Third Annual Timmy Awards Now Accepting Nominations for 2017’s Best in Tech

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Tech in Motion invites the tech community to choose the top IT employers in North America

(July 11, 2017) – Tech in Motion, one of North America’s largest tech event series, is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2017 Timmy Awards. The Timmys recognize companies and managers that create the best places for technology professionals to work in 10 major cities, with past finalists such as Jet, Venmo, Facebook and Pandora. The awards program will accept submissions here today through August 14.

“While there are dozens of award ceremonies recognizing companies for technological advancements, the Timmy Awards aim to celebrate the employers and managers that make this growth possible,” says Mandy Walker, Director of Marketing at Tech in Motion and Motion Recruitment Partners. “Since the Timmy Awards were created in 2015, over 400 finalists have been celebrated for creating work environments that enable innovation in the technology spheres of various industries.”

For companies or managers in the communities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, LA, Orange County & San Diego and Toronto, the public can submit nominations for any of the four Timmy Award categories this year:

On August 21, Tech in Motion will announce the Timmy Award finalists for each region and kick off the voting period, which will officially be open to the public until September 8.  Winners will be selected through a combination of votes from the tech community and a panel of local judges. For a comprehensive description of the awards, nomination and voting process, please check out the Timmy Awards here.

Award winners will be announced at a live ceremony in each city during the month of September, with presentations from leaders in the tech community. The Timmy Awards Ceremony is a free event open to the public. To find out additional event details on the Timmy Awards nearest you, visit techinmotionevents.com.

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About Tech in Motion Events

Tech in Motion is an international events series that brings local tech community professionals together to connect, learn, and innovate. What started as a collaborative project between IT recruiting firms  Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates in 2011, grew into an organization of over 85,000 members across 11 chapters in North America including Boston, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, LA, Orange County and Toronto. Please visit www.techinmotionevents.com for more information about our notable speakers, sponsors and events.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Lewis
[email protected]
469.458.9486

The 2017 Timmy Awards: What to Expect

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Two years ago, Tech in Motion set out to recognize (and celebrate) the best employers for tech professionals in North America through the Timmy Awards. In 2016 alone, the Timmy’s saw more than 2,000 companies nominated and over 83,000 votes cast to name each city’s “Best Technology Manager,” “Best Tech Startup,” and “Best Tech Work Culture.” The Timmy Awards has featured national household names such as Dollar Shave Club, TripAdvisor, Instacart, and Venmo, as well as dozens of local heroes that make each community successful. In pursuit of the same level of success, this year, Tech in Motion is making a few changes to improve the entire award series from the nomination process all the way through to event night. To learn what these changes are, check out the 2017 Timmy Awards FAQ below!

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2017 TIMMY AWARDS FAQ
When will the 2017 Timmy Awards take place?

In the past, the Timmy Awards were spread throughout the year in 10 different regions. This year, the award ceremonies will all take place in the month of September, bringing together our cities in a unified effort to showcase the best employers for technical employees. Every one of the 10 cities will hold a Timmy Award ceremony within a few weeks of each other.

Who can attend? The Timmy Awards is still a free event that is open to the public, not only to attend, but also to submit nominations for. This award series is an amazing opportunity to gain exposure for any companies or individuals in the tech community, and in order to keep it in the local community, we want anyone who is invested in the future of tech in your city to attend, including tech professionals, managers, entrepreneurs, and founders.

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Which awards are presented?

Tech in Motion began with three award categories: Best Tech Manager, Best Tech Startup, and Best Tech Work Culture. This year, Tech in Motion decided to add an additional award category: the Best Tech Workplace for Diversity award. The goal of the original Timmy Awards categories was to recognize companies not just for their use or development of technology, but also for their investment in the people that make technology possible, which the new award category rewards.

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Below are the criteria by which each of the Timmy Awards winners are selected in each category:

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How will the nomination process run in 2017?

Nominations will be open from July 5th to August 14th for 10 regions (Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Orange County, LA, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco). Nominations will be open to the public to nominate a company or person that creates the best work environment for technology professionals to work in 1 or all 4 award categories. Additionally, as previous years, nominations will continue to be a two-part process. To be eligible as a finalist for any category, it is required to fill out and complete Part 1 and 2 of the nomination forms. However, we are now automating this process, which means that once you complete Part 1 of the nomination form and are eligible to become a nominee, you should receive an automated email within 24 hours prompting you to complete Part 2.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the 2017 Timmy Awards, as a sponsor, MC, venue host, etc., please contact your local Tech in Motion chapter.

Read about the 2016 Timmy Awards held in various regions by clicking the links below:

Top Tech Employers and Managers Recognized at 2nd Annual D.C. Timmy Awards

After tallying close to 5,000 votes, Tech in Motion officially announced the winners of the 2nd Annual DC Timmy Awards, honored at a ceremony held December 8 at 1776 Crystal City Campus in Arlington. The local tech community selected the winners from 25 remarkable finalists, including noteworthy first runner-ups InnovatorsBox, SkyBitz and Philip Schmitz of CharityEngine, to represent the best of tech work culture, startups and management in the region.

Join Tech in Motion Boston at their Timmy Awards Launch Party and nominate your favorite company!

“We were thrilled to bring together the technology community last night for the 2nd Annual DC Timmy Awards. Tech in Motion is honoring companies that help solidify the region as a place for technology to flourish,” said Del Crockett, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates D.C. “It was a night of celebration with over 200 technical leaders that claim DC as home base.”

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The 2016 DC Timmy Award Winners are:

  • Best Technology Manager: Andrew Willis, Vice President, eCommerce, at CustomInk
  • Best Tech Startup: Senseware
  • Best Technology Work Culture: Leverege

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“These 25 finalists epitomize what the technology community of Washington DC stands for: innovation, leadership, diversity, and creativity,” said John Howard, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates D.C. “We’re proud to recognize local leaders like these, and by hosting Tech in Motion’s Timmy Awards, we hope to help foster continuous innovation within the region for years to come.”

Stay tuned to check out more photos of the 2nd Annual DC Timmy Awards!

For the first time, last night’s Timmy Awards ceremony also included a keynote address to kick off the ceremonies, given by Shawn DuBravac, the Chief Economist of the Consumer Technology Association. The keynote touched on both 2016 and the future and served as a transition into the awards ceremony.

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Interested in speaking or sponsoring a Timmy Awards? Click here!

The Timmy Awards are presented throughout the year in cities across North America, including Boston, LA, NYC, San Francisco and Chicago. Previous winners include innovators such as Jet.com, LearnVest, Venmo, Trip Advisor, Gilt, Constant Contact, Casper and Instacart.

In addition to D.C., San Francisco’s 2nd Annual Timmy Awards also took place Dec. 8. The next Timmys will take place in Boston and LA in April of 2017. Please visit techinmotionevents.com/awards for more information on the Timmys and to find out when you can attend a ceremony in your city.

More about the Timmy Awards:

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“Teach Through Play” Hops Border and Language Barriers

DEMO COMPANY SPOTLIGHT: ThinkFun, Inc.

ThinkFun, Inc., originally known as Binary Arts, is an Alexandria, Virginia-based educational toy company. Founded in 1985 by Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello, the company has since been featured in the New York Times, TechCrunch, and Wired, while also winning many awards for their games. The company is on a mission to “Teach Through Play” and neither borders nor language barriers will stop them: their games are sold in over 60 countries and have been translated to over 20 different languages.

See demos from awesome companies by clicking here and joining your local Tech in Motion branch.

With a catalog of over 70 games throughout its history, ThinkFun, Inc. continues to innovate and remain relevant. 2014 saw the company release the game Robot Turtles (one of the most backed board games in Kickstarter History) followed by 2015’s Code Master, with both games sharing the intent of teaching children the logic and problem-solving mentalities needed to be successful at coding.

Looking for work in coding? Apply here.

For 2016, the company is making its rounds to toy fairs and gaming conventions alike in promotion of their newest game, Escape the Room, a logic-puzzler that is based on the internet and real life sensation.

If you want to meet ThinkFun, Inc., up close and personal, you can find them on February 25th at Tech in Motion DC’s Demos: EdTech Edition. Otherwise, you can learn more about them on their website.

Interested in the intersection of technology and education? You might be interested in:

DC launches into 2016 at Penn Social

Tech in Motion closed 2015 with a 3 month stretch of flagship events that included DC’s 1st Annual Timmy Awards and the nationwide 50,000 Member Celebration: a Big Party for a Big Thanks, which was celebrated in 10 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Last month, DC’s chapter of Tech in Motion welcomed its members to a laid-back mixer kicking off 2016, less than a week after the nation’s capital was buried under more than two feet of snow.

Starting around 5:45 p.m., members descended the stairs into the basement of Penn Social, a DC bar in the heart of Penn Quarter. Once downstairs, members found more than 30 draught beers, many childhood game favorites such as giant Jenga and Connect 4, an open floor for dancing (or cornhole) and their fellow Tech in Motion members! The bar advertises on their website that they “specialize in fun” and fun was certainly had by all.

Between rounds of shuffleboard and foosball, conversations were had and connections were made. Due to the snowy weather, many of the guests hailed from DC Proper, though that didn’t stop a few from Southern Maryland or Northern Virginia, and even one guest visiting all the way from Seattle!

Looking for a new tech job? Find one on the Tech in Motion job board here.

Agency tables for Tech in Motion sponsors Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners were buzzing all night, as guests seemed excited at the prospect of finding a new job – perhaps as a New Years’ Resolution.

The crowd showed no signs of dying down at 8 p.m. when the event officially closed, so the festivities proceeded unhindered. Although the check-in station was shut down and the agency tables were cleared, the conversations continued and Penn Social was more than happy to sate the guests with a wide variety of drink options, while the connections kept them mentally stimulated.

Upon the official close of the event at 9 p.m., there were lots of empty glasses and more importantly – smiles.

Attend a free Tech in Motion event in your city.

Next month, Tech in Motion DC goes back to school with an Education Technology-themed Demos & Drinks event. To find more information about the event or to find another Tech in Motion chapter near you, visit the official site.

Cybersecurity and Its Growing Role: Washington D.C. Experts Dive in

Earlier this year, local tech enthusiasts in the Washington DC area congregated at 1776’s downtown location for Tech in Motion’s panel discussion: Cybersecurity And Its Growing Role. The featured panelists included Anup Ghosh (Invincea), Tom Parker (FusionX), Jason Rivera (Deloitte) and Josh Marpet (BiJoTi), with moderation by Bob Stratton, General Partner of MACH37, a Northern Virginia based cyber accelerator.

Before the panel took the stage, sponsor companies Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates thanked everyone for coming and offered to help with any job or talent search. Looking for a new role? Check out open tech positions here.

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The discussion kicked off with a look at the cybersecurity industry as a whole. As with any industry, there are notable pros and cons. Anup took the lead by stating that “security problems are not new,” which rings true as we continue to see an ever increasing amount of cybersecurity-related headlines in the media. The most common of these relate to cybercrime and attacks on high profile companies.

“In the last decade, we’ve seen the professionalization of the cyber adversary,” Tom addressed this growing trend in the marketplace.

Jason reinforced this with his point that “Cybercrime is the most profitable illicit business on earth; it is a trillion dollar business.”

This growing trend of cybercrime makes for an increasingly profitable industry as more companies look to reinforce their security measures. However, Anup noted that cybersecurity companies aren’t looking to reverse this trend, “We’re doing a really good job of making a lot of money in the cybersecurity industry but not fixing a whole lot.”

The industry places a larger emphasis on attack detection versus prevention when in fact the opposite is ultimately what is needed to reverse the progression.

In combatting the rapidly increasing presence of cybercrime, the panelists discussed the importance of educating the masses in general best practices. Josh explained, “To bridge the gap between the knowledge and deployment of cybersecurity practices, you must educate the people.”

Anup further addressed the responsibility gap when it comes to protecting company data: “Can’t blame users for bad things happening on sites; [companies] need to give them the right equipment to do their job.”

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Looking to attend events on topics like cybersecurity? Check out our event calendar for the next tech talk near you.

Heading into 2015, the cybersecurity industry was at the forefront of national headlines after the data breaches on major corporations such as Target, Sony, and Anthem. As the panelists attested, large corporations are now taking extra precautions to ensure that their network is safe from attackers.

Josh prefaced this topic with a shocking statistic: “In the past year, there have been more records breached than the number of American citizens.”

So where do large companies fall short? “Companies that tend to fail and are breached are those that cannot conceive of themselves being a target,” Jason answered. “The ones that succeed are the ones that are proactive and acknowledge the internet is a part of their business.”

The panelists continued to discuss where the cybersecurity industry fits into the current breach landscape and how it can proactively respond to breaches. In Anup’s opinion, “We should focus on prioritizing detection, that’s how we’re going to change this breaching trend.” Jason added, “Cybersecurity is reactive– what if we were more proactive and made breaches more challenging as well as less profitable?” The speakers all agreed that these breaches have essentially become expected among most in the security industry.

Tom firmly stated, “Unfortunately, it’s going to take more breaches and larger corporations going out of business to make others understand this threat can happen to anyone.” In the meantime, he said, “Businesses should practice ‘good hygiene’ ” and spend money wisely on the appropriate preventative security measures for their network. This includes having your network checked regularly, as well as operating under the assumption that “there are already hackers in it,” according to Josh.

The discussion then transitioned into the panelists exploring both sides of the debate on encryption. Anup started off saying, “With encryption, you have to have reasonable expectations of what it can and cannot do.”

Our panelists all agreed that the value of encrypting company files lies in increased difficulty for hackers looking to access that data. However, it’s important to be realistic in ones expectations; encryption is not the only defense necessary when facing hackers.

When the topic of surveillance emerged later in the discussion, Anup stated that “Encryption leads into a debate about a larger issue of surveillance.” It seems that encryption is almost a double-edged sword: able to bring increased security to one’s network, but not without the risk of increased surveillance.

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To bring the evening to a close, Bob opened the floor to the audience for questions. The 30-minute session for questions ranged from tips on the best way for customers to protect themselves against corporate breaches to the panelists’ ideas on how to bridge the knowledge gap within the cybersecurity industry. The questions and audience engagement really drove home the concept that cybersecurity is definitely applicable to everyone.

If you’d like to connect with meetups like this, join the Tech in Motion DC Meetup group for the latest event announcements.

Year in Review Panel Discussion: Net Neutrality, Cyber Security and IoT

On Tuesday, January 27th, tech enthusiasts around the Washington metropolitan area braved the snowy weather to gather at 1776’s downtown location for Tech in Motion’s ‘A Year in Review’ panel discussion. Mike Chan, co-founder of local startup ribl and organizer of Startup Weekend DC, moderated the discussion. Panelists included Rob Pegoraro (Yahoo Tech), David Young (VP of Public Policy, Verizon), Lauren Maffeo (Aha! Labs), Patrick Merfert (9Lenses), and Mike Leurdjik (Core Capital).

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Upon arriving, attendees were encouraged to enjoy some light networking before taking their seats to listen to the discussion on the biggest tech headlines of the past year as well as predictions for the upcoming year. Before the panel took to the stage to discuss the past year’s tech headlines, a few words were spoken by representatives from event sponsor companies Jobspring PartnersWorkbridge Associates, and Verizon FiOS.

Become a Tech in Motion sponsor in your city.  

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Mike Chan launched the discussion by making introductions down the line, and launched the conversation by asking each panelist to reflect on one big technology-related headline of the past year. With the annual State of the Net address having occurred earlier that day at the Newseum, Rob and David kicked things off seamlessly with a passionate dialogue about Net Neutrality, with each representing opposite sides and debating the pros and cons of net neutrality, title II, and Section 706. David finished the discussion by summarizing his stance supporting net neutrality rules, but asserted that implementation of title II would be a mistake.

Lauren then steered the conversation towards Fintech, a movement focused on disrupting the banking industry which gained tremendous momentum this past year. As an example, she cited the hugely popular Transferwise which has recently announced a 58M round of funding to expand their offerings internationally.

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Almost inevitably, the dialogue turned towards the security breaches of the past year. Corporations such as Home Depot and Target fell prey to credit card hacks, the now infamous Sony hack revealed multitudes of confidential data, and the Central Command Twitter account (@centcom) was hacked while President Obama was giving a speech on the importance of cyber security–all of which served to highlight the growing importance of this industry.

“A scary trend that we have been seeing and will continue to see is data breaches. The size, volume, and sophistication of these attacks are increasing,” Patrick stated.

He spoke at length about cyber security and the seriousness of the problems that it’s presented. Despite these problems, Patrick also highlighted an upside to the issue.

“The silver lining about this is that it’s a great opportunity for security and defense startups,” Patrick noted. “[There is] a ton of opportunity for new entrants and agile startups to tackle these specific types of attacks.”

In a change of pace, Mike Leurdijk observed that the rate of change in the industry has continued to trend upwards over time. Resources are becoming more easily accessible and there is an increase in the amount of disruptors and collaboration occurring in the space.

“This [the rate of change] is something that’s increased from the past few years and it will continue to improve,” Mike stated. “It’s cheap, affordable to become an entrepreneur, there’s a huge amount of opportunity in the enterprise space, you see corporate VCs going further…it’s an exciting time to be here.

Predictions for trends and headlines to look for in 2015 covered a wide breadth of the sector in the conversation. Topics included technology in the enterprise space moving to the consumer level, wearables continuing to tailor their offerings to fulfill the market need for devices that specifically address and target consumer needs, a value shift in startup accelerators and the democratization of angel investing.

Lauren predicted that cyber security and the broader genre of privacy will only increase in importance and relevancy. A recent study by Cisco estimated that 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet and make up the Internet of Things in 2015.

“Global governments will not able to keep up with growing technology demands, therefore it will be up to startups and corporations to promote privacy and trust,” Lauren predicted.

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Interested in being a speaker or demo company at Tech in Motion? Contact us.

A topic that was perhaps the most popular in its prediction of continuing to trend from 2014 in to 2015 was the theme of diversity in technology. Mike Chan started things off by discussing how the lack of diversity seen is the black eye of the industry. When speaking on the diversity reports that companies are feeling pressured to release, he asked if these reports were part of a PR stunt.

Rob was quick to point out that of the companies that have actually released reports; their findings don’t necessarily cast them in the best light. An example cited was Twitter’s diversity report that resulted in backlash for not having a single female on their board. The debate then morphed into how to bring about change and increase diversity.

“The idea is to let this diversity happen more organically,” Lauren weighed in. “Once you start talking about setting quotas or things of that nature, that’s when things start to get tricky.”

Mike Leurdijk kept things in perspective when discussing the amount of time that it will take to make that change happen.

“Change needs to start at the bottom. It’s a cultural change that needs to happen. It will take a long time, but keep encouraging that change,” he asserted.

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After the discussion came to a close, there was a brief Q&A section. The audience, as ever, was filled with engaged and inquiring individuals who stayed long after the panel came to an official close to network with one another and speak with the panelists before the space, 1776, closed for the night.

1776 is a prominent startup incubator located in the heart of Washington. The startup incubator is a household name in the DC area, known for everything ranging from their Challenge Cup to visits by prominent figure includingg the British Prime Minister and President Obama. The space, which boasts an ultra-modern and comfortable interior, held the 120+ event attendees easily.

Interested in learning more about the DC chapter of Tech in Motion events? Check out the event page and join this rapidly growing membership base. The next Tech in Motion DC event will be a Demos & Drinks on February 24th at the WeWork WonderBread Factory.

DC Tech Titans Talk Entrepreneurship, Co-founders and the Power of No

Tech in Motion’s DC chapter put on their first ever fireside chat this fall, hosting Adam Zuckerman, founder of Fosterly and Dan Berger, CEO and founder of Social Tables to speak about startups. Joe Colangelo, co-founder and CEO of Bear Analytics, moderated the conversation for the night with a heavy emphasis on content but a far more laid-back and intimate approach than the typical panel discussion.

Find a tech talk near you on Tech in Motion’s event list.

The event took place at the Artisphere, a local arts center located in Arlington, Virginia, which was once the site of the Newseum. The evening kicked off with networking in the Lower Town Hall, an open concept space equipped with a bar and art installations. The discussion then moved to the Dome Theater, which provided the perfect setting for the audience to interact with our speakers.

With Joe at the helm of the conversation, his easy-going personality and knowledge of the startup world was on display as he expertly moderated what proved to be a very insightful and engaging dialogue. His two speakers for the night, however, were no strangers to speaking up in front of the local technology community.

Adam Zuckerman of Fosterly was a recognizable figure to many in the audience as an important player in the DC tech space. He is well known for his work at Fosterly as well as various advising roles to the community at large. Adam calls upon his unique background in business, law, and technology to help galvanize the entrepreneurial community in the greater Washington, DC area.

Dan Berger is the CEO and founder of Social Tables, a hospitality software company with a thriving culture based in Washington, DC. Dan has been described as a “relentless and focused entrepreneur” and recognized 40 Under 40 in the meetings industry by Collaborate Magazine and Connect Meetings and named to Successful Meetings Magazine’s “Most Influential” list.

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When the networking portion of the night wrapped up, attendees eagerly took their seats in the Dome Theater to listen to these two experienced entrepreneurs. After going over their individual backgrounds, the discussion kicked off with Joe prompting Adam and Dan about the dedication they feel towards their companies.

Gone is the 40 hour work week – Adam stated the necessity of his 6 day work week schedule in order to make sure that Fosterly happens. Adam recommended that audience members find a job they would normally do as a hobby, because in the entrepreneurial realm, Work/Life balance is nonexistent.

“I’m very bought in, I don’t unplug. It’s a luxury which I don’t allow myself,” Dan remarked.

Dan was on the same page with Adam’s line of reasoning, stating that Social Tables was a side project on which he originally dedicated nights and weekends to. However, he quit his day job when a future investor didn’t believe him committed enough.

If anyone doubted the commitment of these two individuals and countless others in the tech community in D.C., that was put to rest as chuckles and murmurs of agreements followed Adam saying that “Entrepreneurs are the only people on Friday or the weekend who say, ‘Whoa, wish it was Monday.’”

After giving a brief history about Social Tables and how it came to fruition, Dan spoke on the topic of co-founders and how the relationship with his own came to an end. Dan said he realized two major factors eventually highlighted how he and his co-founder could no longer see eye to eye on the best course of action for their company.

“Don’t look for friendship or a different risk profile,” Dan said candidly.

Adam elaborated on the delicate nature of the co-founder relationship, adding that “you might spend more time talking to your co-founder than your family”. In the end, Joe, Adam, and Dan all agreed the most important thing to do was what most benefited the company, no matter how ‘messy’ things became.

Adam brought up a common misconception that a lot of individuals have towards those who have their own businesses; they believe that when you found your own company, you don’t have to answer to anyone. The reality, according to Adam, is that “you don’t stop answering to people. You answer to employees, investors, and the clients you want, have, and lost.”

On another note, it’s easy to take on too much when starting your own business. Dan shared insight on perhaps one of the most difficult lessons of establishing a startup: the power of ‘No’. Both Adam and Dan agree that it’s better to focus on doing a few things well than taking on more tasks or clients; they both firmly stated that it is okay to say ‘no’ and leave things on the table rather than over-commit.

The night ended with an extremely engaging Q & A session, where local entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts were able to pose questions to the speakers about their experiences as well as ask for advice. Tech in Motion DC looks forward to the next tech talk – Join your local chapter to attend one of our free events in 2015.

Tech in Motion DC features local startups at Summer Demos and Drinks

With summer in full swing, Tech in Motion DC thought it would be an excellent time to host their popular Demos and Drinks event featuring local startups. On Wednesday, July 30th, techies gathered at The Advisory Board Company to view live demos from FoundationDB, nVisium, and Contactually. It was a packed house as soon as the doors opened!

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FoundationDB provides their own data storage technology that allows you to focus onproblems other than building out your data stack.

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nVisium is a mobile and web application security software that can be used throughout the development life cycle.

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Contactually provides software created to build stronger relationships with the people that matter most to your current profession or career.

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As the conversations were flowing, attendees were also able to view Microsoft’s new Ventures program catered towards assisting startups in fundraising, etc. no matter what development stage they are in. It is a free service that provides the proper software, developer tools, and cloud technology in addition to a free space to build your business!

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Additionally, Fundrise, demoed their direct investment real estate and crowdfunding platform that eliminates the middle man. They are able to reduce the costs associated with real estate investment and makes the process more efficient.

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We’d like to thank our generous sponsors, Microsoft, Fundrise, Workbridge Associates, and Jobspring Partners, for without whom, this event wouldn’t be possible.

Recap: DC’s Panel Discussion on The Intersection of Government And Technology

On Wednesday, March 26th, our D.C. chapter hosted an expert panel discussion on the “Intersection of Government and Technology” at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in the District’s lively Chinatown neighborhood. As Washington D.C. is the epicenter of government, passionate representatives from both the private and the public sector delved deep into the impact of technology on government agencies, touching on everything from social media and open data to budgeting and red tape issues.

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Colby Hochmuth, a Tech reporter from FedScoop, moderated the event flawlessly as she asked the panelists intriguing questions about what the Government is doing to be innovative among its employees and to connect with citizens. Early on, Goldy Kamali, CEO of FedScoop, started off the discussion on a strong note.

“We’re scratching the surface with what technologies can do for government agencies,” said Kamali.

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Jessica Milcetich, Social Media and Digital Strategist for the United States General Services Administration, (GSA), touched on the topic of how government agencies are using social media, such as Twitter, to engage with citizens. Social media has created a new pathway of connectivity between citizens and the government, where individuals are able reach out through social media platforms to members of the government, rather than searching for a phone number or sifting through a content heavy website.

During the discussion, Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Director of Innovation and Social Media at IBM Center for the Business of Government, referenced his blog post in which he mentions how the Government can improve the Healthcare industry, using the example of open data being a “game changer.” Open data in healthcare (i.e. wearables) allows for more data to be readily available during moments when we make decisions, which in turn, will result in more informed health decisions. Fitbit, anyone?

Each of our panelists shared some great insight when asked what challenges both the government and its employees face when trying to be innovative. Our panelists agreed across the board that agencies are given small budgets yet expected to get more done using the mantra of “do more with less” as a guideline. Some solutions they provided were cloud computing, open data and outsourcing to citizens.

Milcetich deftly tackled this topic, having personally worked around the government’s red tape at the GSA.

“For us working in government, there is some red tape and we have to make sure the tools we want to use are federally friendly,” Micetich weighed in. “To strike that balance it goes back to what your agency’s mission is… if you tie whatever innovation you’re trying to accomplish to your mission, then I think that’s a good way not to run afoul.”

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When it comes to the private sector, Nate Nash, CEO of GovTribe, is a bit of an authority on the matter. When asked about the private sector’s role in government innovation, he remarked that a lot of the innovation in government stems from the private sector. In particular, the adoption of open data allows for a lot of intra- or inter-agency sharing which is not only good for government but also effective for the way it works.

The discussion came to a close with the question “What future technology trends can we expect to see in the government?” presented to each panelist.

“I see the continuation of two trends,” Ben-Yehuda succinctly replied, “More seamless government interaction and a more porous boundary and border between government and citizenry.”

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Thank you to everyone who attended and hope to see you at Tech in Motion D.C.’s next event! Join the group to stay up to date on our next meetup.