Many of Washington, D.C’s startups have found success by providing solutions for government problems.
Since the federal government is interested in efficiency enhancing technology, D.C. is a great place for startups like Popvox, which helps citizens directly lobby elected officials; TroopSwap, a daily-deal site for the military; and TroopID, which helps companies overcome barriers to delivering benefits to veterans by registering and verifying service members’ credentials.
Zvi Band, who runs ProudlyMadeInDC – a website directory of local start-ups – told USA Today in 2012 that “every major organization and non-profit has a presence here, so it’s really attractive.”
Notable companies based there also include Fannie Mae, AOL, and Living Social.
With its strong telecommunications infrastructure, access to Washington Dulles International Airport, vibrant investment capital and highly skilled and educated workforce, D.C. and its Fairfax County suburb are gaining attention as a startup friendly place.
Washington, D.C.’s business accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces also come into play with resources like the startup incubator 1776, which has backed 20 companies since launching the seed fund.
A new twist on business resources is the D.C.-based CoFoundersLab, an online matching platform which uses a proprietary algorithm to connect entrepreneurs based on industry, skills, location and personality.
One of Washington, D.C.’s greatest assets is its stable economy. Well paid federal employees, who make up many of the region’s residents, can readily afford new products and services. As of September 2013, the average annual salary for full time civilian non-postal employees was $79,030, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. That’s compared to a $56,350 income for the average private sector worker.
“The stable economy, highly educated population and revitalized urban core make Washington an ideal spot for launching a new venture,” according to Entrepreneur.com.
In fact, Washington, D. C. was ranked as the third richest city in the country. According to USA Today, the cost of living is so high that D.C. residents need to make roughly $108,000 a year to live comfortably.
One of the programs that makes D.C. unique is the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. By connecting laboratory technologies with entrepreneurs and investors it bring new technologies to market and strengthens our country’s competitiveness.
The consortium’s Industrial Partnerships Office also provides incentive packages for qualified high-tech business across the country, including workforce development credits, tax exemptions and other benefits.
If you’d like to have a presence in the Washington, D.C. area for your business, you can seem more approachable by selecting a local phone number with the 202 area code. With Halloo you can route calls to your employees anywhere. Get your local phone number today!
Caren Burmeister is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.