Inside the Company That’s Bringing a Start-Up Culture to D.C.

1776 is introducing disruptive innovators to Washington.

A view looking West down the National Mall seen from the top of the US Capitol dome December 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. 
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National Journal Staff
Dec. 30, 2013, 5:40 a.m.

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. isn’t just a gov­ern­ment town any­more. And if 1776’s Evan Burfield and Donna Har­ris have it their way, the na­tion’s cap­it­al will be host to of the next great glob­al start-up scene.

1776, a com­pany loc­ated in down­town D.C., is a start-up in­cub­at­or. It hosts about 185 start-ups in its of­fices, and it helps get com­pan­ies from across the coun­try off the ground. “Sit­ting at home in your room, it’s you and your prob­lems,” cofounder Donna Har­ris says. But by fos­ter­ing a sense of com­munity and bring­ing some of the best dis­rupt­ive in­nov­at­ors in the coun­try to the in­siders who can grapple with the power and polit­ic­al dy­nam­ics that guide the U.S. eco­nomy, Har­ris and Burfield hope to help cre­ate a new in­dustry in Wash­ing­ton.

“Let’s travel the coun­try and see what’s work­ing every­where else,” Har­ris says. “And let’s ap­ply it, in our own way, in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Ron Brown­stein in­ter­viewed 1776 cofounders Har­ris and Burfiled at their of­fice this month. Watch the full in­ter­view here:


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