VC Introductions

Trenton Remakes

Dollars for Technology

BPW Career Awards

Entries Please

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and others were prepared

for the January 31,

2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

The New Economy: Paul Raetsch

Funky workspaces, competition leavened with cooperation,

restless workers, and ever more dependence on the Internet; that will

be the look of the New Economy, according to an expert who has logged

more than as three decades as an economic development expert.

Paul M. Raetsch, regional director of the Economic Development

Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will discuss ways

in which the New Economy is changing business when he addresses the

Middlesex Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 1, at 8 a.m. at

the Ramada Inn in North Brunswick. Cost: $30. Call 732-821-1700.

Raetsch, who received both his bachelor’s degree (Class of 1965) and

his master’s degree in regional planning from Penn State, was

appointed

to his present position in 1998, and has worked for the EDA for more

than 20 years. He has also held positions with the Army Corps of

Engineers

and the Baltimore Regional Planning Council, and has taught political

science courses at Rutgers, the University of Southern Colorado and

Burlington County College.

He says his job "used to be chasing smokestacks." Now, with

a territory stretching from West Virginia to Maine and including

Puerto

Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Raetsch is spreading the word that

"human capital is more important."

"Going into this new century, we know technology won’t replace

roads and sewers, but it takes more than that," Raetsch says of

the basic infrastructure that held up the old smokestack economy.

"Places that will be competitive are open to technology and

innovation,"

he says of the companies and municipalities that will move ahead,

terming them "gazelles."

Among other attributes, these gazelles will understand what motivates

21st century workers. A father of four children, three of whom have

graduated from college and are out in the workplace, Raetsch has

inside

knowledge of the mores of the New Economy worker. "Every year

they are changing," Raetsch says of his children. "Changing

jobs, changing everything."

Employers, Raetsch says, need to be flexible too, and to absorb the

realities of the New Economy:

Globalization. "You don’t even know where your

customers

are anymore," Raetsch says. As an example, he cites his son, who

recently left North Carolina for Boston, but kept his phone number.

"It used to be you could tell where a person was from by the first

three digits of his phone number," says Raetsch. But no more.

His son was 919 in North Carolina and, relying on his cell phone from

his new Boston address, is still 919. Among the lessons here is that

every business needs to be on the Internet, a medium that transcends

phone exchanges and reaches customers wherever they happen to be."

Decentralization. "Everything is decentralized,"

says Raetsch. People can telecommute. People can work from remote

locations. Where businesses once clustered around roads, sewers and

ports, they now cluster around bandwidth.

"Dot coms can be anywhere," Raetsch comments. "Younger

entrepreneurs are less interested in being on Route 1 than in being

along the river in Philadelphia in a funky area."

Collaboration. "Owners need to do more

networking,"

Raetsch says. "They have to be less afraid of competitors, and

understand that collaboration can work." A group of small

companies

in the same industry, for example, might get together on employee

training programs, he suggests. "If you can’t afford a training

compound, maybe several companies could go together," says

Raetsch.

Retention. Hanging on to talent is a problem in this

economy,

according to Raetsch, who says young people, raised on tales of

corporate

greed a la Gordon Gekko, tend to distrust corporate America and show

little loyalty toward employers.

"It’s not even about wages," he muses, talking about how a

friend’s son was "dot comming" in this area and making good

money, but left to accept a lower salary in Colorado. The key for

employers, Raetsch says, is to offer employees "something

interesting"

to work on, and perhaps to provide an interesting work setting as

well.

And just as employees are often counseled to keep an updated resume

handy and to continually scan the horizon for new jobs, employers

should be aware that employees are unlikely to stay forever and should

remain on the outlook for replacements.

Digital dividends. Raetsch says his agency is concerned

about the digital divide that yawns between those Americans who are

armed with PCs, laptops, Palm Pilots, and cell phones and those who

have yet to log onto a computer. In a tight labor market like this

one, however, Raetsch says "high tech companies are realizing

the digital divide can pay digital dividends." This is so, he

points out, because "you can train people to the skills you need.

"We all have to be open to the fact that it’s not that difficult

to learn," Raetsch says of computer skills. "It’s up to small

business to give access to computers and technology," he says

of the win/win proposition of business bridging the digital divide.

Dot Com World. Sure there has been a tech downturn.

Mostly,

however, the problem was "the stock market and people speculating

on individual companies," Raetsch says. But make no mistake, he

stresses, it’s a dot com world. Every business depends on the

Internet,

he emphasizes: "Whether it’s sales, catalogs, information,

blueprints;

it has to have a dot com on the end of it."

Raetsch is clearly excited about New Economy changes still to

come — enhanced uses for wireless devices, for instance. But he

doesn’t expect to chase every rainbow. Unlike his children, he says,

"I’m from an era where you work someplace for a long time."

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

Top Of Page
VC Introductions

The aim: to introduce new venture capitalists to the

entrepreneurs, says Jim Buck, moderator of the New Jersey

Entrepreneurial

Association’s venture capital fund panel set for Wednesday, February

7, at noon at the Doral Forrestal. Each of the three panelists will

give the standard description of what they offer, and then, says Buck,

"I will challenge them to differentiate their offering." The

three:

Howard Ross headed a practice group within Arthur Andersen

that focused on emerging growth companies and IPOs, but as a venture

capitalist with LLR Equity Partners he invests in later stage growth

companies and undervalued, small cap public companies. His

Philadelphia-based

fund has $260 million to invest (215-717-2900).

Rick Secchia is general partner of Kemper Ventures at

Princeton Forrestal Village. This $100 million fund invests in early

stage companies that do network computing, enterprise and E-commerce

software, and Internet-related financial services

(www.kemperventures.com).

Jim Gunton , an NJEN board member, was with Edison Ventures

until he was tapped to lead the New Jersey Technology Council’s

Venture

Fund. He is looking for early stage technology-related companies in

high growth markets (U.S. 1, January 3).

This fund plans to invest early stage capital particularly in

state-based

businesses (E-mail: venturefund@njtc.org or call 856-787-9700). Gunton

is also vice president and principal at the Edison Venture Fund, one

of the few New Jersey venture capital companies that focuses on

expansion

stage, New Jersey-based enterprises (www.edisonventure.com or

609-896-1900.).

Early stage falls between seed stage (an investment of $300,000 and

up) and the majority of current venture capital investment ($1 to

$5 million). "The appeal of early stage venture capital is that

you are looking for the home runs," says Gunton. He will look

for opportunities in such industries as optical networking, wireless,

and genomics, but will also be amenable to telecommunications,

pharmaceuticals,

financial services, electronics, and aerospace.

Buck is a venture capitalist with TDH Ventures. A graduate of

Princeton University, Class of 1981, Buck joined TDH in 1990 after

a stint with J.P. Morgan in Manhattan. When TDH was founded 23 years

ago as a family business in Rosemont, there were very few other

institutional

funds in eastern Pennsylvania. "We are what is called a balanced

fund," he says. "We have some early post development stage

investing, but we tend more and more to expansion stage venture

capital."

He looks to invest about $1 million, up to $2 million, in a company

that is not going to require multiple infusions of cash.

Top Of Page
Trenton Remakes

All you ever wanted to know about what is going on in

the Capital City will be covered by Steven E. Goldin at the

Princeton Chamber’s luncheon meeting on Thursday, February 8, at 11:30

a.m. at the Doral Forrestal. Goldin will speak on "The Next Year

in the Redevelopment of Trenton." Cost: $33. Call 609-520-1776.

Goldin used to be the executive assistant to John Lynch, former mayor

of New Brunswick and now president of the State Senate. An alumnus

of Harvard, Class of 1982, with an MBA from Columbia, he has been

a project executive with Hovnanian Enterprises, director of planning

and development, Woodbridge’s director of planning and development,

and president of the Woodbridge Economic Development Corporation.

He is now vice president of King Interests, based at the Carnegie

Center; it does commercial development, construction, brokerage, and

investment.

Top Of Page
Dollars for Technology

Tech may not be as hot as it was last summer, but the

once-booming sector is sure to rise again, and when it does, New

Jersey

wants to position its cities to get in on some of the action.

Toward that end, Governor Christie Whitman announced a

cyberdistrict

initiative, the first such program in the country, in her final State

of the State address. As part of a $165 million economic development

package, 30 cities received $2 million in grants under the

cyberdistrict

program to plan or market high tech districts. Among the cities

receiving

the highest dollar amounts are Trenton, New Brunswick, and Hamilton.

Marketing firms and real estate development companies could flourish

as a result of these grants. Trenton will use its $130,000 to plan

for two cyberdistricts, one along East State Street and one in the

former Roebling Complex. Marketing is on New Brunswick’s agenda as

it plans to use its $100,000 grant to promote itself to high tech

businesses. Hamilton, which received $50,000, will seek to reinvent

vacant factories in the East State Street area as homes for technology

firms.

Cities using cyberdistrict funds for planning will assess the

likelihood

of success for a high tech zone within their boundaries. Factors to

be studied include suitability of buildings in the district for high

tech industry, proximity of high-speed data transmission services,

the cost of upgrading buildings, and the level of interest on the

part of developers and companies.

Top Of Page
BPW Career Awards

Business & Professional Women of Hightstown/East Windsor

are accepting applications for Career Development through February

28. Awards are given to women 25 years of age or older who are

continuing

or returning to school, in a two to four year college, or vocational

training program. Call 609-426-4117 for an application.

Scholarships for high school graduates from Burlington and other

southern counties are available from the Scholarship Foundation of

the Builders League of South Jersey . Students must plan to

attend

a qualified trade school or choose a college major in a field related

to real estate development and construction. Deadline for applications

is April 6; call 856-616-8460.

Top Of Page
Entries Please

The Business Marketing Association of New Jersey is

accepting

entries for its 2001 Impact Awards honoring excellence in business

marketing communications. Any business to business related work

produced

last year — by or for any New Jersey-based corporation — may

be submitted by the corporation or by any marketing communications,

advertising or public relations agency, sales promotion, or premium

incentive company. The judging panel is composed of ad agency,

corporate

marketing and advertising, and publishing executives. All entries

are judged on their effectiveness as well as concept originality and

execution.

Deadline for entries is Friday, February 9. For details, contact

Andrew

Serenyi at 732-715-5198 or E-mail: impactawards@bma-nj.org.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Thomas Edison State College has received a grant of

$50,000

from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in renewed support for

the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan,

independently

funded research office that provides practical policy analysis and

other technical assistance to decision makers in the public and

private

sectors. In particular, the grant supports the Center for the Urban

Environment Program, directed by Liz Johnson.

Merrill Lynch & Co. will be honored by The Susan G.

Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for its New Jersey Race for the

Cure program. Last week the foundation presented "The

Warrior,"

a bronze sculpture created by Charles Sherman, a gift for the Merrill

Lynch’s campus.

The Lilly Endowment Inc. has given Princeton

Theological

Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry

$380,948 in support of

the institute’s Bridges project. The program was designed to

"bridge"

new pastors’ transitions from seminary into professional ministry

so it develops practices of youth ministry.

Bridges 2001 is a pilot program for professional development for 25

pastors who are transitioning from seminary to youth-ministry-focused

pastorates. Recognizing the high burnout rate in the first three years

of ministry, this program aims to stem the burnout by finding

alternative

approaches to pastoral effectiveness for leaders and young people.

The project will survey relevant literature on seminary-to-pastorate

transitions; identify exemplary youth ministries; assess needs and

concerns of new pastors; and pilot a program of support and

theological

education to provide a replicable model for seminaries. Data gathered

in each of these areas will be submitted for publication in trade

journals.

PNC Bank contributed $25,000 to the Princeton Area

Community Foundation (PACF) , which distributed the money among

23 member organizations. Some organizations that received funding

included Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Blairstown Camp Center,

Homefront, Trinity Counseling Services, Princeton Education

Foundation,

and the several children’s choirs.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

has received

an $8 million gift from the estate of Elizabeth R. Waldron, who

received

medical care at the hospital before her death in 1999, at the age

of 91. The donation will help pay for the Bristol-Myers Squibb

Children’s

Hospital at the hospital, due to open on March 21, 2001. The

children’s

hospital at Robert Wood Johnson will be the first free-standing

children’s

hospital in New Jersey.

Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

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