DC daily roundup: How to fundraise in this economy; meetups return; Pentagon satellite launcher concerns

Plus, the Johns Hopkins lab targeted by pro-Palestine protestors — and its $12 billion in federal awards.

The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC on January 29, 2024. (Robb Hill for

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Storytelling, relationships and more fundraising tactics

At’s recent annual Builders Conference, CEOs working in wearable devices and fusion energy joined a fund manager to discuss financing and investor relations with fellow entrepreneurs.

One key takeaway: Funding is much harder to nab now than in recent years, so how you pitch is everything.

“You have to be able to tell a story,” said Amit Kumar Singh, CEO and cofounder of NearStar Fusion in Chantilly. “Why are you going to succeed where others are not?”

➡️ Read more about the discussion in my latest article.

Tech meetups bounce back

Attendance may never fully recover, but the promise of making friends and learning new skills keep the groups popular, organizers told

“I love these kinds of events where you just get to come together,” one organizer with Philadelphia JavaScript club told Philly reporter Sarah Huffman. “It’s great to meet as many people as possible and just talk about code.”

➡️ Learn more about the importance of meetups in Sarah’s latest article.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• The Pentagon expressed concern that its primary satellite launcher cannot keep up with and counter China. [Washington Post]

• Fans of Maryland indie music festival All Things Go described frustrating experiences securing tickets. Many are blaming Ticketmaster. [WTOP]

• Students at Johns Hopkins University are calling on the school to divest from Israeli companies. Protestors particularly focused on a university research facility, based in Laurel, that receives more than $1 billion every year from the Pentagon. [Baltimore Banner]

• Northern Virginia is the fastest-growing data center hub in the US, according to data from CBRE Research. Atlanta is following behind. But electricity demands are undercutting green energy goals. [Wall Street Journal]

•  A Maryland Institute College of Art alum developed a play system that can connect and adapt to Expo dry-erase markers for team-building exercises. []

🗓️ On the Calendar

• The Women Tech Leaders Summit, which brings together women working in the federal government, takes place on May 15. [Details here]

• There’s a planned breakfast on May 16 for recently laid-off tech industry workers [Details here]

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