George Mason advances tech start-ups in biosciences, cybersecurity, sustainability and medical devices

George Mason advances tech start-ups in biosciences, cybersecurity, sustainability and medical devices

Second Annual Conference and Competition Boosts Investment in Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship in DC, Maryland and Virginia

ARLINGTON, Virginia, December 05, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–George Mason Capping University’s second annual Accelerate Investor Conference was marked by the winners of the startup competition and three teams of student entrepreneurs. At the Accelerate Gala Awards, finalist startups pitched to four VIP investor judges and received cash prizes at an event featuring the keynote speaker Therese CarlsonCorporate Vice President and Executive in Residence at Microsoft.

The Accelerate conference opened with remarks from Laurie E. Locascio, NIST Director and Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and a keynote address from Seth Goldman, co-founder of Eat the Change® and Honest Tea as well as Chairman of the Board of Beyond Meat. More than 400 companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs, along with 22 teams of students, attended the November 2-3 event in Mason Square, the future home of Fuse, a new student and startup hub.

“Mason is proud to lead through our partnerships and longstanding commitment to the region, bringing together business leaders, investors, academics, local entrepreneurs and students from area universities to accelerate the pace change and innovation,” said Mason President Dr. Gregory Washington. “We are committed to growing our research portfolio and improving the lab-to-market process for economic development, while preparing students for the job market.

Manassas, VA-based Capra BioSciences won a $10,000 check and bragging rights, for its high-performance renewable chemical technology. The other three finalists were Codelock, Linshom and Vali Cyber.

The Accelerate Student Competition, which involved teams of students from eight local universities, was won by Absurd Snacks, a team from the University of Richmond. They received $5,000 to expand the outlet for their unique and delicious snacks. Second place and $2,000 went to Rugged Redemption, a prosthetic knee technology from George Washington University. Third place and $1,000 went to Tow Ninja, a motor vehicle towing startup from Virginia Commonwealth University. {PICTURES)

“We need more investment, collaboration space, business supports and incubator opportunities in the region,” Goldstein native Bethesda, MD, added in a conversation with Donte Kirby. from the Washington Business Journal.

Over two days, panels discussed investment trends in future technology development, pandemic preparedness, politics and entertainment, diversity and defense technologies. The conference ended with retired NFL linebacker/startup investor Dhani Jones, and manager and record producer Che Pope. {PHOTO}

During a panel with Mason’s Associate Professor Aarthi Narayanan, Ceres NeuroSciences Chief Commercial Officer Robbie Barbaro called on academia to play a bigger and key role in advancing early-stage research.

Conference partners and supporters included Smart City Works, Go Virginia, ManTech, Arlington Economic Development, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Microsoft and Pangiam. The competition prize was sponsored by Maan Ventures.

“We are excited to continue to strengthen Northern Virginia’s exceptional innovation ecosystem by partnering with Mason and the private sector throughout the year,” said Carola Mendelbaum, Executive Director of Smart City Works, Mason’s partner. “We aspire to help generate much-needed investment in innovations.”

The annual conference invites domestic investors to meet early stage A-stage tech startups in DC, Maryland and Virginia, as well as student concepts with longer-term commercial viability. The Accelerate Investor 2023 conference is scheduled for November. 1-2, 2023 in Arlington VA.


Mason Enterprise supports small businesses and entrepreneurs through federal, state and local programs. Last year, the impact was $1.6 billion, thanks to 42,000 hours of one-on-one counseling to 11,000 small businesses, 738 training programs and 378 incubated businesses. 76% of businesses served were women-owned, 60% were minority-owned, and 13% were veteran-owned.


George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, DC, Mason enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at


The Accelerate Conference is an investor event and startup competition that showcases the DMV as a driver of innovation and business opportunity. The competition fuels innovation-driven business growth by showcasing the best and brightest new tech startups to potential investors to foster their development in the region.

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Paula Sorrel
Mason Enterprise @ George Mason University

Lisa Throckmorton

#George #Mason #advances #tech #startups #biosciences #cybersecurity #sustainability #medical #devices

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