- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2000

Show, tell and get paid

Area venture capitalists are going shopping for new investments Sept. 6 at the annual Capital Connection 2000, the largest venture capital fair in this area all year.

Companies seeking funding will set up booths at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington to show and tell their ideas and business models with fingers crossed.

Registration starts at 7 a.m. followed by an opening speech at 8 a.m. Companies presentations start at 9 a.m.

Simplexity Inc. of Herndon is one of 65 companies from the mid-Atlantic selected to present at the show.

This is the second year Simplexity, an on-line telecommunications equipment vendor, has presented at the conference. Last year, the company received more than $10 million in financing from investors who attended the show.

Real estate empire

Grempler Realty, Inc., the Baltimore region's third-largest real estate firm is merging with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., the largest firm in the mid-Atlantic region.

The merged companies will control more than 25 percent of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area's real estate market.

Long & Foster, headquartered in Fairfax, was ranked by Real Trends, an industry publication, as the second-largest privately owned real estate firm in the nation, with annual sales in 1999 of $13.3 billion.

The same magazine ranked Baltimore-based Grempler as the ninth-largest Coldwell Banker franchise in the nation. In 1999, the firm had annual sales of more than $880 million, 22 sales offices and an 800-person sales force. All Grempler branch offices will remain open after the merger.

A new fund emerges

T. Rowe Price Associates has a new no-load fund investing in the emerging markets of Europe and the Mediterranean region for long-term growth of capital.

The Emerging Europe & Mediterranean Fund, which is expected to include at least 30 to 50 stocks, will focus primarily on the stock markets of Israel, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Egypt, and Greece as well as the Czech Republic, Russia, Estonia, and Croatia.

The political and economic risks in the region make these markets susceptible to extreme volatility and sudden and possibly severe price declines. However, "they also offer significant long-term growth potential for investors who are willing to put a portion of their international assets in a very aggressive vehicle," said Christopher Alderson, who oversees emerging market investing for T. Rowe Price International.

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