Are DC Entrepreneurs Disruptive?

startup-weekend_logo.gifLast week Business 2.0 unveiled its picks for the country’s next disruptors – 10 start-ups poised to change the game when it comes to their respective markets and industries. Unsurprisingly zero DC-area companies made the list. I say unsurprisingly not because there aren’t highly-promising start-ups in the region poised to disrupt established industries and processes, but because there seems to be a perception among media and influencers who follow the space that most local start-ups aren’t being built to open up new markets, but instead to develop more efficient methods for serving existing ones.

In tracking other editorial features on promising disruptors, DC-area companies are consistently and conspicuously absent, defying a buzzing entrepreneurial climate fueled by a pool of talented executives and innovators that rival any region in the country. The AeA, the nation’s largest technology trade association, reported back in April that Virginia has the highest concentration of technology workers in the nation, many of whom are planting disruptive seeds that will sprout into new companies in the coming weeks and months.

Further evidence that the area is flush with disruptive spirit is the buzz surrounding the upcoming Startup Weekend DC, part of a series of nationwide rolling events bringing together the best and brightest local entrepreneurial minds to start a company from concept to completion – over a single weekend. The attendees identify the concept, break into teams, and develop the product, marketing and revenue model and, in effect, incubate a company over three days.

Startup Weekend DC, slated for Oct. 26-28, is first come, first serve and the wait-list is already growing to earn a coveted slot. The event itself is disruptive, and there is little doubt that a slew of disruptive concepts and ideas will emanate from the 72-hour marathon session.

The October weekend event then dovetails into the ExecutiveBiz Web 2.0 Conference on November 1st in Reston, featuring a host of thought leaders who will discuss and debate disruptive topics and trends.

In addition to highlighting growing and large area businesses in the coming weeks, I’m going to make an effort to pluck out regional disruptors that are in fact changing the game in significant ways. It will be compelling to not only profile the companies and people behind them, but also track the companies as they mature.

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