Washington, D.C.: Bursting with Tech Talent
Along with the educational opportunities in the nation’s capital mentioned in the previous article, Washington D.C. also offers many job opportunities to residents and businesses, including an expansive tech playing field. It’s no wonder blog and social network Built In remarks, “It would be a mistake to overlook the meteoric rise of Washington’s tech and startup scene.” The statistics speak for themselves. In 2013, Forbes rated Washington, D.C. as America’s no. 1 New Tech Hot Spot, and Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE) ranks it 4th best in tech talent markets in the US. Although the city’s average growth in its tech sector from 2013 to 2017 was only 2.2%, it still boasts ranking 3rd in the amount of tech talent in the nation (253,660 tech workers employed to be specific).
The Tech Sector
Speaking of tech talent, D.C. now attracts businesses and prospective employees in this field. CBRE ranks it no. 4 in America’s high tech talent labor concentration momentum markets. CBRE defines momentum markets as markets that have the potential for major growth in an area densely populated with tech workers. A huge draw D.C. has is its high wages. In May 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor estimated the national average wage for computer occupations is around $93,620, while in the same time frame CBRE estimated the average wage in the D.C. tech sector is $112,735, which is almost 20% greater. This is a great draw to any tech employee because larger wages help with D.C.’s cost of living, which is 17% greater than the national average.
Being surrounded by universities with extensive tech programs bolsters this market’s growth, as the number of total tech degrees from 2012 to 2017 in the D.C area has grown 31.1%. Even though the amount of tech graduates employed in D.C. minus total tech graduates in D.C. is very low, Spencer Levy, CBRE’s Senior Economic Advisor, is convinced this number will be remedied as employers realize the potential D.C. holds and move their companies to the area. To illustrate this development in the tech industry, let’s explore some of D.C.’s successful tech startups.
Their mission: “TwentyTables helps people access affordable food by creating local, on-demand, marketplaces that offer healthy meals for pickup. Our ticket system is used to securely distribute meals to beneficiaries, employees and consumers, and then redeem meals from participating partners. And for every meal served, we donate one to the hungry and food insecure.” –TwentyTables
Their company offers tickets for purchase, at a standard price of $6, to consumers who can then redeem them at local restaurants in D.C. The company then donates a meal to either “Capital Area Food Bank, DC Central Kitchen, and Martha’s Table” to help those in need in D.C. . Started in early 2018, the company has expanded to working with George Washington University to bring affordable meals to their students and allow consumers to book participating food trucks for a personal event. TwentyTables has “finished 2nd out of 64 companies in D.C. Inno’s Tech Madness competition” and has been celebrated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Their mission: “GetUpside partners with nearby businesses (gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, for now) who want to win you over with great offers you’ll never get anywhere else.” –GetUpside
GetUpside offers users discounts and/or cashback by using specific gas stations/grocery stores/restaurants and having the customer either upload their receipt or “check-in” on the app while at the location. It has expanded to partnering with some gas companies for more pricing preferences within their app. The app is a new way to save by providing deals on essential goods that change every day to customers in D.C. . Instead of customers having to search through their email inbox for flat-rate deals given by companies, GetUpside offers its customers a better chance at greater savings. This startup succeeded because of the local community. that supplied a strong foundation for their app to test and eventually start on. Thus, it is another example of the benefits being located in D.C. brings. GetUpside was voted 2019’s Best Tech Start-Up from Tech in Motion.
Their mission: “Today, we’ve evolved that vision into an innovative platform offering the industry’s leading solutions for event sales, services, and group distribution. All to help the world create the best face-to-face events.” – Social Tables
Social Tables offers unique software to customers, mainly company leaders or event planners, to help with in-person and online event planning. They offer software tailored to planning for hotel events, planners who have a specific venue, university events, catering teams, and collaborative event planning. The story of how Social Tables founder Dan Berger turned his life around from criminal history to creating a company with a gross revenue estimated at “$15 million and $20 million” is another example of the versatility of business opportunities in D.C. Social Tables is a successful tech startup in the event world of D.C., as it has revolutionized quick-access and online event planning.
Astounding statistics and a few inspiring startup stories leave no question that Washington, D.C. is a growing tech hub, already influencing the nation. Last week, D.C. already proved that it was up to par education-wise, and that evidence has heavily influenced the growth of D.C.’s tech sector. Stay tuned for next week’s final part of this in-depth examination of D.C.’s business and education world.
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