Amplifier Ventures is lead by Jonathan Aberman….
Jonathan is highly respected and valued thought leader on entrepreneurship and innovation. His work as a venture investor, innovation consultant, university professor and media commentator, allows him to experience and connect the many threads of entrepreneurship and technology innovation that are core to the United States economy and its future. When Jonathan talks about these areas, the community takes notice. He is identified as a leader of change and influence in print and television media, among other things being recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine as a “Tech Titan,” by the Washington Business Journal as a member of the “Power 100” and by the Commonwealth of Virginia as one of the “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs” in the Commonwealth. He is the co-host of the nationally broadcast Forward Thinking Radio on SiriusXM and a regular contributor on other radio and television shows.
Jonathan grew up in a family of small business owners. His parents and grandparents desperately tried to prevent him from living an entrepreneurial life and encouraged him to become a professional instead. He obtained an education in economics and law (with post graduate qualifications in each) from the London School of Economics (MSc in Economics), Cambridge University (BA and MA in law), New York University (LLM) and George Washington University (BA). During his subsequent career as a professional advisor, he worked in the financial services industry in London for Daiwa Securities, Goldman Sachs and Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, and then as a corporate/venture capital lawyer as a partner in technology law firms Fenwick & West, Pillsbury Winthrop and Fish and Richardson. During this time Jonathan’s focus was on opening new business initiatives and offices, and in 2003 he realized that despite his parents’ best intentions he was really an entrepreneur after all.
He started Amplifier Ventures in 2004 to help entrepreneurs launch technology businesses, and since that time has seeded 16 startup technology businesses in internet, nanotechnology, energy conservation, mobile and cybersecurity sectors. An affiliated consulting business, Amplifier Advisors followed in 2009, to allow Jonathan to apply his expertise to entrepreneurial approaches to innovation creation and commercialization, working for a wide range of government, for profit and not-for-profit ventures. In 2012, he launched FounderCorps — a Virginia not-for-profit corporation promoting technology mentorship and regional economic development. In 2013 he formed TandemNSI, a public private partnership that has created a large and growing community of entrepreneurs and national security agencies to address advantaged technology challenges of national importance.
Jonathan is a committed educator, and has been adjunct professor at a number of universities. He is currently an Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland, where he teaches a broad range of classes in business formatting, strategy and family entrepreneurship. He has been an active policy maker and has served national, state and local governments in many advisory capacities.
Jonathan is a sought-after commentator on developments in technology, innovation and political economics. He has a weekly column in the Washington Post, and is often quoted in Washington Business Journal and Huffington Post.
He is co-host of Forward Thinking Radio on SiriusXM along with Mark Walsh. He is a regular on-air contributor to Federal News Radio and a regular guest on ABC7’s Washington Business Report.
Jonathan is also the lead guitarist of Two Car Living Room and an avid reader of science fiction.
Board of Advisors
Board of Advisor Member: Washington, DC and Silicon Valley
Mike Daniels is the former chairman of Network Solutions, former chairman and CEO of Mobile365 and former chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. He rose to national industry prominence with SAIC where he served as a member of the senior management team. While at SAIC, he identified and purchased Network Solutions for $4.7 million in March 1995. Five years after he purchased NSI, he was instrumental in the company’s sale on SAIC’s behalf for $19.6 billion. Network Solutions contributed $2.2 billion in cash to SAIC, the largest transaction in SAIC’s 37-year history. Mr. Daniels has served with CTTSO, on numerous international commissions and advisory boards, on the United States Trade Representatives International Investment Policy Advisory Commission, as a U.S. National Commissioner to UNESCO, as a senior White House advisor on international technology and as a senior advisor to the National Security Council. Mr. Daniels has a BS and MA from Northwestern University.
Board of Advisor Member: Washington, DC
Dr. Edward Bersoff has extensive and deep experience in government technology as a founder, advisor, and mentor. Dr. Bersoff is currently the Chairman of Greenwich Associates, LLC, a business advisory firm located in Bethesda, Maryland. He was formerly the Chairman and CEO of ATS Corporation, a publicly traded Northern Virginia based company serving the information technology needs of the Government and private sectors. Dr. Bersoff was previously Chairman, President and CEO of BTG, Inc., an information technology firm he founded in 1982 and successfully sold to Titan Corporation in 2001. BTG provided computer-based solutions to government and commercial clients, specializing in analysis and consulting, solutions development, systems integration, and operations and support. Dr. Bersoff now serves on the board of other public and private companies. During his business career, Dr. Bersoff has served as the CFO of a public company, served as Lead Director of three public companies (one currently), chaired the audit committee of two public companies, served on the audit committee of two others, and has served on the governance and compensation (current chair of one) committees of other public companies. Prior to entering the private sector he was an officer in the U.S. Army where he served at the NASA Electronics Research Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Bersoff holds AB, BS and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from New York University and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program.
Board of Advisor Member: Silicon Valley
Jonathan Ebinger is a General Partner of BlueRun Ventures, an internationally recognized venture capital organization based in Palo Alto, California. BlueRun Ventures is a leading investor in software and hardware in Silicon Valley and internationally. He focuses on communications, social commerce, and mobility opportunities. Prior to becoming a venture investor he held management positions at Qwest Communications, Bell Atlantic and MCI Communications. He is also a successful entrepreneur, having grown and exited his own startup. He received his MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and holds a BS in Finance from Virginia Tech.
Board of Advisor Member: Government Contracting Counsel
Fernand Lavallee is a partner at Jones Day where he represents clients in all aspects of federal, state, and local public procurement law matters and in international commercial transactions. His familiarity with government contract matters derives from his broad range of experience in counseling, litigating, and teaching contractors on all aspects and stages of government contracting and on government contractor compliance. He litigates high-technology issues and government contracts cases before federal and state courts and brings, or intervenes, in bid protests before federal procuring agencies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Court of Federal Claims (COFC). Fern also brings claims before the boards of contract appeals and COFC, as well as size protests before the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mr. Lavellee has written and spoken extensively on government contracts issues including government contractor compliance, cybersecurity requirements, Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) issues, and due diligence in M&As involving government contractors. He presented a paper on socio-economic programs in U.S. federal procurements at the 1st Interdisciplinary Symposium on Public Procurement held in Italy and co-sponsored by the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen. Fern is co-chair of the ABA’s Public Contract Law Section’s IP Committee. He holds an AB from Georgetown University and a JD from The College of William and Mary.
Board of Advisor Member: North Carolina
Don Rainey is a General Partner of Grotech Ventures, a leading venture capital organization with offices in the Washington, DC region and Charlotte, North Carolina. His investment areas of interest include cyber security, enterprise software, mobile and cloud-based technologies. He is a strong proponent of technology transfer and education and devotes much time to both areas. He has served as an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Defense through the DeVenCi Program. Prior to his career in venture capital which he began with Intersouth Partners, Mr. Rainey spent many years in business management, serving as president at Attitude Network, one of the first online entertainment networks, which was sold to TheGlobe.com. He also managed channel distribution and brand marketing in 50 countries for IBM’s $2 billion network hardware division and served as COO of DaVinci Systems where he spearheaded the company’s acquisition by ON Technology. Mr. Rainey designed and launched Novell’s much-emulated global Authorized Dealer Program in the late 1980s. He has a BBA from James Madison University and a MS in Bioscience Management from George Mason University.
Amplifier Ventures sources additional resources for its client and investing activities from its broad network of relationships, including resources drawn from experienced business entrepreneurs as part of FounderCorps and academic expertise drawn from the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The broad reach of Amplifier Ventures network allows it to rapidly scale engagement teams as needed for its clients, depending upon geography, task requirements and duration.