The Washington DC Metro region is quickly becoming the East Coast hub of technology innovation. Comparisons to the burgeoning startup scene in Silicon Valley ten years ago are now commonplace. However, tech companies inside the beltway play by a very different set of rules compared to their more relaxed counterparts in sunny California. Where the Valley’s talent focused on consumer grade products, many startups based in the DC region serve clients in the national security and federal government – a demographic that expects their contractors to understand the critical nature of their missions. A celebration of this emerging culture took place in early November when Ford Motor Company and a number of other sponsors presented a 10-day long festival “focused on technology, innovation and all things digital” called Digital Capital Week (DCWEEK).
Other featured startups offered solutions ranging from enhancing the security of mobile communications to granting citizens with ability to affect public policy. Several companies demonstrated their productivity tools: TeamVisibility showed off their desktop application for maximizing sales performance, while Speek made waves with their simple and intuitive web based conference calling. One of the most intriguing companies in attendance was Uplift, Inc.; this organization empowers student and adults all over the DC region by providing education on programming and software development. Whatever their goals, the companies represented at the Tech Cocktail Startup Showcase are working hard to transform the Washington DC Metro region into a haven for technology innovation.