The Fresh Faces of 1776 Crystal City

November 19, 2015

1:36 pm

As a resident in Northern Virginia and someone who is involved in the local tech scene, it was incredibly exciting to learn earlier this year that 1776 would be taking root in Crystal City. With their primary location in DC proper, the new location makes it even easier for startups in Arlington, Alexandria, and the surrounding cities to take advantage of their amazing offerings. Tech.Co has partnered with Arlington Economic Development to bring you news and stories from the Arlington tech and startup region. 

For those unfamiliar with 1776, it’s a global incubator and seed fund that is focused on engineering the success of the world’s most promising startups. Specifically, the startups accepted into 1776 focus on education, health, energy and sustainability, and transportation and smart cities. Three of their latest residents Dorsata, WiredScore, and EdBacker focus on said areas. Read more about them below, and meet them at Tech.Co’s Tech Cocktail DC Holiday Party this upcoming December 3rd!



Dorsata is a platform for the creation, distribution, and implementation of clinical carepaths. Essentially the platform allows doctors to be more efficient, reduce time spent on paperwork, and focus more on special cases.

“We got into this because we felt like tech offered an opportunity for health care providers to make better and more informed decisions,” said Dorsata Co-Founder and CEO David Fairbrothers. It’s about helping to evaluate how to care for a specific patient in a specific point of time while establishing best practices. “It allows providers to make more efficient decisions. Once in the market, we’re really shifting and adjusting to what the market wants and needs.”

Currently Dorsata is focusing their energy on the product, but is preparing to enter the healthmarket, fresh off the heels of a soon to be announced outside fund raising round.

“For the past year we focused on how to position ourselves to those providers and how that scales. What we found at the end of the day, the typical doctor or nurse now has this incredibly tedious process of documenting in the electronic health record what they are determining to do,” said Fairbrothers. “It’s inefficient, talk to any doctor and they will say how long it takes. Anywhere from 1-1.5 minutes per time spent with a client. What we are building is a tool to not only allow the clinicians to define what it is the most efficient work flow to be in order to make the best decisions, but also to use this on a tablet in the room with the patient. Once they are done with the client it gets passed on automatically to the health record.”

They currently have about 1000 clinicians using the product, and are working locally with a medical group on the specific applications of the product.

“Our real goal as a company is how can we make the typical case easier, put more time and effort into more abnormal cases. A provider shouldn’t have to waste time on mundane data entry,” said Fairbrothers.

After becoming a regional winner for DC in 1776’s Challenge Cup in 2013, the team received an investment from the accelerator and recently moved into the new Crystal City location. Having a team residing in Northern Virginia, it was an easy choice to make. For Fairbrothers, working out of 1776 is one less thing to worry about and is a dumbfoundedly simple decision to not waste time on the office space search.

They are also planning on expanding the team in the near-term, first with a sales team member and then a chief medical officer. According to Fairbrothers, they will likely bring on between 4-7 new employees in the next few months.


WiredScore was founded in 2011 out of a public-private partnership with Mayor Bloomberg. Their goal was to help score the connectivity of buildings, providing their owners and potential residents with information about their connectivity infrastructure. Using a grading system and comparing the building’s connectivity to others around the city, building owners are able to improve their infrastructure. On the flipside, it’s also allows the owners to market their offering confidentially and backed by data.

After the success in New York City, WiredScore cofounder and CEO Arie Barendrecht thought the service could help the real estate industry. They have since expanded to other markets, and with that brought their new Director of Business Development, Michael Burke, to 1776. The company already has 46 buildings and 11.3M square feet of space in the region that have been certified.

The benefits of getting certified are simple, it’s highly marketable. For startups and businesses looking to find a new office, it’s important for them to have the proper connectivity to get their work done.

According to Burke it’s so that you “can count on this building to give you everything you need. The other is playing industry consultant. It gives the landlord something concrete to work around and analyze what they have, where they should be in the offering.”

For building owners that have a portfolio of buildings, it also gives them a deeper understanding of their offering and where they can improve it. The WiredScore process is simple. It starts with a 10 minute survey, and the company handles the rest. According to Burke the process lasts anywhere from 30-60 days.

Although they currently only certify office buildings right now, they are keenly aware that others are facing connectivity issues as well. “We are looking at a number of different options and having great traction so far,” said Burke.

New on the job, one of the tasks Burke initially faced was where to create WiredScore’s roots locally.

“I could have gone anywhere, and my relationships in real estate have been part of my whole career out of college (9 years). I think overall 1776 has hit on something really important. When you are looking to grow a business you need more than bricks and mortar, they provide that,” said Burke.

Besides the amenities, it’s also about the community and people working there. “Part of it is the office space, for me the reason why I chose 1776 was to really be around other people who were working long hours, hustling, and doing great things and thriving off that environment and connections,” said Burke.


EdBacker focuses on the education world, providing them a crowdfunding type platform. They are the answer to a pressing problem facing our nation’s schools: the educational funding gap. Founded by experienced education tech entrepreneurs, Edbacker is the first online platform specifically designed to address the pain points of public education fundraising – from every side of the equation. By seamlessly connecting parent organizations, districts, and corporate donors, Edbacker helps maximize funding while ensuring equity, transparency and recognition for districts and corporate giving partners. Since launching, Edbacker has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for students across the United States.

“I created Edbacker because I was a frustrated Dad that wanted a better way to raise money than running around a track or going to a restaurant night,” said EdBacker Co-Founder and CEO Gary Hensley. “As we got to know our customer base (parents, PTA’s) we have built Edbacker as a lite CRM with communications, fundraising, events and volunteer management attached.”

Schools have never been more in need of money, and traditional school fundraising has never been more in need of innovation. There are millions of individuals and thousands of businesses and foundations that want to help schools, but there is currently no single destination for them to search opportunities to help fund everything from small classroom science projects to large scale facilities projects that benefit children (like a playground or sports court).

You can find an example of one of their successful campaigns here that brought in more than $177,000 for an upgrade to the Arlington Science Focus School Science lab.

As for choosing a location, they chose Crystal City because that is where their very first customers are located. “We have had tremendous support from the community and recently launched a page dedicated to the school district in Arlington,” said Hensley.

The team chose 1776 specifically after they invested in EdBacker. “I have been at 1776 since they opened and they have invested in Edbacker through their fund. In addition to just being cool it has provided me with the opportunity to meet Prime Minister David Cameron, Her Majesty Queen of Jordan, Michael Dell and numerous others. You are bound to run into some one you want to meet. Evan, Donna and Rusty have served me as Co-Founders in growing my business and I could not ask for better partners,” said Hensley.

Interested in meeting these great startups? Come by Tech.Co’s Tech Cocktail DC Holiday Party on Thursday, December 3! The party will be hosted right at 1776 – Crystal City. 


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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@) or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.