Dennis McCafferty, W2 CommunicationsBy Dennis McCafferty

Five Minutes With … Mona Anita Olsen on Our Entrepreneurial Community

Olsen: “Business planning, marketing and finance help technology organizations move forward.”

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Northern Virginia’s tech start-ups are getting a big boost these days, thanks to George Mason University.

Through the Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Mason Enterprise Center – part of GMU’s Office of Research and Economic Development – hundreds of small businesses looking to drive IT innovation get assistance with business plans, marketing strategies, financial analysis, capital access and other needs.

It’s all part of a statewide effort through which more than 4,400 business owners/manager received one-on-one counseling in 2010. Those businesses reaped rewards – specifically an estimated $37 million in loans obtained, $66 million in total capital formation, no less than 4,800 jobs created/retained and $100 million in increased sales. Listen to our conversation about the GMU’s Small Business Development Center.


About our guest: Mona Anita Olsen is the assistant director of the Mason Small Business Development Center.  She is also the founder of iMADdu (“I Make a Difference, Do You?”), an educational nonprofit that provides mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities to aspiring student entrepreneurs.

Previously, Mona worked as a worldwide sales analyst for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. She is a PhD Candidate at the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, specializing in entrepreneurship education. Awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Norway for 2012-2013, Mona will also explore the plausibility of using apprenticeship models to teach about innovation in traditional, university-level entrepreneurship courses.

This interview was hosted by Dennis McCafferty, Director of Content for W2 Communications, high tech PR agency. Find out more about our full service communications offerings. Subscribe to our “Tech Connections: Five Minutes With …” series on iTunes.


Dennis McCafferty, W2 Communications

Dennis McCafferty, Vice President of Content

As Vice President of Content, Dennis McCafferty brings more than 20 years of experience in editorial, working in all forms of content: metro/national newspapers, regional/national magazines, custom publications/content marketing, radio, TV, blogs and social media. Since joining W2 Communications, Dennis’s projects have included white papers, industry-publication byliners, blogs, op-eds, podcasts and case studies for the range of the agency’s clients.

Previously, he launched his own B2B/B2G/custom-publishing business, DM Enterprises, and worked with clients such as IBM, Advanced Micro Devices, USAA, Nationwide, Amtrak, Ritz-Carlton, MasterCard, GM and many others for their content marketing needs. He has also contributed to Baseline, CIO Insight, Washington Technology and VARBusiness magazine, among other titles.

From September 1997 through March 2010, he served as Senior Writer at USA WEEKEND, for which he interviewed newsmakers such as Presidents Bush and Clinton, Caroline Kennedy, Donald Trump and Web founder Tim Berners-Lee. Before WEEKEND, he was a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he won a national, first-place award for investigative reporting.

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