(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray, officials from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and DC Innovates today announced the opening of the application process for the Digital DC Tech Fund (DDCTF), a catalytic fund and customized mentorship program dedicated to promoting the success of early and growth stage technology ventures in the District.
“The Digital DC Tech Fund gives the District an opportunity to remain one of the fastest-growing cities for technology companies by supporting a diverse community of entrepreneurs who have ventures poised for growth,” said Mayor Gray. “My administration remains committed to the DC tech community and through this initiative we envision a space where tech companies can find the resources and opportunities needed to continue to thrive in the District.”
The DDCTF will provide up to $1 million in grants ranging in size from $25,000 to $200,000 to early-stage tech entrepreneurs located on or moving to the Digital DC Tech Opportunity Corridor (Tech Corridor). The Tech Corridor is a designated area that has been identified to bolster the District’s burgeoning technology sector. It spans nearly three miles from the intersections of 7th Street NW and New York Avenue NW (the Convention Center) to Kansas and Georgia avenues NW (the Petworth neighborhood). The Tech Corridor also overlaps the boundaries of the Great Streets program, a commercial revitalization initiative designed to transform emerging corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhoods. The corridor is situated at the edge of a cluster of existing tech companies in Chinatown, including Optoro, Living Social, Blackboard, Social Tables, and many others. It also offers the amenities that many early-stage tech entrepreneurs require, including: affordable office space; restaurants and bars; a variety of transportation options; and access to highly-skilled talent employed by high-tech businesses.
Innovation-based economic development group, DC Innovates (DCI), will provide intermediary services to the District for the DDCTF, including the strategy for the program, management of the DDCTF application process, and facilitation of a customized mentorship program for grant awardees. DCI will also oversee the DDCTF Investment Advisory Board (IAB). Members of the board include: Michael L. Chasen, CEO of SocialRadar; Sarah Djamshidi, President and Managing Director of Speedshift Ventures; Valerie Gaydos, President of Capital Growth; Robert Greene, Principal of Syncom Venture Partners; Jay Hedley, Global Managing Director of Accenture; Marie C. Johns, Founder and President of L&L Consulting; Tony Lewis, VP of the Mid-Atlantic Region for Verizon; Casey G. Mauldin, District Executive of Premara Bank; Emmit J. McHenry, Chairman and CEO of Archura/NetCom Solutions; Bobby Ocampo, Director of Revolution Ventures; Rey Ramsey, former CEO of TechNet and Senior Advisor/Tech Investor; Randy Reade, EVP of ArchAngels; Marty Ringlein, Founder of CanvasCo/Work; and S. Tien Wong, Chair and CEO of Lore Systems.
“We believe that technology and innovation can be great accelerators, which are essential to our city’s success,” said Rey Ramsey, Chair of the DDCTF Investment Advisory Board and DCI Board Member. “We believe this is an incredible program, and we encourage you to apply and spread the word.”
The DDCTF application process opened Monday, June 2nd and close Friday, June 20th at 5 p.m. Application materials are available at DigitalDC.co.
About Digital DC:
Digital DC is a marketing and branding campaign and economic development initiative to promote the District of Columbia as the leading community in the innovation and high-tech economy. For more information about DigitalDC, go to digitaldc.co.
About DC Innovates:
DC Innovates (DCI) is a District-based non-profit organization that actively engages in various community development efforts and the promotion of inclusiveness in the innovation economy. For more information about DCI, go to www.dcinnovates-us.org/.
- Chanda Washington (DMPED), 202.727.6365