Accenture Creates Global Network of 17 Dot-Com Launch Centres Designed to Take eBusinesses to Market Quickly

Accenture Will Invest Up To $1.2 Billion In Consulting Services and Assets

New York - February 9, 2000 -- Accenture today announced the creation of a global network of 17 Dot-Com Launch Centres to provide initially-funded eCommerce start-ups and spin-offs with the tools and resources necessary to scale rapidly and become viable businesses. The firm said it will take up to $1.2 billion in equity over three years from the start-ups as partial compensation for its services and assets, such as intellectual property and knowledge capital.

Building on Accenture’s proven track record as a leader in eCommerce, the centers will help to reduce dramatically the time it takes an eBusiness to go from initially-funded start-up, to revenue-producing business, and ultimately to successful initial public offering (IPO). Unlike an incubator, which typically works with businesses in the their first 60 to 120 days, the Accenture Dot-Com Launch Centres work with eBusinesses that already have in place a nucleus of management and financial support.

The Accenture Dot-Com Launch Centres will provide start-ups with the management, marketing, finance, administration and technology expertise needed to become enduring, revenue-generating businesses. To help jump-start eBusinesses, each center will provide access to:

"The Accenture Dot-Com Launch Centres are production studios where all the essential components of a successful enterprise can be drawn upon, as needed, and assembled at once," said Mary Tolan, Accenture’s global managing partner for Growth and Strategy. "We are providing fledgling dot-com businesses with the specific resources they require, at the moment they need them, to quickly enter the marketplace. It’s often said that in the eEconomy it’s better to be first than to be right -- with the Accenture Dot-Com Launch Centres, our clients will be able to be both."

"The euphoria surrounding eCommerce has given way to a more clear-headed reality and investors are now asking the tough questions that only success can answer," said Gary Rieschel, executive managing director of SOFTBANK Venture Capital. "We need to be able to partner with a tested group of professionals, with global reach and deep technology skills, who can ensure the sustainable success of these ventures. Accenture, with its proven eBusiness track record provides investors with the vital margin of extra confidence."

"There is an incredible market demand for access to management and technology skills during the "post-incubation" period," said Tolan. "Venture capital firms, strategic investors and traditional corporations need to speed their investments to market in order to maximize the return on invested capital. Up until now, they had nowhere to turn."

Accenture Dot-Com Launch Centres are located in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Palo Alto, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, and Tokyo.

"In creating these centers, we are providing our clients with unmatched resources to achieve success in the eCommerce marketplace, and in so doing, we will continue to play a leading role in the new economy," said Joe Forehand, managing partner and CEO of Accenture. He added, in just the past 24 months, Accenture has amassed considerable real-world experience through its alliances with and investments in over 175 dot-com businesses.