Closing The Investor: Anatomy Of A Venture Capital Transaction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/November 11, 2002
Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Worcester, MA - November 11, 2002 ­ Securing that first round of funding can provide the critical jumpstart an early-stage company needs to enter the fray with other, more established, firms. To address the keys to successful fund-raising, the WPI Venture Forum, an organization devoted to developing technology-based entrepreneurship, has announced that the December monthly meeting will feature veteran businessman, Alexis Borisy, CEO and founder of CombinatoRx. Mr. Borisy will use anecdotes and lessons from his extensive career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to inspire and educate entrepreneurs looking for their first round of funding. Following Mr. Borisy, the evening's case study presentation will be by Raheel Zia, CEO of Knumi (pronounced new-me), a firm that has created multi-channel application software that extends access to enterprise systems and applications to the telephone while also supporting web, fax, e-mail, short message service (SMS), and instant messaging.

The WPI Venture Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 10, 2002, at the Odeum Campus Center on the WPI campus in Worcester, MA. Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration cost is $10 individual, annual, and lifetime members; and $20 nonmembers.

About the Speakers

Mr. Borsy is President, CEO, and Founder of CombinatoRx, a full-scale product development and commercialization company. The company includes faculty members from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who have created an innovative approach to drug development using a proprietary process called Combination High Throughput Screening (cHTS), a method by which the combination of molecules creates new drugs with novel biological activity. Mr. Borisy graduated with honors from the University of Chicago, where he studied physics and chemistry. He earned a Masters in Chemistry at Harvard and attended Harvard Business School.

Mr. Zia is CEO of Knumi. The company's team of experts was assembled from Compaq Research, Verizon Labs, IBM Research, Philips Multimedia Labs, SpeechWorks, Dendrite, PWC, and Deloitte Consulting. Knumi's first out-of-the-box product is the Knumi Sales Effectiveness Application Suite which allows mobile salespeople to conduct a number of activities by phone, from entering data into the enterprise sales force automation (SFA) system to obtaining order status from the company's CRM/ERP system. To date, Knumi has raised seed capital of $3.1 million from a combination of institutions and is seeking $5 million to expand its sales channel, fill key managerial positions, and ramp up the business.


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.