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Sam: Let’s kick it to a Beat so we can all get home and drink some hot chocolate and watch a v cute movie on Netflix, or whatever plans you have. I clearly am a woman on a mission today… 

Sam: Ever have one of those days where you feel like you’re on top of the world, and then one little thing happens, and you realize you’re just the fool standing at the bottom looking up? 

That’s very existential, but after looking at this Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Global Research report, I’m sure the District is feeling the same way.

According to a new report called “Occupy Silicon Valley,” Apple and Google both have a market cap that is higher than the GDP of all but two of the U.S.’s largest cities.

For Washington, D.C. and its reported $454B GDP, it’s not a great confidence booster. Including Apple and Google, both Microsoft and Amazon also boast a larger market cap. 

Data credit: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Investmetn Strategy. Graph credit: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Now, the GDP of a city doesn’t account for a lot of things, like real estate, infrastructure and so on. It’s not entirely accurate to say that Apple is worth more than the entirety of the District of Columbia. But the numbers are still an interesting way to look at the divide found in the tech sector today. The wealthiest, most prolific companies are clustered together in the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest.

The report points to the fact that this clustering of personal wealth and company wealth could lead to a social unrest in the rest of the country, especially at a time when manufacturing-dependent states are increasingly suspicious of Silicon Valley technology and innovations.

Image courtesy of Ligado

Sam: You might not recognize Reston, Va.-based Ligado at first glance. About two years ago, it was just coming out of bankruptcy and rebranding from its former name LightSquared. But the company’s branding, and narrative, has started to change, as it’s spent the past 18 months in stealth mode, of sorts, trying to figure out how to best restructure its resources to make an almost far-off dream a reality. The dream? To make connections more reliable for autonomous vehicles and drones in a new program called the Advanced Satellite-Terrestrial Network. Read more: After a Rebrand and Bankruptcy, How Ligado Looks to Move Forward.

In other moves, CHIEF Agency has been making a lot of noise today. According to a press release, CHIEF acquired long-time partner Portland-based TrestleMedia. The move formally establishes a West Coast presence for the agency. TrestleMedia founder and managing director Clay Marshall will join the team as Chief Technology Officer. CHIEF is a small business agency with clients including the National Park Federation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Yale University and more. TrestleMedia’s clients stretched across the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. 

Sam: Rockville, Md.-based Kalibri Labs has closed $10M in funding, according to an SEC filing today. The company declined to comment on the round citing SEC rules. Kalibri Labs is a data analytics company focused solely on the hospitality industry. Specifically, the company is a platform aimed at helping hotels improve profits and predicting revenue performance net of acquisition costs. It’s unclear if the company, which was founded in 2011, has raised any other funds. The startup hasn’t filed with the SEC before, and its Crunchbase profile shows no other funding news. 

In more $$$ news, Revolution has invested in a New York City-based startup’s $30M Series C round, according to a press release. PolicyGenius announced the round today, which was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Revolution. With the funding, fintech startup PolicyGenius has now secured $52M to date, and the funding puts the company’s co-founder and CEO Jennifer Fitzgerald on a short list of female founders in the fintech sector who have raised more than $50M. 

Sam: The “Legend” in SWaN & Legend is stepping down from his role as chief investment officer and heading to a new unannounced role at Revolution Growth, The Washington Business Journal reports. Todd Klein founded Legend Ventures in 2005 and merged with SWaN Investors in 2012, but now he’s said to be departing to Revolution, and Todd Foreman has been hired to replace Klein as managing director. According to SWaN & Legend’s website, Klein is a senior adviser with the firm now. It’s unclear what Klein’s role at Revolution will be.  

Sam: A new minority entrepreneurship initiative is coming to the District, WBJ reports. Called Ascend 2020 DC, the program aims to grow the number of jobs in the District and help bridge the gap for minority-owned businesses that often struggle to find financing. The initiative will be announced at a May 30 event hosted at Google’s D.C. offices, and similar Ascend 2020 projects are rolling out simultaneously in other metropolitan areas around the same time.  

Oh, and ya know, the program comes with a big fat donation of $500K from JP Morgan Chase, along with partnerships with Project 500, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC). It’s casual, it’s chill. 

Sam: Do you know what day it is? Not only is it Wednesday, but it’s also the day we’re unveiling the finalists for the 2017 Coolest Companies competition! To determine the winners of this competition, we’re shaking things up a bit. FIRST, we’re asking readers to vote for their favorite companies on our site. The five companies with the most reader votes will be announced live on stage (probs by me) at DC Fest on June 22.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! On stage, we’ll also announce the winners of the DC Inno Coolest Companies superlative winners. The DC Inno team will pick one company to reign supreme in each of the following categories: Best Perks, Most Re-Tweetable, Most Athletic, Best Office Space and Top Travelers.

Sound like fun? Vote now, and be sure to buy your ticket to DC Fest on June 22. 

Sam: Apparently, there are literal dolphins that travel to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay each year. Also, we know nothing about them??

My new hero, though, is making the first move in being a friendly, welcoming neighbor for the rest of us. Georgetown professor Janet Mann has been naming all of the dolphins after presidents while also trying to get to know them on a more personal—and, ya know, clinical—level. Who even are these dolphins? Are they the same ones coming back? Who knows! (Janet will.)

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Staff Writer: Sam Sabin, ssabin@americaninno.com

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