The Download: Local tech execs, investors offer their 2013 forecast

December 30, 2012

The rapid pace of innovation forces technology companies to continually drive change and keeps investors on the hunt for the next promising deal. Take a look at what local tech executives and venture capitalists forecast for 2013:

Jonathan Aberman , Managing director, Amplifier Ventures, a venture capital firm

“I’ve been saying for awhile that Washington’s technology community is going to be changed by the change in how government consumes technology ... There will be a broader discovery on the part of the entrepreneurial community that there are willing customers in parts of the government.”

Marci Harris, CEO, Popvox, a civic engagement Web site

“Greater access to broadband and more people online with smartphones and tablets creates tremendous opportunity — not just for business but for society as a whole. Access to technology is bringing increased involvement in public life and greater accountability for elected officials, businesses and organizations. This is more than a trend — it is a transformation.”

Sean Glass, CEO, EmployInsight, a recruitment software upstart; managing partner, Acceleprise, an enterprise software incubator

“For the past couple of years it’s been pretty hard for venture capital funds to raise new funds ... It takes a couple years for that to hit the entrepreneurs, where you’re going out to raise money and there is less money available. We’re starting to feel that. There’s just not as many funds out there with money. That’s something that’s going to be an important trend this year.”

Mark Levine, Managing director, Core Capital, a venture capital firm

“One area that’s always been one to watch is really business analytics. It’s really the business intelligence of the 21st century. This fits the trend ... with people with their offices in their hands with the iPhone and other devices. Pushing out that kind of intelligence and analytics in real time is critical.”

Ed Barrientos, CEO, Brazen Careerist, a networking Web site; angel investor

“I’m very optimistic about 2013. I see signs of the economy improving. Those start-ups like mine that were born in the tough times (2008 - 2012) and survived despite the tough environment are very well poised to take advantage of the upswing in the economy. The biggest challenges will be for start-ups focused on consumer versus enterprise markets.”

Shane Green, CEO, Personal, a data start-up

“For those focused on the mobile, data-driven world, the opportunities are as big as they have ever been, and are only getting bigger. There are just so few people out there who really get the power of data, and the quantity and quality are increasing exponentially every year — so it’s not enough to play catch-up as things accelerate.”

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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