Jonathan’s academic qualifications are in the fields of economics and law. He earned BA degrees from George Washington University (Political Science and Economics) and Cambridge University (Law). He subsequently obtained a graduate degree in Economics from the London School of Economics (MSc in Economics). He completed his legal education at Cambridge University (MA) and New York University (LLM).
Jonathan Aberman is a highly respected thought leader on entrepreneurship and innovation. His experience as a venture investor, innovation consultant, university professor and media commentator gives him a 360-degree perspective on entrepreneurship and technology innovation. He is identified as a leader of change and influence in print and television media, recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Tech Titan,” by the Washington Business Journal as a member of the “Power 100” and by the Commonwealth of Virginia as one of its “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs” in the Commonwealth.” Forbes Magazine described him as the “unsung hero” of the successful attraction of Amazon HQ2 to Arlington, Virginia.
Jonathan has unique expertise in the melding of national security and entrepreneurship with technology commercialization. He has worked on these matters with a number of national security agencies and universities including DOD Laboratory establishment, DARPA, the Air Force, the Army, the Department of Homeland Security, George Mason University and the University of Maryland at College Park. His activities regarding entrepreneurship and national security resulted in the formation of Tandem National Security Innovations, a national innovation community that has helped national security entities such as DARPA, DHS, SOCOM, JSOC and others find and engage with nontraditional sources of innovation.
Through his closely held investment business, Amplifier Ventures, Jonathan has helped to start 16 technology businesses since 2005. Among these businesses are successful companies in cybersecurity, mobile communications, internet and mobile content and software. Before starting Amplifier Ventures, he had a 15-year career as a partner and senior manager of a number of national law firms, and prior to that he was an associate in the investment banking industry in London, England. He uses his commercial experience to provide valuable strategic advice, business model and customer discovery acumen and deal management. His experiences and contacts in the venture capital industry inform his views on technology innovation and provide a hard earned commercial perspective that he applies to his work.
Jonathan is a committed educator. Prior to joining Marymount he spent 11 years as a Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, where he taught a broad range of courses including business formation, corporate finance, business strategy, and family entrepreneurship.
He also has a significant media footprint. He hosts What's Working in Washington, a podcast and weekly radio show on Federal News Network’s WFED (AM 1500) examining innovation in one of the least understood business communities in the country. From 2015 until joining Marymount, Jonathan had a regular column, first in the Washington Post and then in the Washington Business Journal, covering the region’s business community, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. He is often quoted in national publications including Bloomberg, CNN, Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and he actively participates on panels and serves as a keynote speaker for innovation, entrepreneurship and technology events.
During his career Jonathan has helped to create many successful communities of entrepreneurs. In 2011, he founded Startup Virginia, Startup Maryland and StartupDC as part of the Obama Administration's StartupAmerica Initiative. These efforts resulted in the formation of regionally impactful programs including 1776 Accelerator and the iCorps program. In 2012 he formed FounderCorps, a not for profit that aggregated many of the Greater Washington region's most prominent entrepreneurs and promoted mentorship. In 2018, he formed the Tandem Product Academy, an educational program focused on teaching founders and senior executives essential skills necessary to scale technology product-based businesses.