Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 Landmarks of Health in DC’s Technology and Bio Communities

Social, business or professional communities are often defined by geographic landmarks.

Think the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia as the center of military leadership and intelligence. Or Madison Avenue in Manhattan, NYC as the one-time focal point of the advertising profession.

In Silicon Valley, the image of innovation, entrepreneurial gusto and venture capital is captured in a rather pedestrian, wood paneled café called Buck’s. According to an article in the Mercury News, the robust dining and chatter during the breakfast rush points to a re-emergence of the Valley’s technology community.

“There is more activity on the venture capital front. There is renewed enthusiasm,” said Buck’s co-owner Jamis MacNiven said in the article. “A year ago, it was about as bleak as it has ever been. People were talking about the drop in home values and joblessness as opposed to deal flows. Now the topic is back on business.”  (Buck's image courtesy of www.california-travels.com)

While it is encouraging to hear that the business of technology is on an upswing in the Valley, this article got me thinking about the possible hubs of activity for the Washington, DC’s technology community. Where do we look for a barometer of how things are progressing in this region?

I offer three possibilities:

1. The Tower Club in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The dining room during breakfast is typically filled with top executives from government contractors, private equity types and profile corporate attorneys. The dark suits and ties serve as a reminder that DC is first and foremost a government town.

2. The pool of Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) president and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. The organization’s “Hot Tickets” summer soiree is a must attend for anyone who has a stake in the success of the region’s technology community. ("Hot Tickets" image courtesy of NVTC.)

3. Traffic on I-270 in Montgomery County, Maryland. The longer the rush hour, the better things are in the region’s biotech community.

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