Arlington's Plan to Disrupt National Security
It wasn't fun for Arlington when the National Science Foundation was lured away by $30M in incentives to Alexandria, Va. But spirits weren't the least bit dampened last night as the county kicked off its plan for spurring a new wave of entrepreneurship.
TandemNSI officially launched Tuesday night to bring entrepreneurs together with the plethora of federal agencies that call the DC suburb home. The group, being co-run by Amplifier Ventures founder Jonathan Aberman and Arlington County’s Jennifer Ives (a duo we lovingly call J-squared), will hold several events like tech throwdowns and reverse pitches for entrepreneurs, federal agencies, and universities to work together on national security problems that can be solved with technology. Rep. Jim Moran (right), who recently announced he would retire after 23 years in Congress, supports the effort. TandemNSI also has Virginia funding of $350k and county funding of $175k.
Another cheerleader is former federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, who called Arlington a "gateway to a new chapter of entrepreneurial activity." (He also happens to be an Arlington resident.) He's bullish on TandemNSI because it’s an opportunity to engage agencies with problems and entrepreneurs willing to listen, along with a mechanism for testing ideas. Rep. Moran sees an opportunity for the county to create an ideal environment for the $140B the federal government puts toward R&D.
Photo credit: Amir Mounib Photography
Ed Bersoff (left) and Dendy Young (on Ed's left) are some of the veteran tech entrepreneurs supporting TandemNSI. And yes, that's former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer in the background. He recently announced he was running for Jim's seat. Ed started in DC tech in ’69 and eventually launched government contracting firm BTG and sold it to Titan in 2001. He recently launched a financing firm geared to smaller government contractors seeking working capital.