Corrections or additions?
These articles by Melinda Sherwood and Barbara Fox were published
in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 22, 1999. All rights reserved.
Networking Time: AT&T Ventures
If your company has anything to do with
or the Internet, you probably hope for attention from any of the mega
companies, such as Microsoft or AT&T. R. Bradford Burnham
partner of AT&T Ventures, will keynote the Venture Association of
New Jersey’s second annual business incubator and high tech showcase
on Friday, September 24, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Westin in Morristown.
Cost: $60. Exhibits only, $15. Call 973-631-5680.
Burnham is an alumnus of Wesleyan University, and in his 19-year
has been director of business development for AT&T Computer Systems
and founder and CEO of Echo Logic, which provides byte-level software
translation between processors.
The AT&T venture capital partnership, founded seven years ago,
from $1 million to $5 million to companies in these markets: wireless
communications, Internet, value added networking services, content,
and local service. Its "value-added" service is to help its
portfolio companies find potential business partners within AT&T or
leverage any other aspect of AT&T.
Paytrust (www.paytrust.com), the online billpayment company at Emmons
Drive, is among the 60 companies in AT&T Ventures’ portfolio. Others
include City Search (Ticketmaster Online-City Search), E-Stamp
(web-based postage solutions), Physicians Online (the largest online
community of medical professionals), Verisign Inc. (the leading
ID certificate authority), and Netscape.
"We expect to exit the investment within five to seven years,
and we take an active role with our portfolio companies," says
the press release (http://www.attventures.com). "We work with
many entrepreneurs to help shape a business plan, but ultimately a
written plan is essential to our evaluation of investment
Have a high-tech product but not enough funds to launch
it into the market? Let the U.S. Department of Defense write you a
check under the Small Business Innovative Research Program. That’s
how Princeton Satellite System’s president Michael Paluszek
was able to develop the company’s "object agent," a software
development system that could be used in two U.S. Air Force
and meanwhile be used to keep electricity flowing to our homes.
general goal is to create a militarily significant but commercially
viable product," says Paluszek, whose firm is based at 33
Street. "The advantage of the SBIR is that you retain the
rights so you can resell the product."
This is just one example of the innovative technologies featured at
this year’s Emerging Technology Showcase, hosted by the New Jersey
Technology Council on Monday, September 27, at 4 p.m. at the Princeton
Plasma Physics Lab. The showcase is a perfect opportunity to network,
show off, and get ideas on getting to market. Other exhibitors: Aptech
Worldwide, Brookhouse Data Solutions, CM Software, Commence
Medatech International, Mobiliti Inc., Navigator Technologies, Omnie
Labs, Paramax Productions, Stone, Timber & River, Themis Inc.,
Personalizing Technology, Krell Technologies, NJIT Defense Procurement
Center, and Notifact.
Companies will be introduced by Mario Casabono
Electro-Radiation Inc., Brendan Dougher
and Ron Guida
of the lab begin at 3 p.m. Call 856-787-9700. Cost: $70.
Other business showcases in September:
third annual New Jersey Growth Company Showcase at the Sheraton
CEOs and CFOs of some of the fastest growing firms, including CommTech
Corporation, Computer Horizons, Dendrite, the Liposome Co., and
will give presentations and lead discussions. The showcase starts
at 8 a.m. Cost: $125. Call 856-787-9700.
second annual Business Incubator and High-Tech Showcase at the Westin,
in Morristown. The event starts at 9 a.m. Cost: $60. Call
(Bradford Burnham, general partner of AT&T Ventures, is the keynote
— see story above.)
Rub shoulders with the greats in wireless communications
at the 100th anniversary of the first radio transmission by Guglielmo
Marconi. The Rutgers Wireless Information Networks Laboratory (WINLAB)
will celebrate the anniversary on Thursday, September 30, at the
Point Hotel in Red Bank and the Twin Lights Historic Site in
Cost: $225 including two meals and a reception. Call Melissa
at 732-445-0283 or E-mail email@example.com.
Marconi went to Twin Lights to do live reporting of the America’s
Cup races. The message was supposed to be passed from a ship at sea
to Twin Lights and be relayed by telephone to the New York Herald.
First, however, he was told to report on the return of Admiral Dewey’s
victorious fleet to New York from the Spanish American War. And so
on September 30, 1899, the telegraphy messages reporting on the fleet
were the first demonstrations of practical wireless telegraphy.
WINLAB is also celebrating its own 10th anniversary, says interim
director Roy Yates
Cooperative Research Center, it is a resource for the creation and
evaluation of technology and for disseminating information.
Among the speakers will be Fumiyuki Adachi
and Telegraph NTT-DoCoMo, head of the leading research group outside
the United States in the development of third-generation cellular
phones. Also Donald Cox
who holds the Alexander Graham Bell Medal and the Guglielmo Marconi
Prize; Richard Frenkiel
phone system; Larry Greenstein
Labs Research, who works with measuring and modeling cellular radio
communication channels; Robert Lucky
and author of a column in the IEEE Spectrum magazine; and Andrew
Viterbi, a founder of Quallcomm Inc., with innovative digital
communications products based on Code Division Multiple Access
Following these speeches there will be a reenactment and reception
at Twin Lights.
Would you purchase a bag of potato chips over the Web?
That’s about as incongruous as buying Rogaine from a vending machine.
It’s no surprise, then, that marketing gurus like Daryl
president of the Planter Specialty Company at Nabisco, are cautious
about espousing the Internet as a major marketing vehicle. "For
some of businesses it’s very appropriate to use the Internet,"
he says. "Powerful ideas in the right medium work well. They still
work well on radio, and everybody thought that would go away. When
we give a recipe, we’ll use a magazine because it’s hard to clip them
out of TV."
Radio, television, Internet, direct mail — all of these mediums
are equally important for reaching customers, says Brewster, one of
the panelists at the American Marketing Association’s meeting
Where the Fish Are: Opportunities and Trends Within Direct to Consumer
Marketing," on Monday, September 27, at 6 p.m. at the Somerset
Hills Hotel in Warren. Joining him on the panel is Phil Benson
of the Roche Group Inc., who discusses marketing from the standpoint
of pharmaceutical companies. Call 908-497-2339. Cost: $40.
Prior to joining Nabisco, Brewster held various roles at the Campbell
Soup company. He holds a BA in economics from the University of
Class of 1979, and an MBA from University of North Carolina, Chapel
Where to spend that marketing dollar, says Brewster, is the challenge
that companies face today. "Some people say put a $1 into 20
things," he says "but sometimes it’s better to pick one and
put $20 into that." Sinking the mother lode into Internet
would be foolhardy, he says. "I think there’s a lot of different
things to think through — there’s clearly been a fragmentation
of media alternatives, and that fragmentation has allowed you to be
much more targeted. There’s an awful lot of work going on in the
We’ve established our own E-business group, and I think this is the
Television is still the frontier medium for many pharmaceutical
says Phil Benson, manager of market intelligence for Roche Group Inc.
"Before it was prominently print, but now, with FDA deregulation,
you’re seeing more in broadcast," he says. For years,
companies tried to get the medical community to buy into drugs, but
with new FDA regulations, they can now get the general public to put
pressure on doctors to prescribe. In most cases, it will be for the
new generation of lifestyle drugs — drugs that deal with weight
loss, allergies, acne, depression, or impotence, for example.
Consumers holds this kind of product information dear to their hearts,
says Benson. "Managed care is forcing physicians to spend less
and less time with their patients, so you’re going to see consumers
play more of an active role in their health decisions," he says.
"They say that the average person takes more time picking out
a pair of shoes than they do their doctor." When a new drug to
treat arthritis or osteoporosis comes to the market, however,
will notice. "You have an aging population that needs products
geared towards an aging population. It’s a great opportunity for a
Benson received a B.S. from Ferris State University, Class of 1988,
and spent several years at Upjohn & Pharmacia, where he worked on
the company’s Rogaine product, among the first lifestyle drugs to
be advertised on TV. The freedom to advertise on television, however,
is a double-edged sword. "If you’re not a big share of the
he says, "you have to think: how much am I going to benefit my
competition? If we drive people into the office and the doctors don’t
write us a prescription, we’ve wasted our money." That happened
to Bristol-Myers Squibb when it ran ads on Pravachol, a product that
was apparently the third largest in the market. In the end revenues
went to a competing product by Warner Lambert. A company can sway
the average Joe, but ultimately, it’s the doctor who has to be
"The consumer and professional promotion have to work
Another conundrum for the industry is the "fair balance" act,
which makes it necessary for companies to list all the nasty side
effects associated with a drug that is advertised by brand name.
are better off in some cases, says Benson, urging people to see their
doctor about a condition, not a product. "If the fair balance
is negative, sexual dysfunction for example, and I’m the only person
in that market, I would concentrate my effort on converting the sale
at the doctor’s office," he says.
Pharmaceutical companies are slave to two masters — the consumers
and the doctors, two very different markets. "The main reasons
consumers want to lose weight is for appearance," says Benson.
"The main reason doctor’s want to lose weight is health, so
a disconnect." Nonetheless, Benson anticipates drug commercials
will take up more and more air time. "It’s ultimately the
decision to write a prescription," he says, "we’re just trying
to educate the consumer."
Imagine life-saving drugs to fight HIV brought to market
in half the time. Imagine all open-heart surgeries conducted with
a simple, non-invasive laser in five years rather than 10.
These are just two of the possible outcomes of a patent-pending
to speed-up the rate of discovery and innovation in medicine, science,
and business, says Ed Swanstrom
Inc. "It’s a patent-pending technique by which you turn innovation
on itself — you innovate innovation," says Swanstrom, who
explains the process on Thursday, September 30, at 8 a.m. in the
Building at Mercer County College. Cost: $45. Call 609-890-9624.
At the heart of the process, Swanstrom explains, is "knowledge
management," a rapidly growing trend in management that sounds
cryptic to outsiders: "Have you ever seen Escher — the hand
drawing the hand — that’s what we’re doing here," Swanstrom
explains, "letting things be self-innovating,
At the grassroots level, knowledge management is really about
people and technology in a way that maximizes information.
a sea of information — how do you chose what’s valuable to
asks Swanstrom. "If you have 100 JAVA books to chose from, which
one do you chose?"
Technology might be Bill Gates’ answer to this dilemma, but in the
cult of knowledge management, the human network is far more powerful
than the electronic network. "There’s no problem with technology,
but it is just a bunch of tools," says Swanstrom. "Even if
you have the greatest Lotus Notes system in the world, it doesn’t
mean people are going to use it. But if you get the social network
together, people will store the information because someone else needs
it. Trust is the key."
Swanstrom has been trying to understand the process of learning and
gaining knowledge since he was eight, when he first stumbled upon
the book of Solomon. "It was about wisdom and I wanted to figure
out what that was," he says. He earned a BA in philosophy from
Park College in Missouri, Class of 1978, and then traveled to foreign
countries in search of "wise men," only to return to the
Ronald Reagan, and the commercialization of space in the 1980s.
raised $33 million to modify the space lab on the shuttle but plans
quickly dissolved following the Challenger tragedy.
Now Swanstrom is president of the Knowledge Management Consortium
International, a world-wide organization with over 17,000 members,
and he owns World Intellectual Capital Exchange and Extreme Innovation
Inc., the company that owns the patented process for innovation. He
lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.
A rough guide to do-it-yourself knowledge management, says Swanstrom,
begins with a black-box analysis. Take a good hard look at your most
valued information sources: people. "The social network is the
valuable asset," says Swanstrom. "If I map that out in your
organization I’ll know more about where you’re getting your knowledge
from than what technology can tell me." Pollinators, people who
can travel between groups and introduce information, spawn ideas,
or make important introductions, are also good tools. Then comes
"You go after the lever points," says Swanstrom, "the
biggest bang for the bucks area."
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