Here are a few places to find DC technologists at SXSW - DC


Mar. 9, 2018 8:09 am

Here are a few places to find DC technologists at SXSW

From the #WeDC House to the app used for safety communications, a look at where the District is being represented in Austin.
Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas.

(Photo by Flickr user Michael, used under a Creative Commons license)

Having grown up in the District, Ruth Chandler Cook has seen D.C. change.

“I remember walking down 7th street NW while in Jr. High school,” said Cook, the founder of HireHer, an app connecting diverse talent to innovation economy industries. That was before Chinatown’s Friendship Archway was built.

“Today I walk the same path under the arch to my HireHer office. I am reminded of my childhood experiences, how much I have grown and changed; how the city has grown and changed around me.”

Next week, Cook is heading to Austin, Texas, for SXSW, where she will be one of ten ambassadors for #WeDC. The effort, which is run by the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership and D.C. government, looks to spread the word at the festival about tech and entrepreneurship in D.C., and a big focus is on inclusive innovation. Here’s how Cook will be talking about the District:

“I am quite proud of the city and the opportunities it presents for high tech companies like HireHer and women of diverse backgrounds,” she said. “I want to welcome others to our city and raise awareness about the opportunities for diverse talent in STEM.” The food and culture are worth mentioning too, she said.

As mentioned, Cook will be joined by others who were selected from nominations as #WeDC ambassadors, including:

  • Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO, Falafel Inc. and the Hult Prize Foundation.
  • Chad Hall, Founder and CEO, remodelmate
  • Jade Floyd, Vice President of Communications, Revolution LLC
  • Kyle Bailey, Executive Chef, Long Shot Hospitality
  • Marvin Bowser, Actor
  • Pia Carusone, Founder, Republic Restoratives Distillery
  • Rebecca Yarbrough, Co-Director, The Vinetta Project
  • Talisha Hill Bekavac, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Development, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
  • Tim Keough, CEO, Sympli; Founder, WythMe

Here’s a look at some other ways D.C. will be represented:

#WeDC House

This year, the HQ is at Easy Tiger. That’s the name of the 6th Street beer garden and bake shop that will play host to D.C.–focused events on March 11 and 12. Among the lineup: On March 11, a chat will feature Humble Ventures cofounder Harry Alford III and Republic founder Kendrick Nguyen. The events also include a Black Girl Ventures pitch competition on March 12, and a panel on urban mobility immediately following. Check out the full lineup.


Byte Back is organizing a panel on Reinventing Pathways to Tech Diversity.

On March 10 at 12:30 p.m., D.C. nonprofit Byte Back put together a session that includes Executive Director Elizabeth Lindsey, Mentor Method Founder Janice Omadeke, Patricia Davis-Muffett of Amazon Web Services and Kevin Morgan of the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership. It’s the latest turn in Texas for the tech training nonprofit following a session at SXSWedu this week.

Arlington’s LiveSafe will be used by staff and volunteers for mobile communications.

According to a press release, Arlington, Va.–based platform LiveSafe is being used by staff and volunteers for all SXSW festivities. The app can be used to report behavior or facility issues via text that range from routine concerns to emergency situations. It also allows messages to be broadcast out to the staff by text, email and push notification.

In the release, LiveSafe CEO Carolyn Parent said the idea is for workers to become “an expanded network of eyes and ears for safety and security during the conference and festivals.”

Companies: SXSW

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