Pricing Basics for Entrepreneurs and Early Stage Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/October 15, 2001
Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Worcester, MA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - The WPI Venture Forum, an organization devoted to developing technology-based entrepreneurship, welcomes founder and president of Marketshare, Inc., James H. Geisman. Mr. Geisman knows the in's and out's of the business world. At the November meeting of the WPI Venture Forum, he will share some of the key lessons he has learned during his extensive and prestigious career in marketing and sales. Since 1982, Mr. Geisman's company has helped clients achieve higher revenues and increased cash flow. He currently provides senior management counsel, and marketing and sales consulting services for a broad range of clients addressing fundamental issues that affect business success.

The WPI Venture Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. in Kinnicutt Hall, on the WPI campus with registration beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 for individual annual and lifetime members, $20 for non-members and free for those with a WPI identification card. To register, call 508-831-5075 or visit www.wpiventureforum.org. This meeting is the second in a monthly series for 2002 academic year.

Focusing on pricing strategies in his presentation, Mr. Geisman will answer a number of questions vital to the success of any entrepreneurial undertaking, including the following:

Drawing on his own experience in consulting with more than 100 companies, Mr. Geisman will also provide tips on pricing basics and advanced tactics. His pricing strategy techniques will reflect those facing early stage and smaller technology companies from his vantage point as chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum's Start-up Clinic for the past ten years.

Before founding Marketshare, Mr. Geisman held marketing management positions at Tektronix and served as the first director of marketing at Apollo Computer. He was also a member of the ARPANET team at Bolt Beranek and Newman where he performed throughput testing of the forerunner of the Internet.

In addition to the presentation by Mr. Geisman, there will also be a case presenter. Mr. Frederick Leber will present on his company, Orbis Vox, Inc. Imagine logging onto the Internet to find that all your bookmarked websites are delivered in Chinese. Consider the approximately 140 million Internet users in non-English speaking countries who face a dilemma of a different kind. These men and women need access to information written in their native languages, as it is critical for both personal and professional purposes. Orbis Vox addresses this growing necessity with it key product, bilingual language development messages called Wordburgersä.

Distributed daily from Monday through Thursday, Wordburgers contain parallel definitions of useful words and expressions, as well as quotations or proverbs, that enable those who do not speak English to learn and practice the language. In his presentation, Leber will ask three key questions:

  1. What is the best way to find funding in the current economy and how much should they seek for large-scale product roll out?
  2. How does Orbis Vox most effectively present what it is they do?
  3. How do they best approach multi-national companies and convince them to sign up as advertisers?

Following the presentation and a short networking break, three panelists will critique Orbis Vox' written business plan and talk. William Kohler of Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Jack Crowley, past executive vice president and COO of Avon Products/Betterware PLC will join featured speaker Jim Geisman on the panel. Mr. Kohler joined ATV, whose focus is on communications, Internet infrastructure and software and services, in 2001. Previously, he was operations manager for Pointe Communications Corporation and represented the company during negotiations with several integrated communications providers (ICPs).

In 1997, Mr. Crowly spearheaded the development, launch and growth of start up international businesses for Avon Products and Betterware PLC, two leaders in the consumer-marketing field. He has led the start up of six international businesses that generated nearly $50 million in revenues within 36 months of inception.

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.