Connecting with the DC startup scene
I am asked often about where to find out about DC startup/tech events and groups, so I thought it would be useful to have an online list to point them to, instead of emailing whatever groups are fresh in my mind when they happen to ask me. This list is by no means exhaustive, and I will update the list from time to time, but it’s a good starting point for someone new to the city or the world of startups.
First of all, get used to hashing and following #dctech on Twitter. Its the go to hashtag for sharing #dctsartuplove.
For events, these are good sites to watch/follow.
- Kauffman’s http://startupdigest.com/washington-dc I think this is the current best summary of startup events in DC.
- PlanCast is hit or miss unfortunately, but I do sometimes find out about cool stuff through it by following folks who are active. You can see my list of subscriptions at http://plancast.com/studgeek.
Meetup.com is also very active here in DC. Despite how the name sounds, it isn’t a dating service. It’s also not strictly for tech. There are all kinds of social activities, but you can use group tags to quickly narrow your search to biz/tech meetups (or crocheting clubs – your call :). These four are a good start. You can also see the ones I am in at I’m in at http://www.meetup.com/DC-Tech-Meetup/members/29001302, and the site does a good job of recommending groups as well.
- http://www.meetup.com/DC-Tech-Meetup – Run by iStrategyLabs.
And there are two main Facebook groups depending which side of your brain you want tickled.
- DC Tech – The main forum for discussing DC startups (after Twitter of course :).
- Refresh DC – “web designers, developers, and other new media professionals”
- http://techcocktail.com Holding startup presentations at happy hour is a stroke of genius, because even if the presentation doesn’t interest you, you will probably still have a good time and meet some interesting people. They do stuff in lots of cities, but DC is one of their main hubs.
- http://www.istrategylabs.com Peter Corbett, who runs iStrategyLabs, is one of the driving forces behind tech networking in DC (in a good way). iStrategyLabs and TechCocktail are the main organizers of Digital Capital Week.
- http://dc.startupweekend.org A few of these awesome events now happen each year. Get thrown in a room with a bunch of other folks and try to craft a startup plan in 54 hours.
- http://foster.ly Another great source for events including their well known Foster.ly Study Halls.
- http://thefort.vc – DC’s first accelerator – w00t!
- http://www.citgapfunds.org/ – Virginia’s state sponsored VC
- Inside the World’s Biggest Tech Meetup (inc.com)
Speaking on Cities Unwired panel for Digital Capital Week
I’ll be participating in a panel discussion this Saturday at the inaugural Digital Capital Week put on by iStrategyLabs. The panel will also include Karla Ballard, VP of Social Innovations, One-Economy; Tegene Baharu, Director, DC-Net, and Peter Corbett will be moderating. We’re going to be discussing Cities Unwired, focusing on “the new kinds of services developers, startups, and governments [will] be able to deliver to their citizens,” now that CLEAR is providing mobile broadband across DC.
There will be plenty of time for people to ask questions. Come for the interesting discussion, stay for the DCWeek after party :).