Start-up platform 1776 launches entrepreneurial hub in Washington DC

1776, the newly envisioned US start-up provider of shared-office space to entrepreneurial technology and media companies, has won a $200,000 grant that will enable it to open its first business centre in Washington DC, company representatives have announced.

The 1776 facility  – just a few blocks from The White House – aims to connect the “hottest start-ups in the world,” by providing shared office space to the growing rise of technologist starting companies, emerging throughout the city.

Company founders, Donna Harris and Steven Overly are set to open the 15,000 sq ft scheme within a substantial ex-industrial building, which will play host to a range of alternative office models, including co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators.

The space is geared towards offering young entrepreneurial ventures affordable and flexible office tenure, following recent trends in the area for the use of alternative office residences, throughout the District and surrounding suburbs in recent years.

1776 will also benefit from local partnerships with universities and embassies located within D.C ., having already begun making arrangements to host events and classes on subjects such as social marketing and web design.

Synteractive, a Reston-based technology reseller and business consultancy operating within the area, said the 1776 business model will  rely on revenues earned from hosting such classes and will contribute to a large part of the company’s revenue stream, the chairman stated recently.

The funding was granted by District officials on the premise that 1776 will nurture the local technological sector, with Washington Mayor, Vincent Gray, discussing multiple occasions that the grant will enable job growth and boost tax revenues in the district.

Washington’s director of business development and strategy, Mr David Zipper said that even though shared offices can be, “risky,” facilities such as incubators and accelerators help compensate for the city’s high rents and lack of venue holding space for technology events, and has earmarked 1776 as a channel allowing this type of growth within the city.

While these types of office spaces are seen to be attractive to young venture companies, they do not come without challenges of their own, with basic tasks like locking up and paying rent becoming more of a complicated affair. It is however, a compromise which start-up technology companies are willing to abide by when taking on this type of alternative office space.

According to Simon Rakoff, a general partner of the firm, start-up companies will choose to take up space at 1776 if they, “prefer to work in a collaborative atmosphere or need a D.C. outpost without the expense of an independent office.”

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