Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Leadership Advice

The Richmond TimesDispatch interviews some of Richmond's oldest, and youngest, entrepreneurs.

The list includes Randy Copeland, president and CEO of Velocity Micro Inc., maker of high-end gaming computers, Joel Erb, president and CEO of INM United, a Web development and marketing firm, Spencer Williamson, the new CEO of Intelliject, and Ken Ampy, CEO of IT consulting firm Astyra Corp., who said "Wayne Gretzky, when asked about what made him great, remarked, 'I don't go to where the puck is. I go to where it's going to be.'

Robert S. Ukrop, president and chief executive of Ukrop's Super Markets Inc., said 'People will listen to what you say, but they will believe what you do.'

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Another Perspective

A recent Virginia PilotOnline article on Black Executives is a reminder of another reason why so many people are embracing virtual worlds.

Skill and creativity still trump everything in virtual worlds. Appearance is a creative work, requiring skill. Real world wealth matters little in a world where a piece of land costs less than $50, a car (or a space ship) can be had for $2, and a house for $2.50. Participating and competing in virtual worlds depend almost entirely on learning, practice and competence. The personal history of an avatar in a virtual world is created entirely through the individual's capacity and willingness to contribute to building that world.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Nominations Open

It's time to nominate an entrepreneur for the Ernst and Young 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year award recognizes the men and women who excel at what they do — pioneers and innovators such as Michael Dell of Dell Inc.; Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc.; John Mackey of Whole Foods Market; Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred Liggins of Radio One, Inc. Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines; Jim McCann of; and Richard Caruso of Integra LifeSciences Corp.
The program Brochure.

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Entrepreneurship Education

The new Education Commission of the States has just issued their report on Entrepreneurship Education Laws in the States.
Among their findings:

California, Florida, Iowa and Virginia require that the concept of entrepreneurship be included in the K-12 curriculum.
Minnesota and Virginia have created entrepreneurship programs specifically targeted towards K-12 students. However, the Virginia law will expire in 2007 unless private sector or public funding for the program is secured.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Entrepreneurs Network

Seen recently on My Way, the Entrepreneurs Network created by Tom Evslin:

Ask the Wizard on hiring the Best Available Athlete for startups.
Adventures in Capitalism on Smart Cell Phone Tricks
Bob Sutton's Work Matters on Why Specialists are Grumpy
Only Once on Google in NYC and poisoning the market research well by SUGGing and FRUGGing on Cost/Benefit of Technology Patents
Third Screen on Will Free Conference Calls End?
Will Herman's 2-Speed on Accepting a Board Seat
OnStartups on Entrepreneurs Week, and Founders: Involved or Committed.

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Ogoglio Forging Ahead

Mark Wallace of 3pointD reports that development of the virtual world Ogoglio is moving forward. In addition to his blog, founder Trevor Smith has produced five YouTube screencasts demonstrating their progress in creating this new virtual world.

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Founders Panel

Guy Kawasaki's report on the Community Next Founders Panel he moderated, and the MP3 of the discussion.

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Everything 2 Zaadz

Zaadz zaad is Dutch for "seed." Mission: We're gonna change the world. The plan: Conscious Capitalism infused with Spirituality and a healthy dose of Enthusiasm, Love, Service, Inspiration, Passion, Humor and Teamwork. We’re in the process of building THE most inspired community of people in the world … social networking with a purpose, a community of seekers and conscious entrepreneurs circulating wisdom and inspiration and wealth and all that good stuff. The most recent hipcast: Gather Around.

The Everything2 community was established in 2000. Their quirky Daylogs and intricate Voting System are explained at Everything University: All you ever needed, wanted and didn't want to know about Everything--your favorite collaboratively filtered database!!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

A MUSE Award 2007

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is accepting nominations for the MUSE awards until March 15. This award recognizes Virginia businesses for exceptional creativity.
Muse winners are announced during the annual Muse Un-Gala, which will be held this year on May 3rd. The MUSE emphasis on creativity extends to the awards event itself, which always includes an element of surprise. With its top-secret themes, the ‘Un-Gala’ was conceived by the VMFA Business Council to serve as a creative departure from more traditional awards dinners and ceremonies.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

CVG begins a New Year

Composite, from numerous CVG events during the past year.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BGN entrepreneur's Minute, February 20, 2007

Live from the 2007 annual meeting of the Charlottesville Venture Group.(About 2 minutes each, please lower volume settings)

Mike Drzal of LeClair Ryan, and Bret Aker of Aker Wade talk about the value of CVG, and future prospects.

Newcomer Daniel Markham, CEO of the Bedford Technology Group, Inc., on his first CVG event.
More on his blog What to Fix.

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

SL Business Plan Contest UPDATE

Here's the c|net news story about the contest finalists, including the winner of the SL business plan competition, Market Truths, a Minnesota-based company.

Picture of finalists and judges at Giff Constable's Electric Sheep blog, Out to Pasture.

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Inc. 500 becomes 5,000

Inc. has announced that
The Inc. 5000 will list the 5,000 fastest-growing privately-held companies in the U.S., based on revenue growth from 2003 through 2006. The top 500 companies on the Inc. 5000 will still be known as the Inc. 500, and they will appear in the September 2007 issue of Inc., with profiles of each company by Inc. writers based on CEO interviews. The Inc. 5000 will be listed at with basic information about each company, including a brief description of its business.
The deadline for submitting the qualification form is April 15, 2007.

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Ghana Business Plan Competition

Ghana's National Business Plan Competition for this year, dubbed "Believe Begin Become 2007". The Google Foundation and Ghana's private sector are co- funding this national entrepreneurship development programme being managed by TechnoServe.
The application deadline is March 23, 2007.

Believe Begin Become, now in its second year helps businesses thrive and grow by providing a comprehensive programme that includes the skills, tools and network entrepreneurs need to succeed in the formal private sector. In the first competition in 2006, 30% of the winners were women, a very encouraging sign.
Thanks to the Business Plan blog for this information.

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AMD opens in SL

According to the SL News Network, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) will extend its developer outreach program into SL for meetings, lectures, training courses and networking opportunities for developers.
To celebrate the launch of the pavilion, the company will host a three-month treasure hunt contest with interactive Linden scripting language (LSL) and open source programming challenges.
The winner gets a Dell system.
The AMD Developer Pavilion SLURL

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SL Stock Exchanges Merge

Just in time for the new SL businesses spurred into action/creation, the two SL stock exchanges are merging.
According to Marvel Ousley of SL Network News, the Second Life World Stock Exchange will merge with the Metaverse Stock Exchange. The new WSE is expected to re-open before the end of February . The two stock exchanges currently include more than 1,000 members.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

And the winner is ...

The winner of the Second Life Business Plan Competition is Market Truths. The winning business plan was announced this afternoon at Edelman Island. About 30 avatars applauded as Pebbles Hannya was congratulated for her winning entry.

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The finalists in SL Competition

Some information about three of the SL Business Plan Competition finalists and their real life/Second Life enterprises.

Metaverse Technologies, designers of the chatbot

SL Search, proposed by writer Frank Koolhaas and photographer Zoe Visconti

SL MarketTruths (Real-life MarketTruths Ltd) launched by a Babson grad.

And for those who prefer their news in French, here's the SL Business Review coverage.

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SL Business Plan Competition Finalists

Edleman and the Electric Sheep Company have selected the finalists in the Second Life Business Plan Competition. The winner will be announced in SL this afternoon at 2:00 PM PST. (Edelman Island SLURL)

Congratulations to the finalists:

Metaverse Technologies: Anthony Reisman, Navillus Batra, Trilobye Pugilist, and Woodrow Seelowe

SL Search: Frank Koolhaas and Zoe Visconti

SL Music Network: Ozgur Ariel, Cihan Ariel, and Muammer Ariel

Market Truths: Pebbles Hannya

The winner will receive a free sim for a year, and expert support from Edelman and The Electric Sheep Company in promoting and developing their business.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Amazing Art

If you desire a picture of your very own initials, see ArtInitials: The ideal, personal, individual gift for modern, internet savvy people around the globe. Or become yourself one of the 676 people who own a picture with their unique initials. (Example below from the ArtInitials site)

Makes one wonder what they'll think of next...

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Voicemail to Email

Two new services produce transcripts of voicemail, and send it to your email or mobile device.
Simulscribe and Spinvox. According to David Pogue, both services allow one to search the text messages, and escape the endless voicemail instructions. And both retain the original voicemail.

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Calling SL

According to , Technology Review, you can now call into Second Life. Wade Roush reports that Comverse, the wireless multimedia networking company that developed the software, demonstrated it this week for wireless carriers at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, Spain. Attendees using Comverse's phones could communicate with Second Life residents, and access the game to see and manipulate avatars who appeared in Comverse's virtual 3GSM booth inside Second Life.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Recruiting on SL

Fox news reports that TMP Worldwide, an "interactive advertising agency", has begun recruiting Second Life for real life jobs.

Hire Strategies reviews the TMP site (inaccessible at the present) and the IBM recruiting kiosk that opened a few weeks ago.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Quantum Computing

According to, a Canadian firm, D-Wave Systems, Inc., has built what it claims is the first fully functional quantum computer and has used it to solve a number of simple problems.

From Wired, "independent quantum computing researchers said they are dubious of some of the claims made by D-Wave Systems Inc. because the privately held Canadian company has not yet submitted its findings for peer review".

Curious about quantum computing? Here's the Wikipedia article.

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3GSM Conference

The 3GSM Mobile Communications Conference wraps up in Barcelona today. The European firm, Polymer Vision, won the 2007 Innovative Mobile Technology Award for their rollable electronic display. (All winners)

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Entrepreneurial Inventors

C\net reports that Nathan Ball, a mechanical-engineering graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led a team that has invented a motorized pulley that will let paramedics and firefighters zip up the side of buildings.
Ball's Atlas Powered Rope Ascender can pull a firefighter loaded down with 80 to 100 pounds of equipment up a 30-story building in 30 seconds. By contrast, the stairs would take six to eight minutes.
Ball is this year's recipient of the MIT Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, a $30,000 student award for invention.

Past winners include Carl Dietrich, who designed a flying car that may ultimately be produced by his company Terrafugia, and James McLurkin, a robot expert who has since worked with iRobot, developer of the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

The Lemelson Foundation, created in the 1990s, has numerous initiatives in support of invention and entrepreneurship in the US and abroad, including the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tech Sketches

ThingM creates Technology Sketches, examples of early stage conceptual approaches to how a product might work, rather than actual fully-functional systems. For Valentine's Day. they produced the chocolate LoveM.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference

The Virtual Worlds 2007 conference is scheduled for March 28-29 in NYC.
According to the sponsors, Virtual Worlds Management
The Virtual Worlds Conference 2007 is the leading event for Fortune 500 businesses seeking to understand and maximize marketing and business strategies within virtual worlds. [The conference] shows you how to succeed as a marketer in this rapidly growing segment of marketing, media, entertainment and commerce.

Speakers include people from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Entropia Universe, MTV Music Group, Makena Technologies, The Multiverse Network, Forterra Systems Inc., Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, Jupiterkagan, IBM, the American Cancer Society, Leo Burnett Detroit, the Second Life Bureau of Reuters, Gartner, TerraNova, Millions of Us, CNET, DIGITAS,, and, of course, major sponsors Electric Sheep Company and Linden Lab.

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Congratulations - Youth Volunteers of VA!

The 12th annual Prudential Spirit of Community award program honors Youth Volunteers from each state. Awards will be presented in May.

The Virginia honorees:
Shannon Groves, of Ashburn and Jessica Vance, of Blacksburg

Distinguished finalists from Virginia:
Ashlyn Allgood, of Mechanicsville; Evan Davis, of Virginia Beach; Elizabeth Levy, of Roanoke; Jordan Mellington, of Atlantic; Iliana Sanchez, of Spencer; Shannon Walker, of Purcellville.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

VCU AdCenter

The Virginia Commonwealth University's AdCenter, recently profiled in the Richmond TimesDispatch, was the only Virginia school to have two teams competing in the Innovation Challenge finals in November.

In the fall of 2005, the Adcenter started a creative brand management track that is designed for students who want to work in marketing for corporations, rather than for ad agencies. By December, the school's new uptown home should be completed.

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VA 2006 Small Business Regional Finalists

Virginia Business magazine has recognized NanoSonic of Blacksburg as the southwest Virginia finalist for 2006 Small Business of the Year.

The central Virginia finalist is Piascik & Associates of Henrico County.

The Hampton Roads finalist is Geeks on Call of Norfolk.

From northern Virginia, the finalist is Prototype Productions, Inc., of Ashburn.

Virginia Business
magazine also publishes an annual Guide to doing business in Virginia.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

RSA Conference Reports

Wired's Ryan Singel reports from the RSA Conference just wrapping up in San Francisco:
The Real ID Act was inserted into a must-pass military spending bill in 2005. It requires states to redesign their driver's licenses and state ID cards to meet a common federal standard, and to start sharing information with all other states -- effectively turning 50 different state-issued cards into a national ID. (Compliance deadline: May 11, 2008)
Many expect the real debate over Real ID to start once the regulations are issued in April.
From the Stratton Sclavos RSA keynote:
VeriSign, the largest of the companies that manage Internet domain names, is putting its money on predictions that the Internet of the future will expand far beyond the 1 billion people and hundreds of millions of devices now connected to the Web. To handle this, VeriSign is going to pump more than $100 million into its network during the next three years. Snippet from the San Jose Mercury News.
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TR35 Accepting Nominations

The MIT Technology Review is seeking nominations by March 1 for 35 young innovators whose work is poised to profoundly change our world.
The current TR list of 10 emerging technologies includes universal authentication and stretchable silicon (TR article on the first commercial flexible electronics).

BTW, if you'd like to weigh in on the Vista vs OS X debate on TR, here's the link.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Blacksmith Data Visualization

Virginia-based Blacksmith, is developing web-based data visualization products and services. The new offerings, based in part on Blacksmith's desktop software Chartsmith, will deliver charts, graphs, and other dynamic content through browser-based applications as well as web services interfaces. Blacksmith is seeking partners with data visualization requirements that can be used to test the effectiveness of the new offerings.

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Startup Pitfalls

Interesting series of articles and comments on entrepreneurial startups from A Sack of Seattle by Judy's Book co-founder, Andy Sack.
Peter Rip at Crosslink Capital has a great post about the entrepreneurs perspective on failing fast ... failing fast is not an objective unto itself -- succeeding faster is the objective and sometimes you need to fail first in order to succeed.

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Tech Innovation

William Grosso's Wander, Think, Repeat blog on the current state of technology innovation in Silicon Valley.
For a different perspective, take a look at the KaosPilot's recent projects, or the 2006 Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy. Or yet another view from the Hobson & Holtz Reports, weekly podcasts from For Immediate Release.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

BGN Entrepreneur's Minute Feb 8, 2007

(about two minutes)
Speaking with Daniel Chambers, founder and CEO of IO Innovations.
Livedog blog

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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EntrepreneurshipWeek - Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Northern Virginia Tech Council partners with TiE-DC for a February 27 event, the Venture Capital Entrepreneurship Challenge.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Guy's Comics

The ever-helpful Guy Kawasaki has instructions for making a comic strip blog.

Although the 24 Hour Comics Day 2006 was back in October, if you'd like comic inspiration, take a look at Piled Higher and Deeper, the PhD Comics blog.

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SL Book Signing in Caledon

InfoIsland. Author Al Perrin (Benjamin Helios) will be at the SL Main Library, Information Island, on 2/10/07 at 9 AM PST to sign his book The Sloop John B. He will be “wearing” several different avatars during a short presentation in which each of the main characters in his book will come to life, and talk about the story from their own particular viewpoint. Sponsored by the Caledon Branch Library.

This is a unique event for Second Life, and for the publishing world as well. All aspects of the publishing process are now completely online – including the readers.

Real life publisher Angela Hoy will also attend. She is an online book publisher (not a vanity press) which provides e-book, and print on demand services for qualified authors.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Midas Network

Curious about the Forbes 2007 Midas List network? Take a look at the maps on LinksViewer. Welcome to the world of relationship capital.

See the CapitalBlog for an intriguing analysis and explanation.

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs

From the new Duke/UC Berkley report America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs:

The goal of this research was to document the economic and intellectual contributions of immigrant technologists and engineers at the national level. To understand the economic impact, the study looked at a large sample of all engineering and technology companies founded in the last ten years, to determine whether a key founder was an immigrant. To understand the intellectual contribution, they analyzed the World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Cooperation Treaty database for international patent applications filed in the United States.

In 1999 AnnaLee Saxenian published a groundbreaking report on the economic contributions of skilled immigrants to California’s economy. Silicon Valley’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs focused on the development of Silicon Valley’s regional economy and the roles of immigrant capital and labor in this process.

A special analysis of Silicon Valley, CA and Research Triangle Park, NC was published as part of the new report published in January 2007. From the analysis of engineering and technology companies founded from 1995 to 2005 in these two regions:

• Over half (52.4%) of Silicon Valley startups had one or more immigrants as a key
founder, compared with the California average of 38.8%.
• In Silicon Valley, since 1999 the percentage of firms with Indian or Chinese founders has increased from 24% to 28%. Indian immigrants outpaced their Chinese counterparts as founders of engineering and technology companies in Silicon Valley.
• In Research Triangle Park, 18.7% of startups had an immigrant as a key founder, compared with the North Carolina average of 13.9%. Indians constitute the largest immigrant founding group, with 25% of startups, followed by immigrants from the U.K. and Germany.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

A Plague of Botnets

Father of the internet Vint Cerf warned attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the internet is at serious risk from botnets.

Vast networks of compromised PCs, used by criminals for sending spam and spyware and for launching denial of service attacks are reported to be growing at an alarming rate in terms of their potential and Cerf, now an employee of Google, warned they could undermine the future of the internet — likening their spread to a pandemic. Snippet from ZDNet
Later this week, industry security experts gather in San Francisco at the RSA Conference 2007, on the heels of the European Safer Internet Day on Tuesday.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bezos' Worlds

What is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos doing with his spare time when his is not overseeing Second Life?

Space travel.

See the TED blog for a description of his Blue Origin project.

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Counterintuitive Trends

On Strategy+Business, Dan Lewis of Booz Allen Hamilton, describes seven counterintuitive industry trends:

Oil, gas, and electricity, emerging talent shortages
A shift in supply chain practices, especially in the automotive industry
Consumer packaged goods, reorganizing for growth: The most successful companies are reorganizing themselves accordingly, adopting more complex organizational structures that can make more sophisticated products and brands.
Credit cards, challenged by their own success
The globalization of R&D: The emerging markets of Asia are taking off, with a particular emphasis on software design and development. China and India will account for 77 percent of all newly established R&D sites between 2005 and 2008.
The rising use of software in manufactured goods: There is more embedded software in many children’s toys today than there was in the Apollo lunar module. The same is true for appliances, tools, and even consumer products like toothbrushes — let alone for automobiles. That’s why the German industrial giant Siemens employs more software engineers than Microsoft.
Simplicity matters: the complexities of embedded software have unleashed a growing countermovement toward simplicity, such as the iPod.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

GRTC Tech Awards - 2007 Nominations Open

The Greater Richmond Technology Council welcomes nominations for their annual Tech Awards through February 28.
Thirty five finalists will be chosen in the categories of Leadership, Educator, IT Builders, Emerging Company, Technology Innovation, Community Support, and Technology SkillBuilder. The winners will be announced at the Gala on May 9th.
The names of winners from prior years is available here.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

BGN Entrepreneur's Minute, Feb 1, 2007

(About one minute)

BGN opens in Chilbo region, Second Life.
SL Architect and urban designer Cosimo Urbanowicz

The BGN Entrepreneur's Minute is made possible by the generous support of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

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