January 14, 2015

Why Cyber Criminals Are Worried Today

2015 could be cybersecurity's big breakout year. The President proposed legislation yesterday that encourages public/private sharing.

The biggest deal in Barack Obama's cybersecurity legislation proposal is that it encourages the private sector to share info on cyber threats with DHS and protects them against liability for doing so. It also criminalizes the sale of stolen financial data and requires companies to notify consumers about data breaches. Congress has passed five cybersecurity laws since 2002 but this may be the most aggressive one it tackles.

TechAmerica and the Information Technology Industry Council gave the bill a thumbs up, saying it improves national security, stimulates tech ingenuity and protects privacy. TechAmerica public advocacy EVP Elizabeth Hyman says Congress should use it as a guide to craft legislation that strengthens the “public-private cyber threat partnership.” Similar proposals have struggled because civil libertarians have feared too much government snooping and conservative lawmakers thought it would create a new bureaucracy.

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Wingate Hughes: Creating Beyond The Usual

Wingate Hughes Architects studio directors Natalie Hnatiw and Amy Shavelson tell us clients come to them not for the trends they see in the marketplace, but for new ideas they haven't seen anywhere else. These include designing huge steel trusses to redefine the conference room, blending DIY and sophisticated design in custom benching desks, and creating client-specific acoustic treatments. With a combined 40 projects on Natalie and Amy's plate, recent projects include The Society for the Plastics Industry (SPI) at 1425 K St and National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) at 25 Mass; ID.me and five spec suites at Tysons Metro Center III for Beacon and Cassidy Turley (DTZ); and reimagining iStrategy Labs in the Wonder Bread Building. Wingate Hughes is headed by two Gavins: Gavin Wingate Bowie and Gavin Hughes Daniels, but the rest of the staff consists of women (12 in all). For more info on our sponsor, click here.


Wiki Attempts To Organize DC Startups

The DC startup scene has exploded, which means it's harder to know what's here. So Brandon Luong formed an initiative called DMV Startup and created a wiki page for all startups (even the non-tech ones) that he released this week. Startups can add pages about themselves, local events and meetups; find out about jobs; and get general tips. Brandon, who runs digital agency Guanxi Innovations, says he used a simple, responsive platform that allows people to make entries after getting his consent. 

Brandon, who built the free-to-use wiki with five tech colleagues, says part of his motivation was spending time on the West Coast and having people ask him if life in DC meant going to the White House all the time. The wiki's aim is to shed the government town stigma and attract and retain more talented Millennials. Brandon would like to see 6,000 entries by 2018 and 10,000 page views per month.

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Top Young Entrepreneurs

What do the leaders of LiveSafe, APX Labs, Encore Alert and ID.me have in common? They're on this year's 40 Under 40, announced yesterday. See the complete list here and help celebrate these young entrepreneurs on Feb. 12 in Crystal City. 




DC Tech's Latest Funding Round

ICYMI...DC-based Kit Check co-founders Tim Kress-Spatz and Kevin MacDonald announced on Monday a cool $12M of Series B funding from Kaiser Permanente, Rex Healthcare and New Leaf Venture Partners. The company's software uses RFID technology to help hospitals keep track of medication in its pharmacies and operating rooms. (See our story about the technology.) The company's total funds raised is now $22.4M, helping the company grow from seven hospitals to 144 and over 5,000 users. 

Tell Us

Will 2015 be a big year for funding? Share predictions with Bisnow's Tania Anderson