Mark Drapeau (Washington, DC) —
Washington, DC’s startup community will have a new epicenter with the launch of 1776, a major multi-faceted initiative focused on helping entrepreneurs solve the country’s biggest problems. Located just blocks from the White House, 1776 will convene and accelerate startups by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that makes Washington, DC unique. The new initiative is being co-founded and directed by Evan Burfield, Chair of Startup DC (the local branch of the Startup America Partnership), and Donna Harris, who will transition from her role as a managing director at Startup America.
“Our goal is to build an explosive entrepreneurial economy based on the assets unique to Washington, DC,” said Evan Burfield, co-founder of 1776, in a press release. “1776 will have a number of strategies to help the hottest startups in the world—the ones with the bold ideas for tackling the big problems—to navigate regulatory minefields, develop scalable business models, and drive revenue.”
1776 will be part physical campus and gathering place for events, co-working, and other activities, part blog and media service highlighting people and trends in the community, part school teaching critical skills people launching startups need to be successful, and part startup accelerator making investments in and nurturing the best startups working toward reinventing America. In addition, 1776 will make use of the “Patriotic.ly” digital platform launched by Evan Burfield and myself at last November’s Reboot America Summit. Patriotic.ly is a digital think-and-act tank for reinventing America through technology and entrepreneurial principles, whose mission is to connect and empower the next generation of thinkers, makers, and innovators to re-imagine the public sector, civic life, and our country’s institutions.
VIP’s and friends-of-1776 will be treated to previews of the space today (Tuesday, Feb. 5th), while full details of the 1776 initiative will be outlined during a press conference and open house on Wednesday, February 6th, at 10:30am (1776 Campus, 1133 15th Street, NW, 12th floor, Washington DC.) At the events on the 6th, Evan Burfield and Donna Harris will be joined by Washington DC’s Mayor Vincent Gray, Startup America CEO Scott Case, Obama Administration officials working in areas related to 1776’s mission, and a number of national figures from the entrepreneurial community.
Mark Drapeau, Ph.D. is part of the Microsoft Office of Civic Innovation, based in Washington, DC. He is also an advisor to Startup DC. You can follow him on Twitter at @cheeky_geeky.