Hard work pays off as DC tech scene flourishes

D.C. companies are experiencing a venture capital surge Photo: Washington D.C./AP

WASHINGTON D.C., June 21, 2013 — Washington DC area innovators and entrepreneurs in the technology field are seeing their collective hard work pay off, and paving the way for future generations of technology disruptors to follow in their footsteps.

In fact, private companies in the DC-area, specifically, are experiencing a surge in venture capital financing and interest. According to a newly released report called the ‘MoneyTree’ by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Virginia-based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), more than $418 million dollars have been invested during the second quarter of 2013.

These new figures, based on data from Thomson Reuters, represent more than a two-fold increase year over year in comparison to the same quarter of 2012. The infusion of venture capital interest is now at its highest level since 2007.

“In many ways it feels like the late 1990’s with information technology driving venture investment and significantly outpacing other sectors when it comes to level of activity and momentum,” said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. “The difference, however, is where we go from here. There will be no tech bubble. IT investing will continue to be the bedrock of the venture industry — but at sustainable levels.”

While Heesen’s assertion that there is no ‘bubble’ may be debatable, numbers do indicate strong momentum, especially for the DC technology scene.

According to data compiled by GoodApril, an online tax planning solution for individual American taxpayers, DC ranks number six on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of ‘Top Startup Cities – By Cost & Taxes.’ The rankings are based on median tech wages, taxes, housing costs, and the cost of office space.

Interestingly, the supposed high-tech hub of San Francisco, which usually tops just about every list, comes in last on the list of ranked cities for launching a technology firm based on the Bay Area’s prohibitive taxes and overall operating costs.

All in all, the recent data points regarding the DC tech environment appear to be encouraging and indicative of serious progress. Perhaps it is challenging the notion that a real technology startup firm has to be based in the heart of Silicon Valley to thrive. As this conviction subsides, the diffusion of innovative firms continues to demonstrate success in a decentralized geographic context, making DC a high-tech mecca in the offing.

To view the full list of ranked cities and where the top cities match up and how, check out this infographic.

Follow Tim’s updates on Twitter @CyberTimbo.



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Timothy W. Coleman

Timothy W. Coleman is a writer, analyst, and a technophile. He primarily focuses on international affairs, security, and technology matters, but Tim has a keen interest in history, politics and archeology, having visited more than 20 Mayan ruins in Central America alone.

Tim started off on Capitol Hill, worked on a successful US Senate campaign, and subsequently joined a full-­‐service, technology marketing communications firm. He has co-­‐founded two technology startup firms, is a contributing editor at intelNews.org and he is an intelligence analyst at the Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET.com) where he specializes in aerospace, naval, and cyber security analysis.

Coleman completed his BA from Georgetown University, an MBA in Finance from Barry University, a Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University at NASA Ames, and a Master’s of Public and International Affairs with a major in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Coleman volunteers and serves as a member of the board of directors at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. 


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