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For week ended October 31, 1999 Posted 31 Oct 1999

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Two BYU students find success on Internet (internet.Com: VC Watch)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Two BYU students find success on Internet (internet.Com: VC Watch)
Fox News (Reuters) 28Oct99 B4

WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT -- Two BYU students who left school and started a webpage design company are raking in the visitors, as well as the ventur capital. Josh James and John Pestana were both still in school when they started their business, and their venture has changed into a service supporting webmasters, giving them free and lowcost tools for managing websites.

Unable to find a set of web management tools they liked, the two put together a launching and tracking facility called SuperStats. They then expanded these tools into a series of tools for managing web pages, counters, polling tools, merchant linking tools, download management tools, etc., all offered as services from their site,

The service now has about 300,000 clients, some of whom get free services, and other who pay $20 a month or more for enhanced services. Their major competitor is Web Site Garage, a Netscape partner.

To fight their competition, has carefully raised $2 million in venture capital from Geocapital Partners of Fort Lee, New Jersey. This is in addition to the partner's own $250,000 investment and $1.15 million they raised from various private sources.

GeoCaptial associate Satya Patel thinks the company serves a need, "The strength of their product lies in its breadth and its ease of use. Adding additional features, such as community-oriented chat, discussion groups or message boards, will make the offering more complete and a more valuable resource for webmasters as they will be able to interact with others dealing with the same issues or problems."

James and Pestana themselves are still a few credits short of graduation from BYU, but they don't plan to return at this point. "A degree is a means to an end. We are now in the 'end' so it doesn't seem worthwhile now." said James.

But James also notes that sometimes perception is everything, and a BYU background doesn't have the perception that other universities have, "The entrepreneurship program at BYU measures its success by how many students don't graduate. Bu if we had dropped out of Stanford instead of BYU, we'd be billionaires by now."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information