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These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 16, 1999.
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Life in the Fast Lane: ITXC IPO
Being first with the most is working for ITXC Corp.
Ever since ITXC (Internet Telephony Exchange Carrier) was founded
in a home office on Library Place, Tom and Mary Evslin knew they would
take it public. Now it has more than 70 employees at 600 College Road
East, and it is the world’s largest wholesale Internet telephony network
(U.S. 1, September 15, 1997, and July 17, 1998).
Last year the firm hit the top 100 list of technology companies that
"will change the way business gets done" as published by Red
Herring magazine (http://www.redherring.com). This month ITXC
was on the Hot 100 list for Upside magazine, selected from more than
800 nominations (http://www.upsidetodoay.com.
Last week the other shoe dropped: ITXC filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of common stock.
The only details disclosed in this preliminary statement are the prospective
underwriters: Lehman Brothers, CIBC World Markets, and First Analysis
ITXC is capitalized to the tune of $33 million, and it received half
of that ($15 million) this March. Investors include Chase Capital
Partners, Flatiron Partners, Intel, Polaris Ltd., Spectrum Equity
Investors, and VocalTec Communications, all of whom also invested
in ITXC’s first round.
For its clients — which include traditional telephone companies,
new competitive carriers, pre-paid calling card companies, callback
companies, and other resellers — ITXC performs the service of
completing Internet calls, using a combination of traditional technology
and Internet service. ITXC is affiliated with Bell Atlantic, China
Telecom, Japan Telecom, and Korea Telecom. It has more than 113 "point
of presence" nodes in 38 countries and is adding five to seven
new locations per month.
Tom and Mary Evslin started their entrepreneurial careers by founding
a mainframe software firm in Vermont in the 70s. Then Tom, a Harvard
alumnus (Class of ’65), worked at Microsoft as a division general
manager, before moving to AT&T, where he jumpstarted AT&T’s Internet
initiative, AT&T WorldNet. This time around, the Evslins’ own company
might do very well.
College Road East, Princeton 08540. Tom Evslin, CEO. 609-419-1500;
fax, 609-419-1511. Home page: http://www.itxc.com.
— Barbara Fox
A potential turnaround for Encore Books & Music seemed
possible eight months ago, when Lauriat’s, the 126-year-old regional
chain that owns the company, brought in turnaround officer Matthew
Harrison to get the company out of Chapter 11. On Friday, June 11,
however, company officials announced to its landlord at the Princeton
Shopping Center that it is going out of business. "We’re selling
off the inventory in the store now," says John McNamara, chief
operating officer for Lauriat’s. Harrison, who had hoped to reduce
the firm’s hefty debt, resigned last week.
Encore Books is the second area bookstore to fold in a week. Rivergate
Books, the 10-year-old bookstore in Lambertville, announced it will
close on June 30. Janet Holbrook, the owner, attributed a drop in
sales to competition from online stores like Amazon.com.
The proliferation of book and CD stores online may not entirely explain
the closing of Encore, however. Oren Teicher, chief operating officer
of the American Booksellers Association, was quoted as saying that
Internet sales only account for two percent of book sales. He thinks
the problem is industry wide — books sales, he says, remain flat.
Within Princeton, however, book sales are still strong, as focus group
studies conducted under Harrison proved. "We realized that our
heavy niche was the heavy book buyers, people age 50 and over with
above average income, above average education, a variety of interests,
and time. A very small penetration of that market gives you a profitable
business," said Harrison last November.
Encore’s greatest challenge was meeting the needs of that market.
A shortage of inventory left many feeling that management was out
of touch with the clientele, and that enhanced the appeal of Route
1 superstores like Barnes and Noble.
Ironically, "individualized service" was part of Harrison’s
vision for making the company a viable small book store, and getting
it out of debt by the first quarter of this year. He also closed one-third
of Encore’s 110 locations, including stores in Plainsboro and Trenton,
and instituted store-wide discounts.
Although Encore is auctioning off its merchandise to liquidators,
McNamara hesitated to give a final word on when the company would
be closing its doors for good, saying that it was still possible that
the store could be sold. Chris Hanington, general manager of the Princeton
Shopping Center, says that would be ideal. "It was a great use
of the space," she says. "Books and music are very important
in Princeton. It’s a big loss."
Once Encore’s property is turned over, however, the Princeton Shopping
Center can make good use of it. Hanington has already begun to market
it as one with the adjoining property, vacant since 1997 when Super
Fresh left town. "It’ll be a great location, much better location
than Super Fresh was, because now it will be an end-cap," she
says of the 38,000 square foot space. "That’s more attractive
— Melinda Sherwood
08540. 609-452-1701; fax, 609-452-1704. Home page: http://www.epam.com.
Founded in Belarus, Russia, seven years ago, this computer consulting
firm was originally named Effective Programming America. It had an
office in Marlton but moved in May to Emmons Drive, where it occupies
temporary space (1,700 feet) and will move to 3,600 feet. Ten workers
consult in sales force automation on PCs for various industries. The
programs are webcentric and adaptable for either Internet and intranet
The spokesperson for the company declined to be identified or provide
further information, but the website lists such clients as Bally USA,
Colgate-Palmolive (in the United States and Paris), and the Belarus
office of the World Bank, for which it did a household expenditure
survey. Among its programs is a report viewer, which can interface
with SAP requirements.
Box 7794, West Trenton 08628. 609-883-2146; fax, 609-883-5627.
After two years of getting ready Tom Patterson is finally — maybe
— due to open his $10 million full-service fixed base operation
at Trenton-Mercer Airport. His competitor is Ronson Aviation, the
38-year-old company that until now, was the sole fuel and service
provider at the airport.
With 15 workers, Patterson aims to eventually offer turboprop aircraft
maintenance, charters, avionics repair, and aircraft sales. Patterson
also wants to offer maintenance for jets and commercial passenger
planes and 24-hour customs services.
A graduate of Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Class of 1974,
Patterson sold his Trenton-based business, Casino Events Marketing,
and sunk that profit into Executive Jetport. It has taken Patterson
more than two years to develop the former Naval Air Warfare Center
and get past Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
420, Princeton 08542. Scott M. Ciccone, president. 609-275-1890; fax,
The investment advisory firm has moved from Suite 445 at Princeton
Meadows Office Center to the Palmer Square neighborhood. The former
president, Tina S. March, has been succeeded by Scott M. Ciccone.
died as a result of injuries suffered from a fall at a construction
site on Bedens Brook Road.
longtime principal with the Hillier Group on Alexander Road.
Financial Services. A memorial service will be Saturday, June 19,
at 4 p.m. at the Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton.
deputy attorney general and had been the defendant in a sexual harassment
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