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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
Founded in 1951 by
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
Davies, associate director for Fusion Energy Sciences, U.S. Department
of Energy; and
Lab. Among the speakers on June 5 are
director of PPPL, speaking on "Plasma Science Research at PPPL;"
Agreement, speaking on "Plasma Boundary;"
Institute for Advanced Study, speaking on "Solar Fusion and Solar
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
of Energy; and
Speakers on the second day include
University, speaking on "Unsolved Plasma Problems in Astrophysics;"
Diego, speaking on "Basic Plasma Physics with Trapped Nonneutral
Fusion Technology, General Atomics, speaking on "IFE: Where It
Came From, Where It Is Going," and
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
speaking on "Energetic Particles;"
Max-Planck-Institut fur Plasmaphysik, speaking on "Wendelstein
Stellarators," and PPPL Director Goldston, speaking on "Future
Directions in Plasma Science and Fusion Research."
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
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
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
to learning "one thing about money" every year, for example,
by taking a class or reading a book on investment.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
summarizes, "Keep an emergency balance in case you need it; make
sure you know where your assets are; and plan for the future."
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.
Center (SBDR); funding and financial expert
New Jersey Chamber; and attorneys
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
"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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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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