1776 Lands Partnership With General Assembly

1776, GeneralAssembly, DC startups, incubator, startup newsWith a name like General Assembly, you would think one of the  most respected incubator organizations in the country would have a presence in Washington, DC. But that’s not the case. PandoDaily’s DC based reporter Hamish McKenzie reports that “A couple of years ago, entrepreneurial educational institution General Assembly scouted Washington DC and decided there wasn’t enough startup activity to warrant starting a program in the city just yet.”

That seems to have changed now that 1776, the DC startup hub and coworking space founded by Startup Veterans Evan Burfield and Donna Harris, is up and running on all cylinders.

Since opening this Spring, there hasn’t been a dull moment at 1776. They’ve hosted Startup Grind, TechCocktail events, several hackathons, startup launch parties, and several other startup activities. They’ve also announced major partnerships with top educational publisher Pearson,and others. They’ve even announced a global startup challenge that will bring startups from around the world to Washington, DC for a tournament style final next year.

Now, General Assembly has given the nation’s capital a second look. They’ve decided to take up residency on two lower floors of 1776’s space on 15th street in NorthWest Washington, DC. The space sits directly across from the Washington Post which is in the process of being acquired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

McKenzie reports that DC’s General Assembly will begin hosting workshops and short form courses as early as next month with their long-term curriculum kicking off in 2014. This marks the 9th General Assembly campus. They also have locations in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Burfield and Harris were influencers with Startup America before founding 1776 a short seven months ago. Harris was a director with the Startup America Partnership, and Burfield was the founder of the DC region for Startup America. They’ve attracted over 100 startups to the 1776 space. In addition to serving as a hub for startups in Washington DC they are also linking startups from across the country and around the world to the federal government which happens to be the largest enterprise client in the world. 1776 sits just four blocks from the White House.

Find out more about 1776 at 1776dc.com and General Assembly here.

Several DC area startups and founders are headed to Cincinnati later this month for this huge startup conference.


StartupLand Sneak Preview And Panel At Everywhere Else Cincinnati September 30th

StartupLand, DC startups, The Fort, Fortify Ventures, Jonathon Perrelli

Justin Gutwein, the filmmaker and entrepreneur behind the documentary series StartupLand, will debut a limited edition special sneak preview to the attendees, startups, investors, and entrepreneurs at Everywhere Else Cincinnati.

The documentary series was filmed during the spring session of The Fort accelerator housed at Washington DC’s 1776. StartupLand takes a no-holds-barred look at the entire accelerator experience and then talks to the startup founders upon completion of the accelerator, shining a light on the ins and outs of the Fortify Ventures-backed startup accelerator.

The five teams that are chronicled in the series are:

LegCyte (DC) leverages technology to make legislation easier to understand. http://www.LegCyte.com

RidePost (DC) is an online marketplace connecting drivers and riders for safe & social ridesharing. http://www.RidePost.com

SnobSwap (DC and San Francisco) is an evolved marketplace where fashion lovers can swap, sell, or buy coveted pre-loved designer clothing and accessories. http://www.snobswap.com

TrendPo (San Francisco) analyzes the political world daily using news, sentiment, and social metrics. http://www.trendpo.com

The Trip Tribe (DC) has cracked the code on how travelers can have the experience of a lifetime. http://www.thetriptribe.com

Jonathon Perrelli, the Managing Director of Fortify Ventures and co-founder of The Fort, will be on hand at Everywhere Else Cincinnati. He and Gutwein will answer questions about the documentary, the process, and the accelerator.

StartupLand just completed a Kickstarter campaign to help with the costs of post production. Gutwein was looking to raise $75,000 for the documentary series and surpassed that goal by over $10,000.

You can see Justin Gutwein, Jonathon Perrelli, and some of the featured startup founders in a panel at Everywhere Else Cincinnati. Gutwein will also show a special  sneak preview of StartupLand during the conference. They hope to completely wrap up production later in the fall or in the early winter of 2013.

Get your ticket or startup village booth by clicking the banner below. For more information on StartupLand visit startupland.tv


1776 Goes Global On Multiple Startup Fronts

1776, Startup News, DC Startups, Donna Harris, Evan Burfield

Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776dc chatting with an entrepreneur (photo: NMI 2013)

1776, the startup, entrepreneurial and tech campus that serves as the epicenter for Washington DC’s tech and startup community, announced new initiatives which take their programming, and core, to a global audience. Founded by two Washington DC entrepreneurs, Donna Harris and Evan Burfield, the co-working, incubator, accelerator, co-working and event space has been packed full with startup activity since they opened. One of 1776’s biggest fans is DC Mayor Vince Gray.\

“We’ve wanted to pursue global initiatives since Day 1,” says Donna Harris, cofounder of 1776. “1776 is a fantastic resource for startups in D.C. It [could also be] a fantastic resource for any startup in the world.”

1776 has announced three main global initiatives; a virtual membership program, similar to the program in DC, and Startup Federation, an initiative that will help other cities, globally, prepare their own 1776 counterparts. The final piece of the global initiatives launched this week is the “Global Challenge Cup”.

The Global Challenge cup is an NCAA final four style tournament. Startups from 16 cities (DC, New York Boston, Chicago, Austin, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, Moscow, Capetown, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Beijing and Sao Paolo. Each city’s startups will compete in one of the following categories; health, education, energy and metropolitan challenges. The finalists from each city and each category will come to Washington DC next May to compete amidst a big week long festival that 1776 is hosting, according to elevationdc.com

The Global Challenge Cup is being backed by $180,000 from The Office of The Deputy Mayor For Planning and Economic Development. Burfield also reported to ElevationDC that they have more strategic partnerships to announce.

The virtual membership program will allow startups located outside Washington DC to have access to the 1776 community. In addition to serving as DC’s tech and startup hub, 1776 can help other startups get access to the Federal Government, the largest “enterprise customer” in the country.

Prior to founding 1776 Burfield was the Washington DC Regional Champion for Startup America and the founder of that region. Harris, was a director with Startup America. They see the virtual membership and federation initiatives as ways to continue sharing and collaborating with similar startup communities across the country and around the world.

You can find out more at 1776dc.com


Source: elevationDC


Startupland: The Movie, Chronicling Real Life In A Top Metropolitan (everywhere else) Accelerator

StartupLand, DC startups, Fortify.vc, The Fort, Jonathon Perrelli, startup movie

Justin Gutwein is a film maker and startup junkie who has combined his love of entrepreneurship and startups with his love of filmmaking with a little help from the most recent graduating class at Fortify.vc.

Gutwein has taken to Kickstarter to fund the post production and finishing costs of the Startupland documentary series. Startupland chronicles the lives of LegCyte, RidePost, SnobSwap, TrendPro, and TripTribe, who were all part of the spring cohort at Washington, DC’s “The Fort” accelerator, led by Jonathon Perrelli.

There have been a few spins on a “startup series.” Techstars did a series with Bloomberg that was great for entrepreneurs, but it looked more at the program and the program’s founders. Then there was that Randi Zuckerberg mess that didn’t really relate to any startup founders. What makes Startupland different, and necessary, is all the raw footage that Gutwein shot. None of it was scripted or orchestrated, aside from editing each episode for time, and to capture the story. It’s a real look at what an accelerator is like.

“JP [Jonathon Perelli] didn’t even want to be in the movie. He let me have full access to the startups and the program, but Startupland is about the startups and the stories are told by the startups themselves,” Gutwein told us in a phone interview.

Gutwein has a goal to have the post production done by the fall, just in time for–oh wait you’ll have to find out about that later this month!  To get there he’s looking to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter.  At the time this article was written, Gutwein had already had $25,000 pledged.

Startupland is going to be good for anyone involved in startups. For the beginner it will provide a good look into what it really takes to get into an accelerator program. For a startup in acceleration to seed or series A, it will show that every startup goes through similar issues. For the hardened veteran it will be both entertaining and educational.

Check out the rest of our interview with Gutwein below:

What is your startup called?


What does your company do?

Startupland is a documentary series that weaves together the stories of five early stage companies in an accelerator together with interviews and advice from seasoned, veteran entrepreneurs.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds

Justin Gutwein is the Producer / Director. He is the founder of ShineOn Storytelling and has produced numerous documentary projects including The Entrepreneurial Spirt and the video content for Creating Innovators.

Where are you based?


What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

It’s energized, growing and supportive…you’ll have to watch to find out the rest!

What problem are you hoping to solve by releasing Startup Land?

The vision is to inspire and educate entrepreneurs globally on the ins and outs, ups and downs, successes and failures of starting and building a company and provide an accelerator-like experience to those who may not have access to an accelerator.

Why now?

With new accelerators sprouting up all over the world, it seemed the right time to capture what happens at an experienced one to teach those that may not have access.

How much have you completed already?

Five companies have been documented going through an entire accelerator course. Hundreds of hours of footage have been shot. The storylines that will be the backbone of the series are being developed and fleshed out.

What are your next steps?

We are in the final stages of confirming some legends of tech and venture capital to be interviewed for the series. We are also working on developing graphics and animations to help breakdown some of the more complicated topics, like the ins and outs of cap tables, the many methods for leveraging stock as a currency and sourcing tech talent.

Where can people find out more?

Back StartupLand on Kickstarter here.  find out more at startupland.tv 

This is an absolute must attend startup conference for any startup everywhere else.


AngelHack DC Attracts Over 100 Hackers To 1776

AngelHack, DC startups, 1776, Anton Gelman, hackathon

It wasn’t a big weekend in DC Tech this past weekend. Launch and startup parties at DC’s technology hub, 1776, are regular occurrences, as are startup events, designer events, and even hackathons. With the amount of tech and startup activity in DC, they are well on their way to becoming the “Silicon Valley of the East” as DC Mayor Vince Gray said in his remarks Friday.

Hackathons are awesome and are becoming more and more common. They come in any number of sizes and formats; there are informal hackathons called at a moment’s notice, hacking for a specific project, social hacking, and building companies. Two of the biggest hackathon formats for building companies are Startup Weekend and AngelHack.

Both events are ongoing and have meetups at multiple locations throughout the world. Startup Weekend’s happen every weekend and in multiple cities per week. AngelHack happens twice yearly and multiple cities compete over one weekend. Hackers, developers, designers and coders are encouraged to come on day 1 and pitch their project idea. Hackers in the crowd will vote on the best projects and build them out over the remaining hours in the weekend (24). From there judges select one winning team that they  will send to the AngelHack “finals” in Silicon Valley with over $100,000 in cash and prizes on the line.



The Washington DC AngelHack is chaired by DC startup mega enthusiast Anton Gelman, CEO and cofounder of Cont3nt. Gelman is no stranger to hackathons and pitch contests. He won the New York Angel Hack last year.

“Over the summer, I happened to be in New York and decided to check out AngelHack New York. Crazy enough, I won! They sent us to San Francisco in the following month to compete with other winners from other countries. It was probably one of the coolest events I’ve been to, and then I thought, this was such an amazing experience in New York, why can’t we have one in D.C.? So I arranged a few meetings, made a few phone calls, and was able to convince them to host an event here in D.C” Gelman told Nibletz last year before the first AngelHack competition in DC.

This year, AngelHack DC attracted over 100 hackers to 1776 dc, the epicenter of technology startups. They pitched a wide range of ideas from big data to health tech, to social entrepreneurship, and even Kickstarter tracking. Check out some of the Saturday morning pitches in the short video below.


Mobile Polling Done Right, Check out 1776DC startup YoPine here.


Exhilarator Founder, Michael Goldstein on: Beating The Startup Odds


Michael Goldstein, Exhilirator, DC Tech,DC startups

(photo: bizjournals.com)

Michael Goldstein is the founder ofExhilarator, a startup accelerator that helps consumer Internet startups get traction and funding. He is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of experience focused on e-commerce, online content, and subscription businesses. Michael’s passion is for growing startups, and he has been involved with multiple startup businesses as an advisor and mentor

The old formula for startup success is out. Instead of the traditional plan-pitch-present-sell method, successful startups increasingly use a more straightforward sink-or-swim approach. These entrepreneurs jump in right away with their ideas to test them with customers.

Many entrepreneurs take a more conservative approach to building their startups, believing an extensive business plan increases their chance of success. They develop a business plan and look for financing. Once their plan has been vetted by investors, they put together a team, introduce a product, and only then begin selling their product.

A business plan created without any real data or feedback from customers is ineffective. Moreover, this approach can take months or even years to go from idea to product. Meanwhile, technology races ahead.

The best path a startup can take is creating value for its customers as quickly as possible. Once you’ve developed a minimum viable product, you can use feedback to determine your startup’s business plan. A startup needs powerful internal motivation to get moving before external momentum kicks in.


Building a Lean Approach

Here are a few ways to increase your chance of survival in the startup world:

1. Create value. Prioritize value first, then revenue. Increasing the worth of services or products means creating something your customers need and want. People will appreciate you offering something truly valuable to them — and they’ll invest in it.

2. Get to revenue. Revenue follows value. Building revenue buys you time to come up with a good business model. The success of your startup depends on making money from your idea. Use your startup’s first steps to take your product to your customers.

3. Stay slim. Keep your startup’s business as lean as possible. It’s important to stay focused on a few high-value products, rather than many lower-value ones. We use leanlaunchlab.com, an online canvas with tools and advice for startups.

4. Find expert help. Good mentors significantly reduce the learning curve for startups. Mitigate risk by seeking guidance from more experienced entrepreneurs. Now, more than ever, experienced, successful people are willing to share their knowledge. Seek out a referral from someone you trust or leverage online resources to make connections.

5. Pay attention to details. Taxes, insurance, and compliance issues can quickly sink a business if they’re ignored. Be sure your startup has a business license, pays appropriate taxes, and buys adequate insurance coverage. These seemingly small issues can become costly if left unaddressed.

sneakertacoBreathing Life into a Struggling Startup

If you’ve already taken the business plan approach and are experiencing problems, don’t be discouraged. You’re never too far along to be unable to stop and take stock of your options. A great idea may need to be reworked, tweaked, or improved. If you find yourself in a rut, here are some ideas to get your startup back on track:

Regroup. Plan an offsite meeting with your team. Getting out of the office to focus on the bumps will invigorate your business and get new ideas flowing.

Ask your customers. Your product, delivery, or brand may need a readjustment. Survey target or current buyers to find out what they want and how you can improve. Sites like surveymonkey.com make this task easy and inexpensive.

Seek outside advice. Find an advisor. A more experienced entrepreneur or mentor will seek guidance to get things back on track.

Value, Revenue, Growth

The chances of success for any startup are slim. Research by Harvard Business School academics found recently that 75 percent of all new startups fail.

Those entrepreneurs who take the typical business plan approach may not be ready to jump in all the way. Entrepreneurs who work from a lean startup plan to create momentum have a higher likelihood of survival because their flexibility allows them to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. If you find yourself among those brave people who are passionate about an idea and can tolerate the rollercoaster of risk, be sure you’re keeping your priorities in order: value, revenue, and growth.


Michael Goldstein is the founder of Exhilarator, a startup accelerator that helps consumer Internet startups get traction and funding. He is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of experience focused on e-commerce, online content, and subscription businesses. Michael’s passion is for growing startups, and he has been involved with multiple startup businesses as an advisor and mentor. Connect with Michael onTwitter andGoogle+. Because this article was published, one book will be donated to Reading Is Fundamental.

DC startup Speek, the easiest way to conference, comes out of beta.


Washington DC’s Startup Kitchen Narrows The Field To Three

The first food industry startup incubator the “Startup Kitchen” is the brainchild of Washington DC restauranteur Kera Carpenter. She opened Domku an East European influenced restaurant in the revitalizing neighborhood of Pentworth in the district in 2005.  It was overcoming the difficulties of not only starting here own business, but a restaurant at that, that inspired Carpenter to team up with Think Local First DC to create the “Startup Kitchen”.

Now we’re not talking a show you would see on the food network, we are talking about full on restaurant idea businesses. The food startup founders were narrowed down to three finalists which will pitch on July 18th.  The winner selected out of the finalists will have six weeks to work on their concept with the help of mentors, and then Carpenter will donate space for the winner to open up a “Pop up restaurant” once a week in Domku’s space at 821 Upshur Street NW in Pentworth.

Hopefully after the six week period and then the pop up restaurant period that entrepreneur will be able to transition their startup to their own space in the district.

The three finalists, as reported by the Washington Business Journal are:

Worthwhile Meats and Provisions founded by Julien Shapiro.  Her business idea is a specialty butcher shop showcasing the whole animal.

Chaya, a restaurant concept focused on cuisines featuring plants, legumes and whole grains. This is the idea of Bettina Stern and Zusanne Simon.

DC Dosa, a restaurant idea that would serve Dosa’s which are south Indian pancake snacks. Their plan is to serve them late night and at lunchtime. Think along the lines of crepe stands.

The three semi-finalists will pitch next Wednesday and the winners will be announced on Friday the 20th. That’s a big week for startups in DC as the 20th is also pitch day for TechStars Patriot Bootcamp.


Here’s the Startup Kitchen blog

Source: Washington Business Journal 1     2

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DC Startup: Cont3nt.com Was Just About King At Capital Connection TechBUZZ

anton gelman,cont3nt,nibletz.com,capital connection,techcocktail,techcrunch,

(photo: dcfounders.com)

This year at Capital Connection/TechBUZZ in Washington DC, Cont3nt was just about king. Cont3nt is an awesome new platform that helps monetize citizen journalism in new ways. The theme around the site is free press and free money and it’s the brain child of founder Anton Gelman.

Before we dive all the way into the story, this particular story isn’t  just about Cont3nt, it’s also about Gelman who’s family came to the United States as refugees, to seek the very freedoms that power Cont3nt. It’s also about Gelman because he is one of the nicest people in the DC startup community and a master networker. While we are in DC quite a bit we’re not based there, yet we manage to bump into Gelman at every single event.

By the time last Thursday night had rolled around we had scene Gelman’s pitch for cont3nt four times, never skipping a beat.

So what is cont3nt? Well you can learn more in the pitch video below but in summary, cont3nt is a platform for free lance semi-pro and pro videographers to post content and monetize it at the same time.

The problem today is that social media is kicking traditional medias ass in sourcing video content for major news events. While it takes major news networks hours if not days to prepare to source a story, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to boot, the citizen journalist and the semi-pro and pro freelancers can jump on the news in minutes. Sometimes, they luck into a story as it unfolds before their eyes.

Using content’s proprietary delivery methods the top traditional media firms in the world can get access to this content in minutes rather than hours or days.

Cont3nt offers a variety of methods for selling content on the site to freelance journalists. The journalist can decide if they want to sell an exclusive piece to one outlet or license it out to several.

While cont3nt bills itself as citizen journalism, by Gelman’s own admission it’s the first market place for freelancers with some experience to get their pieces sold. It almost mirrors the “stringer” system that died sometime in the 90’s. (I used to string for CNN Radio and Gannett).

There are other consumer focused citizen journalism sites out there like rawporter which is designed for anyone with a smartphone to report the news and get paid for it,

People seem to like it. That’s why Cont3nt was just about king at the recent Capital Connection/TechBUZZ conference. Gelman and cont3nt were selected a week before the conference by Startup America as their entry into the TechBUZZ competition. With minimal time to prepare Gelman pitched on Wednesday of last week at TechBUZZ.

Cont3nt was selected as one of the top 3 best of the buzz at TechBUZZ and had to pitch for a second time on Wednesday and then on Thursday again as an entry into the “main stage” pitches as part of Capital Connection.

To top that off, Gelman also pitched one more time on Thursday night at the TechCocktail event featuring a keynote from Startup America CEO Scott Case.

Check out Gelman’s pitch below:


Find out more about Cont3nt here at Cont3nt.com

Check out more of our Capital Connection 2012 coverage here

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