Competitions / Economics / Startups

Who deserves to win all the free stuff from Startup Arlington?

It's time for a public vote.

Crystal City mural. (Photo by Flickr user Elvert Barnes, used under a Creative Commons license)

In the race to attract small business talent, Arlington has an attractive trick up its sleeve.

Arlington Economic Development launched Startup Arlington in October 2015, an online competition that offers a bunch of free stuff to a startup willing to “try out” this particular suburb. For a period of three months, the winning startup gets free housing, office space and transportation — not to mention a capital investment. From the perspective of a struggling young startup, what’s not to like?

This year, Startup Arlington has partnered with a range of big area names. Kiddar Capital will provide the $25,000 in investment. 1776 Crystal City will provide free workspace. WhyHotel will provide the living space. And the Crystal City Business Improvement District will offer all kinds of snazzy extras like free gym membership and various gift cards.

Now all that’s left is to determine which startup deserves all these perks. And this is where you, dear reader, come in. Starting Feb. 21, members of the public can vote for one of the two finalists.

Watch these short videos to decide who stands out.

Voting closes Feb. 28, and the winner will be announced March 1.

Startup Arlington may be just one program, but it fits in a larger narrative of economic development and startups. Cities across the country are constantly trying to figure out how to attract promising, growing young tech companies. Here in the region the Washington, DC Economic Partnership runs AccelerateDC and turns out at SXSW in force every year to display the greatness of doing business in D.C. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, meanwhile, provides various tax incentives. And that’s not all.

But in this local mix, Arlington appears particularly aggressive. Recall how the county enticed previously D.C.-based Phone2Action to cross the river last summer. Or just consider how nice it’d be to get three months of free rent. The race is on.

Companies: Washington, DC Economic Partnership / 76 Forward

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