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Andersen Creates E-Business Launch Pad

Andersen Consulting Wednesday created a global network of 17 dot-com launch centers to help e-commerce start-ups and spin-offs 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.

Andersen envisions the centers will reduce the time it takes a business to go a start-up to a revenue-producing business, ultimately leading to an initial public offering. Andersen's undertaking is different from an incubator, which typically works with businesses in the their first 60 to 120 days, in that its centers work with e-businesses that already have management and financial support.

"There is an incredible market demand for access to management and technology skills during the "post-incubation" period," said Mary Tolan, Andersen Consulting's global managing partner for growth and strategy.

"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."

Andersen Consulting launch centers 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.