We Did It! Awesome Washington, DC No.1 on Forbes List Of America’s New Tech Hotspots

Washington DC tech hub

Back in December of 2009, Elias Shams launched AwesomeDC blog with mainly One MISSION to accomplish:  To wipe out  all those Politics, corruption, and scandals crap from the face of Washington, DC.  Then to position the Nation’s capital as a city of technology, partying, clubbing and fun! Mainly  as a Tech hub. Read the 2nd paragraph right below the video of his interview with CNN where he says “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 I 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” Read more of this post

First Crowdfunding Conference on May 14th in Awesome Washington DC

The Crowdfunding bill that was signed by President Obama last month will have its first conference next week in Awesome DC!

If you are still not sure what the bill is all about and what it means to your business, the bill classifies startups as “emerging growth companies” that can turn to online investors to raise startup capital. Those companies would also be able to sell up to $50 million in shares before having to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and have up to 1,000 shareholders which is double the current limitation. Read more of this post

DC Technology Business Innovation recommendations – Presentation Transcript

The pretty one is me, Jamey is the other one

A few month after Vincent Gray, our new mayor was elected last year,  one of the most awesome Washingtonian entrepreneurs, Jamey Harvey, founder of the DC based startup, Sponto and Marullus Williams, President and CEO of Limbic Systems, the DC based IT solution provider led a group of civic minded, entrepreneurial technologists and investors in a conversation about what we could do to make DC more awesome for Startups. The group included Peter Corbett, Jonathan Aberman, Doug Humphrey, Susan Banta, Julie Silard Kantor, Adam Rubinson, Wolf Ruzicka, Dutch Dunham and me, the awesomizer.

The mayor has declared this to be the technology startup month and he’s hosting a group of tech CEO’s soon to continue this conversation face-to-face.

Thanks to Jamey who put this slide together, here is the summary of what we did. Feel free to share it with those in your network. Read more of this post

If You Build It Awesome…They Will Come

Minus the “Awesome” part, this was the line from the 1989 classic movie “Field of Dreamsthat inspired me to become a risk taker and an entrepreneur that eventually drove me to build telezoo.com in 1999 and awesomzie.me in 2011. Certainly people are coming… I’ve included a few of them all the way at the end of this article:

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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. Read more of this post

GWU Entrepreneurship Seminar: Marketing – How to Find Your Customers [EVENT]


GW School of Engineering and Applied Science is hosting an excellent event next week for those who are interested in finding  customers with minimum or even ZERO budget.  If you are around DC next week, I urge you attend.  The program is free and open to the public and is a great networking opportunity for students, professionals, faculty and even others from outside the GW network.

The panel consists of me and two other Washingtonian serial entrepreneurs who will share and discuss our experiences.  The program provides for ample audience participation and is a unique opportunity to learn from the experts on effective ways to get your message to the right people.  For those on a shoestring budget, we will have tips and ways to market at low or no cost!

Read more of this post

Once a Geek, you will always be a Geek! Hire a MARCOM or Hook up with other Great Geeks

As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve learned that we can have the most incredible ideas, but if we fail to come up with the right messaging or building the right brand, our startup could end up nowhere. Typically, a startup hires a marketing communications person or even a PR agency to help them with that task . But, what would you do if you don’t have the funding to afford one? Well, do what I recently did 🙂 Hook up with other successful entrepreneurs to learn from their experiences and wisdom.

Since, the beta launch of awesomize.me, we have changed the main message on our homepage many times. None of them was able to convey the message clearly until our most recent posting which has already increased our user registration by 20% since we took it live 24 hours ago. Thanks to the advice of Craig Newmark, the founder of  Craigslist. Read more of this post

Mayor-Elect Gray: Please Make DC Awesome For Entrepreneurs

A great blog post by an awesome  entrepreneur friend of mine Daniel Odio-paez, CEO and Co-founder of the DC based startup, PointAbout.

I’d like to use this blog post to argue for incoming mayor Gray and the DC Council to make DC the most entrepreneur-friendly place in the US. That means tax breaks, access to government contracts, support for innovation zones, aggressive access to angel funding, but mostly it just means convincing high profile entrepreneurs from other areas to make the DC area their home.  It shouldn’t be that hard — many SF-based entrepreneurs are from the DC area originally and have family here.  You just have to give them good reasons to come back to DC. Read more of this post

Meet Awesome DC’s soulmate: Proudly Made In DC


Proudly Made in DC is a new website  recently brought to my attention by my CTO.  If you are an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and  particularly if you are a Washingtonian, you got to check them out as well as provide them with whatever support you can. Proudly Made in DC has a similar mission as my Awesome DC minus coverage  of  clubbing and partying around DC area.   The site focuses on technology and startups in the Washington, D.C. metro.  Their homepage lists all the great local startups including our own new venture, awesomize.me 🙂 Read more of this post

How to make your First Million by Age 25

Mark Zuckerberg

Starting with  Mark who I am sure you all know him by now, the co-founder of Facebook.

Zuckerberg and his super-geek-to-billionaire story is the basis of the hit movie The Social Network. “Young people are just smarter,” he told a Stanford University audience in 2007. He started Facebook from his Harvard dorm in 2004 as a sophomore. Now he’s a 26-year-old philanthropist, recently donating $100 million to the Newark, N.J., school district. Read more of this post