The Magnificent 10 Speeds up the Path to Innovation in Awesome Washington, D.C

FounderCorps that launched earlier this year and currently run by the magnificent 10 including one of my former Board member, Mark Walsh just launched their awesome “Fellows Program”. The program is to provide mentorship and support to emerging entrepreneurs participating in Awesome DC region business creation programs.

The program will work with partnering organizations that are having business formation competitions — they will provide a prize and mentorship. But, they will go through their partners, such as the University of Maryland, the George Washington University, the George Mason University and so forth. They are not trying to create another silo – They work with the folks who are already working with entrepreneurs and making things happen.

Although, this is not anything new of its kind, but more and more of such initiatives are certainly the right path to position DC as the tech scene rather than just top secret clearances and government contracts thing. I think we all know milking the government is  NOT really innovation.

If you are not an entrepreneur, I strongly urge you to consider in becoming one fast and start looking into the Fellows Program – particularly if you are a student and just graduated or about to graduate. Here is Why:

a) I don’t need to remind you that  the current unemployment rate is 9.2% . Regretfully, our economy is still pretty bleak and it looks like it will stay this way throughout 2011 or even 2012. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, in fact I am a very optimistic dude. But this is real. There is no job waiting for you once you graduate.

b) There has been a major shortage of entrepreneurs in our nation’s capital these past few years.

c) You are single, with little responsibility or financial burden, so you can afford to forgo a big paycheck for a little while.

d) Washington, D.C.has the money, we have the top universities, we have smart coders, and we are recession-proof. We need more local innovative companies like ClearspringOPowerLivingSocialComScoreMicros SystemsHonesty Online, sponto, and of course our beloved  🙂

e) Historically, when times are bad for the economy, it can be a great time to start a business. In fact, 16 of the 30 companies that make up the Dow industrial average were started during a recession or depression. These include MicrosoftDisneyMcDonald’sGeneral Electric and Johnson & Johnson. If  I remember correctly, although Google started during the glory days of late 90’s, but it really started kicking ass during the 2001 recession.

If you are curious what makes it possible for new companies to thrive when times are so bad? or why should you launch your own company? Disruption is the first major thing happens in bad times. This means things change, change quickly and dramatically. When things change, there are opportunities, and, you as the entrepreneur seize opportunities.

I believe the DC entrepreneurial scene is definitely growing and  programs like FounderCorps’ are here to speed that up. I personally know most of the people behind FounderCorps. If you have a business idea, drop me a note and I’ll be delighted to make the introduction.

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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 @

2 Responses to The Magnificent 10 Speeds up the Path to Innovation in Awesome Washington, D.C

  1. Thanks for the press Elias, but I want to clarify something. We are not “going direct” here. The FounderCorps Fellow Program will work with partnering organizations that are having business formation competitions — we will provide a prize and mentorship. But, we will go through our partners, such as UMD, GWU, Mason and so forth. We are not trying to create another silo — we want to work with the folks here who are already working with entrepreneurs and making things happen. We are glad you are excited about this. We all believe in DC too, and are very much hoping that we can help make things better for all of us. Thanks.

  2. Elias Shams says:

    Jonathan! Thx for the clarification! and sorry for delay response. I was in the hospital overseas for 3 yrs battling with 4 lymphoma cancer. Now that I am completely well, I’ve been trying to catch up with my life including emails, ton of msgs on our our blog here, and my startup,, etc.

    As a UMD, GWU graduate, and National Advisory Board of GWU myself, may I know who r u working with at GW on this? is it Jim? Would u reply back via my page here: Post my recent cancer, I rarely have time to chk my blog. I am more busy with my which is more secure and I’ll be able to get back to u much faster.

    FYI, I am gearing up to move back to DC from overseas after 4 yrs of being away 🙂 Looking forward to seeing and catching up with u and Mark Walsh who is my other good friend for 14 yrs and my former advisory board member of my first startup! thx! elias

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