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    Home : About the KnowledgeWay : Press Releases : 4/22/97 
Potomac KnowledgeWay Identifies 525 Digital Entrepreneurs in Greater Washington
 
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April 22, 1997

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project announced today that it has identified more than 525 digital age entrepreneurs in Greater Washington and expects hundreds more to surface as part of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Netpreneur Program, which was officially launched today. The Netpreneur Program was created to ensure the success of this fast-growing community of netpreneurs—entrepreneurs who are creating Internet-based products and services—through programs that connect, inform and promote netpreneurs and their stakeholders.

"Netpreneurs are the economic drivers of the new digital economy," said Mario Morino, chairman of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project. "The entrepreneurial environment that exists in this region is often overlooked, but cultivating that spirit and helping to grow these companies is the key to our future success in the global, information-driven economy."

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Netpreneur Program is a support network—virtual and physical – that brings netpreneurs together to share information, develop contacts and help one another succeed. Activities include networking gatherings such as the monthly "Coffee & DoughNets;" CEO Forums beginning with the first one on April 30 entitled, "Positioning Your Business for Early Stage Financing;" and special events such as the upcoming "Evening with the Barons," which will feature successful entrepreneurs.

In addition to the 525 netpreneurs identified to date, 35 regional funders are currently listed in the Netpreneur Exchange - the Program's Web site - which offers unique resources for netpreneurs, including:

  • Content and services provided by Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co.; KPMG Peat Marwick LLP; the Morino Institute; and Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology

  • E-mail and Web-based discussion groups formed around the netpreneur and finance communities

  • Direct access to the University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship Mentor Program

  • A calendar of events catering to the netpreneur audience

  • Regional news written exclusively for the netpreneur audience
"When you start a net-based business, you enter uncharted waters—no one has yet developed a model for how to run netpreneur businesses successfully and the rapid pace of technological advance has accelerated our business cycle," said Susan Williams DeFife, founder and CEO of Women's Connection Online, Inc. (http://www.womenconnect.com). "The Netpreneur Program provides a venue in which we can seek advice, secure partnerships and connect with funders – support services that aren't otherwise easily available."

The Morino Institute and MCI Telecommunications Corporation are the Charter Sponsors of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Netpreneur Program. Efforts to create the Netpreneur Program began nine months ago.

The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is a Greater Washington collaborative effort focused on fostering the growth of new and existing companies in the knowledge industries; producing, recruiting and retaining a skilled work force capable of competing in a global, information-driven economy; and connecting our community at all levels to the opportunities in the "Digital Age."

Visit the Netpreneur Program at http://netpreneur.org/ or find out more information on the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project at http://knowledgeway.org/.

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