Posts Tagged ‘Kristin Gabriel’

Commercialization: Early Stage Branding of a Technology Company

If you have an exciting new company with cool technology and or products, then it may be time to position your technology for commercialization. The dilemma lies NOT in whether or not your stuff is better than anyone else out there in the global marketplace, but whether or not you have proven the concept, and then branded it for commercialization.

If you have tested the technology and or product and have received a good reception and maybe even a little initial market traction, then you are ready to go to market. Up until now, your focus has been primarily on the technology. Commercialization requires a unique skill set — early stage branding: the key to attracting partners, licensees, and potential investors, and then down the road, getting your target customers.

Every business needs a brand. A strong brand will make you more successful with all your target communities. Some of the basic yet essential components of early stage branding will include this point. Who are you trying to reach next? This may not necessarily mean those who will eventually be your target customers – it could simply be the next audience your organization needs in order to move ahead and get strategic partners, for instance:
• Research partners
• A bigger company
• An original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
• A laboratory, or a prestigious university
• Co-development partners to lend credibility
• An early adopter
• A high-profile customer
• Licensors for all or part of your intellectual property (IP)
• Private investors, who will help fund operations
• Institutional investment capital and/or a government grant
• Acquisition

And despite all of the above targets, one thing remains constant – you’ll need a strong name, a website, collateral materials, search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and public relations, etc. BUT it is useless to create these core marketing tools without the correct brand messaging.

A year ago, MarCom New Media, an integrated marketing firm in Los Angeles, landed a project to brand a company named Softkrypt and their encryption product called EasyKrypt. The team at MarCom struggled for a while about whether or not to keep the name of their first product – EasyKrypt. Ultimately, the decision was made to keep the name, and we bought multiple domain names with the term “krypt” in it for future marketing activities. We also branded another future product called EasyKloud.

Here is the challenge with a new company and a new product. We did not have an answer yet to an important question: What is the current perception in the marketplace? However, most companies have competitors, and this is the place to start. There’s nothing more important than looking at the marketplace. What are the competitor’s taglines, key messages, and customer perceptions? Today’s social media gives marketers the answers about what people think. And ultimately brands need to be relevant to every constituency.

The next step is positioning the company to differentiate what it offers in a clear, compelling way. Marketers must:

• Create a well-defined overall brand and value proposition.
• Show how your company is unique.
• Position yourself as part of a solution to a bigger picture problem.
• Create separate messages for each target group to build credibility.
• Demonstrate knowledge of end users.
• Look at each type of influencer and/or decision maker.
• Begin using customer testimonials to tell the story

It is virtually impossible for a technology company to develop their own websites, marketing materials, and manage public relations and social media strategies. Why? Because inventors or developers do not have the mindset or skills. Most of the time other people look at their collateral materials and ask, “What is it that this company has to offer again?”

This is one of the basic marketing services that MarCom New Media manages. If you wondered what data encryption software technologies are all about, go to the website that we created, and see if you “get” what this product does. And then check out the SoftKrypt corporate video production that MarCom produced when the company was seeking funding.

Other examples of our work include client websites for The Interface Financial Group, and Herbalix Restoratives organic skin care products. And of course, we have honed and pioneered excellent search engine optimization techniques that set us way above the others. Check out just a few of our client SEO Case Histories.

Then once the basics have been done, and your company and/or technology and products are on their way to being branded to your target audiences, MarCom can assist you with public relations. Recently we got a story for our client The Plan Collection in the Wall Street Journal–Blueprint for a Custom Home.

Our rates are fair, so email us at to start a conversation about how the MarCom New Media team ( can help your company prosper.

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Traditional College: Do we get our money’s worth?

Article at:

There have been numerous studies equating a college degree with financial success. It’s true that the numbers bear this out: a person with a college degree makes substantially more than the person without a college degree over the course of their lifetimes. However, a case may be made that begs the question: is it the individual rather than the degree that is behind this financial success.

In other words, is the person who can afford college and has a keen interest in increasing their knowledge that much likelier to succeed than the economically challenged person who is struggling just to keep a roof over their head in any event. Would the financially successful graduate have been financially well off if they hadn’t attended college?

For every person who points to their college degree as the foundation of their success, there’s another highly successful person who didn’t attend college, didn’t finish college, or ended up doing something completely different than their college major.

In recent conversations with people who’ve changed careers multiple times as industries and economies and interests morphed and expanded and contracted there is a repetitious theme to be heard: it takes about three months to learn any set of job skills. What you make of your career after that is up to how you perform. And how you perform in the job world has no relationship with how you perform on written tests in college.

Books are fascinating and you can learn a lot from them. Mentors can provide motivation, encouragement, support and insights that college can never provide. But without street smarts, people skills and a sense of dedication a college degree can only do so much.

One area where colleges fail is in providing exposure to what the real world equivalent of your major is like. There are a great many cases where students have spent three, four, five, even six years studying until graduation, only to find out that they didn’t like the job. Medical students who found out they couldn’t stand the site of blood, lawyers who couldn’t stand the work load, film students who didn.t realize they’d have to start at the bottom…the list is endless.

Certainly, there are careers where a degree is necessary: lawyers, doctors, nurses, accountants among them. But there are also a number of careers that a degree is not a necessity for: in fact, the more creative and fun a career is, the less likely it will require a degree. Skill, absolutely; but a degree, rarely. Simply put, there.s no single answer to the question “Do you get your money’s worth out of going to a traditional college?” Just remember, your goal is not to get a degree, it’s to have a career in a field that interests you. Choose accordingly.

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Kristin Gabriel Biography and Photo

Writer Kristin Gabriel

Kristin D. Gabriel

Kristin Gabriel is a highly accomplished marketing communications practitioner with a solid track record of delivering outstanding revenue-driven results for corporations, agencies and small business clients. For the last fifteen years, she has been focused on strategic branding, integrated marketing and public relations for emerging high technology companies and consumer brands.

Gabriel possesses strong written and verbal communications skills and she has finely honed skills as an integrated marketing and PR strategist for B2B and B2C companies. Over the years she has placed thousands of consumer, trade and business stories in targeted print and electronic media. Her most recent knowledge includes cutting edge search marketing, SEO and social media practices.

In 2012 worked on strategy and branding for start-up encryption technology company SoftKrypt and its data protection software EasyKrypt, integrating IR, PR and product marketing strategies telling the company’s story; wrote all communications materials including: press kit, sales literature, executive PPTs , demos, speeches, and business plan leading to purchase offers for EasyKrypt.

Her skills managing an SEO reputation management and campaign for Fortune 500 global anti-virus company Trend Micro Incorporated was highly successful for the company’s 2010 Titanium™ product family roll-out.

Prior, Gabriel managed public relations positioning for iolo technologies as a leading provider of Windows-based utility software for home, business and enterprise-level PCs, garnering over $1.2 million worth of media exposure in one year.

Kristin’s corporate branding, marketing communications and PR strategy for publicly-held biotech company, Applied DNA Sciences (OTCBB: APDN), a provider of embedded DNA biotechnology anti-counterfeit solutions, led to significant trade/consumer press for the company, and a higher market-entry valuation upon going public.

Working full-time as a director of corporate communications, Kristin managed IR/PR working directly under the board for CyberMedia Corporation, helping double the valuation of company leading to acquisition by Network Associates in 1998.

Kristin’s creative skills were exceptional when she conceived and launched the Symantec Antivirus Research Center (SARC). Results from one consumer campaign for Virus Awareness Month at SARC achieved a total of 55,282,791 million audience impressions within print and broadcast media.

She also managed consumer PR for digital imaging software company MetaCreations, now Viewpoint Corporation, achieving outstanding press results during pre-IPO PR campaign just prior to going public -opened at $27 per share, $9 above initial IPO price.

Other projects included: reputation branding for CyberDefender Corporation, early detection security, managing PR for Webalo enterprise mobile application; View Systems, Inc.’s weapons detection technology, online marketing for Spain-based Panda Software U.S, and PR for India-based MicroWorld Technologies.

Kristin holds a B.A. from Mills College, California, and she is based in Los Angeles, California, where she works as an n integrated marketing and communications consultant.

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NSL’s 2010 Sleep in America Poll: Asians Get a Better Night’s Sleep

September 10th, 2010 No comments

A recent Sleep in America poll sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSL) 2010 found that Asians are the most likely ethnic group to say that they had a good night’s sleep at least a few nights or more a week.

T.S. Wiley, who wrote Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival talks about how the light bulb put us out of sync with nature. In days gone by, people spent the summer sleeping less and eating heavily in preparation for winter because light triggers the hunger for carbohydrates. Now, with light available 24 hours a day, we gulp down food all year long, and we spend more time indoors, in light.

It seems as if Asians are about half as likely to discuss their sleep issues with a healthcare professional. They are also half as likely to report having been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. The least likely to report using sleep medication at least a few nights a week (5 percent versus 13 percent Whites, 9 percent Blacks/African-Americans and 8 percent Hispanics), Asians are also the least likely (9 percent) to say that they “rarely” or “never” have a good night’s sleep. This is compared with 20 percent whites, 18 percent of Blacks/African-Americans, and 14 percent Hispanics.

The poll also shows that Asians are more than twice as likely to use the Internet every night in comparison to any other group (51 percent versus 22 percent Whites, 20 percent Blacks/African-Americans, 20 percent Hispanics)

In addition, Asians are also the least likely to watch TV an hour before sleep 52 percent versus 64 percent Whites, 72 percent Hispanics and 75 percent Blacks/African-Americans)

Asians report the use of herbal and alternative therapies at rates similar to Hispanics (2 percent each), but less than Whites (4 percent).

Asians report the lowest rates of losing sleep due to personal financial concerns at least a few nights a week (9 percent versus 22 percent Hispanics, 20 percent Whites and 19 percent Blacks/African-Americans).

We have all heard about some of the things we can do to improve our chances of getting better quality sleep. Here are some of the tips:

-The bed and bedroom is for sleep and sex only.
-You need to establish a regular bedtime routine and a regular sleep-wake schedule.
-Never eat or drink too much close to bedtime.
-Try to create a sleep-promoting environment that is dark, cool and comfortable.
-Always avoid disturbing noises – consider a bed-side fan or white-noise machine to block out disturbing sounds.
-Learn more about how you can get a good night’s sleep with these tips, or check out this sleep boxset with a helpful book.

For more information go to

« Medical Pracitioners Love T.S. Wiley’s “Two Days Back on Earth” Environmental Endocrinology Seminar Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and Progesterone »

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September 9th, 2010 No comments

Miles and miles …
Of dust and tumbleweeds
Traveling along bumpy roads
Daylight headlights
In the distance
Where purple mountains’ majesty
Loom in the glorious sky
Where Nevada winds blow

They know no different …
Desert rats in a maze
Junkyards of life’s memories
That might bring someone a day’s pay
Old rusty carcasses of cars, flat tires
Naugahyde and beer bottles
Tell a tale, like the stench
Of a depressing Casino
Where people play day after day

And the RVs keep on moving …
And the smiles survive
They watch curiously and wait
Placing their bets on whether
It’s a ’60’s Bentley or Rolls.
Cautiously, yet with ease
They speak to foreigners
Too curious not to find out
Yet friendly enough
To wave hello

You say you love the desert …
The cactus and old Santa Fe tracks
With the centipede-like train
Winding its way through the hills
In the distance, cotton ball clouds
In the rear view sunset
Make their way for the moon
To hover above
And light the way in the night

Near the border …
You tell me you’re ready
For a scotch and me.
And have been all day
You drink in life’s pleasures
Caress and excite
Give and take me
Then we sleep ’till dawn
And I love to be

Around noon …
Just like you said
In the middle of nowhere
By a railroad crossing
Stands the now deserted gas station
Your quest quenched like your thirst
You wonder who took the old gas pumps
“And Chuck…he’s dead,” said the old man

Later that night at home …
Reflecting over fine red wine
You remind yourself and me
One should never go back to old times
And I think it’s so sad but true
As I look at your photograph
On the calendar
From four years before

Kristin DeAnn Gabriel, February 1989

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Wow! You Need Money to Start a Business.

Alley Cat News Article

By Kristin Gabriel  (3/23/99)

–Here are the facts on how from WOWFactor, Inc.’s President, Margaret McGillin–

Margaret McGillin founded WOWFactor, Inc. in 1995, with a vision of creating advantages for women in the digital economy. In October 1998, WOWFactor was acquired by Frontline Communications Corporation, a publicly traded  (Nasdaq: FCCN), regional full service Internet Service Provider and National Ecommerce Company based in Pearl River, NY.  Margaret joined the management team as V.P. Marketing & Sales and has recently been promoted to E.V.P. Marketing, Sales & Business Development. She continues as President of WOWFactor.

If you think all you need to start up your business is money, e-commerce, or not — you’re wrong. Business-to-business e-commerce will boom at a 41 percent annual growth rate over the next five years. (Statistics from the Yankee Group.) E-commerce business today is rapidly expanding with small to medium-sized companies boasting affordable e-commerce business solutions that are convenient and cost-effective. The Internet is in the process of being built with new business ideas each and every day. Reducing the bottom line is the driving force behind e-commerce; however, starting an e-commerce company still requires most of the same fundamental considerations as starting any business.

Many people start up a business on a slim dime, using up income or savings to pay for everything until the business is off the ground. But until a business is off the ground, what happens when the money runs out? Do you use your life savings or credit cards? This is pretty risky business, because if the business fails, your personal credit could be demolished.  You could choose to raise the money yourself, by taking out a second mortgage on your home or by selling some of your possessions, or you could even borrow from family and friends. Do you take on partners or investors, or seek out venture capital firms that finance startups?

“Getting from point A to B may seem like the impossible dream, but there is hope,” says Margaret McGillin, president of *WOWFactor, Inc. a unique, user-friendly marketplace and information source designed to assist women with their personal and business goals efficiently via the WWW.  “Finding money for your business involves a variety of considerations, financial and nonfinancial. As we continue to support women, our goal is to deliver personal and professional solutions that will enhance the decision making process and earning power of women-owned businesses, which represent about one third of businesses internationally.” Recognized as a Netscape Destination Distinguished Provider, WOWFactor is only one of six online communities selected. (*A subsidiary of Frontline Communications; Nasdaq:FCCN)

McGillin also points out that under capitalization, or not having enough capital, is the main reason for business failures in the United States. One fact is that, after a business is started, entrepreneurs should be prepared to go for at least a year without breaking even. Starting on a slim dime is harder and takes longer for the business to reach a stable point, but puts much less risk on personal finances.

“What you really need to do is to be realistic about the fact that not everyone will want your product or service. So you should first determine whether you’re ready to start a business by researching the market, then calculate your start-up costs, monthly expenses and your net worth. It’s imperative to understand your business finances, fund your start-up business, expand your current business, think about revenues first, conserve capital, and then invest the money that you have made from planning well,” she continues.

After you’ve taken a look at both the costs of starting a business and your market, you should have an idea of how much it will cost and how much you should be able to earn. Assuming that the startup costs are more than you have in your checking or savings account, and more than your business will earn in the first few months, you’ll need to figure out whether you can raise the money to cover the difference.

Whether you are thinking about borrowing the money from family or friends, trying to locate a bank that is willing to lend money to your new business or looking for a business “angel” who will contribute equity capital, your search for obtaining capital will require the same diligence and as you give to decisions involving your business.

The Business Proposition

Here are some of the factors and guidelines that McGillin uses as benchmarks in advising the many women shaping business and technology today.

First and foremost you’ll need a clear and complete business proposition outlining what you are selling, who’s buying your product or service and why. McGillin asks these questions. Do you have a market? Who is your competition? How fast is the market moving? Do you have an unfair advantage? Once you have answers, you’ll need to prove it. This includes evidence of a track record, a team, your unfair advantage, revenues, orders, partners, product and endorsements. You will need to think about a business plan, financial modeling, selecting an intermediary, research of the investment climate, money raising strategic decisions, tapping referrals, networking and book assembly and distribution. Then be prepared for contacting, listening, adapting, following up, presentations, updating, relationship building, and addressing legal issues.  Now you may be ready to look at the question, what is the investment climate?

Target Your Money

A clear and complete business plan seems obvious when you’re out looking for financing. Not surprisingly, it’s that same business plan process that provides the foundation for completing your plan to secure funding.

As carefully as you considered your business, plan your search for funding. Always remember revenues first, because that’s the first thing investors look at. As you market your ideas to angels and venture capitalists, remember that the VCs know the angels and the angels know the VCs. While your immediate market opportunity may not fit one particular angel or VC, it may fit one of their friends. And let’s face it; you’re working a numbers game. The odds of succeeding on the first presentation are long. You’ll make many presentations and meet many different individuals. Each one provides a unique point of view and opportunity. Each can help in the future, either directly or by referral. If you can’t get a meeting, get a referral.  If you can’t get a referral, get feedback.  Listen to the feedback and improve your proposition, or the way it’s articulated.  Keep building the evidence, relationships and your team. Then understand that timing is everything.  Adapt but don’t compromise on the essence of your business proposition.

Then remember that if you get one offer, you will get others. Don’t take a bad deal. Chemistry counts Interview your investors as hard as they interview you. After all, there is always the chance that an investor will lead you to an acquisition valuation — buying your idea or company — rather than an investment valuation. Money is only part of what investors can offer to help make you successful.

The Mating Ritual

So you’re just starting to look for your angel or VC. You’ll find the process is similar to that time worn “mating ritual.” How does it work in today’s financing arena? Think of it this way:

The Referral

You’ve been out beating the bushes. Cold calls, warm referrals, lots of presentations. More referrals, fewer cold calls. In fact, you notice a few are calling you. Everyone participates in multiple discussions, looking for a couple of key areas of agreement. The network is working smoothly. And finally it happens. You find a match.

The Match

Your work is finally paying off. You’ve met someone who understands your business, understands your market, understands how you’re going to make it big, and has money to invest. They meet the “criteria.” Life seems a little more intense these days. The pace has quickened.

The First Date

You’ve determined that this looks good, and feels good. A couple of informal meetings seem to only heighten interest. You’re fascinated with the expertise and financing. They’re intrigued with your market potential (and who wouldn’t want to back the next Microsoft?).


Everything looks so good; it’s only natural that we tell our friends. Spread the word. We’re on our way to success. Of course, these are our friends. They’ll tell us if the king has no clothes, won’t they? More importantly, they ask the tough questions we’ve been trying to ignore. Is this really a good fit?


So even after asking all of the tough questions, our friends still think we’re on the right track. A couple of more meetings. The future looks bright. It’s hard not to be excited.

The Term Sheet

Now it’s time to start putting it all down on paper. You know what you expect. You were very clear during your presentations. All of your business plans and memoranda were concise. Everyone knows what you are thinking. The other side has their agenda too. You meet, you discuss, and you reach a compromise. Things are good enough to move onto the next stage.

Due Diligence

Everything’s down on paper. Now it’s time to determine that everything that is on paper matches reality. You should be checking them as they are checking you.

The Deal

Finally, all of the hard work pays off. It’s hard to believe this all started with one phone call a long time ago. Signatures exchanged more handshakes, and finally, the check. You take your business to the next level.

In summary, this mating ritual or process may take up to 120 days, but think about it in this way:

  • A referral (The fixing up)
  • The Match (Meets the criteria)
  • Fine Person Test (The first date)
  • Validation (Friends approve)
  • Excitement (This could be it, want to move things along)
  • The Term Sheet (The engagement ring)
  • Due Diligence (Meeting the family)
  • The Deal (The Marriage)
  • TBA (Ideally, the honeymoon, and living happily ever after)

Raising Money

Which source do you start with?  Personal resources? Grants? Revenues? Private angel investors? Banks? Venture capitalists?  Suppliers?  Or strategic partners? The answers depend on whether or not you have revenues.  You need to know when and how to ask for investment money.

First, qualify your investor by making sure you are talking to the right person for the correct amount of funds. Get a meeting in person. Wait until the time is right, but don’t wait too long. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Investors want to know what percent of the company their money will buy. When you go for a loan, bankers will have proprietary disclosure forms you’ll have to fill out in order for them to see your financial picture. Venture capitalists and other investors will also want to know about your personal cash flow. Make certain to have that information handy for different investment levels. If the investor says no, try to turn the no into a maybe and find a way to leave the door open. If the investor says yes, let them open doors to assist you in getting other investors.

Personal Resources

If your family and friends like your business idea, they may be willing to help you with a loan. This may be a good option, depending on how much money you need, however, you must make sure that you see the possible pitfalls. Ask who is running the business in advance. Do you want or need their assistance? Considerations should include how much interest are you paying on the money, and when they will expect their return? Are you selling them stock? Finally, remember to put any financial deal or loan agreement in writing.


If you think you can get a grant (free money) from a private foundation or the government to fund your business, think again. The reality is that if you want to start a for-profit business, you won’t find grant funds available.

Bank Loans

Commercial lenders usually shy away from new small businesses because the risks of failure are too high, so they look for a history of success and a solid credit record. Shop around before you settle on a finance provider or bank. Look to smaller lenders with good reputations for small business lending. Communication is imperative to learn how responsive, flexible and service-oriented the bank is. Many banks will approve a loan of $25,000 and less, based on your personal credit. However, a bank will want to see that you have a solid business plan, and that you will be personally responsible for paying back the loan. You might want to look at your bank as a partner, and cultivate a personal relationship with your banking representative. Banks tend to favor business owners who are honest about their objectives and the risks they are taking. Be prepared to share your cash flow and performance figures, short and long-range growth strategies and other proprietary information so the bank can realistically assess the risk factors and come up with a loan agreement to fit your needs. Get a nonbinding written proposal and remember, a solid banking relationship is a true business partner.

SBA Loans

If you need a bigger loan for your business, you may want to consider a SBA (Small Business Administration) backed loan or possibly state promoted loan. Some banks will offer small business loans through the SBA. An outside agency (SBA or State) reviews your application, business plan, and history to give you their approval. Then, a bank will be more likely to lend to you. You must have a complete business plan and may want to talk to other business owners who have been through a similar process. Each year, the Small Business Administration publishes a report that rates commercial banks on their small business lending performance. Ask your banker about SBA loans, but be aware that the loan requests from the SBA are at an all-time high because so many people are starting their own businesses. Therefore getting a loan from the SBA is becoming more difficult all the time, since there are fewer funds to go around and the SBA is under pressure to be more selective in who it loans money to because of high default rates on loans made in the 1980s.

Private or Angel Investors

The term “angel” financing originated on Broadway in the early 1900’s, where wealthy, high net-worth individuals with a network of friends would save a production by providing cash and save the day, so to speak. Today, the term refers to private individuals who contribute their skills and money to start-up companies. The small business boom has spawned an organized angel network of experienced businesspeople who, rather than creating a debt to be paid back, take equity position in the business financed. Often, these successful entrepreneurs, or angels, seek proprietary technology, hot and profitable businesses or a business that has a unique market niche. The angel also participates in advising the company. They typically seek personal characteristics of the entrepreneur and the market-product potential of the business. Angels look for a piece of your business pie and though they typically don’t try to come in and tell you how to run your business, they are often selective about the companies in which they invest and are increasingly looking for shorter five year returns on their money.

Venture Capitalists (VCs)

Venture capital obtained through a firm often targets new technology and inventions, while angels invest in a wider variety of deals. Venture capitalists require more paperwork and higher profit margins, and venture equity is often expected be repaid in approximately three years.

If your business needs a million or so in funding, the VC might just be the answer to make it happen. They will expect to have ownership over a certain portion of your business and most of them are very “hands on.” VC’s are usually well connected and want to see you make money, so they might not only bring the money to the table, but the networking to make it happen, too.

“I often meet with start-ups and emerging technology companies, many of whom are e-commerce sites. I look for good ideas within the technology categories being watched by Wall Street, well thought out business plans, several different revenue streams from within the company’s business model, and a solid infrastructure and management team within the company,” says Ronald S. Posner, Chairman of PS Capital, a venture capitalist firm based in San Francisco, New York and London, and a force who has helped shape the face of today’s high tech industry.

Posner holds key advisory roles with a number of startup and public companies, including Asymetrix (ASYM), (BYND) and SELECT Software Tools (SLCTY) and has spearheaded many of the most lucrative software deals in history such as Norton Utilities, Symantec, The Learning Company, SoftKey, Spinnaker, WordStar, and Borland, to name a few.


In conclusion, according to McGillin, “No risk is no reward.  Uncertainty is numbing experience, so knowing where you stand with financing your business is one of the keys to success. Just remember to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your business.  Be sure to repay your shareholder loans before taking a paycheck yourself, and paying payroll. After all, passion and smarts is infectious, so more than likely the people you meet will help you.”  For additional assistance to women in business, check out the WOWFactor web site at

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