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85 DC-area CEOs inducted into MindShare's invite-only networking group

MindShare, an invitation-only networking group in D.C. for CEOs, bankers, VCs and marketers, introduced its 18th class of first-time CEOs last night at a private kick-off event at the Verizon Center. Nineteen current MindShare board members were present to welcome the new class of 85, which squeezed into the Volkswagen Theatre to listen to Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards and cofounder of Revolution Growth, share pearls of wisdom from his years founding and funding businesses.
MindShare's new class is much larger than last year's group of 57. The larger class reflects the explosion of new businesses in D.C. over the past few years. "We're seeing a lot more activity of high-potential, emerging companies," explained Katherine Ferguson, vice president of business development for Cooley and MindShare board member. "We had a ton of nominations this year. We had to make a decision: keep the class size as it was or grow to be a part of the growing system. We opted to grow."
MindShare was started in 1997 to connect D.C.-area CEOs from growing high-tech companies. The organization provides mentorship and fosters relationships among members to help CEOs build sustainable companies. Membership is by nomination and invitation only.
"This is an unbelievable program," said Leonsis, of MindShare. "It's bulletproof." He should know. Leonsis cofounded VC fund Revolution Growth with Steve Case and Donn Davis, in 2011. Revolution Growth invests $25m to $50m in its chosen companies and has invested in eight companies since the fund launched. Six have been in the D.C. area, and three are MindShare alumni: Brian Gernert (Resonate Networks), Toby Moore (Optoro) and Mark Katz (Custom Ink). 
The new MindShare inductees, in alphabetical order, are:
  • Jenny Abramson, LiveSafe, Inc.
  • John Ackerly, Virtru
  • Noble Ackerson, Byte an Atom Research
  • Eric Allen, Admit.me
  • Pamela Arya, Optensity, Inc.
  • Ara Bagdasarian, Omnilert
  • Anne Balduzzi, SameGrain, Inc.
  • Brian Ballard, APX Labs
  • Luis Benavides, Day1 Solutions, LLC
  • Ray Bolouri, Txtmequick
  • Derek Brinkmann, Citadel Studios
  • Tiffany Brown, BuilDATAnalytics
  • Christopher Brown, Revmetrix
  • David Caruso, HighRoad Solution
  • Jay Chapel, Ostrato
  • Chris Craig, Unanet
  • Craig Cummings, RideScout
  • Joe Deal, Degree Prospects, LLC
  • Rich Ellinger, WealthMinder
  • Rami Essaid, Distil Networks
  • Tedd Evers, Trip Tuner
  • David Fairbrothers, Dorsata, Inc.
  • Payam Fard, Subject7
  • Suhail Farooqui, K12 Insight
  • Simon Fitall, Galileo Analytics
  • Jason Force, E-Mow
  • Mike Fulkerson, Bizy, LLC
  • Allen Gannett, TrackMaven
  • Stuart Gavurin, Mission Data LLC
  • Michael Geppi, Integrata Security
  • Tom Giannattasio, Macaw
  • Dwight Gibbs, Contraqer
  • Aviva Goldfarb, The Six O'Clock Scramble
  • Derek Goldstein, CasaPlex
  • Ben Grimley, SpeakAgent
  • Darren Gruendel, Longevity Alliance
  • Shameem Hameed, ZH Healthcare
  • Daniel Hanks, SnapDash
  • Rich Harris, AddThis, Inc.
  • Justin Harrison, Vinolovers
  • Gary Hensley, EdBacker
  • Greg Hiemenz, InnoVital Systems, Inc.
  • Louisa Imperiale, Photox, LLC
  • Jason Kaplan, Milestone Sports Ltd
  • Sean Kelly, Mosojo
  • Rich Kilmer, CargoSense
  • Jay Leveseque, QR F.I.T. Trail
  • James Li, Encore Alert
  • Felix Lloyd, Zoobean
  • Tony Lopresti, Intellinote
  • Kevin MacDonald, Kit Check, Inc.
  • Justin Maddox, CrowdTrust
  • Paul Maguire, Knowmadics
  • Tom Matzzie, Ethical Electric
  • Shavanna Miller, Bloompop
  • Fernando Murias, Digital Global Systems Inc
  • Praba Murugaiah, TechFetch.com
  • Tina Tran Neville, CollegeAppz
  • Hossein Noshirvani, BISGlobal
  • Nikhil Palekar, Nveloped
  • Steven Pinchotti, Altum, Inc.
  • Tom Pines, Real Magnet
  • Chris Plourde, Gannett Broadcast
  • Pramod Raheja, MyStaffNow, Inc.
  • Mahi Reddy, SemaConnect Inc
  • Jamie Resor, groSolar
  • Gregory Roberts, Rosoka Software, Inc.
  • David Rosenthal, FoundationDB
  • Aaron Rosenthal, Golfswell
  • Sujoy Roy, VisitDays
  • Michael Sanders, Intra-Mail Network
  • Jos Schaap, StayNTouch
  • Khurrum Shakir, Carsquare, LLC
  • Jason Shrensky, Complex Interests, LLC
  • Logan Soya, Aquicore
  • John Mark Suhy, eGovernment Solutions Inc
  • TJ Sun, Avodigy
  • Joe Tiano, Legal Decoder LLC
  • Madhvi Upender, Awarables Inc.
  • Lee Wang, WeddingWire Inc
  • Dave Weinberg, loop88
  • Randy Wimmer, Analytic Strategies, LLC
  • Marybeth Wooten, Berico Technologies
  • Danny Zadoff, Nutritionix

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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