Growing tech boom in DC could improve the city
A strong economic sector can do wonders for a city. If a metro is known as a hotbed for particular industry, it can help attract smart, high-achieving resident and more businesses as well as creating a virtuous cycle of new jobs. Many see the emerging tech culture in the District is as a likely cause of some of these positive trends, ultimately raising property values throughout the region, which can make people who buy one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC, glad they did.
Traditionally, tech startups have gravitated to Western and Southern cities such as San Francisco, California, and Austin, Texas. As the field has gained steam, though, innovators have found fertile ground elsewhere in the country. New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, for example, have seen an influx of startups in the last several years. With mounting evidence, many people are ready to add the nation's capital to that short list.
One initial factor was the city's dedication to properly accoutering the area to inspire new businesses to form and established ones to settle locally.
"The last boom was more about the infrastructure, actually building telecom networks, the UUNets and the Nextels," Mark Ein, a venture capitalist with businesses in the District, told the Washington City Paper.
Since then, however, Ein says the focus has shifted more toward the right social climate. DC tech entrepreneurs, including Ein, have made a point of having like-minded business people share ideas and help each other with financing, staffing and equipment. DC Entrepreneurship Week, for example, is a collection of social events and informational sessions aimed at establishing the tech community's presence, according to the news source.
As the startup sector grew, many within the city government began to take notice. Without governmental support, it would be difficult for the burgeoning tech scene to grow further and attract more investors, businesses and support.
The luring of tech companies has been a goal of DC Mayor Vincent Gray's since he took office in 2010, according to The Washington Post. He has proposed numerous programs to help attract and retain companies in the sector, including a proposed $32.5 million tax credit to entice social discount provider LivingSocial to keep its headquarters in the city.
Although there is plenty of room for the local tech sector to grow, DC is well on its way to becoming a major player in the field. If successful, the metro's strategy could help attract residents, improve the quality of life and increase property values in the region.