Issue 1: March 2019

Mason Small Business Development Center
Providing guidance that will turn your ideas into an enterprise
Mason SBDC Newsletter
March 2019
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” - Leo Tolstoy

The arrival of Spring brings with it new energy and the change in season creates a chance for companies to review their processes.

So what can your business streamline and de-clutter? Can a review of your plans improve operations?

Mason SBDC can help you shake off the dust and review routines that have become habitual. Our advisors will work with on your vision and will consistently guide you on changes and goals ideal for your business.

March 20th is SBDC Day!

SBDC Day is a collective proclamation of the successes & impact that local Small Business Development Centers have made across the nation. To learn more and join the celebration visit -

Client Showcase 
Book Launch - Captive Audience
Captive Audience Prevention Training and Recovery Team was established in 2017 by retired US Army Special Forces soldier,  Billy Jensen , to combat the world's growing problem with kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking, organ trafficking, and modern slavery.

On a hike along the Appalachian Trail in the winter of that year, the question was posed to Billy by a friend, a colleague, "Would you do something epic with me?" Billy's response? "I have been waiting my entire life for someone to ask me that question." And so, Captive Audience was born. 

Captive Audience is 365 days of tips and lessons in situational awareness, personal protection, travel security, and critical thinking. It teaches you how to think like an operative and arm yourself with the tools to meet and conquer any situation. 365 Days of Survival is a collection of 365 tips and lessons in critical thinking, decision making, human psychology, wilderness survival, urban survival, natural and man-made disaster survival, situational awareness, social engineering, crisis planning and response, and many more tools designed to make you into a force multiplier.

Captive Audience has a team of crisis responders who specialize in investigations, crisis (hostage) negotiations, and intelligence gathering for facilitating the return of captives and prosecuting criminal networks.
They also have a mental health team in place to provide psychological stabilization to the returnee and help with repatriation into their life and home. 

Based in Reston, Virginia, Captive Audience has formed a growing network of partnerships around the world and our current mission is to make their services available globally.

Captive Audience reached out to the Mason SBDC in September of 2018 for counseling and business development advice. Mason SBDC's Director and counselor Mr. Timm Johnson has been an invaluable resource and mentor in Captive Audiences business development. Timm has provided mentoring on financing options, marketing options, becoming a Service Disabled Veterans Owned Small Business, and a wide rage of other topics. Captive Audience published their first book 360 Days of Survival on the 24th of December, 2018 and is making some giant strides towards profitability and growth thanks to the Mason SBDC.
Our Team's Involvement
Business Counseling in Downtown Manassas
Mason SBDC is pleased to report that we are now providing services in Prince William County ! The program opened its doors in downtown Manassas, on the 15th of January, 2019.

Led by the help and guidance of Senior Counselor, George Siragusa, our center has been doing more than well. We would like to thank our sponsor The Manassas Economic Development Authority and CenterFuse for their support in making this a success.
Mason SBDC counselor George Siragusa with James Brown of Homestead Realty
VPA NOVA District Bootcamp
Mason SBDC Director, Timm Johnson was one of the speakers at the Full-day Entrepreneurship Bootcamp hosted by VA Production Alliance on February 9, 2019.

Timm, along with other experts covered the basics of setting up a business to help creatives and crew get established as a professional entity.

The presentation focused on:

  •    Structuring your business (LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship)
  •    Taxes, 1099s, FICA and Social Security requirements
  •    Web sites, social media, and staying on top of search engines
  •    Advertising, pro-listings, and crewing services
  •    Insurance requirements (liability, workers comp, disability, property)
  •    Healthcare and benefits for individuals and small companies
  •    Ask the Entertainment Lawyer with Virginia's own Kirk Schroder
LaB (Launch a Business) Kickoff event at CenterFuse
Mason SBDC Senior Counselor, George Siragusa was the lead speaker at the LaB (Launch a Business) kickoff event & presented the fundamentals of the Lean Startup Methodology. The evening was a success with an impressive participation of about 25 Startups.

The Launch a Business (LaB) training program is an 8-week intensive geared at equipping Startups with the essentials of starting business. The program had it's opening event on the evening of March 6th.
Fairfax City 2nd Annual Women in Business Luncheon
The Mason SBDC team was in attendance at the Fairfax City's 2nd Annual Women in Business luncheon on March 13, 2019.

The event was a success, connecting local women business owners with each other. Highlights of this event included keynote by Deshawn Robinson-Chew, Founder of S he-EO, LLC : Social Enterprise Educating and Empowering Tomorrow’s Female Founders, a panel presentation, networking with other women business owners, and a lunch from Fairfax City restaurants owned by women.

The luncheon was hosted and sponsored by City of Fairfax Commission for Women and Economic Development Authority.
Business Workshops 2019 - 2nd Quarter

April 10th| 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business Group Workshop

May 08th| 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business Group Workshop

May 22nd| 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Marketing 101 Group Workshop

June 12th| 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business Group Workshop

July 10th| 4PM- 6PM | MEC-Fairfax
Legal and Administrative Steps to Starting a Business Group Workshop

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

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

Client Testimonial
" This business counseling was an excellent experience. The counselor gave concrete action steps to gauge potential interest in my business, evaluate the feasibility and cost, and to target potential customers.

I had an excellent experience and would highly recommend this to any small business owners whether starting out, transitioning, or established."

Corrie Sirkin : Sirkin Law Firm
Mason SBDC | (703) 277-7747 | |