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Mayor Gray Highlights 1776 Accelerator and District’s Tech Scene in Weekly Radio Address

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mayor Gray Highlights 1776 Accelerator and District’s Tech Scene in Weekly Radio Address

Mayor Says Encouraging Growth in Tech Sector Key to District’s Economic Future

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray used his weekly radio address to note the opening of the revolutionary new 1776 facility and emphasize the District’s efforts to foster and grow the city’s burgeoning tech sector, including entrepreneurial tech startups.

The broadcast can be heard on All News 99.1-FM WNEW radio beginning at 10:05 am on Sunday, April 28. The text of the address is below:

Remarks of Mayor Vincent C. Gray

Weekly Radio Address

All News 99.1-FM WNEW

Sunday, April 28, 2013

 

Hello, WNEW listeners! I’m Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia. Last week, i was honored to participate in a reception marking the official launch of 1776, a new space on 15th Street NW that will be as revolutionary for the District’s economy as its namesake year was for American history.

1776 is a center for innovation and entrepreneurship that will bring entrepreneurs and staffs from startup companies, established corporations, universities, embassies and policymakers together in a collaborative space. Located just blocks from the white house, 1776 convenes and accelerates startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that our city uniquely offers.

This venture is supported by the District government, because a key to diversifying our economy for the future lies in incubating, nurturing and unleashing our growing tech-entrepreneur sector. Already, more than 75 startups have signed on to 1776 to take advantage of the unique space and opportunity it offers.

There’s a great need for something like 1776, because the District of Columbia is the place for success if you are starting an organization to tackle the country’s biggest challenges:

  • The District has the nation’s largest collection of technology and engineering professionals, and our talent pool continues to grow.
  • We offer an incredibly rich set of resources for the knowledge-based economy, including a large number of major universities and tens of thousands of bright undergraduate and graduate students.
  • We have some of the most livable neighborhoods and best transportation infrastructure in the country.
  • And we offer rich cultural opportunities and resources that draw the best and the brightest from all over the world to live in our city.

The District and our region have historically depended on the strength of the federal government to create jobs and occupy buildings. But, in an age of federal budget uncertainty, we can’t rely on that anymore. For the District to keep growing and prospering, we – much like a startup – must pivot to new sources of success.

That is why we developed our recently released Five-Year Economic Development Strategy – the first such plan of its kind in the District’s history. Entrepreneurship and tech-sector development are cornerstones of that strategy. It calls for us to create, in the District, the largest technology center on the East Coast. Overall, we aim to create 100,000 new jobs and generate $1 billion in new tax revenue for the District within the next five years by following this strategy. 20,000 of those jobs will be in the tech sector.

Last month, the Washington Business Journal noted that the District is home to 420 startups – more than either Maryland or Virginia. And, as Fast Company magazine reported, we’re No. 1 in startups per million residents – more than any other state in the country.

Our future is bright, and the District government is investing to ensure we take full advantage of our strengths. Projects like 1776 are an integral part of that strategy, and that’s why I’m marshaling the resources of the District government to support 1776 and many other efforts like it.

 

Thank you very much. I’m Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia.