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Arlington Startup Competition to Offer Free Office Rent, Lodging to Winner

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Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Startup Arlington logo (Courtesy of Arlington Economic Development)Arlington Economic Development is giving startup companies a chance to win free work and living space in Arlington for three months, as part of a push to attract startups from other parts of the county.

To enter to win, companies have to submit an application to AED by Oct. 17. Questions include how may sales and employees a company has, if the company has any patents, how the company is currently funded and how living and working in Arlington would benefit the company.

“We have a panel of AED representatives, venture capitalists, and notable people in the startup community here who will be evaluating the submissions based on the startup’s viability, scalability and business model. The panel will also be looking at how being in Arlington can benefit that business,” said AED spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell.

In addition to free workspace in Rosslyn, offered by Carr Workplaces, and three months at the Residence Inn Rosslyn, the winning startup will get free legal advice and business counseling from Arlington Law Group and complimentary Metro passes.

All contestants must be 21 years of age or older and the founder or CEO of the startup. Applicants cannot be residents of D.C., Prince William, Fairfax, Loudon or Arlington counties in Virginia or Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland, according to Startup Arlington’s rules.

Startup Arlington is the county’s newest initiative to bring new businesses to the county, O’Donnell said.

“Startup Arlington is a new way to increase awareness of the resources and opportunities available to startups in Arlington. It is part of a larger initiative we are building in the county, which is aimed at attracting and marketing Arlington as a tech friendly place to move or launch your startup,” she said. “We also want to demonstrate that Arlington is actively seeking companies that are building technologies that have application with the local government.”

Arlington is beginning to establish itself as a destination for startups, O’Donnell said. The county is home to both startup companies and incubators, such as 1776 and Eastern Foundry, which both have locations in Crystal City.

“Every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs set out on their own in Arlington. There’s a reason for that. Not only are some of the most brilliant entrepreneurial minds here, they also have access to unprecedented university research and opportunities to connect with Federal defense and research agencies — the very agencies that seek high-tech businesses to build technologies,” O’Donnell said.

The county is able to offer startups a competitive pool of potential employees, the ability to draw from D.C. resources and access to public transportation, all which help a company succeed, she added.

“There are very few places in the country where you can draw your entire talent pool in one place to build a successful company, certainly, Arlington is one of them. From a location standpoint, if you look at locations like Clarendon, Ballston, Rosslyn, or Crystal City, they offer all of the amenities that a startup would want,” she said.

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