Startups in the DC area are not huge, as I found out during my time participating in the Mach37 accelerator (in nearby Herndon, Virginia). The government is huge and almost everything relates to that, it seems, even the startup activity there. Mach37 focused on IT security – called cybersecurity over there – while 1776 focuses on solving “the world’s most important challenges”:
1776 is a global incubator and seed fund helping startups transform industries that impact millions of lives every day—education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation and cities.
Essentially both focus on things important to governments. Mach37 will probably not “go international” anytime soon, but 1776 will bring their pitch competition “Challenge Cup” to Berlin on February 24th, as one of 16 cities they will go to. 1776 is one of the most well-known players in DC tech, so if you have any amibitions of moving or opening an office there, it might be a good idea to register and come to their Berlin event. – Somehow most of the people in Europe only seem to be interested in Silicon Valley though, and no one seems to care much for the East Coast, so I doubt this will be the main motivation for many.
If your startup fits one of the four focus categories (mentioned in the quote above), you can also apply to compete – maybe the prizes will be a good motivation for that!
I will (most likely) also be around. As usual, I will also be looking for new opportunities in tech, as well as electronics and software development projects, so, if you need help with that – and have a budget – or just have questions about Mach37 and Washington D.C., talk to the tall guy with the red Union Berlin scarf, or ping me on Twitter.