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September 18, 2008

Sarah Palin (again)

Big shout-out to great sponsor University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering. Check out their Certificate in Innovation Management program that starts Oct. 9th. Early registration discounts through Sept. 24th.  More info.


All right so we've gotten you with that headline a few times, but this time it's relevant, because Arlington-based Cyveillance, a cyber intelligence firm, used its Internet sleuthing skills to learn of Palin's nomination before everyone else. Earlier this week we met CEO Panos Anastassiadis, who has the Greek-est name we've ever heard anywhere ever, to hear about how the company monitored edits to prospective running mates' Wikipedia pages to get the goods.


"We looked at who was editing the pages, what type of information was being edited, and the frequency," says Panos, noting Palin's page got similar treatment as Biden's did just before the big announcement. Cyveillance does business by monitoring their clients' assets online whether it be intellectual property, brand name or Internet footprint. "One company had a job applicant write on a blog how he illegally passed the company drug test, so we told the company about it," says Brian Hedquist, marketing manager.


There's Panos with Brian pouring over some data. Panos joined the company in 2001 after leading Merant (formally INTERSOLV) to $470 million in annual revenue. Cyveillance has 120 employees and an eight digit annual revenue figure that is growing. "For our anti-phishing customers, we guarantee to fix any problems within five hours or they do not pay us," Panos says. He grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece, so of course likes cooking native food, but we hear he also makes some mean BBQ, occasionally catering company events. We'll search the Internet for his secret recipe. 


Any company that plays foosball is all right with us. We caught GlobalNet Services, Inc. CEO Ori Reiss earlier this week practicing for the annual company tournament that includes trophies, a referee, and bragging rights. Ori's 13-year-old IT services company develops web applications and implements search solutions including a partnership with Google that lets companies use the Google Search Appliance to index and search their own data. "They can search their corporate Intranet/Internet, content management system, portal, email system, really any data they need and return results with the traditional Google.com search interface everyone is familiar with," Ori says.


Ori started the 70-person company with Daniel Goldman (the one with the beard hiding on the left), after originally trying to put the yellow and white pages on the web, but had trouble convincing potential clients of its usefulness (ah, the early 90s). Ori, then working as an independent consultant for the FDA, took that same database-to-web concept to create a scientific portal for researchers to find skills, FDA publications, and research projects. Ori, a native of Israel, gave up his Wizards season tickets a few years ago because of increased travel, but he tells us he is thinking about buying seats again. (Note to Ted Leonsis: We're pushing!)

Hooking Up

It's hard not to love all the cool things on cell phones these days, so we recently dropped in on Hook Mobile CEO Terry Hsiao to hear about how his company (which just happens to be looking for funding) lets users send rich media to friends' phones. "If you see a cool video on YouTube, you can send it and they can watch it," Terry says. The Vienna-based 12-person company's product is already available on every major national carrier with movie previews being some of their hottest movers.


Terry started the company two years ago after selling his first start-up, InphoMatch, for a whopping $425 million to Sybase. Terry grew up in Taiwan, but moved to New Jersey in high school. He went to Rutgers where he still makes it up for football games (sitting in the university president's box for a game last year, we might add), especially now considering the team is, you know, actually good.

David Stegon recently had to convince his cat that fighting the opossum eating the trash in the backyard was a bad idea. Send story ideas not involving rabid animals to David@Bisnow.com

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