Mason Enterprise Center 
  June 2017 Newsletter  
SBDC at MEC-Leesburg kicks off Loudoun Small Business Week 
The SBDC at MEC-Leesburg hosted its first Loudoun Small Business Conference to kick off Loudoun's 6th Small Business Week. The conference featured two keynote speakers and 12 breakout sessions. Over 100 attendees learned about upcoming technology advancements, marketing, financing their businesses, best hiring practices, and monitoring their cash flow. "The feedback from attendees, speakers, and sponsors tells us that we 'hit it out of the park' and that this type of event was needed in Loudoun. We anticipate that next year's event will include more partners and will be even more impactful," said Susan Henson, Director, MEC-Loudoun. 
Young Entrepreneur Academy students show big results
MEC-Leesburg hosted the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneur Academy where middle- and high-school students created and launched business ventures. Students participated in business ideation, business plan writing, pitching to investors, and a trade show. Over the 30 weeks, 27 new businesses were created, and 8 new products were launched, 5 of which already have sales. Several companies are still pre-launch with 12 prototypes in process. SBDC at MEC-Leesburg Manager Eric Byrd was one of the program's instructors, leading the group's pitch instruction.  Read More
1 Million Cups-Loudoun hosts MyChoiceTech, recent Mason graduate's company
1 Million Cups-Loudoun, held at MEC-Leesburg every Wednesday, provides a platform for two entrepreneurs to present their business to a group of business owners and advisors. MyChoiceTech founder Yoseph Musie presented his company, which pairs senior citizens with students who teach them to use modern technologies. Audience members offered MyChoiceTech advice to solidify their target customer along with a few ways to reach them. 1 Million Cups-Loudoun Lead Organizer Melissa Isaacs said, "1MC is a wonderful resource for student-led businesses, who want to reach out to the business community outside of academia."  Read more
CBP (Springfield)CBP
Second Lean Program at CBP comes to successful conclusion
Following its successful pilot program, the SBDC at CBP offered a 6-week Lean Program course with a new cohort of 13 participants.  Upon completion, some of the participants were still in a pre-launch phase or early stages, while others were already in business and took the workshop series to learn the Lean Method approach for introducing new products or services. The Lean Program will be offered again in 2018. Read more 
VBOC supports Veteran entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico
The Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) at CBP recently completed a successful Boots-to-Business Reboot workshop at the VA Hospital in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The training was in collaboration with the local SBA District Office in San Juan and their resource partners from the WBC, SBDC, and SCORE. Boots-to-Business Reboot is an entrepreneurial training program designed for Veterans that have made the transition back to civilian life. This was the VBOC's third trip to Puerto Rico, and it attracted the largest participation to date with 28 attendees.  Read more
Childcare providers learn how to upgrade their businesses
The Women's Business Center (WBC) at CBP conducted a half-day conference, "Upgrade Your Childcare Business for Success," at the Fairfax County Government Center.  It focused on methods for childcare providers to use technology to better interact with Millennial clients. Bill Hudson, Executive Director of the National Association of Family Child Care, was the keynote speaker.  The WBC has been teaching business-startup courses to childcare providers, thanks to a partnership with the Fairfax County Office for Children.
Buchanan & Edwards acquires the highly profitable R2C
The Reports and Requirements Company (R2C) provides consulting services for high-priority national security concerns. Founded in 2008, CEO Katrina Barlow and COO Kathy Rondon became a client of MEC-Fairfax and worked under the guidance of Mason SBDC counselor Timm Johnson.  In the process R2C grew into a highly profitable business employing 52 people in eight years. Buchanan & Edwards Inc., a technology leader creating transformative solutions for government customers, recently acquired R2C. With this acquisition and the addition of R2C's advanced capabilities in front-end data governance and curation, BE's offering will expand to include a powerful full life cycle of analytics solutions to support government customers.  Read more
Steve Gladis, PhD, earns Lifetime Achievement Award
Steve Gladis, a Senior Scholar and board member at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being (CWB) at George Mason University and an MEC-Fairfax tenant, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in June for his positive impact on people throughout our community.  "He has led by example and by encouraging others rather than telling them what to do," said Jim Corcoran, President and CEO of the Chamber. "When you think about a servant manager, if you looked it up in a dictionary, Steve's photo could be right there on the page. Steve talks about leadership, but more importantly, he also lives it everyday." Read more
Moving forward with changes 
The Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce is rebranding. While still a client in the MEC-Fauquier incubator, the Chamber has a new name, logo, and mission. Now called the Warrenton Regional Chamber, it is looking at the changing needs of the small business community and adapting. Executive Director Sheba Shough said, "We enjoy being tenants of the MEC-Fauquier. It is a great resource, and it keeps us connected to the types of businesses that we exist to serve." Their goal is to put the resources that every business needs at their fingertips and to make them accessible and convenient throughout Northern Virginia.  
 Mentor Protégé ProgramMPP
Darkblade wins Virginia Vanguard award for highest overall growth
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce celebrated the Commonwealth's fastest growing companies at their annual Fantastic 50 Awards Banquet. Four of the Fantastic 50 were also given a Vanguard award for being leaders in overall growth, manufacturing, technology, or service. The Virginia Vanguard award for highest overall growth was Darkblade Systems, a participant in the Mentor Protégé Program at the Mason Enterprise Center. Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, applauded the winners saying, "We know that companies will grow and expand where they have the skilled workforce to support their mission. We are glad to toast the entrepreneurial spirit of these Virginia business leaders and the dedicated employees who have brought these companies continued success." Read more