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July 22, 2008



From all appearances, Tysons-based Appian was already going strong: $140 million in revenue over the last nine years. Evidently that's not enough speed for the rising giant in BPM (business process management, need we tell you?). So yesterday, after the heretofore bootstrapped software firm announced $10 million in Series A funding from Novak Biddle, we dropped in on CEO Matt Calkins to hear why he made the deal.


Can't you just tell what a disciplined guy Matt is—not only wearing that coat and tie on the hottest day of the year, but look at those healthful, neatly organized water bottles behind him. Matt's done just fine on his own, selling 2.5 million seats of the company's software since starting, but wanted to have the means to take a more strategic approach. "There have been so many times a company asked us to add special code in our software just for their needs that we would never use again," Matt says, "And we did it every time to stay profitable." Matt, who says he began interviewing VCs in December, tells us he plans with the new funds to add significantly to the company's more than 200 employees and make other bold, strategic moves. Take that, recession!



We were on hand last night as Deloitte's Tech Venture Center celebrated 18 months of success with cocktails at the McLean home of Cooley Godward Kronish venture lawyer Mike Lincoln and wife Wendy. Above, Deloitte's Ellen Mundell, Cooley's Carl Grant, KMKPR's Katherine Kennedy, and Deloitte's Chuck Carr. Washington joins San Jose and Boston as special regions where Deloitte has established TVCs, hosting intimate roundtables for high-growth tech firms on issues like valuations and new media, or discussions with grizzled veterans like former Network Solutions chairman Mike Daniels and PSINet founder Bill Shrader. Other TVC sponsors who lend their expertise: Cooley, Bowne, Locton Insurance, Korn/Ferry, Jones Lang LaSalle, Comerica, Qorvis, and Nasdaq. In more pressing news, Chuck will soon be working on his golf game at the Greenbrier, but tells us he needs to step up his game to beat his 12-year-old son.


Cooley's Adam Ruttenberg, Neutral Net's Ron Smith, Korn/Ferry's Steve Winings, and Neutral Net's Bill Shrader (looking not much different from his PSINet days). The guys were checking out Mike's wine cellar when we found them, perhaps sizing up recent acquisitions Mike and Wendy made on their recent vacation to Italy. (By the way, they needed that vacation: A thunderstorm knocked out their power 30 minutes before they left for the airport.)



We keep thinking Mixx is a radio station, or milk shake joint, but of course we know better. It's a hugely popular McLean-based "social media network" that just nine months after launching already boasts two million users. We met up with CEO Chris McGill who says they could even be at three million by the end of this month. The site organizes content based on very specific subjects (eg, Washington Redskins, not just football). Users then vote on the best content: everything from major newspapers to niche blogs. "No editor picks what you read," says Chris, former GM of Yahoo! News and Chief of Strategy at USA Today. "You're getting what people recommend who are interested in the same things you are."


Chris, here with colleague Will Kern, started the company 16 months ago after seeing USA Today lose print subscribers and fail to make up lost revenue online. "I wanted to create a site where users could get quality content they're interested in, but also in a timely way." The site just launched a community function that lets users create networks based on specific interests, such one for the World Wildlife Fund. Chris is busy with work, but is also a happy Boston sports fan, adopting the teams even though he's lived in 12 states (his Dad worked in hotels). He has two kids, but one focus lately has been coming to grips with having just turned 40.

David Stegon set a personal best yesterday with FIVE in-person interviews, but he'd still love to fit you into his schedule for story. Email him at David@Bisnow.com with ideas.

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