Scratching the Surface of DC’s Startup Scene

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Startups are, like, so in right now. Honestly though, it does seem as if the majority of the workforce has given “the man” the middle finger and is doing their own thing. It’s the modern way. Whoever “the man” is, he is probably sitting in a corner crying about his lack of friends and general loss of popularity. Poor guy. Maybe he should start a company to up his own feelings of self worth? Just an idea.

Startups truly are taking over – more and more ex-corporate America drones are coming to life through innovative and original stabs at entrepreneurship. Some of them, in fact, are doing so right in the District! It should come with little to no surprise that DC is filled to the brim with good ideas and people smart, savvy and daring enough to try and pull them off. Although there is no way to cover the multitude of worthwhile startups on the DC-scene, I thought I would give you a glimpse at some of what is coming to life in the area. Here is a roundup of new (and exciting) companies:

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Tie Society: Tie Society is a monthly subscription service for “designer menswear accessories.” They have multiple options for membership plans and kind of act as a male version of RentTheRunway.com. A subscription gets you access to items that would normally cost you an arm and a leg (such as pieces from Burberry, Armani, Brooks Brothers, and more). Once you return the items, you get a new batch – kind of like the “Netflix of ties.” The idea for the company was conceived when new college graduates and old friends were trying to “dress to impress” at the office, which quickly became an expensive hobby. In an interview with founder Jake Kuczeruk, Tie-a-Tie.net revealed that his love of menswear didn’t start when he entered the workforce:

“I’ve spoken with my mother about this and she distinctively remembers me emerging from the womb sporting a double Windsor. Ties are an essential part of life. Even when I was first getting into menswear, it was clear that the tie is really the main thing people tend to notice when you’re well dressed. You can wear the same two suits everyday of the week – it’s the tie that gets all the compliments.”

ParkedIn Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.07.12 PMParkedIn: While Tie Society has been around for a few years, ParkedIn is definitely the new kid on the block…quite literally. ParkedIn is self-described as “an enterprise-booking tool for parking management.” Newspapers have described the application as “the AirBNB of parking.” Either way, it stands to serve as a concierge-style service for parking, which live in the city or not – we can all wholeheartedly agree – is a total pain. ParkedIn aims to diminish that I-can’t-find-a-parking-space-so-I-will-throw-an-adult-temper-tantrum-with-curse-words-and-mean-tweets-instead feeling. Using the app, retailers, residential driveways, commercial lots, and more are able to list parking spaces and prices. From there, users can reserve a spot, pay for it to confirm the “appointment” and grab directions. The idea is meant to relieve everyday people from the trenches of the 70 million hours that are spent yearly looking for parking. Washington DC is the first city where ParkedIn is available. Sign me up!

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Power Supply: Power Supply isn’t a startup aiming to take over the world – they are just trying to put good food in our bellies. Can I get an amen? Their simple one line description is “great food, prepared fresh by local chefs and delivered weekly to fuel your life.” Similarly to looking for parking, grocery shopping and cooking is something that pretty much all of us have to do – and it takes up some serious time and energy. Plus, when we do it ourselves (at least when I do it myself) there is definitely good reason to be skeptical that it will even taste remotely appetizing. Heck, I burn popcorn, so if I manage to not char a part of my meal, I usually deem it a midweek miracle. With Power Supply, the process is simple. You order, local chefs cook and then Power Supply delivers and you fuel up on delicious (not to mention healthy) food. It’s kind of like getting to go out to eat in your living room, only the delicious food won’t make you fat, and unlike when you’re eating in public, you don’t have to feel bad about wearing sweat pants.

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Isn’t it crazy that those are just three startups from a sea of interesting ideas, companies and go-getters in the DC area? Dang! If that doesn’t make you want to tell the man that you won’t be in for your 9-5 tomorrow, then you might as well embrace 1-hour lunches and office politics for life. Although the entire list of interesting companies could never be complete, some others worth checking out include DroneSheild, Urgent.ly, Fundrise, and FiscalNote.

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