DC Inno’s 50 on Fire honors the hottest companies, organizations and people from across a number of categories, each one operating within or around the city’s innovation economy.

You might be looking at this list and think “Huh, this is a different timeline than I remember.” And you aren’t wrong. In subsequent years, we would first announce the 150 finalists and then wait until our end-of-year celebration to reveal the 50 winners. This year, we’re not waiting.

Last week, we unveiled our 200+ finalists, showcasing all of the nominations we received this year — plus a handful from our internal team here at DC Inno. As a way of putting more of a spotlight on the D.C. area’s top 50 innovators, we’re announcing the winners today, and we’ll celebrate all of them at our annual 50 on Fire celebration on Nov. 1. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see profiles, stories and more about some of our top innovators to celebrate their accomplishments in 2017.

The competition was red hot this year, and it’s not over yet. At our event in November, we’ll unveil the 10 Inno Blazers, picked by a panel of judges to honor the trailblazers in the District’s innovation scene. The Blazers, like in year’s past, will be introduced via an action-packed video. So, we invite all 50 winners, nominees, and anyone that’s involved, interested or invested in DC innovation and startups to attend. (You can register here).

Got it? Good. Here are your 2017 50 on Fire. Congrats to all.


Image of 1776’s DC campus

Rebecca Yarbourgh – Vinetta Project, The Offline Society

Penny Lee – 1776

Jessica Bell – The Washington Post


The Mentor Method

Melissa Bradley – Project 500

Brian Park – Startup Grind DC & Fishbowl Labs

Leslie Tita – I/O SPACES


Trustify office designed by Wingate Hughes.

David Shove-Brown – //3877

A Creative DC

No Kings Collective

Gavin Daniels – Wingate Hughes



Inside of a Byte Back classroom.

Elizabeth Lindsey – ByteBack


Monica Kang – InnovatorsBox

Shanaz Chowdhery – General Assembly

Vadim Polikov – Legends of Learning

Real Time Cases

Government & Advocacy

Quorum Analytics team.

Quorum Analytics

Ximena Hartsock – Phone2Action

G. Nagesh Rao


Archana Vemulapalli​ – Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia

Healthcare & Medicine

Qore Performance team.

Binary Fountain


Shawn Dolley – Cloudera

Qore Performance


Rise of the Rest tour bus.

humble ventures

Todd Klein – Revolution

Strategic Cyber Ventures

Lisa Cuesta – NextGen Venture Partners

Julia Taxin – Grotech Ventures


Girl’s Night In.

Pia Carusone and Rachel Gardner, Republic Restoratives

Ariel Pasternak – pineapple DC

Alisha Ramos – Girl’s Night In

Cava Grill

Jason Fudin – WhyHotel

Febin Bellamy – Unsung Heroes

Marketing & Advertising

Allen Gannett speaking at Spark.

SpeakerBox Communications

Allen Gannett – TrackMaven

Gabriel Marketing Group

Erik Requidan – Intermarkets


Appian on the Nasdaq floor at its stock debut in May.


Emily Dresner – Upside Travel

Ryan Croft – TransitScreen


Bill Cronin – Xometry

Amelia Friedman and Param Jaggi – Hatch Apps

Marla Blow – FS Card

(Note: Finalists for the wild card “Inno Picks” category were categorized into the appropriate category for judging by DC Inno.)