Is Washington, D.C. the next Silicon Valley? It just might be if you ask some of the city’s leaders and a growing number of start-ups making the nation’s capital home.
With federal business taking a dip and the government tightening its belt, D.C. might have an opportunity to reinvent itself as more than just the seat of politics and lobbyists, but a warm business climate for technology and commerce.
Over the past several years a growing number of tech companies have moved, expanded or gotten their start in Washington, D.C. As more defense contractors look to diversify their business into the commercial sector, the influx of new start-ups could spell new partnerships and more innovation for Washington businesses.
Local universities are already stepping up to the plate, pledging to renew their commitment to science, technology and engineering. In an op-ed earlier this year George Washington University President Steven Knapp noted that new investment in science and technology compliments Washington’s existing strengths in law, policy and business. These fields are increasingly interdependent, with Congress debating cyber legislation and companies needing to keep an eye on legislation and policy affecting technology.
The Washington, D.C region already holds a personnel advantage with its highly educated workforce. For companies with a need to hire engineers, program managers and other skilled professionals, Washington’s workforce makes filling hard-to-hire positions easier.
For the past several years news reports have hinted at a Washington tech renaissance. Living Social has made waves for its massive growth and presence in the region, as well as threats to move to northern Virginia if the district government wouldn’t pony up massive tax breaks. Whether or not today’s influx of technology start-ups will result in a long-term resurgence in the area probably has a lot to do with how new companies build partnerships or prove their usefulness to the Washington establishment. With a growing commercial and defense overlap expect strong interest in how agile, innovative companies do business, and expect the big business names to be willing to do business.
Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.