Mason Enterprise Center 
Immigration & Entrepreneurship
The Mason Enterprise Center and the School of Business collaborated on a program entitled "Immigration & Entrepreneurship: A Celebration of the Contribution That Immigrants Make to Our Region." The program, led by Aaron Miller, Leohana Carrera, and Lisa Gring-Pemble, featured a diverse group of speakers and partners, including the American Immigration Council, the Mason Dreamers, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Arlington Economic Development, as well as private sector partners. MEC-Fairfax incubator client, Bimal Tamrakar, CEO of Venio Systems, participated on one panel that featured immigrant entrepreneurs from four continents who shared their stories of how they have created jobs for people in our community.  Read more
Patricia Frame named VA Small Business Veteran of the Year
Major Patricia "Patra" Frame, U.S. Air Force retired, founded Strategies for Human Resources, where she trains senior managers on effective hiring, performance management, and people-related decision-making. Clients learn to achieve their goals by integrating their company's culture into their personnel actions.  Frame is a highly sought-after speaker and writer; she recently published Networking Guide for Military in Transition and Veterans (2016).  Frame's community involvement focuses on career development, especially for women veterans in technology. On March 23, the Virginia SBDC Network awarded Frame the 2016 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year at the Veterans in Business Conference held at the Army Navy Country Club.  
Mason participated in Ashoka U Exchange
A group of Mason faculty and students attended the Ashoka U Exchange in Miami, FL.  Ashoka U is dedicated to transforming higher education into  facilitators for social innovation.  Mason attended due to its long-standing designation as a Changemaker Campus, fostering social innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives for students and faculty across campus.  The conference attracted representatives from universities and individuals around the globe.  Read more 

Fairfax Business Mixer a huge success
Mason SBDC hosted a Fairfax Business Mixer at MEC-Fairfax.  Co-hosted by City of Fairfax Economic Development Authority and the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the Mixer attracted members from the financial community, business world, local resource partners, and valued clients. The evening featured briefings from Bob Smith, Mason SBDC; Jody Keenan, Mason Enterprise Center and Virginia SBDC Network; Timm Johnson, Mason SBDC; Mary Valenta, City of Fairfax EDA; and Doug Church, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.  The evening was a huge success, and Mason SBDC hopes to host more.
Breaking up the buyer-seller dance
"Sales" is often a dirty word, especially when viewed as a win/lose proposition. Nema Semnani, of Sandler Training, is a sales-training expert with a methodology for turning win/lose into win/win.  At an MEC-Fairfax Lunch & Learn, he presented real-world examples regarding how to change sales into a beneficial experience for both the buyer and the seller. He showed how sales people can break the old cycle and establish a much healthier relation with buyers while significantly increasing sales.  His tried-and-true selling system results in predictable outcomes and stronger client relationships.
MEC-Fairfax welcomes Enegis
Enegis, LLC, an energy-consulting firm, recently joined MEC-Fairfax.  They focus on using innovation and collaboration to develop data-driven solutions for computer energy problems, dealing with the intersection of the oil and gas industry, renewable resources, and economics.  Their services have supported initiatives from domestic and foreign government agencies, as well as in the private sector.  "We chose MEC-Fairfax because we wanted to be around other small businesses and  leverage relationships with them," said Jeffrey Eppink, President.
How social is your media?
MEC-Fauquier held a Social Media Workshop on how to optimize social-media channels. Kira Seibel, a marketing and communications specialist, gave an overview of the most effective methods to grow a social-media presence.  She focused on boosting posts; paid advertising; fostering engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest; and the benefits of marketing-automation tools.  Two dozen members from the local business community attended, and a lively discussion followed.
Solvitur receives 8(a) and HUBZone certifications
Solvitur Systems recently announced the completion of the U.S. Small Business Administrations 8(a) and HUBZone certification programs. "It has been helpful to have our offices at the MEC-Leesburg as we pursued the SBA certifications. We found it advantageous to leverage the broad range of resources and networking opportunities available here.  Additionally, the MEC-Leesburg team has provided immeasurably valuable business and technical support, and we very much appreciate their continued support and guidance," said Ade Odutola, Founder and Managing Director of Solvitur Systems.
CBP (Springfield)CBP
VBOC expands services to veteran farmers
The VBOC is expanding services to veteran farmers, and Director Charles McCaffrey recently visited the 25 veteran farmers currently enrolled in the Veteran Farmer Reserve Program. Located at Arcadia Farms in Alexandria, it is a multi-layered hands-on educational program that develops new farmers, capitalizes on the growing market in local and sustainably grown foods, and encourages entrepreneurship and job creation.  Over 45% of military recruits come from rural communities.  This program, the first of three, gives them an opportunity to explore farming as they consider returning to a rural community.  Read more
CBP welcomes Go Beyond
Tom Fish founded Go Beyond, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, so he could put his 30+ years of leadership experience in military, intelligence, and business to use in helping others.  He works with middle-market business owners to "go beyond," i.e., to meet their business and personal goals, enable their employees to thrive, and turn all their customers into repeaters.  He chose CBP, because he needed an on-demand professional office where he could meet with potential clients.  Now Fish uses the co-working and training rooms as he continues to grow his business, a win-win for all.  Read more