Jonathan Aberman says DC has an accelerator problem

We need to accelerate more and accelerate better, the entrepreneur writes in a Post op-ed.

D.C. needs to improve how we accelerate.

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

Jonathan Aberman’s Monday column for the Washington Post is all about accelerators. Specifically, it’s about how to make D.C.’s accelerators better.
The DMV area, he begins, has a problem. Its accelerators, though valuable to the startups they accelerate, are not nationally recognized. Why? Well, Aberman concedes, it’s at least partially because of the metrics that are used to curate this “best of” lists. If you’re looking for millions raised and big-time acquisitions you won’t find that in D.C.
But, Aberman says, maybe money raised and acquisitions negotiated aren’t the best metrics for accelerator success in D.C. Maybe we need to think about what success looks like in a unique, locally-inspired way.
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For Aberman this means creating more relationships between accelerators (the future of business) and established businesses (the present) to the mutual benefit of both. “Regional leaders should support our best-run accelerators by sharing names of established businesses looking for new technologies and companies to buy,” he writes.
We’re intrigued by the call for more collaboration between area startups and the established businesses of the region. Beyond Aberman’s suggestion that established companies might want to buy technology from startups, we’ve often mulled over what lessons or pieces of advice leaders in traditional industries might be able to share with leaders of new tech startups. Are there areas in which you’ve seen this being done well already? We’d love to hear about it.

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