Washington Executive: D.C.’s Role in the Technology Industry

WashingtonExec spoke with Glen Hellman, a Principle at Driven Forward LLC, about the role D.C. plays in the technology industry.  Hellman also reflects on the potential for start up businesses in the D.C. area.

WashingtonExec: In what ways is D.C. poised to be the next hub of technology?

Glen Hellman: The next hub is probably a misnomer for a couple of reasons. A) There is room for, and there are many, technology hubs today and B) The Washington Region has always been one of those hubs.

At one time, in the late 70s during the mainframe revolution, DC was Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley. Mainframe software companies like VM Software, Morino Associates, and Landmark Systems, were DC’s contribution to the first software companies on the planet.  We currently have more early stage companies, many of high quality, than I’ve seen in my 30 years as a DC-Techie.  The ecosystem is heating up with more networking, cross-pollination, and education resources. There’s density, energy and support.  And there are some companies in our 3rd tech wave that have come off successful IPOs like Living Social and Millennial Media. There are private companies like Opower that are appearing to be achieving impressive scale.

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