The service, which will cost $9.99 a month plus $2.99 a minute, allows users to push *4 (representing the“I” — for interpreter — on the dial pad) and get a specialist on the line in seconds.
“We have had significant interest from a number of federal agencies, so we expect some strong, immediate uptake from the service,” said Chris Hill, vice president for AT&T’s Mobility Solutions.
Language Line Services is three decades old and already supports the interpretation needs of dozens of federal agencies — from Social Security to Homeland Security — using traditional dial-up service and 800 numbers. The telephone interpretation allows users to communicate with limited-English speakers on the phone or when they’re face to face.
Language Line has more than 5,000 interpreters — including over 1,000 interpreters cleared to handle the sensitive information of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Social Security.
The Kaldes brothers haven’t forgotten the homeland.
Peter Kaldes, a Lorton-based importer of olive oil and Greek tomato sauces, is doing his part to save the Greek economy. Peter and his brother, Greg, are heirs to a grove of 5,000 olive trees on the Greek island of Lesvos in the Mediterranean Sea.
So they have made a business out of it called Kaldi, which distributes the olive oil and tomato sauce to Washington area speciality food stores such as Olio Cork and Ah Love Oil & Vinegar.
They will be promoting their Kaldi brand later this month at the Fancy Food Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“We want to create a gourmet Greek food brand from the olive trees we are going to inherit from my father,” Peter said. “The Italians and Spanish do it, and we are going to do it better. We can help improve the Greek image and brand, and quit our day jobs doing it.”
They have already imported 10,000 units in their first two years.
Peter works for the federal government, while Greg is employed in the cable television industry.
The Buzz hears:
District-based Thycotic Software’s Jonathan Cogley was in Orlando last week for the Microsoft TechEd North America conference. Cogley was introducing his company’s new product, which helps businesses manage internal passwords, documents, groups and e-mail lists. He said the major theme is how corporate information technology staffs are struggling to keep things running with minimal budgets and reduced staff. There was also a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 8.“It is very iPad-like but more,” he said.
Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. recently finished its “B” round equity raise with a $400,000 investment from Georgetown-based D.C. Community Ventures D.C. Community Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests for both financial and social returns for the community. Chesapeak Bay’s B round was closed at almost three times the valuation of its first round just 18 months ago.
D.C. Community Ventures was founded by Karim Zia and R. Candler Young, two former Wall Streeters who run the $5 million fund. Zia and Young look for mid- to late-stage growth companies that are profitable as well as economically beneficial to low- and moderate-income communities. The firm’s investments are generally in the $100,000 to $750,000 range.
Reston-based Canvas seeks another $4 million in funding to support the launch of MyCanvas, its cloud-based service that provides consumers and businesses with a centralized view of their service history — think HVAC, plumbing, home repairs — collected digitally via Canvas mobile apps instead of paperwork.
Stevensville, Md.-based Blackwater Distilling cracked the Total Wine & More market with its first contract for 200 cases of Sloop Betty vodka. The vodka is now in 55 Total Wine stores from New Jersey to California. Brothers Christopher and Jon Cook own Blackwater Distilling where Jon Blair, production manager, crafts the gold-medal winning liquor.
Brooke Salkoff’s CampEasy, the McLean-based Web site that helps organize summer camp searches, hired Jessica Smith as vice president of sales and marketing. She is Salkoff's first full-timer.
On July 16, Georgetown Media Group continues the popular summer eventChefs Go Fresh. Local chefs are to rev up for a motorcycle tour of local farms, sponsored by Maryland’s Agriculture Department, in an effort to build relationships with local purveyors of produce, meats and other farm-raised products.
The chefs start the day with breakfast at Brasserie Beck’s restaurant hosted by chef Robert Wiedmaier, co-founder of the original “Chefs on Bikes,” and owner of Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck, Brabo, Mussel Bar and Mussel Bar Atlantic City.
Factoid of the week
23,000That’s the number of bottles of Deer Park water that Fro.Zen.Yo sold — at 29 cents per bottle — at its six locations last week. The number was 3,850 a week in the doldrums of December. See what some hot weather does for sales?