Summary

Director, Mason Small Business Development Center, George Mason University

Over 30 years’ experience creating, managing and funding start-up businesses in print and digital media. Spending most of my time helping new startups avoid making any of my old mistakes. Always looking for the next opportunity.

Specialties: Business strategy, online content/community, start-up development and financing, hand puppets

Information

Web:  MSBDC page   LinkedIn

Email:  rsmith62@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-277-7747
Address:  Mason SBDC
4031 University Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030

Biosketch

Experience

Director, Mason Small Business Development Center
George Mason University
Aug 2016 – Present
LocationFairfax, Virginia

Leading GMU efforts in developing faculty and student entrepreneurs, assisting in technology transfer and commercialization and helping small businesses in Northern Virginia get started, get financed and grow. This bridge between GMU and the regional business community will contribute an even more vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northern Virginia.

Chairman and Co-Founder
NameBright Hub, Inc./CollegeFactual.com
Jan 2006 – Present

Publishers of CollegeFactual.com the best tool on the market to help students and parents choose the best colleges with the best ROI. Visit CollegeFactual at www.collegefactual.com, also BrightHub, Science & Technology Information For Work… BrightHubEducation and BrightHubHealth

President
The Estimating Department
Jan 2012 – Present
LocationVienna, VA

Personalized startup mentoring, angel investing and digital innovation services. We help our clients think through every facet of their new business venture including vision definition, product development, business model, GTM and financing strategy. With over twenty years of success in both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial ventures as well as experience on both sides of the venture financing dance, our answers aren’t always right, but they are always honest and well informed. We work mostly in digital media and SAAS with a special love of anything around social and local media and location-centric applications.

Director, Fed Tech I-Corps Program
George Washington University
Aug 2015 – Aug 2016

Fed Tech provides graduate-level business and engineering students with a hands-on experience in building successful businesses that commercialize cutting-edge technologies from federal labs like NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory.  Under the supervision of experienced entrepreneurs, students use Lean Startup business development methodologies to explore the commercial viability their technologies. The program includes practical experience in entrepreneurship, technology transfer and market research. Promising businesses have the opportunity to license the technology they worked with and enter the DC I-Corps Accelerator program to continue to build their startup.

DC I-Corps is a regional program designed to foster, grow and nurture an innovation ecosystem in the nation’s capital, the nearby states of Maryland and Virginia, and the mid-Atlantic region. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and jointly run by the University of Maryland College Park, George Washington University, Virginia Tech, and Johns Hopkins University. The program provides real world, hands-on training on how to successfully incorporate innovations into successful products. The ultimate goal is to create a new venture or licensing opportunity for program participants.

Board Member
GeoIQ
Jul 2010 – Jul 2012

GeoIQ was founded to change the way organizations visualize and analyze data for real-time problem solving. Organizations across all market sectors have leveraged GeoIQ’s innovative location-based solutions to better deliver actionable information for dynamic decision making.

Sold to ESRI July 2012

CEO and Co-Founder
iBelong Networks, Inc.
Jan 2006 – Dec 2011

iBelong’s Info Networks help businesses more effectively communicate and collaborate by making it simple for their internal and external customers to discover and exchange relevant information.

Board Member
Gov, Inc.
Jan 1999 – Jun 2009

Helped write the original business plan, aided acquiring Series A venture financing, provided strategic guidance on business strategy and served as trustee of the successor organization post sale.

Chairman
Map Network, Inc.
Sep 2002 – Jun 2004

Strategy, fundraising, board management

Chairman, Strategic Advisor
OneMade, Inc.
Jul 1999 – Jun 2003

Seed investor and strategic advisor from 1999-2001. Helped develop business plan and go-to-market strategies. Took on Chairman role in 2001 and assisted in selling the company to America Online in April of 2003.

Board Member, Investor, Advisor
PromiseMark, Inc.
1998 – Feb 2003

Investor at all phases of company’s lifecycle. Provided strategic assistance in marketing, product development and business development. Helped arrange the sale of the company to Experion in Feb 2003.

VP General Manager, Founder
Digital City, Inc.
Oct 1995 – Apr 1998

Founder of AOL’s Digital City. Developed the business plan, helped arrange financing (through AOL and Tribune Company) and directed the early development of the company.

America Online
Dec 1992 – Sep 1995
2 yrs 10 mos
Did a bunch of things including business development and general management. Mostly did deals with media companies including newspapers (Tribune Co., NY Times, SJ Mercury News, etc.) magazines (Hachette, Rodale Press, etc.) and anybody else we could talk into doing a deal with us.

General Manager, Community
AOL
1993 – 1994

Director, Sales and Marketing
Congressional Quarterly
1987 – 1992

Naval Officer
US Navy
Jun 1979 – Sep 1986

Education

George Washington University – School of Business
MBAMarketing, Advertising, Entrepreneurship
1986 – 1988

University of Southern California
BA
Political Science
1975 – 1979

Activities and Societies: NROTC
Started my first business, served as an NROTC midshipman and (usually) went to class. That’s all I remember
Featured Skills & Endorsements

 

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