Meet our Team

The GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship team collaborates with many initiatives and entrepreneurship-focused programs at the George Washington University, as well as in the community at-large. 

Jim Chung

Associate Vice President for Research 
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Jim Chung is the Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at George Washington University, and a Co-Principal Investigator for the NSF Innovation Corps Node in Washington DC (DC I-Corps). He was previously the Director of the Mtech VentureAccelerator and the Founding Director of the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund at the University of Maryland. Prior to Mtech, he served as a Director for New Business Development at the Corporate Executive Board. He was also Vice President at Cherington Capital (now Intervale Capital), a middle market private equity firm in the oilfield equipment and services industry. 

Jim started his private sector career as an early stage venture capital investor, most recently at incTANK Ventures, where he was the managing director. Some previous and current investments include Agamatrix, Nexaweb, Ulterra, Zymetis (now Aemetis), FlexEl, FiscalNote, and TravelBank. Before becoming an investor, Jim was an academic researcher studying how business, government, and academia work together to create new innovations in high technology industries. He has been a researcher at MIT, Harvard, University of Tokyo (Fulbright Fellow), ETRI (NSF EAPSI Fellow), STEPI (Korea), and KAIST. He was named in 2015 and 2017 by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans in DC and by Hot Topics as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurship Professors worldwide.

Jim received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Stanford University and was a Ph.D. candidate at MIT.

Lex McCusker

Director, Student Entrepreneurship Programs
lexmccusker@gwu.edu

Leo X. (Lex) McCusker, PhD, recently retired from the School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, where he served as Dean from 2006 through 2009. At Stevens Institute he taught and did research in entrepreneurship, especially technology-based entrepreneurship spawned from university research.

Prior to joining Stevens Institute, Dr. McCusker worked for 23 years at AT&T and Bell Laboratories in the areas of software development, professional technology services, technology licensing and intrapreneurship. He was CEO of the AT&T text-to-speech startup, Natural VoicesTM.

He is currently the President of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network of DC. He is also an angel investor and member of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Keiretsu Forum.

Lex holds a doctorate in Experimental Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Dartmouth College.

 

Dan Kunitz

Director, DC I-Corps Accelerator

dkunitz@gwu.edu

DC I-Corps Website

Dan Kunitz is a media and technology executive and entrepreneur who has been involved in the creation and management of several successful web and media start-ups.  

As Director of the DC I-Corps Accelerator Dan advises and provides support to all early stage technology companies in the NSF-sponsored DC I-Corps program run by University of Maryland, George Washington University, Virginia Tech University, and John Hopkins University.  In addition to working with many ventures that originate in University labs, Dan mentors a growing number of teams from Federal Lab initiatives and from incubators throughout the Washington region. Dan serves as Chairman of the Washington DC Economic Partnership's AccelerateDC program, where he manages a mentor network of technology start-up founders and executives.  He is also a Senior Advisor at Venture Well to NSF’s National Innovation Network.  Dan has also championed, instructed, and/or managed several international I-Corps and lean startup initiatives.

Prior to joining the DC I-Corps team, Dan was an entrepreneur, founder, and executive for several startups in the web, new media, and education sectors.  As Co-Founder and COO of Irides, LLC, a Virginia-based managed services provider, Dan oversaw all aspects of the company’s strategy and operations, and negotiated six acquisitions.  Dan was on the founding team of Politico, a Virginia-based new media venture covering politics, Capitol Hill, and lobbying.  As Associate Publisher and Managing Editor of politico.com, Dan was responsible for all aspects of the online strategy, built and managed a team of developers, designers, and content producers, and negotiated numerous strategic partnerships. Politico grew to over 100 employees and had 5 million monthly unique visitors in its first year.  Dan was involved in two other new media start-ups in the Washington region:  Local Point TV, an innovative short-form entertainment-based digital spectrum sub-channel, and NewsIT, a mobile platform for crowd-sourced news.  Dan’s career also includes two education ventures.  At MBA Center, Dan directed all aspects of the company’s communication, marketing, media, and editorial activities for Europe’s largest test prep provider with 12 locations throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.  Dan subsequently co-founded Professional Prime, a strategic advisory and consulting company headquartered in Paris and London, with offices throughout Europe and education clients worldwide.

Dan has a BA from Wesleyan University, and an MBA in International Business from Ecole des Ponts.

Tengiz Sydykov

Program Coordinator
tsydykov@gwu.edu

Tengiz is the Program Coordinator for the GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He manages promotion, outreach, and operations in support of the New Venture Competition, DC I-Corps, and the International Lean Startup programs at GW. Tengiz comes from the American Society for Engineering Education where he managed federally and privately funded projects on education policy, inclusion, and curriculum design. In 2013, he was involved in implementation of the pilot NSF Innovation Corps for Learning program that applies startup principles to innovation within STEM education efforts. Tengiz ran three consecutive I-Corps L national cohort programs. In addition, he was the financial administrator for EcoCAR: Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition program, sponsored by the General Motors and the Department of Energy, and consulted at the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge, sponsored by NASA, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX. 

Tengiz Sydykov received his Bachelor's in Economics from the George Mason University.

Jasmine Marie Bautista

Program Assistant
jbautista@gwu.edu

Jasmine is the Program Assistant for GW's Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She supports the office through her work with social media, marketing, event management, and daily operations. Jasmine comes from a background in nonprofit recruiting with both temporary and executive searches, marketing, and event management with Careers In Nonprofits, a boutique staffing firm that provides nonprofit staffing needs within the DC metro area. In addition to recruiting, Jasmine also helped manage all open house events, volunteer activities, and a professional development workshop series called, CNP Academy, where all professionals could gather to learn more about Resilience, Retention, Leadership, and Career Mapping.
 
Jasmine received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in International Relations with a focus in International Business from Virginia Tech.