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Why On Second Thought’s Maci Peterson is leaving DC

The startup is heading to Silicon Valley. For consumer tech, D.C.'s just not there yet, Peterson told Technical.ly.

On Second Thought founder Maci Peterson, left, with Women Who Tech founder Allyson Kapin. (Photo by Kristin Johnson for Rad Campaign)

On Second Thought, the app that allows users to take back regretful text messages, is moving to the Bay Area. We chatted with founder Maci Peterson about her plans — and why she feels consumer tech hasn’t broken into its own here.
“I don’t think that D.C. has had enough big consumer tech exits to create that strong community of consumer tech folks,” said Peterson. “There, that’s the bailiwick.”
For the founder, who calls D.C. her “second home,” the move is a purely strategic one. “It’s really just for greater access to investment and talent.”
On Second Thought, launched late last year in beta and now employing a team of seven, has garnered 41,000 Android users, with an iOS version coming in the fall.
Next month, the company is slated to close a $1.5 million seed round, with participants including D.C.-based K Street Capital.
Peterson, who was raised in the Chicago area and moved here in 2008, managed to rack up support for her app at a breakneck pace. On Second Thought was a “product of the community,” said Peterson. It benefited from the “if one of us wins, we all win” kind of mentality.
Based at 1776, the company received mentorship from the incubator’s cofounders, Donna Harris and Evan Burfield, said Peterson.
But the pull of West Coast networks is strong.
“We’ve gotten advice from a former chief executive at Yahoo,” said Peterson.
Still, Peterson said she would be back sporadically, as a “satellite member of D.C. tech.”
“It takes people like me who leave to come back and reinvest into the community,” she said.

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