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The Download: At Simple Crew, a business use for your smartphone camera

Washington start-up Simple Crew believes that camera on your smartphone is good for more than just snapshots of your family cat or children in Halloween costumes.

The young firm has developed an application for businesses to capture and organize photos taken by employees in the field. The founders expect it could be used by property managers monitoring construction projects, for example.

The business is the brainchild of co-founders Alan VanToai and Mike McCabe, recent college graduates who said they came to rely on photos when conducting grass-roots marketing campaigns for consumer brands and music events.

“Historically, it’s been kind of a mess collecting those photos,” VanToai said. “We realized with mobile there was an opportunity there.”

Users of the app snap a photo, which is then tagged with information about where and when it was taken. The photos are stored in a communal database that Simple Crew charges companies a monthly subscription to access.

2U Meets GWU

George Washington University will debut an online version of its master’s degree in public health program next spring in partnership with Landover-based online education company 2U.

2U, formerly known as 2tor, works with well-regarded brick-and-mortar colleges to offer online versions of graduate programs. The deal allows the schools to expand without providing additional desks and classrooms.

The company has seen its programs catch on as universities face greater pressure to bolster their Web offerings and find creative ways to generate revenue. 2U works with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Southern California, among other schools.

The program at GW’s School of Public Health will be the second local partnership for 2U. The company crafted an online version of the nursing degree program at Georgetown University last year.

Tech festival

The third annual Digital Capital Week got under way on Friday, ushering in what has become the city’s largest celebration of local entrepreneurs.

The seven-day event features a mix of parties and panels, as well as keynote speeches from Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of car service Uber, and Emily Brew, former creative brand director of the Nike Foundation.

Steven Overly is a national reporter covering federal technology and energy policy with a focus on Capitol Hill. He previously covered the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital.



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