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June 10, 2008


Reminder to our Under 35 Champions:  see you all tonight!  Thanks again for splendid support to Deloitte, Greenberg Traurig, Cabot Consultants, and Comerica, and to Phillip Merrick, Mary McPherson, April Young, Gene Riechers, Scott Frederick, Dendy Young, and Mario Morino for their help in selecting the group.


When some people feel the urge to create, they join a pottery class. Matt Calkins built a company, and we’re not talking about a lemonade stand: Appian, a leader in business process management, has taken in more than $100 million over the last five years. (And, impressively, made Matt one of our 35 under 35 Top Entrepreneurs.) “I wanted to create something, whether it be a book, or a company or another project,” says Matt, Director of Enterprise Products for MicroStrategy before he founded Appian in 1999 at age 26.


At Appian, he uses his love of economics and corporate structures (we all have our weaknesses) to optimize clients’ daily business processes. For example, UPS uses Appian Enterprise software to maximize efficiency in its accounts payable division. The software lets users keep track of work flow and spot lagging accounts. Other clients include the U.S. Army, General Dynamics, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.


The company’s latest brainchild is Appian Anywhere, which Matt says is the first full-service BPM SaaS suite. (SaaS being the fancy-looking shorthand for the hot “software as a service” model.) Instead of buying and installing Appian software on their computers, companies can now pay Appian on a per user basis to host their BPM needs. Subway uses the service to oversee quality control. “It’s not like we’re checking every sandwich,” he says, “but product managers can make sure they always have fresh products.”


No, that’s not Matt—it’s a warrior from the battle of Sekigahara, one of the most famous battles in Japanese history. (We totally knew that before Matt told us.) In his spare time, Matt, a major history buff, is writing a board game based on the battle, along with another game called Magnet, which he calls “chess with traps.” Hey, we’re not going to question it—things seem to work out well when this guy gets creative.

Whole World in his Hands


One last 35 Under 35 entrepreneur to tell you about before our big celebratory bash tonight. Here’s Sean Gorman, posting very appropriately next to a globe. His Arlington business, FortiusOne, does next-generation data mapping based on doctoral research he did at George Mason, mapping all the fiber optic lines in the U.S. Sean tells us the company plans to launch its software-as-a-service platform (we told you that was hot) toward the end of the next month on its GeoCommons.com site. “It’ll allow anyone to place data on a map without downloading a thing.” So we here at Bisnow could, say, pinpoint the location of our readers and look for under-represented areas. (Not that there are any!)

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