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Sam: It’s Thursday. The sun is out. I found out my baby cat actually likes walking with a leash and harness outdoors last night. Summer is a good time! 

Also, a quick editorial note: There will be no Beat on either Monday, July 3 or Tuesday, July 4. We’ll see you tomorrow, but after that, we’re taking a quick break to enjoy the holiday weekend!

Now, let’s dive in…

Sam: Seems like something’s a brewing with WeWork on the University of Maryland campus, The Washington Business Journal is reporting.

Based on what WBJ saw through a variety of different filings, it appears that a new WeWork venture is in the works for UMD’s “innovation district.” 

WBJ reporter Dan Sernovitz dug through a load of Maryland business records and found the trade name “Weworki” was approved by the state in April. The new business is located at 115 W. 18th Street, New York — where WeWork is headquartered — and it describes itself as a co-working office space. Sound familiar? 

Further, an entity called 7761 Greenhouse Rd Tenant LLC was registered in March, as well. That address is right where the University’s proposed “innovation district” is planned. 

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING, Y’ALL! 

The proposed location comes as the University of Maryland continues to try and support local innovation and campus innovators. Tying in a co-working leader could be just the boost UMD’s innovation campaign needs. 

The report also comes as WeWork is on the brinks of opening their two new D.C. locations on H Street NE and in Navy Yard. 

Sam: Ever got into your Lyft and thought “Wow, it would just be so much better if I could pull up to a club/this meeting/my grandma’s house in a limousine, ya know?” Well, wild party people, do I have some good news for you. Starting today, Lyft is rolling out its Lyft Lux service in both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. 

Of course, requesting either a Lux ride or a Lux SUV ride (for all my Hummer limo lovers) comes at a steeper cost. While a typical solo Lyft costs $1.02 per mile and $0.17 per minute in D.C., a Lux ride will cost you $3.40 per mile and $0.40 per minute & a Lux SUV ride will cost you $3.65 per mile and $0.45 per minute. The base fare for a Lyft Lux is $7 and a Lux SUV is $14, compared to $1.15 for a typical Lyft, according to the company’s website

—In more moves, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers hosted its first-ever global hardware competition last week. All of the finalists who came to the D.C.-based competition focused on creating hardware for a social purpose, and among the winners is one D.C. based operation: EV-8 Cooler. With a team in both D.C. and Boston, the startup creates a portable cooler for those in poverty in other countries. It costs less than $30 and runs purely on water evaporation. The portable model runs for 2 days for each 1 liter of water. Each winner won a share of $500K, technical support and an invitation to the ISHOW New York City conference in October. Learn more about the EV-8 product here.

Sam: With the increase of credit card spending in the U.S., of course, comes the flurry of entrepreneurs looking to disrupt the space. Washington, D.C.-based FS Card is no different — their credit card supports subprime consumers, an atypical credit card customer, and they’re a team of about 25 trying to make this happen. What makes them stand out, though, is their recent funding and the woman at the helm.

Yesterday, the group filed a Form D for $30M in funding. This filing follows the announcement of an $8M round in May, and as CEO Marla Blow explains to me, “Some of our existing investors exercised their pro rata rights as part of the last capital raise, and we amended the filing to reflect the last dollars in the door.” Nonetheless, that’s an impressive raise for the local startup. I talked more with the woman at the helm to see what all the hype is about. Read more: Meet the Capital One Alum Behind D.C.’s Next Big Credit Card Company

—In more $$$ news, Fulton, Md.-based cyber data management startup Racktop Systems has raised $220K of what is projected to be a $2.5M round, according to an SEC filing this afternoon. The company last raised a $750K round in February 2015. Racktop Systems develops foundational IT appliances for businesses and organizations.

Sam: June: the month of summer vacation, humid air, and, of course, executive hires. As loyal Beat readers know, we announce some of the top hires and departures to know about each day in this very newsletter. But in case you missed anything, I have a roundup of the top 6 D.C. tech hires and departures to know about this month — including executive hires at Crowdskout, 2U and UrbanStems. Read more: The Top 6 D.C. Tech Hires and Departures in June

Sam: Have y’all ever sat back and thought about all of the nightlife options in D.C.? No, seriously think about it. There are A. Lot. You can dig into the timeline of the recent boom in bars, clubs, and general places that serve alcohol over at the D.C. Policy Center website. It’s a doozy. 

Sam: It’s almost the weekend, y’all, so let’s get those social calendars in check for the long break ahead… 

Tonight, sit in on a fireside chat with Phone2Action fresh off of their Good Tech Summit two weeks ago. It starts at 6 PM. 

Tomorrow, MPOWER Financing is hosting its June FinTech Fiesta happy hour. Stop by, grab a drink, make some new friends! 

This weekend… well, we have more on that for you. All the details and more events in the latest Inno Approved. 

Sam: Hey y’all. I had a note on Monday about the resurrection of our good ol’ DC Inno podcast. It’s happening, I promise. But I have one favor: we’re in search of a recording studio to get this thing back up and running! Are you able to help or have any helpful leads? Send me a note

Sam: Yesterday, I reported on some news about roadside assistance app Urgent.ly’s latest partnership. While that partnership is real and happening, I mistakenly said the startup was based in D.C. They’re in Vienna. My apologies — there’s a reason why I shouldn’t have coffee after 3 PM anymore. 


 
Sam: ATTENTION ALL GILMORE GIRL FANS: Scott Patterson, who played Luke in the series, is releasing his own brand of coffee called “Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee”! Yes, that’s right — you can now drink Luke’s coffee! It’s the little things in life that makes it worth it, y’all. 

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Staff Writer: Sam Sabin, ssabin@americaninno.com

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