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News Release

For immediate use

March 14, 2005 -- No. 98

Dot-com rise, fall examined
in March 22 screening, panel

CHAPEL HILL — The Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI) will host a screening of the award-winning documentary "Startup.com" and a panel discussion featuring an entrepreneur profiled in the film and a leading financier from the dot-com era March 22 on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

The 7 p.m. event, to be held in Hanes Hall auditorium, is the second offering of the CEI Speaker Series. These lectures are free to the public and bring to the Carolina campus leading practitioners and scholars to interact with faculty, staff and students.

"Startup.com" traces the birth and failure of new media company govWorks.com. Its founders – high school friends and now 20-somethings Kaleil D. Isaza Tuzman and Tom Herman – start with an idea: a Web site for people who conduct business with municipal governments. The documentary tracks what the filmmakers were sure would be a sensational success. From 1999 to 2001, govWorks went from eight employees to more than 200 to none. They raised $60 million in venture capital and, after building a high-profile Internet success, ended in bankruptcy.

Tuzman, now the managing partner of Recognition Group, will visit campus for the screening of "Startup.com" and the panel discussion to follow. Joining Tuzman will be Walter W. Buckley, chief executive officer of Internet Capital Group and a central figure in the dot-com phenomenon, and Dr. Al Segars, director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. University Entrepreneur in Residence Buck Goldstein will moderate. The panel will offer a critical assessment of the dot-com phenomenon.

The event is made possible by a gift from Mary F. and William J. Blair III and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (www.unc.edu/cei) seeks to help UNC students, faculty and staff learn how to transform ideas into enterprises that create value – social, artistic, environmental and business – and are sustainable. The $11 million program is funded in part by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, managed by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and led by faculty and staff from an array of disciplines. Successful entrepreneurs, many of them Carolina alumni, serve as advisers, lending their real-world expertise.

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Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative contact: Cyndy Falgout, (919) 401-3548

News Services contact: Lisa Katz, (919) 962-2093