Members of Washington’s technology community have begun to rally behind local entrepreneur and start-up advisor Minh D. Nguyen, who was arrested and charged late last week in connection with a domestic shooting that left one man dead.
Nguyen’s lengthy profile on professional networking Web site LinkedIn shows a man who was well connected and broadly involved in the local start-up scene, serving as an advisor to several young companies and mentor in many business accelerator programs.
Supporters briefly launched a donation page on Gofundme.com to raise money for Nguyen’s legal fees. The page, which was put up on Monday, was taken down by Tuesday.
The site’s organizers did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
“Many of us know Minh as a helpful and energized supporter in our local tech community, and loving father to his three children,” the funding page read. “He helped countless DC area startups get their start with invaluable advice and ideas, often taking his time to speak on panels and judging startup competitions requesting his counsel.”
Investigators in the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office allege Nguyen, 38, shot a man after entering a townhome on the 44200 block of Sonora Lane in Ashburn at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Spokeswoman Liz Mills identified the victim as Corey Mattison, who had married Nguyen’s ex-wife in recent months.
Two children were also in the home, but were not harmed. Nguyen’s ex-wife and a third child returned to the home as the shooting occurred, a department spokeswoman told The Post. Neither were harmed.
Nguyen was arrested at the scene and charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to the department. Mills said Monday that additional details may become available later this week.
A separate fundraising site entitled “Denise Mattison Family Fund” aims to raise $100,000 to support Nguyen’s ex-wife and the family’s children. That campaign had raised more than $16,000 as of Monday afternoon.
Nguyen may be best known as co-founder of Plaxo, an address book software company based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The company was acquired by Comcast Interactive in 2008, though Nguyen was no longer involved at that time.
More recently, Nguyen’s LinkedIn profile lists him as an advisor to San Francisco-based sales software company ToutApp and District-based contact management firm Contactually.
Contactually co-founder Zvi Band said Nguyen acted an informal mentor shortly after the company was formed in late 2011, but that the company’s executives have had little contact with him since early 2012.
“He was able to provide some advice based on his experience in the contact management space having been an early member of Plaxo,” Band said. “He was a more experienced entrepreneur. He was able to help give some career guidance, especially to me, as the company was just getting off the ground.”
From December 2011 to June 2013, Nguyen was an advisor to Fosterly, a community organization that offers resources and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Washington region.
“He was often times helpful and friendly to other entrepreneurs in the D.C. area. We asked him questions, he helped us out every once in awhile,” said Fosterly founder Adam Zuckerman.
“He’s always been a nice, open person. I’ve never had any experience with him when he was less than positive,” Zuckerman said.
Nguyen also describes himself as a mentor to a number of business accelerators in the area, including Acceleprise, AOL Fishbowl Labs, 500 Startups and the now-defunct The Fort.
Washington investor Jonathan Aberman was also an advisor to Fosterly and first met Nguyen through the company. Aberman said he was impressed with Nguyen’s willingness to volunteer his time, and recruited him to mentor start-ups in TandemNSI, an organization that connects entrepreneurs with the national security community.
Nguyen’s LinkedIn profile lists his dates of involvement from April 2013 to present, though Aberman said his role as a venture advisor ran from April 2014 to November 2014. It is unclear when Nguyen’s profile was last updated.
“We asked him to help us with what he does really well, which was help us meet entrepreneurs that he knew,” Aberman said. Nguyen introduced “a handful” of entrepreneurs to the program, he added.
“If you talk with the young entrepreneur community here in town, you’ll find there are many young entrepreneurs who really looked up to him as an entrepreneur,” Aberman said.
This story has been updated.
More from Capital Business: