Company Lands Sony Content Deal

Axé Multimedia Entertainment has won approval to become a content developer for Sony’s Clié handheld. The 1-year-old Miami-based digital media entertainment company, which showcases and promotes films and media produced by a global black community, became the first company to offer award-winning black films on wireless PDAs using the Palm operating system. In addition to providing content, Axé plans to put 3-D animations on handhelds, and is set to open a multimedia training facility in Trinidad. “The 3-D animation market is a $3 billion market,” says Adrian Anderson, 29, company founder, president, and CEO, “If you take a look at movies like Shrek and Monsters, Inc., you’ll find that many of the people behind the scenes are people of color. We can take advantage of our creative people and produce these things ourselves.” Axé posted revenues of $1.5 million for 2001.

Good news for sports fans: Fanlink Networks unveiled its fan-friendly wireless technology at the October 7, 2001, NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome. Fanlink’s proprietary technology lets stadium fans order food, drinks, and concessions using cell phones or PDAs. Orders are then delivered to their seats. The service will roll out at other stadiums and sports venues throughout the year.

Venture capital dollars may be scarce for dotcoms, but some tech companies are still getting their share. Dallas-based Trycos Inc., a software company providing b-to-b e-procurement and integration software for manufacturers, has just received $3 million in its first-round of institutional funding from the North Texas Opportunity Fund. The investment will allow the company to grow its sales and marketing team and expand software development. Investors in the fund include AIG, BankOne, and Texas Instruments.

No new taxes. President Bush has renewed the ban on Internet taxes. The moratorium, which had lapsed last October 21, ensures that consumers will be exempt from taxes on goods purchased on the Web for another two years. Uncollected state sales taxes on electronic commerce were estimated at nearly $26 billion in 2000.

Brick-and-mortar retailers have long grumbled that this was unfair, and local municipalities often lament the loss of revenue from taxes that they might have received. Look for the issue to rear its head late next year as everyone from the municipal to federal level tries to figure out how net taxes will affect the 7,500 disparate jurisdictions in the 45 states that have sales taxes. Not a pretty picture.

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