RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Tough times and tight venture capital simply can’t scare off some entrepreneurs.

In fact, some — such as Harvey Singh — keep coming back for more.

Singh is hoping to go three-for-three as an entrepreneur with the launch of NavoWave. .He co-founded MindLever in 1999 and launched Empower all the way back in 1993 when times were better. But he sees opportunity — and need.

“Business processes need to move in zero time,” Singh says. “The whole knowledge management industry is in transition.”

Singh launched NavoWave (as in new wave) in July and opened an office at the NC Technological Development Authority’s facility on NCSU’s Centennial Campus. That’s an appropriate place for Singh to get started since he is an NCSU graduate. He decided to create another company after bolting from Centra (Nasdaq: CTRA), the company that acquired MindLever in a multi-million dollar cash and stock deal in May of 2001.

Centra named Singh as its chief learning technology officer, but Singh bolted four months ago.

“It was a combination of things,” he says. “I have a lot to offer. The next wave is making organizations more productive.”

Through NavoWave, Singh says he wants to help companies better understand knowledge management, enterprise application integration and such through a combination of consulting, planning and software.

“More and more companies realize the need to make knowledge transfer more effective with such tools as elearning and the Internet,” he explains, “but most companies are still unsure about what to do.

“We will help them understand their needs, how elearning fits in, what technology needs to be applied, and architect a solution.

Singh says he will offer a “combination” of things, such as some off-the-shelf software. But he also says he has a team of 170 programmers and other specialists available in India for support. NavoWave right now has three employees.

Singh also plans to put special emphasis on mobile computing access which he says is a growing need as more firms embrace wireless and remote access networks.

Utilizing elearning and the Internet to improve knowledge management is not new for Singh. MindLever, he says, was among the first companies to make the KM play. MindLever grew out of Empower which was set up as a service provider.

At this point, Singh says he is funding NavoWave. But he has his sights on getting investors “as we formalize the offering and gain traction.”


Rick Smith is managing editor of Local Tech Wire.


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