Free Enterprise Staff  | October 20, 2014

Can Washington, D.C. Be the Next Silicon Valley?

In the average person’s mindset, it may be better known for its politics than its start-ups. But from what we’ve heard lately, D.C. should be top of mind for entrepreneurs and business investors alike.

As part of our support of D.C.-based incubator 1776 and its global Challenge Cup competition, the Free Enterprise team had a chance to sit around the table with representatives from D.C.’s start-up community, city and local government officials, well-established corporations, and experienced investors to talk about the environment for start-ups in the area. As you might guess, physical proximity to the country’s regulators and law makers was a common theme. But so too was the city’s abundance of restaurants, cultural activities, top notch educational institutions, and many other elements that might seem somewhat unrelated to the day-to-day of running a start-up.

Find the full story on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation blog, and follow along as Free Enterprise, the Foundation, and the team at 1776 travel across the country to have similar conversations in seven more American cities to unlock the secrets to how cities can best foster entrepreneurial growth. Along the way, we’ll take a deeper dive into specific  highlights, like how healthcare start-ups are finding it difficult to attract talent from a pool mostly employed by government contractors.

Free Enterprise supports the 2015 Challenge Cup

Free Enterprise supports the 2015 Challenge Cup

We will also be covering the Challenge Cup, which kicks off this week with a competition in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. The Challenge Cup will cover 16 cities, from Shanghai to Chicago, seeking the best start-ups in energy, healthcare, education, and smart cities. Check back later this week and follow the news at #challengecup.