Last week, the Mason Enterprise Center Business Incubator celebrated five years of operations in Leesburg and Loudoun County with a reception and awards ceremony. The business incubator, which has been in Leesburg since 2011, has worked to help launch and grow small businesses in the county.
The reception began with remarks by Leesburg mayor David Butler and Ara Bagdasarian, a member of the MEC Loudoun Advisory Board. Following their comments, Susan Henson, the MEC Regional Director, presented awards for outstanding success to five member businesses or recent graduates for their accomplishments.
Ade Odutola of Solvitur Systems, LLC won Rookie of the Year. Custom Software Systems, Inc. was the Alumni Honoree. B3 Group, Inc. won the Federal Contractor Award. Bonnie Sewell of American Capital Planning won the Community Supporter Award. Sparkfire Branding, Inc. won the Rapid Growth Award.
“We started with the Mason Enterprise Center when they first opened in 2011 and we’re still very connected,” Custom Software Solutions CEO Lisa Cusack said. “It’s a great place to meet and greet and stay connected to small businesses.”
“We still appreciate all the resources the Mason Enterprise Center offers small businesses like ours,” she said.
Three “Rookie of the Year” runners up were also recognized: Ken Lindsey of Lindsey Consulting, Karen Base of KLB Solutions and Joey Alonso of Quorutum.
The winners of the Small Business Development Center’s first “Superpitch” online video contest were also announced. Winners were It Takes a Village, Baby in the service category and Houndworks in the product category, and Loudoun Coupons for Hope received the People’s Choice Award. Each of the three winners will receive a $500 cash prize and a six-month virtual membership in the MEC. All of the submitted videos can be viewed online at www.superpitch.info through the end of December.
The Mason Enterprise Center business incubator opened October 2011 in Leesburg. Sixty-five businesses are active members of the MEC and 79 businesses have used the services to become established and have since moved into their own commercial spaces — many in the Town of Leesburg. The Leesburg MEC is one of many affiliated through George Mason University, which has a campus in Loudoun.
The center works to help and encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs by offering coworking and conference room space, seminars, expert consultations, executive education programs and networking events. The MEC is located at 202 Church Street SE in downtown Leesburg and, in addition to the incubator program, administers the Small Business Development Center serving Leesburg and Loudoun County.