Blog: DC Startup Scene

Often snarky, sometimes funny, thoughts and musings on Leadership, Startups, Washington DC Business and more.

In with Amify and Out with Trustify

Remember back a few years ago, when Trustify was a thing? Back then Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon were spending their investor's money like drunken sailors. With big fanfare and much press, these two crooks announced their big office opening on the 8th floor of 201 12th St. South in Crystal City. Then all of a sudden, the companies phones were turned off and one day, people showed up for work and the locks were changed. Trustify was evicted for non-payment. Boice, Mellon and the company were sued by their Landlord, JBG Smith and smith was awarded $263,477.21 by the...

Cranky Old Fart as Product

You can't sell to everyone. Your products and services aren't right for all people or companies. So why are you spending so much time presenting a homogenized, milk toast, bland, offend-no-one image? Why are you so afraid of offending the people who make crappy customers? When I work with clients and ask them who are their best customers, they can answer quickly.  When I ask, who are your worst customers, they can rattle off a list faster than my brother-in-law heads for the bathroom when a waiter lays down the dinner bill. When I ask them what traits do they have in...

Are You A Business Chef Or Cook

In business, there are many buckets in which we can categorize people. One of my favorites is Chef or Cook. Chef (AKA Strategist) - A Chef is creative. They are motivated by intrinsic forces That is they are driven by satisfying the internal need to discover, to learn, to do that which has never been done, to create. They do what makes them happy. Great startup, entrepreneurial CEOs are usually Chefs, they have a unique vision, the need to do what hasn't been done. They don't follow the well-worn path, they blaze the new path. Cook (AKA Executioner) - A...

From Black and White Binary to Grey-ish

My Dad was extremely literal. You know the type. If I asked him if I could go outside and play, he'd answer, "I don't know can you?" Because I didn't ask for permission, I asked his opinion about my capabilities. If he called someone on the phone, and they said, "May I ask who's calling," he'd respond, "Yes," and sit through for what felt like eons of uncomfortable silence as my Dad waited for the person to ask for his name and not just permission to ask his name. When a server in a restaurant said something like, "My name is Bob...

Attention Communiclique Judge Alston and Prosecutor Hanly

Communiclique CEO Andy Powers is out on bail while charged with 8 Federal Felony Counts (See Post). Meanwhile, while out on bail, it seems that Andy Powers continues to defraud individuals, commit crimes abusing the terms of his bail. In August 2018, a court in Virginia found Andy Powers had defrauded investors and that his company Communiclique was a complete sham (see post). In the summer of 2019, a Bankruptcy court in Declared the company bankrupt and referred Andy Powers to the US Attorney for defrauding the court (see Post). He's still out there defrauding victims! It is time for Judge Rossi...

Former Trustify Employees Awarded $260 Thousand Judgement

Eight former Trustify employees, Matthew Scott, Elisabeth Nugent, Kevin Wiggins, Stacy Blackburn, Bey Wesley, Matthew Blanchard, Bernadette Vielhaber and Andrew Little, seeking $35 thousand in back pay. A court awarded these former employees $259,425.49 for several weeks back-pay, lost wages while unemployed, damages and Labor Law violations. The troubles for the bankrupt company and it's two co-founders Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon keep adding up. Good luck with collections as this group of creditors get in line with other burned creditors. Litigant Type Status Amount Commonwealth of Virginia Tax Lien Judgment $593,054.03 JBG Smith Office Rent Judgment $263,477.21 Centro GS Software Judgment $25,000.00 Eight Former Trustify Employees Back Pay/FinesDamages Judgment $259,425.49 Buckley Sanders LLP Legal Bills Judgment $245,945.00 Dini Von Mueffling Communications Press...

Another Day, Another Day In Court For Andy Powers Communiclique CEO

For the past 2 months, for the past 3 court dates, Andy Powers, the co-founder, and former CEO of a criminal enterprise and $50 Million Ponzi Scheme known as Communiclique (AKA Clique API) promised the court he would have a new attorney in just a few weeks. He's been promising to show up with his dream legal team any day now. Well, boy did he not disappoint today.  At 10:55 AM, five minutes before his scheduled 11 AM Case Review. In walks Powers with a virtual "Dream Team" legal team. He's followed by super attorney Johnnie Cochrane, Justice, Oliver Wendell...

Arlington County and Culpeper Garden $12K Pitch Contest

Arlington County Economic Development and Culpeper Gardens, a seniors living housing company, are holding a Pitch Contest called the Innovation in Healthy Aging Challenge with applications to pitch due by October 11, 2019. The contest is targeted to companies that have products that improve the health, mobility, and quality of life for senior citizens like me. The sponsors describe the contest as a unique competition to provide funding and pilot program opportunities for innovative companies and technologies focused on improving the lives of low-income seniors. The announcement states that three companies will be selected to pilot their products and receive $12 thousand...