January 13, 2015
For those wanting to get involved in the DC tech scene or for those wanting to make some new discoveries happening in DC’s startup world, a new resource launched today which aims to provide you with just that: DMV Startup. DMV Startup is a new wiki that’s dedicated to doing what all wikis do: letting people learn all the essentials about its given topic – in this case, the DC tech scene (which encompasses the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan region).
DMV Startup is the brainchild of Brandon T. Luong, who last year brought us mobile dating app Datelytics. According to Luong, the inspiration behind the wiki came from a lack of any kind of central resource to find any and all information on DC’s tech ecosystem. After reaching out to various people in the DC tech scene to validate the need for this, Luong began work on DMV Startup. The goal was to create a place where people could get a brief overview of all the great startups located in the DC region.
“The wiki will showcase all the aspects that make up [the DC tech] ecosystem,” said Luong. “From the startups and organizations to the meetups, investors, and so on.”
The project started with a simple spreadsheet, which aimed at identifying all the venues and event spaces in the DC region which were considered “DC tech-friendly” (in other words: places where you can find congregations of DC tech people – from coworking spaces to local coffees shops and restaurants). From there, Luong notes, the DC tech community needed something a little more comprehensive; hence, he produced the “Welcome to the DMV Startup Scene: Handbook”, a guide to the DC tech scene, which included ways to get involved, important resources and organizations, as well as links to Meetups and various calendars. The handbook received a lot of positive feedback, further encouraging Luong to pursue something more. So, a month ago, he (along with a few other members of the DC tech community) set on creating DMV Startup.
DMV Startup is very minimal, yet specious considering the amount of information one can pull from its pages. Indeed, when comparing it to other DC tech online resources – such as the one created by Digital DC (the city’s initiative to promote tech sector and business growth) – DMV Startup provides information currently unavailable on other sites. The wiki is a great start for a tech ecosystem that (despite its access to the nation’s best organizations and corporations, capital, and talent) somehow manages to get pushed aside when compared to the likes of NYC or Silicon Valley, but it still doesn’t compare to something like Digital.NYC, which was launched last October to serve as a primary guide for navigating NYC’s tech scene.
“I’m trying to attract a new side…the Millennials and young professionals. I’ve seen them leave for other cities like NYC or the Bay area with the mindset that DC doesn’t have that same culture.”
But for Luong, DMV Startup is a work in progress – because of the inherent nature of wikis, we’ll see DMV Startup eventually grow into the central guide for all things DC tech. The overall goal for Startup DMV: to convey the message that DC tech is just as good as the tech scenes of New York or Silicon Valley.
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