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Innovation & Job News

1776 announces Fortify as strategic partner; Hallway and TroopID to move in

Though the top floor of 1133 15th St. NW in downtown D.C. is currently an empty shell, it will soon house a platform to connect and align start-ups and resources. The space is called 1776, and its tagline, "Where Revolutions Begin," has lit a fire under the D.C. tech community.

Evan Burfield and Donna Harris, co-founders of 1776, announced yesterday at a 1776 press event and open house that tech accelerator Fortify is a "strategic partner" to 1776 and will move from its current K St. digs to the new space. Fortify will bring its current class of startups currently at The Fort along for the ride.

Hallway will be taking up residence, along with the previously announced Hinge and Social Tables. TroopID, based in McLean, Va., will establish a presence at 1776 for employees who want to cowork downtown.

"True innovation is a function of interaction," Paul Singh, co-founder of 500 Startups and advisor to 1776, said at the press conference. "It's hard for founders to get the functional expertise they need to grow their business."

"We have domain expertise. We have insight. We have universities. We have an international presence. We have all the assets, [but they] haven't yet come together in the right way," Burfield said.

1776 aims to change that. In addition to 15,000 square feet of flexible office space that can be used to work or hold events, Harris said that the start-up (yes, 1776 itself is a start-up) has the option to expand over four floors to up to 60,000 square feet. Her vision includes a street-level start-up school that will allow students from D.C. public schools and federal workers to learn the skills they need to solve "global problems."

Mayor Vincent Gray also announced that D.C. will be providing 1776 with a $200,000 grant. Said Gray: "By 2032, there will be 850,000 people in D.C. Won't the tech sector have an important part to play in that?"

"Some people see only gridlock," Gray said. "Donna and Evan ask, 'What kind of solutions can we craft?'"

A previous version of this story implied that TroopID was moving its headquarters from McLean, Va. TroopID will rent space at 1776 but will not move its corporate headquarters. 

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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