Jonathan is highly respected and valued thought leader on entrepreneurship and innovation. His work as a venture investor, innovation consultant, university professor and media commentator, allows him to experience and connect the many threads of entrepreneurship and technology innovation that are core to the United States economy and its future. When Jonathan talks about these areas, the community takes notice. He is identified as a leader of change and influence in print and television media, among other things being recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Tech Titan,” by Washington Business Journal as a member of the “Power 100” and by the Commonwealth of Virginia as one of the “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs” in the Commonwealth.
He hosts What’s Working in Washington, a podcast and weekly show on WFED examining innovation in one of the least understood business communities in the country. Jonathan’s interviews reveal how D.C. is about way more than just politics. It is brimming with creative people who are interesting, engaged and getting things done.
Jonathan grew up in a family of small business owners. His parents and grandparents desperately tried to prevent him from living an entrepreneurial life and encouraged him to become a professional instead. He obtained an education in economics and law (with post graduate qualifications in each) from the London School of Economics (MSc in Economics), Cambridge University (BA and MA in law), New York University (LLM) and George Washington University (BA).
During his subsequent career as a professional advisor, he worked in the financial services industry in London for Daiwa Securities, Goldman Sachs and Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, and then as a corporate/venture capital lawyer as a partner in technology law firms Fenwick & West, Pillsbury Winthrop and Fish and Richardson. During this time Jonathan’s focus was on opening new business initiatives and offices, and in 2003 he realized that despite his parents’ best intentions he was really an entrepreneur after all.
He started Amplifier Ventures in 2004 to help entrepreneurs launch technology businesses, and has since seeded 16 startup technology businesses in internet, nanotechnology, energy conservation, mobile and cybersecurity sectors. An affiliated consulting business, Amplifier Advisors followed in 2009, to allow Jonathan to apply his expertise to entrepreneurial approaches to innovation creation and commercialization, working for a wide range of government, for profit and not-for-profit ventures. In 2012, he launched FounderCorps — a not-for-profit corporation promoting technology mentorship and regional economic development. In 2013 he formed TandemNSI, a public private partnership that has created a large and growing community of entrepreneurs and national security agencies to address advanced technology challenges of national importance.
Jonathan is a committed educator, and has been adjunct professor at a number of universities. He is currently Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business of the University of Maryland, where he teaches a broad range of classes in business formatting, strategy and family entrepreneurship. He has been an active policy maker and has served national, state and local governments in many advisory capacities.
Jonathan is a sought-after commentator on developments in technology, innovation and political economics. He has a weekly column in the Washington Post, and is often quoted in Washington Business Journal and Huffington Post and The New York Times.
Jonathan is lead guitarist of Two Car Living Room and an avid reader of science fiction.