(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)
A startup town hall aimed at discussing how to improve the D.C. tech ecosystem is a really, really good idea.
Brandon T. Luong and DMV Startup hosted such an event at WeWork Wonder Bread on Tuesday night, hoping to get the D.C. tech community talking to and about itself. There was some good feedback that came out of Tuesday’s event (more Startup Weekends, please!), but overall the evening could have used more structure. While the organizers deserve a big shoutout for getting the ball rolling, the conversation is far from over.
Here are some ideas on how to foster this important conversation at a future meetup:
- Start with introductions. Break the ice! It is likely that some attendees will know each other, but others might be new to the scene. All attendees need to feel comfortable before you can get into the real creative collaboration of the evening.
- Invite “influencers” to speak to a particular need or topic. Want to talk about how to improve diversity in the D.C. tech ecosystem? Invite, for example, the current leader of Women Who Code DC to talk about what that community is missing.
- Come prepared with specific discussion topics. Really try to get into the meat of an issue with this one, no buzzwords allowed. This is, admittedly, a bigger ask for the organizers.
- Create group activities/role-play situations. Divide the crowd into small groups and get them working. Give each group a specific scenario — for example: You founded startup X, and you’re in stage Y. What do you need to move on to the next stage? Do you know how you’d go about making that happen in D.C.? If not, this could be a great issue for a larger discussion.
Got other ideas? At us: @TechnicallyDC. Or: Leave a comment.
We’re excited for D.C.’s next startup town hall. We’ll see you there.
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