1776 Launch Supported by Grant from Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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Kickoff Event at New DC Startup Campus Highlights City’s Investment and National Advisory Board

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“By connecting the hottest startups in the world with the assets that only DC can provide, 1776 will be a long-term force multiplier that turns DC into the epicenter of startups tackling the big problems in the world.”

Today, 1776, a new DC-based initiative to convene and accelerate startups in the heart of the District of Columbia, held their official “hard hat” launch event at the soon-to-be-opened 1776 Campus four blocks from the White House, during which Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that the District has provided a $200,000 grant to support the 1776 initiative.

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. 1776 leaders have partnered with the city to create a convening space for the district startup ecosystem which will also provide training for unemployed District residents, work with incubators in underserved areas and provide quarterly tours for DC youth.

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 having 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 DC Startup School onsite at the 1776 Campus.

4. Accelerating – Igniting high impact startups at the 1776 Accelerator and funding the most promising with the 1776 Fund

“I am proud to sponsor 1776, which will catalyze our efforts to diversify the District’s economy,” said Mayor Gray. “The commitment of such illustrious local, national, and international stakeholders demonstrates that the District of Columbia is a vibrant hub of innovation that welcomes entrepreneurs who want to change the world.”

“Mayor Gray has laid out a bold vision for DC 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 DC can provide, 1776 will be a long-term force multiplier that turns DC 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 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.”

1776 has already received tremendous support from across the DC community. 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 subsequent expansions. iStrategyLabs was also thanked for their support in developing the 1776 brand and supporting upcoming 1776 programs.

About 1776
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 convene and accelerate startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that make Washington, DC unique. Visit http://www.1776dc.com for more information.

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Lisa Throckmorton
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