Creating Explosive Corporate Financial Growth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/September 13, 2001
Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Donald Laurie, founder and managing director of the management-consulting firm Laurie International Limited, will address the October meeting of the WPI Venture Forum and present proven methods for developing a framework of strategies that can lead to explosive corporate growth. A frequent speaker at corporate, industry and venture capital conferences, Business Week roundtables and high-profile venues, he will answer some critical questions, including:

Laurie promotes investment in entrepreneurial ventures to increase top-line growth, earnings per share and market capitalization as a means of achieving corporate goals. This emerging strategy has implications for corporate structure, organizational capabilities, culture and management systems, he notes.

One of his on-going research projects involves in-depth study of chief executives of major corporations and has received acclaim from business leaders in the U.S. as well as in Europe. Laurie has taught leadership courses in the Senior Executive Program at prestigious business schools including Harvard and Wharton. He is author of The Work of the Leader published in the 1995 Financial Times Handbook of Management, and co-author with Ronald A. Heifetz of "The Work of Leadership," published in the Harvard Business Review, January-February 1997.

Laurie has recently benchmarked the business models, value-added activities and pre-conditions for success of companies that have achieved accelerated growth. He has identified each company's own unique business model and implications for structure organization capabilities, the management system (e.g., measures, rewards, etc.) and culture. The results of his research will be released in a new book, Venture Catalyst-5 Strategies to Explosive Corporate Growth.(Perseus Publishing, October 2001)

"In the next few years, successful CEOs will be those who challenge their organizations to respond to a more demanding agenda for growth," says Laurie. "Corporate success requires that today's portfolios include both acorns and oak trees; companies must be attackers and innovators, not just defenders of their existing businesses. No company can be satisfied with only efficiency and steady productivity."

Laurie has worked with leaders and their organizations at British Airways, Xerox, IBM, Philips, Unilever, Shell, Chemical Bank, KPMG, British Telecom, British Petroleum and others. After residing in London for ten years, he recently returned to Boston where he is an investor and director of a number of "seed capital" companies.

Laurie was associated with Arthur D. Little, Inc., where he was one of the firm's leaders in developing and implementing strategy. Prior to joining Arthur D. Little, he served as managing director of a Merrill Lynch subsidiary and held a number of line and staff positions in his ten years with Xerox Corporation.

A member of the World Affairs Council International Advisory Board of Columbia University and President of the Board of Governors of Villanova University Alumni, Laurie received his MBA from Columbia University and has studied for a master's degree in international affairs. He has served on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal and the Academy of Management's journal, Executive. He is also a former trustee of the Boston Ballet.

Case Presenter

Chameleon Network Inc.
Joseph Thomas
Co-founder & Vice President
Karl Jessen
950 Winter Street, Suite 1400
Waltham, MA 02451
Tel: 781-839-1709
Fax: 781-487-7940
Cell: 508-353-8269

Chameleon Network Inc. promises to revolutionize the world of retail transactions and personal financial management. Consider a few important questions. Does your wallet link its contents to financial records and record-keeping software? Is it vulnerable to theft and loss of important personal data? Does it provide a way for retailers and card issuers to communicate effectively? By combining existing technology with innovative new services and Internet applications, Chameleon Network is developing the Pocket Vault System. According to Joseph Thomas, co-founder and vice president, and partner Karl Jessen, this patents-pending (U.S., Europe and Asia) digital wallet will progressively replace the traditional wallet, a depository of vital personal data unsuited to the demands of today's technologically advanced world.

Chameleon Network's advanced technology offers viable solutions for the safe and effective management of all financial transactions. The compact, fingerprint-activated Pocket Vault is immune to theft and fraud and links wallet items, personal financial records and Internet Services. The Pocket Vault uses a single reusable Chameleon Card, which changes identity to emulate credit and debit cards. Unlike all competing technologies, Pocket Vault is fully compatible with all existing credit card authorization terminals, ATMs and electronic cash registers. For added security, the Chameleon Card self-erases after 15 minutes.

Stand alone or integrated

The Pocket Vault will be available either as a "stand alone" device, smaller than a personal digital assistant (PDA), or integrated into mobile phones and PDAs. With magnetic stripe, smart card and wireless capabilities, the Pocket Vault will serve as a bridge to next generation transactions and a catalyst for future mobile commerce solutions.

Chameleon Network has identified four target markets for its product: consumers, wallet media issuers, retailers and manufacturers. Focused on providing support services to end users, partners and direct marketers, the company also hopes to earn additional revenue from licensing its innovative technology to multiple manufacturers, such as Sony and Samsung, as well as to mobile phone manufacturers and other high-tech platforms.

Thomas and Jessen have mapped out revenue streams based on its target markets and anticipate the majority of initial income from device sales. Noting a similarity to cellular phone companies, the co-founders envision the bulk of revenue by year five from recurring service charges. Unlike the cellular industry, however, their business model does not necessitate deployment of infrastructure or high costs to recoup implementation fees. Citing a primary addressable national market of more than $10 billion, Chameleon Network sees potential revenue by year six exceeding $1.1 billion.

At the October meeting of the Venture Forum, Thomas and Jessen will offer their thoughts on branding, market entry strategies and competition for the Pocket Vault System. Following their portion of the program, a question and answer period and a short networking break, a panel of experts, including speaker Don Laurie, will evaluate Chameleon Network's business plan and presentation and offer constructive feedback.

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.