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John Backus, Wayne Jackson and CIT GAP Funds Honored as Winners of the Entrepreneur Navigator Awards


Published: February 07, 2012 09:00

The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC announced the 2012 winners of the Entrepreneur Navigator Awards at a reception on Thursday, February 2, at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, Va. The Navigator Awards recognize individuals and organizations whose commitments of time, experience, intellectual capital and personal effort have improved the quality of the entrepreneur community or have led to the success of a startup or entrepreneur.

Congratulations to this year’s Navigator Award winner Wayne Jackson, CEO of Sonatype. Jackson was recognized for his commitment as an advisor to, and board member of, a number of the D.C. region’s fastest-growing companies, for helping young entrepreneurs create successful business plans during James Madison University College of Business Executive Advisory Council’s annual competition, and for sharing his entrepreneurial expertise as a guest lecturer at a number of venture conferences and forums.

This year’s Organization Navigator Award winner, CIT GAP Funds, was lauded for providing a number of seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return.

NVTC Chairman Emeritus John Backus, founder and managing partner of New Atlantic Ventures, was honored with the Lifetime Navigator Award for dedicating the past 14 years of his career in service to the entrepreneur community and volunteering his time to work with NVTC, MAVA, CIT, the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission, and many others organizations. Backus is always open to meeting with upstart entrepreneurs to hear their ideas and offer his advice and counsel.

Congratulations also go to Navigator Award finalists Carl Grant of Cooley and Jim Wolfe of J Street Consulting and George Mason University, and Organization Navigator Award finalists Affinity Lab and Mason Small Business Development Center.

“The winners and finalists of this year’s Entrepreneur Navigator Awards put forth tremendous amounts of effort, offering their expertise and life experiences to the Greater Washington region’s entrepreneur community,” said Kristin D’Amore, director, The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC. “The people and organizations we acknowledge with these awards continue to shape our business community and create a desirable place to begin a new venture.”

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