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August 1, 2008

Cary Pharma

Inspired by the heat outside, last night we hosted a bash for 400 from across our newsletter industries at the new Shadow Room downtown; they came in waves, increasingly younger, from 7 PM to 2 AM this morning.

Here, around 10 PM, were Clearspring CEO Hooman Radfar, Breakneck Road's Eric Ferrari, GGA's Linday Olup, Parature's David Huang, Virginia Tech's Courtney Cross, Clearspring president Jay Rappaport, and Parature's Duke Chung and Jesse Sun. Two of the guys were Bisnow 35 Under 35 top entrepreneurs:  Hooman, 27, is king of widgets, whose company got $18 million in venture capital this spring and boasts Steve Case and Ted Leonsis as board members; and Duke, 29, whose firm makes downloadable web support and has over 100 employees, got $16 million in funding this spring. We suspect they went back to work at midnight.

Free as in Freedom

Freewebs is already the world's largest free web publisher (oh, that's what the name's all about) with 23 million visitors, including eight million here in the states, and over 20 millions websites built. But now the company is pioneering social aspects to site development. Yesterday, we met 28-year-old CEO Haroon Mokhtarzada at his Silver Spring office, where he told us Freewebs is working to allow users to open their sites to others for shared publishing. For instance, a user with a photo gallery of BMWs could allow others to post similar pictures to the site to make for a richer experience.


Is there a better way to get around the office than a scooter? Haroon started the company in 2001 as a student at Maryland with his two brothers in an off-campus apartment with $2,000 and a one server. Freewebs lets a user create a site for free, but then gives users a number of add-on applications such as a blog, photo galleries, video galleries, a calendar, and an online store (fully integrated with PayPal and Google Checkout of course). Members looking for a bit more can also pay for add-ons like their own domain name, more web storage, and site email addresses. The company was cash flow positive even before 2006 when it got $12 million in funding from Novak Biddle and Columbia Capital Partners.


If it looks dark behind Haroon it's because his office is lit like an underground caf?. The 35-person company moved into its current space about a year and a half ago. Haroon, who was named one of our Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35, spends his downtime with his two-year daughter and trying to figure out pop songs on the piano by ear. "I probably should not tell you this, but I'm trying to figure out Rihanna's 'Umbrella,' which actually has an elegant melody." Now that's something to build a site about!

Cornhusker Cary


Special thanks to Cary Pharmaceuticals CEO Doug Cary, who stepped out into the rain for this picture yesterday afternoon. His Great Falls-based pharmaceutical development company (they take medications developed at universities or the NIH and get them through the testing and regulatory processes to market) has two current projects: QuitPak, an anti-smoking pill, and CPI-300, an anti-depressant. QuitPak combines two drugs, mecamylamine (blocks nicotine receptors) and bupropion (slows nicotine cravings), both used to cure smoking, into one full-service drug. The Nebraska native spends his down time playing golf (he played three years at Hastings College) and competes in several Virginia State Golf Association events each year. And of course being from Nebraska, he's a big Cornhusker football fan.

Cardinal Bank
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