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Cisco, Exodus, Oracle and Sun launch joint initiative to help internet
start-ups in the UK

PR681 / 14th September 1999

At today?s .com Your Business event, leading e-business companies, Oracle,
Sun Microsystems, Cisco and Exodus, announced a £5 million investment in
business-incubator.com, a joint initiative to help budding UK ?.coms? test
their ideas before trading in the global marketplace.
business-incubator.com will offer start-ups a stable, managed
?'greenhouse?' environment for a three month period at a reduced price.
The solution, made up of a defined list of hardware, database software,
network infrastructure and web hosting facilities, will be leased to
start-ups for £15,000 for a three month period. The business-incubator.com
package also includes specific consultancy services, providing experts to
advise on server workload, backing-up your data and creating and managing
your information.

As British companies realise the opportunities presented by the internet,
they must also address the major barriers to entry of technical
infrastructure, funding and building a global customer base.
business-incubator.com minimises the technical barriers by offering a
secure, reduced-risk environment at a significantly reduced price to
develop and test e-commerce applications for three months before launching
a full e-business.

Aimed at entrepreneurs who have conducted the initial research for an
e-business idea, produced a business plan and set realistic targets for
delivery of the business plan, business-incubator.com allows start-ups to
set the operational wheels in motion through a ready built web environment
that is fast becoming the de facto standard for internet based
e-businesses, market research indicates that: 80% of internet traffic runs
on Sun Microsystems; 69% of the world's e-commerce sites run on Oracle
technology; 80% of internet traffic runs over Cisco Systems equipment.

Included in business-incubator.com are access to

· Sun EnterpriseTM servers - a robust and scalable server plus
consultancy
· Oracle 8i database - development tools and consultancy
· Cisco Systems - computer network infrastructure enabling secure
connectivity via
routers and switches
· Exodus - hosting the server, protecting the business and its customers
with a security firewall, making sure it's on duty day and night

business-incubator.com can also put start-ups in touch with the venture
capital community and with organisations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers
(which runs its Companies With Extraordinary Potential programme) and Ideas
Hub. Ideas Hub offers a greenhouse development environment and venture
capital fund for new internet businesses providing a unique combination of
seed funding with industry expertise, services, resources and an industry
network critical to nurturing the success of an internet start-up.

Companies who want to use business-incubator.com as a testbed for their
ideas will need to go through an application process, detailing their
business proposal to advisors from each of the four business-incubator.com
companies. Applications will be reviewed on the strength and viability of
each individual idea. If accepted, the applicants will develop the launch
plan with business-incubator.com representatives within two weeks of
acceptance. The elements of the business-incubator.com package are then
used to action the launch plan, simulating the real life e-business
experience but minimising the risks and uncertainty normally associated
with internet start-ups.

Once the three month trial period is over, the formal relationship with
business-incubator.com ends. However, if the new business wishes to
continue the web environment created by business-incubator.com then each of
the four companies will meet with the entrepeneur to discuss this and offer
further help.

Philip Letts, CEO, beenz.com commented, "We started up early in 1999 with a
single idea - Customer Loyalty on the net - and we've taken off in a really
big way. Without the people behind business-incubator.com we wouldn't have
got started so quickly, we wouldn't have had the industrial strength
web-ready network infrastructure, nor the right environment to launch on
the web and be taken seriously as a new and exciting start-up with a unique
and clever idea.

Now, look at us - we're successful. We're global, not just in the UK or
Europe. beenz.com is growing every day and making headlines in all our key
worldwide markets!"

Philip Crawford, senior vice president at Oracle UK said, "We want to see
UK companies become serious contenders globally. The only way this will
happen is if we invest now in the businesses of tomorrow.
business-incubator.com is the catalyst to turn great ideas into successful
?.com? companies, bringing much needed direction to Britain?s online
economy. Oracle, Sun, Cisco and Exodus have built solid business
foundations on the internet. The experience and expertise we offer will
benefit all business-incubator.com participants, not only in technology
terms, but also in managing their online venture from conception to
fruition."

Shanker Trivedi, VP for Sun Microsystems UK and Ireland said, "There has
been an incredible number of reports and plenty of talk about UK companies
lagging behind their US counterparts when it comes to embracing the net
economy. We think it is about time the talking stopped and successful
?.com? companies started to offer practical help to start-up e-businesses.
business-incubator.com is a very practical
resource to help e-business start-ups be successful."

"Exodus is extremely pleased to be closely involved in
business-incubator.com. At the heart of the web are three things. Time to
market, brand and performance. business-incubator.com will help deliver
time to market and performance for young, entrepreneurial companies.
Exodus is at the heart of this programme and following the initial term
with business-incubator.com, companies involved can build on this learning
period to take advantage of Exodus? Rapid Deployment Programme," said Peter
Smith, vice president of sales, Exodus Communications, EMEA.


Trademarks
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. Other names may be
trademarks of their respective owners

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo and Sun Enterprise are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and
other countries.

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