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State of Entrepreneurship in the DMV: Pivoting from Pandemic Recovery to Growth

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Allyson Redpath
MD Dept of Commerce, Director, Entrepreneurship

As the Director of Entrepreneurship for the Maryland Department of Commerce, Allyson Redpath directs and manages the agency's involvement in the early-stage ecosystem with the goal of encouraging and supporting new business formation and growth. A former investment banker, she is skilled in M+A, capital raising, investment analysis, and strategic partnerships. In 2019, Allyson also founded the DC-area angel investment group, Citrine Angels.

Kevin Morgan
Washington DC Economic Partnership, Tech Sector Liason

Kevin Morgan is the tech sector liaison at the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) helping tech executives successfully start, run, and scale their companies in the District of Columbia. In coordination with DC's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), Kevin engages with DC's tech companies and tech ecosystem players to build a thriving, diverse, and inclusive tech economy in the District.

Kevin is also the founder of The C-Suite, LLC, an executive advisory firm that combines lean startup methodologies, strategic management oversight, and operations process expertise to help tech executives successfully grow their organizations. Prior to that he was the COO of an internet architecture firm located in DC as well as a technical project manager at the US House of Representatives.

Kevin earned his M.S. in Foreign Service focusing on global finance and trade from Georgetown University and a B.S. in International Relations from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a concentration in IT Management. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Melissa Bradley
1863 Ventures, General Partner

Melissa L. Bradley is Founder of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. In this role she created a community of over 10,000 New Majority entrepreneurs in three years. Melissa serves as General Partner of 1863 Venture Fund, Venture Partner at NextGen Ventures and serves an advisor to Reign Ventures, New Voices Foundation, as well as the Halcyon Fund.

She is also a member of the Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women Advisory Council, Launch with GS Advisory Council, Fast Company Executive Board, Square & Forbes Small Business Advisory Team, as well as the Target Accelerators Entrepreneurs Advisory Council. Melissa is the former Co-Chair, National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was named one of The Most Entrepreneurial Women Investors in 2018.

Victor Hoskins
Fairfax County ED Authority, President and CEO

Victor Hoskins joined the Fairfax County (Va.) Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) as president and CEO on August 5, 2019. Previously, he was the director of Arlington (Va.) Economic Development since 2015. In that role he is most known for leading the team that successfully attracted Amazon HQ2 to Arlington County, a deal that will bring between 25,000 and 37,850 Amazon jobs to Arlington, stimulate creation of another 75,000 jobs in the Washington region, and generate between $3.2 and $4.8 billion in revenue for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Since he arrived at the FCEDA, Microsoft announced a 400,000-square foot software R&D center that will have 1,500 employees. This was the largest transaction in Northern Virginia for 2020. Google, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Volkswagen Group of America, Guidehouse, StarKist and the global law firm of King & Spalding also announced locations in Fairfax County.

Under Mr. Hoskins’ leadership, in 2020 the FCEDA launched a multi-faceted talent initiative aimed at attracting, retaining, retraining and growing the workforce that businesses need to succeed in Northern Virginia. In its first year the initiative connected more than 6,000 job-seekers with 170 companies, and the initiative involved more than 100 universities including 40 historically black colleges and universities throughout the mid-Atlantic. Mr. Hoskins is leading the regional economic development strategy initiative at Connected DMV, to create a stronger, equitable, and more resilient Washington, D.C., region. He is also involved in regional economic recovery strategy efforts in Fairfax County and Virginia. Previously, Mr. Hoskins worked in private real estate investment on Wall Street.

He also served as deputy mayor of economic development for the District of Columbia, during which time he led the turnaround of the District’s economy with projects such as The Wharf and City Center. Mr. Hoskins received the 2020 Regional Leadership Award from Leadership Fairfax Inc. He also received the 2019 Ronald Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Virginia Business magazine named him one of the “100 people to meet in 2020” and its 2021 list of “Heavy Hitters” shaping Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree with honors from Dartmouth College.

Join Kevin Morgan, Director of Technology Sector Attraction and Retention from the WDCEP moderate an amazing panel of three key players of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from DC, VA, and MD: Victor Hoskins, the President, and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Melissa Bradley, CEO of Ureeka and 1863 Ventures and Allyson Redpath, Director of Entrepreneurship at Maryland Dept of Commerce.

They will kick off DC Startup Week with a lively and important discussion on the state of entrepreneurship in the DMV as we recover from the pandemic, exciting trends they see for growth opportunities in the area, and resources that you all can leverage as you launch and grow your businesses.

These three individuals are key players in helping create a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region. You don't want to miss out on this great panel. Add it to your schedule today!