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Betsy Cragon
CRAGON Communications


Mayor Anthony Williams Praises Company For Leading Trend Into the City

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2000 - Venturehouse Group, a leading technology holding company, threw a pre-construction party Thursday evening to present its future downtown headquarters and to highlight the beginnings of a trend of technology companies locating in the city. In a historic building on Seventh Street near the MCI Center, Mayor Anthony Williams addressed the crowd of more than 200 people, including local and national government leaders, area technology entrepreneurs and media. He praised Venturehouse Group for leading the way in bringing the digital economy to the District of Columbia. "Venturehouse has pushed the envelope of electronic commerce, creating a climate, a platform, a framework for other businesses to locate downtown," said Mayor Williams. "We are going to make this city a premier technology, e-commerce center," he said. "We are in the forefront of a growing trend," said Mark Ein, Venturehouse Group founder and CEO. He told the group he wanted to locate the firm's primary office downtown amid the unique environment of the city, where you are a short walk from places like the MCI Center and some of the world's best museums. "The activity, excitement and culture of the city have great appeal to young entrepreneurs and technology professionals," said Ein, formerly of private equity firm The Carlyle Group. "I would like to thank Mayor Williams and his administration for making the city, in just over a year, a better and easier place to do business," he said. The presence of two national officials - Lawrence Summers, Secretary of the Treasury Department, and Joel Klein, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division - demonstrates the importance of Washington, D.C., to the nation's business community and also the widespread interest in ensuring the city's important place in the region's new technology-based economy. Ein thanked technology leaders who were present, including Mario Marino of the Marino Institute; Raul Fernandez, CEO of Proxicom; Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy; and Jeong Kim, Yurie Systems founder. "There is a real commitment among the leaders of the region's technology and entrepreneurial community, many of whom neither live nor work in the District, to make sure that the city is an important center of activity. They realize that for the region to thrive, the District needs to thrive," Ein said. Reporters from Forbes, Business Week, The Washington Post and many local publications were in attendance. Also present were representatives from the region's cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection, along with Washington Redskins' star running back Brian Mitchell. Venturehouse Group's headquarters is located on three floors above the District Chophouse at 509 Seventh St., N.W. Built in the 1880s, the four-story building at one time housed a bank. Hickock Warner Fox Architects is transforming the 10,000-square-foot space into a contemporary environment conducive to high-intensity work while also reviving the building's historical interest and integrity. "Buildings like these are D.C.'s answer to SoHo," said Bob Fox, a partner with the architecture firm. "Seventh Street is becoming a modern technology corridor - but with interesting, historic architecture. It's unique and it's great to see the buildings brought back this way." Venturehouse Group, which currently maintains offices in Tysons Corner,expects to move into the renovated building this fall. The company will house several of its Internet, technology and telecommunications start-ups in their critical first few months. "Venturehouse was formed to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity to build companies of great value in very short periods of time," Ein told the crowd. "Our strategy is to focus our team's experience, capital and other resources on our companies to take the learning curve out of the entrepreneurial process and to get our companies to scale fast in an environment when the opportunities are great, but time is your enemy." Venturehouse Group's investors and advisers include Jeong Kim, Yurie Systems founder and now Lucent Technologies executive; Alex Mandl, CEO of Teligent; Rajendra Singh, founder and CEO of Telcom Ventures; David Oros, founder and CEO of Aether Systems; Robert Allbritton of Allbritton Communications; and Nobel Prize winner Arno Penzias. The firm has an initial investment pool of over $75 million.

ABOUT VENTUREHOUSE GROUP: Venturehouse Group ( is a technology holding company that creates, invests in and builds world-class Internet, technology and telecommunications companies. Venturehouse is particularly focused on Internet companies that are building business-to-business e-commerce companies as well as those that leverage wireless data and broadband networks. It invests in companies, usually in their earliest stages, and then focuses considerable resources to accelerate their development. These resources include a network of world-class advisers, strategic relationships at the highest level, physical infrastructure services including office space and preferred relationships with leading service providers. The Venturehouse team includes experts with deep functional skills (strategy, finance, recruiting, technology, legal, creative and accounting) whose collective experience of building great businesses is focused on its portfolio companies, which currently include,,, MobileSpring, Hifusion, XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: XMSR), and (NASDAQ: VSTY).

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