Elbowing through a crowd of government and professional services industries that have long defined the region’s commercial identity, Washington’s technology community has expanded in both size and scope in recent years, and no one has a better vantage point on the changes taking place than its youngest members — the start-ups.
On a recent visit to The Fort, an accelerator in downtown Washington, we spoke with a number of entrepreneurs building new firms in the heart of the city. Below are their thoughts on what they’ve learned as the region tries to establish itself as one of the nation’s dominant breeding grounds for new technology.
Manpreet Singh - President of Seva Call
His business: Helping service professionals connect quickly and easily with customers.
Fort resident since September 2011.
On building a start-up in D.C.: “I feel like there is a lot more capital available now than even just a year ago when we were raising money. The wealthy community in this area is learning what angel investing means, and more investors are willing to lead rounds of funding rather than just hop on board once a deal comes together. Before, I had to do a lot of explaining, but now it’s a very different conversation when it comes to getting money. At the same time, talent has actually become harder to find, or at least harder to keep, because more of the developers and graphics people we find are interested in pursuing their own ventures on the side, so it’s getting harder to keep our top talent.”