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Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

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Friendly Reminder: It’s Tuesday

Sam: For those of us who enjoyed an elongated weekend thanks to President’s Day yesterday, welcome back! Today is Tuesday, not Monday. 

And for all my art lovers out there, I went to the new Hirshhorn exhibit on the NYC art scene in the 1980s this weekend, and I can confirm it is both fun and jam-packed with information! If you’re looking for something to do after you go see “Black Panther,” I highly recommend it. 

Now, to today’s Beat… 

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Leave it to the Friday before a holiday weekend for tech news to break, amiright ladies??? (Oh, and of course, it’s about Elon Musk and Hyperloop. OF COURSE.) 

Anyway, I’ll fill you in on what’s up: Back in July, you might remember that Musk tweeted a vague thing about having “verbal gov’t approval” to build an underground tunnel that could take Hyperloop passengers from Washington, D.C. to New York City in 29 minutes flat. 

Now, it appears the D.C. government has backed that “verbal gov’t approval” with an actual, yet noncommittal, permit. However, based on reports in The Washington Post, the permit doesn’t do much to shed light on the possible Musk-driven project. Important information, such as how long the digging will take and how much it will cost, is still up in the air.

On Nov. 29, The Boring Company, the tunnel-digging firm founded by Musk, received a building permit from the D.C. Department of Transportation that would allow them to start preparatory and excavation work in a NoMa parking lot at 53 New York Avenue NE. You know, the same parking lot next to the McDonald’s and surrounded by construction cranes.

The Boring Company confirmed to The Post that if all goes well, New York Avenue could be the site of a potential East Coast Hyperloop project. And let’s note: The Boring Company just builds the tunnels, and they don’t have total freedom to start building from scratch yet. They’d still need to get total approval, and also find a company to build the Hyperloops themselves. 

Read more: Elon Musk Makes Some Vague Moves on D.C.-NYC Hyperloop Project

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

Amazon Tippings Its Hat Towards Arlington, Va. for HQ2?

A traffic spike at hyperlocal news site ARLNow may be our next clue as to where Amazon is looking for its second headquarters.

In what they’re calling an exclusive (which, I don’t know, is pretty obvious, y’all), ARLNow is reporting that they’ve seen over 6K views on a story called “County Wins Top Environmental Award from U.S. Green Building Council” over the past week. The source? An internal site dedicated to the HQ2 search. ARLNow has more.

And if you’re looking for more HQ2 content, apparently this holiday weekend left all of us local reporters and tech reporters with nothing better to report on: 

The D.C. Startup Simplifying Personal Finance Management

We have another A+ profile from Arriana. Take it away!

Arriana: D.C.-based company Fearless Finance is here to take the stress out of budgeting. With an easy-to-use app and web platform, Fearless Finance lets users track their monthly spending habits. After inputting your financial information, the app suggests spending targets for each month. For $6.99 a month, users can make strides to their financial goals. I got the lowdown on the startup and the founder behind it. Read More: Fearless Finance Takes the Stress Out of Saving Money

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

And on the latest episode of District Download, we chat with former D.C. Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli. Vemulapalli served in the public role for two years when her team focused on smart city initiatives, cybersecurity efforts and amplifying D.C.’s national tech reputation. Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSoundcloud or Stitcher.

New Money

Your daily funding roundup.

—Vinetta Project D.C. Challenge 2017 winner Veda Data Solutions is back again with another round of funding. Already. 

Announced today, the D.C. health tech startup just closed a second $1M angel round to help them expand their engineering and sales teams in preparation for a national expansion. Add that to the $1.2M of funding they had already raised between Vinetta and another angel round in September, and Veda Data has now raised more than $2M. Today’s round is expected to be used as a “bridge” round to Veda’s Series A round. 

The Washington Business Journal has more.

This Town

What’s happening around the D.C. metro area today.

—About a week ago, Mayor Muriel Bowser went to Silicon Valley to chat up tech leaders on the District’s burgeoning tech scene. The main objective being to sell the region as a place of inclusive innovation. 

The Washington Post caught up with Bowser to see how that trip went, but my favorite is the quote from Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, whose company is opening its East Coast office in the District: 

The key word here being “interesting.” 

The Washington Post has more.

In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Happy fake Monday, people! Here’s a rundown of the top tech events to hit up this week if you’re still looking to fill up that good ol’ calendar: 

Event: Startup Grind – Wolf Ruzicka (EastBanc Technologies, APIphany, and Sympli)

  • Location: Alley, 2055 L St NW (4th Floor), Washington, DC
  • Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6 PM-9 PM
  • Event Type: networking, speaker event, panel discussion
  • Price: $10-$25

“Wolf is an entrepreneur, technology advocate, mentor and leader in the technology industry for over 20 years. Since joining EastBanc Technologies in 2007, originally as CEO, he has overseen the organic growth of the company taking it from 35 employees to over 200, with staff turnover of virtually zero.”

Event: DC Tech Meetup #62: Demos, Demos, Demos

  • Location: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St NW, Washington, DC
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7 PM-8:30 PM
  • Event Type: networking, demoes, happy hour
  • Price: Free

“Join fellow technologists & technology enthusiasts for an evening of live demos from companies developing great technology in Washington DC.”

Event: Crypto Happy Hour

  • Location: Ozio Rooftop Lounge, 1813 M Street NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6 PM-9 PM
  • Event Type: networking, happy hour
  • Price: Free

“There is none other hot topic than Crypto Currency these days. Almost all of us are watching it closely or have already invested in it. Let us get together and learn from one another. THIS IS NOT A SEMINAR or A PANEL EVENT AND THERE WILL BE NO SPEAKER. It is just a happy hour social event for those interested. In the past we had a great mix of developers, miners, investors, blockchainers and people who are completely new to cryptos.”

Event: Tech And Smart Cities

  • Location: General Assembly DC, 1133 15th Street NW, Washington, DC
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Feb. 22, 7 PM-9 PM
  • Event Type: networking, panel discussion
  • Price: Free

“At this exclusive panel event, we host thought-leaders from DC’s leading tech industries to explore new intersections between their field and technology. They will focus on themes such as sustaining new civic hacking efforts, emerging modes and sites of engagement, the role of governments in urban technological change, and more. The panel will be moderated by Kevin Morgan, Director of Tech Sector Attraction & Retention at the Washington DC Economic Partnership.”

All the details and more events in the latest Inno Approved. 


What’s on the mind

It’s been a year since former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a blog post about sexual harassment and discrimination inside the ride-hailing startup that was heard around the tech world. Here’s what’s happened since. 

Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on DC Inno’s new Careers Directory.

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Meet The Author

Sam Sabin

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