The Real 2013 #DCTech #Startup Hero Stories

In the #DCTech Startup Bubble, you know the place where the Wizard of Oz reigns and flying monkeys rule the skies, twas a Year of bombast, bullshitocracy, glitterati and noise, noisey noise.

But in the real world of Startups, in the place where the rubber meets the road, the place where the work gets done….. the work got done.

Yes, Toto, in the real startup world, far away from the startup bubble where service providers pretend to be startups, disgraced CEOs pretend to be passionately reinvented rockstars, pests pretend to be Angels and Startup Pretenrepreneurs pretend to know what they’re talking about… real work got done.  Yes Toto, in the real world, back in the Kansas of startup land, away from the Super-De-Duper Coworking Frat Parties and the Super-De-Duper pretend Accelerators real business people were out building and selling real stuff.

There were countless stories in 2013 written by the know-nothing, hear, speak and see no evil, tech rags hyping the phony wantrepreneurial rock stars; the silly companies, doing silly things, in silly frat house-like, so called-work spaces, goaded on by the Startup Industrial Complex,

Yet elsewhere, real stuff got done. It got done in real places by real people doing real work. Building real products, for customers with real needs and real money to spend to solve real issues.

Like Who?

How About:

  • 10Pearls – When the best in DCTech need to augment their tech teams, they go to 10Pearls with a customer list that includes: Brazen Careerist, Discovery, Intelsat, K12, Nextel, Time Warner and Zubie.
  • Brazen Careerist – Heads down growing a business
  • Brightline Interactive – Who do top brands like 3M, Infinity, Nissan, Pepsi, Sony, Sports Illustrated go to build their brands at primo events like the Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game, and SXSW? They trust Brightline, a company of doers, not chest beaters.
  • Canvas – Reston’s little Mobile app company, raised serious capital from Motorola and seeing big sales of their products globally.
  • Everfi – You won’t see Tom Davidson building a community because he’s building a company first. Yet you will see real Tech Superstars like Jeff Bezos of Amazon or Google’s Eric Schmidt as investors and customers that include Harvard, The NBA, and JP Morgan.
  • Main Street Genome – Take one Priceline founder, add in a Zaarly founder and you’d expect nothing but noise and hype. The press are banging on Scot Case’s and Eric Koester’s doors, yet they remain hush. While DC’s “Superstar Community Leaders” scream… “hey look at me,” the Main Street Genome team are holed up in their bat cave…. just doing.
  • New Atlantic Ventures – One of DC’s last remaining hometown VC gems. Sure we have super-fund New Enterprise Associates (NEA) but they’re a global power with major offices all over the globe.  New Atlantic does more deals in DC with less BS. They take meetings, they talk truth, they stroke checks and they make solid investments.
  • nclud – web design for Oracle, Discovery, Google (yes Google), Optoro and Ogilvy, a cool space, a cool team doing top notch work.
  • Optoro – Smart Money (including Grotech and Revolution) likes this company of smart folks, building a huge retail e-commerce business.
  • Power Supply – This specialty diet marketplace matches people dedicated to difficult to prepare dietary requirements with underutilized chefs. Power Supply bootstrapped revenue higher than most of the high PR-Glitter Traction stars of DC have in combined revenue.
  • Ringio – Technically superior, innovative, more than just a cloud-based PBX alternative. Much more than just free conference calling,.. much much more.
  • Social Tables – Ever growing revenue with larger and larger customers.
  • Uber-Offices – A real office space for serious business people with offices in DC and Arlington – Serious workspaces for serious teams
  • Veenome – Created a high technical barrier to entry while steadily growing revenue.

Note: I’m an investor in Social Tables and Veenome