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January 5, 2011
 
 
2011: A Deal Odyssey

As we move forward in 2011, we're curious what you think are the hottest topics in the tech world. Have an idea or topic for a future event? Send us an email.

 
Admittedly, we are only five days into the new year, but we're seeing a staggering amount of M&A activity, making us wonder if everyone is still feeling the effects of champagne or if it's the real deal. Time will tell, but it's sure exciting.
 
Pragmatics CEO Long Nguyen

Case in point: This morning Pragmatics and CEO Long Nguyen announced it has acquired Vienna's Innovative Solutions International for an undisclosed sum, a deal foreshadowed in our interview with the new Pragmatics leadership just before the break. Also, yesterday Fredericksburg's A-T Solutions purchased Innovative Technology Solutions to bolster its Intel offerings.

 
WMG (Downloads)
 
Bob Kipps
We asked big banker brain Bob Kipps of KippsDeSanto (which did 11 tech M&A deals last year after four in '08) for some reasoning, and he assures us the activity isn't just our imagination. Companies were hurrying to get deals done before the capital gains tax rates were expected to rise at the end of '10 and put in motion long before the poitical climate stabilized. Bob mentions that the strategic reasons for acquiring these companies, especially in DoD or Intel, didn't change, so we may see them continue.

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Motorola - Divide and Conquer
 
Motorola's Jim Mears
Sort of a reverse deal here: Motorola offiically split in two yesterday. Motorola Mobility (the mass market consumer business everyone knows) and Motorola Solutions (the mission-critical enterprise business that includes the company's growing federal sector led by Jim Mears, above). The two will operate as separate companies and make life easier for investors, as the consumer products, which have struggled the past three years before rebounding (thanks, Droid), will be separate from the for-business unit that's soared of late.

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WealthEngine Feeds Itself
 
WealthEngine CEO Tony Glowacki
The gang at WealthEngine, a software platform that develops and sells database software that helps non-profits and financial institutions mine data to target donors, announced yesterday it has secured a $2.5 million credit facility from Comerica Bank that will be used for infrastructure improvements and product development, says CEO Tony Glowacki. This comes just nine months after Novak Biddle and QED invested $5 million in the company that saw 30% growth in '09 and 40% last year.

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With all the talk about the government cutting back on spending, the U.S. Army actually has more money to spend in fiscal year 2011 than it did in 2010. In its IT budget, which totals about $8.7 billion, the Army received an increase of 10 percent in its Business Mission Area, and 17 percent in its Enterprise Information Environment Mission Area. That's $1.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively.
What does this mean to you? It means contracts. If you're a small business, congratulations! The #1 upcoming contract opportunity for the Army is a small-business set-aside worth $62 million, for IT work at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The #2 upcoming opportunity, which also has a set-aside component, is a $21 million contract for work at Fort Eustis, Virginia. And, of course, don't forget about the Army EAGLE (Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise) contract, worth an estimated $30 billion, expected to be awarded in Q3 FY2011.
 
Why the extra money going to IT? To support our troops. The Army is slated to spend just over $620 million in FY 2011 on its Warfighter Information Network. The Army is set to spend another $594 million on its Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program. All in all, the Army is a good place to be doing business right now. You can get complete listing of the Top 20 Opportunities within the Army by clicking here. Analysis compiled by Robert Crangle (pictured), FedSources DOD Team Lead. Sign up for a risk-free trial of FedSources Market Intelligence Services and get all the info in one place: click here for more info.

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NetWitness Expands in Fairfax
 
NetWitness CEO Amit Yoran
Amit Yoran and NetWitness, one of the area's thought leaders in cyber security, with a platform that monitors everything that happens on your network in real time (both good and bad), announced just this morning it will take a new HQ in Fairfax County, bringing an additional 50 jobs to the area. The company will move from its current location in Herndon to a 30K SF office on Parkridge Blvd in Reston, investing more than $1.1 million in the move.

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Protecting Meds
 
Sharon Plank

Yesterday, we were at the Silver Spring Innovation Center to meet with Dr. Sharon Flank, the CEO of InfraTrac, a venture backed start-up that helps drug manufacturers track and detect counterfeit drugs. “We find the fakes and the mistakes,” Sharon says. Her company designs software that slightly changes the ratio of non-active ingredients in a drug that can then be scanned using infrared technology to make sure it’s what it’s supposed to be. “It keeps counterfeit drugs out of the hands of consumers,” says Sharon. The technology was developed at the University of Maryland and displayed at an MIT Enterprise Forum where Sharon got involved. She is currently discussing several pilot programs to take the technology to market. Sharon has a doctorate in linguistics and spent 10 years at SRA before founding InfraTrac.

 
 
 
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