These nine representatives from theDC business community give firsthand perspective on DC’s thriving tech startup, creative, innovation, and music industries.
The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP), in partnership with the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and Fosterly, a DC-tech community organization, selected nine Washington, DC entrepreneurs and innovators to represent the District of Columbia at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, March 12 to 14, 2016.
The goal of WeDC, the District’s WDCEP-led activation at SXSW, is to expand the city’s technology sector, promote DC’s innovative startup community, and foster new partnerships among the DC and national business communities.
The official WeDC brand ambassadors and their Twitter handles are:
- Gabriel “Asheru” Benn: Hip hop artist, educator, and founder of Guerilla Arts Ink (@asheru)
- Beth Flores: Managing Director, Impact Hub DC (@bethivywhy)
- Tyrone Grandison: Deputy Chief Data Officer, US Department of Commerce (@tyrgr)
- Marissa Jennings: Founder, SocialGrlz (@mjrissa)
- Johann Moonesinghe: Founder, Equity Eats (@equityeats)
- Carey Anne Nadeau: Founder/CEO, Open Data Nation (@canadeau)
- Sage Salvo: Founder, Words Liive (@sagesalvo)
- Erica Schlaikjer: Creative Strategist, Huge (@eschlaik)
- Mike Stubbs: Head of Talent, Fiscal Note (@mikerstubbs)
From March 12 to 14 at SXSW 2016, the WeDC Ambassadors attended various events, hosted meetings, and interacted with attendees at the WeDC House to provide first hand perspective on living and succeeding in Washington, DC and engage and connect with other festival attendees, while sharing their stories of innovation and originality. They will continue to serve as ambassadors of the DC tech and creative community for the remainder of the year.
“This year’s class of ambassadors gave SXSW participants a taste of the innovative and creative hub that is DC,” said Keith Sellars, WDCEP President & CEO. “These successful entrepreneurs can speak enthusiastically and candidly about why they chose DC to grow their business and why many others should do the same.”
We are able to change the national narrative about what DC is and what it can become. – Frank Taylor
“At SXSW, authenticity matters. The WeDC Ambassadors represent a cross section of DC’s creative community who can provide a first-person perspective on starting a company in Washington, DC” says Frank V. Taylor, Co-Founder, Fosterly. “With this program, we are able to change the national narrative about what DC is and what it can become.”
For the fourth consecutive year in a row, WDCEP, in partnership with the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia (EOM), DMPED, and Events DC, returns to SXSW. During the three-day activation at the WeDC House (340 East 2nd Street), the city of Washington, DC will be a host to a WeDC Lounge, a series of official SXSW panels, partner events, roundtable discussions, and an official music showcase, presented by Events DC.