Green Spoon founder Hanson Cheng and his team served guests lemon garlic chicken, cauliflower mash and truffled mushrooms, earning $1.48 million in “investment.” Every guest was given $100,000 in fake $10,000 bills to invest in their favorite companies. A total of $11.26 million in “venture capital” was invested.
In second place was Encore, a company based in Rosslyn’s ÜberOffices that gives companies advice on what to tweet, when and how often. Encore received $1.25 million in “investment,” just edging out Giftrocker, a gift certificate and e-commerce platform, which brought in $1.18 million.
“I’m stunned,” Cheng said after it was announced that Green Spoon won the competition. The Green Spoon also won the contest for Best Entrée at Taste of Arlington in April. “There are all these companies with amazing services and the fact that we’re even in this room is crazy. I’m ecstatic.”
Many of the 100+ guests at the event remarked on the diversity of the companies, both in the products they sell and the stage of their growth. One company, RoadFan, made its public debut at the event while another, Boldfoot socks, had a chance to show its designs to customers in physical form for the first time.
“This is the first time we’re throwing it out to the world,” RoadFan co-founder Jason Waxberg said. His company is a platform to allow fans of teams gather in a communal spot in any city to watch games together. “To be in the same room as Encore and Distil Networks, who are at the forefront of D.C. startups, it’s great exposure.”
Dozens of members of the Arlington community showed up to network, attempt to create partnerships and see the future of business in the county. Ryan Halpin works in a D.C.-based accounting firm that specializes in technology and was hoping to entice a few new clients.
“I think all the companies here are pretty impressive in their own way,” Halpin said. “It’s interesting to see where they’re all at. For me an event like this is an obvious fit. It’s not your typical networking event.”
The entrepreneurs were all given money to invest in the other companies, and all of them glowed about the communal experience of starting a new business.
“Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey,” Boldfoot founder Brad Christmann said. “It’s cool to be here and talk shop. There’s nothing cutthroat, everyone is genuinely excited to see everyone do well.”
ARLnow.com hosted the event with the Crystal City Business Improvement District, Click, Disruption Corporation — which owns Crystal Tech Fund — Grade A Marketing and The Falcon Lab. Below is the complete list of companies that participated:
- The Green Spoon
- Boldfoot Socks
- Control A+
- Homemade Gin Kit
- Airside Mobile
- Addverb Bottle Company
- Distil Networks
Disclosure: The Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
ARLive Startup Smackdown, the competition where community members get to “invest” in Arlington-based startup companies, will take place tonight at Crystal Tech Fund (2231 Crystal Drive, 10th floor) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 at the door or can be purchased online. The tickets cover appetizers, beer and wine, as well as fake dollars to invest in one of 17 companies. The company with the most fake money at the end of the night wins a lunch at Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City with Crystal Tech Fund founder and investor Paul Singh.
Thirteen of the companies participating have been featured in ARLnow.com’s weekly Startup Monday series, including: flower e-commerce company Bloompop, a Crystal Tech Fund company, food delivery service The Green Spoon, The Homemade Gin Kit — which plans on bringing gin samples — and crowdfunded sock company Boldfoot.
The event is also a chance to network with Arlington entrepreneurs and see the future of business in the county. Several of the companies have secured a combined millions of dollars in angel investment and venture capital in recent years.
Photo (bottom) via Twitter
Crystal City BID, in association with ARLnow.com, will be hosting the ARLive Startup Smackdown next Tuesday (July 22) from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. The event is being held at the offices of Crystal Tech Fund, at 2231 Crystal Drive.
Attendees can check out the products and services being offered by local startups, and will be given play money to “invest” in the company or companies they like best. The winning company will receive an exclusive lunch with venture capitalist Paul Singh.
For those attending, there’s no need to bring real cash — all the food, drink and professional networking you desire will be provided with the cost of admission.
Tickets for the event are $20.
Caucus Date Set for Treasurer, School Board — Arlington Democrats will hold a caucus the evening of Monday, Aug. 4 to determine the party’s nominees in the special elections to replace Treasurer Frank O’Leary and School Board member Noah Simon. The caucus will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. [InsideNova]
Comeback for Crumbs? — The Crumbs store in Clarendon and across the country closed this week, but could a comeback for the cupcake company be imminent? A group of investors is planning to provide financing for the bankrupt Crumbs Bakeshop Inc., and that could revive some of the company’s stores. [Washington Business Journal]
Clarendon Art Festival to Return — The “Arlington Festival of the Arts” will return for a second year in Clarendon. The art festival is scheduled to take over part of N. Highland Street for two days on the weekend of Saturday, Sept. 20. [ArtFestival.com]
Last Day for Cheaper Tickets to ARLive — After today, tickets to the upcoming ARLive Startup Smackdown will increase from $15 to $20. The event — which is being held after work on Tuesday, July 22 — will pit about 20 Arlington-based startups against each other in a bid to collect the biggest “investment” from attendees, who will be given play money to dole out to their favorites. Beer, wine and food are included in the price of admission. [nVite]
The last two decades in Arlington have been defined by massive, rapid growth in both the residential and business sectors, and leaders in the community are predicting more of the same over the next 10 years.
At Tuesday’s ARLive event, ARLnow.com asked several members of the Arlington community, from residents to business leaders to politicians, what they thought the future would hold. No one believes Arlington will take any steps back from its recent growth — despite a commercial vacancy rate of about 20 percent — and no one mentioned controversial projects like the Columbia Pike streetcar or the planned Long Bridge Park aquatics center.
County Board candidates John Vihstadt, a Republican- and Green-endorsed independent, and Democrat Alan Howze, were in attendance and professed their optimism for the county they hope to lead.
“I think it has unlimited potential,” Vihstadt said. “I hope it’s going to continue to be a diverse community. At the same time I hope we’re able to preserve the small-town feel of Arlington. I really think it’s almost unique among jurisdictions in the D.C. area in terms of its attractiveness and potential, but it needs to redouble its efforts to remain innovative and competitive.”
“In the next ten years we will see a revitalized Crystal City, a growing Columbia Pike corridor, and a community that continues to value Arlington’s vibrant mix of urban and suburban,” he said. “We will also see more students in our schools than we have seen in decades as neighborhoods continue to turn over, new families move into Arlington and younger residents stay in Arlington after starting families.”
Crystal City’s potential was also on the mind of Aurora Highlands Civic Association President Cheryl Mendonsa, who noted that when she moved into her neighborhood, Crystal City and Pentagon City were fractions of what they are now.
“As Crystal City develops it’s going to be an interesting dynamic,” she said. “It’s going to be the place to be. We’re so close to everything — I think it’s going to be a major city.”
Brian Zupan, the regional sales director for Urban Igloo, also agrees with Howze on the appeal of Arlington’s mix of suburban neighborhoods and urban centers.
“People want the urban-suburban feel in areas they live,” he said. “People want to have things where they’re living. People don’t want to drive to the strip mall and get food, they want to walk. We’re going to see a continued infill and increased density with proximity to the District.”
Hundreds of Arlington business leaders, politicians, media members and residents attended the first ARLive community networking event last night (Tuesday) in Crystal City.
Attendees included Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey, County Board candidates Alan Howze and John Vihstadt, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, Crystal City Business Improvement District President and CEO Angie Fox, Vornado SVP of Development Mitch Bonanno, ARLnow.com founder and publisher Scott Brodbeck, Grade A Marketing founder Amanda Fischer, Falcon Lab Managing Partner Borzou Azabdaftari, Penzance Senior Advisor Peter Greenwald, Arlington County Democratic Committee Chairman Kip Malinosky, Rep. Jim Moran spokesman Tommy Scanlon, former County Board candidate Peter Fallon, Spider Kelly’s owner and ARLnow.com contributor Nick Freshman, A-SPAN Director of Development and Communications Jan-Michael Sacharko, BbG Fitness owner and ARLnow.com columnist Ginny Wright, singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, ARLnow.com reporter Ethan Rothstein, and ARLnow.com Director of Sales and Business Development Meghan McMahon.
ARLnow.com asked each guest to participate in an unscientific community poll while attending. They were asked to answer any or all of 20 questions, by placing a sticker next to the answer of their choice.
On the hot-button topic of the Columbia Pike street the results were surprising lopsided. Of those who weighed in, 85 percent said the streetcar should be built, while only 15 percent said the project should be scrapped.
For the similarly controversial Long Bridge Park aquatics center, 49 percent said it should be built, 15 percent said it shouldn’t be built, and 36 percent said it should be built only if costs can be brought down.
Here are the responses for some of the poll questions:
- Are you… Single: 23%, In a relationship: 32%, Married: 40%, It’s complicated: 5%
- Do you… Live in Arlington: 25%, Work in Arlington: 19%, Both: 41%, None of the above: 15%
- How long have you lived in Arlington? 0-1 years: 10%, 1-4 years: 22%, 5-10 years: 22%, 11-20 years: 9%, 21+ years: 13%, I don’t live here: 22%
- Restaurant options in Arlington… Are great: 85%, Are good, but they’re too busy: 7.5%, Are okay, but not enough variety: 7.5%, Need a lot of improvement: 0%
- In 2014, I expect my business will… Grow: 65%, Contract: 2%, Remain about the same: 3%, I work for The Man: 30%
- How do you feel about the comments on ARLnow.com? I read them and love them: 32%, I read them and hate them: 21%, I don’t read them anymore: 13%, I’ve never read them: 34%
- Arlington’s investment in affordable housing should… Increase: 67%, Be reduced: 8%, Remain about the same: 25%
- Arlington’s attitude toward business is… Too pro-business: 5%, Not pro-business enough: 67%, Just about right: 28%
- Should Arlington spend more proportionally on schools? Yes: 67%, No: 33%
- Metro’s plan to build a new Potomac River tunnel from Rosslyn is… A great idea: 58%, Too expensive or impractical: 29%, I didn’t know about it: 13%
- Roads in Arlington… Are adequately maintained: 25%, Need more maintenance: 75%
- Will you vote in the County Board special election? Yes: 50%, No: 50%
- How often do you visit Arlington Public Libraries? Daily: 1%, Weekly: 6%, Monthly: 22%, Rarely: 43%, Never: 28%
- Arlington’s taxes are… Too high: 56%, Too low: 9%, Just about right: 35%
- The Silver Line will be… Good for Arlington: 75%, Bad for Arlington: 6%, A wash for Arlington: 19%
- Should the Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center be built? Yes: 49%, No: 15%, Only if costs can be brought down: 36%
- Should the Columbia Pike Streetcar be built? Yes: 85%, No: 15%
More than 250 tickets were claimed before the 3:00 online purchase deadline. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 apiece. That includes plenty of wine, good beer and cider (mostly from Virginia breweries), and appetizers from Jaleo.
Come join media personalities, entrepreneurs, business professionals, elected officials and fellow ARLnow readers for two and a half hours of food, drink, music and interesting conversation.
The event is happening from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the 10th floor of 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City. The location is easily Metro-accessible but free parking is also available.
From tech entrepreneurs to elected officials to local social media personalities to business professionals to political candidates to ARLnow readers and commenters — tomorrow’s ARLive event will bring together a diverse group of local movers and shakers for interesting conversations over drinks, hors d’oeuvres and music.
More than 200 tickets have been claimed for the event, which is part social, part networking.
Advance tickets will be available online through 3:00 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets will also be available at the door.
ARLive is taking place from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday on the 10th floor of 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City. The location is easily Metro-accessible but free parking is also available.
You read ARLnow.com articles to stay on top of the latest goings on around town. You might even take our polls, Tweet us tips or participate in the comment section. In short, you’re a part of the community.
Now’s your chance to get even more plugged into the community for fun and profit, all while enjoying beer, wine and tasty food.
From 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, ARLnow.com will be hosting ARLive, a golden opportunity to meet the people behind the headlines. Sponsored by Crystal City BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Click, Grade A Marketing, The Falcon Lab and Crystal City Wine Shop, the event is taking place on the spacious 10th floor of 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
Part business networking event, part interactive community gathering, ARLive will bring together Arlington residents, professionals and officials for thought-provoking conversations and in-person social networking.
There will be a DJ, newsy activities and complimentary food and drink. Plus, enjoy sweeping panoramic views of Washington, D.C., Crystal City, Reagan National Airport and the Potomac River from the event space.
Hors d’oeuvres will be provded by Jaleo, while wine is sponsored by the Crystal City Wine Shop and beer is sponsored by ARLnow.com.
The 2011 Crystal Drive building is easily accessible via Metro and other public transport. Free parking is also available.
Early bird ticket pricing is available through Tuesday. Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite.