Bisnow empire hopes to conquer next generation

Here comes a business for moms and dads who hope their kid is the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.

Bisnow Media is adding another venture to its empire of 32 buzzy online publications.

The new company, which will be announced soon, is to be called Gen-Z and will be headed by longtime Bisnow executive Doug Anderson.

The start-up is being funded by a new entity called Bisnow Ventures. Gen-Z plans to hold weekend programs for high school students to help them learn about entre­pre­neur­ship.

“Young entrepreneurs are the new rock stars, and we’ve got a lot of feedback from parents who love to get their kids involved in activities that expose their kids to the real business world and all the possibilities out there,” Anderson said.

Anderson is a co-investor in Gen-Z.

The weekend program will be hosted on-site at local companies. The sessions will last approximately five hours and cost about $160, Anderson said.

Guest entrepreneurs, hands-on activities and lessons in networking will be included in the session, Anderson said. Bisnow will even make business cards for the participants.

Classes are expected to be limited to 75 participants, who will be age 18 and under.

“We do lots of events around entrepreneurs, and we identified a hole in the market, which is the under-18 crowd. There are so many examples of successful, young entrepreneurs now, from the founders of Snapchat to Facebook to Summly,” Anderson said.

Putting their back into it

A Leesburg company that bills itself as the world’s largest privately held spinal implant company is preparing to go public.

K2M Group Holdings was founded 10 years ago by a group of businessmen, including Leesburg investors Eric Major and father-in-law Lewis Parker. It employs 750 people and filed forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 25 for an initial public offering. In a statement, the company said it had yet to determine the number of shares it planned to offer or their price.

A spokesman for K2M declined to comment, citing SEC restrictions against touting business ahead of offerings.

K2M takes is name from the second-highest mountain on Earth, and many of its products for treating injuries and medical conditions and stabilizing the spine are named after famous mountains. The company’s name also has another meaning: It’s a reference to the second career of co-founder John Kostuik, the chairman and chief medical officer who previously was a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Parker, 72, is owner of the Willowcroft Farm Vineyards in Leesburg.

“He planted the first grapes in 1981 and founded the winery at Willowcroft Farm in 1983,” according to the winery’s Web site. The company is Loudoun County’s oldest winery, and has won many international and local awards.

The winery makes about 13 varieties, amounting to around 30,000 bottles a year, at its Loudoun location, including whites and reds. Willowcroft specializes in Bordeaux-variety reds.

Parker, a turnaround specialist with a long history working with medical companies specializing in orthopedics, has served as a principal at Parkwood LLC, and is currently a strategic adviser to K2M.

He was vice president of Hazleton Laboratories before it was sold to Corning Glassworks in 1987. He also was chief financial officer of Kirschner Medical, which was sold to Biomet in 1994.

Parker received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Buzz hears:

Fairfax-based Sun Design Remodeling Specialists nailed $9.3 million in revenue for 2013, the company’s best in its 26-year history. Sun’s good fortune suggests another possible bright spot in the local economy. Sun specializes in residential indoor and outdoor remodeling. The company is owned by Chairman Craig Durosko and President Bob Gallagher.

Woodbridge-based Engineering Group opened a McLean office to serve increased demand for civil engineering in the area, another bullish sign for the construction market. The company is 23 years old and also has offices in Fredericksburg.

Kelly Bellas will host another Corporate Huddle, this one sponsored by Berenzweig Leonard law firm, on March 12 at the National Football League Players Association offices in Washington. Former Michigan football star Billy Taylor will screen a one-hour movie on his life, “Perseverance,” which recently was presented on BET Network. The program will continue at Morton’s afterward. The Corporate Huddle is a nonprofit that brings together former professional athletes with CEOs.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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