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September 3, 2008

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We got great reaction yesterday when we profiled "three hot companies," so we thought we'd follow up with more. (Although we call them "cool" for alliteration purposes above.)


The name Gantthead sounds like it belongs to one of Spiderman's enemies, but it is in fact a Fairfax-based web portal for IT project managers (a gantt is a chart project managers use to monitor schedules). As we snapped this of CEO Dave Garrett, he was telling us the 8-year-old company has 400,000 members worldwide with 2,800 how-to-articles, 700 deliverable templates, and 120 project plans. "It's lonely being an IT project manager, so we give them a place to share ideas."


Dave was working as director of the Advanced Technology Group for Headstrong (formally James Martin & Co.), a Fairfax IT consultant, when he started Gantthead under the Headstrong umbrella. "A lot of project managers I consulted with were having similar problems, so I figured why not create a place for them to come together?"  Dave grew up in Maryland and has degrees from American and College Park. All we can hope is that he likes our pictures, considering he spends his spare time photographing people, which we are sure include his two kids.


It seems everyone is using Web 2.0 technologies these days, even government contractors, thanks to mySBX, a site that launched in May to allow companies to connect and share employees. We met founders Jeff White and Brad Schwartz at their Reston offices yesterday to hear how they started mySBX earlier this year. That was after Jeff sold Blue Canopy, a 150-person enterprise integrator, in 2006 to Brad, who was COO of Bearing Point. "If a project fell through, you had an employee riding the bench and it's just a waste of resources," Brad says. The two created mySBX to broker deals between IT firms with dormant employees and those needing extra help.


Although they are very busy, we think we caught them having an eye-staring contest which Jeff appears to have won. Meanwhile, the site already has 300 member companies, including Unisys and Lockheed, with plans to move into other business sectors as the company grows. Deltek, which announced the acquisition of Plainview's MPM compliance software yesterday, is sponsoring two communities on mySBX. "Sites like LinkedIn are great for connecting people, but we bring people together to really enhance business and use all their resources," says Jeff, a Loudoun native and Virginia Tech grad, who is still sore over the Hokies loss on Saturday. We hope he made it up last night in the company fantasy football draft.


Partner Herb Engert is now leading Ernst & Young's Mid-Atlantic Strategic Growth Markets operation (that stretches from Philadelphia to Richmond), meaning he helps propel emerging companies (we think that often means tech companies) to market leadership. We met Herb last week at Ernst & Young's Tysons office (they are right above McCormick & Schmick's) to hear about the new gig. Herb leverages his 18 years of experience to prepare clients for IPOs, VC and PE backings and green initiatives. Sounds intelletual? His real love is his two golden retrievers Gus and Cooper. And he can't wait for the new TPC Potomac golf course, scheduled to re-open in November.

Thanks to the eight people who offered David Stegon M&M's in exchange for an interview yesterday. He's willing to make the same deal for Reese's cups, so email him at

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