Startup Virginia, part of the privately-funded Startup America Partnership that President Obama helped to launch last year, promises to “support entrepreneurs and help startups drive job creation” in the Commonwealth. Organizers say Northern Virginia in particular is fertile ground for startups, with the numerous corporate headquarters in the area and with the area’s focus on science and technology.
“It’s about time this region got the recognition it deserves,” said a panelist at this morning’s launch event, which was attended by several hundred business leaders, academics and other attendees. Another panelist suggested that entrepreneurs can help pick up some of the economic slack that will be caused by expected cuts in defense spending.
Among the speakers at the event were Aneesh Chopra, the outgoing Chief Technology Officer for the White House, and Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership and a prominent local investor. Chopra cited Courthouse-based Opower as an example of a Virginia startup that’s making it big.
“Right down the street here in Arlington, Opower didn’t exist five years ago,” Chopra said. “[It has] over 300 employees to help compete to bring down your energy bills.”
Chopra made some news at the event when he hinted at a new bipartisan legislative package that’s expected to be announced by the White House later today. According to Chopra, the legislation would cut taxes for small businesses and entrepreneurs, would reduce barriers to accessing capital markets for high-growth companies, and would seek to reduce administrative backlogs for high-skill immigration.
Case said entrepreneurs helped to build the United States into the world power it is today.
“We didn’t become the leading economy by accident,” Case said. “It was the work of entrepreneurs creating companies, and really creating entire industries, that in the last two centuries has propelled us to the position we now have globally.”
Case cautioned, however, that other countries are trying to catch up with America in the realm of entrepreneurship. The U.S. must focus on “winning the global battle on talent,” he said.
Beer lovers will gather at IOTA Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon tonight for the official Arlington launch of draught beers from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo.
The launch party, which is being held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., will feature brewery representatives and five New Belgium beer varieties on tap. Among the planned draught offerings: the brewery’s popular Fat Tire Amber Ale, the Hoptober Golden Ale, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, Ranger Indian Pale Ale and Clutch Dark Sour Ale. Numerous New Belgium bottled varieties will also be offered.
Up until very recently, New Belgium beers were not available in the D.C. area. Tonight’s event will celebrate the arrival of New Belgium to D.C. and Arlington. Admission is free, but attendees must be 21 or over.
New Belgium fans will be able to buy beer for consumption on or off premises. Draught beer can be brought home in IOTA’s “Clarendon Growlers,” which are available for purchase.
In addition to the launch party, IOTA is hosting a number of musical performances tonight, including blues-rocker Jason Ager and the usual Wednesday open mic night.
A new food truck is promising to bring some of the flavors of New Orleans to the streets of Arlington.
- Oyster Po Boy — $9
- Shrimp Po Boy — $8
- Roast Beef Po Boy — $8
- Pulled Pork Po Boy — $7
- Chips, Soda and Water — $1
- Bread Pudding — $3
Photos courtesy Willie’s Po Boy
Capital Empanadas will serve “freshly-made Andean-style empanadas” to denizens of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and, in a few weeks, Crystal City as well.
The cart’s owner, Richard Villegas, is a native of Colombia and a ten-year Arlington resident. Villegas says he is “thrilled” to introduce this “unique treat” to the area.
“Our Andean-style handmade empanadas have typical flavors from our beloved Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru,” the Capital Empanadas web site says. “We put our heart and soul into our empanadas and you’ll feel the love once you meet us and enjoy them.”
The Capital Empanadas menu includes:
- Meat (carne) empanada
- Chicken empanada
- Cheese empanada
- Veggie empanada
- Plantain chips
- Dulce de Leche
- Water and soft drinks (including Colombiana, Inca Kola and Coke products)
Photo courtesy Capital Empanadas