Issue 1: June 2019

Mason Small Business Development Center
Providing guidance that will turn your ideas into an enterprise
Mason SBDC Newsletter
June 2019
Summertime is considered ideal for seasonal entrepreneurship opportunities.The abundance of sunshine, outdoor activities, travelers and employable interns are great resources that lend to the exploration of new business ideas or even a side hustle.
If you already have one, bring your business ownership goals to fruition this summer. Meet with one of our mentors today!
As for the news from Mason SBDC...
April saw the official welcome and opening of our 2nd location at CenterFuse (downtown Manassas) . This milestone expands our program's offerings into Prince William County bringing convenience and accessibility of services to the small business community in the greater Manassas area.

Additionally the team's involvement and participation at various events brought Mason SBDC's visibility to a wider audience whilst partaking in the regional small business conversation. Our program continues to make strong, positive impacts to the region.
Client Showcase 
  “Every Day is Game Night”
-John Hornberger,
owner of
With over 1400 board games and an ever-growing number of patrons, Crossroads Tabletop Tavern was Mason SBDC’s featured client for National Small Business Week 2019. The owner of this “Boardgame Tavern, ” John Hornberger, wants people to have a place to play their favorite games and have a great time. John grew up enjoying board games and card games with family and friends and is admirably bringing back the great experience of an old-fashioned game night in the age of digital distraction. It is a refreshing call to “Step away from the screen,” that the customers are happily answering. Over the years John’s love of collecting games (antique and current) and hosting game nights has carried his business concept effortlessly.

Located in downtown Manassas, Crossroads Tabletop Tavern opened its doors in August 2018. There is something, literally, for everyone - be it in food or mirth. His vision of hosting a great time for people, connecting them over food and games is well lived every day. Crossroads is a place where customers can shop for games and play a game before purchase while indulging in delectable fare .

The Restaurant, in which almost everything is hand-made, touts a unique and fun game-themed menu with items like ‘The Sheriff of Nottinghamburger’, ‘Forbidden Desserts’ and so on. Dessert packages come with wine pairings and are kept deliciously local, and there are 16 beers on tap, all of them from Virginia and the immediate DMV area.
John, who has been a Mason SBDC client since 2016, works with Senior Counselor, Bernard Ferret who mentors the business on marketing, web presence, business strategies and much more. The restaurant has shown impressive growth and has created dozens of jobs, with a current staff of 8 full time and 32 part-time employees. The staff of the Tavern is just as invested in the unique and fabulous concept, guiding patrons through new games, while handling waitstaff duties. With rave reviews and great strides in the community, Crossroads Tabletop Tavern is a fantastic addition to downtown Manassas.
Visit this the tavern today for unforgettable customer experience! 
As their website states:
"We are in the midst of a board game renaissance!!”
Our Team's Involvement
Mason SBDC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at CenterFuse
The Mason SBDC had its official Ribbon cutting ceremony of the program's second location in downtown Manassas on April 3rd, 2019 . Counseling services are now offered at CenterFuse.
VIPs in attendance at the event included Ken D. Elston ,Vice Mayor - City of Manassas, Gary L Jones - City of Manassas EDA Board of Directors, Gayle Whitlock, Founder - CenterFuse, Sean Mallon, AVP - Entrepreneurship & Innovation at George Mason University .
We are also grateful to the members of the business community who joined in the celebration.Special shout out to:
Our friends at CenterFuse , Leadership from Virginia SBDC & Mason SBDC; Counselors & the entire Mason Small Business Development Center team, all of whom worked hard to make the day possible.
Pictured on the left - George Siragusa, Lead Mentor at CenterFuse is all smiles at the ceremony. Check out George's LinkedIn page -

George is a Sr. Business Adviser/mentor to startups, Venture Company CEOs, their teams, on strategy, marketing, sales, channel mgmt. financial projections, investor prep. He is an Adjunct Professor and Sr. Business Adviser at George Mason University School of Engineering, George Mason's Enterprise Center respectively. His experience spans 2 parallel 30+ year careers: Global Executive at ExxonMobil, Command leadership positions (Captain, retired) in U.S. Navy, active and reserve. 

To schedule a meeting with George at CenterFuse , contact the team via email at [email protected]

Read about the event also on George Mason University's Mason News here -
Proctor 360 - Soft Launch
 Proctor360 , a startup based in Virginia plans to change the way testing is conducted in the education market. The company had its Soft Launch in Feb 2019, during which they introduced their technology and provided a demo of the product's comprehensive capabilities. Their unique headset uses a 360° camera to monitor testing space, with lockout software that allows users to test from home without having to travel to a testing center. Mason’s SBDC and Proctor360 have been working together over several months to bring their new technology to the education market. Read More
Delegate Karrie Delaney's Entrepreneur Fair
Mason SBDC participated in Delegate Karrie Delaney's Entrepreneur Fair on April 6, 2019. The event focused on creating manageable steps on how to start a new business, building strategic business plans, creating outreach plans and discovering new marketing platforms, funding and banking options for small businesses.
Timm Johnson at LaB program at CenterFuse
The Launch a Business Program by CenterFuse was held in March.The 8-week intensive was geared at equipping startups with the basics of launching a business. Timm Johnson, Director, Mason SBDC presented on Revenue Models and Funding on Week 4 of the Program.
GMU CVPA students visit Mason SBDC
Led by Adjunct Professor, Patrick Sargent a student group of 18 art, graphics, illustration and BIS visited the Mason SBDC on April 17th.

In conjunction with the group's Entrepreneurship for Artists class, Timm Johnson, Mason SBDC Director spoke to the group about starting a business, resources offered by the Mason SBDC and how the program will be able to support their entrepreneurship endeavors in the creative industry .
Business Workshops 2019 - 3rd Quarter
July 10th | 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business

July 24th | 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Marketing 101

Aug 14th | 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business

Sep 11th | 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business

Sep 25th | 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Marketing 101

To reserve your spot for any of the above workshops, please call us at (703) 277-7747 , email us at [email protected] , or visit our website at

Client Testimonial
"The Mason SBDC (Small Business Development Center) has already been a huge part of my business and this blog for the past 2 weeks.....Mason SBDC is very responsive via phone or email. I gave them the information about my new business, and they scheduled me with a counselor for a one-on-one to discuss strategy, among other things.

I was paired with the head of the Mason SBDC Timm Johnson, and we had a great 1 hour one on one discussion about my business, potential customers and my web presence."
- Christopher Comerford of Fire Toga Productions
Mason SBDC | (703) 277-7747 | [email protected] |