Our network

Business

Opening Doors for High School Girls

According to a report published by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the number of women holding computer-related jobs peaked at 36% in 1991. It’s been in decline ever since. Considering how technology-dependent our society has become, that spells bad news. It’s especially concerning for an area filled with companies that deliver cutting edge products and services to the Federal government.

So how, then, do we turn this trend around and encourage young women to go into technical fields? Enter the Girls in Technology Mentor-Protégé program.

Girls in Technology helps high school girls develop skills needed to architect an academic and professional future in technology. It’s a volunteer organization that relies on the generosity of corporate sponsorships.

The Founders' Top 10 List

The Founders'  Top 10 List

If you’re searching for angel or venture funds in the Metro DC area, and you missed the Potomac Techwire breakfast roundtable on Tuesday, then you’ll want to take note of what the funders’ panel had to say. Many of the themes investors found most important paralleled the entrepreneurs’ advice.

The funders’ panel recommended that entrepreneurs:

In Search of Funding—East vs. West

Local entrepreneurs got the skinny on what it takes to get funded at Seed Stage Capital Outlook 2011, yesterday morning’s Potomac Techwire breakfast roundtable. Two panels—one with funders and one with entrepreneurs—generously shared their time and expertise with those of us engaged in the hunt for money.

The panels provided invaluable (and sometimes contradictory) insight. There’s too much to share in one posting, so we’ll focus on the top 10 tips from each group starting with the entrepreneurs today. They advised:

Security Advantages of Cloud Computing

Security Advantages of Cloud Computing

One of the hottest debates in the information technology community today centers around cloud computing. Proponents suggest the flexibility, scalability and economics of the cloud make it a logical choice, while opponents point to security and privacy concerns as reasons not to move to the cloud. From the perspective of a company focused on providing secure information technology solutions to large, very security-conscious customers, we believe it is possible for small to mid-sized organizations to have the best of both worlds: the benefits of the cloud can be affordably attained in a way that does not jeopardize an organization’s security.

Security is the big argument against cloud computing these days. However, one might argue that cloud computing can actually be more secure than locally managed systems, particularly for small to mid-sized companies. Here are a few specific examples:

Five Things to Tell Your First Time Startup Employees

Five Things to Tell Your First Time Startup Employees

The differences between larger companies and smaller ones are many and varied. In a large company, the fundamental truths are well known. The established company knows things like who the customers are, how much they will pay for the product, what they like about the product, etc. In a start up company, not so much. Discovery is key. Communication is vital. In a start up company, the potential customers and price are unanswered questions. And not only are things unknown, there is usually a limited time to determine the answers. All this mystery can be quite confusing to employees new to the start up environment. These formerly large company employees can enter a small business ill-prepared to succeed even though they’re fully capable of doing so. To change that, here are 5 things you should tell them.

 

Effective Negotiating

Effective Negotiating

If you have ever negotiated a project or a deal, you know part of the battle isn’t just working with the other side. It’s winning over your own side as well. In every deal I negotiate, I work with my clients so that the legal team is an asset to the deal, the business team and the company in general. In this article, I’ll provide suggestions on how lawyers and their business partners can join forces to get the best deal for the company.

Business partners, these 3 ways of approaching a deal can help you leverage your legal team and close deals faster:

Consumers paying credit cards first, mortgages second

The recession has forced many struggling families across the country to confront a difficult choice: pay off credit card bills or make mortgage payments.

Before the downturn, consumers overwhelmingly opted to stay current on their mortgages before tackling other nagging debts. This pattern, however, has changed. More consumers are choosing to pay credit card bills and let mortage payments run delinquent, according to TransUnion, a credit management company.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, 7.24 percent of homeowners were mortgage-delinquent and credit-card current. While that's down from 7.40 percent in the third quarter, it remains 72 percent higher than it was at the beginning of the Great Recession. Only 3.03 percent of consumers in TransUnion's report fell behind on credit card payments in favor of making mortgage payments in the last quarter of 2010, the lowest percentage on record.