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Wait, Who's the Next Tech Hub?!
April 17, 2013

Wait, Who's the
Next Tech Hub?!

Attend The Day of Foster.ly Expo, Job Fair (& Dolphin Tank!) on May 4 @ Artisphere in Arlington. This entrepreneurial expo and startup showcase will provide you with the information you need to start, grow or even exit your business. To RSVP, click here.

Thoughts of Charlottesville, Va., usually bring up images of Thomas Jefferson, UVA, and small town quaintness. But some will tell you it's becoming its own tech hub.

ArcheMedX-joel selzer
Joel Selzer spent the last eight years launching tech ventures (Ozmosis and Medical Funding Services) in the DC area. But the G'town and UVA grad recently moved back to Charlottesville, about two hours outside of DC, to launch his newest edtech venture, ArcheMedX. Through his work for mentoring group FounderCorps, Joel is holding events like a Startup Showcase at the Tom Tom Founders Festival, where entrepreneurs from both cities come together. Why has Charlottesville become a hotbed for biotech, health tech, and education companies? Some of it is being fueled by Darden's new iLab Incubator and UVA Innovations, making it easier to commercialize IP.

Courtesy of Tom Tom Founders Festival
Courtesy of Tom Tom Founders Festival
The Tom Tom Founders Festival is one of the signs there's a budding tech community. Held in Charlottesville for the second time last weekend, it's known as a mini-SXSW, where music, food, art, and innovation converge. The weekend of festivities, named after Thomas Jefferson, included two nights of startups pitching to investors, a TEDx-style talk series with Charlottesville innovators, a tech showcase, five block parties, and 60 bands. The four-day, mostly free event drew 13,000 people, up from the 6,700 last year. Festival director Paul Beyer says the theme is innovation and creativity, which helps the town's tech community recruit and retain employees.

Gina Mancuso's LoveThatFit is one Charlottesville tech startups. She says the community has broadened from its pharma and biotech roots to other types of IT like Cardagin Networks and ADI Engineering. LoveThatFit allows people to try on clothes virtually in-store and online from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. The company soft launched last week and will officially launch May 1. This summer it will do a pilot with a "major retailer." She's also raising funding and will do "some serious hiring" this year. Gina's been in Charlottesville with her four-year-old daughter for four years and says the community is family friendly and easy to travel from for her business.

Ballston Innovation Initiative Ready To Launch

Ballston Innovation Initiative (BI2) announces its launch party, April 18, with Carly Fiorina. Our sponsor, BI2, is the definition of a lean startup, applied to government. The partnership among Amplifier Ventures, Arlington Economic Development, and area universities, science agencies, and the business community creates awareness around federal science agency requirements. Also, it provides exposure to security products and approaches created by non-traditional sources and the entrepreneurs who launch those firms. This Thursday's launch will showcase the Greater Washington Region as a vibrant technology ecosystem and highlight the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurs' engagement in solving technology-related challenges. BI2 is a three-month, public-private program designed to establish relationships among entrepreneurs, government, leading educational institutions, and local business leaders. Above, Amplifier Ventures' Jonathan Aberman and AED's Jennifer Ives. Register Now!

Heating/Cooling Gets Hi-Tech

wegowise-barun singh
Boston-based WegoWise has tweaked its energy-monitoring software to go after a big new market: commercial office buildings. The company's target since its 2010 start has been multifamily buildings, but CTO Barun Singh says it can help all buildings increase their NOI and comply with disclosure laws in 21 cities with tough regs. WegoWise's software platform grabs info from utility companies and uses buildings characteristics and benchmarking to pinpoint inefficient buildings and how they can be upgraded. WegoWise also has a DC presence in the startup campus 1776.

Harlow Dinner

Last night we went to the Capitol Hilton for the 32nd annual Bryce Harlow Foundation Awards Dinner, saluting the best policy players, both advocates and those in government. We snapped Sen. John McCain, who introduced award recipient Charlie Black, his long-time friend. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) also received an award and was introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran, with whom he's worked on fiscal issues and Start Up Act 3.0 to increase immigration of foreign entrepreneurs.

Were you at Tom Tom Founders Festival? Tell tania.anderson@bisnow.com.

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