Greater Washington Tech Founder and Business Leader Unites With Prominent Tech Leader
CHEVY CHASE, MD / ACCESSWIRE / August 24, 2023 / Ruxton Ventures, a firm founded by Mark Walsh, an early backer of successful technology startups Blackboard, GoCanvas, Homesnap, Fiscal Note and others, announced that Jonathan Aberman, currently the Dean of Marymount University’s College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology, will be joining Ruxton Ventures as a full-time partner. Aberman, described in Forbes as the “unsung hero” of the successful effort to bring Amazon HQ2 to Northern Virginia, is a prominent figure in Greater Washington’s technology business community.
Ruxton Ventures makes seed investments in early-stage technology businesses, with a particular focus on media, marketplaces, data sciences, software, and education. Through Walsh, Ruxton has taken a board seat or other leadership role in many of its investments. Adding Aberman will enhance Ruxton Ventures’ reputation as a founder-focused investment firm that directly engages with founders. Ruxton Ventures’ expansion will benefit the Greater Washington region’s innovation economy, since access to experienced advice and capital is always needed. Aberman will assume his new role immediately upon transitioning out of Marymount.
Aberman is the founding Dean of Marymount’s College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology (“BILT”). He conceptualized and then led the formation and growth of BILT, a merger of previously existing programs in technology, business, art and design. Its combination of disciplines and interdisciplinary offerings is unique in the United States. Since becoming Dean in 2019 of BILT’s predecessor – the School of Business and Technology – Aberman oversaw BILT’s growth and strategic development, managed BILT through the COVID pandemic, and positioned it for continued expansion. During his tenure as dean, BILT achieved record growth in profitability and revenue per student and launched innovative new programs. Aberman is committed to a smooth and seamless transition.
Before Marymount, Aberman was a widely respected observer on the Greater Washington region’s growth, writing for The Washington Post and Washington Business Journal. He was an advisor to the Greater Washington Partnership, the 2030 Group, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and Arlington County Economic Development Corporation. He has consulted with federal, state and local government entities on innovation and economic development and was a senior economic advisor to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s campaign. Through Amplifier Ventures, he helped found successful regional startups including RegScale, Hook Mobile, Spydrsafe, and Zenoss. Previously, he practiced law and served as managing partner of the local offices of two national law firms.
Mark Walsh, Ruxton Ventures founder, said, “This is the best environment for startup investing I have seen since the mid-1990s. The combination of a massive tectonic change in our economy being forced by AI, with an overreaction to late-stage valuation decreases make it the right time for founders and investors to commit. Experience proves that the best companies come from the toughest times. Adding Jonathan allows us to expand our reach and give our existing portfolio companies access to another experienced hand – one that has deep expertise in finance, law and education.”
Aberman added, “Everyone is focused on AI, but ChatGPT is making plain something that tech veterans have known for a while – a business that can serve customers and own and enhance data is defensible. AI is a tool that will create what we call ‘Small Language Models.’ This is the future of startups – how do you use AI and not be used by it.”
“I truly enjoyed my time at Marymount. I originally thought the job would be a short-term strategic engagement, but it became an engrossing and rewarding four-and-a-half years. I made lifelong friends, and together our team created something special and lasting. I’m very proud of my team and I look forward to seeing them continue to grow BILT and succeed under the leadership of Dr. Irma Becerra.”
Tien Wong, Chairman of Opus8, founder of CONNECTpreneur, and a leading voice in the Greater Washington region’s entrepreneur community, sees Aberman joining Ruxton Ventures as an important moment for the region’s future. “Adding Jonathan’s extensive experience to Ruxton Ventures is quite literally creating a ‘dream team.’ Founders love these guys. They are smart, approachable and hyper connected. Jonathan is one of the guys we all look to for leadership and for getting the community organized to get things done, like he has with the Tandem Product Academy, FounderCorps, and most recently at Marymount. I couldn’t be happier.”
Founder, Ruxton Ventures
301 825 5715
SOURCE: Ruxton Ventures
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