WPI Oct. 17 Venture Forum To Look at Future Business Models

Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

WORCESTER, Mass. - As any savvy businessperson knows, marketing, promoting and growing a company via traditional methods of print media, radio or television are being challenged by the wave of the future-using the Internet to reach the biggest possible audience in the shortest span of time. Charles Rutstein, research director for Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., will assume the role of tour guide for a business "e-voyage" at the Oct. 17 meeting of Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Venture Forum.

Rutstein serves as director of the eBusiness Infrastructure division of Forrester, one of 100 best-performing companies in Massachusetts. In his previous position at Price Waterhouse Global Systems Solutions Center, he analyzed and implemented the most up-to-date technology for some of the company's largest clients. Combining his expertise and experience from both companies, Rutstein offers a great resource for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Rutstein has gained international recognition from his appearances on the "McNeil-Lehrer News Hour," ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Canadian radio news shows. He holds a B.A. in economics from Hobart College and an M.B.A. in strategic and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of the best-selling book, "Windows NT Security: A Practical Guide to Securing Windows NT Servers and Workstations."

In his Venture Forum presentation, Rutstein will address factors that affect business today. He will examine the current size and shape of the Internet economy, including the business-to-consumer and business-to-business outlook. He will discuss how e-business is forcing companies to re-invent themselves and will present a strategic view of marketing areas. He also will explain how a business can weave together Internet commerce initiatives with e-business technology to satisfy customers' ever-changing needs.

In addition, Venture Forum will offer a business presentation from Eric Borgeson, co-founder and president of Bandwidthcenter Inc. of Worcester.

With the Internet data center (IDC) market growing at an annual rate of 69 percent, this start-up company is focusing on the many geographic markets that still remain under-served. IDCs have been developed in a number of major North American cities; Bandwidthcenter is focusing on medium to large organizations in the nation's secondary cities. At Venture Forum, representatives from Bandwidthcenter will present their strategies for launching a successful IDC.

With key positions in the company already filled, Bandwidthcenter is seeking $3 million in first round financing as working capital to develop a network of data centers and an effective infrastructure. To date, the company has been awarded $800,000 in venture capital funding.

Bandwidthcenter has proved that a viable market does exist. It has signed a $7,500 contract with PaperExchange.com for managed services. Company executives foresee a need for additional ongoing managed services for this client.

In recent months, Bandwidthcenter has been featured in regional and Internet media sources, including the Boston Globe, Worcester Business Journal, WTAG radio and CEOcast.com. Additionally, Bandwidthcenter has formed a partnership with the Worcester InfoTech Project to foster strong business relationships with local colleges, technical companies and the community at large. Following the presentation, a panel of experts will offer comments, feedback and suggestions for these entrepreneurs.

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.