Apex Investment partners. Investment focus: emerging growth companies of all stages in telecommunications, software and information technology industries, with additional emphasis in specialty retail and consumer products; www.apexvc.com.
ARCH Venture Partners. Investment focus: seed and early-stage ventures involving information technology, life sciences or physical sciences; www.archventure.com.
Asia Pacific Ventures. Investment focus: seed and early-stage information technology companies with proprietary and leading-edge technologies. www.apvco.com.
Aspen Ventures. Investment focus: Seed and early-stage information technology companies; www.aspenventures.com.
Asset Management Associates. Investment focus: seed and early-stage companies in the information and biological sciences markets; www.assetman.com.
Associated Venture Investors. Investment focus: venture capital partnerships specializing in seed and early-stage investments in high-technology companies positioned for high growth in their markets; www.avicapital.com.
AT&T Ventures. Investment focus: Start-up and later stage companies involving wireless communications, Internet, value-added networking, content or local service; www.attventures.com.
Atlantic Coastal Ventures. Investment focus: telecommunications companies and related service companies operating within markets that reflect convergence; www.atlanticcv.com.
Atlas Venture. Investment focus: early and late-stage information technology life sciences in Europe and the United States; www.atlasventure.com.
August Capital. Investment focus: companies with strong potential to become leaders in important information technology markets; www.augustcap.com.
Avix Ventures. Investment focus: early-stage technology companies; www.avix.com.
Nice attitude, pal
Thousands of businesses fail every year. Many of those couldnt control the most essential element in business attitude. People-Centered Profit Strategies, the new Oasis Press title by Paul Peyton, will teach you how to achieve cooperation among leaders, employees, customers and suppliers to generate a power that is unlimited in its ability to push profits upward.
Hey Sam, can you spare a dime?
Small business lending increased in 1998, but at a much slower pace than lending to large businesses, according to the Office of Advocacys recent report on bank lending.
While the total dollar volume of larger loans of $1 million or more increased by 13 percent in 1998, small business loans of less than $1 million increased at a slower rate of 6.3 percent. The volume of small business loan dollars of less than $100,000 increased only 3 percent. Loans between $100,000 and $250,000 increased 8.1 percent, and loans worth $250,000 to $1 million increased 7.7 percent.
Compared with the dollar value, the number of small business loans (loans of less than $1 million) grew more rapidly by 16.7 percent overall in 1998. Most of the growth was in the smallest loans of less than $100,000, where the dollar volume increased the least. Thus, the average very small business loan was even smaller in 1998, probably because of a boom in the use of business credit cards and lines of credit offered by banks using credit scoring models.
The fact that more loans and loan dollars are going into small business lending is some good news, but small business lending is not keeping pace, says the SBAs Chief Counsel for Advocacy Jere Glover. We encourage small businesses to look at this report as one indicator of the banks most likely to lend to them. And we are still watching the trend toward bank consolidation carefully to see whether small businesses overall share of bank lending will continue to fall.
The effects of bank consolidations continue to be a factor in small business lending. Over the last three years, the number of commercial banks filing call reports declined at a rate of almost 400 banks per year from 10,149 in 1995 to 8,966 in 1998.
Almost all of the decline was in the smallest banks with less than $100 million in assets. In 1998, more than 400 of these small banks disappeared, grew into the next size category, merged with other banks or were acquired. The number of banks in the middle ranges with $100 million to $10 billion in assets increased. Banks with $10 billion or more in assets declined from 64 to 61.
The small business lending emphasis of banks of different sizes also changed in 1998. The largest banks increased their small business lending much more than small banks, in part by promoting more small business credit cards and small lines of credit. However, their small business lending volume increased less than their assets and total business lending. As a result, the ratio of small business loans to total assets declined in these very large banks.
Meet me at the meeting
Time spent in meetings can be as much as 50 percent of the total work week, so effective meetings can have a major impact on the success and the bottom line of an organization. Productive meetings can save time and money. Not Another Meeting: A practical guide for facilitating effective meetings teaches participants and leaders how to get the most out of their meetings. Managers learn how to create objectives and agendas, establish and reinforce ground rules that keep participants on track and resolve conflict and disagreement.
The books author is Frances Micale; it is published by the Oasis Press.
Just promote it, baby
Design your own calendar for name recognition 365 days a year, says Raleigh Pinskey, author of 101 Ways to Promote Yourself. Calendar Association statistics show that only 2 percent of U.S. households are now calendar free, and that the average home has about five calendars.
You can go through the photo shoot and print it as a big four-color job, or you can buy existing calendar shells and attach your name to it. Ask any large printer or promotional items company for more information about calendar shells. Associations and organizations will often supply members with the opportunity to buy in bulk.
Depending on your need for professionalism, you could take your own pictures, then take them to a photo house to duplicate and mount. Then you buy calendars from a stationary store and attach them to the mounted photos. Take pictures during the year of the people with whom you do business, and use their photos, with permission, for your calendar.
But I wanted to retire yesterday
An Individual Retirement Account can be a great tool to maximize your retirement assets, but it does have some drawbacks:
- IRAs are not liquid. Although you can withdraw money before retirement, the penalties for doing so are stiff.
- Withdrawals made before age 59 1/2 are subject to a 10 percent penalty unless they are used for qualified medical expenses.
- Withdrawals of more than $150,000 in any year are considered excess distributions and subject to a 15 percent excise tax.
- IRAs may not be used as collateral.
For the thousands of entrepreneurs who are strapped for time and would love to have their own online operations center, MegaDepot.com is launching a new site aimed squarely at their needs. MegaDepot.com has unveiled a new name and a new site: Onvia.com. Entrepreneurs will find a one-stop source of business services, products, expert advice, and free tools, all designed to fulfill their critical need to get it done. Onvia.com is a business-to-business destination, designed around the needs of a specific niche: the emerging business marketplace.
Onvia.com was founded in 1996 (as MegaDepot.com) and has grown rapidly as an Internet-only reta iler of business products and, more recently, services. Since the second quarter of 1997, revenues have grown more than 100 percent each quarter. Currently, the company serves more than 100,000 members, and is expected to grow to more than 1,000,000 customers by the end of this year.
Unlike other sites that pass customers to several different buying environments to complete their transactions, entrepreneurs can conduct all their transactions in one place with Onvia.com, including inputting credit and registration information once, rather than many times. In addition to the availability of 25,000 products in the computer hardware, software, phone systems, office supplies, office machines and office furniture categories, key features seamlessly provided at the site include:
- Paging services
- Business credit cards
- Merchant accounts
- Debt collection
- Temporary employment/recruiting
- Long distance services
- Cellular services
- E-mail services
- Free domain name registration
- 5-Click-Store, a cost-effective way to set up an e-commerce store
- Internet access with dial-up, dedicated ISDN, DSL and T1 options
- Web hosting
Providers of these services include @Work, Verio, Sprint, Earthlink, MCI, Cable Wireless, Qwest, Skytel Paging, Advanta Business Services, Heartland Payment Services, National Credit Services and Net-Temps.
Sit down, Goliath, Im in charge here
As the information age changes the ways that companies do business, one critical theme has emerged: Small companies and sometimes even individuals have to deal with big companies more often and more directly than ever. How can a company with one or two principals come to the negotiating table on an even footing with a staff of corporate lawyers, accountants and executives?
Silver Lake Publishings new book, Negotiate Like the Big guys: How Small and Mid-size companies can balance the power in dealing with corporate giants, can answer this question. Combining her own insights with memorable case studies, worksheets and sample forms, author Susan Onaitis gives readers the tools for equalizing any advantages that larger companies may have. Topics include:
- Sizing up the people on the other side.
- Steering negotiating toward collaborative solutions.
- Handling adversarial talks gracefully.
- Determining where to start so that you dont have to give up too much.
- When to walk away and what to do when the other side walks.
- What to do when someone is lying to you.
- Smoothing out corporate culture clashes.