Now is a special time in DC. Let’s try to look past the diabolical weather for a moment and consider all the fun that we can actually have here. In the past decade we have seen a massive transformation. Like so many capitals around the world, DC was a bit stuffy, a little uptight, and in many ways, kind of a drag. One can almost picture long–faced bureaucrats lugubriously scampering along K Street trying to make it to a meeting. But things have changed in the recent years. We have become a magnet for young professionals and creative people who aren’t simply here to fulfill a contract, but rather ply their trades and create waves all over the country. With this new influx, we have developed an entertainment industry to cater to them. Just take a short walk on U Street and see for yourself how much things have changed. In this issue, we have attempted to shed some light on this transformation and have chosen a few spots that we feel best represent what this sudden and delightful shift is all about.
We also sat down with Jonathon Perrelli and Carla Valdes at Fortify.vc, who shed some light on their concept of “Founders Funding Founders,” as well as Kevin Greene of Vallhala Partners. Michael Grass of Huffington Post also joined us for a frank discussion about the possibilities awaiting our fair city.
With so much going on around us, it can be rather difficult to get a full grasp of it all. I hope that this issue can serve as a reference guide to what’s hot right now in our city during these dog days of summer. We hope that you can enjoy and experience all that our nation’s capital has to offer.
Best Restaurants in Metro DC
Raising Capital for Your Startup
Luxury Hotels in DC
A Beginner’s Guide to Ireland
Preparing For Retirement
Utilizing Your Network
Metro DC Area Business Caterers
Summer is around the corner and Washington, D.C. is heating up again. As the mercury rises, the sun won’t be the only thing heating up our fair city. After years of unbridled growth, followed by an extended fiscal bust, we are back stronger than ever and firmly on the map as the country’s hottest spot for technology startups. With names like LivingSocial, Clearspring and EverFi, our start up scene is gaining a much-deserved reputation across the country.
This issue we bring to you one of the most prominent former VCs in the country, Valhalla co-founder, Gene Riechers. With over 25 years of experience in venture funding and leading high tech companies, Mr. Riechers has a wealth of information to share. We also take a closer look into the labyrinthine corridors of business law with one of Washington’s brightest legal stars, Cooley’s Andrew Lustig. And we’re also featuring two regional businesses that straddle the delicate crossroads where business and high tech meet; Shannon Kennedy of Pong Research, who just may change the way you look at your smart phone, and Scott Frederick of Automated Insights, who is busy changing the way data is being interpreted.
We’re also feeling the energy of starting up something new. Our muse for this issue is CriticMania, LLC. Through our interactions with local small business owners, we became aware of a huge problem—the online review space. The places where small businesses can promote themselves online have become a battleground between big corporations, entrepreneurs, and the angry customers. The dominating business model is based on extortion and the motivation and identity of the actual reviewers is questionable. The only victim is the one everybody claims to be helping–the small business owner. When a business has a total of 13 reviews, every one of them matters. We designed two platforms to remedy this huge problem—CriticMania Expert (already launched) and CriticMania Social (coming this Fall).
Folks, D.C. is hotter than ever, so get your sunscreen on, fix yourself a cocktail and watch as the brightest city in the union defines and redefines business.
Here are some articles from Summer 2012 issue:
MINDSHARE: Class of 2012
The Facebookization of Business
Social Review Sites
What SoLoMo is Missing
In the past, some cultures predicted that the world would end in 2012. This past year, I too have had that inkling, usually when reading through the latest economic numbers, jobs forecasts and the steady stream of doom and gloom on the 24-hour news cycle. Keeping a realistic approach to all the data out there can be a challenge sometimes. However, silver linings, just over the horizon, have been apparent for some time now. To see it, one simply needs to be diligent when filtering the information being presented. Opportunities are all over our fair city, and in every emerging market across the globe. Which brings me to the issue you are holding in your hands. Brazil, or the B in BRIC, is a nation full of economic opportunities, possibilities and if you strike while the iron’s hot, impressive profits. In these pages we bring you expert analysis from those on the front line, like businessman Jonathan Whittle, venture capitalist Patrick Kerins, director of the Brazil U.S. Business Council, Steven Bipes, and Philip Gough of the Brazilian Embassy. Each one offers us great insight into what to expect, how to carry ourselves, and where the big profits are in Brazil. It may still be cold outside, but I feel a good Caiparinha is in order. Cheers, and welcome to 2012!
The country has seen better days. This much is undeniable. We sometimes forget that the decisions being made (and stubbornly not being made) by national leaders in our fair city, have far-reaching effects. We have been, happily, somewhat insulated from the lack of cooperation on the Hill, but for how long? As we ponder this question, millions remain unemployed across the nation, and our political system remains in gridlock over even the minutest details of governance. If we continue on our projected path, even those of us living in the nation’s capital and its surrounding suburbs will feel the pinch.
In this issue we bring to you a few people who know well how to iron out complicated deals and understand the importance of reaching one’s goals through careful analysis and cooperation. We had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly LLP, the legendary lawyer who has represented some of Washington’s most elite names, Mike Lincoln of Cooley LLP on the art of the deal, and David Saltzman of Saltzman and Evinch P.C. on his experiences representing the interests of the Republic of Turkey in Washington.
These deal makers and master negotiators can offer more than a few pieces of advice for our gridlocked leaders on the Hill. One can only hope that they would have the wherewithal and the wisdom to listen. I’m not holding my breath.
Our latest issue of MB includes:
Alternative Investment Vehicles
Art & The Good Life
Art & Science
Business Golf 201
Social Media Jobs
The Future is Electric
Jesse Thomas, Founder and CEO of Jess3
Don Rainey, Venture Capitalist
Robert Barnett, Attorney
Mike Lincoln, Corporate Attorney
David Saltzman, International Lawyer
Founder and Chairman of Sun Design, Craig Durosko and President Bob Gallagher
Washington D.C. is in the midst of a transformation. No longer just a temporary home for lobbyists, lawyers and unscrupulous political operatives, Washington is defining itself as home to a plethora of cultural movers and shakers, innovators and internationally recognized business leaders. The booming business culture of our fair city is exploding right before our eyes, and those with foresight and know-how are reaping the many benefits of being in our nation’s capital at just the right time.
What distinguishes the great cities from the not so great ones? If you answered that the dynamics of a great city is its economy or its cultural foundations, then you are right, but there is so much more to it than that. Just as important as a city’s economic vigor is a city’s history, its culinary traditions and its innovative and restless citizenry. These factors all add up to form the whole puzzle, and one piece without the other is useless. Washington D.C. has all the missing pieces and is developing a grand picture for all to see − a masterful mosaic of diverse institutions, varied businesses and entertainment spots that are the envy of the country, if not the world.
This brings me to the issue you are holding in your hands. “The Purveyors of Taste” highlights some impressive new restaurants, trends and sporting institutions, and we are introducing you to the masterminds behind the scenes − those calling all the shots and succeeding at their crafts to make Washington, D.C. one of the best cities in which to live and work.
Among those featured: Ted Leonsis, the business guru and sports icon behind the Washington Wizards, Capitals and the Mystics; Jimmy Lynn of JLynn Associates, a behind-the-scenes deal maker par excellence, a man whose Rolodex has more VIPs than most of us will ever know, and whose role in countless nonprofits sets an example to us all. We also delve deeply into the delectable world of Washington’s impressive culinary scene with Geoff Tracy, a Washington native and the man behind Chef Geoff’s. We have two symbols of French cuisine − Michel Richard of Citronelle and the great innovator, Alain Ducasse. They, and other individuals we feature in this issue, have shared with us the inspiration and motivation for their creations and why they have chosen D.C. to expand their empires.
Transformations can be hectic. Many cities fail when seismic shifts are attempted, but Washington, D.C. is a city with history on its side. As we strive to continually bask in the warm glow of the Potomac, what we make of our time in the sun will determine where we are as a city in the decades to come.
Last year, I took a 10-day, 4-city tour to China. I visited the bustling capital city of Beijing, the green tea covered hills of Hangzhou, as well as Suzhou, which is reminiscent of Venice, with its intricate canal system and massive textile factories feeding the ravenous appetites of fashionistas worldwide. On my last stop, I ended up in Shanghai, which can be best described as a city four times the size of Manhattan and on a steady diet of steroids, a true sight for capitalistic sore eyes.
I climbed the Great Wall of China and watched over the highway that leads in and out of Beijing. I witnessed the endless queue of trucks carrying in raw materials and shipping out finished goods to the rest of the world. As I stood watching, I could feel the pulse of the entire country right underneath my feet. This is how the United States must have felt to newcomers at the turn of the last century. With its vibrant and restless population, cities bustling with creative energy and factories pushing out goods twenty-four hours a day, everything must have seemed possible.
In the 1980s the United States transformed its economy from manufacturing to services. We invented the Internet and created companies like UUNET, AOL, Google, Facebook and Twitter to cater to our ever growing online needs. Today, these American companies collect fees and advertising revenues from around the world. Take for instance a German motorist who is trying to go from point A to point B in his own city of Dusseldorf, searching for directions on Google Maps. People around the globe are asking for information about their own cities and communities from Americans working in offices overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Despite the rosy picture above, the ingenuity that we applied to our private enterprises was not always matched with intelligent fiscal prudence and long-term thinking. In the private and banking sectors, we became greedy, short sighted and too smart for our own good. In the public sector, successive administrations squandered tax revenue for multiple wars and new entitlements that were never offset by spending cuts. We relied heavily on foreign loans, and in a few short years, we went from a boom economy, flaunting a resounding budget surplus, to one that is anything but. Luckily America still has the know-how, the talent and the wherewithal to bounce back and lead the way both globally and domestically. This country has hardly given up the ghost just yet, and it’s only a matter of time before we situate ourselves firmly where we belong, in the black.
This brings me back to my trip to China. Both the government of China and the private sector are eager to invest in American private enterprise. Chinese businesses are investing in enterprises as diverse as theater houses, solar energy companies, RV manufacturers, and tech firms. If there is a profit to be made, the Chinese are willing to put up the capital for it. This willingness to invest should be recognized and the opportunity seized by DC businesses.
In this issue we spoke to many experts from the CEO, Chairman of Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent who is also the leader of the DC based US China Business Council, to Harry Weller of NEA on why he is investing in China and how DC companies can attract capital from China to our area. We have an exclusive interview with Deputy Chairman of Capgemini, Paul Spence about his experiences running a worldwide business.
I hope you enjoy the Spring issue of Modern DC Business Magazine. Please join our M Club (an invitation only social club for corporate executives and entrepreneurs) and don’t forget, MB Magazine is mostly about business and all about your business style. Enjoy.
My name is Hulya Aksu and it is my pleasure to bring you Modern DC Business, the only business lifestyle magazine in the Metro DC area. I decided to go forward with this publication for rather selfish reasons. You see, for the past five years I have owned my own business, serving as the founding publisher for I AM Modern, an award winning magazine for women. I know the lonely and arduous life of an entrepreneur living in Metro DC. I understand the struggles involved in launching, marketing and growing a business and the joy of watching it succeed.
Every month I look forward to reading about other CEO and business profiles in magazines like Fortune, Fast Company and Inc. However delightful it is to read about other people, there was a missing element for me. I wanted to read and be inspired by people who do business in my backyard. Not in NY, not in LA, not in Kansas but Metro DC. So I asked, ‘Why can’t we have a magazine that inspires all of us living here?’
I present to you Modern DC Business Magazine, a magazine for entrepreneurs and everyone working heads down in the corporate world who feel isolated and out of touch in the ever expanding Metro DC area. Yes, you are part of a very vibrant business environment in Metro DC and you deserve to be featured. In this magazine, you can expect to find profiles of local business people, corporate executives and companies. You will learn from their challenges and be inspired by their success. You will learn about local companies you never even knew existed. You will find tips and inside information on local networking events, corporate and country clubs, service providers and restaurants.
What you will not find here is hard hitting business news or policy reports that are stale by the time they are printed on paper. You will certainly not read about the latest corporate real estate leases in Dupont Circle. Modern DC Business is about you and the way you do business and connect.
For our first issue we have featured a few heavy hitters in town like Ted Leonsis and venture capitalists Don Rainey and Scott Fredrick. We’ve profiled a few rock stars like LivingSocial’s Tim O’Shaughnessy. We’ve met with serial entrepreneurs Kurt and Donna Baumann and Luis Derechin. And finally, we want to tell you what we’ve learned about cloud computing from Science Logic and the CEO of Telos on cloud security.
Welcome to Modern DC Business Magazine. Enjoy and be inspired.