Brent Donnell leaves Northern Illinois Angels?; Cue Biotech receives $25K equity investment from Evanston ITEC; Bill Furlong of B2BWorks resurfaces as CEO of Vicarious Solutions; debut of column on China: “Karl on China”
October 13, 2003
The May Report: 10/13/2003: Brent Donnell leaves Northern Illinois Angels?; Cue
Biotech receives $25K equity investment from Evanston ITEC; Bill Furlong of
B2BWorks resurfaces as CEO of Vicarious Solutions; debut of column on China:
“Karl on China”
Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Scoop section:
— Justin Dyson: Agrees that Motorola-CSC relationship is a mess
— Briefly noted, by Ron May
1. Karl on China, by Karl L. Buschmann
“China: Astonishing the World At Last!”
2. OTHER (Events)
2a. Thurs., Oct. 16: Two meetings of Growing Company (www.growingco.com)
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We are looking for Commercial brokers who can generate at least $ 200,000
of Gross Commissions.
Should have experience buying, selling, financing, brokering, or acquiring
commercial real estate.
Check out the entire posting to apply:
or Send resume to: Paul May , email@example.com , v 312.666.1175
We are offering more recruiting services , check out our site
www.paulmayassociates.com and give us a call.
The Scoop section:
[Editor's note: The name of the sender has been redacted upon his request,
2/25/05]: Agrees that Motorola-CSC relationship is a mess
From: [Editor's note: The name of the sender and the address was redacted
Subject: Motorola – CSC comments
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 10:51:19 -0500
Ron, read your brief comments on the Motorola – CSC mess.
I couldn’t agree more. Motorola IT management are useless & unfortunately
there’s too many over-paid pathetic managers who care more about their own
arses rather than doing the right job. They have Motorola-itis which is the
inability to use the word “no” when communicating to their superiors. They are
also predominantly 20+ year industry ‘veterans’ but have seen no other IT
environments outside of Motorola. This is because they lack the talent to go
anywhere else. Unfortunately because they’ve been there that long they *think*
they know what they’re doing.
CSC are amateur to say the least, and I’ve no idea what due diligence they were
doing before the deal was announced, but they certainly weren’t talking to the
people that actually run the IT there & highly technical people are being moved
off the account to plug holes at other accounts, which invariably is resulting
in a decrease in service. Regular Motorola IT staff have had enough of the 70+
hour weeks while still getting threatened with being laid off, and thus we’re
not doing it anymore. I put in my 40 hours. That’s it.
The good people are starting to leave, and this will only increase once the
economy picks up.
Chris Galvin even had to make a personal plea with Michael Dell to not hire
Motorola IT staff!
Motorola is a mess across the company, which is why I sold all of my Motorola
stock [at a loss] over three years ago — a decision I will never regret.
Getting rid of Galvin was the first step [5 years too late]. Now they need to
remove half the middle management…
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Briefly noted, by Ron May
* In terms of “news” from the ARCH/Coalition Monday Morning Meeting, I have a
few items. I talked to Bob Duerr (firstname.lastname@example.org) the CEO of Integrated
e-Com (www.i-ecomm.com), about the status of his angel fundraising efforts. I
had been told several times by Brent Donnell who was the head of Northern
Illinois Angels that they were still doing the raise and that it had not
closed. I wanted to know and it turns out there is a simple answer. The Battle
Creek Group out of Michigan has pledged $300K, but that money is matching money
up to $300K. According to Bob, they want to get the full $300K from NIA if they
can so that they can take advantage of the offer. That’s what is holding things
up. For some news, it turns out that Brent Donnell’s tenure as the head of NIA
was short-lived. Bob says that Brent is still working with them as a
consultant, but he is no longer (as of about a month ago?) heading NIA and Bob
said that his name is no longer on the web site
(www.northernillinoisangels.com). The company’s telephony product is called
AppSmart and it assists highly appointment intensive businesses by working with
their existing software. Lawyers and doctors are ideal potential customers.
My own suspicion is that whatever they were paying Brent and Gordon before him
was more than they could afford. You cannot support a full-time angel organizer
if you are only doing two or three deals a year. Bart Carlson would probably
know the answer to that one.
Other news from the meeting:
— Jeff Coney said during the introductions that the Evanston ITEC has now made
its third $25K equity investment in a firm. The most recent investment was with
Cue Biotech run by Anne Gilchrest. I met Anne at Jeff Meredith’s farewell party
back in February and she seemed very nice. Jeff said that the money will be
used to assess their market.
— The Illinois Coalition is hosting a big shin-dig on November 7th in Elgin
and the topic is funding of entrepreneurial firms through federal monies. John
Maxson said that it totals $2B and that we should have a piece of that. Denny
Hastert will be there. In fact, the meeting is in Elgin, I believe, because The
Speaker wanted it that way. Also, on the same date the Coalition is sponsoring
a corporate fundraiser with Hastert in attendance. Notice should be going out
about these events very soon. Or you can contact Christine Aston-Morse at the
— Christine, by the way, told me today that she is pregnant, so be nice to her.
— Also, John Maxson pointed out that on October 16th the Coalition is hosting
a conference at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce in accordance with the I2H2
program on hydrogen as a fuel source. John said that a proposed plan of action
will hopefully be in place by the end of November.
— Another piece of “news” is that Bill Furlong, the founder of B2BWorks has
resurfaced now as CEO of Vicarious Communications, one of today’s presenters.
* Attendance at this morning’s meeting was pretty good and I put in a vote for
more meetings at The Gleacher Center which is easy to get to. Many of the
regulars were there, but there were a fair number of new faces.
— Stephen Meade showed up. Man, I have not seen him in ages.
— Gennady Shenkar was there and I have not seen him since he used to attend
LOLA events years ago.
— A guy I have heard about from Dick Reck and Mike Freud, Ric Cox, who runs
ChicagoCondosOnline (www.chicagocondosonlinie.com) was there with Emily
Schadley, a very vivacious (and attractive) sales woman.
— There were also a number of lawyers from Bell Boyd & Lloyd which usually
does not show up at networking events, but they are working with Vicarious
Communications, one of the presenters.
— Mark Mayer from Webley Systems, one of the few survivors of the dot com era
was there. They now have Kate rather than Webley but they have 80 employees
and offices here and in Phoenix.
— Kaushal Choksi from Kawin Interactive which produces Chicagoebiz.com was
there with his partner.
— Bill Snow of First Salvage and www.billsnow.com was there and he may have
been a first-timer. His card says that he is the author of “Venture Capital
101″ which shatters the myths and misconceptions about venture capital using
Keith Richard’s guitar tuning as a paradigm.
— Ed Berger told me that he used to be with Katten Muchin and is now solo, but
he said that we met five years ago and he has never seen me looking better
(thanks Ed, I needed that.)
— Ellen Rudnick and Waverly Deutsch of the University of Chicago GSB were
there and they were sponsors.
— Randy King of Aeliant was there and I saw him at TiE as well. They help
companies with commercialization, funding needs and Randy does work in
embedded, RFID, industrial controls, etc. He used to be with Edge Systems years
— Dave Seelander, a patent attorney at Sonnenschein was there.
Among the regulars: Jack Curley, Neil Kane, Aaron Rudberg, Bob Okabe (Illinois
Partners which is made up of Neil, Aaron and Bob was one of the sponsors),
Keith Brumbaugh, Dick Pilcher, Mary Dicig, Jeff Coney, Jim Bray, Dave Farber,
Richard Sandler, Fred Roberton, Jim Braband, James Frank from Argonne, Terry
Doheny of BeyondIf, the Folio group boys, Bruce Montgomery, Nik Rokop, and many
My own informal guess about attendance is that 10% are lawyers, 5% are
accountants or CFO outsource types, 15% are financial advisors and/or angel
investors, including venture leasing guys, 15% are government or NGO people
from the ITECs, NASA or the Coalition, 25% are consultants and “strategic”
advisors of some sort that I have not already counted, especially in marketing,
That leaves 30% who work for real companies and/or are entrepreneurs who have
their own businesses. About 20% of the total are actively seeking jobs.
Sometimes that is hidden as in the case of someone like Robin Cook who no
longer says flat-out that he is out of work. This is just my off-the-top-of the
head estimate, but I did write down what everyone said they did.
The woman from zuChem was there as was Larry Zinox. Bill Houston who shows very
occasionally at these things said that he is involved with the development of
some medical device, but then he ran off when I tried to talk to him. Who
knows? A bad TMR experience?
John Stoika said that after successfully helping to raise $6MM for Rail
Marketplace and creating $80MM in value, he wants a new job before his contract
There were a few others like John who are not waiting until they have no job to
look for a new one.
Rick Chomko of InRule Solutions was there and I interviewed him at the TiE
meeting which I am writing up. He is working with Kapil at the Coalition as is
Vicarious Communications which presented. Watch for Chomko to present at a
future ARCH meeting (if my hunch is right this is how they get presenters.)
I took good notes so a solid write-up on the three presenting firms will not be
tough. Vicarious Communications run by Michael Moyer is trying to provide a
direct marketing channel for manufacturers but unlike the problems that Michael
ran into when he worked for Bissell, they are not going to cut out the retail
“middleman.” When he worked for Bissell, retailers in their channel like
Walmart thought they (the manufacturer) was trying to compete with them. Moyer
explained that they chose a market where the “middleman” would not only benefit
from the deal but would be a necessary part of the process. The first beta
market they have chosen is veternarians. A pet owner shows up at a vet’s office
and fills out a survey about his/her pet. That information is owned by the vet
but is used by Vicarious as information that can assist manufacturers of
products that may be useful to the pet owner. That pet owner then receives on
average two direct mail solicitations from the vet him/herself a year. This
helps the vet improve his or her relationship with the pet owner, and it sells
the product. Often the survey reveals things about the pet’s problems that even
the vet did not know. The proprietary IP owned by Vicarious is the automated
process which is highly labor intensive. They take it from A to Z for the vet.
The company is also looking to start doing the same thing for dentists.
Build it and build it fast was the advice from Churchwell who seemed somewhat
skeptical along with various audience members that the firm has picked the
right market in veternarians. But Moyer argues that this is just a start and
the system can be applied to many markets.
More later, but the quote of the day has to be a comment that Tom Churchwell
made when talking about the difficulty that Phenome Systems, another presenter
— this one out of Kalamazoo, Michigan — was a classic. Tom said that “the
probability of raising $1.5MM in angel money in Kalamazoo is forty times
greater than the probability of raising it in Chicago.”
“Forty times?,” I shouted out to Tom. “Pick a number,” he said.
Phenome Systems was founded by three scientists who came out of Pharmacia.
At the end of “Briefly noted” in this report I have included an article about
Vicarious Solutions that shows how they won a U. of C. Business Plan
I do have one bone to pick with Churchwell and the Coalition. The third speaker
today was clearly ill-prepared to give a ten minute talk on what his firm does.
He was eight minutes into his talk before we found out what the product was.
The first five minutes were a ramble about the management team. That is just
sloppy preparation by Tom and the Coalition. First impressions do count and
people come away with only one first impression. These companies should be
better prepped, and that should not be so hard to do. Get Abby Ohl in there to
do it. Have presenters attend at least one meeting prior to giving a
presentation to see how it is done. Yes, it is a learning experience but it is
not necessary for the presenters to be up there cold. I also heard from one
regular attendee that the hydrogen fuel presentations a few months back were
just as bad. Get your act together guys. The presentations by Mike Moyer of
Vicarious and Neal Goodwin of Phenome were tight and good, but the last one
* In the category of clean-up from some issues raised last week, what is the
deal with wages in China and India? Lester Thurow says flat out that the wages
are higher in India than in China. Linda Lim of the University of Michigan says
that Chinese workers are paid somewhat more than Indian but they are also far
more productive. My landlord who has travelled to China and made note of this
says that Thurow is right, and that wages are higher in India. Can someone
clear this up with some real info.
— I am beginning to understand the concept of Purchasing Power Parity on an
intuitive level. If I get a prescription benefit that pays for thousands of
dollars in prescriptions, that frees up cash for other things and gives me more
“purchasing power” with my dollar. Steve Lundin noted that he got some kind of
bungalow benefit from the city which meant that he had to pay only $5K rather
than $10K for a new roof. That is the equivalent of getting $5K in cash. So
when someone says that $300 in China is worth $3,000 in the U.S. as an example,
it may be true. If your rent and electric are paid for already along with your
health care, your $300 can go much further than it can here.
— Next point. Garth Milne, a VP and the Treasurer at Motorola, made the
statement that Motorola encounters an 80-90% black market for cell phones in
India. I mentioned this at lunch today to my landlord who is Indian and he had
a good point. It may be just sour grapes at Motorola because he said that Nokia
and Ericsson are much more popular in India.
But his point was that if the phones are stolen, that does not hurt the
manufacturer. An example he gave was that in Amsterdam 40,000 bicycles are
found in the water every year. They are stolen by kids and dumped, but his
point was that this does not harm the manufacturer who may even benefit from
the thefts because new bikes are being bought. So, Garth, what is your “black
market” point all about? Cell phones are not like software that can just be
copied. They have to be made by someone.
* In the category of “Ron’s Random Walk” I had an interesting conversation with
a woman who works for a company called Global that watches the parking lot at
the Bagel. They also watch the lot at Dominick’s. She told me that The Bagel is
charged nothing for the service and that her firm makes its money on the
tickets they write. As a sweetener for the restaurant, the parking lot company
keeps the lot clean, etc. She told me that some days they write one ticket and
other days like last Monday which was Yom Kippur (and The Bagel was closed)
they wrote 25 tickets. In general she said that the number of tickets
correspond to the pattern people have in being out and about. On a Friday it
will be more than on a slow Monday.
* I am pleased to let you know that The May Report has a new columnist: Karl L.
Buschmann and his “Karl on China” column.
As I reported last week on the presentation on globalization by Lester Thurow
and the event on China and India at Kellogg, China has become the 800 pound
gorilla in the world today.
I’ve asked Karl to write a weekly column on China in the interest of helping us
understand what this gorilla is all about. ‘Karl on China’ promises to be
lively and informative, practical and insightful.
Karl has been going to China in recent years and has acquired keen insight on
American-Chinese relations. He is playing a lead role in two China-related
entrepreneurial ventures and is a member of the Association of Chinese
Scientists and Engineers USA, the Roundtable on China and U.S. – China
Relations of The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and the US-China Peoples
Friendship Association. Karl will be a discussant at the 45th Annual Conference
of the American Association for Chinese Studies on 25-26 October. Karl is an
alumnus of the Graduate School of Business at The University of Chicago.
Please feel free to contact Karl at kbuschmann@ChinaMfgsourcing.com
* Here is the article from the web on Vicarious Solutions.
Direct Marketing Idea Wins Business Plan Contest at University of Chicago
Full Release: CHICAGO (June 26, 2003) – Two M.B.A. students who are
developing a software system for direct marketing in the dental industry and
similar industries won the 2003 Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge at the
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Michael Moyer, 31, and Alyson Tesler, 28, will share the $25,000 first-place
award. Their business plan for Vicarious Communications, Inc. beat 58 other
plans submitted this year.
The Vicarious plan is for a new marketing software system to help
manufacturers and suppliers of dental products (such as teeth whitener or
invisible braces) more effectively target market their products through
The program matches patient profiles created in the dentist’s office with
specific marketing programs set up by product manufacturers. Dentists then
select the campaigns they are interested in and Vicarious sends patients a
customized version of the manufacturers’ promotional material on behalf of the
Although the plan is being applied first to the dental profession, the
software can be adapted for use in other fields such as optometry or
veterinarian-recommended pet products.
“The Vicarious plan is creative, attempts to solve a real problem and has a
genuine shot at working,” said Steven Kaplan, Neubauer family professor of
entrepreneurship and finance at Chicago GSB and faculty director of the
school’s Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship.
Green Hedges, a company that plans to provide insurance against declining home
values, shared second place in this year’s business plan contest with Iterative
Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that develops antibody therapeutics.
Iterative Therapeutics’ first application targets the multiple sclerosis
market. Each second-place team will receive $12,500. Business plans
submitted this year ranged from software and biotech companies to retail
products and homeland security.
“Some of this year’s teams were so committed that they put up their own
money or raised research grants in an effort to get their businesses
started,” said Ellen Rudnick, clinical professor of entrepreneurship at the
GSB and executive director of the Polsky Center.
A group of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs served as judges for this
year’s contest. The founder and primary sponsor of the event is Edward L.
Kaplan, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of Zebra Technologies. Other
sponsors this year were the Altheimer & Gray law firm; Fred Dotzler, managing
director of De Novo Ventures; Silicon Valley Bank in Chicago; and Amanda Peak,
an associate at Silicon Valley Bank in Chicago.
“The quality of the thought process in the business plans has clearly
improved,” Kaplan said. “Critical issues were addressed, the presentations were
crisp and the Q&A sessions were very effective.”
The annual business plan contest started in 1996 as a way to encourage
M.B.A. students at the University of Chicago to put their entrepreneurial
visions into practice. In addition to instruction from top entrepreneurship
faculty, students receive training and feedback on their business plans from
Since the New Venture Challenge was founded, 20 teams have gone on to become
viable, operating companies.
The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is a leader in
entrepreneurship education. It offers 15 primary courses in the field to
expose students to the breadth of start-up issues. The school’s Polsky
Center for Entrepreneurship coordinates research, teaching, entrepreneurial
experiences and outreach to the business community.
Chicago GSB offers five full-time and part-time M.B.A. programs in addition to
open enrollment executive education, custom corporate education and a Ph.D.
program. Many of the world’s leading executives are graduates of the school,
including Philip Purcell, chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley; James Kilts,
chairman and CEO of the Gillette Company; and Joseph Neubauer, chairman and CEO
* Tomorrow morning another sponsored or custom mailing will be going out, this
one on behalf of Internet Security Systems in Atlanta which is sponsoring a
seminar here on Thursday.
1. Karl on China, by Karl L. Buschmann
“China: Astonishing the World At Last!”
13 October 2003
If you’re like most folks, you don’t give much thought to China except when you
go to a Chinese restaurant, shop at Wal-Mart or Target and notice the many
‘Made in China’ labels, or read the ever growing number of articles on the
impact of China in the global economy in the business press.
I submit that you need to start paying more attention!
What’s going on here?
It’s been said for a long time that China would influence the world in a
significant way. The predictions have usually been premature. In 1803,
Napoleon Bonaparte said, “China is a sleeping giant. And when she awakes, she
shall astonish the world.”
This development is now a reality. I think Jack Welch said it best in 2002:
“The impact of China on this country (the USA) in the next 5 years, or 10
years, is going to make the Japanese of the late 70s and early 80s look like a
With this column, I’d like to promote understanding of China and its role in
and impact on the globalized US economy. I hope to provide perspective,
context, and information whether you are a citizen, consumer, May Report
reader, pundit, professional, or casual observer.
You’ll gain insight that will allow you to make judgments on key issues such as:
-China: Strategic Competitor or Strategic Partner?
-China: What are the challenges and opportunities for the USA?
-Is Europe the past, the USA the present, and a China-dominated Asia the future
of the global economy?
Let me give you some factoids to capture and focus your attention:
* China has become the USA’s fourth largest trading partner in 2002,
following Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
* Since 2000, China has been the country with which the US has had the
highest trade deficit. A whopping $103.1 billion in 2002.
* China has for the first time in 2002 displaced both Japan and Mexico
as the top supplier of high-tech goods to the USA.
* The surge in exports from China – The World’s Factory – is jolting
global industry, particularly as the Chinese currency is linked to the US
* China overtook the U.S. as the most attractive foreign direct
investment (FDI) destination in 2002 – $52.7 billion.
* FDI in China by U.S. firms has increased from only $200 million in
1989 to more than $8.2 billion in 2002.
* China will again be the most attractive FDI destination in 2003
despite SARS with $57 billion forecasted.
And, get this, China is expected to orbit a manned spacecraft on 15 October.
All of these developments are occurring against the backdrop of a ‘job-losing
recovery,’ as Lester Thurow said in Chicago last week, and a presidential
election in 2004. In some circles, China has become the whipping boy for the
woes of the US economy. I will have more to say about this matter in future
columns and in the meantime, I will bring to your attention “The Job Drain: Is
It China’s Fault?,” in the 13 October 2003 issue of Business Week. See
You can shore up your knowledge on China right here in Chicago. The US-China
Peoples Friendship Association is holding its 19th National Convention on 17-19
October. See www.uscpfa.org. The United States of America-China Chamber of
Commerce is holding its Fourth Annual US-China Trade Conference on 30-31
October. See www.usccc.org.
So, I think Napoleon finally got it right but 200 years too late: China is no
longer a sleeping giant and she shall indeed astonish the world.
Karl L. Buschmann is an international management professional based in the
Chicago area, who is an authority on “Marketing with a Global Flair.” He plays
a leadership role in China Sourcing Services (www.chinamfgsourcing.com), which
leverages relationships in the machining and tooling industry, and China
Business Sources (www.chinabiz88.com), which sponsors China Business
Exploratory Trip 2003. Karl is a frequent lecturer on China-related aspects of
the globalized US economy, offshore outsourcing, international marketing, and
manufacturing. Karl visited Chairman Mao’s birthplace during his visit of
August – September 2003 and was declared a ‘true revolutionary’ for having
eaten the hot and spicy food of Hunan Province.
Please feel free to contact Karl at kbuschmann@ChinaMfgsourcing.com
2. OTHER (Events)
2a. Thurs., Oct. 16: Two meetings of Growing Company (www.growingco.com)
Subject: Sent From Growth Company by admin
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 12:13:55 -0500
You received the following message from : admin (email@example.com)
Just wanted to make sure you received regular updates of our meeting schedule.
A meeting in Chicago and a meeting in Lisle, both on Oct 16.
Please note locations!
LISLE – Oct 16, 7AM to 9AM, Krasa Hall (far west side of campus), Benedictine
University, Lisle. Topic is Creating value in the way you sell. The marketplace
is demanding change in the way companies sell their products and services.
Instead of just communicating about the value of their offerings, successful
sellers are creating value for their customers and prospects through the way
they sell. Several sales experts will discuss a selling value model designed to
move your company up the selling food chain in the eyes of your prospects and
customers. Topics will include both a strategic viewpoint (e.g. is your
business value model in alignment with your selling value model) as well as
some practical selling tips for your next sales opportunity to better position
yourself and your company as a provider of value.
MORE INFO ABOUT LISLE MEETING: For more information about the Lisle meeting,
please visit: www.growingco.com/view_announcements.asp#39
CHICAGO — Oct 16, 7AM to 9AM, 247 S. State Street, Chicago. “You Need to Be a
Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Running a Business” debunks the
myths of business start-ups by telling the truth: You have to be crazy to start
a business. Hear author and serial entrepreneur Barry Moltz, talk about the
complex intersection of start-up business, financial health, physical
well-being, spiritual wholeness and family life. His perspective is illustrated
with other personal tales from an entrepreneur and how it relates to his new
MORE INFO ABOUT CHICAGO MEETING: For more information about the Chicago
meeting, please visit: www.growingco.com/view_announcements.asp#40
ABOUT GROWINGCO – for more information about the GrowingCo meetings, please
visit www.growingco.com or read an article about us at:
The May Report Ron May: editor, reporter, commentator,
and publisher. 773-525-3944 For personal &
confidential: 312-670-6336 E-mails for Ron:
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