Potomac Tech Wire Internet Outlook ‘08 Recap

Trace Johnson, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

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DC has a strong buzz that’s fostering a growing tech environment in which Internet startups can thrive. From the work and ideas being tossed around here at Viget, even at the micro level I am feeling the general buzz of new ideas, big wins, and an entrepreneurial spirit.* This morning’s panel discussion at Potomac TechWire hosted at the Ritz was exceptional commentary from some of the best in DC’s tech community. The panel discussion included Scott Frederick, a general partner at Valhalla Partners, who discussed the general state of internet development and new technology from a venture capitalist perspective. My impression from Scott’s comments is that funding is out there for good ideas backed by a solid business plan. There were no indications that the market is dry in capital or ideas. Laurence Hooper, co-founder and CEO of Loladex (disclosure: they're a Viget client), recently launched his new Facebook app, and brought a startup and hyper-local search perspective to the discussion. It’s great to have perspective of a person who has built an idea from the ground-up. Some wisdom can only be obtained through doing, and Laurence and the team seem to be doing it well. Chris Mcgill, CEO of Mixx.com, focused on the fragmentation of the web. His site is a great example of how people are aggregating and filtering content in a more personal way. Don Rainey, general partner at Grotech Ventures, Jay Rappaport, president and COO at Clearspring, and Paul Sherman, editor and publisher of Potomac Tech Wire all had great commentary on the industry, and their perspectives gave depth to the entire dialog. There didn’t seem to be anything but positive energy surrounding the future of the industry and especially the local market. Personally, I can’t believe the amount of work to be done, the good ideas popping up, and the opportunity over the next year. Here’s looking out to a great 2008 on the web. *Google cited the National Policy Research Council’s Entrepreneurial Hot Spots report when making DC a destination city for the Google Apps team in their cities tour.

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