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About Home Calendar Forums Services - SoCal TechNews - Monday, January 10, 2000
Copyright (c) 1999 by Benjamin F. Kuo
ISSN: 1524-6736

   -- Special: Interview with Randy Hoffman,
   -- TelePacific Communications Gets $10M
   -- Infonet Introduces Global VPN Service
   -- THQ Unveils Lineup
   -- Accelerated Win

   Upcoming Events


Special: Interview with Randy Hoffman,
In my continuing series of interviews with local entrepreneurs, I had the
chance to talk to Randy Hoffman of Westlake Village-based 
Randy was previously a founder and President and CEO of Magellan Systems, and has now moved into the e-commerce field with a web site focused on outdoor sports. beOutdoors is one of the latest companies making Los Angeles a center of e-commerce.

Randy Hoffman:

BK: What's the concept behind beOutdoors, and how do you see yourself succeeding in the online outdoors products market?

RH: At beOutdoors we offer a unique combination of fishing, hunting, camping, boating and flying gear for the consumer -- the only web-based "etailer" to do so.  With over 16,000 outdoor recreation products, we have the broadest and deepest product selection of ANY retailer, offline or online.

beOutdoors was created in response to the need for consolidation within the online outdoor recreation retailing business.  While there are etailers selling traditional "bats and balls", "clubs and rackets", and "purple parkas" outdoor gear, no online retailer was catering to the huge market for the natural sports (hunting, fishing, camping) and outdoor activities such as boating. The outdoor recreation industry was begging for someone to lead it into the digital world and beOutdoors stepped up to do so becoming the "first-mover" in this category.

Our early success speaks for itself---we set a 30 day launch sales record in the outdoor category, nearly equaling the entire first six months of revenue of an online sporting goods etailer who now has a $550 million public valuation. 

BK: Where did you get the idea to go into the outdoor products e-commerce?

RH: Having worked in the outdoor recreation industry for over 17 years, first as President/CEO of Bushnell Sports Optics and then Magellan, I know the industry from manufacturing and product development to distribution and retail.  Following my tenure at Magellan, I was searching for my next venture.  At the same time, the Internet B2C ecommerce sector was heating up.  As I looked deeper into web-based retailing I discovered that no one had aggregated the traditional outdoor recreation activities into a single Cyberstore.  That intrigued me.  And the more I researched the concept, the more convinced I became that this was a terrific opportunity to do something that had never been done before.

BK: How difficult was it for you to find financing to start beOutdoors?

RH: Of all the major tasks that face all startups, this presented the least problem.  Thanks to my experience as a founder and CEO of consumer GPS pioneer Magellan Systems Corporation, I already had a successful track record leading a VC-backed startup.  And that instills confidence in prospective investors.  

BK: To me, it seems like Magellan is a very different kind of company(technology) than beOutdoors (e-commerce).  Is this true, and how do you see your experience at Magellan being applied here?

RH: They definitely are different companies, each with a different business model, different infrastructure and different focus.  One was a manufacturer and the other is a retailer.  But they are probably more similar than they are different.

For example, each company was a ground-breaker in its market.  No one had done what Magellan Systems Corporation set out to do, that is bring to market a consumer-level GPS technology product.  Likewise, no one has done what beOutdoors is doing, and that is to aggregate the outdoor recreation industry and bring it to the Internet.

Both companies are also similar in that they serve identical markets:  boating, camping, fishing, hunting, flying and other outdoor recreation niches.  In fact, sells Magellan GPS equipment.  

Just as beOutdoors is a virtual store (we rely upon a distribution network for fulfillment), Magellan has become a virtual manufacturer relying upon a contract manufacturer to produce its products.  So there, too, you can see operational similarities.

While focusing on different ends of the technology spectrum, both companies are very much high-tech in concept, in orientation and in execution.  And both companies are very much marketing driven.  Branding, image and consumer awareness are key forces in the success of both companies.

BK: Finally, as an already-successful entrepreneur and CEO of a company, why did you decide to start another high tech venture?

RH: I think the answer lies in the question.  As an already successful entrepreneur and CEO of a company, why would I want to work for someone else?

BK: Thanks!

*** Don't keep this a secret! Forward this newsletter to your
friends and associates!

TelePacific Communications Gets $10M
Los Angeles-based TelePacific Communications, a business to business
telecom and ISP, has received a $10M round from GE Capital. The company
provides Voice over DSL, web hosting, and site development. CEO
David Glickman also announced that former Governer Pete Wilson was
appointed to the company's board.

Infonet Introduces Global VPN Service
El Segundo-based Infonet Services Corp. is planning to introduce a
global virtual private networking service next quarter as an
alternative to expensive private corporate networks.,4153,2419073,00.html

THQ Unveils Lineup
Calabasas-based game maker THQ has unveiled it Year 2000 lineup 
of game releases.

Accelerated Win
Moorpark-based Accelerated Networks announced today that Cooperative
Communications of New Jersey has selected Accelerated for its Voice-
Over-DSL Service. Cooperative expects to deploy the Accelerated VoDSL
solution over the next 12 months.


Upcoming Events This Month
Full calendar at

January 10, Irvine -- "TechNet Ed: What Venture Capitalists Really Want From 
You," a five-part interactive seminar series designed to prepare a
young high-growth technology companies for investment. Los Angeles Regional
Technology Alliance. See 

January 11, Woodland Hills - "Where is your business going and will you
have the financing, the people and the environment to take it there?"
Software Council of Southern California, Valley Chapter. Panel includes
Rohit K. Shukla, LARTA; Ellen Fitzmaurice, Valley Industry and Commerce
Association (VICA); Bill Manassero, See  

January 11, Beverly Hills -- A Special Presentation of Stuart Little.
LA Chapter SIGGRAPH. Presentation of the effects of Stuart Little with
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor John Dykstra, Visual Effects Supervisor
Jerome Chen, Animation Supervisor Henry Anderson, CG Supervisors Jim
Berney, Jay Redd, Scott Stokdyk, more! Presentation will be followed by a special screening of the movie. See

NEW January 11, Beverly Hills -- "COMPETING IN THE 21ST CENTURY: DEVELOPING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPETENCE" Dr. Alfred Osborne, Director of The Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA. Los Angeles Venture Association. See 

January 12, Santa Monica -- i-Hollywood Forum 2000: What's Next for
Interactive Hollywood. Speakers include Alex Thompson, Mixed Signal
Technologies; Nick Rothenberg, USWeb/CKS; and Michael Stroud, Hollywood
Interactive Wire. For more information contact Michael Stroud at

January 12, Los Angeles -- "E-Commerce Privacy: Building Customer Trust"
Half-day seminar focusing on Internet Privacy. American Electronics
Association. See contact Dawn Garcia at (916) 443-9139 or see

January 17, Santa Monica -- "TechNet Ed: What Venture Capitalists Really
Want From You," a five-part interactive seminar series designed to prepare
a young high-growth technology companies for investment. Los Angeles
Regional Technology Alliance. See 

January 18, Pasadena -- "FUNDING YOUR VENTURE: An Entrepreneur's
Perspective" Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum. Panel discussion includes Ursula
Schwuttke, High Tower Software; David S. Key, FieldCentrix; David
Fogelsong, Redpoint Ventures; Dr. Fred Haney, Tech Coast Angels; and Susan
Prado, Los Angeles County Business Technology Center. Moderated by Ira
Moskatel, Kimball & Weiner LLP.

January 18, North Hills -- "So, you have a web site... now what?" STC San 
Fernando Valley. What if you put up a web site and nobody came? Businesses 
hurried to put up sites over the past several years to gain visibility on the
web. But now they want sales. Is it time to start over and design a new site? 
Not necessarily. Doug Klein, See 

January 18, San Diego -- "Building Dynamic Web Applications End-to-End"
Ted Borawski, IBM. San Diego Java Users Group. Demo of VisualAge for 
Java and WebSphere.  See

GIANT. Jack Dangermond, Founder. Inland Empire Chapter Software Council of
Southern California. See

January 19, Santa Barbara -- Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum. See 

January 19, Los Angeles -- Zone Club 2000 Event. Laurie McCartney, eStyle;
Frank Creer, Zone Ventures; Cindy Crawford, eStyle, Strategic Advisor. See 

January 19, Santa Monica -- "On-line Software Sales are Going in one
Direction - UP! Is Your Company Ready?" Software Council of Southern
California, impact! Sales and Marketing SIG. Jay Verutis, Digital River
Inc., addresses the changing landscape of on-line software purchasing and
explores the strategies and tactics used by companies successfully turning
web site traffic into profits. See 

January 19, San Diego -- "EMC Testing Per ANSI C63.18 of Electromedical
Equipment" IEEE San Diego. Herbert K. Mertel, Consultant. See

NEW January 19, Santa Barbara -- "Exit Strategy: How do you prepare your company for the ultimate negotiation?" Julie Schoenfeld,; Lex Sisney, Commission Junction; Bob Verratti, TL Ventures; Susanna Lee, Times Mirror Corp; Massoud Entekhabi, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum. See 

January 20, Los Angeles -- Interactive Broadband Video Summit for content
developers and producers of rich media advertising and entertainment.
Keynote: John Sculley, Sculley Bros. LLC; Speaker: Christopher Zak,
Excite@Home. See  

January 21, Los Angeles -- "Old Marketing Models Are Collapsing" Jesse
Berst, ZDNet Anchordesk. How do you build a business for the next
millennium? Join the IPN and "the most influential journalist on the
Internet," ZDNet AnchorDesk's Jesse Berst, as he reveals the single best
method of harnessing the digital economy: "Spiral Marketing." Learn to
connect TV, Web and email for the ultimate media play. See  

NEW  January 24, Orange County -- "TDMA: Evolves to Third Generation Objectives" Dwight Borses, national Semiconductor. See  

January 25-27, Palm Springs -- Upside Showcase 2000. Event to
demonstrate new technology products. See 

January 26, Los Angeles -- Software Council of Southern California,
Entrepreneurial Repartee. See 

NEW January 26, Santa Barbara -- Effective Management and Leadership: How to Spot It; How to Do It. Speakers: Carolyn Gannon, former VP, Oracle Corporation, and Terry Gannon, Co-Founder, Teragen. UCSB CEEM Ventures. See 

January 27, El Segundo -- "A Rational Business Start-up Model" Dr. Milton Chang. Inc.ubation Partners. IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics LAC Chapter. Contact Elizabeth Kunkee at (310) 813-0524 or email 

January 31, Los Angeles -- Direct Capital Network Golf Tournament.
Investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs will
share golf tips and business ideas. Direct Stock Market. See 

Thanks to our continued sponsors:

Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP (
BROBECK  --  Attorneys at law.  When your future is at stake.

Koffler Ventures (
Specialists in the successful incubation of start-ups.

Deloitte & Touche (  
Southern California's premier professional services firm.

Marsh Risk and Insurance Services (
The Cyberisk Specialists.

Human Capital Group (
Two Roads Professional Resources (
Pacific Shore Resources, inc. (


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While Benjamin Kuo and used their best efforts in 
collecting and preparing the information published herein,
does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability for any loss or 
damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions 
resulted from negligence, accident or other causes. - Dedicated to High Tech in Southern California
All contents Copyright(c)2000 by Benjamin F. Kuo.


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