The Top 25 DC Tech Influencers Nominated for a Timmy

On December 8th, Tech in Motion is proud to present the 2nd Annual D.C. Timmy Awards, which will be held at 1776 Crystal City.  The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work in. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) technology manager, (2) technology work culture, and (3) tech startup. Here are D.C.’s impressive finalists.

Best Tech Manager

Andrew WillisAndrew Willis – VP, eCommerce Technology of Customink

Andrew implements “blameless postmortems,” where the focus should be on the problem itself rather than the person who caused it. In addition, he supports the managers by having regular one-on-ones with the team and on a bi-weekly basis.  He also hosts a team meeting called “Gossip, Rumors, and Lies,” where employees can talk about anything in a safe place.

Andrew’s balanced look on innovation and pragmatism greatly impacted a rebuild of the Online Design Experience, using a modern stack of React w/ Redux.

 

David WolfandDavid Wolfand – VP, Engineering of United Income

Under David’s management, career growth is measured less by title and much more by the opportunity to learn new skill sets, hone existing abilities, and demonstrate an ability to kick ass. David has promoted the growth of his team through the use of continuous deployment of code, moving away from the typical two-week release cycle. The team is honing their Agile and Lean skills even further, delivering value to members the moment it is ready.

David and his team are developing a financial services web-based product that does not have any of its own servers, making it near-infinitely scalable (so long as Amazon has the servers) no matter the popularity of the application.

Matt HagopianMatt Hagopian – VP, Engineering of LiveSafe, Inc.

Matt is dedicated to providing growth and development opportunities for his team. He encourages employees to attend conferences, speak or present at local Meetups, and holds the team responsible to the individual goals that they set for themselves. He is also a vocal advocate for cross-team collaboration.

LiveSafe provides an enterprise-class mobile safety communications platform, comprised of a robust, cloud-based Command Dashboard and a user-friendly customizable mobile application to enable the community to engage on safety and security related issues directly on their smartphones.

Philip SchmitzPhilip Schmitz – CEO of CharityEngine

Philip has cultivated a culture of achievement recognition. Every Friday during lunch, the team reads nominations that coworkers have written based on individual successes during the week.  The individual with the most votes wins a gift card for their hard work. This has created a camaraderie across the entire CharityEngine team that encourages creative solutions, but also cross-disciplinary partnerships and appreciation.

CharityEngine was created by BIS Global as a way to help nonprofit clients by providing integrated customer relationship management email and website management, payment processing, and eCommerce tools.

Rami EssaidRami Essaid – CEO of Distil Networks

Rami is a believer in ensuring that the individual and cultural goals should always be in sync. He offers to help employees make the next step in their careers should they choose to leave Distil. He has also been instrumental in developing the company culture and works tirelessly to maintain a high company morale, whether through the implementation of unique company perks or a company trip to SXSW.

Distil Networks uses a bot detection product paired with a team of experienced security analysts to provide real-time threat monitoring, analysis, investigation and response, as well as post-incident reports and best practices to ensure a 24/7 managed security service customized to each user’s unique security policy.

Manager

Best Work Culture

AOL

Once a month, AOL engineers submit prototypes of cutting edge projects that provide a new service or application that benefits the technology teams. The project is assessed and if deemed viable, the submitter gets the opportunity to work on the project for a month to make it a reality. The engineer is even excused from dedicated project work while the prototype project is being completed.

aol

AOL offers new and exciting applications that help streamline, reduce costs, and provide quicker software solutions to the market

Aspire

Aspire’s product is built completely in-house, and consistently improved by their team. Every person is involved in product suggestions, design features, and testing. The product team spans sales, account management, and fundraising to truly solve the needs of every piece of the business. This transparency allows anyone to learn about product design and technical implementation.

aspire

Aspire’s easy-to-use platform and dedicated team of support staff lets one quickly coordinate events in their office, from catered lunches and happy hours to wellness programs.

Deloitte Digital

Deloitte Digital starts every week with a Monday Huddle, where 120+ employees gather together to share any relevant and interesting articles, short films, or other materials. In addition, they integrate themselves into the local DC design scene by hosting creative dev and front end technology meetups.

deloitte

Deloitte Digital brings human-centered design to the federal government through workshops with clients. This collaboration allows clients to fully integrate their ideas into their products and applications.

Leverege

The first rule in Leverege’s culture book is “Use your best judgement in all situations.” This approach encourages employees to take risks and approach problems in their own unique way. They further reinforce this mindset by holding a weekly Show-and-Tell where every team member shares the interesting projects they’ve been pursuing.

leverege

Leverege offers an IoT Platform that is the industry’s first fully-integrated product designed from the ground up. Their platform meets the needs of all business users from the C-suite executive focused on the corporate bottom line to the junior engineer charged with the day-to-day technical operations.

LiveSafe, Inc.

Every two weeks, LiveSafe lets the engineering team demo new features that they’ve created to the rest of the company, teaching them about the functionality and processes along the way. In addition, they explore new technologies as a team and regularly attend Washington, DC Meetups together.

livesafe

LiveSafe offers an enterprise-class mobile safety platform fueled by crowd-sourced intelligence, maps, analytics and other features. Their goal is to enable the community to engage on security and safety issues directly from smartphones.

MapBox

Not only is continued education encouraged, it’s expected at MapBox. Departments across the company actively engage and teach each other relevant information for the betterment of themselves. Along with this, MapBox pays ticket and travel expenses for any employee looking to go to a conference.  For example, a group of designers was sent to the NACIS Conference.

mapbox

Mapbox builds and offers a multitude of tools to developers to add location-based services to their apps and websites.

MobilePosse

MobilePosse recognizes that professional development is more than just schooling and training. Through shadowing and observing senior leads, junior level employees are able to learn in collaborative and personal ways. These collaborative and personal interactions allow employees to gain unique experiences first-hand.

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Mobile Posse provides mobile carriers and OEMs a platform that delivers salient messages from the operator to the subscriber.  This provides an option for consumers to receive content they love to their smartphone’s home and lock screen.

Optoro

Optoro believes that fostering an environment of autonomy and creativity is crucial to reaching groundbreaking solutions. They promote a creative culture by hosting events intended to spark innovative thinking and encourage employees to question current processes. For example, they host an internal “Hackathon” day once a month where each person in the tech department chooses a challenge facing their company and codes an original solution. The winners receive additional funding in their Professional Development accounts, enabling them to access a wide variety of resources beyond Optoro.

optoro2

Optoro offers an end-to-end reverse logistics solution that helps retailers process, manage, and sell their returned and excess inventory.

SkyBitz

SkyBitz continually encourages its employees to take professional development courses, host trainers to come in, and they encourage employees to share their technical expertise and knowledge with each other. Most recently, they provided Azure Cloud Training to some of their engineering team members.

skysmall

SkyBitz offers SaaS-based solutions that provide rapidly deployable solutions for enterprise and local fleets, tank monitoring, and petroleum logistics.

Ventera Corporation

Hackathons are a great tradition at Ventera. They sponsor a variety of technology focused Hackathons called “Hack.Ventera.” Engineers also participate in similar events hosted by clients and other organizations. This gives employees an avenue to test new technologies and ideas while collaborating and innovating with people outside of current projects in a fun environment while delivering tangible proof of concepts and solutions to clients.

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Ventera is a professional services organization that supports a variety of technology needs, such as Agile, plug and play automated testing, and AI-influenced predictive modeling across both Government and Commercial customers.

DCWC

Best Tech Startup



BigParserBigParser

BigParser’s team is headed up by a former Yahoo Engineering Manager. They stay focused on the goals for the day there and respect everyone else’s space and time.

BigParser is on a mission to connect the world’s data through its three main apps, Grids, Share, and Plug.

 

 

 

 

 

BrllntBrllnt

Brllnt’s goal has always been to build an open and collaborative culture inspired by thinkers and entrepreneurs. The Co-Founder, Chief Marketing Officer, and Director of Operations are focused on growing and supporting the local DC community.

Brllnt’s doesn’t just build platforms. The team collaborates to build brand strategies, identities, and marketing campaigns.

 

 

Gravy AnalyticsGravy Analytics

Gravy’s team is led by a serial entrepreneur and previous executives from AOL, Neustar and AT&T. They are focused on the goal of building an open-environment to foster interaction, collaboration, reward, and recognition in the workplace.

Gravy is a mobile, location-based customer intelligence platform.  Using verified attendances at local events and venues, it identifies and predicts segmentation and consumers’ preferences.

Innovators BoxInnovatorsBox

InnovatorsBox values long-term growth. With flexible hours and locations, they want their staff to constantly learn and craft their tangible and intangible skills as professionals such as how to best manage time and energy, and effectively balance multitasking.

InnovatorsBox teaches creativity, builds community, and raises public awareness of the importance of creative thinking for all individuals. By providing a supportive community and educational resources, everyone has the opportunity to integrate creative thinking into their lives and careers.

MetiStreamMetiStream

MetiStream’s leadership has founded the DC Area Apache Spark Interactive Meetup to foster community collaboration on Spark, which has since grown to 2,000+ members. The next project is to grow the DC/VA/MD Big Data Healthcare Meetup to spearhead innovation in healthcare.

MetiStream has developed a framework that integrates FHIR, a progressive API-enabled healthcare standard, with Apache Spark. This combination targets improvements in patient experience and uses genomics to provide personalized health recommendations.

NotionTheoryNotionTheory

NotionTheory only accepts those who are passionate. Every member of the team has either started their own venture, has former startup experience, or is mostly self-taught in their expertise. They choose their projects based on how well they will be able to leverage each team member’s expertise with the goal of making a truly collaborative effort.

NotionTheory creates custom Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for brands while also building in-house products. They spent one-and-a-half years building their own VR framework, which allows users to build virtual reality applications IN virtual reality.

 

RizeRize

Rize has always known that the company will succeed only if its customers are successful. By never losing sight of this very important truth, the work environment has never been driven by either seniority or the bottom line. Instead, each member is a consummate forward-thinker who focuses on knowing how the financial industry will evolve and unfold.

Rize’s online savings platform uses behavioral design and automation to help customers save an average of 10% of their income towards goals they care about. They help customers understand what they can achieve and provide the means and confidence to help customers reach their goals.

SensewareSenseware

Senseware has effortlessly created an open community of trust, transparency, respect, support, and laughs. Everyone works in one room and they aren’t afraid to question and challenge each other. Team members push each other and help each other grow.

Senseware is a Smart Building Solution that wireless monitors performance across all Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, and Plumbing systems to run more cost-effectively. They’re building the one true smart-building.

United IncomeUnited Income

United Income runs Agile on two-week sprints. Every single person commits to work for the two week sprint and then demos what they accomplished to the entire company at Demo Day. They hold each other accountable across teams. They struggle together and they celebrate together. Everyone is responsible for their work, and everyone is responsible to the team.

United Income is building a financial technology solution to improve retirements. They offer a hybrid solution that combines web-based products and access to financial advisers to provide guidance to users and make it easy to stop worrying about finances and focus on the fun of the future.

 

Virgil SecurityVirgil Security

The team at Virgil Security has led multiple DARPA projects delivering next-gen technologies in cognitive radios, cross layer networking optimization, data fusion, distributed sensor networks, dynamic spectrum access, machine cognition, mobile ad hoc networks, and an array of foundational technologies.

Virgil Security is delivering software-based security building blocks to developers so that they can quickly and easily add security to their own products. Their goal is make every software developer an applied cryptologist.

DCStartup

The Timmy Awards ceremony will celebrate the local technology community and also recognize not only the winners, but the entire D.C. community for creating a great business environment to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other members of the tech community.

Don’t miss out, RSVP for the 2nd Annual DC Timmy Awards here to meet the finalists in person.

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.

AprilA

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.”

AprilB

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.

AprilC

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.

Recap: Made in DC Tech Panel

Made in DC Panoramic

At one of it’s biggest events to date, the D.C. chapter of Tech in Motion gathered entrepreneurs and tech aficionados alike at the infamous startup incubator, 1776, located in the heart of downtown D.C. The event that brought these groups all together? It was none other than Tech in Motion’s “Made in D.C.” panel discussion, featuring some top influencers and prominent thought-leaders from the local tech community.

As the attendees began to arrive, there was no shortage of eager and inquisitive individuals milling about the tables of Tech in Motion’s featured sponsors, Microsoft and Alarm.com. After a fun demo by Microsoft’s representative, Lisa Abdilova, on the ways to bring your travel plans to life via Bing, OneDrive, Outlook.com and Internet Explore, the panel kicked off. The panelists for the evening consisted of Ghafran Abbas, the Chief Architect at SocialRadar; Chuck Ghoorah, EVP at Cvent; Ian Lotinsky, VP of Engineering at LearnZillion; and Evan Burfield, a Co-Founder at 1776. The discussion was moderated by the Co-founder and COO of Nexercise, Greg Coleman.

Made in DC Panelists

The panel detailed the trials, tribulations and successes from their personal experiences of fostering a company from the ground up in D.C., with a specific emphasis placed on tech companies. The panel kicked things off with the question, “What does D.C. have to offer compared to other tech hubs like Silicon Valley, New York or San Francisco?” The panelists unanimously agreed that D.C. is uniquely and actively looking for solutions to real, substantial quality-of-life issues in such areas as education and healthcare. The startups in D.C. focus on issues that matter, rather than coming up with the next social app like “YO” – and what’s more, the community is proud of that.

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The conversation then shifted to address common challenges that startups encounter when looking to get a foothold in the District. Evan stated that the biggest challenge he sees showing up time and time again for any startup in the community “is how fragmented D.C. traditionally is and how to overcome that”.

This fragmentation has proved a big barrier to overcome, with the result that the tech communities local to Virginia, D.C., and Maryland rarely cross paths. Individuals are very supportive of their own communities but show a surprising reluctance to venture out into each other’s spaces and connect; however, as Chuck stated, the willingness to help on another out within the community is astounding. When prompted further, Ian stated that D.C. has not “reoriented all of the available assets in D.C. to focus around this [tech] community,” which continues to perpetuate this lack of resource awareness that prevents startups from thriving.

Ghafran then navigated the discussion towards a more technical focus, expressing that the main challenge facing the tech community and startups in D.C. is a series of disconnects. Ghafran stated that the challenges he’d seen as a developer are two-fold. Many developers find it difficult to connect with non-developers and, in part as a result of this gap, many companies experience difficulty in finding the tech talent they require. Along a similar vein, one of the biggest tech challenges that Ian experienced in his career was finding entrepreneurial engineers and teaching them company culture or vice versa.

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The dialogue wrapped up with a nod towards what the future holds for the D.C. tech community. There were two trends that the panelists agreed upon as being a part of DC’s future. The first was a movement of startups geared towards topics unique to D.C. Ghafran stated that D.C.’s future lay “in healthcare, education, and government. It’s what’s unique to D.C. and [we] will see a huge engine of startups come and focus on that in the next ten years”.

The second trend was broader in nature and expanded to include not only D.C., but also the country as a whole. Currently, Silicon Valley is commonly viewed as THE place to be for technology. However, Evan argued that “while Silicon Valley has been viewed as this tech mecca, there will be a diffusion of this to different cities,” which will transition the tech community away from this mecca-mentality.

The dialogue then wrapped up with a brief Q&A section, closing out the event with a tangible buzz of excitement and inspiration in the air. Check back in next month for a recap of the next D.C. event – or just join the DC chapter to be a part of it.

Recap: Demos and Drinks from Tech in Motion DC

On a rainy Wednesday evening in the nation’s capital, our DC chapter hosted the third edition of their Demos and Drinks at the lively night hot-spot, Rumors, located in the trendy District neighborhood of Dupont. Despite the torrential downpour inflicted upon the residents of the DC metro area, our DC Tech in Motion members came out in full force and braved the rain to view the live demos of local startups including The Trip Tribe, TrackMaven and Betterific.

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After being featured in the StartupLand documentary, Dave Aidekman’s table was flocked with people eager to see the The Trip Tribe founder’s platform firsthand. The Trip Tribe offers a service that organizes and curates bucket list type destination trip with members based on social media profiles, which is perfect for travel enthusiasts.

The TrackMaven table was inundated with attendees as well. They recently had a very successful Series A round of funding (to the tune of $6.5 million) for their incredible marketing analytics platform, which tracks and “digs up the dirt” on both personal marketing metrics and that of competitors.

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The third company present that rainy evening was Betterific, which was named one of The Next Web’s 13 Startup’s to Watch in 2013. Betterific is a crowdsourcing platform that encourages it’s community to finish it’s founding statement of “Wouldn’t it be better if…” when brainstorming innovative ideas.

 We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our next Tech in Motion DC event. Please join the group to stay up to date on our events!

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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awesome panelists smile 2

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.

Goldy

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.”

audience

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.