Name: EZArchive Inc.
Location: Employees work from home; founder lives in Fairfax Station.
Who's in charge: Pam Huling, president and founder
Funding: The company raised $670,000 in angel investments and was selected in October as winner of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce's business-plan competition. Her award was a "virtual incubation" instead of office space.
Big idea: EZArchive is an online repository that allows users to catalogue photos, videos, audio and documents. Huling said EZArchive is different from many other photo sharing services because it stores more than just photos. It's also a private archive that allows users to decide who has access to what. The company is preparing to release a new version of its software next month with added features such as Web logs, called blogs, and support to send or view images and video from mobile phones. The company says it has 27,000 users so far.
Where the idea was hatched: "Seeing how people were adopting digital technology, I knew it was inevitable that they would be amassing volumes that they would need a tool to manage," Huling said. "So I decided to create a company to capitalize on that need." In addition to running her company, Huling is director of photo services at Discovery Communications Inc. and is responsible for its virtual library.
Examples of use: A youngster could create an album of photos of his baseball team, a video clip of his first pitch and the image of his award for most-improved player; he could then e-mail his grandmother a link to the album.
Price: 100 megabytes of online storage for $29 a year, or 1 gigabyte of online storage for $99 a year. The company also offers pay-as-you-go packages and plans to add more options.
Founded: November 2002
Employees: Three full-time employees and seven part-time consultants.
Web site: www.ezarchive.com
What the name means: "We wanted to make sure we could convey the sense of organization," Huling said. "It's not just a storage solution where you dump everything, it's where you catalog and preserve everything. But we didn't want to sound stiff and dusty, like the word 'archive.' We wanted to have a name that conveys an easy, non-threatening interface."
Quote: "The kind of company we're creating here is one that values history and connectedness between people," Huling said. "When you look at someone's home movies from the 1960s, that has strong meaning for people."
-- Andrea Caumont