The Hewlett-Packard HP3000, PenSoft, 3Com, and Adobe Systems all have something in common. His name is Bill Krause. And now the high-tech entrepreneur has a new, venture-backed start-up called Storm Technology, based in Mountain View, Calif., that has pioneered a new technology. It dramatically shrinks color-image files (as much as 20 times) while maintaining near-perfect quality. According to Krause, that simplifies complex problems associated with sending and receiving digital photolike color images and makes desktop publishers' jobs easier. Storm Technology estimates it has a market of more than 500,000 businesses worldwide and some 3 million graphics professionals; it is marketing its products to end-users and original equipment manufacturers, with software materials starting at $50 and hardware at $999.

-- Alessandra Bianchi

* * *