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10 Startups Taking Washington, D.C., By Storm

Washington, D.C. is well known as the nation’s capital and the center of political power and influence, but few notice the increasing number of startups that are flourishing in the background. LivingSocial, which provides location based deals, was founded in D.C and was valued at one billion dollars in 2012 by Amazon. Mabbly has found several up and coming startups that have the chance to become major players across a variety of industries. 

1. Cava Grill 

Founded in 2006 by three friends, Cava Grill is another restaurant capitalizing on the fast-casual restaurant trend, with Greek cuisine. Serving authentic Greek food with all the feta you could want, Cava Grill has become more and more popular with an increasing number of locations. The Cava story began in Washington, but they have now expanded into Virginia and Maryland with five current locations and three more coming soon. With its ever-growing popularity, Cava Grill has the potential to become the next Chipotle.

2. HomeSnap

In 2008, Guy Wolcott and Steve Barnes had the idea that in a world where mobile devices were becoming more and more prevalent, the use of the smartphone cameras would only increase with it, so they founded Homesnap. HomeSnap allows users to simply take a photo of any home that they see and instantly find out vital information about it, like current asking prices, available interior photos and more. As people continue to use their phones more and more, HomeSnap could become a vital tool in the real estate industry.

3. FundRise 

While there are several existing platforms, like MicroVentures and Fundable, that allow for crowd funding for startups, Daniel and Benjamin Miller recognized that there is an absence of a similar platform for real estate and FundRise was born. FundRise is unique from many other platforms in that it allows unaccredited investors the ability to invest in real estate projects, meaning individuals can invest as little as $1,000. The company wants to give individuals the ability to build their own city from the ground up through investments. As it continues to grow, FundRise will become even more important in the financial services industry.

4. SocialRadar

In an age where just about everybody is using social media, many companies are trying to create ways to use the abundance of real-time information, SocialRadar is putting a unique spin on this trend.  Using this information, the SocialRadar app can tell you about people, like how you are connected, right when you walk into a room. It makes it even easier to make connections and find people with mutual interests or connections that you wouldn’t have known you had. With this technology, SocialRadar has the potential to change the way we interact and meet new people.

5. HelloWallet 

Matt Fellowes founded HelloWallet in 2009 when he recognized the need for basic financial advice for everyday Americans. By analyzing your spending habits and behaviors against both real-life and simulated spending data, HelloWallet can help you to tailor your spending habits and to remain in your budget. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, financial planning software continues to become more and more important.

6. SnagFilms

While Netflix, Hulu, and countless others continue to flourish as people move from their television to their computers for content, there was still a need for a similar service for independent and documentary films. SnagFilms fills this void. They offer advertising-supported independent and documentary films, including titles like Supersize Me and The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. At one point, it was even named one of Washington’s fastest growing startups. As SnagFilms continues to expand its library to include even more content, its popularity will only grow with it.

7. Sweetgreen

One common trend within the past few years has been a shift toward healthier dining options, and Sweetgreen has absolutely capitalized on this shift. In 2007, they opened their first restaurant in Georgetown, and the restaurant, which serves healthy, locally sourced cuisine, has been a hit ever since, now with more than 25 restaurants in five different states. Their motto “from farm to table kitchen,” and their cuisine give them all that they need to continue to expand and flourish.

8. Personal

As the Internet continues to become more and more of a part of our everyday lives, everything from subscriptions to medical forms seems to be shifting to cloud computing. Personal allows you to store all of this data in a single, secure location, so you can easily locate this information and fill out forms with ease. They also have storage for passwords and other types of reusable data, so you can keep all of this easily forgettable information in one place. With the shift to cloud computing and data storage, Personal could become a very important part of our personal lives.

9. Contactually

Assessing your business contacts and potential clients across a variety of social media platforms, from Twitter to LinkedIn, can be difficult, but Contactually aims to help you solve this problem. By using Contactually, businesses have been able to achieve between a 30-40% increase in referrals. Contactually helps to sort through your business connections and to cultivate those that truly matter to your business and career. In an interconnected world, Contactually makes it easier to manage what often matters most in business: connections.

10. Salsa Labs

While Indiegogo and Kickstarter provide everything that a non-profit could need in terms of fundraising, they are just that, a fundraising platform. Salsa Labs aims to be much more, providing a platform that makes the fundraising process even easier, helping non-profits to organize their cause and easily add team members in order to maximize the fundraising effort. This gives non-profits even greater access to individuals from across the globe, strengthening the reach and fundraising ability for a variety of worthy causes.

  Know any Washington DC startups we should have included? Submit a comment below and we will consider it for our next list! 


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