless Distribution had offered niche skills to the channel.
"Unless the workers find new jobs within the industry it will be a great loss," he said.
But he added that the company had been "caught in the middle ground" as a sub-distributor. "It bought through EquIP and would add services on top.
"It had good technical skills, and I am disappointed because it does not seem to be operational anymore," he said.
One industry source said Wireless Distribution had been building relationships with vendors but was forced to carry out sub-distribution in many cases.
"There is not much margin in this and until a distributor gets major distributorships, they struggle," the source said.
Steve Johnson, director of distribution UK and Ireland at 3Com, said the vendor had worked with the distributor on an unaccredited basis. "Only authorised distributors get the benefit of close relationships with vendors," he added.
Despite the bad news, wireless is a growth market, Johnson added. "The best bit of this is the SME [market]," he said.
Wireless Distribution executives were unavailable for comment despite repeated requests by vnunet.com.
(FORTUNE Small Business) – This year, as you might imagine, our idea champs are technology innovators who have commercialized a service or product that promises to make an explosive impact on its industry niche. To find these mavericks, we surveyed hundreds of business incubators, research labs, venture capitalists, and universities. It's not surprising that two-thirds of the winners are e-pioneers flush with cash from VCs. Although most are startups, many have already secured strategic partners to catapult their companies into the marketplace. They range from a fledgling Website that lets cybersurfers design their own mutual fund to an online B2B e-procurement site. Most of the companies are nestled in entrepreneurial hot zones such as Silicon Valley, Boston's Route 128, and New York City's Silicon Alley. But a few have cropped up in other pockets, such as the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. The innovators that aren't involved in the Internet have developed breakthroughs in other sectors ranging from DNA testing to factory automation. These tinkerers have varied backgrounds: an Alaskan masonry contractor (go figure), Stanford graduates (where else?), and a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (what would you expect?). Their tales of true grit are inspirational. Meet all of them on the following pages.
Align Technology NO MORE BRACESMore from FSB Help wanted for HR firm A CEO and rodeo queen King of the mountain bike Current Issue
Say cheese!" Now there's a phrase that strikes fear into the hearts of the dentally challenged. But if the folks at Align Technology in Sunnyvale, Calif., have their way, there could be droves of adults happy to smile on command.
Align founders and 1997 Stanford University Business School grads Zia Chishti, 30, and Kelsey Wirth, 29, have pioneered an invisible alternative to the tin-grin metal braces many of us endured in our youth: a clear, removable aligner--molded to perfection, thanks to 3-D graphics--that snaps right over teeth. (It works only on adults, but that's a pretty big market.)
Chishti, who had experienced the misery of wearing braces as a young adult, got the idea while attending Stanford. He and a group of student engineers developed software that would allow a technician to scan the mold of a person's teeth using 3-D computer graphics and to prepare a series of finely calibrated aligners according to those specifications. Patients wear a series of aligners in sequence over the course of their treatment, which could take six months to two years. Each aligner is designed to shift the teeth incrementally, so the change is gradual.
Align raised $32 million from such investors as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and introduced its technology, Invisalign, to the orthodontics community last May. Sales are expected to top $15 million by year-end.
Perfecting your pearly whites using Invisalign doesn't come cheap: The company's aligners run about twice the cost of conventional braces. But Wirth believes the convenience of the new braces will help boost sales.
AppCity TOSS YOUR SOFTWARE
Web-based applications--software programs that reside on a Website--are all the rage. Look around, and you'll find a Web-based version of anything you use on your desktop. The problem: These software services don't talk to each other, so data in a Web accounting program can't be put in a Web-based spreadsheet to create a report. Enter AppCity, a five-month-old company launched by Mark Frankel, 42, and Mark Juviler, 35.
AppCity.com, its Website, is a collection of hundreds of free, ad-supported applications, from salesforce automation tools to a financial program. Its InfoApps are Web-based databases of information that you can create and customize. Everything works within an AppCity browser (a free download) that lets you view and interact with applications much as you would with a Windows-based application on your desktop, with drop-down menus and quick-loading updates.
So far, the two are backed by $2.5 million in angel funding from Capital M Group, Dorchester Capital Group, and Gargoyle Investment Partners. The team's company, AppCity Corp., based in New York City, is seeking a first round of venture funding. Revenues? The plan is to make money through advertising, transactions made on the site through its ShoppingApps, and by tailoring its service for corporations.
Authentica VIRTUAL RETRIEVER
You've just e-mailed some highly sensitive documents to a potential merger partner. A week later, the deal falls through, and your erstwhile partner won't return the data. You're screwed. Or maybe not, thanks to our heroes, Authentica of Waltham, Mass. This startup is building a suite of products that let you reel in those electronic documents--files, e-mails, even Web pages--as if you were ripping them out of that double-dealing weasel's hands yourself.
Authentica's technology was unveiled in the first of these products, PageVault, released in April of last year, followed by WebVault this March. MailVault, the third version, is expected in May.
Here's how it works: Putting a file into one of Authentica's vaults effectively ties it with an invisible piece of wire that the sender holds on to. You can send the file to anyone, but that person needs a free viewer to read it. To see the document, the recipient has to be connected to the Internet. At all times, the document viewer is communicating with Authentica's servers, which contain all the information about what rights the sender has given the recipient (print, copy, and so forth). The sender can change the rights any time, thereby yanking that document back.
All of Authentica's products work together seamlessly, so it's the same process to protect a Word document as it is to protect an e-mail. That gives Authentica a big edge over competitors--Alchemedia, Disappearing Inc., and Tumbleweed--which offer similar products in each sector of Web-page, e-mail, and document protection.
Dr. David Pensak, 52, Authentica's founder, thought this up while working as a chief scientist at Du Pont. He funded early development himself, then got $1 million in seed funding from Greylock and North Bridge Venture Partners to produce PageVault. Afterward, Pensak and the VCs hired Lance Urbas, 47, to be CEO and commercialize the idea.
In May 1999, the 65-employee company secured $9 million in additional funding from the original VCs and Norwest Venture Capital. The customer list already includes Merck and Quality Letters of Credit. Authentica sells the products direct for $50 to $200 a user, depending on the volume discount. They can also be rented from application service providers.
It's safe to say that Orville Bailey practically invented e-procurement. The technology bug bit the 37-year-old in the early 1990s, when he was working at GE figuring out how the company's buyers could get the best deals from suppliers over the nascent Internet. Because GE's bureaucrats weren't Web savvy, Bailey finally surrendered to his inner entrepreneur.
In 1999 he founded B2Emarkets, an online marketplace for do-it-yourself, global corporate buyer-subscribers. Through B2Emarkets, corporate buyers find new suppliers of everything from I-beams to pencils and negotiate private, low-ball deals with them. B2Emarkets also handles the rest of the transaction, from negotiations through fulfillment and payment.
B2E differs from rival Freemarkets.com (an online auction and consulting service for corporate purchasing managers) by allowing users to negotiate the terms of the deals themselves, says Bailey. Backed by such strategic partners as Andersen Consulting and Banc Boston, Bailey says he has already nailed three giant clients (he won't disclose names) that typically buy $500 million worth of stuff a year. B2Emarkets, based in Rockville, Md., charges subscribers $15,000 to $30,000 monthly and aims to nab at least 12 big clients annually. You do the math.
Chromatics Color Sciences TESTING FOR JAUNDICE
Motherly concern prompted Darby McFarlene, 55, a former Ford model and color-technology specialist, to spend years developing a testing device for babies who have jaundice. That's the condition that results when a person's liver cannot process recycled blood cells. (Her daughter, Scarlett, was born prematurely with severe jaundice.) McFarlene's new monitor, the Tlc BiliTest, renders obsolete the painful blood test that has had 60% of the nation's newborns squealing in hospital nurseries for decades.
McFarlene's handheld device, which looks like a small camcorder, is noninvasive and pain-free. It uses photoelectric-diode color-science technology that even Star Trek's Bones would appreciate. Here's how: The device flashes a light on the skin and performs color measurement to gauge the level of bilirubin--an insoluble pigment in the blood that is a byproduct of jaundice--reflected in the yellowish hue of the skin.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration and launched in June, the new monitor costs about $3,000. But it allows technicians to color-scan patients and get test results in minutes for a fraction of the cost of a blood test. Some 100 hospitals, including New York City's Mt. Sinai Medical Center, have purchased the BiliTest.
How does this make McFarlene feel? Well positioned, considering the market for the product is about $80 million and her New York company, Chromatics Color Sciences, has secured a distribution agreement with Datex-Ohmeda, the leading U.S. incubator manufacturer. But she's not sitting on her laurels. She continues to work with scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stanford University to develop more applications for the technology.
Folio[fn] DO-IT-YOURSELF FUND
Who better than a former SEC commissioner to show you how to customize your own mutual fund? Steven Wallman, who spent three years at the SEC spearheading the introduction of online trading, has started an online service called Folio [fn] (www.foliofn.com).
The service lets investors marry the diversification benefits of a mutual fund with the extra oomph of investors' own stock picks. For about $25 per month, customers can choose, for example, to put $2,000 into Folio[fn]'s aggressive fund of technology stocks, shake it up by pulling out a few shares of Microsoft and adding AOL. Enjoy the show as the portfolio automatically rebalances.
Backed with more than $75 million from Silicon Valley VC powerhouse the Mayfield Fund and Internet service provider PSINet Inc., the company, based in Vienna, Va., "is definitely a David versus Goliath play" in taking on the mutual fund industry, admits chairman and CEO Wallman, 46. And if a power outage shuts down his servers or customers yawn, he might wind up working in his old gig as a securities lawyer. Nevertheless, Wallman has the vision thing ("We want to change the investing world," he says) and several additional online products in the works. Move over, Mr. Schwab.
FusionOne STAYING IN SYNC
Synchronization technology has been around for several years, letting users take two devices, such as a PC and a PalmPilot, and match up the data. Rick Onyon, 35, who started his tech career as a software engineer and later became CEO of Chili Pepper Software, launched FusionOne with a much more dramatic goal: Create a single, secure digital vault for all of a person's data--which sits on a server--that can be retrieved from any source, including a cell phone, home or office PC, or Palm.
FusionOne lets you sync up your data effortlessly. This works by virtue of a small software agent that sits on any device from a PC to an Internet phone, watches for changes, and sends them to FusionOne's servers. You then retrieve those changes any time you're online.
The technology works for traditional sync fodder such as address books and calendars but will also support specific pieces of Web content, like airline itineraries. The software, introduced in January, is available from fusionOne.com. It is free, although a premium service of $9.95 a month has no advertisements and offers more storage.
Onyon launched his San Jose company in 1998, funded with $10 million in VC cash from Eldorado Ventures, Nokia, and 3Com. The corporate strategic investors are helping to distribute FusionOne's software on every Palm device and Nokia cell phone, giving it a big head start over potential competitors.
Global Med Technologies CLOSE THE BLOOD BANK
Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days. That's one reason why many of the nation's blood banks are always teetering on the edge of crisis. Managed by hospitals and weighted with government regulation, blood banks are run like little fiefdoms, rarely sharing information or supplies with other banks. The result? Some banks throw away fresh blood while others desperately plead for donations.
Dr. Michael I. Ruxin has wanted to improve the antiquated blood-supply system ever since he ran two hospital emergency rooms back in the 1970s. His Global Med Technologies in Lakewood, Colo., just might do it with a pair of software products called SafeTrace. Introduced last year, SafeTrace links hospitals and donor centers in an online network that allows them to share blood supplies quicker, easier, and at less cost.
The SafeTrace system works by shifting blood inventories from hospitals to a donor center, which serves as a supply depot. Hospitals in the network can order blood for patients electronically over the Internet. SafeTrace won final approval from the FDA in 1999.
"Hospitals will no longer have to keep large inventories of blood," says CEO Ruxin. "That will lower the cost of an average transfusion by 10%."
Global Med developed SafeTrace after raising $8 million in an initial public offering in 1997. It has sold the product to 22 hospitals, including a ten-hospital network in Pittsburgh. Momentum is growing. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to sell the software. Still, Global Med has yet to turn a profit. In fact, last year the company posted losses of $7.5 million on sales of $5.5 million. But Ruxin, 54, says Global Med will break even this year. "We've got the first vein-to-vein software on the market," the doctor says. "Hospitals can't afford to ignore this."
Idaho Technology PORTABLE DNA LAB
Germs, not guns, may be the weapons of the future. If so, the nation's first line of defense could be a device born in the biochemistry lab at the University of Utah.
Dr. Carl Wittwer, 45, a biochemistry researcher, and Kirk Ririe, 41, one of his former students, have created a rugged, portable lab that can be used by soldiers in the field to identify biological weapons such as anthrax. The $55,000 device is only about the size of hefty suitcase, but it's so sophisticated it can identify the deadly DNA in minutes. In contrast, conventional tests take days in a specialized lab.
The two biochemists have founded a company to sell the portable lab, Idaho Technology of Salt Lake City. Its first customer was the U.S. Air Force, which has been conducting tests with the device for two years.
Meanwhile, the duo is eyeing another battlefield: the food factory. Their device can be used to identify bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Idaho Technology hopes to persuade food manufacturers to use the portable lab to detect tainted food before it hits grocery shelves. Making hot dogs safe for the masses?
InCert Software BUG BUSTERS
For years, busy e-commerce sites such as eBay have wrestled with the problem of online crashes and are often unable to pinpoint the cause of these virtual disasters. MIT professor Anant Agarwal, 40, and Alain Hanover, 51, former CEO of Viewlogic, believe they have a solution.
Their two-year-old company, InCert Software, has devised Traceback (akin to a jet's black box), a software agent that resides in applications' production code and reports back about how the software is running.
The product lets software developers record the events that precede a crash so they can solve them more quickly. It was released last summer for mainframe applications and has already attracted customers including Fidelity and Schwab. InCert also plans to have versions of its software for the platforms that run most Websites--Linux, Microsoft, and Solaris--by year-end.
The price tag is high: $100,000 for the mainframe software. Backed by $9 million in VC from firms such as Bessemer Venture Partners, InCert, based in Cambridge, Mass., expects sales of $5 million in 2000.
Lydstrom SongBank DIGITAL JUKEBOX
Here's one for all you audiophiles: What do get when you cross a PC with a CD player? A Lydstrom SongBank MZ3-7000. It's a new kind of home stereo component that allows you to store hundreds of CDs (or 350 hours of music) digitally and then--using a handheld, touchscreen remote control--play any song or album in any order you wish. It'll even let you play as many as three different tunes simultaneously on separate speakers. Want to spend an evening listening only to songs with "love" in the title? This personalized jukebox can do that too.
The SongBank is the brainchild of Rahul Shah, 29, a former management consultant, and Ashwin Kochiyil Philips, 31, a former software engineer at Bell Labs. Friends since sixth grade, the two teamed up and started Lydstrom in Boston in March 1998, after Philips, a self-described music nut and tinkerer, cobbled together a crude version of the machine in his parents' garage.
The new machine is simple to use: Just pop in the CD, and the software records the identifying data of each track and artist while it compresses the information digitally. Users can store an entire library of music. And because the wireless handheld touchscreen doesn't use infrared light like a television remote control, it can be used from anywhere in the house.
Revlon CEO Ron Perlman likes the SongBank so much that his venture capital firm, McAndrews & Forbes of New York City, invested $2 million in Lydstrom in January. That's because the worldwide market for CD players is $5 billion, and American music lovers currently snap up nearly 40 million of them each year.
Mass production has just begun. Since the SongBank (which retails for $600) was recently featured on WebRiot, MTV's hot teen game show, advance orders have been multiplying on Lydstrom's Website.
Makeover Networks NET STYLIST
Hey girls, if the only thing standing between you and that new Rene Russo haircut is nerve, here's one for you. Makeover Networks, a one-year-old interactive beauty and makeover company in San Mateo, Calif., is launching a site called www.makeoverstudio.com. The free Internet service allows you to upload your own digital photo and then experiment with thousands of the latest styles and colors without touching a lock.
Same goes for makeup. Hundreds of lipsticks, shadows, and foundations can be "tried on" and "removed" instantly--no tissues, no clammy cold cream. Like what you see? Simply click on the product, then buy it online from the participating merchant.
The service was created by Lori Von Rueden, a former marketing director at Sega Soft who pioneered the Cosmopolitan Virtual Makeover, an off-the-shelf software product (store sales topped $40 million in its first year). As the beauty business began to migrate online, the 40-year-old realized that the wildly successful concept was an e-commerce business waiting to happen. And she figured it had licensing potential, because cosmetics companies could use it on their sites. In exchange, Makeover Networks would receive a percentage of online sales.
To refine her offline technology, Von Rueden forged a strategic alliance with PictureWorks, which developed proprietary facial-feature-recognition technology for the site in return for a minority stake. The technology lets a user point to the image of her own lips, for instance, and "apply" a lipstick perfectly with a click of the mouse--no drawing or adjusting required.
Internet investors believe the business plan has promise in the $70 billion beauty biz. To date, the company has raised more than $3 million from angel investors and venture capital firms, including Draper Richards and Venture Management Associates.
NetVendor ONLINE SURPLUS BIN
Everyone knows that more and more B2B online marketplaces are hanging their cybershingles. But one newcomer that has attracted nearly $70 million in venture capital from the likes of Internet Capital Group stands out from the crowd: NetVendor, a one-year-old Atlanta startup founded by Sean McCloskey, 32. The service not only simplifies trade in the highly fragmented "dirty fingernail" industries (auto parts, electronics, and industry components), but it has also created a new online marketplace, SurplusBIN.com, where industries can unload surplus inventory.
Disposing of excess inventory (a multibillion-dollar business annually) is currently done through industry-specific brokers over the phone or by fax, which can be time-consuming and costly. With NetVendor, the seller posts inventory on the site, and buyers search the digital aisles to find what they need. The buyer hits a buy button, which connects the two parties so they can finish the sale privately offline. Afterward, the seller pays the site a 5% commission fee. It's that easy.
So far, NetVendor has 500 registered buyers and sellers. The site posts 13,000 items, worth $12 million. Subscriptions for clients, which include Eaton and Starlinear, range from $7,000 to $15,000 a month depending on usage.
The reason for NetVendor's impressive following is its distribution technology. Along with IBM, it is marketing a software package called E.MBRACE, which ties users not only to its online surplus bin but also to private customers and other online trading exchanges.
NeuroMetrix STRESS TESTER
NeuroMetrix, a private medical-engineering firm based in Cambridge, Mass., recently introduced a portable handheld device, NC-stat, that can help companies identify workers at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive-stress injuries. The device can detect even slight damage to nerves in minutes. Using sensors attached to the patient's skin, NC-stat measures electrical currents as they course along nerves.
Compact, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive at $1,000, the device can be operated by primary-care physicians and nurses. HMOs are NeuroMetrix's biggest customers, but the company is getting hundreds of orders from more than a dozen FORTUNE 500 companies, including tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, says Dr. Shai Gozani, 35, a neurobiologist and CEO of NeuroMetrix.
OneCore.com VIRTUAL CASH HANDLER
It might seem futuristic to forgo a CFO for an EFO (electronic financial officer), but many small business owners, tired of tedious financial paperwork, are happy to dole out the drudgery of everything from payroll and bill payment to a one-stop, online financial-services shop.
While such virtual commercial-finance companies are not unique, OneCore.com offers a rare level of services to the little guy. The brainchild of 41-year-old chairman Barry Star (creator of Fidelity's Online Xpress), the site helps customers manage and earn interest on cash, pay bills, write checks, process payroll, and manage 401(k) retirement plans--all online.
The cost for such convenience is generally less than what banks charge but varies according to what users get a la carte. The basic service is $25 a month, which allows a small business to have an online interest-bearing account and run cash-flow reports.
The Bedford, Mass., company must be doing something right. Since it launched last August, it has attracted impressive partners such as American Express, BHC Securities, Earthlink, Peachtree, PNC Bank, and Scudder Kemper Investments. It has also attracted $40 million in venture capital money from Century Capital Management, CMGI's @Ventures, Merrill Lynch, and Paine Webber.
Outlast Technologies SPACE-AGE FABRIC
What do you get when a space-age idea lands in the laps of winter sports fanatics? A material that regulates body heat and makes goose down jackets a collectible for vintage clothes enthusiasts.
This material, called Outlast, blends with or can coat textiles to make a fabric that regulates body heat. Here's how it works: When the body becomes hot, the patented material (activated by a heat conductor called paraffin in microcapsulates) absorbs the surface heat. As the body becomes cooler, the fabric recycles the heat back to the body to maintain a comfortable skin temperature.
The seeds for this idea were born at Triangle Research and Development Corp., an R&D firm that--fittingly--had been subcontracted by NASA to develop gloves for astronauts. Two entrepreneurs with an eye on cold-weather sports, Ed Payne, 53, and Bernie Perry, 42, got wind of Triangle's research, and they realized how valuable temperature-regulation fabrics could be for the $60 billion outdoor-apparel industry. It took them eight years and $10 million in angel financing to perfect the breakthrough technology.
Since introducing the product worldwide, Outlast Technologies of Boulder, Colo., has signed more than 150 apparel and sporting-goods companies--including Eddie Bauer, Benetton, Hugo Boss, and Nordica. Their licensing agreements with Outlast let them incorporate its technology into their garments. Thanks to the deals, Outlast president and CEO Jonathan Erb is projecting revenues of $50 million by 2001, up from $1 million last year.
PayPal.com YOU'VE GOT MONEY!
The Internet is littered with efforts to create an Internet currency--beenz, flooz, CyberCash, to name a few. Peter Thiel, 32, has taken a different approach by creating a service called PayPal.com, which allows users to send real money by e-mail.
The need for such a money handler is undeniable. Every day, millions of items are bought and sold online at person-to-person auction sites like eBay, and the predominant payment system is old-fashioned money orders. PayPal.com lets cybershoppers pay right away. It has made rapid inroads into this market since its October 1999 product debut. About 8% of all eBay auctions are now paid for using the service, making it easier for winning bidders to get their quarry more quickly.
PayPal.com didn't start with such lofty plans. Thiel's team, which launched the company in Palo Alto, Calif., in December 1998, started with only vague notions of doing something with finance, PalmPilots, and security. These ideas morphed into a plan for money encryption on the Palm and then back to the Internet. The key for Thiel and his friends from Stanford: Good old green U.S. dollars still work pretty well, and a new Internet funny money wasn't needed. Users put money from a credit card or bank account into a PayPal.com account, and recipients choose to get a check or a credit to a bank account or credit card. Users can also download money to a PalmPilot. The company plans a cell-phone version later this year.
PayPal.com's growth is triggered by what's known as viral marketing. Every PayPal user is one of the company's chief marketers. That's because new recipients of money through PayPal.com become the next wave of new customers; they have to go to PayPal.com to get paid, after all. The product's usage literally spreads like a virus.
The company will need this growth scheme--competitors such as eCash and PayMe.com now offer similar services. But PayPal.com has a huge head start, with an expected one million customers in April and five million by the end of the year.
PayPal.com now makes money only off of the float when money sits in users' accounts. But it plans to expand into a full array of financial services like bill payment and credit cards. PayPal.com got a jolt of Internet speed thanks to a merger with online bank X.com in March. The 68-employee company (premerger) has raised $28 million in two venture rounds with Goldman Sachs, Idealab Capital Partners, and Nokia Ventures.
PentaWall REINVENTING THE WALL
According to John Spakousky, the only thing slower to change than a chilly Alaskan winter is a core concept in the masonry industry. That's why this 46-year-old president of PentaWall Corp. was reluctant to pursue an idea he'd been toying with for many years.
Spakousky has been a masonry contractor based in Anchorage since 1984 and is quite aware of how tough northern winds can rip through buildings. Now he has devised a new way to build walls so they're completely impervious to the elements--at $15 to $25 less per square foot than most conventional composite wall systems.
He calls his new technology the Pentstar CMFU (Concrete Masonry Form Unit) building system, which is actually a piece of plastic that fits between two block faces, dividing the interior of a wall into two segmented cavities. This allows for a layer of insulation to be added alongside a layer of grout, stopping air and moisture from permeating one of his buildings' walls.
The Pentstar CMFU was inspired in 1994 when Spakousky noticed that for the first time in 25 years slow changes were taking place in the way bricks and blocks were built. New building systems--insulated concrete forms--were developed that allowed for better insulation within bricks. But Spakousky thought they were too bulky and cost-inefficient, so he started to experiment slowly on the side while he continued to contract and design buildings.
After several years of making prototypes and working through the patent process, Spakousky finally had a worthy product. In 1998 he formed PentaWall to license the technology to construction manufacturers, and then moved to Minneapolis, because 80% of masonry units are sold east of the Rockies. So far, Spakousky is off to a good start. Last spring PentaWall raised $1 million in a private placement offering. Spakousky won't name his partners but says he has made a dozen tentative deals with U.S. construction manufacturers.
Quality Research GOOD VIBRATIONS
Taking a cue from the Beach Boys, Daryoush Allaei decided to make a career out of managing good vibrations. Now it looks like his skill at it could make him a very rich man. This year Allaei's Quality Research Development and Consulting Inc., in Excelsior, Minn., introduced a device that helps contain and minimize the impact of vibrations on structures. This was an area he had been researching at the University of Mississippi.
When the U.S. Department of Defense heard about his work, it awarded his company a $2.5 million grant to develop the technology. The Navy is testing his device on ships and submarines at sea. The Army is using it to reduce the recoil of machine guns mounted on aircraft.
In the past, engineers used layers of heavy, shock-absorbing material to help structures withstand the impact of, say, bombs or earthquakes. Allaei's breakthrough came in the design of a lightweight "energy sink." Sensors help pull vibrations into the sink, which collects and subdues them. His device would allow ships, subs, aircraft, and other structures to shed their old shock-absorbing armor. Result: lower fuel costs, for one.
Quality Research hopes to raise $10 million by the end of the year from venture capitalists and other investors to test its technology on other commercial applications.
CEO Allaei, 43, thinks his device has a future in commercial applications too. He hopes to see the technology in cars, where it could save lives by reducing the impact of accidents. Even music lovers could benefit. Orchestra halls might use it to create places that resonate with perfect sound.
Troba TRACKING NETSHOPPERS
At first, Elizabeth Charnock and Terrence Talbot, two Sun Microsystems emigres, thought about writing an e-business bestseller on how to create user-friendly Websites. They even had a title picked out--One False Click. But what dynamic duo in Silicon Valley wants to spend a year writing a book when in the same amount of time they could launch a Web startup? So Charnock, 33, and Talbot, 32, shelved the book plan in May 1999 and founded Troba. In February, the San Francisco company unveiled its innovative software, which lets businesses watch what's happening on their e-commerce site, understand why it's happening, and be able to do something about it before they lose customers.
Troba's software, code-named Barcelona, works like a hidden camera in a store, letting an e-tailer observe cybershoppers as they ramble through his or her Website's virtual aisles. The Troba tools can identify someone as a frustrated customer and let the site manager intercede by initiating a chat session to help the customer before she gets fed up and leaves.
The tools also provide a site-analysis service; there's a free version on Troba.com called (as you might have guessed) OneFalseClick. The hidden camera software, which should be available this month, will be sold by subscription for $20,000 to $500,000 a year. Troba already has customers, such as real estate hub Owners.com and golf club e-tailer Chipshot.com. It is raising $2 million in angel funding to finish building its preview version before going the VC route.
Vectron FACTORY WATCHDOG
There has always been a market for a device that more accurately tests circuit boards--which are used in everything from computers to wireless phones--as they come off the assembly line. Joseph Vilella, 48, thinks he has the answer. He and a partner have designed a $250,000 device that is accurate enough to take digital images of the newly made circuit boards and measure those images biometrically against a blueprint of the perfect board stored in the machine's memory.
Vilella's device is so accurate it can spot a missing chip the size of a poppy seed. Until now, factories have employed devices with black-and-white images. By using color, Vilella's device improves accuracy to almost 100%, from 90%.
Vectron, based in San Diego, has only one customer so far, but it's a whopper: wireless giant Qualcomm. Others, such as Motorola and Nokia, are interested. As a result, CEO Vilella expects sales of $12.5 million this year.
Veritas Medicine DRUG TRIALS RECRUITER
Medical Websites are popping up faster than chicken pox in a kindergarten. Newcomer Veritas Medicine aims to be different. Started by a trio of med school friends, it hopes to launch a site that's a true lifesaver--and one that will shake up the stodgy drug industry in the process.
Veritas' gambit: clinical trials. The company wants to lure visitors to the site with comprehensive coverage of diseases and conditions written by M.D.s from Harvard-affiliated hospitals. From those visitors, Veritas hopes to recruit volunteers to participate in tests of new drugs. The site will screen candidates before sending them to the drug companies.
If successful, Veritas could streamline the laborious drug-testing process. Before a drug gains approval from the FDA, it must undergo rigorous tests on human subjects. But it takes a drug company about 40 weeks to recruit enough people. They estimate they lose about $1 million a day while a new drug sits in the lab.
Rob Adelman, M.D., 37, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Veritas, says the company, which hopes to fetch recruitment bounties from drugmakers, could cut the trial-filling time in half. Veritas has raised $1 million in seed capital from the Cambridge Incubator and Seaflower Ventures and is in talks with top drugmakers, including Merck and Pfizer. No takers at press time.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., the company intends to launch its site this spring. But it could face stiff competition. Several other sites are pursuing the trials market, including that of the National Institutes of Health.
Vistify ELECTRONIC VALET
Make room on the countertop for the iBot. This kitchen gadget is a kind of electronic valet that will allow you to order home delivery of pizza, videos, and milk over the Internet.
The iBot idea guy is Wilfred Martis, 35, a former Intel marketing exec. Three years ago, while getting his MBA at Wharton, he wrote a paper about a device that would make buying convenience items a lot more convenient. After all, who wants to schlep to the store for a six-pack after a long day at work?
Last year Martis decided the time was right. He enlisted the help of his brother, another Intel alumnus, and a former business school buddy turned management consultant named Menekse Gencer to bring his bright idea to market. Gencer came on board as chief marketing officer. The three pooled their savings ($400,000) and launched a company called Vistify to make the device, code-named iBot.
The iBot resembles a tiny laptop screen mounted on a colorful base. Expected to sell for less than $200, the device will tap into the Internet through a phone line. By touching pictures or icons on the screen with a finger or stylus, a homeowner will be able to order items for delivery from e-tailers and other stores. First to get their hands on the gadget in a few months will be tech-savvy residents of San Francisco and Seattle.
Vistify has won at least one convert so far. In January, Panasonic invited the company to join its incubator in San Francisco. Vistify's next challenge: to raise $10 million in venture capital to start making the device.
Xenogen LIGHT-TAGGING CELLS
Five years ago, while working at Stanford University, Pamela Contag and her husband, Chris Contag, discovered a process called light tagging. By injecting a protein taken from fireflies into a living animal, they found, scientists can set certain organs aglow. Using highly sensitive and sophisticated video cameras, scientists can identify tumors or other abnormalities in organs without performing surgery.
Pamela Contag, 42, and a partner launched Xenogen, based in Alameda, Calif., to commercialize the discovery. Among the first to buy rights to the process: Bausch & Lomb, Eli Lilly & Co., Hoffman-LaRoche, and Novartis. (Some use the light tagging on drug testing of lab animals.) Estimated sales this year: $5 million.
Yet2.com BRAINTRUST EXCHANGE
Wouldn't it be great if you could pick some of the world's most innovative brains with just a keystroke? That's the concept behind Yet2.com, a 15-month-old startup in Cambridge, Mass., that bills itself as the world's first online proprietary technology exchange. The founders are CEO Chris De Bleser, 49, a former tech manager at Polaroid, and president Ben du Pont, 36, a former global business manager for Du Pont. Their site lists hundreds of patented technologies developed by corporations, entrepreneurs, research labs, and universities that can be licensed or purchased.
Background: As a veteran of the research and development world, De Bleser knew that nearly 90% of technological advances never see the light of day. Yet2.com's goal, he says, is to make those innovations available to the R&D community so it can use them for a variety of other commercial applications.
Say you're looking for a new kind of brake system technology for your manufacturing plant. For $25 a pop, you could scan the Yet2.com site across a variety of industries looking for a technology that you might be able to adapt. (To protect the intellectual property from being ripped off, Yet2.com posts only a general description of what the technology does. And to protect its own role as broker, the owners' names are withheld.) Yet2.com will broker the deal and take a 10% commission.
Already nearly three dozen major corporations, including Allied Signal, Procter & Gamble, and Toshiba, have signed agreements to post their intellectual property. Since the Website's launch in February, it has been brokering more than half a dozen deals. Investors include Honeywell, 3i, and Venrock, among others, which have pumped $20 million into the startup.
by Carlye Adler, Bronwyn Fryer, Anne Ashby Gilbert, Jane Hodges, David Lidsky, Maggie Overfelt, Edward Robinson, and Julie Sloane
www.fsb.com To get contact information for the companies listed in this article, log on to www.fsb.com/toc/.
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HP [752 Certification Exam(s) ]
HR [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
HRCI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Huawei [21 Certification Exam(s) ]
Hyperion [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
IAAP [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IAHCSMM [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IBM [1533 Certification Exam(s) ]
IBQH [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ICAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ICDL [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
IEEE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IELTS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IFPUG [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
IIBA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IISFA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Intel [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
IQN [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
IRS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISACA [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISC2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISEB [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
Isilon [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
ISM [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
iSQI [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
ITEC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Juniper [65 Certification Exam(s) ]
LEED [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Legato [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Liferay [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Logical-Operations [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Lotus [66 Certification Exam(s) ]
LPI [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
LSI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Magento [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Maintenance [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
McAfee [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
McData [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Medical [69 Certification Exam(s) ]
Microsoft [375 Certification Exam(s) ]
Mile2 [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Military [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Misc [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Motorola [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
mySQL [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
NBSTSA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCEES [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NCLEX [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Network-General [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
NetworkAppliance [39 Certification Exam(s) ]
NI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
NIELIT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nokia [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Nortel [130 Certification Exam(s) ]
Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
OMG [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
Oracle [282 Certification Exam(s) ]
P&C [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Palo-Alto [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PARCC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Pegasystems [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
PEOPLECERT [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
PMI [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Prince2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
PRMIA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
PTCB [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
QAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
QlikView [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Quality-Assurance [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
RACC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Real-Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
RedHat [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RES [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
Riverbed [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
RSA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sair [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
Salesforce [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
SANS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAP [98 Certification Exam(s) ]
SASInstitute [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
SAT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCO [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
SCP [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
SDI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
See-Beyond [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Siemens [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Snia [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
SOA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
Social-Work-Board [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
SpringSource [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUN [63 Certification Exam(s) ]
SUSE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
Sybase [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
Symantec [135 Certification Exam(s) ]
Teacher-Certification [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
The-Open-Group [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
TIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Tibco [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Trend [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
TruSecure [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
USMLE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
VCE [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veeam [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Veritas [33 Certification Exam(s) ]
Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
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