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July 25, 2008



We need to know what's going on with the 'Skins at all times, so it's a major relief that Mobile Posse just signed a deal with STATS Inc. to give users up-to-the-second sports scores on mobile devices (besides other info). We met Leader of the Posse Jon Jackson at his McLean office yesterday to hear about the deal and see what else the 20-person start-up is up to.


Mobile Posse is a white label platform (eg, you might see someone else's logo on it) that providers your cellphone with everything from news to horoscopes, along with ads and special offers from brands like Apple, Gatorade and Jiffy Lube that adapt to users' preferences over time and appear on the phone's home screen. "Only 20 percent of mobile users log onto a network even once a month, so we try to take advantage of the one screen that they see dozens of times a day." Jon tells us Mobile Posse, which has received $10.5 million in funding from Columbia Capital, SoftBank Capital and Court Square Ventures, is currently available on Ohio-based Revol Wireless, but is in negotiations with a major nationwide carrier.


John takes his mission literally, so he seems to have his own posse. He was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Fairfax when his dad was stationed at Ft. Belvoir, then went on to George Mason. He worked with Project Greenhouse at AOL that invested in Internet start-ups such as Travelocity, iVillage and Motley Fool. He was also CTO at Frederator, before launching Mobile Posse (a name the father of two jokes selected because it sounded cool and was available for $7.99 on GoDaddy). That saves him money for a number of hobbies, including running and biking and buying the occasional video game that he will then not open for weeks.



Any company CEO who wears a Harley Davidson t-shirt to work is all right by us, but Amit Yoran, head of Herndon-based NetWitness, is probably not too popular among lazy employees. "Our software monitors everything from hackers trying to enter the system to which employees spend too much work time playing fantasy football," he told us in his office yesterday. NetWitness was a division at ManTech until 2006 when Amit, the former cyber security chief for the Department of Homeland Security, led a management buyout. The company did more than $10 million in revenue last year split between federal and consumer markets. "A prominent national bank hired us and within hours of installing our system found members of a Russian criminal organization in their network," says Amit, who then helped get rid of them. During off hours you'll find Amit on his Harley Super Glide or power boat named Miss Understood. By the way, he can afford them: he sold his first company, RipTech, to Symantec for $145M.



Update on Ozmosis co-founders Dr. Jason Bhan and Joel Selzer, who we dropped into see this week: Their company was just named the top Web 2.0 health site to watch by medical media commentator MDNG. But they're not resting on their laurels. The two just returned from the U of Virginia where they took part in an experiment with the Doctor's Channel to examine how doctors can best use social media. Part of the event was to tape two-minute videos of physician's explaining clinical topics like gait mechanics or ways to treat tobacco use that have been posted on their site complete with message boards for doctors to discuss the material.


Okay, now the jackets are off to talk real business. Ozmosis connects registered physicians to share ideas about ongoing trends in the medical world. "It recreates the camaraderie of medical school where you work together to find the best answers for patients," says Jason, a practicing family physician in Manassas who helped Joel launch the angel-funded company in 2006. Thus a doctor searching for tips on how to treat a patient with heart disease can solicit views from other doctors. The site does background checks on all physicians before granting them access. This weekend, Joel hopes to make it out to see "The Dark Knight" for a second time, but only on an IMAX screen; Jason just gets to be on call.

David Stegon will spend  his weekend playing PlayStation3 and watching baseball, but will still be checking email for story ideas at David@Bisnow.com

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