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“I think it’s going to be much of the same that we saw in 2017,” said Sam Sabin, market lead for D.C. Inno. “The people who actually took their time, thought out their business decisions, and how they’re going to grow, they’re the ones that saw success,” she said, and that trend seems like it’s going to hold through 2018.
Companies such as Appian or EverFi grew slowly and quietly, said Sabin, and their consistent vision is what helped them raise massive funds and even IPO. “They’ve all kind have done it just by slow-and-steady, thinking about where they want to grow, what they want to do,” she said. Instead of flagrant self-promotion, startups like these focused on getting things done, and their work is paying off.
“You can focus on your launch party all day long, but at the end of the day, you need to be heads-down, thinking about your business, instead of who’s going to show up at the launch, and brand recognition,” said Sabin. “You actually have to work for it.”
Sabin says the most exciting emerging technologies are in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). “Notion Theory: the last time I talked to them, they were working on a glove that you can wear so that, when you’re in VR, you can feel,” said Sabin.
“From all the interviews I do, I try to ask the question–why are you in D.C.? You’re a random app, you’re a random VR company, ed tech. Most of the time, it’s because the regulators are here,” Sabin told What’s Working in Washington.
“I think people know the value of having the federal government so close, no matter where their politics are, their ideologies, or what’s happening with policy, they recognize that being close to the regulators is always going to help them,” she said.