DC Economy: More Recognition For DC’s Tech Scene

What are the first 5 cities you think of when it comes to startups? Would you put Washington, DC on that list? Well, today VentureBeat.com has done just that, and they are not the first. If you have had any exposure to the entrepreneurial community in and around DC, then this really comes as no surprise.

The DC area is ripe with innovation in everything from government (see, PopVox), to energy (see, Opower), to local consumer innovations (see, LivingSocial), to health care (see, MedClimate.com), and much more. While other cities around the country are also making great strides in entrepreneurship, none are considered to have the same level of pragmatism that DC has. Out of this pragmatic environment we expect to see more and more innovations that just make sense, and are useful.

This is all well and good, but the innovators are not the only element to DC’s burgeoning tech scene. DC and the surrounding area’s residents are digging it. We have a community that is proud of their city and the innovators within it. We are not just young, energetic tech types. We are young single / 30-40 somethings with kids / empty nesters / retired, and energetic tech types with a keen interest in what is going on in the world around us. With this spread across so many demographics DC is doing something else that is special, becoming it’s own startup eco-system.

Companies are having to look for funding beyond DC’s borders less and less often. There is no shortage of money in DC and individual investors are looking for opportunities, and the venture capital network is maturing quickly. Just this week Revolution Ventures, based in DC, invested in a real estate app called HomeSnap, an app created by online real estate broker Sawbuck Realty, also based in DC. Local startup, boosted by local capital (though Revolution Ventures does not invest exclusively in DC).

Bringing all this together are organized communities that enable contact among all these players, allowing both proactive and serendipitous connections to be made and acted upon. You have communities like DC Tech Meetup (one of the largest “Meetup” groups in world) and Foster.ly, as well as sites like ProudlyMadeInDC.com, each created by visionaries who have a distinct understanding of what DC can accomplish if it’s entrepreneurs can find each other and find the resources they need.

One thing I think many will take issue with in the VentureBeat piece though? Considering DC a “much cheaper” place to live than New York City and Boston. If you want to live in Manhattan, sure. But I think  you can move back and forth from Boston to DC pretty comfortably.



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