WORK IT, RICHMOND: In D.C., incubators expand


BY JACOB GEIGER Work It, Richmond

Though startups from any industry can apply to the incubator, businesses like Ostendio fit right into the program’s sweet spot. Elliott’s platform, which started in February, helps small and midsize businesses comply with any federal regulations that affect their business. That might be patient privacy rules for a health care startup or Food and Drug Administration regulations for a company manufacturing food products..

Fifty-four weeks after it opened, 1776 serves as a packed and noisy hub for Washington’s startup community.

Evan Burfield and Donna Harris founded the business incubator in January 2013, and 1776 moved into its 12th-floor offices, which are a 10-minute walk north of the White House, on April 1, 2013.

Today, the organization has 200 member companies and is home on any given day to 500 people. It has become a key meeting place for startup events and a nationally recognized hotspot for new companies.

1776 is a key part of the Washington city government’s effort to point a spotlight at the startup economy. Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration provided $200,000 in funding to partially offset building costs, and 1776 also lined up pre-launch support from Comcast and Microsoft. More than a dozen other corporate sponsors have signed up in the past year.

Brandon Pollack, director of global affairs at 1776, joined the organization in March after four years at legal and lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP. He previously served on the incubator’s board of advisers and is also a board member at Venture for America. Pollack said 1776’s staff of 12 employees provides mentorship, public relations help and corporate connections. He said the incubator’s goal is to provide the nation’s capital with a hub where startups can come for information and events.

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This article first appeared in Work it, Richmond on April 13th, 2014