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Monday, March 12, 2018

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First Things First

Sam: Welcome back, folks. It’s already snowing in my hometown of Charlotte, N.C., but it looks like D.C. will only get a few flakes? If that? So much for moving to a colder, more wintry climate! 

Anyway, while I stew in my feelings of betrayal by Mother Nature, why don’t you dive into today’s Beat? 

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Some good news out of Northern Virginia: MicroStrategy will add 300 new jobs at its Tysons HQ, according to a deal announced by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam today. 

The new jobs come as a part of a $150M lease renewal deal, which will keep MicroStrategy in the Commonwealth State for another 13 years. In the deal, Northam approved a $1M grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Fairfax County with the project, and employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 

Fairfax County was up against D.C. to land the business software company. In addition to adding 300 jobs to the HQ location, MicroStrategy is required to retain at least 800 jobs at the office, as well. 

An expansion of the 200K sq. ft. office is not expected now, but improvements, such as a conference room and employee lounge, are in the works. 

The Washington Business Journal has more.

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

New D.C.-Based Daily Trivia Game for Facebook Messenger 

Following the success of HQ Trivia, two D.C.-area founders had an idea. What if they built a daily, HQ game for Facebook Messenger? Now, the game, called Original Trivia, has attracted 1K players and counting. Each day at 2 p.m., users can open their Messenger bot, play the game for 30 seconds and if they’re lucky, win cool prizes along the way. Arriana chatted with the founders about the new game. Read more: Original Trivia Brings the Thrill of a Game Show to Your Phone

Amazon Fulfillment Center in NoVa Warns of Layoffs

The Seattle tech giant filed notice this week in Virginia that 67 employees in Sterling, Va. would be laid off come May 6. A spokesperson confirmed with WBJ that each of the affected employees would be given the option to transfer to another fulfillment center, and if they decline, each will be given severance pay. WBJ has more.

Behind Amazon’s Ties to the D.C. Region

D.C.’s relationship with Amazon goes far beyond Jeff Bezos’ ownership of The Washington Post and the company’s growing lobbying efforts. It stretches all the way back to 1999, at least. I pulled together a guide of all of Amazon and Bezos’ investments and acquisitions in the region (at least the ones I could find). Read more: A Look at Amazon’s Acquisitions and Investments in the D.C. Area

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

And on the latest episode of District Download, we chat with Veda Data Solutions founder and CEO Meghan Gaffney Buck. Before launching Veda Data Solutions, an AI and machine learning startup, Gaffney Buck was in political fundraising. We talk about that career jump, venture funding and more. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud or Stitcher.

(Psst…. we have an ALL NEW episode tomorrow, so make sure you actually subscribe this time to be one of the first to catch the new interview.) 

This Town

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

—ICYMI, the big talk around D.C. today has been U.S. Secretary of Eduction Betsy DeVos’ appearance on “60 Minutes” last night. In the interview, she brought up an investment in D.C. distillery Jos. A Magnus & Co. While DeVos did disclose her investment when she was first nominated to the position over a year ago, it mostly went undetected by D.C.-area residents. 

Now, with the city being heavily left-leaning, plenty of people have turned to social media to express their outrage and plans to protest the Ivy City distillery. Washingtonian has more.

In The Community

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

Look at that! It’s the start of a brand new week, and with it, a fresh new batch of events to pick from for the week ahead. Here’s a selection from the long list available to you this week: 

TONIGHT – Event: FOIA Party

  • Location: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Date/Time: Monday, March 12, 6 PM-9 PM
  • Event Type: networking, meetup, skill development
  • Price: Free

“March 11th is the deadline for DC’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to release the Enterprise Dataset Inventory, a list of all DC government datasets. So let’s free that data! The inventory is expected to list a thousand datasets, many of which can be made public. At our FOIA party we’ll request copies of high priority datasets.”

TOMORROW – Event: A Conversation with Erik Bruner-Yang

  • Location: Alley Powered by Verizon, 2055 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC
  • Date/Time: Tuesday, March 13, 2 PM-6 PM
  • Event Type: networking, speaker event
  • Price: Free

“Come chat with Erik — the serial entrepreneur and chef behind Maketto, Paper Horse, Brothers and Sisters, and Spoken English. He brings undeniably cool restaurant and fashion concepts to life at breakneck speed. We’ll find out how he builds his businesses, and what challenges he faced on his path to success. Crazy stories guaranteed.”

TOMORROW – Event: How Will Self-Driving Cars Reshape Our Cities?

  • Location: New America, 740 15th Street NW, Suite #900, Washington, DC
  • Date/Time: Tuesday, March 13, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
  • Event Type: networking, panel discussion
  • Price: Free

“Join Future Tense, transportation planners from Phoenix and Pittsburgh, representatives from Waymo, Lyft, Intel, and Toyota, and leading academic researchers for a discussion of the technological revolution now unfolding on our city streets.”

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


What’s on the mind

Are you still sitting there, quietly thinking, “I just don’t get this whole blockchain/cryptocurrency/Bitcoin fad?” I have just the explainer video for you. 

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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