Success Stories

PROFILES:
  1. Peter Schmidt
  2. Brad Feld
  3. Frank Leibly
  4. Scott Pearce
  5. Jonathan Harber

1. Peter H. Schmidt, 617 890-1001, peter@midnight.com

President, has led Midnight Networks since its founding in 1992. Under Mr. Schmidt's leadership, the company has enjoyed consistent profitability funded solely from operations, a 94% average annual growth in revenues, and a more than fivefold increase in staffing without turnover. In 1993, Mr. Schmidt started the Entrepreneurs' Dinner, a monthly meeting where the issues of starting and running a business are discussed with a focus on sharing good ideas; over 90 entrepreneurs from approximately 60 companies now participate. Prior to the founding of the company, Mr. Schmidt was employed as an internal consultant to the CEO of Analog Devices, using TQM to address issues around customer responsiveness. His experience in high-tech startups was gained at BBN Advanced Computers, Inc. and Cayman Systems, Inc. Mr. Schmidt earned his BS in Computer Science and Engineering in 1988 and his MS in Management in 1992, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

On June 14th, Midnight was acquired by Teradyne, Inc. for an undisclosed amount of cash (it was an all cash deal). We are being run independently, managed by a Board composed of myself, co-founder Art Mellor MIT '85, Teradyne CEO Alex d'Arbeloff, and two other senior Teradyne executives. (I am now Division Manager.) Prof. Kent Bowen at HBS is currently preparing a case on us for use in a new course on how to operate a start up successfully. We did $1.8M in 95, and are on track to do $3M this year. We plan to do $20M in 2000.

I turned down a consulting position after B School in favor of starting and running Midnight because it seemed like it would be a lot more fun, more intellectually stimulating, more socially worth while, and more likely to make me rich. It succeeded on all counts.

2. Bradley A. Feld

Intensity Ventures, P.O. Box E, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025 tel: 303-494-3242, fax: 303-494-7642, email: bfeld@feld.com, http://www.feld.com

Sloan S.B. 1987 Sloan S.M. 1988 Sloan Ph.D. (on leave -- took leave in 1990)

Feld graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 with an S.B. degree in Management Science and in 1988 with an S.M. degree in Management Science. In 1990, Feld took a leave of absence from the Ph.D. program at M.I.T.'s Sloan School where he was studying the management of technology and innovation.

In 1987, Feld founded Feld Technologies, an information technology, software consulting, and network integration firm. Feld Technologies grew to 20 people and just under $2m in revenue when it was acquired by Sage Technologies (now AmeriData Technologies: http://www.ameridata.com; NYSE: ADA) in November, 1993. Feld Technologies subsequently became AmeriData Consulting, which is the consulting arm of AmeriData Technologies. AmeriData Consulting is now a 400 person, $40 million organization.

Feld is currently:

Also, Feld helped develop the MIT Center for Entrepreneurship and is an advisor to a variety of high tech startup companies.

3. Frank Leibly, 617 497-6811 x105, fleibly@nfic.com

NFIC (New Frontiers Information Corp.) http://www.nfic.com, Founded in May 1995, NFIC was acquired in September 1995 by Banta Corp. Banta is a publicly traded billion dollar (1995 revenue) leader in printing, digital imaging, and global distribution. The acquisition amounted to several million dollars; early acquisition was necessitated by the extreme pace of market maturation. NFIC is now a wholly owned, independently managed subsidiary of Banta.

NFIC's business is on-line application development and services, turnkey publishing, and commerce solutions. Projects underway include applications for TWA, Houghton Mifflin, and Putnam Investments (to name a few.) 1996 revenues are in the low to mid 7 figures. Substantial profits come from partnerships with advertising, design, publishing, direct marketing, telecommunications, public relations, and system integration firms to provide end-to-end solutions. NFIC currently has 17 employees.

WHY: can't sit back and watch world go by must take risks and face challenges to achieve starting a venture is fast paced, exciting, and only way to get real world experience.

NFIC works by placing equal emphasis in technology and marketing. It has a customer driven development cycle with end-to-end solutions achieved through strategic relationships.

NFIC plans to expand business to $50 million in sales and further expand Banta's capabilities in digital information management and delivery.

WHAT NEXT: do it again bigger and better

4. Scott Pearce, 617 674-9300

Auburn University, Mechanical Engineering, 1988 U.S. Military Service, Pilot Sloan School of Management, Candidate for MBA, Product and Venture Development

Scott is on the organizing team of the Entrepreneurship Competition. Currently he is Director of Marketing for Avidyne Corporation, a startup that is building revolutionary software controls for airplanes. This avionics industry has had very little innovation over the past few decades. In 1994, new legislation opened the way to bringing technology to a stagnant industry. Avidyne is working to fill this gap with its innovative vision of cockpit controls.

The founder of Avidyne is Dan Schwinn, an MIT graduate and multi-million dollar entrepreneur, who co-founded Shiva Corporation in 1985. Shiva is the leader in remote access technology, providing a full line of remote products and services for telecommuters, small branch offices and large enterprise networks.

Scott has completed his first year at the Sloan school and is hoping to join Avidyne after completing his management education.

5. Jonathan D. Harber, 212 332-3605, jonathan@harberbros.com

A Manhattan native and accomplished entrepreneur, Jonathan D. Harber has returned to his hometown to build an interactive entertainment and education company in the worldwide information and entertainment capitol.

KinderActive, a division of Harber Brothers Productions, Inc., his new venture, was established to improve the way we learn and play. As founder and chief executive officer, Mr. Harber's goal is to to bring the best minds in education into the home. KinderActive is drawing talent and expertise from the worlds of children's television, music and digital technology to create exciting multiple media products .

Prior to founding Harber Brothers, Mr. Harber was the director of business development at Avid Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID)-the leading supplier of digital video editing and post-production equipment to Hollywood film, television, and industrial markets. In 1990, Mr. Harber founded Diva Corporation and served as president and chief executive officer. Diva, a pioneer of the digital video industry, developed and published VideoShopR, its flagship multimedia authoring and special effects software product which sold over 300,000 units in 22 countries. Mr. Harber negotiated strategic partnerships with companies such as Apple Computer, Radius and SyQuest, and entered into a joint venture with Kodak's Image Bank to publish the first CD-ROM to include digital video clips. In February 1993, DiVA was acquired by Avid Technology concurrent with Avid's initial public offering.

In 1988, Mr. Harber co-founded Access Development Corporation, a software consulting firm that develops on-line financial computer models for investment banks. He started his career in 1986 as a financial analyst at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, where he worked in the Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Venture Capital groups.

Mr. Harber is a member of the board of directors of PureSpeech, a company providing state-of-the-art products in continuous speech recognition technology. He also sits on the board of directors of Thinking Pictures, specialists in on-line interactive entertainment for the rock music industry. He is an active member of the board of education of Grace Church School, a K-8 private school in New York City. Mr. Harber is credited with publishing Numbers-A Medium That Counts (IEEE, July 1991), the first hypermedia version of a business case study.

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