In the News

Mason Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program in Partnership with Arlington Economic Development

October 18, 2023 | by: John Hollis

George Mason University has established a new Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Program to bolster the start-up market and opportunities in the greater Washington, D.C., region and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Mason is redefining the role of a modern university—leading and networked with community, business, and government in an ecosystem that encourages collaboration, exchanges knowledge, and accelerates technical breakthroughs,” said Mason President Gregory Washington.

The goal of the university-based program is to enhance entrepreneurship in the region. The program has three main features:

Industry Expertise: Eminent influencers from the defense, biohealth, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence sectors will serve as mentors and coaches, sharing their invaluable knowledge, experience, and insights with entrepreneurs, as well as expand Mason’s partner network.

Cutting-edge Innovation Center: Based out of Mason’s Fuse pilot space at Mason Square in Arlington, the program will move next year, upon completion of the 345,000-square feet Fuse at Mason Square building in summer 2024. The facility will host 12 advanced laboratories, including robot assembly, testing beds, augmented and virtual reality, and multimedia studios, fostering innovation across various disciplines.

Collaboration Hub: The program will act as a hub for collaboration, connecting startups, federal innovators, venture capitalists, researchers, and thought leaders from Mason in a dynamic and cohesive ecosystem.

“This is a testament to Mason’s unique innovation model to drive scalable impact,” said Farhad Chowdhury, serial entrepreneur, CEO of Vianova AI and founder of the Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program. “This program puts Mason and local entrepreneurs at the forefront of a unique innovation platform. The EIR program positions Mason at the center of an innovation triangle that brings together federal innovators, startups and strategic capital. With our federal and defense partners, we are collectively pushing the boundaries of AI and engineering to solve the greatest challenges of our time.”

Led by the Mason Enterprise team, Mason is currently inviting successful entrepreneurs to the program with hopes to on-board five members by the end of the year. With initial funding from Arlington Economic Development (AED), the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program leverages the robust Mason Enterprise team, funded by federal, state, and local government and corporate partners.

“Programs like the EIR help bolster the innovation ecosystem in Arlington and the region by connecting early-stage founders with experienced entrepreneurs to enhance their likelihood of success,” said Ryan Touhill, director of Arlington Economic Development (AED). “Funded through the new Arlington Innovation Fund, AED’s partnership with the EIR program is reinforcing our focus on supporting early-stage tech startups to establish Northern Virginia as one of the nation’s leading innovation ecosystems and drive demand for our world-class office market.”

George Mason University and our partners are attracting top talents, groundbreaking startups, and industry giants to the region to spur innovation and economic growth,” said Paula Sorrell, associate vice president of innovation and economic development at Mason. “And we hope many Mason alumni and Mason supporters who are successful in their fields will be among the first to join this program, passing on their knowledge to future generations of entrepreneurs.”


Back to News
News Jan 31, 2024

Liling Huang Named Dominion Energy Faculty Fellow in Power and Energy Engineering