With news of a major breach at Equifax in the headlines, planning for DC CyberWeek seems particularly timely.
To be fair, CyberScoop, part of the D.C.–based tech media company Scoop News Group, planned for the mid-October affair because October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. However, with a data breach that’s impacted potentially 143 million consumers, Greg Otto, Managing Editor for CyberScoop, sees how the fallout emphasizes the urgency of their cause.
“We put too much faith in institutions that they’re protecting our information,” Otto explained. “We’re going to come to a point where just as a citizen in America, as a citizen online, you’re going to need to understand how these systems work.”
Understanding how these systems work doesn’t necessarily mean running out to grab a graduate degree. Gaining basic knowledge in cyber security can mean simple things like brushing up on password management, understanding if that https:// site is actually secure. There’s also knowledge to be gained at the free week of events during DC CyberWeek.
From October 16-20, DC CyberWeek will host talks, panels, receptions and even a startup pitch competition hosted by Eastern Foundry.
“We want to bring people together in order to figure out some way so that stuff doesn’t happen as frequently as it is right now,” Otto explained.
While that goal may seem broad, Otto and the CyberScoop team believe that their success hinges on their ability to bring people together and form sustainable relationships in the cybersecurity community.
As D.C. produces more new technology, leaders want to make sure everyone gets a chance to benefit.
That’s the message that the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) and the city brought to SXSW last March and WDCEP will now follow up with their inaugural Inclusive Smart Cities Summit.
WDCEP, affectionally known as “The Partnership” by Emily Rasowsky, Director of Marketing & Communications for WDCEP, aims to drive business opportunities across all sectors, in part by creating meaningful connections between ventures. Lately, smart cities has become an important avenue of focus.
“We’re not just building a connective city with the coolest innovation--which we are,” Rasowsky asserts, “but we’re doing it so that it intentionally benefits and speaks to all people in the population.”
Hosted on September 12 at the US Institute of Peace free of charge, the Inclusive Smart Cities summit will break down innovation efforts through three specific lenses—transportation, the workplace, and the workforce—before convening for a collective panel about smart city ideals and initiatives in the city.
The companies that are opening coworking spaces and startups adding collaboration space across D.C. often talk about fulfilling demand for flexible workspace. A recent study from Capital One confirmed that there is a lot of interest in such options.
The company’s Work Environment Survey measured the preference of full-time office professionals, with a special focus on millennials, from five major cities across the country, including D.C.
According to the survey, 81 percent of D.C. participants surveyed feel that flexible workspaces are important and 76 percent feel that they come up with their best ideas there. Only 41 percent don’t have access to something more than a standard desk and chair.
Stefanie Spurlin, VP of Capital One’s Workplace Solutions unit, told Technical.ly that the need for opportunity and choice drove these numbers across the board. So what solutions does Capital One have for businesses?
Intellectual property law is a tough area to navigate, but it’s important for startups. And since fewer than one in five patents name a female entrepreneur, it’s an issue that’s of great interest to BEACON, the community-led organization to support female entrepreneurs in D.C., supported by Google, Georgetown Law, and Mayor Bowser’s office.
“IP serves as the foundation for many business operations,” BEACON fellow Deloris Wilson told Technical.ly. “and we want to make sure DC’s women entrepreneurs are best equipped to navigate this increasingly complicated space.”
BEACON decided to reach out female entrepreneurs in D.C. about their questions and concerns regarding IP law. They received back diverse responses, ranging from patent differentiation, copyright and trademark, the application process and more complicated matters concerning partnership/employee contracts and interstate sales.
In response, BEACON created Startup Law 101. The free workshop represents a coupling of “legal training with actual experiences of entrepreneurs who have made IP-errors—and had to fix their mistakes as a result,” Wilson explained.
Dupont Circle will soon welcome a familiar face with a new spot in the neighborhood--cove.
cove Dupont, located at 1666 Connecticut Ave., is set to open this fall. It marks the latest new spot for the local coworking chain following the shutdown of its K street location in December.
cove opened their first location in Dupont Circle nearly four years ago with a space of 700 sq ft. Since then, they’ve expanded throughout the district, including a space in south Dupont at M and 18th.
Now they will return just north of the circle with their biggest location yet, much to the excitement of co-founder and CTO Jeremy Scott.
“[Dupont] has always been an ideal place for cove with a strong sense of neighborhood,” Scott told Technical.ly via email. “We have so many great members who work remotely / from home and who live there, and we can’t wait to expand our Dupont community.”
It seems that no one can escape cyber threats these days — from political parties to even the King in the North.
As the threats in cybersecurity outpace the community itself, the need for innovative thinking has multiplied. According to New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative the solution is rather simple: diversity.
Despite a projected 1.8 million shortages in the workforce, women, for example, currently represent only 11 percent of professionals in the cybersecurity community.
It’s issues like this that are central to Laura Bate‘s work as senior program associate at New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative.
“The shortage of workers in the cybersecurity industry is an economic and security problem that we are working to confront through better alignment of the training pipeline and the hiring community, and through opening the aperture of who we perceive as a ‘fit’ for the workforce,” Bate wrote in an email.
To address the importance of diversity in solving today’s challenges in cybersecurity, New America Cybersecurity Initiative will host a panel on Aug. 11 at their 15th Street location in D.C.
It’s no secret that the solar industry in the U.S. continues to gain steam, however the accessibility for most American homeowners remains limited. For example, according to the calculator for Google’s Project Sunroof, an extensive mapping tool that assesses the costs and benefits of installing solar panels, in certain areas of Washington D.C. the savings of solar would only be $1,000 over a 20-year lease.
However, Arcadia Power, a national clean energy platform, recently announced the addition a community solar project that aims to provide consumers with affordable access to solar energy and maximum savings.
Last month, the D.C.-based startup unveiled its Portable Panel program. For only $100 each, customers can buy solar panels—but don’t expect to see new panels popping up in your neighborhoods.
Instead, the model will mirror that of Acardia’s main program. One of their development partners will construct panels for solar farms across the country. As those solar panels produce power, Arcadia will then take the revenue generated and credit their customers’ utility bills.
That way, subscribers across the country can help generate more clean energy without the hassles of installing and maintaining solar panels.
Meet Amy Lee Walton. She’s the woman using her JFDI attitude to helm a hackathon that tackles gerrymandering.
This weekend, Thursday Network will call on D.C. technologists for its inaugural hackathon to educate young professionals about gerrymandering and propose tech-driven solutions to raise awareness and fight the archaic practice. #UNHacktheVote2017 will run from July 20-22 and has Mapbox and The Iron Yard as leading sponsors.
Walton, a cartographer at Mapbox and Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Chair at Thursday Network (the young professional arm of Greater Washington Urban League), felt inspired to create the event after a few choice words from one of her Twitter followers — and former president Barack Obama.
“President Obama’s farewell speech at the start of 2017 was my call to action!” Walton told Technical.ly. “He said as American citizens it was our duty to serve as ‘anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy’ and challenged us to get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand change.”
On August 4, Startup Weekend DC is offering the latest chance to launch a company in three days. Several times each year, the global grassroots association hosts 54-hour sessions to give entrepreneurs at all stages the chance to form a team, build and test a new product in front of an esteemed panel of judges and audience.
Each year, the D.C. branch’s event has a different theme. While social engagement has been a popular one over the last few years, civic impact will be the focus of this coming edition. Startup founders with an interest in driving civic engagement, public safety, or any idea that transforms or aides communities for the better are encouraged to participate.
And the timing is anything but accidental. “We chose civic impact as it is particularly relevant given the current political climate and outpouring of people asking how they can make a difference in the government and their communities,” Erica Soultanian, Organizer for Startup Weekend DC: Civic Impact Edition, told Technical.ly.
Soultanian also noted that D.C.’s proximity to the federal government and plethora of nonprofits makes the focus all the more worthwhile. “We hope to tap into this ecosystem and bring the community together to work on startups that will make a positive difference.” Soultanian said.
Boundless is making moves in the GIS marketplace with a new partnership.
Boundless is an open source GIS (geographical information system technology) platform that enables its users to analyze patterns and relationships by pinpointing different kinds of location based data on a single map. The New York-based company has an office in Dupont Circle.
Imagine your tech business is looking to expand into a storefront. With GIS technology, your business can map out the targeted demographics of your consumers over a geographic region. That way when it’s time to draft up a lease, your business is exactly where it needs to be.
Boundless separates itself by conglomerating the open source GIS information into an easily accessible and scalable platform for businesses, without the high costs of other proprietary solutions.
This morning, they announced today their new partnership with Mapbox, a leading location data and mapping platform for developers that recently opened a new D.C. headquarters.