How to Plug Into the Startup Community in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia

Here’s the hard truth, there’s no central place to find all the resources the region has to offer. Yikes!

While there are resources across various stakeholders, from local and federal government to public/private companies and meetup groups, the central pain point is still there, “where’s my one-stop shop?”

Based on your feedback throughout DC Startup Week, we heard this loud and clear. So much so in fact that some community leaders decided to do something about it. And they acted quick

The first initiative is a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the DC-MD-VA Startup Community. Yes, it’s a play off of a movie, but the concept is the same: one central resource to guide you on your journey.

The entrepreneur’s journey is different for everyone, so we divided the guide into four sections to help you navigate a bit:

  • ARRIVE: General info about the region’s community and culture, including some notable startups and resources.
  • EXLPORE: Listing of the niche community groups, and general meetups and events you can take advantage of.
  • LEARN: Educational components, from paid programs to FREE self-study.
  • RAISE: So you want to raise money? Well, There’s more than 90 Incubators and Venture Capital Firms in the region.
  • WORK: Opportunities to work at a startup, office space for your startup, and list of Accelerators and other community programs.
  • TIPS: How to begin engaging. Very simple a la Nike: “Just Do.”

This is the minimum viable experience, and will evolve based on the learnings and resources submitted by the community. Thank you to the amazing individuals who have contributed so far (and a few other that we can’t announce yet!):

The second initiative is a podcast, but more on that in the upcoming weeks. One step at a time…

FAQs

Is this FREE? Yes, that’s the only way to ensure equal access and opportunity for all.

Is this a comprehensive listing? It’s 58 pages (mainly links) to date, so it’s getting there, but we’ll keep adding as we become privvy to more resources.

Is it perfect the way it’s laid out? Not necessarily, we may update based on feedback on how to improve.

Will this be made into a website? Ideally, once we have more feedback we can begin thinking through the information architecture and design of something like this. Stay tuned…

Community is 🔑

What will make or break this guide is the community involvement. It’s an organic project, shaped by community stakeholders like yourselves who know about and share the knowledge.

Remember, #GiveFirst and let’s help each other out. That’s the foundation for making this ecosystem the best it can be.

Ready to get the guide?

Subscribe to the Hitchhiker’s Guide updates. We’ll send you the guide in PDF format with updates every quarter, and we mean we will only reach out if and when a new version is available to keep you up to date. This way, you don’t have to check back periodically. You’ll be the first to know about the latest resources that get added!


If you know of a resource that’s missing, use this form to submit and we’ll review. We aim to update quarterly, but sometimes may be able to do it within 24 hours. This is a labor of love, all volunteer-led.