(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that the District has provided a $200,000 grant to support 1776, a new initiative designed to convene and accelerate startups in the heart of the District of Columbia. The initiative held its official “hard hat” launch event today at the soon-to-be-opened 1776 Campus located just blocks from the White House.
The campus aligns directly with Mayor Gray’s recently released Five-Year Economic Development Strategy, which defines technology entrepreneurship as a key to the city’s economic diversification. Leaders of 1776 have partnered with the city to create a space for convening and collaboration for the District’s startup ecosystem. In addition, 1776 will provide training for unemployed District residents, work with incubators in underserved areas and provide quarterly tours for D.C. youth to expose them to tech careers.
“I am proud for the District to support and invest in 1776, which will catalyze our efforts to diversify our economy and ready our residents for emerging career paths,” said Mayor Gray. “The commitment of such illustrious local, national, and international stakeholders to this project demonstrates that the District is a vibrant hub of innovation that welcomes entrepreneurs who want to change the world.”
1776 co-founders Donna Harris and Evan Burfield joined Mayor Gray for the announcement, outlining the four key pillars of the comprehensive 1776 initiative:
1. Convening -- Bringing startups, corporations, universities, embassies, and policymakers together at a massive 1776 Campus four blocks from the White House. Opening in March with 15,000 square feet and featuring space for co-working, events and more, 1776 will have options to expand into up to 60,000 feet over time.
2. Informing – Spotlighting the people, startups, and trends around disruptive ideas to tackle America's greatest challenges.
3. Educating – Unlocking underutilized talent for startups around the world by opening a D.C. Startup School on-site at the 1776 Campus.
4. Accelerating – Igniting high-impact startups at the 1776 Accelerator and funding the most promising with the 1776 Fund.
“Mayor Gray has laid out a bold vision for D.C. to be the premier technology hub on the East Coast. Startups are central to this vision,” said Burfield. “By connecting the hottest startups in the world with the assets that only D.C. can provide, 1776 will be a long-term force multiplier that turns D.C. into the epicenter of startups tackling the big problems in the world.”
In addition to announcing the District’s support, 1776 also revealed an all-star slate of advisors:
• Scott Case, CEO, The Startup America Partnership
• David Cohen, CEO, TechStars
• Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group
• Jonathon Perrelli, CEO, Fortify.vc
• Patrick Riley, Executive Director, Global Accelerator Network
• Paul Singh, Partner, 500 Startups
• Kevin Willer, President and CEO, 1871
“We’ve been so impressed at the willingness of really smart, top caliber leaders in the national startup economy to advise, help, and be a part of making 1776 successful,” said 1776 co-founder Donna Harris. “To have the likes of Brad, Paul, Scott, David, Pat, Jonathon and Kevin in our camp only serves to validate the incredible potential of the 1776 initiative.”
The 1776 initiative has already received tremendous support from across the District. Jones Lang LaSalle was highlighted at the launch event as a key partner, who conducted an exhaustive search for the right location for the 1776 Campus in the heart of the District and is continuing to support 1776 as it builds out its platform and plans future expansions. Speakers also thanked iStrategyLabs for their support in developing the 1776 brand and supporting upcoming 1776 programs.
1776 is a major initiative focused on helping entrepreneurs seeking to solve the country’s biggest problems. Located just blocks from the White House, 1776 convenes and accelerate startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that make Washington, D.C. unique. Visit www.1776dc.com for more information.
# # #
Follow Mayor Gray on Facebook and Twitter!
Follow Mayor Gray on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MayorVinceGray and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DCGov