The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC Congratulates Entrepreneur Navigator Awards Winners

Program honors leaders who mentor and advise entrepreneurs and startups in the Greater Washington region

The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC, a resource for technology-focused startups and entrepreneurs, today announced the winners of the Entrepreneur Navigator Awards held this morning at The Tower Club in Tysons Corner, Va.

The Navigator Awards honor individuals and organizations who have mentored and advised entrepreneurs and startups in the Greater Washington region, as well as helped improve the quality of the entrepreneur community. Congratulations to Navigator Award winner Steve Meltzer, partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Organization Navigator Award winner Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area and Lifetime Navigator Award winner Don Rainey, partner, Grotech Ventures.

Frank Blackstone of Blackstone Counsel and Jim Wolfe of J Street Consulting and George Mason University were finalists for the Navigator Award.

“We are fortunate that many dynamic individuals and organizations are willing to offer their life experiences and expertise to those who want to start a businesses in the Greater Washington region,” said Kristin D’Amore, director, The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC. “The people and organizations we acknowledge with these awards continue to shape our business community and create a desirable place to begin a new venture. We thank the winners and finalists of this year’s Navigator Awards for their tireless efforts within the entrepreneur community.”

Navigator Award: Steve Meltzer, partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Steve Meltzer represents numerous private and publicly held businesses in a wide range of transactions, and counsels companies and investors in capital formation, governance, securities compliance, employment and compensation matters and shareholder issues. Meltzer has worked for many years as an advisor and mentor to many startup companies in the area, and serves as a coach for The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC’s FastTrac® TechVenture™ program. Meltzer also oversees Pillsbury’s Incubator Program, which allows early-stage companies resources to focus on company growth. In addition, Meltzer has helped develop and oversee relationships with several upstart organizations for entrepreneurs, including DC Entrepreneur Week and Bootstrap Maryland.

Organization Navigator Award: Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area
Junior Achievement is committed to educating the region’s youth to fully understand the principles of free enterprise and to compete in the global economy. Each year, JA recognizes and invests in local high school students demonstrating entrepreneurial skills with its Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award, Essay Competition, and other programs. In October 2010 JA opened Greater Washington’s first major financial literacy center for youth – Junior Achievement Finance Park. JA’s President and CEO Ed Grenier accepted the award on the organization’s behalf.

Lifetime Navigator Award: Don Rainey, partner, Grotech Ventures
As a general partner at Grotech Ventures, Rainey serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies SnappCloud, Clarabridge, LivingSocial and Zenoss. He is also an organizing board member of the prestigious MindShare forum, where he helps CEOs from the Greater Washington Metropolitan region’s most promising startups build long-term, sustainable companies. Rainey is also a former chair and current member of the NVTC Capital Formation Committee. In fall 2008, he was appointed through the DeVenCI Program to a second term as an emerging technology consultant to the chief information officer of the U.S. Department of Defense, volunteering his time to research and nominate young companies to solve the DoD’s unmet technology needs.