Capital Buzz: A rundown of the up-and-comers, Part 1

The Post 200 charts the region’s biggest companies and organizations in 2011. Who is waiting in the wings? To get some ideas, the Buzz asked some local executives which companies and busi­ness­peo­ple are on their radars for 2012 and beyond. We received so many good responses that we are breaking it up into two parts. Look for the second batch next week. Here is a start:

Making products, not software

Tysons Corner-based GlobalLogic is a quiet local company with a big global footprint (New Atlantic Ventures is an investor). Five-thousand-plus employees and $200 million-plus in revenue. They are a force in helping software companies bring product to market more quickly.

MicroStrategy alumni also are doing well here. I like two companies they have started, Clarabridge [data analysis] and Appian [which helps companies manage business processes] in particular. (We are not investors.)

— John Backus, managing partner,
New Atlantic Ventures

Building a vault for your data

Revolution Ventures invested in Personal, led by a savvy chief executive, Shane Green, because we believe that it could become one of the region’s most significant companies. Personal’s recently launched Web and mobile data vault gives individuals a safe place to collect and store all the important data about their lives, and then decide who gets access to that data. For example, you could give your babysitter access to the contact details for your kids’ doctors and grandparents to call in the event of an emergency. Personal users are able to store and securely share these discrete “gems” with others: filling out forms with a single click, and making it simple to control who gets to see what.

— Tige Savage, president,
Revolution Ventures

Data-driven decision making

I love companies that are trying to use data to improve people’s lives, and am especially impressed with WiserTogether, based in Georgetown and led by chief executive Shub Debgupta. WiserTogether helps people make complex decisions by mapping the decision-making process and using data to help them determine what decision best meets their needs given various criteria, success rates and tradeoffs, including time and money. They have launched in the health space, and are supporting everything from how to pick the best health insurance policy to the best available treatments for heart disease and diabetes.

— Shane Green, president and
chief executive, Personal

A new engine for financial advice

Keep an eye on D.C.-based HelloWallet because it’s a smarter version of Mint.com for the enterprise. Not only does it not try to upsell you on services that advertise through it like Mint.com does, but the thinking that goes into it is based on deep economic analysis by folks from Harvard and Brookings. What I love is that it was “created to boost the wealth of workers by democratizing access to honest, high-quality financial guidance – something only 20 percent of Americans have access to today.” Their founders have incredible backgrounds.

— Leslie Bradshaw, president of the creative agency, Jess3

Visual analytics

Renee Lorton, former senior executive at PeopleSoft and Cognos, is chief executive of Centrifuge Systems, a McLean-based software company that offers visual networks analytics. Fraud today is estimated to be a $2.9 trillion problem, with companies losing an estimated 5 percent of their revenues on average. Centrifuge tackles this problem with its disruptively lightweight and easy-to-use technology.

— John Saaty, chief executive, Decision Lens, which makes software to help make business decisions

Virtual currency

Paul Capriolo from Social Growth Technologies is ahead of the curve in monetizing virtual currency.

— Elana Fine, director of Venture Investments, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland

Phones for small businesses

Steve Canton at iCore Networks started a voice-over-private-Internet company for small business about six years ago, and has had explosive growth. You could see this company sold to a much larger telecom company early in 2012.

— Michael K. Farr, president, Farr, Miller & Washington, investment advisers

Federal contracting buyouts

Watch Richard Knop and Leslee Belluchie at Reston-based FedCap Partners. After advising more than 100 mergers of federal contracting companies, Richard set up FedCap with Leslee to invest in and buy federal contracting companies. While 2011 saw a few investments, 2012 should be a gangbuster year for this dynamic couple.

— David Gladstone, chairman and chief executive of Gladstone Cos.

Event planning

I have known Cvent chief executive Reggie Aggarwal for a number of years. They raised a significant amount of venture capital money in the past year, in excess of $100 million. Their service is one of the leading event-planning products on the market and the company has grown despite the market. Cvent has a good chance to be a big player in the D.C. area.

— Alex Castelli, principal of the accounting firm, Reznick Group

 
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