Think Startup to Stay Big

Small businesses have the advantage to fail fast and pivot quickly in a direction that responds best to current market demands. This is one of the reasons that more large firms are embracing startups, or creating their own niche project teams to spur innovation.

In the DC region, large technology firms seeking to innovate have been turning to startups and innovators in the community as a part of their strategy for continued growth.

On Wednesday, February 1 Northern Virginia Tech Breakfast hosted a special event for larger Loudoun-based tech firms to share their new technology and projects. Both Verizon and AOL team members demoed new tech for an audience of near 100.

Verizon shared with the audience ThingSpace, a web-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform. This platform is designed for developers seeking an expedited channel to launch their ideas into the marketplace. ThingSpace helps developers by providing the Verizon-tools they need; tools vary from codes to interactive dashboards. For example, if you have the next big idea for a wearable device the ThingSpace Wearable Kit enables you to connect your own platform to the kit board stack and quickly evaluate and prototype.  

Attendees that were seeking a more advanced mapping system benefited from the AOL demo of MapQuest, a mobile based application that boasts 45.3M unique visitors per month. In November of 2016, AOL acquired SocialRadar, a social and location-based application, to improve the functionality of MapQuest. MapQuest’s improvement via the SocialRadar location-abilities will help enterprise users reduce battery-burn and access accurate locations right up to the front door of their desired destination.

Outside of the well-known technology enabled firms in Loudoun County, new projects are turning to small firms to inspire their big projects. The planned Gramercy District in Ashburn, VA seeks a holistic approach to bridge the gaps between real estate and technology through their 22 Citylink project. Managing Partner, Minh Le, welcomes solutions from startups and has already embraced tech startups Gravy Analytics and Neon on the development of their platform.

Reversing the demo format of startups presenting to large firms was an outstanding opportunity for attending startups to learn the needs to their potential customers. We already knew that startups were the best innovators- now large firms are taking notice.