(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)
The Washington, DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) announced the inaugural winners of the We DC Awards at its annual meeting on Oct. 30. The awards, given to a leader in the categories of creative economy, innovation and technology and real estate, recognize the contribution of “vision, energy, investment, and time to D.C.’s thriving economic ecosystem.”
After introductory speeches from WDCEP President and CEO Keith Sellars, Mayor Muriel Bowser and others, Fundrise cofounder and CEO Ben Miller was announced as the winner in the innovation and tech category.
Jonas Singer and Cullen Gilchrist, the cofounders and co-owners of Union Kitchen, won the award for the creative economy, and Monty Hoffman, the founder and CEO of PN Hoffman won the award for real estate.
Following the awards ceremony, community leaders from each of the three honored categories gave speeches. Donna Harris, cofounder of 1776, delivered the keynote for innovation and tech.
Harris focused on exploring and explaining D.C.’s unique position for leading the digital revolution. She explained that D.C. has the necessary resources to serve startups — resources such as subject matter experts who make D.C. their home, K Street connections that can be leveraged for competitive gain, international connections and a wealth of fundraising experience.
Harris also spoke about the character of startups that tend to make D.C. their home — startups that believe there must be “more to the digital revolution than Angry Birds and Instagram.” According to Harris, D.C.’s strengths lie in the civic-facing industries such as education, healthcare, transportation and more.-30-
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