The New Sheriff of Washington DC Is In, So Are the Washingtonian Entrepreneurs

The Good looking one is me, Jamey is the other one

I am very excited to announce my involvement with the Technology Business Innovation Taskforce of the incoming DC mayor, Vince Gray. The task force is being co-chaired by my awesome entrepreneur friend, Jamey Harvey, CEO of another exciting DC startup, Sponto.

I think that this will be a good opportunity for me as I try to help tackle some of the problems that I’ve been bitching about, from an entrepreneur’s perspective for the DC area. I hope my participation to the team brings me closer to my goal in positioning Awesome Washington, DC as a technology hub.

The Technology Business Innovation Taskforce will focus on attracting and retaining technology companies from these and other high growth industries:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Health Care
  • Cyber Security
  • Internet/Software/Social Media
  • Optics
  • Mobile
  • Gov 2.0 service providers

I will be contributing to the Internet and Social Media categories.

Those of you who are not aware of the new mayor and his initiatives, here is a little bit of overview:

The incoming mayoral administration for the city of the District of Columbia has prioritized exploring policies, initiatives, and regulatory changes to create, incubate, attract, and retain entrepreneurial technology companies in the city. The Gray transition organization believes that this area represents a significant opportunity to advance the city’s well being, prosperity and employment prospects in both the near and long term.

The District of Columbia has been consistently rated last, or near last, by independent studies of jurisdictions attractive to small technology enterprises. Given that 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs are created by small businesses; that technology is projected to be the second strongest job creation industry over the next seven years; and the fact that DC is surrounded by attractive business technology ecosystems, it is critical to the future of the city that this situation be remedied.

The creation of the Technology Business Innovation Team is an important first step for the District in its effort to improve its record and ecosystem for attracting and retaining technology startups. We have been tasked with outlining a comprehensive approach to positioning the city and its residents to experience the benefits of the 21st century economy in our lives.

Opportunities to Excel

At a minimum, the Technology Business Innovation Taskforce will examine the following opportunities for improvement in the technology business ecosystem:

  • Reducing regulatory burden
  • Tax incentives
  • Startup incubation
  • Capital availability
  • Technology workforce development
  • Higher Education technology transfer
  • Leveraging proximity to federal customers

The most challenging part of this task will be my behavior 🙂 With the way I’ve  been acting in public places, nightclubs, parties, etc., how am I supposed to behave around the team? How long will it take me to act like a mature grown up? 😦  otherwise, how long will it take them before they kick me out of the team 🙂

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

One Response to The New Sheriff of Washington DC Is In, So Are the Washingtonian Entrepreneurs

  1. Chad says:

    Dear Mr. Shams,

    I’m excited to hear that DC is taking the recommendations of my organization TBED21 and the Business Innovation Transition Commitee seriously and implementing our ideas. I would appreciate an opportunity to talk with you about our work, which continues, and our vision for the DC Innovation Council.

    Please contact me at your earliest –

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