Washington’s Old High-Tech Corridors Deserve New Glory

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Back in the day, there were three high-tech corridors that defined the evolving frontier of American capitalism. There was Silicon Valley, of course, and there was Route 128 in Massachusetts. The third was the Greater Washington Region, stretching from Northern Virginia across state lines through D.C. into Montgomery County, Maryland and its fabled biotech culture.

That “day” did not end with the dot.com crash. Hardly. People still use computers and they want them smarter every year. The pace of medical and biotechnological innovation has only accelerated. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics now allure. If anything, the scope of innovation has exponentially broadened; cybersecurity, for instance, is a new realm unimagined by the visionaries who changed the world at the turn of this century.

Yet permanent revolution doesn’t necessarily mean permanent growth on a regional basis. Of the three aforementioned corridors, the Greater Washington Region has lost some luster and now finds itself in a unique and rather challenging situation.

“As the numbers show, our region’s entrepreneurship is not presently being driven by venture capital,” says Jonathan Aberman, founder of McLean, Va.-based Amplifier Ventures, a group of consulting and investment management businesses. “It was more in the 1990s, when we were ground zero for the Internet and telecommunications explosion, that the venture money poured in and job growth accelerated. Over the last ten years, innovation has turned more towards the government, particularly cybersecurity and healthcare.”

Read entire story at Forbes.com.

 

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