How to Extend the D.C. Tech “Ecosystem”

Manning: “There are proven resources in the area for regional entrepreneurs to turn to for help.”

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Nothing brings out the greater Washington D.C. tech crowd like an event featuring titans of IT investment. Which is why more than 300 attendees recently packed the Ritz Carlton in McLean, Va., to hear top venture capital “heavy-hitters” give their opinions about the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem at Potomac Tech Wire’s Venture Capital Outlook 2012.

As guest speaker and NEA General Partner Harry Weller put it, “I’ve never seen such diversity as we’re seeing now. This is turning into a great consumer area.’  Not many attendees would disagree that the big elephant in the room was LivingSocial. The event’s running theme was how a successful LivingSocial exit has the potential to create knowledgeable angels that will accelerate the startup scene in D.C.

More importantly, there was a greater discussion about how to support the current and future “angels” by continuing to improve the regional entrepreneurial “ecosystem.”  John Backus, founder and managing partner of New Atlantic Ventures, stated that “technology will not be the key differentiator in the future, but rather marketing will more important.”  To that point, I concur and remind our regional entrepreneurs that there are proven resources in the area for them to turn to for help. For example, hi tech PR agency professionals abound at firms that have built a full communications consultancy business model.

It was nice to hear the speakers on the panel mention several top technology companies in the greater Washington D.C. region to continue to watch. Harry Weller, not too surprisingly, mentioned SourceFire— a leader in intelligent cybersecurity solutions and long W2 Communications client since its beginning (nearly 10 years). NOTE: NEA was one of SourceFire’s early investors.

It’s not new, but marketing and in particular tech public relations or tech communications is something that W2 Communications has done successfully for several notable Washington D.C. companies. We’re proud of our track record and encourage you to let us show you: “How we can help?”


Rufus Manning is a senior account director who helps emerging technology companies reach their market potential.