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July 31, 2008



You'd think an SBA rule setting a goal of five percent of all procurement for woman-owned government contractors would be cause for celebration for Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) National Procurement Committee Co-Chair Gloria Berthold Larkin, but it actually has had the opposite effect. WIPP successfully lobbied the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month to postpone enacting the rule until a new administration takes office. "The SBA did a study to determine which sectors of government contracting were underrepresented by women and eligible for the rule and came up with only four out of hundreds, so the rule would actually hurt woman-owned contractors."


Gloria, who we met earlier this week at the Steam Town Caf? on 17th Street, is president of TargetGov, an 11-year-old Elkridge, Md.-based government consulting firm that keeps a live database of all government decision makers both in the federal and state marketplace called the Government Buyers Guide. Gloria was named WIPP's Member of the Year in 2007, a pretty nice title considering the organization has 500,000 members nationwide.


Gloria says WIPP will revisit the women's procurement rule in January, but in the meantime is lending its support to the Government Withholding Relief Coalition that is fighting a three percent tax on all government contracts (essentially giving the government three percent up front of all government contracts). Gloria is the author of "The Veterans Business Guide: How to Build a Successful Government Contracting Business," for retired servicemen, but she's been taking some time off lately to get married, tying the knot in May. She honeymooned in St. Maarten.



For any entrepreneur, liquidity day is, well, just plain awesome as sweat equity turns into a bathtub full of cash. But with the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which increases standards and regulations for public companies, the road to IPO is slowing down to an average of eight years for venture back companies, Tom Smith of Smith Defieux Capital Partners tells us. Over lunch at Smith & Wollensky yesterday, Tom tells us that, as a result, instead of making one lump investment, his firm is purchasing stock from founders and angel investors looking for early liquidity.


We'll give you one guess where Tom's office is located. In a year and a half since going into business, Tom and partners Rick Defieux and Gus Koven, who he worked with at Edison Venture Partners, have invested in four companies: Austin-based RenewData, King of Prussia, Pa.-based Health Market Science; Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ANDA Network and Jackson, Miss.-based Intechra Corporation. Tom hints another deal with a local tech company may be coming soon, so we'll look for an announcement. Meantime, Tom's two-year-old son mailed his "binky" (translation: pacifier) to the "binky fairy" for a new baby to use, so Dad's searching for something new for him.

Web 2.0 Blogging Bad Boy


We recently met Web2.Oh.Really? author Craig Stoltz at his Bethesda home where he was discussing his next post with his assistant editor, Koko, a Gray African parrot. Craig, a former editor at the Washington Post and current web consultant, writes a sassy and very popular blog (he gets a few thousand hits a day and can hit 10K) pointing out the good and (often) bad of Web 2.0 projects. "A lot of organizations try to take advantage of Web 2.0, but have no idea how to do it," says Craig, whose blog was named a "Top 25" by Time.com. "I basically act as a web site tester, but I think people have grown to trust me because I'm not trying to sell them a bill of goods." One target was someone who tried to "crowd source" weather, seemingly forgetting there were these things called weather stations. A Cleveland-native, Craig left the Post to work for Steve Case's Revolution Health before starting a one-man consulting biz with clients like PBS Engage and The Health Central Network. Fortunately, the parrot does the work of several humans and requires no employer FICA contribution.

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