Media Inquiries: For all MAVA media inquiries, please contact us at 703-506-9300 or email


Check back regularly for news, coverage, and announcements about MAVA.


MAVA Executive Director Recruited by State Department as Mentor in Croatia


Julia Spicer Lends Expertise to State Department Program on Entrepreneurship and Start-Ups 

The Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) is mentoring young business leaders in the Republic of Croatia at the request of the U.S. State Department.  As a mentor, Julia Spicer is working with 25 young entrepreneurs who were selected based on their start up business ideas as participants in the Startup Camp program.

“It is an honor to have been asked by the U.S. Government to participate in the State Department’s program promoting entrepreneurship in Croatia,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director of MAVA. “These young and first-time entrepreneurs are eager to learn how to build successful businesses that will add to the economic well-being of Croatia. As a mentor in this innovative program, it is gratifying having the opportunity to share first-hand some of the professional experiences gained through my work with our own vibrant entrepreneurial community.

MAVA is highly regarded as a force in the investment community for its prominent position as a supporter of seasoned and aspiring entrepreneurs and facilitator promoting collaboration and quality deal flow across the full spectrum of investment capital at all stages.  Having earned a reputation as a friend to entrepreneurs, MAVA hosts a wide range of programs designed to foster relationships among entrepreneurs, investors, strategic partners and customers. One of the nation’s most respected industry conferences, Capital Connection, is presented by MAVA specifically for top performing companies and innovators with high growth potential. Celebrating its 25th year in 2012, Capital Connection attracts each year more than 800+ entrepreneurs representing every stage of company development, seasoned company executives, investors and advisors who share a common focus on building and investing in some of America’s most promising, innovative companies.

“Promoting entrepreneurship in Croatia by supporting Start Up Camp 2012 is an example of our successful people-to-people exchanges, and part of Secretary Clinton’s Smart Power Diplomacy initiative. By leveraging public private partnerships, we are working with the U.S. and Croatian private sectors to provide an educational tool to Croatian youth, while advancing a key Embassy foreign policy objective - the promotion of economic ties between the U.S. and Croatia. These ties are both direct – in matching American venture capitalists with budding Croatian entrepreneurs – and indirect – in promoting America’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said acting U.S. Embassy Zagreb Spokesperson S. Sita Sonty. 

The inaugural Startup Camp brings together the 25 finalists with six mentors in three full days of intensive coaching, presentations and other educational programming. The long-term goal of the Startup Camp project, according to the agenda, is “to create a platform and process for helping young entrepreneurs in the region. The idea of the Camp is to gather participants who will, during the three day program, be given the opportunity present their ideas for a startup business and through different workshops and individual coaching challenge those ideas and develop possible improvements.” Business proposals will be evaluated by judges and awards presented to winning entrepreneurs. Startup Camp is being hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb and held on the island of Vis, Republic of Croatia, from August 28-30.