It’s just over a week until one of the biggest geek gatherings of the year, South By Southwest Interactive, which kicks off in Austin, Texas on March 9.
We will be representing Le Camping, with a special stand in Exhibition Hall 4, Stand 1044, where you are free to come and ask for information if you’re attending the festival as well.
We took this opportunity to visit innovative organizations like accelerators and co-working spaces on our way from Washington, before reaching Austin by car on Thursday.
Ten years ago, much of DC was dilapidated and run-down. The city’s reputation was one of crack and cocaine as much as it was of national politics and American power.
Today, a booming local economy has driven an exponential growth of gentrification and modernization of several areas. A young, educated and alternative population has begun taking over areas formerly notorious for crime and violence.
With this social shift has come a boom in innovation led by a young, inner-city middle class.
We began with Geekeasy, a co-working space created in September and located in the historic Manhattan Laundry building right off U Street, in Northwest Washington DC.
More and more young and alternative people are setting up here. There is something fresh and new in Washington, while the city remains an administrative capital with only 600 000 residents by night, but an influx of 2 milion people entering the city each day for work.
It’s funny to see that each city has its own startup specialization. The DC metro area counts 27% of its citizens as government employees. It’s the very center of federal administration, so it only seems natural that a large number of them deal with politics, non-profits and healthcare.
Geekeasy is offering the tech community 24/7 access to offices, fixed and virtual work spaces, a comfortable co-working lounge and room for events.
When we entered on a Saturday morning, one guy was there working on his startup, Linktank.
He told us about his project: Linktank is a free weekly roundup of Washington DC events from the nation’s top political, research, and advocacy institutions.
We decided to set up here for a couple of hours to work and it was comfy, with jazzy music and awesome antique sofas … Well, we felt at home!