The one question I get more than any other question when discussing Social Tables is “Why Washington, DC?”
I wish I could say it was a calculated move. The reality is that it’s the city I went to grad school in (Georgetown). I had no intention of staying but I got a job offer here after graduating, so I did.
Six years later, I’m still in DC and there couldn’t be a better home for Social Tables. It’s almost as if I had calculated it all along but the reality is I was really lucky.
There are three reasons why DC has worked for Social Tables.
Industry. DC is the capital of hospitality. Events are a key part of its economy, its a major destination for citywide meetings, and world-class restaurants are opening their doors every week. All of this makes our nation’s capital very service-oriented and the hub for our industry.
Furthermore, DC is full of potential partners for us. Three of the world’s largest hotel chains are headquartered here (Hilton, Choice, and Marriott) along with some of the top hotel management groups, including Interstate Hotels. It has the highest concentration of multi-million dollar catering companies, some incredible event venues, top tier event planning firms, and many associations.
Population. DC’s residents are the ideal candidate profile for startups. Its world-class universities, mission-driven organizations, and increasing quality of life attract the best and brightest. DC’s economy is in a bubble and that makes life a little more predictable for its workforces.
Capital. DC has many high net worth individuals and more of them are warming up to investing in startups. It has angel groups and institutional funds that are rooted here, including the Baltimore-based QuestMark Partners that led our Series B round.
We are right in the sweet spot of what startups need out of the cities they are headquartered in. I think other startups will feel the same way about DC if they gave it a shot.