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SoCal TechNews - Friday, July 16, 1999
Copyright (c) 1999 by Benjamin F. Kuo

   -- Bertelsmann Steps Up Internet Investments
   -- Giving Snail Mail a Boost
   -- EarthLink Doubles Sales but Triples Costs
   -- HomeStore.Com Names New Marketing VP

   -- Special: Interview with Sunil Mehrotra, KnowledgeLink

   Upcoming Events

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Bertelsmann Steps Up Internet Investments
Bertelsmann, the world's third largest media company, is stepping up its
investment in Internet companies.  Bertelsmann Ventures, based in Santa
Barbara, has tripled funds available for investments to $78 million. The
venture capital arm has bought stakes in five Internet consumer services
since September.,4,38988,00.html?owv

Giving Snail Mail a Boost
The U.S. Postal Services hopes to give snail mail a boost by allowing
customers to buy stamps over the Internet--and it could be available
nationwide by the end of summer, according to Patricia Gilbert, the
agency's president for retail sales.  Companies like Santa Monica
based have been conducting tests for the last few months.

EarthLink Doubles Sales but Triples Costs
Pasadena based Earthlink Network doubled its sales this quarter, but managed
to triple their marketing costs in the bid for AOL subscribers.,4,39178,00.html?owv

HomeStore.Com Names New Marketing VP
Thousand Oaks based announced that it had named Jeff
Charney as Vice President of Marketing/Communications. Charney comes from
HomeStore from Kaufman and Broad, the housing developer.


Special: Interview with Sunil Mehrotra, KnowledgeLink
Sunil Mehrotra is the CEO of KnowledgeLink (,
a Westlake Village based, VC-backed e-commerce provider in the consumer
audio space. He was formerly executive VP at Harman International and
before that General Manager at RCA.

Sunil Mehrotra:

BK: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur, and why did you start

SM: I have always been an entrepreneur within larger companies. I have built
businesses within larger companies, launched new products and brands. I
thrive on change. Five years ago when Internet was still experimental, I was
consumed by the novelty of it and how it had the potential for changing many
aspects of our lives. This lead me to start my company KnoweledgeLINK in 1996.

BK: Did you find it difficult to find venture financing here in Southern
California? If so, why, if not, any comments...

SM: Yes, Southern California does not yet have the culture of Sand Hill Road.
This makes it a little harder for entrepreneurs in this area. However, even
since I started seriously looking for financing last year the climate is
changing. There is more venture financing flowing in this area, especially in
this corridor.

BK: What sort of advice would you give other entrepreneurs here trying to start
up their own high tech venture?

SM: For enterpreneurs starting out a mentor or a "god father", who has done
before is a must. There is so much more  to launching a start-up than just
having a good idea. The whole process of forming a Board, raising funds,
filing for patents etc. That a good mentor can help in those areas which the
enterpreneur is not experienced in.


Upcoming Events This Week
Full calendar at

** Am I missing your event? Tell me about it!

July 17-18, Los Angeles -- AniFest '99: celebrating the art and industry of
animation, presented by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) for
more information, visit:

July 17, Pasadena -- The First Eaton Canyon Workshop: A workshop in a
canyon setting for successful women technology entrepreneurs to network
with each other and with women considering becoming entrepreneurs
themselves. For more information contact Joan Horvath (818) 354-7431, email

July 20, Los Angeles -- "Dinner & A Deal #11" Association for Interactive
Media networking event. See

July 21, Santa Monica -- "What's in a Name?" Impact! Software Council of
Southern California Sales and Marketing Network. See

July 21, Irvine -- "Is the Future of E-Commerce in E-Mail?" Ben Isaacson,
executive director of the Association for Interactive Media (AIM). See

Sponsored by the Tech Coast Venture Network.  For more information visit:


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