Amplifier Ventures Launches Business Accelerator Program to Help Entrepreneurs Start Businesses in Uncertain Times

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Entrepreneur-focused stimulus program looks to support and mentor six new technology businesses in the Washington, DC Technology Corridor

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With the current chronic shortage of early stage venture capital, many promising business are not only losing access to capital, they are also losing out on opportunities to benefit from the business acceleration that a good venture investor brings to a company

Amplifier Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund, and Amplifier Network, a provider of education and collaborative online content for entrepreneurs, today announced the Amplifier Business Accelerator Program to stimulate new technology company formation in the DC Technology Corridor. The three-month program will combine seed capital from Amplifier Ventures with experienced, hands-on mentoring and education by recognized experts, as well as social collaboration capabilities to support establishing durable businesses in today's challenging economic climate.

The Program builds upon Amplifier Ventures' established profile as an entrepreneur-focused, early-stage technology investor and applies the educational focus of the Amplifier Network to deliver a highly-structured and highly-focused program to qualifying candidates.

The Amplifier Business Accelerator Program will provide to selected entrepreneurs -- in a short and focused period - high-impact knowledge, contacts and experience so that their businesses are more likely to succeed in the prevailing economic environment. Graduates will be poised for further growth and heightened appeal for capital investment, as needed. The Program, which provides participants with many of the advantages of venture capital involvement in a business, adds additional benefits not usually associated with a venture investment - intensive and active participation in business planning and execution, access to structured educational programs and free exchange of experiences and information among the participating entrepreneurs, mentors and other participants in the program.

The first Amplifier Business Acceleration Program will start March 1 with the selection of up to 6 entrepreneur-driven businesses. The formal portion of the Program will end June 1. Amplifier intends to pursue the Program thereafter on a bi-annual basis, with the next intake of participants scheduled for September 1, 2009. The Program does not focus on a specific technology (although technology related businesses are more likely to be selected). Businesses that have a clear path to permanence and growth will be preferred. Applicants wishing to apply to the Amplifier Business Accelerator Program should visit http://www.amplifiernetwork.com and join the Start Up World Community.

The Program will be managed by a multi-disciplinary team, led by Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director of Amplifier Ventures and Amplifier Network, and a former venture capital lawyer and investment banker; Michael Dering, most recently CEO of ServiceBench, a recognized expert in business management and expansion, and Rich Moore, currently on the Board of Directors of Vocus and a well known expert on marketing, sales and international transactions. The managers will provide day-to-day assistance to the participating entrepreneurs. The managers will be assisted by the members of the Board of Advisors of the Amplifier Network, a group which includes Todd Bramlett, CEO of Leverpoint, Loren Burnett, CEO of StackSafe, Eric Koefoot, formerly of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, Steve Balistreri, Partner Argy, Wiltse & Robinson and John Hurley, Senior Executive Venture Pipeline Group, DLA Piper.

Further assistance will be provided by members of the Amplifier Ventures investment team, which includes Bob Smith, founder of AOL Digital Cities, Ben Turner, currently CEO of iBelong Networks and Edgar Rios, founder of AmeriChoice.

"With the current chronic shortage of early stage venture capital, many promising business are not only losing access to capital, they are also losing out on opportunities to benefit from the business acceleration that a good venture investor brings to a company," noted Jonathan Aberman. "We thought that by bringing our resources and those of the wider Amplifier Network to bear on a focused group of entrepreneurs, we could broaden the number of attractive early stage businesses in the DC region."

Michael Dering, one of the managers of the Business Acceleration Program, added "I know from my own experience that the most useful thing for any entrepreneur is focused help and attention from experienced and committed people. We are hoping to make a difference to those that we work with, but also to the community as a whole. There are great things going on here in technology and we all need to support that."

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Jonathan Aberman or visit Amplifier Networks.

About Amplifier Ventures:
Amplifier Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund that has been operating since 2005. It has four current investments, including Bright Hub, Hook Mobile, iBelong Networks and Zenoss. It generally is the first institutional investor in the companies that it finances.

About Amplifier Networks:
Amplifier Networks provides entrepreneur focused content and education in collaborative online communities and classes. It was established by Amplifier Ventures in 2008, with the assistance of Appian Realty Advisors (http://www.appianllc.com/), Argy, Wiltse & Robinson (http://www.argy.com/) and DLA Piper Venture Pipeline (http://www.dlapiper.com/us/content/venturepipeline/).

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