Smart Women Think Before Buying Latte

Launching the Next High- Tech Business

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These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Bart Jackson were prepared for the June 5, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

PPPL Celebrates 50 Years

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory was scheduled

to celebrate its 50th anniversary last September 12. The event was

postponed and takes place from Wednesday through Friday, June 5 through

7, at PPPL’s Lyman Spitzer Building, beginning with registration at

8 a.m. on June 5. Cost: $50. To register, call Dolores Lawson

at 609-243-5554.

Founded in 1951 by Lyman Spitzer, professor of astronomy at

Princeton University, who had been involved in the study of very hot

rarefied gases in interstellar science, PPPL is a collaborative national

center for fusion energy and plasma physics research. It is managed

by Princeton University at its Forrestal Campus for the U.S. Department

of Energy. Fusion energy and plasma physics research is PPPL’s primary

mission. An auxiliary mission is providing education in fusion energy,

plasma physics, and related technologies.

The anniversary celebration begins with welcoming remarks by Anne

Davies, associate director for Fusion Energy Sciences, U.S. Department

of Energy; and Robert Goldston, director of the Plasma Physics

Lab. Among the speakers on June 5 are Richard Hawryluk, deputy

director of PPPL, speaking on "Plasma Science Research at PPPL;"

James Drake, University of Maryland, speaking on "Magnetic

Reconnection;" Karl Lackner, European Fusion Development

Agreement, speaking on "Plasma Boundary;" John Bahcall,

Institute for Advanced Study, speaking on "Solar Fusion and Solar

Neutrinos;" and Miklos Porkolab, director of the Plasma

Science and Fusion Center at MIT, speaking on "Waves in High Temperature

Plasmas: A Perspective on 50 Years of Science and the Promise of Applications."

Speaking at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. is Raymond Orbach, Department

of Energy; and William Happer, chair of the Princeton University

Research Board.

Speakers on the second day include Jeremy Goodman, Princeton

University, speaking on "Unsolved Plasma Problems in Astrophysics;"

Robert Rosner, Enrico Fermi Institute, speaking on "Solar

Physics;" Daniel Dubin, University of California at San

Diego, speaking on "Basic Plasma Physics with Trapped Nonneutral

Plasmas;" Jill Dahlberg, director, Division of Inertial

Fusion Technology, General Atomics, speaking on "IFE: Where It

Came From, Where It Is Going," and William Tang, chief scientist

at the PPPL, speaking on "Accomplishments and Challenges in Computational

Plasma Science." At 5 p.m., there will be a tour of PPPL.

On the final day, which ends after concluding remarks at noon, speakers

include William Heidbrink, University of California, Irvine,

speaking on "Energetic Particles;" Friedrich Wagner,

Max-Planck-Institut fur Plasmaphysik, speaking on "Wendelstein

Stellarators," and PPPL Director Goldston, speaking on "Future

Directions in Plasma Science and Fusion Research."

Top Of Page
Smart Women Think Before Buying Latte

Liz Scafa is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley

who works with women investors to help them set and achieve their

financial goals. This is a natural extension of her life’s work. In

her eighth grade yearbook, Scafa stated her career objective to become

a CPA. With a BBA from Baruch College of the City University of New

York in 1982, Scafa started in Big 8 accounting at Touche Ross & Co.

(now Deloitte & Touche), moved to Bankers Trust Company (now Deutsche

Bank) and then to CNA Insurance Company.

Since she joined Morgan Stanley three years ago, her work has been

more in line with her own changing goals — to work with individuals

and small businesses. "There is more of a personal reward in dealing

with individuals," she observes. "I help them to develop a

written financial plan including what they need to do to achieve their

goals."

Scafa focuses on the financial status of women today. According to

David Bach, author of "Smart Women Finish Rich," Broadway

Books, 1999, the picture for women is mixed. On the one hand, women

own 9.2 million businesses; head 42 percent of households with assets

over $600,000; earn about $1 trillion a year; and women investors

outperformed their male counterparts in investment returns in 9 of

the last 12 years.

Yet women generally live seven years longer than men, requiring more

savings; 25 percent of widows go through their husbands’ death benefits

in two months; one in two marriages ends in divorce; and women average

11 1/2 years out of the labor force to raise families, according to

Bach.

Consequently, the need for women to understand their financial situation

and plan for the future is more critical today than ever. Scafa specializes

in helping women to do just that. On Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 to

7 p.m. at Borders Book Store in Nassau Park, Scafa speaks on "Smart

Women Finish Rich," based on that New York Times best selling

book by David Bach. The event is sponsored by NJAWBO. Call 609-924-7975

for more information.

Scafa draws on her 20 years of financial services experience to present

women with ideas for managing their assets and offers this advice

to all women: "Document objectives, establish a plan, monitor

progress, and look forward to the future."

Drawing on Bach’s book, Scafa offers women seven ideas for managing

their assets:

Learn to earn. Scafa advises women to commit themselves

to learning "one thing about money" every year, for example,

by taking a class or reading a book on investment.

Put your money where your values are. "Do things that

make a difference," she advises, but make sure that values and

financial goals complement each other. "For example, if you want

to benefit homeless children," says Scafa, "don’t get a job

where you have to work 90 hours a week, and don’t have time for volunteer

work."

Figure out where you stand financially. "People don’t

know where their money is," observes Scafa. Her advice to women:

"Take a financial inventory so that you understand where your

accounts are maintained and who the beneficiaries are on your IRA

accounts." In divorce situations, this can be critical, because

beneficiary designations overrule instructions in a will.

Build your retirement basket. Women should try to fund

their own retirements. "While you are working," says Scafa,

"pay yourself first." Women need to put away 12 percent of

gross earnings for retirement versus only 10 percent for men due to

their time out of the work force and the fact that they die later.

To maintain financial control, she recommends that women consolidate

their retirement accounts, moving their accounts with them when they

change jobs.

Use the power of the latte factor. People tend to throw

away money on a daily basis. Think of all those innocent-looking double

nonfat lattes. By building a designer coffee stop into the pre-work

routine, and hitting the office vending machine in the afternoon for

a couple of diet sodas and maybe a power bar, a gal can easily spend

as much as $10 a business day, which adds up to $2,520 a year and,

taking into account investment potential, $1,354,000 in 42 years.

Build your security basket. For a secure future, says

Scafa, "make sure you have a will or a living trust, enough money

in an accessible emergency fund, and proper insurance, including life,

health, disability, and long-term care.

Build your dream. Make financial decisions with specific

goals in mind. "For example, if you want to take a trip in two

years or less," says Scafa, "certain investments are appropriate

— nothing too aggressive or you might risk losing the principal."

For investment goals of two to five years, appropriate investments

are T-bills, bonds, and bond funds as opposed to money markets and

CDs, she advises. For the three to ten-year horizon, individual stocks

and mutual funds are appropriate; they are riskier yet offer greater

promise of more reward.

Drawing on her 20 years of experience in corporations, Scafa

summarizes, "Keep an emergency balance in case you need it; make

sure you know where your assets are; and plan for the future."

Top Of Page
Launching the Next High- Tech Business

It just isn’t the same. A business whose entire product

consists of a twitching magnetic screen or power chip faces an entirely

different set of start up challenges than the inventor of new farm

plow. Not necessarily harder or easier, just different.

Entrepreneurs and high-tech firms seeking to expand can discover exactly

around which corners these unique challenges lie at the seminar "Launching

and Financing a Technology-Based Business in New Jersey" on Wednesday,

June 12, at 9:30 a.m. at the Garden State Exhibition Center in Somerset.

Speakers include Randy Harmon of the N.J. Small Business Development

Center (SBDR); funding and financial expert Jim Gunton of the

New Jersey Chamber; and attorneys Debra Dorfman, Richard

Mattessich and Louis Sapirman from the College Road law firm

of Hale & Dorr, specialists in IP and cyberlaw. The panelists will

cover initial capitalization, planning, labor agreements, growth,

and all issues specific to both high tech and E-businesses. Sponsors

are the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the SBDR.

This seminar is one of 20 such workshops included in the New Jersey

Technology Showcase, which will take over the Garden State Exhibition

Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on June 12 and 13. Entrance is complimentary,

to register visit www.goitec.com The New Jersey Technology Council

officially hosts this event, which is organized by trade show company

ITEC, and sponsored by Gateway, Intel, Microsoft, and other major

computer players.

"The real problem most high-tech entrepreneurs face," notes

Harmon, "is that they enter business with a Field of Dreams attitude.

They truly believe that all they have to do is make it and the customers

will come. I hate to shatter dreams," he adds, "but it just

ain’t necessarily so."

Harmon, who grew up in Spring Valley, New York, graduated from Cornell

with a degree in industrial labor relations. After gaining a Rutgers

MBA, Harmon moved from student to staff when he joined the Small Business

Development Center, where he now acts as Director of Technology Commercialization.

High technology enterprises, in which Harmon includes both life science

and E-business, must have a foot in both the traditional and the innovative

camps. They must adhere to the basic business startup rules, yet by

the very nature of their product and markets, they must remain a little

more innovative and flexible.

Overlapping startup tracks. Seldom does the new high tech

product dawn upon a clientele familiar with its use. More probably

it comes rapidly apace among a host of other swiftly changing technologies,

each more complicated to use and explain. Of necessity, the end product

tends to be confusing. Yet a confused customer will not buy.

For this reason, Harmon says, the old models, which traditionally

outline product development, then marketing plans, followed by business

development and funding, just don’t apply. "From the first glimmer

of invention, through the written concept right up through manufacturing,"

he explains, "the entrepreneur must be making simultaneous checks

with the marketplace." In some ways, such testing and product

tweaking is easier for the highly technical product. With a higher

speed of creation, more variations can be built into, say, a software

package within a given time frame.

Nearly simultaneously with the production and marketing tracks, business

development funds can be sought with a rough prototype and promises

of market-based refinements. Frequently investors will appreciate

the entrepreneur’s customer sensitivity as much as the actual viability

of the product. The one caveat here is not letting one’s inventive

enthusiasm rush to capital sources with a half-baked idea.

Layers of expertise. Although most scientists or technical

inventors truly believe they have the full range of business acumen

to manage a growing company, alas, very few do. While the inventing

entrepreneur is busy honing her new product, she would also be wise

to surround herself with expert teams to handle marketing and sales,

plan writing and finance, and even human resources (it’s never too

early). Not only do specialized teams impart the obvious advantage

of top business performance, Harmon points out, but they aid in overlapping

the various startup tracks. If one group is already lining up initial

customers, the other group simultaneously seeking funding will have

an easier time impressing potential investors.

Another element by no means inherent in every entrepreneur is executive

ability. As growth occurs, many founders are loathe to bring in a

new CEO for fear of loosing "my company." During funding negotiations,

though, the smart entrepreneur may want to consider ceding day-to-day

management responsibilities to a seasoned CEO, and name himself Chairman

and Chief Technical Officer. This is a way to retain control while

bringing in expert executives to run and grow the business.

Intellectual property. The laws concerning who owns what

for how long are changing faster than Nintendo gameware. "Here

high tech firms face an absolutely unique situation," insists

Harmon. "The manufacture and sale of innovative ideas across the

computer screen is something that we haven’t legally figured out yet."

A host of protections do exist, yet without specialized legal counsel,

one can just as easily (and unintentionally) find oneself judged victimizer

as victim.

Labor caveats. In this ever-shifting labor market, skilled

technical and E-business workers have proved themselves the most frenetically

fickle of all. The high tech hirer must develop a scenario of sufficient

benefit to keep personnel. Even if this doesn’t worry you, it will

worry your funders. Also, within house, the technical employer must

develop a fair but firm non-compete agreement. "You don’t want

to hold out a chain that will frighten prospective employees,"

says Harmon, "but you don’t want to give away the crown jewels

when a worker walks out the door either."

The money search. Given the recent history of E-business

nosedives, few investors are beating the bushes for gleaming-eyed

techies with new ideas. "Currently," laughs Harmon, "venture

capitalists are a bunch of atheists with precious little faith, who

seek proof every step of the way."

Harmon’s first advice is for the starting entrepreneur to have enough

skin in the game. Gone are the days when your brain, smile, and sweat

equity are going to win you investors or buy you a percentage. Funders

want to see your mortgaged home on the line.

Yet high tech funding has not gone entirely underground. Harmon insists

it’s all a matter of knocking on the right door. The New Jersey Technology

Council’s Venture Fund continues to bring scores of entrepreneurial

and investor hands together every year. On the federal level, Harmon

says the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is the

closest thing to free money the tech entrepreneur can hope for. This

federal agency holds under its aegis the departments of Defense, Agriculture,

Health, NSF, and all bureaus seeking advanced technologies. They spend

over $1.3 billion annually to launch businesses in two phase loans.

Proof of concept can net the start-up firm a maximum of $100,000 for

six months, which may be followed by $750,000 for a two-year period.

And best of all, serious startup firms have a one-in-eight change

of receiving an award.

In short, the money, along with success, do indeed lie out there for

the business launching a highly technical product. "And it’s all

right to keep your heart in the Field of Dreams," admits Harmon.

"Just make sure you also have your eyes fixed just as avidly on

sales and profits."

— Bart Jackson


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