August News & Updates
What to Know for August
Clients in the News:
MEC-Fairfax Based Scholastic Chess Education Provider Silver Knights joins Play Magnus Group
(Oslo, 25 August 2021) - Play Magnus Group expands its leading position in chess e-learning with the acquisition of the chess programs of Silver Knights Enrichment, a leading US scholastic chess education provider.
Silver Knights Enrichment, based in Fairfax, VA, is one of the leading scholastic education providers in the United States. Since its inception, Silver Knights instructors have taught chess to nearly 100,000 students who have gone on to win over 45 scholastic state and national championships.

With the acquisition of Silver Knights, Play Magnus Group builds on its leading e-learning chess offering, with the expansion of services both geared towards the scholastic market and in live learning.

For further comments, please contact: Adam Weissbarth, CEO of Silver Knights
 * Biotech / Healthcare             
* Cybersecurity / IT Security / Defense tech
 * Software / SaaS 
* All other (AgTech, Media, Energy, etc.) 
Applications are open through the September 1 deadline
Looking for Applications: GMU New Investor Event - Accelerate 2022
Are you an early-stage tech business in the DMV with strong growth potential?

Then apply for Accelerate 2022, a brand new investor and startup event this October 19-20 on the George Mason University campus in Arlington. 

Accelerate 2022 will showcase a curated group of the DMV’s top early-stage companies to angel and venture investors from across North America – and features local luminaries Paul Misener, the Vice President, Global Innovation Policy and Communications at Amazon and Bobby Franklin, CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, among others.
Company eligibility: Any early-stage business in Virginia, Maryland, or DC that has a strong technology and growth potential (the ability to achieve $50+ million in annual revenue in the next five years). The companies need to be at a commercial-stage, innovative, and past proof of concept.  Text Link
Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative Program: Looking for 40 Host Companies for GMU Interns!
Recognizing that startups and small businesses are an important and growing part of the Virginia cybersecurity ecosystem, the initiative focuses on two objectives: to provide cybersecurity students from diverse backgrounds with relevant, hands-on experiential learning opportunities, and to provide cybersecurity startups and small businesses with the talent they need to scale their businesses.
Thanks to the success of the pilot with George Mason University and Marymount University which ran in the Spring 2021 Semester, a new grant has been approved for 55 interns (40 from GMU,15 from Marymount) to participate in a new Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Program in the coming academic year.

If you are a cybersecurity startup and you are interested in hosting interns this semester or next spring or need more information about the CCI Experiential Internship Program, contact Gisele Stolz at [email protected], PI for CCI Internship Pilot Program at George Mason University.
Hear from MEC Client Dan Maxwell
Dan Maxwell, Founder & President of KaDSci & Exogenius, shares his experience working with a GMU intern as part of the Commonweath Cyber Initiative.
MEC Client Zyad Nabbus
Hear from Zyad Nabbus, Principal Information Security Consultant about their great experience with a GMU intern.
MEC Incubators Bring on New Strategic Partner:
New York Life
MEC Clients, please reference your email to register for one of the upcoming webinars to learn more about these benefits.

  • September 14th, 8:00 AM
  • September 17th, 12:00 PM
  • September 22nd at 5:00 PM
MEC Incubator Clients Get Access to New York Life Benefits
The MEC is constantly striving to improve the list of benefits we provide to our clients and their employees. We are pleased to introduce a new corporate partner, New York Life which will provide a range of services.

Benefits include:
• Group Term Life
• Short Term Disability
• Long Term Disability
• Accident Insurance
• Whole Life (employee & spouse)
• Key Person & Buy-Sell agreements (non-guaranteed)
• Retirement Plans
• Business and Personal Financial advising
New Maker & Innovation Space Opens
at GMU in Horizon Hall
The Mason Innovation Exchange (MIX) opens on September 7th in Horizon Hall, the brand new state-of-the-art building located in the heart of the Fairfax Campus.

The MIX facilitates and supports collaborative collisions and their resulting outcomes with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and research. Its mission is to foster an interdisciplinary environment where Mason’s students, faculty, and staff have a chance to interact, work together, and innovate.

The MIX combines a maker space, a media lab and facilities designed to support collaborative work, including meeting rooms, workstations, and a multi-purpose classroom. We are also introducing a new “incubator” area where selected entrepreneurial groups will be able to hang their shingle and work on their projects.

The MIX is an initiative out of Mason’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
For more information about the MIX contact Gisele Stolz at [email protected], Director Entrepreneurship Programs & Business Incubators, George Mason University
September 16th Webinar: Recruiting & Retention - Solutions to Meet your Business Needs
As companies prepare for the post-pandemic workforce, Brian Hedlund will cover certain key topics small business owners need to keep in mind as they hire new employees.

Key Takeaways:
This class will review the top trends in recruiting and retention for small to mid-size businesses:

· Remote work - the pros/cons and things to consider.
· Fractional employment – different approaches for engagement.
· Internal/external recruiting options – what is best for your business.
· Retention tools – incorporating the right tools for your business
September 30th Webinar: Understanding Recent Virginia Laws Affecting Employers
Who Should Attend; why this is important: Entrepreneurs with employees or independent contractors who work in Virginia; Virginia dictates some elements of your contracts with employees.

Key take-aways:

• How to hire independent contractors so that they won't be re-classified against your
• How to comply with new rules against non-competition clauses in employment
• How to navigate through Virginia law on this topic for yourself
Experience What Makes MEC-Fairfax Unique
The Mason Enterprise Center - Fairfax offers a one-week free trial to new clients.