5 Disruptive Companies Establishing Crystal City As Nexus Of Innovation
Over the course of the past decade, Crystal City has transformed into the DC region’s premier innovation district, where existing businesses and startups alike can interact, innovate and foster “new ideas that can be prototyped, funded, incubated and grown to maturity all without having to leave the neighborhood,” according to Bisnow content sponsor Crystal City BID.
Key companies realizing the agglomerative benefits of the incubator-like atmosphere, including WeWork, Eastern Foundry, 1776 and TechShop combine with an overall urban ecosystem that makes it easier for businesses to launch, grow and attract the top talent needed to continue to be successful.
Five tech companies calling Crystal City home lead the pack with their compelling business models, providing valuable insight as to why Crystal City is a regional technology nexus.
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Initially operated out of 1776, but transitioned its regional HQ to Vornado/Charles E. Smith office space nearby.
Lyft is an on-demand ride-share platform that matches passengers with local drivers at the tap of a button. Each Lyft driver goes through a series of background checks, vehicle inspections and mentor sessions to provide a friendly, convenient and affordable ride for passengers.
How Crystal City has worked for Lyft
As a company, Lyft has a strong focus on community. By establishing its regional HQ in Crystal City, it has been able to forge strong connections among drivers, passengers and local partners. Local Lyft leaders say they are thrilled to be surrounded by like-minded, like-missioned companies in Crystal City while being centrally located in the region.
Operating at Eastern Foundry
About Polynox Solutions
Polynox Solutions is a boutique intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance firm. Drawing on assets across the entire collection spectrum, spanning human intelligence to measurement and signal platforms, Polynox works backward from the mission objective and deliverables to provide the client with an individualized solution.
How Crystal City has worked for Polynox Solutions
Polynox relies on Eastern Foundry for its location and clientele. Working with government and private clients in a sector where confidentiality is key, among similarly sophisticated companies and talented individuals who subscribe to the same culture enables Polynox to thrive. The location also permits the firm to maintain close relations inside the Beltway and its associated defense and government organizations.
Operating at TechShop
OrcaVue’s patent-pending technology revolves any video camera in a 360-degree arc around a central stationary platform, yielding a seamless, breathtaking video, that mimics the iconic Matrix "bullet-time effect." Its product is one simple, portable and affordable camera rig.
How Crystal City has worked for OrcaVue
Starting only a year and a half ago, OrcaVue has evolved from an idea to an international production, rental and servicing company, already grossing about a half-million dollars in revenue this year. TechShop has been the backbone of the company since day one, not only housing all of the product design and manufacturing, but also opening doors to a virtually unlimited network of knowledge from fellow members; everything from accounting advice, to app development, to international freight shipping logistics. OrcaVue’s rapid growth would have been unachievable without TechShop’s resources.
Operating at 1776 Crystal City Campus
TMSOFT was founded in 2008 by Todd Moore to create and publish unique mobile apps for smartphones. Its most popular app, White Noise, has been downloaded and used by millions around the world to get a sound and restorative good night’s sleep.
How Crystal City has worked for TMSOFT
The TMSOFT team reports its partnership with 1776 has been fruitful, using office hours with community mentors and attending seminars on varied topics to forward their business. The community lunch program has been a bonus for the team, providing time to eat and socialize with other local, small companies with big ideas. TMSOFT employees also enjoy the amenities Crystal City has to offer, with a nearby gym, restaurants, bars, parking and a range of transportation options.
Operating at 1776 Crystal City Campus
FourStay is an online marketplace for short-term student housing. Students can search for space around their college campus and stay with local individual hosts or student housing companies.
How Crystal City has worked for FourStay
The startup environment at 1776 in Crystal City is stimulating, motivating and inspiring. FourStay leadership says 1776's mentors and advisers were instrumental to the platform’s success. The courses offered by other area entrepreneurs, professionals and experts helped FourStay map its ambitious expansion. 1776 provides state-of-the-art facilities, access to valuable resources, great staff, and, of course, connection to a community of fledgling companies that make Crystal City an exhilarating place to work.