Press Releases

Beyer, Commerce Secretaries Celebrate Startup Day at Crystal City’s 1776

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Washington, August 14, 2015 | Tia Shuyler (202-225-4376) | comments

Congressman Don Beyer, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt S. Erskine, visited 1776 yesterday for a roundtable and walkthrough at the incubator and venture fund’s recently opened Crystal City location as part of Start-Up Day Across America

“Startups, here in Northern Virginia and across the United States, fuel the kind of innovation we need to create a sustainable new American economy,” said Rep. Beyer.  “They also create an average of 2 million jobs per year, which is why it is so important for us to make sure they have access to the resources they need to succeed. 1776 and the Commerce Department are doing just that in Crystal City and the results are clear.”

“As ‘America’s Innovation Agency,’ the Commerce Department wants to make it easier and more efficient for entrepreneurs to build and grow their companies,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “We are all in to support our nation’s startups and entrepreneurs because we want innovation to remain one of America’s greatest assets and exports.”

Rep. Beyer, Deputy Secretary Andrews, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Erskine engaged with small business and tech leaders to highlight federal resources available to startups and the business community; from offering grants and facilitating the patent process to incentivizing collaborative research and development. They also discussed the federal government’s important role in driving the innovation needed to solve complex problems and fuel the 21st century American economy. 

Rep. Beyer and the Secretaries were joined by 1776 Global Affairs Director Brandon Pollak, 1776 Members Blake Hall, Co-founder and CEO of, Jordan Lloyd Bookey, Co-founder and Chief Mom of Zoobean, Felix Lloyd, Co-founder and Chief Dad of Zoobean, Matt Provo, Founder and CEO of ParkedIn, Kelly Zafar, Founder and CEO of CareerMaven, Jason Green, Co-founder of SkillSmart, David Fairbrothers, Co-founder of Dorsata, and Gary Hensley, Founder and CEO of edBacker.

"There are world-changing startups right here in Northern Virginia, the D.C. region, and all over the country that are tackling major challenges,” said 1776 Global Affairs Director Brandon Pollak. “1776 is dedicated to unlocking those connections and resources that startups need to disrupt vital sectors of our economy and drive innovation that matters."   

Zoobean, a 1776 member startup participating in the tour, is a local Arlington startup that promotes early childhood education and literacy by connecting families with libraries and educational resources. They are already partnering with Alexandria and Arlington County Public Schools and Libraries and hope to expand further. Last week Zoobean participated in the White House’s first Demo Day to highlight the need for more inclusion in entrepreneurship.  

Beyer and the Secretaries also saw a demonstration from ParkedIn founder Matt Provo of his “personal parking assistant” app, connecting drivers to parking spaces.

Start-Up Day Across America, which will be celebrated August 19th, is a bipartisan effort founded by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to raise awareness about the important role of the start-up community. 

“Both Representative Beyer and I got our start as business owners before coming to Congress, and we know how difficult it is to get a new company off the ground,” said Rep. Jared Polis. “Startup Day allows lawmakers to experience life at a startup firsthand and gives local innovators the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face with their representatives. I’d like to thank Congressman Beyer, Deputy Secretary Andrews, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Erskine for participating and for supporting our nation’s innovation economy.”

The Commerce Department resource vault supporting innovation, and a full list of resources for startups and their potential businesses partners can be found on Rep. Beyer’s website.

More information about Start-Up Day Across America, 1776, Zoobean, White House Demo Day, and the Department of Commerce’s Open for Innovation event.

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Tags: Economy