Our mentors have decades of experience helping entrepreneurs and innovators secure Department of Defense funding

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Jangela Shumskas

Jangela is the Director of ByteCubed Ventures and Executive Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Velociter Program. Previously, she was ByteCubed’s Commercialization Strategist supporting the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.

Jangela recognizes the critical role innovation must play in driving US economic growth. She has spent her academic and professional career articulating the dynamic interplay of technology, sustainable development, social interests, economics, and environmental needs and how these affect growth. Jangela has nearly 20-years of experience working with innovative technologies, start-ups, and federally funded small business research programs.

Prior to joining ByteCubed, Jangela was a Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Program Manager for Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), advising and assisting the Small Business Program Office Program Director in the administration of the DARPA SBIR/STTR programs.

She has provided similar support for the Missile Defense Agency, Army, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Jangela formerly provided executive support to the Presidential Commission on International Defense Trade Offsets and worked briefly with a start-up providing analysis and thought leadership in the development of cyber security policies/strategies to increase resiliency in the banking, finance, and insurance industries.

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Kirk Burton, PMP

Kirk Burton is the Assistant Director of ByteCubed Ventures (and the DoD Velociter Program) and is an expert in government acquisition.  Kirk has experience in entrepreneurship, business incubation, and open innovation, as well as technology research and development and program management.

His focus over the past decade has been supporting the military and first responder community. Kirk was the PM for a $30M effort to rapidly develop technology solutions using simplified contracting and rapid prototyping.  As Director of Research and Engineering for StarTec, a Pinellas County small business accelerator, he led a comprehensive review of technology transition efforts within the DoD and designed a small business readiness evaluation to support SBIR/STTR companies.  Kirk serves as a board member for the Small Business Technology Council (www.sbtc.org) and continues to support DoD acquisition and technology commercialization efforts.

Kirk received a Bachelor of Arts in Finance & Accounting from Kennesaw State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Syracuse University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum Master.  In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, travel, and working with innovators.



Lynn Jenkins

Lynn K. Jenkins is a DoD Velociter Program Senior mentor responsible for mentoring over 35 Velociter companies. Ms. Jenkins has implemented capture strategies resulting in over $150 million dollars in federal contract awards for small and medium-sized businesses.

Lynn has engaged with small high technology businesses for the past 15 years and has been recognized as a staunch small business advocate focused on enabling revenue and organizational growth for information technology companies. She was recognized as one of the top "Women Business Leaders of Maryland for 2010" and a “Minority Business Leader” for 2011 by The Gazette of Politics and Business.

Lynn has a 35-year record in Sales, Business Development, Marketing, and Capture Management as a business executive for IBM, Oracle, Lotus Development Corporation, New York New England Telephone (NYNEX), as well as several small, 8(a), service disabled veteran owned and small-disadvantaged businesses. Her expertise includes leadership, executive coaching, strategic plan development, marketing & branding, process development, business development, capture management, technical and non-technical writing, proposal strategy & development, leadership training, capture management training and public speaking engagements.

Lynn received a Bachelor of Arts in French from Connecticut College. 


Phil Reeves

Phil Reeves is a proven leader with success in Commercial and Public Sector ventures with deep strategic competence, analytic skill and the ability to quickly produce results. He has provided advisory services for numerous growth oriented firms, from nascent startups to Fortune 500 businesses.  

Phil has served as a DoD Velociter Program mentor for the past two years. He has also served as the Manager of Small Business Technology and Innovation for the Government of the District of Columbia. In this role, Phil established the District’s first program focused on providing full life-cycle technical assistance and mentoring to over 160 small businesses and startups pursuing federal R&D funding. He also supported city-wide technology initiatives and was appointed to the District’s Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council.

Prior to working in the public sector Phil worked in corporate development for a small government contractor, where he was responsible for M&A, strategic partnerships and business development. Philip began his career in private equity at Lehman Brothers.

Phil’s work and writings have been featured in MarketWatch, Government CIO Magazine and several local tech blogs. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers DC Hub and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s DC Region E-Council. Philip is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College.


Christoph Mlinarchik

Christoph has trained hundreds of Federal, military, and contractor professionals nationwide—from novices to C-level executives. Businesses and individuals rely on Christoph’s expertise to navigate the complexities of the Federal contracting marketplace. Contracts managers, attorneys, chief executive officers, program managers, sales directors, business capture and proposal experts, and other contracts professionals consistently provide outstanding reviews for Christoph’s teaching skills, presentation style, and consulting expertise.

Christoph is currently the director of policy for a Defense contractor, and supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Small Business Programs as the senior policy advisor. As a former senior contracting officer for the Department of Defense, Christoph has diverse and extensive Federal contracting experience across the Air Force, Navy, Pentagon, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. He served special details as an Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) acquisitions attorney, and a procurement analyst for the Source Selection Policy and Clearance Committee of Air Force Space Command. Christoph has negotiated, reviewed, or managed billions of dollars of Government contracts over the course of his career. This real-world, Government experience provides an invaluable perspective for clients.



A.J. Yarmie

A.J. Yarmie is currently the Director of Opportunity Development of the DoD Velociter Program.  Prior to joining Velociter he was the Founder and Principal of Janan International LLC (doing business as Janan Business Development), a company focused on driving the increase in client government contractors’ revenues and profits through business development, risk management, strategic planning, and process engineering.  Janan helped client companies achieve success by proactively streamlining their internal program and engineering systems, facilitating the seamless transition from a contract sale to a viable program and revenue-producing product or service.  In the 14 years of Janan’s operation, A.J. has helped clients win over $400 million in new business.

Prior to starting Janan, A.J. was the Corporate Director, Business Development at Futron Corporation, with executive oversight for four divisions developing markets in each of four verticals and assisted them in introducing new services to defense, government, and commercial markets.   Previously, as the Defense and Aerospace Segment Manager for Microvision, Inc., he had worldwide sales responsibility for a start-up government contractor, taking sales from zero to over $17 Million in less than 3 years, with follow-on revenues of $70 Million.

With over 30 years of government, defense, and technology business development experience, there is little about business development that A.J. has not touched or seen.  He has a B.S. degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and is a former Army Major and Master Army Aviator.


Ashley Scott

Ashley Scott began her journey in politics, over a decade ago, with the Louisiana Governor’s office just two weeks before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.  She was then catapulted into the tremendous recovery efforts of not just a city, but of a state that would be underwater for years to come.  Ashley transitioned into working for the Louisiana State Legislature which provided an opportunity to work with constituents on the grass roots level and create legislation for the communities struggling to survive the aftermath of the storm.  Ashley later worked for former Congressman Donald Cazayoux and former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. She specialized in the Congressional budget and appropriations process, securing billions of federal dollars for education, health care, housing, infrastructure, community programs and more. Her expertise led to effectively assisting city and local governments with the necessary tools to navigate federal programs.  Ashley also worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and created policy focused on strengthening America's entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Currently, Ashley serves as a project manager for ByteCubed, a high impact firm specializing in next generation software to assist government agencies and businesses leverage technology to meet their business and policy goals. Ashley has managed congressional affairs for the firm's largest client, the Department of Defense; successfully created new business development; and currently leads a cross-functional team for President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative. 

Ashley earned her master’s degree from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University and A&M College.

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George Wang

George Wang is the lead Intellectual Property Counsel for the DoD Velociter Program.  He assists the Executive Director on all corporate legal, regulatory, and intellectual property matters, and has advised more than 100 participant companies on various aspects of IP and its impact on their business.

George has over 16 years of experience in intellectual property.  Prior to joining the Velociter team, he served as Senior IP Counsel for General Electric, managing a world-class IP portfolio for GE’s entire Transportation business, with a focus on digital, software, and web-based innovations.  Prior to that, he was IP Counsel for JDS Uniphase (now Viavi Solutions), building the IP program and growing their telecom, network security, and optics businesses.

George is a seasoned litigation lawyer.  During his private practice years at two renowned international law firms, he successfully represented many companies, ranging from small startups to sophisticated tech-giants.  Some of his clients included Apple, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Verizon, Intel, Ford, GE, Northrop Grumman, and Symantec.  He is also a former patent examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and a former law clerk at the USPTO Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB).

George has published and spoken on numerous IP-related matters over the course of his career.  He has been recognized for his specialties in IP litigation, portfolio development, counseling, software, licensing, brand development, monetization strategies, data security, privacy, compliance, risk management, budgeting, commercial and government contracts, policy review, leadership, and training.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and his law degree from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.