Jonathan Aberman

Managing Director, Amplifier Ventures

Jenny Abramson

Founder & Managing PartnerRethink Impact, LP

Reggie Aggarwal

Founder & CEO Cvent

Leona Agouridis

Executive Director, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District

Keith Anderson

Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development DC

Dr. Anne Khademian


Michael Avon

Founder & CEO, ICX Media

John Backus

Founder & Managing Partner New Atlantic Ventures

Zvi Band

Founder & CEO, Contactually

Craig Bandes

CEO, Pixelligent Technologies

Sid Banerjee

Board Member, CEO and Co-Founder, CLARABRIDGE

Bridget Bean

Acting Regional Administrator

Dan Berger

Founder & CEO of Social Tables

Urvashi Bhatnagar


Jack Biddle

General Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners

Richard Bradenburg



CEO, Curio Wellness; Co-Founder, Sterling Partners

Evan Burfield

Co-Founder, 1776

John Burke

General Partner, True Ventures

Joe Burkhart

Managing Director, Saratoga Investment Corp

Steve Case

Chairman and CEO, REVOLUTION LLC; Co-Founder, AMERICA Online; Chairman, The Case Foundation

Jim Cheng

Secretary of Commerce Commonwealth of VA

Jeffrey Cherry

CEO and Managing Partner, The Porter Group, LLC; Founder and Executive Director, Conscious Venture Lab

Timothy Chi

CEO, Weddingwire and Co-Founder, Blackboard

Will Choi

Assurance & Advisory Partner, FORVIS

Duke Chung

Founder, Microsoft Parature

George Churchwell

Co-Founder and President, Tech 2000 and Lumious

Kathryn Collings Laing

Principal, U.S. Boston Capital Corp.; President, Pear Tree Partners, L.P.

Judy Costello


Mike Daniels

Chairman, LMI

Tom Dann

Venture Partner, New Atlantic Ventures

Tom Davidson

Founder & CEO of EverFi

George Davis


Kate Day

Vice President, Workforce Enablement, Global Technology and Operations, MetLife

Thanasis Delistathis

Founder and Managing Partner, New Atlantic Ventures


Managing Director, Private Access Network

Dan Dooley

Managing Director, Tishman Speyer

Mark Ein

CEO, Venturehouse Group

Chris Eng

Principal, Snads Captial Ventures

Anthony Featherstone


Elana Fine

MD, Dingman Center for Entrepreneur at UMD

Ric Fleisher

COO, UpsideDoor; Co-founder

J.S. Gamble

Founder, BluVenture Investors

Tom Gardner

CEO & Co-Founder, The Motley Fool

Mike Gill

Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

Seth Goldman

Founder & "TeaEO" Honest Tea

Kate Goodall

CEO, Halcyon

Steve Graubart

CFO, 1776; former Managing Director of Finance, University of the District of Columbia

Teddy Gresser

Director - Seed Funds, TEDCO

Mark Grovic

General Partner, New Markets Venture Partners

Mark Haas


Donna Harris

Co-founder of 1776

Deborah Hemingway

Managing Director, Ecphora Capital

Brian Hoffman

CEO & Co-Founder OB1

John Holaday, Ph.D

Angel Investor, Executive Chairman, Exocyte; Chairman, Bioncor; Founder and ex-CEO, EntreMed

Victor Hoskins

President & CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

Doug Humphrey

Serial entrepreneur and Angel, Founder Cidera and DIGEX, CEO Joss Heavy Industries

Jim Hunt

Co-Founder, Blu Venture Investors

Aj Jaghori

CEO Solebrity; Founder HelloLoCo

Tony Jimenez

President & CEO MicroTech

Beth Johnson

Founder and CEO, RP3 Agency

Andy Jones

Managing Director, Maryland Venture Fund

Jiemin Jordan

Managing Director, Decisive Investment Group

Leslie Jump

Founder and CEO, Startup Angels

John Kealey

CEO, Decision Lens; Former CEO of Vivisimo - IBM; Former CEO of iDirect/Singapore Technologies

David Kelley


Todd Klein

Manageing Director and CIO, SWAN & Legend

Eric Koefoot

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Public Relay, CEO and Publisher, US News Ventures, Founder and CEO, Five Star Alliance

David Krauskopf

Founding Member, Blu Venture Investors, LLC

Vijay Lakshman

President, MindGrub Ventures

Shana Lawlor

Managing Partner, Totipotent Capital; Limited Partner, Rock Health Capital

Esther Lee

President & CEO refraction

Jeannette Lee

Founder and CEO, Cyper; CEO, MoboTour, Founder and CEO, SYTEL

Troy LeMaile-Stovall


Mark Levine

Managing Director, Core Capital Partners

Pascal Luck

Managing Director, Core Capital Partners

Lenard Marcus

Principal, Edison Ventures.

David Marshall

Associate Dean, George Washington University

John May

Founder, New Vantage Group
Co-Author, Every Business Needs An Angel

Terry McAuliffe

Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Anthony Millin

Next chair, Partner, Shulman Rogers

Dan Mindus

Founder, Next Gen Angels

Tom Monahan

Chairman and CEO of the Corporate Executive Board Company

Doug Muir

CEO, Muir & Associates and Co-Founder, CAV Angels

Daniel Neal, Chairman

CEO and Founder Kajeet; CEO and Vice Chairman, VCampus

George Nemphos

Co-founder and Managing Member, Nemphos Braue

Chris Nicosia

VP of Partnerships, Modus Create

Pamela Norris


Angie O'Grady

COO, Partner, Stellapop

Bobby Ocampo

Director, Revolution Ventures

Jean-Luc Park


Jim Pastoriza

Managing Partner, TDF Ventures

Chip Paucek

CEO and Co-Founder of 2U (NASDAQ: TWOU)
CEO of Hooked on Phonics

Joe Payne

Chairman and CEO Eloqua

Steve Pennington

Senior Vice President, Maryland Tech Council

Jonathan Perl

General Partner,  Boulder Ventures

Jonathon Perrelli

Founding Partner

Mike Pratt

Managing Partner, Select Venture Partners, LLC

James Quigley

Founder & CEO, Canvas
Co-Founder, Refraction

Don Rainey

General Partner, Grotech Ventures

Nishaud Rajcoomar

General Manager, The City Club of Washington

Skylar Rallison

Community Manager, CONNECTpreneur

Jeff Reid

Founding Director, Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative

Christopher Ross

Managing Director, Truist Wealth Management

Rick Rudman

CEO of Tracx; Founder and CEO of Vocus

Pete Ryan

Co-founder & Partner, Ryan & Wetmore

Liz Sara

CEO, Best Marketing; Chair, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business

Tom Scholl

Venture Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners

Chris Schroeder

Advisor, Polaris Venture Partners
CEO, Health Central

Kelly Schulz


Kevin Sheehan

Founder and Managing Partner, Multiplier Capital

Pat Sheridan

Co-founder & Managing Partner, Modus Create

Parag Sheth

Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Maryland Venture Fund

Jason Shrensky

Angel Investor
Founder and CEO, Complex Interests

Paul Silber

Partner, BLU VENUTURE Investors

Paul Singh

CEO, Disruption Corp.

Kyp Sirinakis

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Epidarex Capital

David Steinberg

CEO, Zeta Interactive

Kathryn Stewart

Managing Director
Cranbrook Capital

Rae Stott


Jake Tarr

Managing Director, Kinetic Ventures

Julia Taxin

Vice President, Grotech Ventures

Jennifer Taylor

CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council

S. Tien Wong

CEO, Opus8, Inc.

Bill Tompkins


Hank Torbert

Principal and Co-founder, RLMCCALL Capital Partners

Sever Totia

Partner, Edison Ventures

Alex Triantis

DEAN, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Rosemarie Truman

Founder & CEO, The Center for Advancing Innovation, Inc.

John Tullis

Managing Director, Tullis Health Investors

Carol Van Cleef

CEO, Luminous Group, LLC.

Mark Walsh

Founder & CEO Genius Rocket

Tom Weithman

Managing Director Center for Innovative Technology
(CIT) Gap Funds

John Wise

Chairman & CEO, Loci, Inc.

Nate Yohannes

Senior Advisor, Office of Investment and Innovation, U.S. Small Business Administration

April Young

Managing Director, Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Jonathan is the founder and Managing Director of Amplifier Ventures (, a seed and early stage venture capital fund based in Mclean, VA. Since 2005 Amplifier has helped to start 16 new technology companies, including BrightHub, Cardstar, e-Chromic Technologies, Hook Mobile, SpydrSafe and Zenoss, and has achieved four positive exits to date (achieving an average exit IRR in excess of 40%). He is also the founder and President of FounderCorps ( a Virginia not for profit that provides experienced mentors to partners throughout the Greater Washington Region, including George Mason University, George Washington University, University f Maryland, Fosterly and others. He is also the Co-Chair of StartupVirginia, and led the establishment of StartupDC, StartupMD and Startup Virginia.
Jonathan also is very involved in intellectual property commercialization from universities and government labs. He is currently the founder and Managing Director of Tandem NSI (, a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia to bring entrepreneurs, universities and national security agencies together to accelerate economic development and national security entrepreneurship in the Greater Washington Region. Over the last two years he has assisted both the Office of Governor McDonnell and the Obama Administration in formulating policies to promote start up formation. He has also worked with both the Department of Defense Lab directorate, DARPA, DHS, AFOSR, the Army and other national security agencies on various consulting engagements addressing entrepreneurship and technology creation.
Jonathan is also an educator, and he teaches subjects relating to family- and closely-held businesses, including corporate finance, business planning, organizational development and new venture creation. He is currently Lecturer at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is also a regular speaker on topics related to business formation and expansion for groups such as the National Academies of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Northern Virginia Technology Council and others. Jonathan is the primary host of LeftJab Radio (, a weekly radio show on business, politics and current events broadcast on SiriusXM. He is frequently interviewed and quoted on business topics by national and local news organizations, including Washington Business Report, Huffington Post, the Deal, Potomac TechWire, the Washington Post, and the Washington Business Journal.
Prior to becoming a venture investor, Jonathan had a career in London and New York as an investment banker and law firm partner, working for international investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Donaldson Lufkin and Daiwa Securities) and national law firms specializing in technology law (Pillsbury, Fenwick & West and Fish and Richardson).
Jonathan holds a BA (with honors) in Political Science and Economics from George Washington University, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa. He received an MSc in International Economics with Distinction from the London School of Economics. He also holds two law degrees, an MA from Downing College, Cambridge University and an LLM from the New York University School of Law.
Seth Goldman co-founded Honest® Tea in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Over the past 18 years the company has thrived as consumers have shifted toward healthier and more sustainable diets. In 2011, Honest Tea was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company. Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling ready-to-drink organic bottled tea and Honest Kids® is the nation’s top-selling organic youth beverage. The brands are carried over 125,000 outlets in the U.S., including all Wendy’s and Chik-fil-A restaurants.
In 2016, Seth transitioned to a new role at Honest Tea as TeaEO Emeritus and Innovation Catalyst for Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands business unit. He is Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat, a privately held California-based enterprise where Seth has served as a board member since 2012. Beyond Meat is a company on the cutting edge of plant protein research and development, with a goal of providing plant-based protein foods - without sacrificing the taste, chew or satisfaction of animal meat.
In addition to offering a range of lower-calorie beverages, Honest Tea has been recognized as the first company to launch an organic bottled tea and a Fair Trade Certified bottled tea. Today every Honest Tea variety is certified organic and Fair Trade. Seth was named the #1 Disruptor by Beverage World, and Beverage Executive of the Year by Beverage Industry magazine; he was also inducted into the Washington DC Business Hall of Fame. Seth was recognized by the U.S. Healthful Food Council with a REAL Food Innovator Award for helping change the food landscape by providing options that are healthier for both the body and the planet.
Seth serves on the advisory boards of Ripple Foods, the Yale School of Management, the American Beverage Association, and Bethesda Green.  He graduated from Harvard College and the Yale School of Management, and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Seth and Barry are the authors of The New York Times bestseller Mission in a Bottle, which was published in September, 2013.  The book, told in comic book form, captures their efforts to create a mission-driven business in a profit-driven world.  Seth lives with his wife and three sons near Honest Tea’s Bethesda, MD headquarters in an eco-friendly house.
Doug Humphrey, Serial entrepreneur and Angel, Founder Cidera and DIGEX, CEO Joss Heavy Industries. Doug Humphrey is a serial entrepreneur. A visionary who sees the potential of technology, he founded DIGEX, one of the first web hosting companies in the world. He has had numerous ventures and is well known in the Washington DC venture and startup communities. Past companies he has founded include the aformentioned Digex (nasdaq:DIGX), CORE Location LLC, SkyCache/Cidera, Coloco, and others. When not starting a company he serves as an Entrepreneur In Residence at the University of Maryland, Smith Business School, Dingman Center, and often consults with and assists other entrepreneurs.
Anthony R. Jimenez, President & CEO, MicroTech. Tony Jimenez is the award-winning President & CEO of MicroTech. Since founding MicroTech in 2004, he has grown the business into a profitable multi-million dollar company with 400 highly skilled professionals in 28 states, supporting more-than-100 prime contracts and 25-plus contract vehicles with key civilian agencies and military branches of the U.S. Federal government.
As a former government official with more-than-25 years experience in Information Technology, Strategic Planning, Enterprise Transformation, and Acquisition Management, he is a certified program manager, Chief Information Officer (CIO), and has served as a government contracting officer where he held numerous unlimited contracting warrants. He guided DoD's efforts to solve complex and critical platform transformation challenges facing government organizations.
Tony has an MA in Computers and Information Systems from Missouri's Webster University; an MS in Acquisition Management from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne, and a BS in Business Management from St. Mary's University in San Antonio. He is also a recent graduate of the Executive Education training course at the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business.
A military veteran, Tony is a passionate advocate for the veteran and Hispanic communities. His most recent business awards include as one of the "Most Influential Hispanics in Technology;" Top CEO Philanthropist; Minority Business Leader of the Year; Entrepreneur of the Year; and as a Mid-Atlantic Business Legend.
James Cheng, Secretary of Commerce, Commonwealth of Virginia. As Secretary of Commerce & Trade, Jim Cheng manages the jobs and opportunity agenda for Virginia. In this role, Secretary Cheng oversees thirteen state agencies focused on promoting the growth of Virginia’s vibrant business community and attracting new investment into Virginia’s economy.
Secretary Cheng has over 20 years of experience in information technology and government contracting, and is active in angel investment and early stage entrepreneurial ventures of various types. He was most recently the President of Totus Lighting Solutions, a startup efficient-energy firm, and mentored several emerging companies.
From 1994-2005, Secretary Cheng was founder and CEO of CHM, a government contracting company specializing in Information Technology, which he grew from a staff of 5 people to 550 and $90M in revenue at the time of sale in 2005. In 1999, his company was named Virginia Business Magazine's fastest growing private company in Virginia and #12 fastest growing private US company in Inc Magazine's "Inc 500". In 2001, he was named SE Virginia's KPMG Entrepreneur of the year. From 1981-1994 at ECI, a government IT contracting firm, Secretary Cheng held various management and technical positions, rising to the position of Sr. Vice President of Marketing.
Secretary Cheng is active in the community and has served on the boards of non-profits, state-level and community organizations. He was a board member of the Virginia Small Business Finance Authority from 1999-2007, and is currently a Trustee of the Darden School Foundation at UVA, and a member of the ODU Education Foundation Board. Secretary Cheng holds a BS Degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, a MBA from the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business (UVA) and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Mark Walsh, Founder and CEO, GeniusRocket. Mark Walsh is the head of a small venture capital firm focusing on interactive/internet technology and services, Ruxton Ventures, LLC, and CEO of GeniusRocket (, an internet advertising platform. He has been in the internet industry for over twenty five years, heading up consumer internet efforts for GE, running AOL’s internet and business to business efforts, and as CEO of VerticalNet, a business to business internet company which he took public in early 1999.
Since 2001 he has been active in politics, serving as the first Chief Technology Advisor for the Democratic National Committee, then internet head for the John Kerry for President Campaign, and then as founding CEO of Air America Radio. For the last six years he has co-hosted a weekly political talk show called “Left Jab” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.
At his venture capital company, he has invested in a number of small to medium technology/startup companies and serves on a number of their boards. Investment and/or board highlights include NutriSystems (NASDAQ: NTRI), Blackboard (NASDAQ: BBBB), (sold to eBay), (sold to Adobe), Spectrum K12 Software (Sold to Scantron), Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, MobilePosse, Transactis and ARPU He is also active in a number of non-profits, serving or having served on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and In2Books. He is chairman of the advisory council at The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland Business School, and is chairman of the New Leaders Council.
He started his business career in television, as anchorman and News Director of a CBS-TV affiliate, and as New Business Development director for HBO in New York. He has a BA from Union College (where he serves as chairman of the board of trustees) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Thomas S. Dann, Managing Director of Equity Funds, Maryland Venture Fund. Tom, an experienced venture investor and previously founder and managing director of CastleHaven Advisors oversees the 17-year-old State Venture program, which has invested into scores of start-up and early stage companies, generating a $61 million return, 2,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in private investment. He also directs investments through the State's InvestMaryland program, which seeds early-stage companies through the Venture Fund and private venture firms.
Tom's professional career has been focused on private equity, venture investing and public and private initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and job creation. In addition to serving on the Maryland Venture Fund Board since 2004, Tom founded ECentury Capital Partners in 1999 and served as the managing director and general counsel until 2011. Prior to that he was a partner at a Washington D.C. law firm Hewes, Gelband, Lambert & Dann from 1989 to 1999 and served as Chairman and Organizer of the Development Bank of Washington from 1989 to 1991.
Tom received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from the American University Law School. He is a member of the Maryland Bar, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland Bar, District of Columbia Bar and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Joe Payne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eloqua. Joe is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eloqua and a member of the company’s board of directors. Payne joined the company in 2007 and is responsible for all aspects of Eloqua’s operations, including sales, product development, and long-term strategy and vision.
Payne has been featured in BtoB Magazine’s prestigious annual list of “Who’s Who in B-to-B” since 2007 as well as named to Sales Lead Management Association’s “50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management” for the past two years.
Prior to joining Eloqua, Payne was President and COO of iDefense, a VeriSign company. Previously, he was President and CEO of eSecurity Inc., and President and CEO of eGrail. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer at MicroStrategy Inc.
Payne has presented at numerous conferences including the Pacific Crest Annual On-Demand Conferences; the Canaccord Adams On-Demand Software Conference; the Bessemer CEO Summit on SaaS; the JMP Securities Research Summit, the JMI CEO Summit; GE Business Management Course on Digital as a Growth Driver; the Stifel Nicolaus Technology, Communications & Internet Conference and, the Eloqua and MarketingSherpa Marketing Mastery Webinar which shattered attendance records.
A Fuqua Scholar, Payne received his M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Duke University and is on the adjunct faculty at the Kogod School of Business at American University. Payne is also on the Board of Directors of the St Columba Nursery School as well as the First Focus Campaign for Children.
John Backus, Founder and Managing Partner, New Atlantic Ventures. John is a seasoned technology investor John is a seasoned technology investor and entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience investing in and managing rapidly growing, high-technology companies. Prior to founding New Atlantic Ventures in 1998, John was a founding investor and the President and Chief Executive Officer of InteliData Technologies, a Fast 50 growth company in both 1997 & 1998. John led InteliData’s predecessor, US Order, through a successful $65 million IPO in 1995. John currently manages a $225 million venture portfolio at New Atlantic Ventures. He currently serves on the board of directors of AppTap, Invincea, Koofers,, My Wines Direct, & Qliance. He is the past Chairman of the Wolf Trap Foundation Board of Directors, the past Chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Board of Directors, the founding Chairman and current Board member of the NVTC TechPAC, and was appointed by former Virginia Governor Mark Warner to co-chair the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission which he served on for 4 years. John began his career at Bain & Co. and Bain Capital, where he was the first Bain & Co. management consultant to take a full time operating role (as CFO) in a portfolio company.
Duke Chung, Founder, Microsoft Parature. Duke leads all aspects of the company’s global marketing strategies and corporate strategy to include overall branding initiatives and programs, product packaging and marketing, strategic alliances, and corporate development. He co-founded Parature with a vision to provide superior customer support software accessible via the Internet, and today, Parature’s Software-as-a-Service product suite supports millions of end users worldwide in diverse industries from government to higher education, gaming and interactive media, services and associations, and software and technology.
Duke has been widely recognized for his efforts in pioneering innovation. He has been named to Fast Company’s Fast 50, Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40, the CIT Gap 50, Washington Techway’s Top Technology Executives, SmartCEO magazine’s Smart100, Washingtonian magazine’s Power 150 and Bisnow Media’s ‘Top 35 under 35 Entrepreneur’ in the Washington, DC region.
Duke provides thought leadership and serves as the chief evangelist for Parature. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences throughout the country including Digital East, the Customer Management Summit, CRM Magazine, SearchCRM, the Ernst & Young Cloud Computing Summit, the Social CRM Expo and Executive Biz. His speaking engagements also include the Stanford Business School, Darden School of Business, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the MIT Enterprise Forum. Outside of Parature, Duke enjoys basketball, biking, skiing and collecting.
Duke holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.
Paul Singh, Partner and Master of the Hustle of 500 Startups. Paul is a Partner at 500 Startups — a “super angel” fund headquartered in Mountain View, CA and founded in July 2010. To date, 500 has invested in 400+ companies in nearly 20 countries.
Paul is currently serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DHS/USCIS. Prior to 500, Paul was the founder of a few of his own startups (two successful exits and a number of failures in between) and spent some time at PBworks, AOL and Symantec.
Paul can be found on or where he blogs regularly. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from George Mason University.
Christopher M. Schroeder, Advisor to Polaris Ventures, Angel Investor, Former CEO Health Central, Former CEO WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive. Christopher M. Schroeder is an entrepreneur and investor in interactive technologies and social communications. He was Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of HealthCentral, a collection of condition and wellness-specific interactive experiences focused on people finding and sharing real-life experiences related to their health needs. Backed by Polaris Ventures, Sequoia Capital, The Carlyle Group, Allen & Co., and IAC/Interactive Corp (IAC), HealthCentral also manages a condition-specific health online advertising network. Remedy Health Media acquired HealthCentral in December 2011.
Schroeder is an investor and advisor for a series of technology start-ups and funds ranging from news and media, education, social networks and marketing. A veteran of online media, Schroeder served as CEO and Publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. During his tenure, the Company more than quadrupled in revenue and audience. Previously, Schroeder was CEO and President of LEGI-SLATE, INC, a leading online B2B provider of information on federal and state legislation and regulation, which he sold.
Prior to joining The Washington Post, Schroeder was a partner with the PE firm Thayer Capital Partners, and the investment bank Salomon Brothers. Schroeder has also had extensive government experience, serving in leading management roles in President George Bush’s 1988 and 1992 election campaigns, and working on Secretary of State James A. Baker’s staff.
Schroeder was a co-founder, and served as Chairman, of the Online Publishers Association (OPA), a research and information organization comprised of the CEOs of top online quality content publishers (including MSNBC, The NY Times, Dow Jones, ESPN.) He is writing a book, Arab Inc.(ubator), describing innovation and start-ups in the Middle East due out in the Spring of 2013.
Prior to founding Zeta, Mr. Steinberg founded InPhonic, the largest seller of wireless phones and communications products and services on the Internet, with annual revenue in excess of $400 million. InPhonic was #1 on Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in 2004, the year it went public on the NASDAQ. Mr. Steinberg also served as chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Cellular, a B2B and retail wireless communications provider, and Sterling Communications, a communications telemarketing company. Mr. Steinberg was named the Greater Washington Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for communications in 2002. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Faster Cures of the Milken Institute, the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, Cupcake Digital, and the Board of Trustees of Washington & Jefferson College and previously served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Steinberg holds a B.S. from Washington & Jefferson College.
John W. Holaday, Ph.D., CEO, QRx Pharma. John is a member of the Board of PixSpan, and serves as Managing Director and CEO of QRxPharma, Ltd. (QRX-ASX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on pain and brain diseases. He is co-founder of Medicis (MRX-NYSE)(1988), EntreMed (ENMD-NASDAQ)(CEO and Chairman (1992-2002) and HarVest Bank (2003). Dr. Holaday obtained his BS and MS from the University of Alabama, and his PhD from the University of California, San Francisco (1977). He served at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as a Captain and later as head of the Neuropharmacology Dept. (1968-1989). Dr. Holaday was Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University (1990-1996), and serves as Adj. Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. John formerly served as Chairman of the BioAlliance for the Maryland Tech Council. He raised over $500M for his various companies over the past two decades. Dr. Holaday was named to the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 Hall of Fame, holds over 60 patents, published over 200 scientific articles and five books.
Bridget Bean, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration. Bridget Bean is the Acting Regional Administrator for the United States Small Business Administration and District Director of the Washington Metro Area District Office. As Regional Administrator for Region 3, Bean is responsible for the delivery and management of SBA’s small business programs, financial assistance, and business development program initiatives throughout the region including PA, DE, MD, WV, VA, and DC. Bean manages a field staff of more than 100 loan, business, and community outreach specialists. Bean works cooperatively with local lenders and successful firms across the region, overseeing more than $34.2 billion in federal government contracts for goods and services purchased from local entrepreneurs.
Bean was named District Director of the SBA Washington Metropolitan Area District Office in 2009. This promotion followed five years of service as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Field Operations, during which she oversaw government compliance for all 68 of SBA’s district offices and led a cross-disciplinary team to eliminate the backlog of disaster assistance loans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
During her time with SBA, Bean has held leadership positions in key areas such as procurement, field operations, and the Office of the Inspector General. She is frequently called upon as a source for journalists working in every medium, including the New York Times, The Washington Business Journal, Fox News, and online streaming- video newscasts. An alumnus of George Mason University, Bean is a member of the U.S. Government Senior Executive Service, a Graduate of the SES Candidate Program and was named to the Council for Excellence during her participation in the Government Fellows Program.
Tom Weithman, Managing Director of the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Gap Funds. Since 2004, Tom has established and led CIT GAP Funds, a family of seed-stage venture funds focused on making equity investments in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s most promising tech, energy and life science companies. Tom's team has placed 80 seed-stage equity investments, attracted more than $90M of private equity investment into CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies, driven 15 portfolio companies to Series-A investment or beyond, and propelled several companies to exit. Tom maintains leadership for all day-to-day fund operations, investment strategy, and portfolio management activity for CIT GAP Funds. CIT GAP Funds has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top 100 venture fund for several successive years.
Tom's previous executive experience includes sales, business development, and operations with both IBM and a Hughes Electronics-backed software and services start-up. He has raised over $90M in funding for numerous early stage technology companies. He speaks frequently on seed stage investing, federal R&D funding, and technology transfer and has been recognized as among the “25 Most Influential People in the Southeast Technology Community” by TechJournal South.
Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Chapter and serves as an advisor to American University’s Masters Program in Entrepreneurial Journalism. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from Michigan State University and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Jonathon Perrelli, Founding Partner, Jonathon started in May of 2011 after founding, leading and exiting four startups over the past 17 years. His experience ranges from founding pre-IPO venture backed startups to executive level roles with publicly traded companies. He has been a successful Angel, investing in startups such as Plaxo, FormSpring, and numerous Cyber-Security firms, and is now a venture capitalist focused on the seed and early stage. Prior to “joining the dark side”, Jonathon was the Founder and CEO of SecureForce, a cyber security solutions provider serving the US Intelligence and DoD, as well as some of the country’s largest corporations. He continues to provide strategic leadership as Chairman of SecureForce. Other startups that he has co-founded include; Plesk (renamed “Parallels”) which is the largest platform for hosting automation in the world, The Shadow Group (acquired, and now part of BAE Systems), SecureSoftware (acquired by Fortify Software, and subsequently by HP), and eTantrum which was the “other half of Napster” and ended up a casualty of the dot-com era. opened the doors to DC's first tech Accelerator in January of 2012. Over a dozen companies co-exist with Jonathon and his team at their 16th & K location in the heart of DC.
S. Tien Wong, CEO, Tech 2000, Inc. and Chairman, Lore Systems, Inc. Tien is CEO of Tech 2000, Inc. a Northern Virginia based leading provider of technology training, mobile e-learning, and mobile content management platforms to commercial, government, and educational institution clients. He is also Chairman of Lore Systems, an SBA- certified HUBZone company which provides IT support and network engineering to government and commercial clients.
Tien is Founder and Host of the Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Community, a global community of 30,000+ investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and service professionals. He is CEO of Opus8, an investment and advisory firm which helps tech companies and investment fund managers raise capital. He is also Chairman of Lumious, a leading Ed Tech Company. Tien co- founded and served as CEO of CyberRep, Inc. until its acquisition by ACS/Xerox. CyberRep was one of the largest CRM companies in the world with over 2,300 employees and $80 million in revenue. Today, the CyberRep/ACS business generates $3+ billion in revenue as divisions of Xerox, Conduent, and Continuum. He serves on the boards of The Washington Institute for Business, Government & Society; Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI); Junior Achievement; Association for Enterprise Growth; and Austin Venture Association. He was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the Maryland Venture Fund Authority which manages $84 million in venture capital. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Randall Reade is the Co-founder and Executive Vice-President of the Washington DC ArchAngels (WDCA). The WDCA was founded two years ago to help bring the best investors in the Washington region and on the East Coast with the best deal flow from around the United States. WDCA has cosponsored events with the embassies of Canada and Argentina to promote deal flow with those countries closely monitors the state of angel and venture capital investing in the region. In the past two years, WDCA has reviewed over 700 companies and presented over 70, covering areas in biotech, nanotech, social media, medical devices, aircraft.
Mr. Reade has been successful in developing new sources of funding, including using the USCIS's EB-5 program, creating Investor's Smartfund, and a Venture Capital Microfund as a new form of crowdfunding. Mr. Reade also co-founded with Dan Loague Global Tech Exchange, LLC, which promoted the development of regional innovation ecosystems domestically and globally. Global Tech Exchange has worked closely with The World Bank Group, several foreign countries and US universities to promote the proper development of functioning. ecosystems.
Previously, Mr. Reade served for three years as the Chair of the International Committee for the Northern Virginia Technology Council. In that capacity, he traveled to Russia, China and the Philippines to promote IT development, and also hosted delegations from over 25 different countries. Mr. Reade created several new initiatives to increase the participation of embassies, NGOs and global companies to raise awareness on technology business development and promote the region as a leader in all forms of technology.
Don joined Grotech Ventures as a general partner in September 2007 and currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Clarabridge, Booker Software, Inc., HelloWallet, LivingSocial, Personal, SnappCloud, and Zenoss.
He is a strong proponent of technology transfer and education and devotes much time to both areas. Currently, he is an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Defense through the DeVenCi Program, which is tasked with researching and nominating companies to solve the DOD’s unmet technology needs. In 2011, Don was appointed to the James Madison University (JMU) Board of Visitors by Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and he also serves on the Board of Directors of James Madison Innovations, Inc., a non-profit corporation which helps commercialize intellectual property produced at JMU.
As an Organizing Board member of the prestigious MindShare forum, Don helps CEOs from the DC region’s most promising start-ups build long-term sustainable companies. He is a frequent speaker at local and national technology events, and was included on Washingtonian’s Tech Titans list in May 2011. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presented Don with its prestigious “Lifetime Navigator” Award for his work with entrepreneurs in March 2011
He earned a B.B.A. from James Madison University and a M.S. in Bioscience Management from George Mason University. Read Don’s latest "VC in DC" blog entry.
Donna is a major initiative which convenes and accelerates startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial Capital that make Washington, DC unique. She is also a Founding Member of the K Street Capital angel network and is an active angel investor. Donna is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown University and a is member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Prior to starting 1776, Donna was Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, where she architected and led the Startup Regions Initiative, which focused on accelerating the formation of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems across the United States and connecting the communities into a national startup ecosystem.
Prior to joining Startup America, Donna was Vice Chair of Interpoint Group, a government markets, government relations, and public affairs strategy and management firm, which generated nearly $8 billion in revenue while passing or defeated legislation, and executed public affairs campaigns for corporations, non-profits, foundations, and governments globally. She was also previously Founder and CEO of Kinderstreet, which sold SaaS solutions in the education, sports, and recreation markets. She was also Vice President of Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Product Management for Centromine, a provider of web-based clinical and fiscal systems in the Health and Human Services industry. She also held a variety of roles at Oracle Corporation and Electronic Data Systems. Donna holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and MBA from The University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Mark joined Core Capital in 2000 from GCI Venture Partners, an early stage technology venture capital fund, where he was a managing member focused on Internet infrastructure technology, software, telecommunications, and biotechnology investments.
Previously, Mark was a senior executive with GEO-CENTERS, a technology services firm with more than $200 million in revenue and 1,200 employees when it was acquired by SAIC. He was responsible for corporate development, government and industry relations, management of the firm’s intellectual property portfolio, licenses and joint ventures, investment banking relationships, and senior executive recruitment. Prior to that, Mark was a Subcommittee Staff Director of the Small Business Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and was involved in several successful legislative and regulatory initiatives including The Small Business Innovation Development Act (SBIR) and the Small Business and University Patent Act
His other activities include serving on the Boards of Trustees of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) and the Maret School, the Board of Advisors of The George Washington University Business School and the Dingman Center, the Advisory Board of Marshfield Associates, and as Vice Chair and Executive Committee Member of the Professional Services Council. Mark received his M.B.A. from The George Washington University and lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two children.
Terry McAuliffe is a businessman, entrepreneur, and dad who has lived in Fairfax County, Virginia for over 20 years. He is the son of Jack McAuliffe who was an Army Captain in World War II and Millie McAuliffe who raised Terry and his three brothers.
The youngest kid growing up in a middle class family, Terry knew he would need to pay his own way through college. So, at age 14, he started a business paving driveways for neighbors and local businesses. Since then, he has worked with and led numerous businesses in diverse sectors of the economy helping to improve companies and create economic opportunity.
In politics and business, Terry has worked with people from all walks of life and different political backgrounds. McAuliffe attended Catholic University and Georgetown Law School.
Terry and his wife Dorothy were married in 1988 and made Virginia their home over 20 years ago because it was where they wanted to raise their children. They’ve attended St. Luke Catholic Church for two decades and have been involved in every sport, activity, and competition imaginable with their five children Dori, Jack, Mary, Sally, and Peter.
Mark D. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 20 year career. During this time, Mr. Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of five companies that have been worth over $1 billion and has led $650 million of private equity, venture capital and public company investments generating an internal rate of return of over 40%.
Currently, Mr. Ein is Chairman, CEO, Treasurer, Secretary and Director of Capitol Acquisition Corporation 2 (NASDAQ:CLAC), a publicly traded acquisition vehicle that raised $200 million in an initial public offering on May 15, 2013. He is also the Co-Chairman and Principal Shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, the country’s leading provider of managed security systems for commercial office buildings. In addition, he is the Vice-Chairman of Two Harbors Investment Corporation, a NYSE-listed (TWO) residential mortgage REIT. Two Harbors was formed through a merger with Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a company that Mr. Ein founded with a $265 million initial public offering in November 2007 and served as its Chairman and CEO until the merger in November 2009. As of December 31, 2012, Two Harbors had a book value of $3.4 billion and total assets of $16.8 billion. Mr. Ein also currently serves on the board of MACH S.a.r.L, the world’s leading financial clearinghouse for the mobile telecom industry, and is Chairman of the Board of VSGi, a provider of videoconferencing solutions. Throughout his career, Mr. Ein has invested in a wide range of other successful growth companies that have gone public or merged into larger companies including XM Satellite Radio, Nextel, American Tower, Cibernet and Matrics. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ein worked for The Carlyle Group, Brentwood Associates and Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Ein is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, his hometown’s World TeamTennis (WTT) franchise. After just five years in the league, the Kastles have already captured the coveted King Trophy three times by winning the WTT Championship in 2012, 2011 and 2009. The 2011 team made history by becoming the first team in the 36 year history of the league to complete a perfect undefeated season with its 16-0 record. The 2012 team repeated this feat with a second straight undefeated 16-0 Championship season. The franchise currently has an active 32 match winning streak – the second longest streak in US pro team sports history (behind the 33 game winning streak of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers). The Kastles and Mr. Ein have been often honored for its contributions on and off the court including being named the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s 2011 Organization of the Year. The team has been recognized four times by the Mayor of Washington, D.C. and the Washington, D.C. City Council with proclamations of “Washington Kastles Day” in the District of Columbia. In recognition of the team’s first Championship in 2009, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Mr. Ein and the Kastles with the Key to the City, highlighting not only their success on the court, “but for their commitment to the District’s communities and our youth.”
A native of the Washington area, Mr. Ein actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations. Through both his professional and philanthropic activities, he is committed to bringing his community together as well as helping those in need with a particular focus on the youth of the city. Mr. Ein has been frequently recognized and honored for his contributions to his community including being named Business Leader of the Year by the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce in October, 2011 and the region’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in 2009. In addition, Mr. Ein was inducted into the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Hall of Fame in March 2012.
Mr. Ein is currently the Chairman of the Board of The District of Columbia Public Schools Education Fund (DCPEF) which serves to catalyze private sector support for the DC Public School System and that has raised over $90 million of philanthropic funds in just five years. Mr. Ein also serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP), International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Executive Committee of the Federal City Council and was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray to be a member of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission. He previously served on the Boards of Directors of The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the SEED Foundation, The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation and The Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Art as well as the Advisory Board of The Tennis Center at College Park (TCCP), the Steering Committee for the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) DC, the selection Committee for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program, the Trustees Council of The National Gallery of Art, the Advisory Board of the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, and the Donor Advisory Group for the FasterCures Philanthropy Advisory Service. He received his BS in Economics with a concentration in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The Harvard Business School.
Craig Bandes, 47, has been President & CEO of Pixelligent Technologies since 2009. Mr. Bandes has over 25 years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and angel investor building companies in the technology, defense and professional services industries. Since joining Pixelligent as CEO, the company refocused, raised $36M in equity, was awarded nearly $15M in U.S. government grants, entered into joint development efforts with leading Multi-national materials companies, and introduced its PixClear(R) product family. Prior to Pixelligent, Mr. Bandes was the President & CEO of Global Secure Corp, a high tech company focused on providing homeland security software, training, and equipment solutions. He grew Global Secure from a start-up to 175 people, raised $25M in equity, acquired four companies, and generated over $40M in revenues. Mr. Bandes has negotiated over $300 million in financial transactions and completed acquisitions and strategic partnerships in the United States, Asia and Europe. Mr. Bandes sits on the Board of Directors of Pixelligent, has Chaired the Technology Committee for the Greater Baltimore Committee, and is a member of the NanoBusiness Allliance Advisory Board. Mr. Bandes has testified in front of the Senate Committee on Small Business regarding patent issues, and was a guest speaker at the House of Lords in the UK. Mr. Bandes received degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Babson College.
Dan is Investment Director at CIT GAP Funds, where he manages initial company screening, due diligence, and deal structuring. Dan serves at the board level on 12 CIT GAP Funds portfolio companies. Dan is also the Founder of NextGen Angels, an angel club for DC area investors who are 40 and younger. Prior to joining CIT GAP Funds, Dan was Vice President at the New Vantage Group, an early-stage investing company, where he led more than 20 investments. Dan has done stints at two consumer Internet startups, and in public policy, where his work was featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The BBC, Good Morning America, CNBC, and many other media outlets. He started his career at theGerson Lehrman Group, an independent investment research firm in New York City. Dan holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
NextGen Angels. NextGen Angels is an investing club of more than 60 Washington, DC-area angels who are 40 or younger. The group’s motto is: “Striving to be the most entrepreneur-friendly angel investors in the world.” By always keeping the entrepreneur top of mind, we aim to benefit the companies we work with, help build the DC area startup ecosystem, become an investment partner of choice for top entrepreneurs, and make the process enjoyable for everyone. NextGen Angels members all agree to actively support portfolio companies—defined as startups with ten or more members investing—whether or not that member personally invested in the company. In particular, that means putting our networks at the disposal of the entrepreneurs we back.
Reggie Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Cvent. Reggie is the CEO and Founder of Cvent, the world’s largest provider of event management technology. He has led the company from a two-person startup to a 950-person company that has helped manage 350,000 events in 90 countries. In addition, through the Cvent Supplier Network, the company’s free online marketplace that connects meeting planners with venues, thousands of Cvent customers will send $5.5 billion in group business to hotels and venues in 2012.
In July 2011, Reggie led the company’s first round of funding in over a decade—a $136 million investment—which, according to the Wall Street Journal, is the biggest U.S. software funding deal since 2007 and the largest in the history of the events technology industry. Reggie was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Greater Washington in 2010, selected as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Top Tech Titans in 2011, and named a rising star of Washington by Forbes Magazine. MeetingNews also named him one of the 25 most influential people in the $250 billion dollar meetings industry.
Reggie is Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Indian CEO High Tech Council (now the DC Chapter of TiE), which was described by the The Washington Post as “maybe the singularly most successful association in the past decade.”
In addition, Reggie was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to be Chairman of the Chief Information Officers Advisory Commission, and he has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Inova Healthcare System, and the DC Chamber of Commerce. He has a BS degree from the University of Virginia, a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University Law School, and an LLM (post-law degree) from Georgetown University Law School.
Mark Grovic co-founded New Markets Venture Partners in 2003 and is a General Partner. Mark serves or has served on the Board of Directors for The American Academy, Innovative Biosensors, Lightningcast (sold to NYSE: TWX), Moodlerooms (sold to Blackboard) and Mark also serves or has served as a board observer for Aldagen (sold to NASDAQ: CMXI), American Honors College, Andera, Appfluent, BioSET, ConnectEDU, MediaSolv, Overture Technologies, Paratek Microwave (sold to NASDAQ: RIMM), Questar Assessment, and Vision Chain. Mark also co-founded LifeJourney, an online educational company that allows students to test drive real life careers in specific corporations.
Mark has been investing in high growth companies since 1992. Prior to New Markets, Mark was a Portfolio Manager for the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), a $200 million managed emerging market venture capital company, Director of Estonia-based Baltic Small Equity Fund, a Co-Founder and Principal of the Templeton Emerging Europe Fund, as Principal of Templeton Direct Advisors, and a Portfolio Manager of Private Equities at the Calvert Group.
Mark is a VC in Residence and Professor of Venture Capital and Ethics at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland (UMD). He has 14 years experience in higher education as an instructor, administrator, and serves as an advisor to numerous technology transfer, incubator, and entrepreneurship bodies in the mid-Atlantic.  He has earned three awards for his instruction at UMD and at Howard University, plus a fellowship awarded for the innovative use of technology in the classroom.
Mark helped to found and served as Board Director of the Baltimore Chapter of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), is Board Chair at Emerson Preparatory High School in Washington, D.C. and serves as Chair of the Business Advisory Board of Venture Philanthropy Partner’s Youth Connect program which includes: KIPP DC; College Summit; Latin American Youth Center; Metro Teen Aids; Urban Alliance; and Year Up.
Mark graduated with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Political Economies and received a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University, where his focus was in international, tax, and corporate law. Mark has also completed graduate work in accounting and finance at the George Washington University and Pace University, and completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Executive Program at Harvard Business School. Mark lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife and two children and is a mediocre musician and triathlete.
Elana Fine, Managing Director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Elana Fine was appointed Managing Director of the Dingman Center in July 2012, after joining the team in 2010 as Director of Venture Investments. As Managing Director, Elana's primary focus is leading the Dingman Center in support of its mission and strategic plan. Key responsibilities include oversight of our student venture incubator, Dingman Center Angels investor network, business competitions, and technology commercialization efforts. Elana also develops and maintains relationships with donors, board members, EIRs, the Smith School community and other campus and regional partners. She is also serving as co-chair of the Dean's Task Force on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and will be working with our Academic Director to expand the Dingman Center's research activities and curriculum development.
Prior to joining the Dingman team, Elana was an Associate and a Vice-President at the Boston office of Revolution Partners, a national middle market investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions and private capital advisory for the technology industry. While at Revolution Partners, Elana advised on a variety of transactions ranging between $5 million and $100 million, including venture investments for both early and late stage private companies, sell side and buy side acquisitions and fairness opinions. Elana worked with companies in a number of industries, such as enterprise & infrastructure software, technology services and digital media. Elana also served as Revolution Partner's Chief Financial Officer from 2003-2006, and administered the firm's internal controls and its budget as it grew to $10 million annually. From 1997-2000, Elana was a consultant with Accenture, where she implemented technology solutions for clients in the financial services, government and natural resources industries.
Elana earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2002, and earned a BS in Finance, magna cum laude, from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1997. Elana resides in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and two children.
Lenard Marcus, Principal, Edison Ventures. Lenard is responsible for leading Edison investments in companies primarily located in the mid-Atlantic area. Lenard co-leads Health Care IT investments and leads Edison’s Security practice. Lenard is active in the mid-Atlantic venture community serving as a board member for the Virginia’s Center for Innovation and Technology, which focuses on investing in early stage companies in the Virginia Commonwealth. He is also a member of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA), Deloitte & Touche Technology, the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Lenard began his career at IBM where he worked as a Financial Analyst for IBM Global Services. His main responsibilities were overseeing a budget of $80 million and partnering with international locations to decrease the project costs of IBM Global Services West. Later, Lenard worked for Princeton eCom—an online bill payment company—where, as Manager of B2C Implementations; he oversaw one of the largest joint ventures in the company’s history. Lenard also worked in healthcare investment banking for Wachovia Securities.
Lenard earned a BS in Industrial Engineering at Stanford University as well as an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Management from the Columbia Business School.
Kevin Sheehan, Founder and Managing Partner, Multiplier Capital. Kevin Sheehan is the Managing General Partner of Multiplier Capital, a private equity fund with offices in Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles that was formed in 2012. Multiplier primarily makes investments in established, high growth companies backed by top-tier venture capital and private equity sponsors. Currently, Multiplier Capital manages approximately $200 million in investable capital, and emphasizes enterprise software, digital media and cyber security investments.
Prior to co-founding Multiplier Capital, Mr. Sheehan served from 2002 until 2011 as President & Chief Executive Officer of ORIX Venture Finance (“OVF”). OVF is affiliated with ORIX Corporation, Japan’s largest non-regulated finance company with approximately $50 billion in assets worldwide. Mr. Sheehan founded OVF in 2002, and during the years that he led the company, OVF executed approximately $1 billion in investments with strong returns.
Before joining ORIX, Mr. Sheehan was a corporate transactional attorney at the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York, focusing on mergers & acquisition work for financial institutions. He also had a prior career in public service serving as a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, Infantry officer in the U.S. Army in the United States and Europe, Law clerk to Judge Stanley Sporkin (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia); and Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Mr. Sheehan received a BS degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an AM and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University, and a JD from Columbia University. He is a member of the bar of the states of New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, and has been published in the areas of national security and law.
David Krauskopf, Founding Member, Blu Venture Investors, LLC. Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and expert in early stage start-ups with experience in starting, financing, growing and exiting several companies including: the exclusive representative for Apple Computer in Russia and the Ukraine (1993 – 1999), founding a printing and press room solutions company, building and owning a high end boutique resort (Hamanasi) in Belize Central America (2000-present) – ranked #3 in the world by Board Chairman of Reston based LATISTA Technologies (2008 – 2013) - sold to Textura for 35M. Founding member of Blu Venture Investors, a Washington DC area investment group made up of 18 professional investors. Over 22 angel investments with 5 exits to date including: LATISTA Technologies (Chairman), TroopSwap, ClearEdge3D (board advisor), Van Gogh Imaging, Oculis Labs, TravelPost (Advisor, acquired by Sidestep), Social Toaster, Amble Resorts (Advisor),, LiveLook, Sensics, SevaCall, Pathsensors, Emerge Digital, Interfolio, StreamLink & more.
Mr. Krauskopf was educated at Miami University, Ohio (BS), and Northwestern University, Kellogg (MBA). His industry expertise is Software, Internet, Travel, AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) & Hospitality, and his Functional Expertise is General Management, Marketing, Sales, Finance, International Business Development, e-commerce.
Young joined Hercules in 2011 as Managing Director and is based in the company’s McLean, VA offices. Hercules is the leading specialty finance company focused on providing senior secured loans to venture capital-backed companies in technology-related markets, including technology, biotechnology, life science and cleantech industries at all stages of development. April brings more than 15 of venture banking experience to her current role, having previously served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, US for MMVF, a Toronto-based venture debt fund, responsible for developing and implementing that company’s expansion strategy in the United States.
Prior to joining MMV, April was with Comerica Bank for 10 years as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Mid-Atlantic Technology and Life Sciences Division. Earlier in her career, April was Executive Director of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, and Senior Fellow for Regional Economic Development at George Mason University’s Institute for Public Policy. Prior to that, April was Director of the Virginia Department of Economic Development and also served as Executive Director of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority during the period when Northern Virginia emerged as a global technology center.
April holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Saint Louis University and a B.A. and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from The George Washington University. She has served as director of many professional organizations including the International Economic Development Council, Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, the Florida Venture Forum, the Association for Corporate Growth, and Greater Philadelphia’s PACT. She is a co-founder of Mindshare, an exclusive, invitation-only program for CEOs that for nearly 20 years has provided mentoring, a sense of community and a spirit of innovation in the region to some of the region’s hottest early stage companies. April is also Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Five Talents International, a Christian micro-finance organization as well as Chair of the Audit Committee of Goodwill of Greater Washington. April has received numerous honors for her involvement in the tech community, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Northern Virginia Technology Association and Women in Technology. She has been named to the Washingtonian’s list of 100 most powerful women as well as a Tech Titan.
Jim Hunt, Co-Founder, Blu Venture Investors. Jim is a seasoned technology and investment professional with a principle focus on companies with technologies that can have a positive impact on the public sector markets. Jim began his career in Washington in the mid 70’s as a U.S. Government scientist. After eight years with the government, Hunt founded “BDS, Incorporated” where he served as CEO for ten years. In 1991, BDS was merged with BTG, Incorporated and Hunt assisted in the integration of the two companies. In 1992, BTG was taken public in a successful offering.
Subsequent to his tenure at BDS/BTG, Hunt went to Price Waterhouse where he created the firm’s system integration practice. After two years as PW, Hunt was recruited away with 17 PW colleagues and founded “Ernst & Young Technologies” (EYT), where he was CEO for eight years. EYT was subsequently sold to Cap Gemini and Hunt served as President of Cap Gemini Technologies for two years. After leaving Cap Gemini Technologies, with two colleagues, Hunt founded “The MITA Group” a Washington-based consultancy focused on public affairs and business strategy.
From MITA, Hunt moved with some former MITA colleagues and other executives to create “NextFED” a strategy consultancy with investment banking and corporate clients. As Managing Partner of NEXTFED, Hunt leads a strategic acquisition and growth acceleration strategy consulting practice.
Mr. Hunt began his angel investing activities in the mid 1990’s with five investments in area companies. After several successful exits, Hunt expanded his portfolio in early 2000’s to include roughly forty companies. Hunt sits on five corporate boards.
Hunt’s investments are in the area of cyber, data center management, social media, mobile applications, sensors and sensor management. As an active member in four angel groups and a consultant to two venture funds, Hunt spends a significant amount of his time scouting for world-class, game changing technology.
Hunt is also an Adjunct Professor at the McDonough School at Georgetown and teaches cornerstone courses in business planning and start-up business management. Hunt has also created and taught courses to international angels and entrepreneurs and has successfully launched four overseas ventures in the past ten years, with particular emphasis on technology incubation in developing countries.
Hunt is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Rochester Institute of Technology and sits on the Notre Dame Engineering College Advisory Council. Additionally, Hunt is a past president of the Computing Industry Technology Association.
Pascal Luck, Managing Director, Core Capital Partners. Washington, DC-based venture capital fund Core Capital Partners focuses on early-stage growth companies and targets its investments toward disruptive, “core” technologies in high-growth technology sectors. Pascal focuses on software-driven information and networking technologies with particular emphasis on enterprise security and software solutions.
Prior to joining Core, Pascal was a Director and Founder of CrossHill Financial Group, a DC-based, private investment banking firm. At CrossHill, Pascal led merger and acquisition transactions, private placements, and advisory assignments across a variety of industries. Prior to Crosshill, Pascal was a Senior Manager in the management consulting division of Deloitte & Touche, where he specialized in finance and strategy initiatives for technology companies. Pascal began his career as an engineer with ATT IS/Bell Laboratories.
Pascal is currently a Director or Board Observer at Luminal, ZeroFox, Mobile System 7, Purewave, Triumfant, Update Logic, and V.i. Labs. Previous board affiliations include JackBe (acquired by Software AG), SourceFire (NASDAQ: FIRE, acquired by Cisco), Inlet Technologies (acquired by Cisco), Bridgewave (acquired by Remec), GENBAND, Trust Digital (acquired by McAfee), NextPoint Networks(acquired by GENBAND), and Covega (acquired by Gemfire). Pascal also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Barker Foundation, the nation’s oldest cooperative adoption agency.
Pascal is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the CFA Institute. He holds an MBA in Finance with Distinction from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics/Engineering from Loyola University in Maryland.
Tom Scholl, Venture Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Tom is a successful entrepreneur, technology innovator and investor. Tom has been directly involved in over 40 start-ups with differing roles including founder, CEO/Chairman, board member and investor. He is experienced with both hardware and software products – typically created from deep intellectual property.
Most recently, Tom was Venture Partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners in Bethesda, Maryland. As a venture capitalist for over ten years, Tom played a pivotal role identifying, investing in and counseling portfolio companies from early stage/seed investment through successful exit. He sat on the boards of Paratek (acquired by RIM/Blackberry,) Command Information (acquired by Salient Federal Solutions,) Woodwind Communications (acquired by Vina,) Vubiquity, Princeton Optronics, Centice and Fiberzone. In 2011, Tom was recognized as the venture capital “Friend of the Entrepreneur” by the Washington Business Journal.
Prior to joining Novak Biddle, Tom co-founded and was chairman of Cognio, a pioneering developer of software radio, cognitive spectrum management and MIMO antenna technology for wireless applications. Cognio was acquired by Cisco in October 2007. Tom was also a private investor in Broadsoft (IPO) and served as a Director of Torrent Networking (acquired by Ericsson,) and Integrated Telecom (acquired by PMC Sierra.)
In 1990, Tom founded Telogy Networks, a leader in providing reference designs and embedded software products for wireless and IP networks. Telogy’s world-class customers included Cisco, Motorola, Samsung, Nortel, Alcatel, NEC, Siemens and many others. In 1998, Motorola acquired Telogy’s digital mobile handset design, and in 1999 Texas Instruments acquired Telogy as the world leader in embedded VOIP software – subsequently licensing over one million VOIP “sockets.” As Telogy’s CEO, Tom was honored as the 1995 Joseph A. Sciulli "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Maryland High Technology Council.
Prior to Telogy, Tom was Senior Vice President of Engineering at Hughes Network Systems (now a subsidiary of EchoStar.) He began his professional career as a systems programmer at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Tom is a Trustee at Stevens Institute of Technology (where he also serves as the Chairman of the Research Enterprise and Technology Commercialization Committee,) a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Maryland Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. He is a past Trustee at Capitol College. Tom is a graduate of Purdue University in Philosophy and Literature, and serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the College of Liberal Arts, receiving Purdue's Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2009.
Tom has patents relating to software, the Internet, and digital telephone systems, and he is the author of "Packet Switching" in McGraw Hill’s Electronic Communications Handbook. He’s a member of IEEE and ACM, and he attended the Executive Management (non-degree) program at MIT Sloan School.
Growing up, Tom was an avid Ham radio operator and an Eagle Scout.
Rick Rudman is a seasoned software CEO and an early pioneer in cloud-based subscription software. He has a proven track record of success leading both public and private growth software companies, with experience as an entrepreneur, public company CEO and board member.
Rick is currently Chairman and CEO of Tracx, the leading social business cloud for building brands, driving new business and improving customer experience in the new social economy.
From 1992 through 2014 Rick was Chairman and CEO of Vocus (NASDAQ:VOCS), a leading provider of marketing and PR software. Under Rick’s leadership, Vocus achieved over twenty years of 36% average annual growth, growing revenue from under $1M to over $180M, with over 1,500 employees in the US, Europe and Asia. Rick led the company through multiple rounds of venture financing, an IPO and 32 quarters as a public company before achieving a 50% premium for investors when Vocus was acquired in 2014 in an all cash transaction valued at half a billion dollars.
Rick began his career in the United States Air Force, enlisting after high school and attending the USAF Technical Training School for certifications in electronics, satellite communications and computers. He served in the U.S. and Germany in the 601st ASOC, a mobile close air combat support unit. During his four year tour he received multiple medals and four promotions through the rank of Sergeant.
Rick has served on the board of directors for multiple technology companies and was also Vice Chairman of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Rick received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from University of Maryland, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1990. In 2003 Rick was selected as Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the software category for the Washington, D.C. region, and in 1999 was named the High Tech Council of Maryland’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mr. Torbert is a Principal and Co-Founder at RLMcCall Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on industrial, media, technology and special situations transactions. Mr. Torbert has spent the last 20 years in the venture capital, private equity, operational management, business development and corporate finance world.
As a founding investor and board member, Mr. Torbert played an integral role in the launch, development and $100MM IPO of Mood Media (TSX: “MM”), an internet-based music services company. He also played a vital role in the formation and growth of Midas Medici (OTB: “MMED”), and orchestrated the acquisition of Direct Air and Swift Air, serving as Chairman of Swift Air, a passenger and cargo charter airline that was spun out of Swift Transportation.
From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Torbert was COO of Broadcast Capital, focused on media and broadcasting investments. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Torbert was VP of the Financial Sponsor Group at JPMorgan Chase, where he covered top tier middle market private equity clients and completed over $100 billion in transactions in media and telecom. He was previously at AIG, where raised capital for the firm’s $1 billion Global Emerging Markets Fund.
Mr. Torbert is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and the New Orleans’-based IdeaVillage’s IDEAx and CAPITALx programs. He is a recipient of the Network Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, and serves on the boards of Cultural DC and the New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center. Mr. Torbert holds a B.A., a masters degree in International Finance and an MBA, all from Columbia University. Mr. Torbert is also an alumnus and Trustee of the Taft School. He enjoys collecting mid-century and contemporary art, hunting and fishing.
Todd Klein is a successful private equity investor and author who focuses on identifying, investing in and helping build Transformative Companies--those that not only succeed but transform their industries, their markets and the world around them.
He is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of SWaN & Legend, a $300 million private investment firm with interests in technology, media, retailing, education, and professional sports. Representative direct investments include KIND Healthy Snacks, SocialRadar, China Senior Care, CustomInk, Optoro, and Think Food Group (Celebrity Chef, Jos?Andres). Fund investments include Berkshire Partners, Freeman Spogli, and Silicon Valley Angels. SWaN & Legend also holds interests in the Washington Nationals and Monumental Holdings, owners of the Washington Wizards, Mystics and Capitals.
Previously, he founded and served as Managing Partner of Legend Ventures, a private investment firm targeting New Media and Information Technology opportunities. Prior to founding Legend, he was a Managing Director and member of the investment committee of Kinetic Ventures. Earlier in his career, he worked in corporate finance for Salomon Brothers and Chemical Banking Corporation where he completed numerous mergers & acquisitions, restructurings, public and private financings and leveraged buyouts.
In addition to his private equity activities, he is the author of two books on Transformative Companies: East of Wall Street, a work of business fiction and Built for Change: Essential Traits of Transformative Companies (Praeger Publishing).
Todd is a frequent speaker on capital formation and entrepreneurship and has appeared on Lou Dobbs and CNN, as well as keynoting Fortune Magazine's Growth Summit. He received his BBA from the University of Texas and MBA from Harvard University. Todd is married with four children and lives in Bethesda, MD.
A Greater Washington Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in IT services, Sid is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clarabridge. Sid provides executive leadership and strategic direction and is a well-known expert in customer experience, business intelligence, and text mining.
Prior to Clarabridge, he co-founded Claraview, a leading BI strategy and technology consultancy firm. Under Sid’s leadership, Claraview grew into a thriving services firm with over 130 employees without any outside funding. Claraview was acquired by Teradata, a leading data warehousing and business intelligence company, in March 2008.
Over his career, Sid has amassed nearly 20 years of business intelligence leadership experience. A founding employee at MicroStrategy, he held Vice President-level positions in both product marketing and worldwide services. During his tenure leading MicroStrategy’s worldwide services division; he grew the organization to a 500+ person organization supporting enterprise deployments of BI solutions. Before joining MicroStrategy, Sid held management positions at Ernst & Young and Sprint International. Sid has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John is a founder of True Ventures, with a passion in early stage investing and growing companies. For eight years, he lived through the balancing act of building his own company at BMI Software, which he founded in 1989 and sold in 1997. He began his venture career at ABS Ventures in 1999, working with Phil Black, and then, after the acquisition of Alex Brown and Sons by Deutsche Bank, continued on with DB Capital Partners. Before founding True, John was a Managing Member with Blacksmith Capital. He recently crossed an important threshold in his professional life: he has now been a venture capitalist longer than he was a CEO. However, like most life changing events, he can still remember the late nights dealing with HR issues, the relief of meeting payroll, and the satisfaction of delighting a customer.
Having lived through the tough decisions required in entrepreneurship, John is now able to guide his portfolio companies through the difficult times with a deftness that only those years of operating experience bring. John holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, a BA degree in Economics from U.C. Santa Cruz, and a MBA degree from Harvard Business School. When he is not thinking about how to create a more valuable company, you can probably find him bird hunting with his German Shorthair Pointer, teaching his kids to ski, or building furniture in his shop.
A native Grecian, Thanasis has an innate ability to spot trends early and accurately predict how they will be adopted globally. He has invested in entrepreneurs whose technology brought text messaging mainstream in the United States, movies to the Web, radio to your phone and the ability to buy couture straight from the runway. Thanasis brings two decades of experience to his entrepreneurial teams and access to to a premier set of syndicate investors as companies quickly scale. Before he became a venture capitalist, he spent three years providing corporate restructuring and financial strategies for 20 public subsidiaries and early-stage technology opportunities that are now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. He started his career at McKinsey & Co.
Thanasis earned a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, a B.Cert. in Public Policy from Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He enjoys family, travel, golf, squash, poker, gadgets, and movies.
Jim joined TDF early in 2004 and is the Managing Partner at the Fund. He has more than two decades in the Communications and Technology sector initially in operating positions and the last 17 in venture capital. Before joining TDF Ventures, Jim was a Partner at J.P. Morgan Communications Partners at their Telecom, Media and Technology Fund in San Francisco, CA. Before JPMorgan, he was a Partner at AT&T Ventures. Jim has led investments in over 15 exits via acquisition or public offerings. Prior to venture capital, Jim held operational positions at AT&T and Lucent Technologies. At AT&T, Jim was the Product Manager for AT&T’s largest P&L, Consumer Long Distance Service. He also served as the Executive Assistant to AT&T’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. Previously, Jim was a Lucent Technologies Account Executive ranking in the top 1% of national sales. He received a BSEE from Columbia University and is a member of their Engineering Advisory Board. Jim earned a Master of Science in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
J.S. is Co-Founder of Blu Venture Investors and member of the Executive Committee. He served as Acting CEO of Smart Imaging Systems, Inc., and is currently Advisor to Agilyst, Inc., Semantic Labs and Wiser Together, Inc. He held Senior Operating Executive positions in Broadband Cable and Wireless Operating Units with more than 15 years of Full P&L and CapEx responsibility. J.S. built Teams focused on innovation, improving execution, developing and launching new products to drive revenue and OCF growth. Staff and Operating positions with McKinsey & Company, Inc., Price Waterhouse, and GTE MobilNet (Wireless Division). Jim is an Adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.
Jim attended McIntire School of Commerce, The University of Virginia (BS); The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA). His Industry Expertise is in Wireless and Broadband Telecom, Management Consulting, and his Functional Expertise is in Finance, Marketing, Operations, New Product Development, Performance Improvement, Strategic Planning.
Evan Burfield is a cofounder of 1776, driven by his passionate belief in entrepreneurship as the engine for solving the major problems facing America and the world today—from education to energy efficiency.
Evan became an entrepreneur in 1996 when he founded netDecide, shortly after graduating from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Before he turned 25, he built netDecide into the leading provider of enterprise wealth management solutions for top tier financial service firms. After netDecide, Evan served as the Director of Strategy and Technology for Oakwood Global Finance, where he led the London-based private equity firm’s analyses of new global markets, new business models in financial services, and data-driven investment strategies. In 2006, Evan returned to Washington, D.C. to found Synteractive, a consulting firm that builds innovative social apps for startups, corporations, and government agencies.
Evan holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, he won the Webb Medley prize for outstanding work on the effects of organizational incentives on knowledge sharing. Evan currently serves on the Board of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford, dedicated to the study of American history and politics.
Paucek is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of 2U, Inc., formerly known as 2tor. 2U is a leading provider of cloud-based software-as-a-service solutions that enable leading nonprofit colleges and universities to deliver high-quality degree programs online, and recently debuted as a public company with NASDAQ.
Paucek has always thrived in an academic environment. Shortly after his college graduation, he founded Cerebellum Corporation, whose mission was to make childhood education more entertaining and accessible. Cerebellum developed the award-winning educational television program, “Standard Deviants,” which was viewed on more than 100 PBS stations, and was selected by TV Guide and NBC’s “Today” show as the top show on television for kids.
After leading Cerebellum Corporation for a decade, Paucek co-managed the re-election campaign of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), after which he returned to education as the CEO of Hooked on Phonics, where he increased access to the product line through expansion into infomercial sales and distribution through major U.S. retailers.
In 2012, Paucek was recognized by Ernst & Young as their Entrepreneur of the Year. The following year, Goldman Sachs named him one of the world’s 100 “Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.” Paucek was most recently honored as one of the five Highest Ranked CEOs in the U.S. among small- to medium-sized companies in 2014 by Glassdoor, an online career and workplace community. This distinction came on the heels of 2U’s recognition among the top-20 places to work in 2014 by the same website. Chip is also a columnist for and serves on the board of the Network for Social Work Management.
Paucek earned a B.A. in political communication from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, which is one of 2U’s partner programs. Outside of work, he is an avid boater and is most likely to be found on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife, Gabrielle, and two sons.
Bobby is a Director at Revolution Ventures and focuses on identifying, investing in, and helping to build innovative and impactful early-stage companies. Bobby serves as a Board Observer at Booker (formerly GramercyOne) and OrderUp.
Prior to joining Revolution Ventures, Bobby was an Associate with Grotech Ventures, where he was active in sourcing and executing investments in software, internet, and digital media sectors. His investment experience includes Booker, HelloWallet, Lagrange Systems, Personal and WiserTogether.
Previously, Bobby was an Analyst with Piper Jaffray’s Technology Investment Banking group, where he executed mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions in alternative energy, internet, software, and semiconductor sectors. He has also worked at a number of early-stage startups, most notably as a Research Associate with Lux Research, a strategic advisory firm which provides emerging technology market intelligence.
Bobby received his B.A. in Physics with a minor in Economics from Middlebury College.
Jake joined Kinetic Ventures in 1987. His investment activities focus on transaction-based and SaaS solutions, emerging mobile concepts, and power/clean technologies. He is a director of APX Holdings, LeaseTerm Solutions, AnyPresence, and 9Lenses. Earlier investments include SmartSynch (acquired by Itron; NASDAQ: ITRI), Clear Standards (acquired by SAP AG; NYSE: SAP), Peace Software (acquired by First Data Corp.), Innova (NASDAQ IPO, acquired by DMC), Xenergy (acquired by Energy East), and Liberty Technologies (NASDAQ IPO). Earlier in his career, Jake worked as a currency trader with the Bank of New York. He received his BA degree from Roanoke College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jason Shrensky is the founder and CEO of a new software startup targeting the legal, accounting, and financial services sector called Complex Interests and an active angel investor. Prior to founding Complex Interests, Jason was co-founder of co-working office space ÜberOffices and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
From 2000 to 2007, Shrensky was the founder and CEO of Reqwired, Inc., the leading learning management system among top 250 law firms and top 100 accounting firms (acquired by Thomson Reuters). Prior to founding Reqwired, Shrensky was an intellectual property litigator at the law firm Paul Hastings LLP. Shrensky holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.
Kathryn Stewart is Founder and Managing Director of Cranbrook Capital, which provides seed and early stage capital to emerging tech focused Companies. The firm has made early stage investments in Apio Systems, CircleUp, Canvas, Homesnap, GoTenna, Passive Capital Management and SalesWarp. She is on the Board of Apio Systems and Passive Capital Management and is a Board Observer of DC based Homesnap.
Kathryn serves on the Dingman Board of Advisors at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and is active with Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an Investment Committee Member of the DC based Investors Partners Fund, and is a past Board Member at the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, where she currently sits on the Finance and Investment Committee. Preceding Cranbrook Captital, she led the East Coast Office of J Moore Partners, advising entrepreneurially-driven high tech companies in M&A transactions.
Previously, Kathryn was a partner at Alex. Brown and post acquisition, served as a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank. She was the Co-Head of the Baltimore based region and managed six sales teams for product distribution in New York, the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. Transactions included initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, convertibles, and private placements. She implemented the Firm’s growth strategy through participation in its Equity Review Committee and was chairman of the Deal Marketing Committee, preparing management teams for initial public offerings.
Preceding Alex. Brown, Kathryn was an Electrical Engineer for San Francisco based Chevron in its Telecommunications Division. Her design and implementation work included 450 MHZ radio, 2 GHZ microwave and voice/data network design.
Kathryn holds an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.
Julia Taxin joined Grotech Ventures in 2012 and is a Vice President at the firm. She focuses primarily on investment opportunities in software, internet, digital media and healthcare IT. Julia is an active board observer for AnyPresence, Closely, Cloud Elements, CommercialTribe, GutCheck, Intellinote, Lagrange Systems, Optoro, RedPoint Global, SocialRadar, The Royalty Exchange, UrbanBound, WiserTogether and Zonoff. Prior to joining Grotech, Julia was a Summer Associate at Sandbox Industries, a foundry and early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, she was a Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she focused primarily on enterprise software solutions.
Julia received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship. She is a CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board member.
James is the Co-Founder and CEO of Canvas, a cloud-based software service and mobile app platform that enables businesses to replace expensive and inefficient paper forms and processes with customizable mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, with no programming or IT required. James is also the Co-Founder of Refraction, a collaborative coworking community in Reston Town Center that brings together tech startups, non-profits and artists. Canvas has provided the financial backing and resources needed to start Refraction and was Refraction’s founding member.
As the visionary behind Canvas, James says the goal of the company is, “To dynamically change how business data is shared and how people connect.” James has a long history of building successful wireless companies. Prior to Canvas, James was Vice President and Managing Director at inCode Wireless, which was later acquired by VeriSign. Other successful start-ups include Aether Systems, Orbcomm, and Peak Technologies (formerly a division of R.R. Donnelley). James has won numerous awards, including being named as one of the 2012 “Top 50 CEO’s,” by the Center for Innovative Technology, was named one of the top 20 global executives in his field by CLO Magazine and the World Supply Chain Forum, was named one of the top 15 DC start-up CEO’s to follow on Twitter. In 2007 his team designed and delivered a mobile solution that was used for tracking deadly global pandemics an application that utlimately won the Motorola Wireless Solution of the Year Award.
James sits on the Board at, is a partner in the experiment Refraction - a place for start-ups, designers, artists and not-for-profits to create, collaborate and work together as well advises several prominent start-ups and business leaders. James is a former U.S. Naval Reserve Officer and a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. When not at work, James enjoys listening to music of all types, running, spending time with his wildly precocious children and attending events that celebrate the intersection of technology and art.
Timothy founded WeddingWire after planning his wedding. As a groom, he experienced first hand how difficult it was to execute on the wedding plans. As a technologist, he couldn’t find an online resource that would help him plan more efficiently. Together with his cofounders, Jeff, Lee, and Sonny, they threw 4 desks into his empty living room in Chevy Chase, Maryland and WeddingWire was born. They set out to utilize their collective experience in technology to build a technology company that would revolutionize the wedding and event industry.
Previously, Timothy co-founded Blackboard Inc in 1998. While at Blackboard, Timothy pioneered many of Blackboard’s product and strategic initiatives, helping the company grow to over 600 employees and a valuation of over $750 Million.
Timothy holds a B.S. degree in Operations Research/Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s of Science degree in Engineering Management from Tufts University. Tim is a member of the Young Professionals Organization in Washington, D.C.
Joe Burkhart is a Managing Director at Saratoga Investment Corp, a New York City-based private equity firm and specialty finance company. He leads new business origination efforts and manages the firm’s investment operations. 
Prior to joining Saratoga, Mr. Burkhart was the Managing Director of Tatum’s private equity practice.  Previously, he was the Director of Business Development for American Capital’s Private Equity Group where he led the group’s deal origination, screening and staffing. Prior to joining American Capital, Mr. Burkhart was Managing Director at EJF Capital where he worked with the firm’s principals in the development and investment management of structured finance and private equity focused strategies.  Mr. Burkhart began his career at Allied Capital Corporation where he was a Vice President in the Private Finance group.
Mr. Burkhart has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Leslie has over twenty-five years experience building, advising and investing in new companies, products and brands, in the US and across the globe. She is the Founder and CEO of Startup Angels, a platform to inspire and enable new angel investors around the world. Prior to that, she was a Partner in Sawari Ventures, LLC, a Cairo-based early stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs across the Middle East/North Africa. She continues as an advisor to Flat6Labs, Sawari Ventures’ dedicated startup accelerator for seed stage investments. She serves on the Board of UP Global, a network of entrepreneurs and startup community leaders. She is an alumna of St. Johns College (Annapolis, MD/Santa Fe, NM), and serves on its Board of Visitors and Governors.
John May is the managing partner of New Vantage Group, a McLean, VA firm that innovatively mobilizes private equity into early-stage companies and provides advisory services to both funds and private investors. Mr. May has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement and his experience over the last 20 years ranges from venture capital fund management to overseas consulting.
In 1991, he co-founded the Investors’ Circle, a national non-profit group of 150 family and institutional investors working to grow the social venture capital industry. In 1996, he co-founded and became executive director of the Private Investors Network, an angel network sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association. In 1999 he co-founded The Dinner Club, an investment group of 60 regional angels who collectively invested in early-stage ventures, followed by the eMedia Club and in 2000, the Washington Dinner Club. In 2003, he created Active Angel Investors, a fund with 60 active angels that was merged into New Dominion Angels in 2012. He was managing general partner of Calvert Social Venture Partners LP, the Mid-Atlantic Fund of Funds LP, and director and general partner in Seraphim Capital, a 30 million £ venture fund based in London.
He is chair-emeritus of the Angel Capital Association and is co-chair of the World Business Angels Association. He is the co-author of two books, Every Business Needs an Angel and State of the Art: An Executive Briefing on Cutting-Edge Practices in American Angel Investing. In the fall of 2002, the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business appointed Mr. May a “Batten Fellow”. He received a BA from Earlham College and a MPA from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.
Sever is responsible for leading Edison investments in companies primarily located in the mid-Atlantic area. Sever co-leads investment strategy in Enterprise 2.0 segments including mobility, systems management, information services and on-demand applications. He also focuses on Education technology and services investments in K-12, higher education, and corporate sectors.
Sever is active in the Mid-Atlantic venture community as Chairman of NVTC’s Capital Formation Committee. He also serves as a leader on committees for Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA), Deloitte & Touche Technology Venture Center (TVC), Maryland Incubator and National Sciences Foundation Tech Program.
Tom is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EverFi, Inc. based in Washington, D.C. Since starting the company in 2008, he’s led EverFi from a startup in a Georgetown apartment to an organization with over 1,000 clients and engagement with over 10,000 K-12 schools and higher education institutions.
While a senior at Bowdoin College, Tom ran for the Maine House of Representatives and was elected in 1994. In his three terms there, he focused on key legislative areas including technology in schools, health care and economic development. As Chairman of the Utilities and Energy Committee, he led a successful effort with Governor Angus King to provide laptops to every Maine seventh grader as well as to create a major expansion of the wiring of schools and libraries across the State.
Following that, Tom served as an investment banker and venture capitalist at Village Ventures, where he invested in early-stage technology companies in the education and social media spaces.
As CEO, Tom has led two venture funding rounds that have raised $21 million from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, New Enterprise Associates, Rethink Education, and Allen and Company. He has also driven the development of strategic partnerships with the Financial Services Roundtable, the Mortgage Bankers Association and twenty-eight state banks associations.
Tom is a frequent speaker at global, national and state financial services and technology events. In 2012, he was recognized as a Top 100 Entrepreneur by Goldman Sachs and was also a finalist for the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Tom has been featured in numerous media outlets including Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, CNN Money, Fox Business News, Yahoo Finance and Fast Company.
George is the President of Tech 2000, Inc., a leading education solutions and mobile content management company, where he is responsible for driving Tech 2000’s product development, long-term strategy and vision.
Tech 2000’s core strengths include software and mobile app development, content development, dynamic education tools, learning analytics, and training delivery for IT. Our proprietary adult learning methodology techniques are proven to provide the knowledge and cutting-edge technical capabilities required in today’s telecom industry. In addition to winning awards such as the Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Innovation Award, Tech 2000 also won the Sakigake Innovation Award at Cisco in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
With almost 30 years experience as an educator and technologist in the networking industry, George has interacted with a wide variety of network communications technologies with real-world experience in systems integration, security, and web presence. His focus has been on improving training for the broadband service provider workforce, particularly through the use of dynamic e-learning and mobile techniques. George’s specialties include, MEF- Carrier Ethernet Certified Profession (MEF-CECP), Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI) for Cisco’s ARK9K, CRS3, and XRFund, products and technologies. He is a graduate of Golden Gate University.
Kate has over 27 years of professional management experience that includes international technology sales and operations, strategy and business development. Her expertise focuses on building new organizations and expanding lines of business. She has been selected as a guest speaker at international conferences in Europe, Canada and the US. Kate was also awarded the prestigious 2013 Chief Learning Officer Magazine’s Gold Award for Innovation.
As Vice President of Global Workforce Enablement for MetLife, Kate is responsible for building and implementing programs that enhance the productivity of MetLife’s technical workforce. This includes the creation of MetLife Technical University, a development program for early-in-career employees, as well as a summer technical internship program. Kate also implements tools and platforms that manage knowledge transfer and communities of interest amongst employees, managers and internal lines of business.
Prior to joining MetLife, Kate spent 17 years with Cisco where she lived in Europe and the US, managing business development and sales operations organizations. While at Cisco, Kate’s programs received multiple industry awards for operational excellence and innovation.
Kate holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College and an MBA from University of Michigan.
Kate’s Community service includes: Current Board Member, Stop Hunger Now; Current Board Member, United Arts Council; Past Co-chair, Connected Women of North Carolina; Past Board Member, Triangle Red Cross, RTP; Past Board Member, MacMillan Cancer Ball, London, UK; Founding member of the Women-In-Technology Incorporated Chapter, RTP; and Co-founder of the Cisco Women’s Action Network RTP Chapter.
Kate and her husband, Stephen, own a restaurant in Raleigh, NC which reflects their passion for International travel and love of global food.
Steven Graubart, CFA, is the Chief Financial Officer of 1776. Previously he was Managing Director of Finance for the University of the District of Columbia, and has been CFO of a number of technology companies. He has been responsible for a number of successful exits through the sale of companies to public and privately held corporations. He has worked throughout Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. He was a partner in Calvert Ventures and worked at Ernst & Young. Steve has an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA from SUNY@ Stony Brook.
Mark is the executive chairman of, a Revolution Ventures investment. He was formerly the CEO and Co-Founder of GeniusRocket, a pioneer in “crowdsourced” advertising media. Prior, Mark served as Chairman and CEO of VerticalNet and was Senior VP and corporate officer at America Online. He also was the President of GEnie, General Electric’s online service, and director of New Business Development at Home Box Office in New York.
Since 2002, Mark has managed a small angel/venture fund and has served as advisor or board member to many of his investments. They include: NutriSystems, Blackboard,, LifeShield Security, Day Software, Transactis, MobilePosse, SpectrumK12 Solutions and others. He is currently lead director for and a board member of Tribeca Flashpoint College.
Mark was the first CTO of the Democratic National Committee and head of Internet Strategy for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. He serves as chairman of the board of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
He has served as Trustee Board Chair of his alma mater, Union College in NY, serves as Board Chair to the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland School of Business (Smith), and was Founding Board Chair of the New Leaders Council, a training organization for young adults focusing on political entrepreneurship. He served on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony. Mark received a BA from Union and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Directly out of college, he was a TV anchorman and news director for a CBS Television Affiliate Station in West Virginia. He was the youngest in the nation.
John Kealey is the Chief Executive Officer at Decision Lens, a software company providing enterprise prioritization and resource optimization for commercial and government organizations. He has over 25 years in the technology and communications industry. He is the former CEO of Vivisimo, an information access and discovery technology focused on emerging Big Data market. The company was recently acquired by IBM. He is also the former President and CEO of iDirect Technologies, which he joined when the company was a pre-revenue turnaround and helped grow organically to over $120 million in annual revenue and a position of global leadership in satellite routing technology when it was acquired by Singapore Technologies (ST) in November, 2005.
He was selected by Via Satellite magazine as the “2004 Satellite Executive of the Year” and The Ernst and Young Washington DC Area Communications “Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2005. Earlier he was CEO and founder of TenFold Communications Inc., an enterprise software company and subsidiary of TenFold Corporation. Kealey spent much of his early career at SBC Communications, holding a number of senior positions there, including President of its wireless messaging business. He was also a senior executive at The Continuous Learning Group, a premier boutique leadership consulting firm. He founded the firm’s merger and acquisition integration practice.
He began his career at Coopers & Lybrand and holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Michael Pratt has over 40 years of experience in management and finance, in both domestic and international organizations, as well as more than two decades of involvement in the startup and venture capital industry. Michael’s experience includes early-stage company management, negotiation of strategic partnerships and alliances, and service on the Boards of Directors of several companies, including a public-traded corporation in New Zealand.
Michael is the Managing Partner of Select Venture Partners LLC, an early stage, post-seed/pre-Series A venture capital firm, with an experienced team, all of whom have extensive cross-industry and cross-functional operating experience in software startups. He is also Lecturer in Technology Entrepreneurship at the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Prior to Select, Mike co-founded and was CEO of SpydrSafe Mobile Security, Inc. SpydrSafe was acquired in February 2014. Prior to SpydrSafe, Michael was the COO of CardStar, Inc., a mobile loyalty company sold to Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT). From 2006 to 2010, Michael was the CFO/COO of Trust Digital, Inc., a venture-backed Mobile Device Management company sold to McAfee (NYSE: MFE). Prior to Trust, Michael was CFO of Galt Associates, Inc., a venture-backed software company sold to Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) in July 2006. Earlier professional experience includes CEO of CrossMedia Networks Corp.; CEO of Point of Care Technologies sold to Siemens Healthcare in 1999 (ETR: SIE); various senior finance and operations positions with Mobil Corporation in both domestic and international settings, including President and General Manager of three Mobil subsidiaries. Michael began his professional career with Arthur Andersen & Co.
Michael holds a BS in Finance from East Carolina University, a post-graduate degree in Business Administration from Massey University in New Zealand, and an MS, Marketing from The Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Tullis is a Partner at Tullis Health Investors, where he is responsible for the firm’s investment team and investment process. He is also responsible for the firm’s increasingly global network and for all investments and activities in international markets. Within the healthcare sector, John’s focus areas include healthcare technology and services, medical devices, and healthcare commercial distribution. Recent Board roles include CareSync, Inc., (Board Member, Chairman), SureFire Medical, Inc. (Board Member), and Endoscopic Technologies, Inc. (Observer).
Before working at Tullis Health Investors, John was Senior Director of Corporate Development at Ryder System Inc., where he led global mergers and acquisitions for supply chain and logistics. Prior to his position at Ryder, he spent four years as an associate at M.J. Meehan & Co., a NYSE specialist firm. John also served as an Executive Committee Member of the Board of Directors of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s Economic Development Organization, for three years. He is currently a board member of the Florida Venture Forum.
John has a BA from DePauw University. He received a graduate business certificate from the University of Virginia’s McIntire Business Institute, and an MBA from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business. At age 15, he studied at Tse Hsui Gautzhong, a Taiwanese boarding school.
Nate Yohannes is a lawyer with experience in financial services, regulatory affairs and investment strategy. Mr. Yohannes was appointed by the White House Office of Presidential Personal as a presidential appointee in the Obama Administration where he serves as the Senior Advisor - Office of Investment and Innovation (“OII”), US Small Business Administration. OII operates the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), a private equity/venture capital program with over $25.2 billion of assets under management, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), the government’s largest innovation grant focused on small business, effectively making the collective $2.5 billion annually - the largest STEM seed funding pool in the world.
Mr. Yohannes was selected to sit on President Obama’s Broadband Opportunity Council, a multi-agency team responsible for providing counsel to President Obama on how to advance the United States as the most broadband accessible country in the world. In addition, Yohannes held a leadership position and played a pivotal role with the first ever White House Demo Day. Mr. Yohannes is a part of the inaugural White House Economic Leadership Workshop, a six month program for top economic focused appointees and is on the White House Diverse Asset Managers working group.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Yohannes was the Vice President - Associate Counsel at the Money Management Institute (MMI).
Douglas Muir is an authority in business strategy, having successfully built several multimillion-dollar enterprises from the ground up. He speaks internationally on topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, and business growth.
Muir is the CEO of Muir & Associates, a private equity firm that concentrates on creating and scaling start-ups. Muir’s portfolio consists of companies in a variety of industries including the credit/finance, IT, telecommunications, insurance, and food and beverage. He is a Co-Founder of CAV Angels, an online angel investment platform for alumni of the University of Virginia, and he is also the CEO of Credit Justice Services (CJS), the 4th-largest credit restoration company in the US.
Muir is also a seasoned restaurateur; he was the first franchisee of the Wild Wings Café and was instrumental in developing the franchise contract and implementing the business plan for the Charlottesville, VA location. Since selling Wild Wings Café in 2010, Muir has opened another chain of restaurants called Bella’s, a highly praised and very successful pair of family-style Italian restaurants in Charlottesville and Richmond, VA.
Muir teaches Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia, both in the School of Engineering and in the Darden School of Business’s MBA program. As well as being a professor, he is the Assistant Director of the Business Minor Program in the School of Engineering. Muir has been published and quoted in numerous media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg Radio,Business Week and The Scotsman Guide. He was the host ofThe Doug and Eric Show on ABC, “Exposing the Hidden Truths about the Three Credit Bureaus and the Banking and Finance System”. He earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and an MBA from Post University.
Jiemin Jordan, Managing Partner of Decisive Investment Group, is a seasoned entrepreneur and an angle investor. She is a mentor and an investor of Mach37, a cyber security accelerator. Currently, she is working on setting up a CONNECTpreneur Investment Network.
She was the founder and CEO of Endeavor Systems, Inc., a cyber security firm providing products and solutions to US market since 2003. Endeavor Systems was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the 100 fast growing companies in America. In 2012, Endeavor Systems was acquired by Telesis Corporation as a subsidiary.
Over the past nine (9) years, as the CEO of Endeavor Systems, Jiemin has managed the day-to-day operations and provided the strategic direction for Endeavor’s long term growth, which includes building the Endeavor culture, process and the management team, identifying the technology, product and marketing strategies, and maximizing earning potentials.
In 2005, Endeavor Security Inc., a subsidiary of Endeavor Systems offering enterprise intrusion prevention and malware detection & analysis products, was spun off, and was acquired by McAfee in 2009.
Jiemin has more than 20 years experience in the IT industry. Prior to Endeavor, Jiemin had held increasing management responsibilities in the Internet, satellite and mobile communication industrials. She led the engineering department at Orbcomm, a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communication company, and helped to grow the organization from 40 people to 400 people. She managed the multiple development projects for mobile cellular phone communication at Sprint & Nextel. And, she launched email services offering at VeriSign.
Jiemin received her bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University, and completed Master of Computer Science degree at George Mason University. She is a graduated member of MindShare Executive Management Program.
Randy is the Founder and Managing Director for Private Access Network. He is a seasoned technology and venture capital executive with over 20 years of experience in senior management, business development and financial roles. Randy has extensive experience building and maintaining over $100 million of venture capital and private equity fund-of-funds for institutional, municipal and individual investors.
Randy is also the Managing Director for Liquid Capital Group. Since 2000, Liquid Capital Group has been managing portfolios of top venture funds and superior emerging information technology companies for high net worth individuals and families.
Between 2006 and 2009, Randy was also a Managing Director at GKM Newport. GKM Newport was a venture capital and private equity fund-of-funds manager with over $1 billion in assets under management. Randy was responsible for expanding and managing the day-to-day operations of the firm’s fund-of-funds offerings and assisting with client services, due diligence and portfolio monitoring for over $800 million in separately managed accounts.
In addition to establishing a distinctive track record at Liquid Capital, Randy has been a Principal at NextStep Partners, LLC. NextStep Partners is a business development and financial advisory firm assisting emerging technology companies.
Randy has also held a variety leadership, finance, marketing and sales positions with NEON Communications, Winstar Communications and MCI.
Randy holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also studied at Harvard University and the University of Connecticut.
Kathryn Collings Laing has been a principal with U.S. Boston Capital Corporation since 1997 and has been a personal, investment and business adviser to CEOs, entrepreneurs and other business owners, professionals and academics for over twenty years. For her work with her clients, in 2012 Kathryn was named to the SmartCEO magazine’s Wealth Management Readers’ Choice list.
In addition to providing comprehensive wealth and investment management services grounded by her background in investment banking, finance, economics and law, Kathryn helps her clients use their “human capital” or talents to maximum advantage by managing the intersection of her clients’ business strategy and goals. Kathryn is also President of U.S. Boston’s affiliate, Pear Tree Partners, LP, an SEC registered investment adviser that manages private investment funds, investing primarily in growth capital investment opportunities.
Kathryn started her investment career in Mergers & Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. She also practiced law with Foley Hoag and was Executive Director of a public/private partnership linking business resources with community needs. Kathryn received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and her B.A. with distinction from Stanford University, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. She earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. She is a graduate of the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Program.
She is currently a member of the Annapolis Rotary and the Anne Arundel Women Giving Together circle. You can see Kathryn on local public television stations nationwide in a public service informational series on investing. She is also an online practitioner professor in a film series accompanying a college level textbook on business formation, business growth and stock and business valuation.
Kyp Sirinakis has 25+ years of experience as an early stage investor and senior executive of technology and life sciences companies. She is Co-Founder & Managing Director of Epidarex Capital, a Bethesda-based VC firm investing in early stage life sciences and health technologies in the US and UK. Before Epidarex, Kyp was part of the senior management team of MASA Life Science Ventures where she co-led the fund’s investment strategy and managed several portfolio investments to successful exits. Kyp was Founder and Managing Director of investment fund LLC and CFO of Oncologix, a VC-backed biotech company.
Kyp serves on the Boards of the Tech Council of Maryland, CIT BioLife Fund, Investment Advisory Committee of the Ivy Foundation, Harpoon Medical, Confluence Life Science, and Sirikoss Ltd.She is a graduate of Boston College’s School of Management Honors Program.
Prior to co-founding NBVP in 1996, Jack was President and CEO of InterCAP, a VC-backed computer graphics software company. InterCAP was acquired by Intergraph in 1995. From 1987 to 1990, Jack rose from Senior Associate to Partner at Vanguard Atlantic, a merchant banking group focused on M&A advisory work and control investments in software companies. At VAL, he served as turnaround CEO of a software company and then as COO of an application software company. Earlier, he was an IT Industry Generalist, focused on Telecommunications Technology at the Gartner Group, and also Executive Assistant to CEO Gideon Gartner. He began his career in 1983 in Austin, Texas, at Business Development Partners, an early stage venture capital partnership. Jack holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Jack serves on the Boards of WealthEngine, Adwerx, Orchestro (Chairman), Triumfant, ReverbNation, Shoeboxed, Princeton Optronics and Appian Corporation. Past Board or Observer seats include SafeView (acquired by L3 Communications), Matrics (acquired by Symbol Technologies), Giga Information Group (NASDAQ: GIGX), Telogy (acquired by Texas Instruments), Tantivy (acquired by Interdigital), Paratek (acquired by Blackberry), CorasWorks (acquired by Human Touch), Starfish Retention Solutions, (acquired by Hobsons), Appfluent (acquired by Attunity) and Blackboard.
Jack is a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and advises the U.S. Department of Defense on technology and innovation. He has served on the Investment Committee of New Markets Growth Fund. Jack is a Director and former Vice Chairman of the Board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair of the Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Directors of TiE DC.
Jack has been named multiple times as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s ‘Tech Titans’, as well as to the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 list of the region’s most influential business leaders.
Andy Jones has a nearly 30 year business career with a proven track record of building and growing businesses and creating shareholder value. He has a unique blend of operational and investment success, having worked on “both sides of the fence” as an Operating Executive and an Investor/Board Member. Born and raised in Maryland, he has spent most of his business career operating in Maryland. An entrepreneur at heart, he connects with those that the Maryland Venture Fund invests in and supports because he has “been in their shoes”.
Andy spent 15 years in the venture capital business here locally, starting in the mid-1990s with Frank Adams (former TEDCO chair) and Grotech Ventures. Recognizing a local market need for early stage capital and also feeding his first entrepreneurial “itch”, Andy left Grotech in 1999 to raise an institutional fund with peers in the venture business. They successfully raised an $85 million 1st institutional fund and the mid-Atlantic office of Boulder Ventures was born. After 3 successful funds with Boulder and just under $300 million raised and deployed into early stage technology and life science ventures, Andy got the entrepreneurial itch again to do another start-up, High Street Partners.
Andy helped turn High Street into a VC-backed (3 rounds), SaaS company with $42 million in recurring revenue and a successful $100 million exit to a European buyer.
Prior to joining the Maryland Venture Fund, Andy was recruited to run M&A in North America for a $4 billion market cap public company in Europe named Kingspan. Kingspan is the market leader in energy efficient building envelope solutions. Andy consummated the first ever public acquisition for Kingspan, a $400 million deal in Toronto that achieved significant press and put Kingspan on the map across Canada. Andy completed a few other smaller acquisitions for Kingspan and one divestiture, but was attracted to the Maryland Venture Fund so he could pursue his passion which is financing and growing privately held businesses.
Andy received his Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1990. He received his Master of Engineering degree from Cornell University in 1986 and Bachelor of Science from Cornell in 1985, where he studied computer science and majored in electrical engineering.
Eric is an experienced software executive and an Internet pioneer, having either founded or served as a senior executive for early-stage Internet companies since 1996. He was the founding CEO and Publisher of U.S. News Ventures, a branded internet publishing company funded in part by U.S. News & World Report. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Five Star Alliance, a successful eCommerce startup in Alexandria, which became the largest independent booker of luxury hotels worldwide and was sold in 2007 for over a 20X return to investors in less than 3 years.
Previously, Eric served in various executive roles at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), including CFO, VP of Business Development, VP of Strategy, VP of Operations and Technology, and VP of Sales. Prior to WPNI, he worked for 9 years as a financial executive in product development at Ford Motor Company, consulted at Deloitte Consulting, and founded a startup company, PrimeSource, which provided financial and strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 clients. Eric has an engineering degree from M.I.T. and an MBA from the Sloan School at M.I.T.
An accomplished Ironman and Olympic-distance triathlete, Eric is a co-founder and Managing Partner at PublicRelay, a market-leading enterprise software company providing advanced media intelligence solutions to large corporations, trade associations, and government agencies.
AJ Jaghori is a serial Technopreneur, Data Scientist, and Patentee. He is the CEO of Solebrity, Founder & MP at incubator HelloLoCo, Chairman of YoloData and formerly CTO of L-3 Comm., EIR at The Social Genome Project, & Principal at Google. A self-taught, dyslexic coder, he started his first tech company at 17 from the back of a car in Palo Alto. He’s since had 4 successful exits, a distinguished opportunity to speak at TED, mentorship by 2 tech pioneers that paved the way for his success, a month-long digital detox with a Buddhist monk whose teachings helped him overcome startup failure, and a patent litigation battle that nearly bankrupted him --- all before the age of 30.
Beth Johnson is CEO and Co-Founder of RP3 Agency, the fastest growing advertising agency in the DC area. RP3 builds business opportunity for its clients by strengthening connections between people and brands, using insights, ideas and technologies. RP3’s client roster includes blue chip companies such as Norfolk Southern, Coca-Cola Corporation, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Times Square, Children’s National Medical Center, National Harbor and Long & Foster, among many others.
Beth started her advertising agency career at The Dan Rosenthal Co. in 1994, and came up through the ranks of account management as a marketing strategist. During her 15-year tenure there, she led the growth of that agency from a 3-person creative boutique into one of the region’s largest, most successful full service shops. In 2009, Beth took the opportunity to launch RP3, a new agency model to meet the changing needs of marketers amidst a transformative time in the industry.
Beth believes brilliant creative comes from brilliant strategy, and works tirelessly to build a culture of curiosity at RP3 that values talented people, fosters great ideas and achieves solid business results. As a community leader, Beth is the current board chair of Washington Area Women’s Foundation and serves on the boards of Greater Washington Board of Trade and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. In 2012, Beth was named by the Washington Business Journal as one of the area’s Women Who Mean Business and was recognized in 2016 as a SmartCEO Brava award winner. Beth lives in Virginia with her globetrotting husband and two teen-aged daughters. She spends most of her free time cheering, either for her favorite DC sports teams or on the sidelines at high school soccer games.
Jeannette is founder and CEO of Cyper LLC, specializing in cybersecurity, IT solutions, and DOD health. Previously she was CEO of MoboTour LLC, a SaaS product company for security guard touring and property management functions.
Formerly, as founder and CEO of Sytel, Inc., a high-end IT solutions company, Jeannette’s 20+ year career included: start-ups, mergers and acquisitions and business turnarounds. Her main expertise is in leadership, creative business strategies, building organizational effectiveness and propelling revenue growth. After building Sytel from $0 to $50 million in highly-profitable revenues, she made a successful exit selling the company to a publicly-traded company, Techteam Global LLC. She was then asked to lead their combined federal IT group; she instead left to take some time off and got involved in various angel investments.
Jeannette served as founding board member of TEDCO; Board of Trustees, George Mason University; chair of United Way of Montgomery County Maryland; Board of Visitors, University of Maryland; and as advisory board member of Celebrity Pets LLC, a venture founded by actress Jaclyn Smith.
Jeannette has been recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements and was listed by the Washingtonian Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington”, INC. Magazine’s Hall of Fame for making the list of 500 fastest-growing companies in US for five consecutive years, and was named “30 Women of Historical Significance in Montgomery County” Maryland.
Jeannette was chapter officer for the Young Presidents’ Organization and is currently an active member of the Chief Executive Organization, a global organization of ex-YPOs.
Tom Monahan oversees CEB’s nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and a staff of 4,000 global employees who deliver insights and actionable solutions to the markets they serve every day.
Tom has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2001, as CEO since 2005, and as Chairman of the Board since 2008. As part of the company’s leadership for more than 15 years, Tom has helped redefine how the world’s leading companies make their most important decisions. By tapping the collective experience of and analyzing performance data from more than 10,000 companies, CEB has created authoritative insights and highly relevant management resources to help companies manage talent, innovation, and risk.
The firm has been one of the fastest growing professional/information service companies globally throughout the past decade—growing revenue and profit nearly fourfold—and has become one of the most respected authorities on talent and performance management issues.
During his tenure, Tom has led the firm’s efforts on a wide variety of topics, including innovation and technology processes, operating and reputational risk, the structure and role of the financial sector, and employee productivity and performance. He has also partnered with CEB’s service and advisory teams and members on six continents to drive outstanding corporate performance using CEB insights and tools. He is a widely quoted authority on management issues, particularly risk management, corporate governance, and ethical leadership.
Building on CEB’s core ethic of service, the company’s leadership team has also pioneered a range of innovations in community investment and philanthropy, including sizable community investments, pro bono advisory services, and a Global Impact Day.
Tom is also a member of the Board of Directors of Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG), a board member of PeaceTech Lab and a trustee of the Maret School. He is a member of the CEO Fiscal Leadership Council, the Economic Club of Washington, the Young Presidents’ Organization, and serves as a Chair for Leadership Giving for Harvard University. Tom also teaches Sunday school at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and—along with his wife and daughters—is active in causes that facilitate the participation of women and girls in economic life globally, notably Women for Women International and Girl Rising.
Before joining CEB, Tom worked with Deloitte & Touche, the Committee for Economic Development, and Andersen Consulting. He holds an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and received his MBA with distinction from New York University. Tom is a regular contributor to CEB’s blog and the LinkedIn influencers program.
Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.
As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses. Revolution invests in and actively helps build companies leveraging technology to disrupt existing markets. This includes both early and mid-stage growth companies through both the Revolution Growth fund, created in 2011, and the Revolution Ventures fund, launched in 2013. Revolution has backed more than 30 companies, including: sweet green, Zipcar, Revolution Foods,  LivingSocial, Bigcommerce and Optoro.
Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). Under Steve’s leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL was the first Internet company to go public and the best performing stock of the 1990s, delivering a 11,616% return to shareholders. At its peak, nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. In 2000, Steve negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Steve agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed. 
Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. He was the founding chair of the Startup America Partnership, an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Steve also was the founding co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship.  In 2014, Steve was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.
Steve has been a leading voice in shaping government policy on issues related to entrepreneurship, working across the aisle to advance public policies that expand access to capital and talent.   He was instrumental in passing the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and is active in advocating on behalf of immigration reform.  
Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Together the Cases have invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector. In 2010, Steve and Jean joined The Giving Pledge and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
Over the last 29 years Jeff has been a designer, CEO, educator, consultant and investor. He enjoys the creative process, both from an artistic and organizational perspective. Currently he’s bringing these divergent experiences together in order to help companies develop more conscious, purpose-driven business models; and to help investors build societal as well as financial value. He tries to bring right and left brain thinking to problem solving, business creation and investing ideas; hopefully asking better questions and using his expertise to make the lives of those around him more fulfilling and successful.
As the CEO of The Porter Group and Founder and Executive Director of Conscious Venture Lab, Jeff is an evangelist for the transformation of capitalism. The Porter Group is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage and growth-stage companies that are operating at the intersection of profit and purpose. The Conscious Venture Lab is an accelerator for these same types of business using the tenets of Conscious Capitalism® and societal purpose as the foundation for creating long-term sustainable value. With the Conscious Venture Lab as an emerging brand in this fast growing field, Jeff is also a frequently invited speaker on the topic of impact investing and new models of business. He has recently had the honor to present at The University of Maryland, The Darden School at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and Columbia University, The Booth School at the University of Chicago, Howard Community College and The University of Baltimore.
Jeff is a recovering NCAA DIII Football player, has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and currently studies Krav Maga, the martial art and self-defense system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
Ric Fleisher has over 30 years of experience in business development, sales and technology. He has been involved with 8 prior start-ups. These ventures have included mobile, location based services, ID verification, networking hardware, speech, streaming video, collaboration, intelligent agents and RFID. He has helped build early stage technology companies in software, hardware and service areas. His current start-up is UpsideDoor. UpsideDoor is changing the way people sell and buy real estate. Prior to UpsideDoor, he co-founded – on-demand roadside assistance.
Daniel is the Chairman, CEO & Founder of Kajeet, a mission-driven company he first began dreaming about in 1996.  Before launching Kajeet, Daniel served as CEO & Vice Chairman of VCampus Corporation, a public company that pioneered the delivery of e-learning applications and services for students, business people and government workers. Prior to VCampus, Daniel was part of the team that built - and successfully took public - USinternetworking, where he conceived of, launched, and led the AppHost™ business unit.  USinternetworking was acquired by AT&T.  Daniel previously built international commercial relationships for the delivery of communications technologies and services for Sprint and Global One Communications, Sprint’s joint venture with France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom.  Daniel’s early career was in commercial banking, and public service.  He has worked extensively in local government, and later served as a senior staff member with the National Performance Review of the office of the Vice President of the United States. 
Daniel holds an AB in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Daniel has raised over $120 million of investment capital and is a named inventor on 24 U.S. patents.  He is active in many business, investment and technology circles, including Vistage and Mindshare.  An avid bicyclist, runner and reader, Daniel most enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, whose names are incorporated in the word “Kajeet.”
Liz Sara has more than 25 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and arts advocate.
In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage tech companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis -- bringing an entrepreneur’s perspective to solving the challenges of growing a start-up. Since inception, she has served as a virtual Marketing Chief for 90++ companies, assisting tech startups increase revenue and speed market adoption for their B2B products.
Previously, as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, she rebranded the company and created the PR program and IPO road show; at United Press International, she facilitated a turn-around strategy targeting the corporate market; and at LEXIS/NEXIS, she was on the startup team that created and successfully launched a new product and division.
She Chairs the Board of Advisors at the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the RH Smith School of Business at U-MD and serves as Entrepreneur- In-Residence. She is an adjunct Marketing Professor. Liz holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland. She is a frequent conference speaker and author on topics related to e-business, marketing, entrepreneurism and angel investing. She holds Advisory Board positions in several technology companies. She invests in startups as a member of the New Dominion Angels and Dingman Center Angels.
She supports numerous Washington, DC charities. She has served on the boards of the Summer Opera, the Sewall Belmont House & Museum, the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran, the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts and the Executive Board of the Capital City Ball charity. She is a Women’s Committee member of the NSO and currently manages Opera Camerata of Washington.
Secretary Mike Gill is a business leader with four decades of experience as an entrepreneur, a technology executive, an investment banker, and a public servant.
He was tapped by Governor Larry Hogan to lead the Maryland Department of Commerce (formerly the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development) in January 2015. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Gill led Evergreen Advisors, an investment bank, as chairman and principal. He was also a founder First Page, which was acquired by Metrocall; served as chairman of Curtis Engine, a Baltimore power generator company; and was chairman of Bluefire Security Technologies, a mobile cybersecurity developer. In 1984, Mr. Gill founded AMERICOM, a Baltimore-based provider of cellular products and services. AMERICOM expanded nationwide with more than 1,200 team members and was acquired by Solectron in 2000. He started his career with IBM and held a number of positions in sales and marketing. He then became Director of Data Systems in the mid-Atlantic region for Ernst & Young.
Mr. Gill served on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents from 2004 to 2009, chairing the audit committee and the technology transfer and commercialization workgroup. His past and present board memberships also include the Calvert Hall Board of Trustees, Baltimore County Economic Development Commission, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Bay National Bank, and Towson University of Board of Visitors. He is also a member of the President’s Advisory Board at Clemson University.
Gill earned his B.S. in business administration from Towson University in 1974 after first attending Clemson University on a baseball scholarship. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Towson University in 1996.
Michael Bronfein is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a specific focus on innovation and competitive advantage in healthcare services, healthcare technologies, software, and distribution. A visionary known for assembling excellent management teams resulting in market leading high growth organizations with clear brand propositions and strong financial returns, Michael has founded or co-founded and rapidly grown, as either CEO, Director, or investor, a number of market leading innovative companies in healthcare services and technology.
Consistent with his focus on innovation in healthcare, Michael is leading a team of scientists, pharmacologists, physicians, horticulturists, and agronomists in developing new medicines based on the Cannabis plant. The Company Curio aspires to be a market leader in creating medicinal products and herbal supplements in traditional dosage forms such as pills, capsules, ointments, liquids and transdermal patches. The Company has raised $30 million in equity capital, purchased a 55,000 square foot manufacturing plant, and is awaiting the award of licenses to operate in Maryland.
Most recently Michael served as Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Remedi SeniorCare (, which has grown from a start up to the 5th largest Long Term Care Pharmacy in the US serving approximately 45,000 nursing home and assisted living residents in 12 states. Michael initiated this investment while leading healthcare investing for Sterling Partners and migrated to an operating role in 2010. Remedi’s rapid growth and success has been driven by its proprietary disruptive technology Paxit, which is the world’s first and only fully automated high output robotic medication packaging system. The Paxit system is revolutionizing the long-term care pharmacy industry by reducing drug costs 15% and increasing nursing productivity 30% while achieving a 100% accuracy rate in dispensing.
Prior to joining Remedi, Michael was Co-founder and Senior Managing Director of Sterling Partners, a growth capital private equity fund with a focus on education, healthcare services and technologies and business Services. Michael and his partners grew the company from a start up to over $4 Billion in assets under management. At Sterling, Michael led investments in VISICU and VOCUS both of which resulted in IPOs for the companies.
Prior to founding Sterling Partners, Michael was Co-founder, Chairman & CEO of NeighborCare. Started as a traditional drugstore in Baltimore, NeighborCare became the second largest Long Term and Managed Care Pharmacy in the US servicing 250,000 long term care residents and 300,000 managed care patients daily. Michael received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1994 for the business model and concept for NeighborCare.
Prior to founding NeighborCare Michael led commercial finance lending for Signet Bank and held various management positions in the retail food industry.
Michael serves as the inaugural Chairman of the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition a Washington, DC based advocacy group whose sole focus is the financial viability and health of the long term care pharmacy industry. In addition to his focus on building great companies, Michael is actively involved in the community. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Medical School. He is also the past Chairman of the Board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Michael is a graduate of the University of Baltimore with a BS in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. He resides in Owings Mills, Maryland and Jupiter Florida with his wife of 40 years Jessica and is the proud father of three adult children and one granddaughter.
Jonathan Perl joined Boulder Ventures in 2002 and has over 19 years of venture capital experience focused exclusively on early-stage information technology companies. Mr. Perl currently sits on the boards of Stardog, SurfWatch Labs, Zenoss, Terrago Technologies, eMinor, Adwerx, and Dynamite Labs. In addition, he is a board observer at Clarabridge and MediaMath.
Representative recent past investments include iLumin Software Services, Inc (sold to CA), ERA Corporation (sold to SRA International), Metron Aviation, Inc. (sold to Airbus), RedCloud Security, Inc. (sold to Avigilon), FlybyMedia (sold to Apple), and Intellinote (sold to Broadsoft.)
Mr. Perl also serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association.
Prior to Boulder Ventures, Mr. Perl joined Intersouth Partners in 1997 as a member of the third class of Kaufman Fellows and in 1999 became a Partner. He was responsible for the sourcing, due diligence, structuring and negotiation of more than a dozen early stage investments, including several highly successful companies. He led Intersouth’s investments in InvoiceLink Corporation (sold to BCE Emergis) and Extensibility, Inc. (sold to TIBCO Software).
Mr. Perl is a past board member of the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development and served on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees and was Treasurer of National Child Research Center, a preschool in Washington, DC, from 2008-2012.
Mr. Perl holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College (1997) and a BA (magna cum laude) in classical history from Tufts University (1988).
Parag joined the Maryland Venture Fund in 2016. He brings successful operational experience having worked with 6 different venture backed firms.
Parag is an entrepreneur at heart. For the past 20 years, he has successfully led sales and marketing efforts for several venture-backed startups and multi-nationals. He has time and again built multi-million dollar businesses starting from scratch as well as rapidly grown existing businesses across the globe. His expertise scales across verticals, company size and geography.
His first two venture backed start-ups were in the telecom hardware space and both had successful exits for the investors. One of the investors was Andy Jones formerly of Boulder Ventures. Subsequent venture backed start-ups were in telecom software, motion sensors and global outsourced back-office verticals. Parag understands the challenges entrepreneurs face, bootstrapped his own marketing software company into a successful business.
At High Street Partners Parag built the Mid-Atlantic region into the leading region across the country. High Street Partners was sold to HG Capital in 2014 for $100M and was rebranded as Radius. Parag ran the private equity business for Radius.
Recently, he and Andy Jones joined up again at the Maryland Venture Fund. At the Maryland Venture Fund, portfolio companies benefit from his deep sales and marketing experience.
Parag started his career at TTC (now JDSU) where he held several sales responsibilities over seven years. He also led North America marketing for Siemens AG, SIE (ETR) and global marketing for Spirent Communications, SPT (LON).
Parag is a well known connector in the Mid-Atlantic community. He holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has a MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
Tom Gardner co-founded The Motley Fool with his brother David in 1993. He now serves as its Co-Chairman and CEO. In 2014 & 2015, Glassdoor ranked The Motley Fool the #1 place to work in the U.S. for companies with between 250-1000 employees. Tom serves as the lead advisor on Motley Fool One -- the company’s all-access service. He manages The Everlasting Portfolio, committed to holding every investment for more than 5 years, and to date has beaten the market soundly since its inception. Tom is a graduate of Brown University.
Jenny Abramson is the Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact. She is a proven execu- tive and entrepreneur having held a range of leadership roles across the impact tech space–in education, personal data, and media. She has been covered in CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, interviewed on Squawk Box, featured at the Code Conference, at the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill, and was named one of Washington’s 100 Top Tech Lead- ers in 2017, Top 40 Under 40 in 2015, and a DC Power Women in Tech in 2014.
Before leading in the venture space, Jenny served as CEO of LiveSafe, a mobile security com- pany focused on preventing school shootings and sexual assaults. She also held signifcant business roles at The Washington Post, Personal (a data tech company), and The Boston Consulting Group. In the education and social sector, Jenny oversaw the Transformation Man- agement Ofce for DC Public Schools Chancellor Rhee and served as the Director of Strategy & Development at Teach for America, and sits on four boards.
Beyond her entrepreneurial and executive experience, Jenny has played leadership roles in the investment realm. Most notably, beyond her current fund, she is an Advisory Board member of the Camden Partners Nexus Fund (a Venture Capital fund focused on investing in Maryland-based businesses). She also was selected to be the only Harvard MBA to serve on Harvard’s Investment Committee for Shareholder Responsibility.
Jenny received a BA and MA from Stanford, graduating with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA with honors and the Dean’s Award from Harvard Business School. She was also a Ful- bright Scholar focusing on Human Genomics at The London School of Economics.
Zvi Band is the founder and CEO of Contactually, a venture-backed CRM for relationship- based businesses. An accomplished technologist and software leader, he previously led Work- streamer as CTO from its initial product development to acquisition. Prior to Contactually, Zvi ran a software consultancy frm, working for clients such as Ford, NYSE and Volkswagen.
He serves as a mentor to two DC-based incubators—1776 and Acceleprise. He also founded ProudlyMadeinDC to promote DC entrepreneurship. He was named a Washingtonian Tech Titan and member of MindShare. Zvi is a seasoned entrepreneur, developer, strategist, and startup advisor.
He has unique expertise in both technical and non- technical operations. Zvi is an active public speaker, and frequently participates on technology panels at TechCocktail, Word- PressDC, DC PHP, and DC RUG events, to name a select few. He loves solving new problems, and building new products and services.
As CEO of Halcyon, Kate Goodall is the driving strategic force behind Halcyon’s creative growth. She was instrumental in the development of Halcyon’s well-established Halcyon Incubator, the newest creative series Halcyon Stage, and the soon-to-be-released residen- cy-based Halcyon Arts Lab. Goodall’s dedicated passion for arts, sciences and social impact lends an objective and unstoppable drive for formulating and executing Halcyon’s mission of catalyzing emerging creatives across multiple platforms, ideas and artistic media, striving for a better world.
In 2016, Goodall also helped Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Sheila C. Johnson in establishing WE Capital, a consortium of leading businesswomen in the Washington, D.C. region that invests in and supports women and women-led companies, inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs while providing opportunity for the investors to achieve their investment goals.
Prior to establishing Halcyon, Goodall served as COO of S&R Foundation, where she de- veloped new programs as well as oversaw impactful and capacity-building partnerships. Goodall hails from the museum feld and has worked previously at the Association of Science-Technology Centers, American Association of Museums and the Naval Historical Center, to name a few.
Goodall leads the DC Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council’s Economic Develop- ment and Entrepreneurship Subcommittee, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgetown Business Improvement District. She was a judge for WeWork’s inaugural Creator Awards, the Gifted Citizen prize at Ciudad de las Ideas, and MIT Technology Review’s Inno- vators Under 35 Europe Awards. Goodall has also served on Independent Sector’s emerging leaders council, was listed in the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 (2016) and 40 Under 40 (2017), and was named one of Washingtonian’s 2017 Tech Titans.
Goodall earned her B.A. in world literature and M.A. in nautical archaeology. She enjoys sail- ing, snorkeling, hiking, marksmanship, good food and playing with her two sons.
Rosemarie Truman is an entrepreneur, growth strategist, angel investor and prolific startup catalyst. Rosemarie is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI), an award-winning, 501c3 non-profit. CAI was coined the “Tinder for Startups and “Shark Tank on Steroids” has launched 80 companies over the last 3 years, and is launching an additional 145 companies in 2018. Rosemarie’s specialty is growth and investment strategy, and she has led strategies for 50 of the global Fortune 100 companies resulting in $300+ billion in revenue. After starting her career at Goldman Sachs, Rosemarie served in several corporate executive roles; most recently, she served as the head of IBM’s Innovation Strategy practice globally. Rosemarie’s work has been recognized by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, CBS, Huffington Post, Wired, the White House, Kauffman Foundation and more. In her spare time, Rosemarie writes for Forbes and sits on several company boards.
Michael Avon has nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur, executive and venture investor in a variety of technology and media companies. Currently, Michael is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of ICX Media, Inc., a digital media technology and data company focused on empowering independent video creators, brands and media companies. He is also a Venture Partner with ABS Capital, a leading growth equity investment fund based in Baltimore, MD, where he invests in various growth technology and services companies and sits on the boards of portfolio companies Factor Trust, IgnitionOne and Defy Media.
Previously, Michael was CFO & Executive Vice President of Millennial Media, the leading independent mobile advertising platform company, a company he helped launch as a venture capitalist in 2006. In his role as CFO & EVP, Michael led all corporate development, strategy, business development, finance, legal, HR, and administrative functions for the company. He was also actively involved in company operations, marketing and global expansion efforts. Michael helped launch Millennial Media as a venture capitalist in 2006 before joining the company in a full-time role in 2009. Michael led Millennial Media’s successful IPO process in 2012 and led numerous acquisitions and large strategic partnerships during his tenure.
Prior to Millennial, Michael was a venture capitalist with Columbia Capital, a leading technology, telecommunications and media venture fund and growth fund investing globally. At Columbia, Michael led numerous Internet, digital media, software and wireless investments and helped incubate and launch several portfolio companies out of the fund. Michael has a BA with distinction from the University of Virginia and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was named Private Company CFO of the Year by the NVTC in 2012 and is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He lives with his wife and two children in McLean VA.
Carol Van Cleef, CEO of Luminous Group and a partner in NuArca, is a lawyer and consultant who specializes in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. Carol is a FinTech lawyer by background, having worked with various payment technologies from more than 20 years. She has been immersed in digital and virtual currencies for more than 10 years. She represents clients through out the cryptocurrency ecosphere, includ- ing exchanges, miners, software development companies, private equity and ven- ture capital firms as well as banking organizations. She has been actively working with clients on designing and implementing ICOs and token offerings. Carol advises clients on a full range of legal and regulatory issues impacting this space including state money transmitter licensing, anti-money laundering and compliance, consumer protection, privacy and data security. Carol is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Spe- cialist (CAMS) and created an AML compliance bootcamp for virtual currency related companies. She is launching in late May a compliance bootcamp for companies that have completed or are contemplating ICOs. She sits on the advisory board of several Blockchain related companies including Securrency. Carol is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Ameri- can University’s Washington College of Law.
Brian Hoffman is the CEO and co-founder of OB1, a company focused on building software for OpenBazaar, a decentralized peer to peer marketplace for global free trade using Bitcoin. He spent over 10 years working with clients like US Department of Defense, classified agencies as well as many Fortune 500 companies like Neiman Marcus, FedEx, Boeing and Hilton Hotels providing cybersecurity consulting services. He now runs one of the most well-known decentralized application projects in the space with OpenBazaar.
Mike Daniels is a globally recognized business entrepreneur, technology industry leader and investor. He has been directly involved in creating over $50 Billion in shareholder returns in high growth technology companies over 35 years.
Mike is the former Chairman and CEO of Network Solutions, former Chairman and CEO of Mobile365, former Chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (the largest technology council in the United States) and former Chairman of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce (the largest business advocacy organization in the State of Virginia). He purchased Network Solutions for $4.7 Million in 1995, raised $3.2 Billion in the public markets from IPO in 1997 to 2000 in 3 offerings and then sold Network Solutions in 2000 for $19.3 Billion. This record still stands on Wall Street as one of the greatest returns on any investment in a 5 year period from purchase to sale and included one of the largest internet public offerings of all time.
Mike has served on 22 public, private and non-profit boards of directors often as Chairman of the board. He currently serves on the board of directors of Blackberry, CACI International, Mercury Systems, Invincea (as Chairman) and the Logistics Management Institute (as Chairman). Some of his notable past board service has included Acentia, Apogen, GlobalLogic (as Chairman) , Sybase, Telcordia Technologies and VeriSign. He has worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the White House National Security Council as a Senior Advisor, as a member of the United States Trade Representative’s International Investment Policy Advisory Commission and as a member of the US National Commission to UNESCO.
Mike is the co-author with Dr. Robert Beyster of Names, Numbers and Network Solutions: The Monetization of the Internet. He is the recipient of the Earle C. Williams Leadership in Technology Award, the Mike Devine Hall of Fame Award and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Top Business Leader in Northern Virginia Award. He received his BS and MA degrees from Northwestern University and his JD degree from the University of Missouri School of Law.
Dan Berger is the Founder and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Social Tables. The award-winning software platform has been used to source, plan and execute nearly 3 million events since 2011.
The company has 5,000 customers. It has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the D.C. area by the Washington Post and SmartCEO. Social Tables has won numerous recognitions, including Best Industry Innovation from the International Live Events Association and one of the most innovative companies in live events by Fast Company.
Dan has been recognized as an industry and tech leader by BizBash, Event Solutions, Washingtonian, MeetingsNet, Successful Meetings, and others. He is the recipient of the Pacesetter Award from the Events Industry Council and was named one of the most influential leaders in the meetings industry in Successful Meetings for two years in a row. He volunteers with several industry organizations, including the Events Industry Council. Dan chairs the Capital Tech Coalition and the DC Chapter of the Georgetown Tech Alliance.
Prior to Social Tables, Dan worked in management consulting, ran a large association, worked for a Member of Congress, and built websites for several startups.
As CEO of TEDCO—Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies—George drives the organization’s mission to create and grow technology-based businesses that grow and thrive throughout Maryland. He garners his expertise from C-level acumen and a history of successful investment and operational engagements within the Maryland Innovation ecosystem. 
George joined TEDCO in June 2017, boasting more than three decades of investing, building, and managing successful companies within the biotech, IT, and software industries. Most recently, George served as CEO of Gemstone Biotherapeutics, founded in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University to develop innovative, high efficiency, evidence-based wound care solutions. He also served as Partner with Gamma3 LLC, a Maryland-based investment platform which provides early-stage financing to locally based startups. While there, George guided investments in Maryland companies.
He has held executive roles at several publicly traded companies, including Northrop Grumman Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and Aether Systems, where he helped grow the company by leading its public offering. He also served as CEO of Avatech Solutions, where he led its merger with Rand Worldwide in 2010, more than doubling the size of the business. George has also served on various advisory boards for local early-stage organizations, helping to secure more than $1.5 billion in capital for several technology sector companies over his career.
In his first year at TEDCO, George has helped entrepreneurs develop their startup companies through entrepreneurial business assistance and seed funding. Under his guidance, TEDCO recently added five companies to its seed portfolio, totaling $600,000 in new investments for tech and life science startups. Nicknamed an “entrepreneur’s entrepreneur” by TEDCO Chairman Newt Fowler, George embodies TEDCO’s mission of supporting small businesses—including tech startups—and making Maryland’s Innovation Ecosystem something all Marylanders can be proud of.
According to George: “Building strong relationships with all of the innovation ecosystem constituencies and leveraging the unprecedented footprint and pedigree of the state’s academic research facilities is paramount to our success.”
George holds a degree in Business and Economics from Bethany College, and is now an honored Trustee Emeritus.
As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, I'm running full speed, and that's the way I like it. I spent 15 years as employee number one, the President and COO for Carr Workplaces, building it into a 30 location multi- million dollar business. Before Carr, I spent 14 years at HQ Global Workplaces, now known as Regus. I was co- working when coworking was executive suites, and now I'm leading the charge into 2021 as the industry innovates to a more flexible office concept. In January 2015, I decided to join my husband, Mike, as a partner and thought leader on the business management consulting side. StellaPop's primary focus is assisting client CEO's in improving their people, operations, brand, and bottom line.
Anthony Millin is the Chair of NEXT and a trusted legal and business advisor to startup, early-stage, and emerging growth companies. As a corporate and securities attorney, a successful serial entrepreneur, and a venture capitalist, Anthony brings a unique legal and business perspective to advising his clients. Anthony understands firsthand what it takes to start, scale and manage a company, to successfully prepare for and run a fund-raising process, and to address the legal issues faced by a startup. Another specialized skill set Anthony brings to the table is his China-based experience, assisting early-stage and middle-market companies interested in conducting business in China or seeking direct foreign investment from China. Anthony also serves as a Venture Partner at Urban Us, a seed-stage VC firm. Contact Anthony at
Chris leads and manages all partnerships at Modus Create. Having spent his professional career in a variety of roles within software, IT, and consulting organizations, Chris is able to identify strategy opportunities within the broad partnership ecosystem and create relationships that drive value to our clients, team members, and each respective partner.
Chris Ross is a Wealth Advisor with Truist Wealth Management. He offers clients more than 25 years of comprehensive wealth management experience. Chris leads a team that brings together specialists in investments, financial planning, credit, and estate strategies. He is a native of Baltimore and lives in Annapolis with his wife Jennifer and two children. Chris is a graduate of Salisbury University with dual degrees in Economics and History. He received his MBA from the College of William & Mary and has completed post- graduatework at The Johns Hopkins University.
Esther Lee is the President and CEO of Refraction, a technology innovation hub in Northern Virginia, focused on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship by nurturing and mentoring startups and high-growth companies. Prior to joining Refraction, Esther served as Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where she oversaw 14 state agencies. In that role, she led Virginia’s successful bid for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2).
Esther has also served as Global Chief Marketing and New Business Officer at Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications firm, advising major clients like Samsung, Coca-Cola, and Marriott. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Esther as Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. She created and led the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She also launched the White House “Startup America” initiative and the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship.
George Nemphos is a founding member of Nemphos Braue, a Mid-Atlantic boutique law firm representing entrepreneurs, start-ups, emerging and mature companies, as well as venture capital and private equity funds. He has extensive experience working with private equity to lead M&A deals including spin-offs, roll-ups, minority interest acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as advising in capital raising efforts, and supporting entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses. George holds an LLM from Georgetown and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore. He volunteers at St. Paul’s School for Boys, was on the Executive Leadership Committee for the 2019 and 2021 American Heart Association Heart Ball and serves on the Board of Directors for Driving Force Group and the Maryland Business Innovation Association.
Jeff Reid is the Founding Director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative and Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Reid is a catalyst for entrepreneurship and a well-known leader in entrepreneurship education. In 2009, Reid launched the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative to catalyze entrepreneurial thinking and activities across Georgetown University and impact the growing DMV startup community. Previously, Reid founded UNC’s Center for Entrepreneurship and grew it to a No. 1 national ranking by Forbes & Princeton Review, and was chosen by his peers and Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top five entrepreneurship center directors in the United States.
Mark Haas is Co-founder and CEO of AEG (Association for Enterprise Growth), responsible for strategy, operations, and expansion of its communities to 30 cities nationally. He was previously President of ROM a strategy and operations management consulting firm, advising CEOs and boards to include leadership training for Tanzanian energy executives, developing curricula to train consultants in 40 countries for an international bank, crafting strategy and innovative business models for $120 million nonprofit, merging two scientific associations, re-organizing a biomedical research agency, facilitating development of WWIV military strategy, and of facilitating a global R&D strategy for the US Navy.
Pat is focused on the intersection of design, technology, and business. He saw the need for a high-end product consulting firm built with open-source team design and the concept for Modus was born. Pat helps clients see new ways to tackle challenges with emerging technology and brings his unmatched passion to work every day. As a serial entrepreneur and active startup mentor, he’s a co-organizer of NoVa.JS and NYC.JS. He is a 2011 graduate of Mind Share, received his MBA from Georgetown University, where he is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and holds a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, where he currently serves as an advisory council member for the George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Pete co-founded Ryan & Wetmore in 1988, a 3 office, 35-person firm serving the Mid-Atlantic region. He currently works with clients to address tax, audit, and accounting issues. He also has significant experience in international tax matters and business consulting services. His expertise extends to Healthcare organizations, Construction and Real Estate, Government contractors, Technology, Manufacturing, and High Net Worth Individuals. Pete has served on the Board of Directors for several organizations. He is an active member of the Healthcare Advisors Association, the Real Estate and Construction Association, the CPA Manufacturing Services Association, the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance, and the Construction Financial Management Association.
Chris is a Principal at Sands Capital focusing on early-stage investments across the AI/ML, cybersecurity, and application infrastructure sectors. Prior to Sands Capital, Chris worked with early-stage venture capital firms YL Ventures and ForgePoint Capital while completing his MBA. Previously, Chris was a management consultant and product manager at Promontory Financial Group, a strategy and risk management consulting firm for the financial industry. Chris received a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where he graduated cum laude, and an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Anthony Millin is the Chair of NEXT and a trusted legal and business advisor to startup, early- stage, and emerging growth companies. As a corporate and securities attorney, a successful serial entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, Anthony brings a unique legal and business perspective to advising his clients. “Anthony has had a tremendous impact on the success of my company since we were in the startup phase,” says Dale Nirvani Pfeifer, Founder and CEO of GoodWorld. “He has not only provided sound and creative legal support but has also served as a key business advisor throughout the growth of my company.” Anthony understands firsthand what it takes to start, scale, and manage a company, to successfully prepare for and run a fund-raising process, and to address the legal issues faced by a startup. This background provides him with valuable insights into the legal and business needs of his clients. Anthony has worked closely with a range of angel and institutional investors and helps clients identify real opportunities. He serves businesses across multiple industries including internet/SaaS, technology, biotech, cleantech, edtech, fintech and health care. Another specialized skill set Anthony brings to the table is his China-based experience, assisting early-stage and middle-market companies interested in conducting business in China or seeking direct foreign investment from China. Anthony also serves as a Venture Partner at Urban.Us, a seed stage VC firm. Contact Anthony at
Dan Dooley originally joined Tishman Speyer in 2001 to lead the firm's regional leasing efforts in Washington, DC. As Regional Leasing Director, he leased properties such as One Metro Center, 1325 G Street, 1099 New York Avenue, Woodland Pointe, and Plaza East before leaving in 2014. Since rejoining in 2019, he is responsible for leading leasing and asset strategy in the region. Prior to rejoining Tishman Speyer, Dan was the Chief Operating Officer with Carr Properties where he ran their Leasing, Marketing, Property Management, Asset Management and Construction Management groups. With over 30 years of experience in real estate, Dan has also held roles with Trammell Crow, JMB Realty Corporation, LaSalle Partners/JLL and Savills Studley. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BBA in Finance. He holds broker's licenses in DC, MD, and VA.

David Marshall, Jr. is the Associate Dean of Strategic Partnerships and Executive Education at The George Washington University's College of Professional Studies (CPS). He works with the dean to design and implement a comprehensive partnership-engagement strategy to create long- term relationships that create value for our partners, generate enrollment for the college, and foster the career advancement of our students and alumni.

Prior to coming to CPS, Mr. Marshall served as Chief Membership Engagement and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). At NASPAA he was charged with building productive relationships with deans, directors, and faculty members of the over 320 public policy and public administration programs in the United States and overseas to ensure excellence in public service education and training and to promote the ideal of public service careers.

Additionally, Mr. Marshall engaged with professional staff at NASPAA member schools including directors of admissions, career placement, and marketing/communications and paired them with NASPAA's initiatives and professional development opportunities.

Keith Anderson is appointed Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Deputy Mayor Anderson previously served as the Director of the DC Department of General Services (DGS), a government agency with a mission to build, maintain, and sustain the District of Columbia's real estate portfolio, which includes more than 157 million square feet of land and 35.7 million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. This work has allowed the agency to foster economic viability, environmental stewardship, and equity across all eight wards of the city. With a workforce of just under 600, DGS is responsible for maintaining 844 buildings, including educational, municipal and recreational locations. Prior to DGS, Mr. Anderson was the Director of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). He served as Director of the DC

Department of Energy and Environment (DDOE) prior to DPR. During his tenure at DPR, Mr. Anderson oversaw the construction and or modernization of 79 recreation projects including recreation facilities, fitness center renovations, and facility security upgrades.

Leona Agouridis is the executive director of the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID), the 44-square-block area of the central business district that connects the White House to Dupont Circle. Prior to that she served in several leadership positions including Registrar of Voters for the District of Columbia, Media Relations Director of Metro, and Assistant General Manager for Communications, Marketing and Customer Service at Metro. She has served the Golden Triangle since 2006, putting in place key initiatives that include award winning emergency preparedness, placemaking and sustainability initiatives.

A dynamic professional who wears multiple hats as the Community Manager for CONNECTpreneur and Business Analyst for Opus8. I have many years of experience in Business Management, Social Media Marketing/Management, Data Analytics, Business Leadership, and Project Management. With a diverse skill set and a passion for facilitating connections and driving business growth, I thrive at the intersection of Community Management and Strategic Analysis.

I'm passionate about my current role at CONNECTpreneur, which hosts the world's largest monthly investor pitch events as well as 1/2-day Forums with upwards of 900 RSVPs, featuring VIP guests, speakers, exciting presenting companies, and the best CXO to CXO networking on the East Coast. My role includes fostering engagement and building relationships within the investor and entrepreneur community. I create inclusive digital spaces where members can share insights, collaborate on opportunities, and build a supportive network.

I also enjoy my current role as a Business Analyst at Opus8. Opus8 assists companies and fund managers in raising private capital from family offices, UHNW individuals, and institutions. I leverage my analytical mindset and attention to detail to provide valuable insights for Opus8. Through my analysis of investment opportunities and industry research, I help drive informed decision-making, enabling Opus8 to curate high-quality events that bring together investors and promising ventures.

A highly motivated and hardworking individual, having more than nine year experience in the field of Management & Finance | Hospitality | Guest Satisfaction | Operational and Service Excellence | Achieved Maximum Profitability

Alexander Triantis became the third dean of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2019. He has built a reputation throughout his career as a strong, personable, and pragmatic leader skilled at building consensus around a strategic vision.

Prior to joining Carey Business School, Triantis served as dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland from 2013 to 2019, and chair of the Finance Department from 2006 to 2011. Previously, he was a visiting scholar at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and an assistant and associate professor of finance at the University of Wisconsin. Triantis received his PhD in industrial engineering (with a specialization in finance) from Stanford University and his BASc and MEng degrees from the University of Toronto.

As the CEO of TEDCO—Maryland’s $200M+ AUM, 60M+ operating budget, $2.5B impact, 1.4 TVPI, economic engine for technology companies—Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall leads the organization’s mission to support economic empowerment through the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. He also serves as a Strategic Advisor for Hunter Lewis, LLC, an investment management advisory firm, led by Cambridge Associates Co-Founder Hunter Lewis.

An accomplished & award-winning Chief Experience Officer with significant experience in leading and implementing strategic plans via strong coaching and a focus on metrics, Troy has led or co-led over $3B in debt and equity offerings.

Steve Pennington has over 30 years of senior leadership experience with both private sector and public sector organizations. From an operational perspective he has always managed for outcome-based results. He has expertise in multiple industry sectors developing and implementing strategic plans with set measurable targets required for achieving objectives.

He is knowledgeable in multiple markets and industry sectors where customer acquisition, relationship building, retention and customer service skills are highly valued assets in achieving goals and objectives. He is experienced in public and private sector markets with a proven ability in defining the engagement and opportunity creation process for organizations at the State and local public sector level as well as the SMB sector to Fortune 100.

Steve currently serves as Vice President of Technology & Innovation for the Maryland Tech Council (MTC) leading interaction for membership, sponsorship, and stakeholder engagement. This position keeps him actively involved with stakeholder and partner engagement across a broad-spectrum of industry sectors as well as engaged with economic development organizations throughout Maryland.

Dr. Hemingway brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, scientific, and investing experience in business formation, technology commercialization, startup leadership, and medical device entrepreneurship. She has been an active member of the Maryland entrepreneurial ecosystem as a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, philanthropist, and board member. D r. Hemingway is a mentor in the FedTech accelerator and sits on the advisory boards of eight biotech companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Pathotrak, Relavo, Playwell, and Aloe Therapeutics. She is a venture partner and serves on a number of medtech committees at NextGen Venture Partners. She was recognized by the UMD Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship as the 2019 Angel Investor of the Year.

Dr. Hemingway earned a PhD in biophysics from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), after completing dual bachelor’s degrees at Ohio University. She currently lives in central Maryland with her husband and four children.

As Director, Seed Funds, Teddy is responsible for helping to define strategy and leading seed team members with the dual objectives of investor returns and economic development for the state of Maryland. He provides thought leadership, develops investment themes, structures and executes investments, and proactively manages portfolio companies.

Teddy initially joined TEDCO as part of the Venture Fellows program, jumped at the opportunity to come on board full-time as an Investment Analyst, and worked his way up to be promoted to the Director, Seed Funds. Teddy has evaluated hundreds of early-stage technology companies and led investments across verticals ranging from Life Sciences, Cybersecurity, SaaS, FinTech, Advanced Materials, Robotics, Drones, and more.

Prior to joining TEDCO, Teddy was a Senior Associate with Techstars Equitech, providing operational and consultative support at scale to 12 high-growth technology startups with a focus on underrepresented founders. Teddy also brings to the table experience co-founding an angel investing syndicate focused on Climate Tech and consulting for an innovative life sciences start up in Baltimore.

Teddy earned his MBA, with a Graduate Certificate in Investments and Portfolio Management, at The George Washington University and his BA in Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

With over 30 years of leadership and development experience in the videogame, mobile, and EdTech industries, Vijay is a serial entrepreneur and game development veteran who has shipped over 85 titles, generating more than $2.5 billion in revenue. He is a Harvard Business School-trained leader with expertise in negotiation, VC/PE strategy, and innovation, and a passionate advocate for creating engaging and impactful digital solutions that fit investor, consumer, and client needs.

As the Managing Director at Mindgrub Ventures, he lead a team of successful startup founders and strong personal networks, providing financial capital, investment expertise, strategic support, and product development services in exchange for equity. He has have been instrumental in raising approximately $50 million in venture capital via angel, VC, PE, and debt financing, and in partnering with clients such as National Geographic, General Electric, Universal Studios, and Microsoft. His mission is to leverage his gamification skills and industry knowledge to help entrepreneurs turn their great ideas into profitable digital experiences.

Paul is a founding partner at Blu Venture Investors. Prior, he launched and grew In Vitro Technologies, Inc. for 15 years as president and CEO and led a successful sale of the company in 2006. Through this experience, he has developed a proven track record of growing a successful business-to-business technology company from inception to sale, focusing on innovation, execution, and creation of a valuable brand. He has been an investor in over 50 Mid-Atlantic companies with a record of solid exits. Currently, he is the board director or advisor to Evergreen Advisors LLC, PathSensors, Inc., LKC Technologies, Insightin Health, Ethix360, and the University of Maryland Momentum Fund. He holds a Ph.D. in toxicology, MSPH in public health and is a named inventor on five patents. His investment strategy has focused on tech, including enterprise SaaS, Cyber, IoT, and occasionally medical devices.

As an investor, Paul enjoys finding the few gems from among the hundreds of investment opportunities that Blu sees each year. He values investing capital and expertise into these companies to help them grow, succeed, expand their teams, and become an important addition to the regional economy.

Will has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting in auditing both public and privately held companies in various industries. He has extensive experience in auditing SEC accelerated filers subject to internal control (ICFR) audits and multi- national audit clients with foreign operations. He also has extensive experience in leading technical accounting advisory engagements in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, IPOs including de-SPAC transactions, IFRS to US GAAP conversion projects, ASC 606, Revenue recognition implementation, ASC 842, Leases adoption and implementation and accounting for complex debt and equity instruments. Prior to joining Forvis, Will was an audit partner in another international accounting firm’s audit practice. Will also worked in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) between 2002 and 2007. As an Accounting Branch Chief at the SEC, Will’s primary responsibilities included overseeing the review of financial statements and disclosures of both domestic and foreign registrants in registration statements, proxy’s and annual reports

Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, is a distinguished MIT-trained Urban Planner and Real Estate Executive overseeing the growth of Virginia's largest economy. Recognized for his leadership, Virginia was named the "Top State for Business Climate" in 2022 and topped CNBC's "America’s Top States for Business" in 2021 and 2019. Honored with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023, Hoskins is consistently featured among the most influential business leaders in Virginia and the Greater Washington area. Under his guidance, FCEDA secured $3 billion in capital investment, creating 38,000 jobs, and initiated a comprehensive talent program engaging 1,000 companies and 100 universities. Previously, as director of economic development in Arlington County, he played a pivotal role in attracting Amazon's second headquarters, generating $4 billion in private capital investment and creating 82,000 jobs. Hoskins, with an Honors degree from Dartmouth, has held executive positions in real estate across public and private sectors, leaving a lasting impact from Wall Street to Main Street and contributing to transformative projects such as City Center and the Wharf in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Taylor serves as the President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), a leading trade association representing the National Capital Region's expansive tech community. With a membership of 500 organizations spanning various tech sectors, service providers, academic institutions, and nonprofits, NVTC has thrived under Taylor's leadership since 1991. Jennifer has significantly increased membership, engaged over 15,000 tech professionals through events, and implemented a five-year strategic plan impacting over 20 key performance indicators. Prior to NVTC, she played a crucial role at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) as VP of Industry Affairs, launching initiatives focused on closing the skills gap and promoting diversity in the tech sector. Jennifer's extensive career also includes leadership roles at AARP, where she developed a smart tablet for seniors, and various positions at the American Red Cross, RTCRM, and KSK Communications. Recognized for her contributions, she has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award, Prominent Patriots in Business Award, Virginia Business Women in Leadership Award, and the Tech Titans Award. Jennifer holds a BA in communications/journalism from the University of Michigan and an MBA from George Mason University. She is dedicated to positioning the region as a global tech hub and actively serves on multiple boards, including Connected DMV and the Technology Councils of North America.

Dr. Anne Khademian was named to serve as the Universities at Shady Grove’s third executive director in October 2020. As executive director of USG, a regional higher education center of USM in Montgomery County, with programs from nine universities on one campus, Dr. Khademian also holds the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for USM. Before joining USG, Dr. Khademian served most recently as a Presidential Fellow and professor at Virginia Tech, where she enjoyed a stellar 17-year career that included several years as director of the School of Public and International Affairs. A longtime resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, she served in her presidential fellowship in Virginia Tech’s Research Center in Arlington, VA. In that capacity, she supported the collaborative implementation of “Beyond Boundaries” initiatives, working across the university’s campuses and stakeholder committees to support organizational innovation and growth.
Anthony Featherstone joined WSM in early 2021 with over fifteen years of workforce development experience. During his tenure at WSM, Anthony has prioritized community engagement and impact, (workforce) system building, regional collaboration, and streamlined job seeker and business services.Prior to WSM, Anthony served as the Director of Workforce Operations at KRA Corporation in Columbia, MD – a national provider of employment and training for workforce development boards and human service agencies. In addition to his nine years with KRA, he held leadership roles with the South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce and a DC-based nonprofit specializing in community-based services. Anthony also served at the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services Office of Apprenticeship, Information & Training.Throughout his career, Anthony has successfully delivered high-quality programs for WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker, In-School & Out-of-School Youth, TANF, SNAP, and NPEP populations. He has also developed expertise in fiscal management, program operations, quality control, strategic planning, stakeholder relations, and human resource development.Anthony earned his MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Development from Webster University in St. Louis, MO, and a BA in Sociology from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. He is also a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) and Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF).Anthony is an active member of the Maryland Workforce Association (MWA), National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP), National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), Southeastern Employment & Training Association (SETA), and National Career Development Association (NCDA).
Bill Tompkins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), based in Rockville MD. He leads a strong team of diverse economic development, business development, marketing, communications and strategic partnership professionals who work to fulfill the mission of making Montgomery County one of the best, most diverse and equitable places to be in business in the country. Bill was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and has been with MCEDC since January of 2019. Bill has a deep background in marketing, business operations, strategic planning, and nonprofit management, with most of his career serving as a senior executive in the media and entertainment industries with Fortune 500 companies. From May 2014 until August 2015, Bill was Vice President, Advertising and Marketing at The Philadelphia Tribune. He made a strategic investment in The Tribune to help ensure the long-term sustainability of Black media in the US. In July 2012, he was named President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a Washington-based organization, which represents over 200 Black-owned and operated newspapers across the nation. Bill joined the Eastman Kodak Company in 2000 as Chief Marketing Officer for the Entertainment Imaging Business unit and became Vice President and General Manager of the Motion Picture Film Group while also serving as a corporate vice president. Prior to Kodak, Bill spent nineteen years from 1982 until 2000 at The Washington Post Newspaper in a variety of executive positions. His most recent position there was Vice President of Marketing with most of his career spent in the Advertising and Circulation Departments
Jean-Luc is the Senior Director of Social Impact Funds at TEDCO, responsible for defining and executing the strategy for the funds with dual objectives of financial returns and Maryland economic development. Jean-Luc was one of the founding partners of Ferrum Capital, an EB-5 regional center focused on facilitating investment for real estate developments to support job creation. He has been a consultant to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, where he researched the IFC’s job creation activity through their global private equity investments. He was a consultant to the board of Calvert Social Funds, a publicly traded mutual fund, running their private equity and venture capital activities in the Special Equities program. During that time, he was responsible for over $50 mil in investments in about 30 funds and 30 direct investments. Jean-Luc began his investment career at Draper Triangle Ventures and Lycos Ventures in Pittsburgh during the dot-com era in 1999. He has experienced many booms and busts in the private equity world. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (B.S. Math/Computer Science 1994, B.A. Economics 1994, MBA 1998) Jean-Luc was on the Global Advisory Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum, and has been the executive chair of the Washington D.C. and Baltimore chapter. He has been a member of the Forum since 2002. He also served on the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Board. He helped restart the Washington D.C. chapter of the Tepper Alumni program. He consults and advises several start-up companies in the Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. region. He has taught and coached several hundred companies since he began his investing career.
Special Projects Manager for Business, Innovation, and Economic Development in the Office of the County Executive of Montgomery County, Maryland. Before joining Montgomery County, Judy worked for BioHealth Innovation (BHI) as Managing Director of Economic Development. Prior to joining BHI, she served as Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce's Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences and as Deputy Director of the department's BioMaryland Center. In these positions, she worked to grow the state’s biohealth cluster by supporting industry recruitment and retention, commercialization, workforce, non-dilutive and dilutive fundraising, international soft landing, partnership and promotion activities. She previously managed the nonprofit Business Alliance for Innovation and Entrepreneurship organizing venture pitch forums, entrepreneur bootcamps, tech transfer showcases, educational seminars, and other programs connecting entrepreneurs, faculty innovators, students, and industry leaders in Maryland, DC and Virginia with each other and with those providing funding and other resources to young companies.
Kelly Schulz is a mother, wife, successful small business owner, and served seven years in Governor Hogan’s administration as the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Commerce. Most recently, as Maryland Secretary of Commerce, Kelly oversaw the state’s primary economic development agency. Under Kelly’s leadership, the department also served as the largest resource to provide financial assistance to struggling Maryland companies adversely impacted by COVID-19. Kelly was successfully elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Frederick County. As a Delegate, Kelly took her knowledge and experience as a small businesswoman and served on the Economic Matters Committee where she focused on legislation relating to banks and other financial institutions, business occupations and professions, economic development, labor and employment, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Recognized by Governor Hogan for her knowledge and expertise on economic matters, she was appointed as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in 2015, where she managed nearly 2,000 employees and oversaw an annual budget of $375 million.
Shana Lawlor is a Venture Capital Investor and the Managing Partner of 2raze and Totipotent Capital. She is a Limited Partner in Rock Health Capital and an investor with Health Tech Capital. Ms. Lawlor is also the Board President of Health Tech X (HTX), a new members-only community of healthcare executives and leaders in DC, Maryland and Virginia. She was named “Trending 40 Power Woman in DC Tech” and serves as a startup advisor and mentor for Springboard Enterprises, the Center On Rural Innovation and the Black River Innovation Campus. She has worked as an Entrepreneur, Digital Health Consultant and International Small Business Consultant for over 20 years, most recently, as the CEO of a digital health company that provided expecting and new parents with counseling and support. She previously worked in healthcare and IT at Booz Allen Hamilton, Arthur Anderson and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Urvashi Bhatnagar, DPT, MBA is a healthcare executive whose career spans clinical care, strategy and M&A, and venture capital as the Managing Partner and GP of The Good Science Fund and Expert at Primary VC. She is also an opinion columnist for CEO World, and has nearly two decades of experience in the healthcare ecosystem. Along with Dr. Paul Anastas, Bhatnagar is co-author of the new book The Sustainability Scorecard: How To Implement And Profit From Unexpected Solutions. She believes global wellness can be achieved through sustained and intentional investment by way of strategic partnerships and capital allocation. Bhatnagar holds an MBA from Yale University and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Boston University.
Richard Brandenburg, a Reston native with a lifelong passion for food, has journeyed through esteemed kitchens, including experiences with the Brennan Family Restaurants in New Orleans, Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in London, and alongside Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York. His culinary education under Nora Pouillon and Mark Miller emphasized the importance of quality ingredients and meticulous research. Joining José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup in 2008, he spearheaded projects such as the Bazaar brand in Los Angeles. As Director of Culinary Strategy for EDENS, he led development efforts for Union Market and La Coshecha. Now, as co-founder of UNFOLD Hospitality with Rubén García, his aim is to cultivate a sense of community and mentorship in the industry, drawing on his wealth of experiences to shape the next generation of culinary leaders.
Dr. Pamela Norris, Vice Provost for Research at George Washington University and Frederick Tracy Morse Professor Emerita at the University of Virginia, boasts a distinguished career in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Recognized worldwide for her expertise in nanoscale heat transfer, particularly interfacial thermal transport, she holds patents for innovative thermal management techniques, including applications in jet-blast deflectors and aerogels for diverse uses from biological warfare detection to lab-on-a-chip systems. Dr. Norris is renowned for her mentoring prowess and commitment to fostering diversity in STEM fields, receiving accolades such as the Society of Women Engineers Distinguished Engineering Educator Award in 2016. A leader in nanotechnology education, she chaired the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) National Nanotechnology Institute’s Committee on Nanotechnology Education and spearheaded the inaugural national Nano-Training Bootcamps. In 2021, she was elected as an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for her outstanding contributions to thermal science and engineering research, her advocacy for diversity, and her mentorship. Currently, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering. Dr. Norris earned her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Rae Stott Co-founder and CEO of Refraction is a dynamic leader, working at the nexus of startups, culture and community. Rae has built a robust foundation in using culture and community to address complex challenges and wicked problems.
Her career began in Australia, where she first built a community and founded a charity to address gaps in the social services ecosystem. She then helped deploy this formula against the failings in disaster response efforts, before turning her attention to technology companies. Her subsequent position as Director of Culture at GoCanvas, helped her prove the hypothesis that culture and community were as valuable in business as they are in addressing social issues.
As CEO at Refraction, Rae has returned to the organization she co-founded over a decade ago to understand how community and culture support the startup ecosystem and economy in post-COVID world. A challenge she relishes.
David Kelley serves as the Vice President of Business Investment (BI) at the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). During his tenure at the FCEDA, David has supported a wide range of sectors, including software, government IT, data centers, emerging technologies, analytics, and cloud companies.
Before joining FCEDA, David amassed over 25 years of experience in business development, holding various managerial and leadership positions at major technology organizations such as Akamai and the Corporation for Open Systems International. At the latter, he contributed to establishing the Open Systems Interconnection model, a foundational concept for the internet and telecommunications that remains widely used today.
In his fourteen-plus years at FCEDA, David has played a vital role in the organization's outreach to the business community. He has served on the boards of the Mt. Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce, Greater Reston Chamber, and the Committee for Dulles. Additionally, he has held a leadership role in the local chapter of the Armed Forces Electronic Communications Association (AFCEA).
David is a graduate of Utah State University, where he earned a degree in Sociology with a focus on statistics, research methods, and economic and community development. Outside of his professional life, he is a classical guitarist and pianist.