3 DCWEEK Tech Cocktail Winners Represent the Innovation and Diversity of the DC Startup Scene

November 17, 2012

12:00 pm

Washington DC startups Encore, JetJoose, and Eventstir were named DCWEEK Winners at Tech Cocktail’s DCWEEK Mixer & Startup Showcase last Thursday. The event was held at Artisphere in Arlington, VA, and was sponsored by Amazon Web Services, The Boss Group, Sapient, CentricSource, American Airlines, APT, LogiXML, EarlyShares, and R&R Catering.

From a company that helps nonprofits boost their fundraising efforts, and a social network for flight crews, to a crowdfunding platform for events, our DCWEEK Winners represent the innovation and diversity of the DC startup scene.

If you missed our event, or if you’d just like to learn more about what inspired our winners, here is a rundown of three of the hottest startups in DC.

1.  Encore is a web solution for nonprofits that helps them capture amazing stories as they happen and share them with supporters. These stories can help the nonprofits reach donors who care about their mission and who would like to support it.

It’s inspiring work, according to cofounder James Li:

“We’re inspired every day by the nonprofit professionals we speak to, who are extremely passionate about the causes they work for, but simply don’t have enough time in the day to do everything! They have amazing stories to tell, but can’t spend enough time on marketing while still focusing on their mission.”

2. JetJoose draws on the extensive knowledge of flight crews about the places they visit regularly. Users share their recommendations on the best and most affordable places to stay, eat, visit, and shop.

Co-CEO and cofounder Ronan Keane didn’t have to look far for his startup inspiration:

“My wife was my inspiration for starting JetJoose.com. She’s a flight attendant with one of the large U.S. carriers. When she first started flying, she didn’t know what to do in cities around the world. So I started JetJoose.com so flight crews could share places to visit with each other.”

3.  Eventstir is a crowdfunding platform for events that engages attendees, and involves them in the event hosting process, by having them pledge to join events. Since Eventstir targets college student organizations and event-based businesses catering to the 21-30 age range, it’s fitting that cofounder Sajad Ghanizada found inspiration as he was emerging from the socially-charged atmosphere of college life.

“Coming out of college, my cofounder Andrew and I realized that people weren’t hosting creative and exciting group events out of fear that there would be no interest. Events among friends included choices that were always bland:  dinners, happy hours, and house parties. We want to give organizers the ability to test their wild event ideas before incurring any cost.”

You can check out photos from Tech Cocktail’s DCWEEK Mixer & Startup Showcase here.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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