About

Awesome DC was founded by me, Elias Shams in December of 2009. 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 and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999:

I  launched awesomize.me in November of 2010 where you will be able to distinguish your qualitative vs. quantitative fans & friends online.

My intention with this blog is to show the world Washington, DC is much more than just Politics, corruption, and scandals. Frankly, I am not sure of that myself either, but will try 🙂 I will be covering everything happening in awesome DC, with the focus on the technology, parties, clubs, events, and of course the awesome Washingtonians.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:

Profile

- Experienced business executive with over 15 years expertise in the telecommunications, wireless, internet, web 2.0, social networking, and social media space.
– Leader of mission and security critical assignments in government, private sector and Internet companies.
– Strategist with a successful history identifying opportunities, delivering solutions and breaking into some of the most competitive markets worldwide.
– Developed and launched numerous revenue generating product lines for web sites including sponsorship and online contextual advertising via widgets
– Excellent work ethic – organized and disciplined approach to execution and management.
– A technologist with fundraising, business development, operations, sales and marketing experience.
WiMax/Wi-Fi technology

POSITIONS HELD

CEO & Founder

awesomize.meWashington, DC Jan 2011Present

awesomize.me is the first social media portal designed to help individuals and corporations to manage their personal and corporate brands and reputations, by leveraging the power of community participation.

VP of business Development & Operation

Searchles – Washington, DC   June 2006 – Nov 2010

Products:  Social Search, Social bookmarking, Social networking platform, and Social widgets for online media

A highly scalable social search, networking, and bookmarking platform that showcases expertise, enables collaboration with peers and instantly captures it in searchable knowledge indexes.  It uniquely integrates “social bookmarking” and “social networking” technology with proprietary “social search” capability to enhance relevancy in search, connections among people to trusted content and their trusted peer networks.  Beyond the portal itself, the technology is targeted to meet the needs of original content publishers and social network sites that require tools for better connecting and monetizing audiences, and content as well as expanding reach.

– Raised $2 M angel investment (including from Internet pioneer Mark Walsh) to instantiate the company
– Developed and launched numerous revenue generating product lines – plug-in Widgets for Bloggers, web publishers, and social networking sites
– Utilized Searchles’ search platform technology in widgets to connect like-minded users on publishers’ web sites, Revenue model based on contextual online advertising via widgets
– Established strategic partnerships with leading online media companies including washingtonpost.com, denverpost.com
– Elevated Searchles to the leading social search site in the social media space

Co-Founder and CTO

Telezoo.com – Washington, DC and London, UK     March 1999 – Nov 2005

Products:  Telecom marketplace platform

A web-based marketing, sales, market intelligence, and procurement platform for the telecoms and networking industry.  Normalized specifications for over 180 categories of products and services which enabled enterprise buyers to rapidly compare and evaluate solutions on merit and make better, faster, more informed and more cost effective decisions. Born in the midst of the Internet boom with major institutional backing, it rapidly surpassed its competition to become the most widely used marketing, selling and business intelligence system in its sector – ranked top 5 telecommunications B2B site

– Raised $5M institutional investment (Lazard Technology Partners) to instantiate the company.
– Cash-flow positive in 2 years of operation – revenue model based on annual sponsorship subscription fee for  market intelligence, and product transaction via the web site.
– Secured some of the largest telecoms companies to our list of clients including Cisco, Nortel, AT&T, and Siemens.
– Designed globally recognized database and commerce platform.
– Designed and developed the first web-based CRM and mini Business Intelligence (BI) tool for the telecommunications industry.
– Designed, developed and launched numerous revenue generating product lines.
– Established world-class distribution partnerships that provided cost-efficient access to over 1 million users.

Business Development Manager

Newbridge Networks (Acquired by Alcatel) – Virginia, USA    Feb 1998 – Jan 1999
Products:  ATM Access & Core Switch

Worked in partnership with Canadian-based Spacebridge Networks and US based Comsat – developed a multi vendor solution integrating Newbridge MainStreet 36170 ATM Access switch into Spacebridge product line to provide wireless Internet services for certain Geographical regions within NY, Washington DC, Toronto, Quebec, and Vancouver, BC. Developed the technical section of the proposal to sell the jointly built MainStreet 36190 ATM Core switch by Newbridge & Siemens for the FLAG (Fiber Link Around the Globe) project.

Project Manager/Team Leader

Yurie Systems (Acquired by Lucent) – Maryland, USA     Mar 1996 – Feb 1998
Products:  ATM Access Switch

As one of the early employee, managed the team responsible for mission-critical design and rapid deployment of the ATM over Satellite network between the U.S. Department of Defense, the  Pentagon and Basnia.  Secured contract renewal for three consecutive years valued at $3.5 m per year. Provided technical guidance on networking and telecommunications solutions to the U.S. Federal market and Internet Service providers including proposal preparation & presentation to potential clients.  Designed and managed multiple networking & telecommunications projects for U.S. DoD. Projects ranged from RFI/RFP preparation to contract support, business modeling, technology assessment, strategy consulting, and deployment planning. Annual revenues increased from $1.7 Million $53 Million during my tenure. Acquired by Lucent for $1.3 B. Top Secret security clearance.

Network Engineer

SAIC – Virginia, USA     Feb 1995 – Mar 1996

Worked as a network engineer to deploy SAIC’s healthcare software solution for the US military hospitals across the country.

Education

the George Washington University– Washington, DC. USA Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering (1996)
University of Maryland– Maryland, USA     Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, (1992)

Affiliations

National Advisory Council (NAC) Member of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the George Washington University since 2000 Actively involved with Dean of Engineering and other NAC members for the department initiatives – in particular the entrepreneurship programs on quarterly basis. Board members include CEOs and Chairmen of notable and pioneering technology corporations

Languages

Fluent in English & Farsi (writing, reading, speaking)

Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

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13 Responses to About

  1. Rick says:

    Thanks for starting the blog, Elias! DC Rocks!

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  5. Ziaur Rahman says:

    Dear Elias,

    I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh and working on special projects in the financial sector connected to the capital market. We are working to set up a private equity firm in Bangladesh. Since we have no structure of a private equity fund in Bangladesh, we are looking for guidance and material in this area. Secondly, we are inviting partners, investors, shareholders to the new firm; we would really be interested in internationally experienced persons from the financial sector.

    I look forward to connecting with you and through you with people and companies in the relevant area.

    At a personal level, I run my training, consulting, market research firm, am connected to local universities at the Dept. of Business Administration as Adjunct Faculty and write for the national press from time-to-time.

    Thanking you,

    Ziaur Rahman
    IITM
    House 75, Rd. 8A, Apt. B1W
    Dhanmondi
    Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
    Mob- 88-01711543431

    infoiitm@yahoo.com ( Linkedin)
    luckytoaccess@yahoo.com ( Linkedin)
    ziaiitm@gmail.com
    ziaiitm4@gmail.com (Facebook)

  6. Shadi Saba says:

    Elias i did become a fan of Awesome DC. What a clever idea!

  7. Sam Mitchell says:

    Everywhere i look online i seem to come across you Elais!

    I’m pretty new to DC and I really like Awesome DC site.

    i would love to connect with you to see if there is anything we can do to work together.

    Many Thanks

  8. Hello Elias…

    My name is Joel Ginsburg. I am a veteran of decades of industrial virtual team work with international teams, currently online university instructor/professor, and formerly a chief operating officer with several large international companies. I have completed a qualitative doctoral dissertation dealing with trait-characteristics > of successful members of widely-dispersed virtual teams.

    We have completed pilot-testing an assessment of hundreds of participants, measuring their characteristics against common characteristics of successful members of widely dispersed self managed virtual teams. The results yielded an opinion that we needed an Item Response Theory, IRT, assessment in order to optimize the results. The psychometrist is committed to other work, at this time. I am anxious to restart work as soon as possible. I am seeking a new psychometrist to complete a valid assessment who has relationships with webhosts. Preferably there is interest from an enterprise offering both services.

    The 21st century global marketplace is the dispersed virtual teams. The scholarly literature had never dealt with the fact that there simply are professionals predisposed to either be successful or unsuccessful as members of such teams. Human resources and management has been hiring virtual workers, without a Tool to screen applicants. The result has been a high turnover. We need to provide such a tool…an IRT based assessment. Universities do not train students in such work by offering courses dealing with how to function properly on such teams.

    We need to market to all international companies. The initial work could be expanded to offerings for universities and more. I hope you and your company would entertain such a concept and or put me in contact with a company that may be anxious to joint-venture. I look forward to hearing from you,

    Joel Ginsburg

    Dr. Joel Ginsburg
    Doctor of Management/Organizational Leadership

  9. Mario Morino says:

    Elias, congratulations on Awsomessize.me and its underlying concept. And, it is great how you are featuring Washington DC. My best.

    • Elias Shams says:

      Thanks Mario! Good to hear from you 🙂 it’s been a long time. Last time I saw you, was during one of your events in 2000 when I met my investor and I end up landing $3 M for my Telezoo two month later 🙂

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