Small Business and Entrepreneur Committee Event

February 19, 2015

Michael Petricone
Senior Vice President or Government Affairs
Consumer Electronics Association

Michael Petricone is the senior vice president of government affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). In his position, Petricone is responsible for representing the CE industry's position before Congress and the FCC on critical issues such as Internet freedom, wireless spectrum and high-skilled immigration. He is a frequent speaker on policy issues impacting the innovation industry. He has been frequently listed as one of D.C.'s top technology lobbyists. Petricone received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.

Jenny Abramson
Tech Executive and Social Entrepreneur

Jenny Abramson is a proven executive and serial entrepreneur having held a range of leadership roles across the tech space - in ed tech, personal data and digital media. She was named Top 40 Under 40 (Entrepreneurs) in 2015 and a D.C. Power Women in Tech in 2014. Most recently, Abramson served as the first CEO of LiveSafe, where she raised $6.5 million in an A round led by IAC, the parent company to well-known brands such as Match.com, Tinder and Vimeo. IAC's Chairman, Barry Diller, joined LiveSafe's board in early 2014. Virginia's CIT Gap Funds participated in the A Round along with a number of other impressive individual investors.

Abramson's past experiences have ranged from leading at large companies like The Washington Post Company to startups like Personal. At Personal, the D.C. based personal data start-up, Abramson served as chief monetization officer and senior vice president of Partnerships. At The Washington Post, she ran several startup and turnaround ventures including Washington Post Live, Fashion Washington and The Washington Post Magazine. In the education sector, beyond her work at LiveSafe, Abramson oversaw the Transformation Management Office for D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Rhee and served as the director of Strategy and Development at Teach for America. Abramson also worked in consulting at The Boston Consulting Group.

Abramson received a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Fulbright at The London School of Economics. She is a D.C. native, loves D.C. sports teams and serves on the boards of four education organizations (Super Leaders, DC Prep, Georgetown Day School, and Little Folks).

Valerie Gaydos
Capital Growth Inc.

Valerie Gaydos is an active angel investor and founder of the Angel Venture Forum. She has been involved with many startup companies in the areas of operational development and strategic planning for more than 20 years. She is the founder and president of Capital Growth Inc. (CGI) which was founded in 1994 as a venture capital data and information publishing company. CGI currently specializes in business building and actively invests in early-stage companies. Gaydos served as president of the Pennsylvania Angel Network. She also served as director of the Private Investors Forum (Philadelphia) and the annual Angel Venture Fair (AVF) - a consortium of angel investors from 2004-2010. She is a member of the Lancaster Angel Network, a founding director of the Center for New Technology Enterprise and serves on the Policy Committee of the Angel Capital Association (ACA). Additionally, she is a member of the PEG PAC Political Action Committee Board of the Pennsylvania Business Council and serves as Chairman & Treasurer PiPAC which is a Federal Political Action Committee established to preserve and encourage the stability and growth of American emerging businesses. Gaydos previously served as an Analyst for the Pennsylvania State Senate and worked for Senate leadership. She also served as staff assistant for Pennsylvania U.S. Senator H. John Heinz, III.

J.S. Gamble
Co-Founder and Managing Principal
Blu Venture Investors LLC

J.S. Gamble is a co-founder and managing partner at Blu Venture Investors LLC. Gamble currently serves as an advisor to Interfolio Inc., Link Labs Inc., Sensics Inc., eClerx, Inc. and Wiser Together Inc. He served as acting CEO of Smart Imaging Systems Inc., held senior operating executive positions at Broadband Cable and Wireless Operating Units, and has more than 15 years of experience in Full P&L (up to $1.3 billion in revenue) and CapEx responsibility. Gamble built teams focused on innovation, improving execution, developing and launching new products to drive revenue and OCF growth.

In addition, he has held staff and operating positions with McKinsey & Company Inc., Price Waterhouse, and GTE MobilNet (Wireless Division). Gamble is also an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Gamble graduated with a B.S. from the McIntire School of Commerce at The University of Virginia, and an MBS from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dan Mindus
Founder and CEO
NextGen Angels

Dan Mindus is the founder and CEO of NextGen Angels, a network of young startup investors. He has spearheaded more than 30 investments in high-growth companies through NextGen Angels and his prior experience as investment director at CIT GAP Funds and vice president at New Vantage Group. In 2013, Mindus was included in The Washingtonian's list of 100 D.C. Tech Titans. Mindus started his career at the Gerson Lehrman Group, an investment research firm in New York City. He holds a B.A. from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.