We often talk about how important it is to attract more investors to our region, so I asked some already doing business why they like investing here, counting on their answers to explain to out-of-region investors why investing in Greater Washington is a smart thing to do.
Rick Gordon, director of the Inova Personalized Health Accelerator, believes that the mature approach of our local founders is particularly important. People here grow their businesses efficiently, using outside capital as a tool and not a crutch. He noted that as recently as two years ago, companies in our region were ranked No. 1 for the most efficient use of outside venture capital, and our region still ranks among the national leaders. For him, the “capital-efficient ethos that exists here within the entrepreneurial community bodes well for investors who prize capital efficiency.”
Other investors focused on the unique nature of our people. Mirza Baig, a general partner of Aldrich Capital, has the unique perspective of being a successful entrepreneur and investor. He touched on something I have heard more than once — the idea that people come to D.C. to make a difference. “I love the DMV area for the reasons why people come here,” Baig said. “People come here to make the world a better place.”
The workforce’s high level of technical competence is also a hallmark of the region. Baig and Gordon both touched on this point: Our region has a tech workforce that is used to managing complex technological challenges, particularly in the areas of data analysis, advanced software and cybersecurity. John Funge, chief product officer at DataTribe, is an entrepreneur turned investor in cybersecurity startups. He sees our region as “having the world’s deepest pool of cybersecurity technology and talent.” Stephen Smoot, general partner of Lavrock Ventures, echoes Funge’s viewpoint, adding that “D.C. is unlike any other market in the world.”
Gordon sees a similar dynamic in his health care investing activities, crediting the depth of talent to the large amounts of federal R&D dollars that help create advanced technologies ready for commercialization. “This is a town full of experts with deep domain expertise,” he added.
Read the full Washington Business Journal article featuring Director Rick Gordon HERE.