Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Wednesdays.UNC-Charlotte spin-out Calyptix is nearly ready to launch the beta version of its first product, a plug and play computer security enhancement called Access Enforcer.

Co-founders Yuliang Zheng, a UNC-Charlotte software and information systems professor. and Lawrence Teo a Ph.D. candidate in information security, formed the company in 2001. Both came to UNC from Australia’s Monash University.

Zheng holds a number of patents and has been called “the Father of signcryption technology.” Calyptix won the University’s Five Ventures Business Plan competition last year, is seeking funding, but “not vigorously.”

Calyptix hopes that once it launches its product and obtains sales aided by Zheng’s reputation and contacts and via Web marketing, it will be easier to convince venture capitalists to invest, Zheng tells Local Tech Wire.

“It’s a chicken and egg situation,” says Zheng. “We hope we’ll generate some interest because people know us.”

The company is named after Eucalyptus Sideroxylon, the scientific term for the Red Ironbark tree native to Australia. The Ironbark, the toughest hardwood tree, is known for its ability to germinate by fire.

Zheng says Access Enforcer, would complement other security systems, but its main advantage is that it is simple to use. “Many other systems require installation and can mess up your system.” The popular free firewall Zone Alarm, for instance, can interfere with other software and sometimes has to be turned off.

Unlike other security products, Access Enforcer does not use static programmed rules, but dynamically evaluates network traffic in real time to detect abnormal behavior. That means it can protect again unknown security threats as well as known ones in a database. Zheng says the product would confine any intrusions, keeping them from spreading across enterprises.

Woerner looking

Jack E. Woerner, who has changed the name of his consulting business from Woerner & Associates to Strategic Edge, LLP, is looking for a company to run.

Most recently with Piedmont Venture Partners, Woerner started and sold two financial companies and has consulted for 20 years. “I’m looking for new opportunities,” he tells Local Tech Wire.

Woerner has worked with three-person start-ups and with Accenture Consulting (formerly Andersen), Econolodges of America, and ePValue.com, among other companies, often in senior executive roles.

Woerner says he’s interested in “a turn around situation – the correct term is company in transition – or an emerging growth situation.” He can be reached at jwoerner@bellsouth.net.

Biz Hub planned

The Charlotte Business Hub Inc., operating as the “Biz Hub,” is “in the detail planning stage with an anticipated opening date of January 2005,” says Richard G. Bargoil, business development manager with Charlotte’s city economic development division.

Bargoil tells Local Tech Wire the Biz Hub “is intended to be the first stop for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owner to acquire information and resources for taking their business to the next level.”

The Biz Hub will not be a direct service provider, he says, but instead, “it will be a portal for accessing existing services.” It will

“The Biz Hub is a unique partnership between the City, Central Piedmont Community College, and the corporate and small business community,” Bargoil says. The idea, he says, is to provide small business owners with a “rich information resource” to help them find technical assistance.

Deadlines loom

Applications for the UNC Five Ventures Business Plan Competition is March 5.

Nominations for the Charlotte Chamber 2004 Entrepreneurial awards close on Friday, March 19.

Also, Terry Thorson, president of the Business, Innovation and Growth Council (formerly the Mecklenburg Entrepreneurial Council), says Lou Solomon of Interact! Will talk about “Authentic Speaking and Presenting,” at next Tuesday’s (March () evening meeting at Bryon Hall, Southend. “We’re inviting members of the National Association of Women Business Owners to attend free to bring more women into BIG,” says Thorson.

BIG: www.big.org

Calyptix: www.calyptix.com