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July 8, 2008



We took this of Digital Sandbox CEO Bryan Ware recently at a networking soiree we hosted at the hot new Georgetown Club L2.  Ironic, because his company is known for legendary parties it's held every couple months for national security execs at the Jefferson Hotel. Maybe later this year it will do its biggest blast to celebrate tens years since its founding. The risk management software firm that got $1.8M in funding from Monumental Ventures in '04 now has 30 staff and is on track to do $8M in revenue this year. Its cool name comes from military gaming simulations on "sand tables" that gave them initial ideas for their software, which uses adversarial gaming techniques.


Ah, this is a much more executive looking Bryan yesterday in his office on Greensboro Ave. in Tysons. After 9/11, the Port Authority of NY (owner of the World Trade Center) asked them to identify risk in airports, bridges, and rail. After Hurricane Katrina, Jacksonville wanted to know about risk for natural disasters as well as terrorism. The firm just launched its "Risk Analysis Center" in the mode of "software as a service" (ie, you can have them own and operate it for you). Bryan just got back from camping in the Smokies, and plans some benders in NYC and family time in Georgia. Hmm, we would have thought with "sand" in the name, he could deduct beach time.


Waves coming off Navy destroyers create a radar dark zone around the ship, allowing small boats to sneak in undetected. It's a problem that has plagued the Navy forever, but American Systems recently found the solution in EDAP, an algorithm that reduces radar wave "noise" and will now be outfitted on destroyers. We caught up with CEO Bill Hoover, a former naval officer and Vietnam vet, at his Chantilly office where he tells us his 1,400-person company, which did $230M in revenue last year, is working on a secure electronic tracking and ID system to allow military personnel and suppliers to move more quickly through Iraq. "Right now people are spending hours waiting for clearance at checkpoints," Bill says.


This is Bill with his corporate communications ace Mike Dolton. A graduate of the Naval Academy, Bill has a Middies football helmet in his office, along with hats from each of the colleges his children attended. Bill's house will be empty this fall as his last kid goes away to school. "My wife and I actually like each other, so it's going to be fun to see how we interact without the kids around," he says.



In three years since becoming CEO, Kevin Parker has seen enterprise software developer Deltek more than double in employees (600 to 1,250) and revenue ($120 million to $280 million), not to its mention a successful IPO last November. "We make software that makes it easier for project-based companies to run their businesses," Kevin told us in his Herndon office. Some of those clients are Fed IT giants like Boeing, CACI, SAIC, L3, Titan and General Dynamics; and one is HOK Sport, which designed the new Nats ballpark.


Kevin tells us the company is expanding overseas to the UK and Australia, as well as the Philippines. "We were the first to focus enterprise software on project-based companies, so you will never see us go away from that," says Kevin, who was once CFO and co-President of PeopleSoft, the behemoth software firm purchased by Oracle. When he's not working, Kevin likes to travel with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. They recently went to London, but spent the 4th of July just feeling patriotic (and relaxed) at home.


We went to a press screening last night of Journey to the Center of the Earth, coming out Friday.  You've got to see it-especially if you have a family.  They give you 3D glasses, and they're state of the art, so you really are convinced dinosaurs are about to swallow you.  Learn more about the technology behind Beverly Hills-based Real D and the movie.

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