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  • Dan Berger

An Open Letter to the #DCTech Community

Updated: Oct 22

Dear Member of the #DCTech Community:


I know what you’ve been asking yourself over the past few days: “Is the DC Metro Area still the right place for me?”


The answer is yes. And, the region needs you more than ever.


I moved to DC in 2008 to attend Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. I thought DC was going to be a pitstop for me and I had every intention of moving back to NYC as soon as I graduated.


Fast forward eight years and I’m still here. First it was because of a job, then it was because of my company, and now it’s because of the world-class city DC has become. [1]


It all started with President Obama’s arrival. His energy and vision gave our nation’s capital a kickstart that changed its brand identity and attracted a new generation of Washingtonians to it. These transplants helped transform DC to the destination it is today by birthing and nurturing creative communities such as ours. [2]


Thanks, in part, to our community, DC is much more than the “government town” it once was. We’ve helped enable the city’s growing foodie scene, transform its neighborhoods, and, most importantly, diversify its economy by building new businesses. [3] The renaissance we’ve sparked has only begun and we must carry its momentum forward, regardless of who is residing in the White House.


So, if you’re thinking about leaving DC as a result of the election, please reconsider and remind yourself that it’s a very unique place.


It has big city activities with a small city vibe. It has new buildings built alongside timeless architecture. It has associations around the corner from startups that are next door to craft coffee bars. And it has as many nationalities as it has embassies.


All of this is meaningless, however, without creative, intelligent, and dynamic people like you. In fact, our city couldn’t have become what it is today without you. The city needs you.


If you’re finding it difficult to stay connected to DC, I challenge you to find new ways of reconnecting with the city and the members of our community. I challenge you to to fall in love with it once more. I challenge you to make our community better, stronger, and more impactful than its been.


The city’s future and DCTech’s legacy rests on our shoulders so let’s get to work.


Thanks to Kristin Zeitler, Jennifer King, Sooji Choi, Sam Cicotello, Derek Haller, David Budimir, and Hunter Powers, for their help in editing this letter.

[1] DC was voted the Most Socially Networked City (Men’s Health) [2011], The Best City for Women Entrepreneurs (Inc) [2014], The Hottest City for Entrepreneurship (Kauffman Foundation) [2016], The Restaurant City of the Year (Bon Appetit) [2016], The Fittest City (American Fitness Index) [2016], and, based on an analysis of startups listed on Angel List that I conducted in October 2015, the 6th in the nation in terms of startup volume.


There are 938 startups in MD, 1,055 in VA, and 1,599 in DC. That brings the total number of startups in the region to 3,592. The first five are: CA with 32,067, NY with 12,191, TX with 4,658, MA with 4,217, and FL with 3,850. IL is 7th with 3,000.


[2] Washington DC’s Convention and Visitor Bureau has a marketing campaign for our city that communicates this new cool, “DC Cool.”


[3] I acknowledge and recognize that with this transformation our city has become unaffordable for some members of its indigenous communities. I am hopeful that these issues will be addressed by our Mayor and her administration.

#DonaldTrump #Entrepreneurship #Startup #WashingtonDC

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© Dan j. Berger

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