The May Report: 09/28/2005: Intellext may hit the big time as they strike a deal with MSN / CaseKnowledge closes on seven figure Series A / High enthusiasm kicks off this year’s Springboard at a party at LaSalle Bank / The Indian Chamber of Commerce meets
September 28, 2005
The May Report: 09/28/2005: Intellext may hit the big time as they strike a
deal with MSN / CaseKnowledge closes on seven figure Series A / High enthusiasm
kicks off this year’s Springboard at a party at LaSalle Bank / The Indian
Chamber of Commerce meets in Chicago
For subscribe/unsubscribe information, see the end of the report.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Scoop section:
— MSN hooks up with Intellext
— CaseKnowledge closes on a seven-figure Series A
— Briefly noted: The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Springboard’s kickoff
party, by Ron May
1. READER COMMENTS AND RESPONSES
1a. Sean Harper: Those recruiter rankings of UCGSB don’t make sense
1b. Paul May: If this isn’t a veiled threat?
[Editor's note: No time for event listings this morning. We have ITDA and MITEF
and ACG, so that will be in the next report.]
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The Scoop section:
MSN hooks up with Intellext
Subject: RE: The promises we make —— and forget. Where is my stuff? You’re
Date: 9/27/2005 10:27:55 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: Email address withheld
OK – so the truth is I just couldn’t say no to Joy’s lasagna! Not that you’re
less important – what am I saying of course you’re less important than my
Here are a few of the press hits. Below is a paste of the press release.
As usual, please don’t publish my email address.
CNet News.com: Move over, Google Sidebar -
Red Herring: MSN Taps its Intellext -
ComputerWorld: Watson search tool adds to MSN Search -
TechWhack: Microsoft’s answer to Google Sidebar: Watson 2.0 -
Search Engine Journal: Watson 2.0 Desktop & Search Assistant Alternative to
Google Sidebar – www.searchenginejournal.com/index.php?p=2242
SearchEngineWatch: New Watson Sidebar for MSN Search -
Watson 2.0 Sidebar Now Available for MSN Search Toolbar with
Windows Desktop Search Users
Combining Watson 2.0 and MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search allows
users to automatically receive relevant information from their desktop and
other preferred sources.
CHICAGO – September 23, 2005 – Intellext(tm) (www.intellext.com), the
“Intelligence in Context” software company, today announced the availability of
its Watson 2.0 personal research assistant as an Add-in for Windows Desktop
Search. The free 30-day trial of Watson 2.0 and the Add-in is available to
download at addins.msn.com.
Windows Desktop Search Add-ins enable people to find precisely what they want
and seamlessly access the information they care about. Powerful enhancements
like Watson 2.0 for MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search are part of
the MSN long-term commitment to deliver services that enable people to improve
their searching and browsing experience.
The Watson 2.0 personal research assistant proactively brings users the
information they need from the sources they choose. Since Watson understands
the context of users’ work, it is able to proactively find information that’s
relevant to what they are doing in real-time. There’s no need for users to
interrupt their work by typing search words or visiting separate Web sites and
search boxes. Instead, Watson delivers relevant search results to users’
desktops in its non-intrusive sidebar while they work in Microsoft Word,
Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, and Internet Explorer.
“With Watson 2.0, Windows Desktop Search users can instantly see pertinent
content from all over the Internet and their desktop, so there’s no need to
manually look around for information,” said Al Wasserberger, chief executive
officer of Intellext. “Using Watson and MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop
Search together creates a more personalized and automated single-source of
information for millions of MSN customers.”
Watson’s sidebar display is continuously updated with real-time information
that is relevant to the work being done at any given moment. This gives users
an instant snapshot of information that’s pertinent to their work. The security
and identity of each Watson and Windows Desktop Search user is never
compromised, since Watson does not store or transmit any personal data.
“MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search is a key component of our
broader strategy to help people find precisely what they need easier and faster
– on the Web and beyond,” said Dane Glasgow, general manager for MSN. “Watson
helps deliver on this vision by bringing contextually-relevant information to
users from sources most important to them, all within an intuitive sidebar.”
Visit www.intellext.com or e-mail email@example.com for more information about
Watson 2.0 and Intellext. To learn how Watson 2.0 can increase the ROI of your
company’s internal knowledge systems, contact Intellext sales at
Intelligence in Context. This statement forges the foundation of Intellext, a
visionary company that takes information retrieval out of the search box.
Intellext uses contextually-based search technology to serve individual users,
enterprises and content providers. Since launching in early 2005, Watson has
received awards from Gartner and KMWorld Magazine, along with recognition from
PC Magazine, the Boston Globe, CBS News, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and
Watson 2.0 acts as a personal research assistant so computer users no longer
need to rely on the search box. Instead, Watson delivers on-point information
directly to the desktop in a non-intrusive sidebar. Watson 2.0 is a powerful
tool that analyzes the context of what users are working on to proactively
deliver relevant information from preferred desktop search applications like
the MSN Search Toolbar, search engines, news sites, blogs, research services,
and corporate knowledge and document management systems.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.
For More Information:
Edelman Public Relations
Forensicon is seeking a marketing intern to support our staff in the marketing
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CaseKnowledge closes on a seven-figure Series A
I wanted to let you know that CaseKnowledge just closed on a seven-figure
Series A investment round last week. We have radically improved our “pitch”
since you sat through my mediocre Illinois Coalition presentation last
December. We have paying customers, are about to deploy our fourth major
product release, and just hired an industry “rock-star” as our head of Sales
and Marketing. Things are moving rapidly here in a very positive direction.
CaseKnowledge is a litigation management software company offering our
customers a unique solution for managing their rapidly growing litigation
portfolios. CaseKnowledge reduces litigation expense, provides process
controls, digitally manages the entire litigation file, and supplies management
with metrics necessary to continually improve results.
Our patent pending, web-based application is designed for Insurance and
Fortune 1000 companies that manage litigated cases. Insurance company claims
professionals, corporate general counsel, and in-house lawyers who manage a
litigation portfolio are the primary users of the application and contributed
to the application’s development.
I hope you are well.
Domain name for sale: ChicagoGigs.com
Chicago Music – 3rd in Google
Chicago Concerts – 2nd in Google, 4th in Yahoo!
Briefly noted: The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Springboard’s kickoff party,
by Ron May
* Monday night I attended the first meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce
at the Chicago Hilton. There were some familiar faces such as Weinstein and
Kapil (Kapil will continue part time with the CEC as he goes off to spend $38K
a year for a Kellogg MBA); Brad Spirrison, Shalesh Kumbhat, and a few others. I
probably recognized ten to fifteen people from TiE, but I don’t know their
names off the top of my head. Premal Muni was there and he’s with the ITDA.
There were also a number of people from DCEO including Vladimir Petrovic, Tom
Carper who is the West Central Region Manager operating out of Macomb and
Rajinder Bedi who is the Managing Director for the Office of Trade and
Investment for the State of Illinois.
The keynote speaker was the Commerce Minister of India and there was a good
deal of excitement when he arrived directly from Paris. The TV cameras were on
him and many people gathered around him. He is more than just a
Commerce Minister, from what I can tell. He is something of a celebrity in
Anyway, I have a much fuller write-up to do based on the interviews I
conducted. One person I talked to is a particle physicist at FermiLab and he
told me that by 2009-10 we should know if we are going to get the linear
accelerator. First, they have to find out how the accelerator in Cern does and
that becomes operational in 2006 or 2007, I believe he said. Then there will be
competition with Europe and
Asia for this accelerator because it will be an internationally funded project.
He said that a lot depends on the effectiveness of our own national government.
Well, don’t bet the farm on that. The big problem, he said, is that we have to
start funding projects for the duration, not just year-by-year appropriations.
The linear accelerator would be 36km long and obviously could not be fit under
the current land that FermiLab has. Otherwise, this gentleman is working on a
project called MIPP.
As I walked around the room, and talked to many guests, one thing struck me. Is
there anyone, especially any attractive woman, that Dan Shomon does not know? I
was amazed by the number of friends that he has. Dan worked for Barak Obama and
he also has had other governmental roles. And he does have a loyal Rolodex. Dan
himself told me that he meets a lot of people and he stays in touch and keeps
up with his relationships. Some of his friends told me that he is a very nice
guy, very loyal as a friend and that he has a good sense of humor.
The news is that as of November 15th, American Airlines will start non-stop
service between Chicago and Dehli. The two cities are commonly referred to as
The flight will leave Chicago about 7:35pm and arrive in Dehli after a 14 hour
flight at 9:30pm the next night. Remember the time zone difference. There will
be three classes and American has a memorandum of understanding with an Indian
airline that will allow this flight to arrive at a time when connections can be
made to 22 other cities in India from Dehli.
This could do a lot for trade between the two countries. Fortunately, I sat
next to three cynics at dinner. These guys, whose names I don’t know, have been
in the airline and travel business for years. One of them said that he gives
this six months and then he will send American Airlines his condolences. They
did not feel that the marketing was right, but would not be more specific, even
though I asked them ten times. The secret sauce would not be revealed, at least
not for free, as one of them put it to me.
As one guy put it, United Airlines and Air Canada tried this and it failed. My
information is that direct flights from Chicago to Beijing are only two years
old and it is true that 911 killed much of this business off. But times are
changing and the business travel climate seems to be getting better.
The other piece of information I picked up and quite frankly, I am worried that
I may have this wrong, is that the trade between Illinois and India is $22MM a
year. As several people commented to me, that is a pittance. Now, let’s be
clear about this. We are talking about products, not services. So all the
computer activity is not counted and accounting services or legal services
would not be included in that either. We are talking parts from Catepillar.
There was confusion amongst the people I spoke to as I tried to get
clarification on this number. If I heard correctly, the $22MM is up from $14MM.
Some people thought that the number was strictly the business that one firm,
the speaker’s firm, was doing, but as I thought about it later in the evening,
I thought not. It was the total business. And as I go over my cards, there are
not that many hard core business guys who own manufacturing businesses.
David Good is the chief representative to North America from TATA Sons Limited.
That is a computer operation. I see here a professor from UIC in pharmacy; lots
of pols like Don Harmon, state senator; and an aide to Jan Schakowsky, Dean
Maragos is running for the Water Reclamation District board; and a number of
people represented various Indian organizations such as the Punjabi Cultural
Society of Chicago, the India Development Coalition of America; and a person
from Iowa representing the India Year Committee. There was also a person from
the India Development Coalition of America in Willowbrook, Mohan Jain. There
were two reporters that I talked to, one from the Indian Reporter and one from
the India Post. The Reporter representative was an executive editor, Jatinder
Singh Bedi. The lady from the Post is a UIC pre-med student, very pretty I
might add, doing freelancing.
OK, this may be a real business, MR Overseas Pvt. Ltd. The card says that they
are rice millers, importers and exporters.
The point I am driving at is that the $22MM figure may be right. And this group
seems to be just getting off the ground.
Dan Shomon told me that he not only did PR for it but marketing as well. That
is a polite way of saying that he invited many people he knew.
So, if we cut out our own government people, Dan’s friends, and people from
Indian organizations, and ask just how many actual businessmen there were, it
would be a much smaller number. The turnout was better than they had expected
though because they had to add three tables to the room for people to have a
place to eat. I would guesstimate the attendance at about 150 to 175.
There was no shortage of enthusiasm however. In whatever way that this group
fits in to complement TiE which really does something entirely different, it
appears to be a good thing. We don’t have enough emphasis on trade in
manufacturing. As one woman dressing in traditional Indian garb put it to me,
what has begun to change is the mindset, the whole perpective on doing
* The Springboard party last night — and I was absolutely the first to arrive
and the last to leave — was a smashing success. I was on good behavior,
having struck a deal with Nancy Sullivan, well actually it was more like, Ron,
behave or you’re outta here and won’t be invited back, and everyone had a good
time. Before people started arriving, I had my tape recording out taping the
names on the name tags along with the company names, but one of the more astute
women from LaSalle Bank’s event planning group that was putting out the tags
suggested that I wait until the officials from Springboard arrive and that put
an end to that. But they had tags for 300 people. About 150 showed. And to tell
you the truth, they could not have handled 300 in that room. It was crowded and
warm as it was. As people started to leave, you could feel the room getting
cooler, thus proving the effects of body heat.
Many of the usual suspects were there. I have to leave here by no later than
7:45am, so let me just do this off the top of my head. Time to go over the
cards and tape tomorrow and Friday. In fact, the Springboard event starts at
8:30am and goes until 2pm. Then there is a private gathering for investors that
I am not invited to, says Nancy.
Just off the top of my head, those there included: David Weinstein, Jason
Felger, Scott Issen, all of the CEC; Tom Thornton, Premal Muni, Arun Bhatia and
Christine Aston-Morse from the ITDA; Kristi Lafleur of DCEO; Mary Lydon from
Judy Barr Topinka’s office; Ed Condon, Ellen Carnahan (although she arrived
late, she did hang around and talked to a lot of people); Adam Koopersmith of
New World Ventures; Ron Kirschner, Tom Churchwell, Dave Miller from iBIO, Nancy
Sullivan of course and her entourage, including Mellisa who will replace Kapil
at the CEC in the second week of October; Linda Darragh, Michael Gruber, Darcy
Evon, and her friend Loraine Miller, Jeff Gilbert, Al Wasserberger, Bob Okabe,
Sally Duros, Pat Ewert, Brenda Russell from UIC, Mary Dicig (and Mary will be
moderating the MIT-EF panel on October 11th and I referred her to them as a
possible moderator); Kirsten Osolind and several associates; Amy Millman from
the national office of Springboard who told me that she is a loyal fan of TMR
since the first year when I wrote a call to action; Tracy TreDenick whom I
first met years ago when Chris Sweis brought her along to visit me in the
hospital (she used to be with Pfizer and struck out on her own with a firm
called BioTechLogic); Cadey O’Leary Hershoff; Audrey Hellinger; three or four
people from Hopewell including Matthew McCue; David Baker, Bob Rosenberg, Jim
Bray, Misty Gruber (I did not notice her until she was leaving and Ed Condon,
ever the gentleman, interceded to make sure there was not an incident); Nik
Rokop (and by the way, one of his associates, Zoe Quan was at the Indian event
the night before); Debra Kurtz, Irene Hrusovsky of Era Gen, Jodi Flax of OHMX
(she tells me that I got it wrong. It was Leonard, her father, who turned her
onto TMR, not Leonard her brother — oops) and many more. Bob Geras was out of
town so he was not there, and I did not see some regulars at this event like
David Dailey from SVB. David Gulley was not there and some others I might have
expected to see. But all in all, it was a very good crowd. As we were listening
to the speeches, a woman whose name I will get for you whispered to me that I
should interview the lady standing next to me. That lady, it turns out, was
probably the most powerful business person in the room. Lynn Pike heads up the
business banking division of Bank of America with hundreds of thousands of
customers and 1,400 employees under her command! Her title is President of
Business Banking and she operates out of LA. Wow! And guess what. She is as
humble as you can imagine. Looks like the woman next door. No airs at all.
That’s why I introduced her to Weinstein so that he could see what humility
looks like. I would have grabbed Thornton but I did not see him. Actually, last
night I should have grabbed Wasserberger because he was on Cloud Nine all
night. Understandably so. This deal may mean true success for Intellext. Lynn’s
staff and there were a number of BofA people there, loves her. BTW, Ellen
Carnahan will be headinig up the Bootstrapping panel at TiECON on Saturday.
Some of the people I spoke to among the presenters and other firms that maybe
did not make the cut to present but were nonetheless there included: Jennifer
Baird of Accuri Instruments; Audrey VanStockum of Recouleur; Sandi Hwang Adam
of Maven Cosmetics; Mary Hibbs-Brenner of MYTek in Minneapolis; Ankur Malhotra
of The NeuronFarm in Madison; Judith Erb of Three Fold Sensors in Ann Arbor;
and there is a production company in the River West area that got funding and
seems to be doing well. I don’t have the cards and it is on the tape, but the
CEO is Lindsay something.
Look, it is 7:34am. Time to go. News wise, of course I spend much of the
evening berating Al Wasserberger for not letting me know of the big news that
Intellext has cut a deal with MSN and will now openly compete with Google and
go for the consumer market. MSN has 120 million users and will sell Watson 2.0
as an add-on. Al is understandably quite excited as all of us should be. He did
this deal himself. And thirty publications wrote about it so far. Edelman did a
great job getting the word out.
Al’s lawyers here were Michael Mensik and Bruce Zivian from Baker McKenzie. Al
swears by Mensik as nothing short of brilliant. He knows Michael from back at
Spirian when they did their UBS deal. He said that when he first dealt with
Mensik, he sprung into action with a full team immediately and he also said
that Michael really understands the tactics. He rattled off six things for Al
to do immediately.
One lesson from my conversation with Al: work your network and stay in touch
with all your contacts. The original connection to MSN came from a female
investor in Boston whom Al had stayed in touch with. She had initially looked
at the possibility of investing in what was then Open Road, but took a pass.
That was before Al arrived, in fact. But when he was in Boston he met with her
and let her know what they were doing and what was important to them. She came
up with the MSN connection which Al said was very high up, not as high as a
Balmer, but quite high up. That was about four months ago, after the Midwest
Venture Summit. Good, because otherwise Al would have been lying through his
teeth. I have only asked him ten times if they are competing with Google and
ten times he has said “NO.” But now it is out in the open, yes they are. In
fact, one of the headlines in one of the articles about this said, “Move over
Google, here comes MSN” or words to that effect.
I don’t have time right now, but Google would not have made sense for a channel
partner as Al said. That makes sense. For search, Watson comes to you. With
Google, you have to go to it.
Let me go. Al would not answer questions on how many staff would have to be
added or what they project the size of the market to be. The deal was signed
last Tuesday and announced on Friday, he said and the real negotiations only
took place in prior three week period. Before that MSN was testing Watson and
Al reminded me that until September 8th, it was effectively in Beta.
* One other piece of news. Michael Gruber who runs Keiretsu Forum tells me that
at least one investor locally has put money into a firm called OrganicToGo out
of Seattle. They are in the process of due diligence and other investors are
planning to participate.
Ron Kirschner said that his two deals are close to being completed, but it is
being hung up by the lawyers whom he declined to name.
* BTW, in going over out of office replies, I happened to notice that both
Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune and Phil Ponce of WTTW are on the TMR
distribution list. And sorry to say, I was absolutely the only local media
person at the Springboard event. Absent were Krauss, anyone from Crain’s, The
Trib, and ePrairie. Sally Duros recently wrote an article in Crain’s she told
me. This is Chicago, folks. We can do better than that. Where was someone like
Dan Miller? He is usually at this kind of event.
* I still have the RCN story wrong, my sources tell me. This has nothing to do
with e911 issues. I wlll get the story straight for you.
* Talked to Chris Sweis last night. I will call him this week for the full
story on his bankruptcy.
* And don’t miss Jack — Welch, that is. Call 1-888-592-1727 or register for
SAP Business Forum ’05 in Chicago on October 12.
1. READER COMMENTS AND RESPONSES
1a. Sean Harper: Those recruiter rankings of UCGSB don’t make sense
From: Sean Harper [email@example.com]
Subject: Re: The May Report: 09/26/2005: Mark Tebbe returns to public eye after
a three year absence full of enthusiasm about the future, full of pep and
vigor, and as the same Mark he always was / Nothing is forever: twenty five
years ago, it was Harvard, Ch
Sent: Mon 9/26/2005 6:46 PM
The biz school rankings story that you re-posted from the WSJ is just dumb, all
of the criticisms of the top schools are things that are actually good for the
reputation of the school and the students. “They expect to get paid too much”
… how on earth does that indicate something negative about the school?
Would anyone seriously attend Carnegie Mellon instead of UChicago? Of course
1b. Paul May: If this isn’t a veiled threat?
Subject: if this isn’t a veiled threat?
Date: 9/27/2005 7:12:27 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Ron, this is how you treat unsubscribers. Veiled Threats? You’re too funny.
Do you realize how egotistical this sounds?
Your note to Ray Briscuso.
“Out of curiosity, why are you unsubscribing? I have only said nice things
about you so far. ”
Yah, Paul, the whole report has been built on extortion and blackmail from day
one, haven’t you noticed? Why do you think people talk to me? Forget
journalistic ideals. This is the mafia, buddy.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, either go to the website or just send me a note
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words subscribe or unsubscribe in the
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