President and Managing Partner
Ms. Djamshidi brings more than a decade of capital formation, business challenge assessment, go-to-market strategies, growth and exit planning and advisory service for emerging tech companies to Speedshift Ventures.
She has advised high-profile, technology-based firms and early-stage tech companies and led public-private-partnership organizations with great success. She has earned her reputation as a detail-oriented executive leader who can synthesize complex business challenges to uncover solutions and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
She led the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC), a national and cyber security accelerator where she spearheaded partnerships to facilitate contracts for homeland and cyber security projects. During her tenure at CIC, she coached more than 200 innovative technology companies nationwide. CIC companies have raised more than $100 million in private capital and more than $300 million in government contracts.
As Director of the University of Maryland’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP), Sarah helped to raise $20 million for portfolio companies. She also was instrumental in the design, development, and implementation of the University ’s first technology spin-out program, MTECH VentureAccelerator.
Sarah also served as the President of Maryland Business Incubation Association (MBIA), an association of more than 20 incubators and accelerators supporting more than 400 emerging companies throughout the State of Maryland.
In addition, she launched and managed a successful retail business.
Laboy has dedicated over 25 years to an impressive career in the technology, hotel and travel industry. From 2009 to 2013, Laboy was President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, a leading Software as a Service technology company. Sabre Hospitality Solutions was created to provide the most comprehensive marketing, distribution and operations tools for the hospitality industry worldwide and today generates over $12 billion in annual revenue for its customers. Prior to leading Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Laboy established E-site Marketing and was co-founder of the company, the preeminent hospitality Internet Marketing service company in the world. E-site Marketing started in 1999 with no outside funding or outside investors and over the next 10 years, Laboy established strategic direction and oversaw company performance, growth and operations. E-site Marketing used leading technology to be disruptive to the existing Internet offerings in the hotel marketplace. Laboy is considered a pioneer in the development and integration of many hospitality Internet marketing best practices and solutions that are today replicated and embraced industry-wide. Sabre Holdings acquired E-site Marketing in 2007.
Jeffrey W. Salinger
Jeffrey W. Salinger is an accomplished senior executive with nearly 40 years of experience in marketing, technology, operations, and strategic acquisitions and alliances. Seventeen of those years were concentrated in building an industry-leading Fortune 100 firm. Jeff also has business start-up experience and has served on small-firm boards. He has had direct responsibility for hundreds of employees and large multimillion-dollar annual operating budgets.
Over his career, Jeff’s responsibilities have included marketing and sales, technology and systems development, product development, advertising, direct mail, research, retail loan operations, and customer service. He has also directed the development of strategic alliances and business acquisitions.
Jeff is the Managing Partner of a venture fund that specializes in green, environmentally progressive investments. In addition, he currently owns and operates two very successful firms.
Geoffrey S. Mitchell
Geoffrey S. Mitchell has practiced business law for his entire career and limits his practice to advising clients on the legal aspects of businesses and business relationships.
Geoff began his legal practice with Semmes Bowen & Semmes in Baltimore, and is the former Chairman and Managing Partner of that firm. Geoff also practiced international business law in Washington, D.C. for a number of years, and later served as the Vice President and General Counsel of SynXis Corporation in Northern Virginia. Upon the sale of SynXis Corporation Mitchell opened his law office in Annapolis.
Geoff advises clients in selecting business structures and operating agreements that are suited to the clients’ business goals and objectives. Geoff works with clients in all areas of business including structuring offerings of equity interests that are exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and similar State Acts. He represents buyers and sellers of businesses, and the organizers of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships in company formation and in preparing the agreements necessary for their operations.
For over 25 years Geoff has maintained the highest “AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings Service for the legal community. The rating is solely based on peer review by attorneys and the judiciary regarding legal ability and professional ethics.
Charles O. Heller
Board of Advisory Member
Charles O. Heller is President of Annapolis Capital Group, a management consulting and investment firm. Previously, he was General Partner of Gabriel Venture Partners, a bicoastal, early-stage, venture capital fund with $260M under management, and Director/Chair of the Investment Committee of Athlone Global Security, a VC firm specializing in cybersecurity. From 1990 to 1999, Dr. Heller was Director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. He built the center into one of the top-ranked in the nation and was named the University’s first-ever Professor of Practice. Charlie has been very active in the Mid-Atlantic business community for many years, as a successful entrepreneur, investor, board member, and mentor to many of the region’s startup ventures.
He was co-founder and CEO of CADCOM, Inc., a pioneer enterprise software company. After selling CADCOM, he led a management buy-out of a segment of the firm which became Intercad Corporation, a publishing software company; Dr. Heller was its CEO. He sits on a number of boards, including those of Hennessy Mutual Funds, Walden University, NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Chesapeake Innovation Center, and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University. He holds three engineering degrees: BS and MS from Oklahoma State University, and Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. He has been recipient of a number of awards, including Maryland’s “Entrepreneur-of-the-Year,” the Lohmann Medal from OSU, and CUA’s Alumni Achievement Award. He is a dual citizen of the US and the Czech Republic, his native country.
His “other” career has been that of a writer. He is the author of the award-winning memoir, Prague: My Long Journey Home, published in December 2011, and has three additional memoirs in the works. He has been a columnist for the Washington Business Journal, Daily Record, Annapolis Capital, Baltimore News-American, and The Public Enterprise.
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