There’s an association for that app


Scott Nash, owner and founder of Mom’s Organic Market. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
February 26, 2012

The newest trade association in Washington is the Application Developers Alliance, which represents the 465,000 app developers in the United States.

The group was started Jan. 3 by veteran tech insider Jon Potter, who made his name building the Digital Media Association.

The group, located in the former Woodward & Lothrop Building on 10th and F streets NW, already has more than 3,000 members and hopes to grow to several times that by the end of the year, according to Jake Ward, who heads communications for the group.

Founders include big names such as Google, Research in Motion, CBS Interactive, BlueVia, Echo Nest and Woobaa games.

The Washington area has around 5 percent of the app developers in the United States. The association plans to have offices in New York, San Francisco and overseas.

“Application developers are the manufacturing workforce of the digital age,” Ward said. “As the industry grows in importance and size, it’s essential that regulators and lawmakers understand the industry and the role developers play.”

“We are lucky to have what is now the center of the app community right here in this region,” said Pete Snyder, a founding member of ADA and chief executive of Disruptor Capital.

Eat your Veggies

Mom’s Organic Market, the eight-store local grocery chain, is opening a lunch counter when it moves its Rockville store from Parklawn Drive to Randolph Road sometime this spring.

Don’t look for processed carbs such as mac-and-cheese or mashed potatoes. Owner/founder Scott Nash tells us the organic lunch and dinner offerings will include salads, steamed veggie bowls with brown rice and whole grains, sandwiches and vegetable juice.

“The concept is a throwback to the old health food store lunch counters,” said Nash, who is hiring extra staff to man what he is calling the Naked Lunch.

Nash said he plans to add counters at other stores, such the ones in Waldorf and Merrifield. “We’re optimistic,” he said.

And if it flops? “We’ll use it as an employee cafeteria.”

High-end travel

Steve Case’s high-end Exclusive Resorts recently started Portico, a private club whose members can use luxury properties for $500 to $3,000 a night, which believe it or not is up to half off the normal price. A Portico membership will cost you $10,000 up front, plus $2,500 annually. Destinations run from Puerto Vallarta to Provence, France. Portico also entered into a partnership with Ventee Privee, the private shopping club, allowing its members to join Portico for half off, and get a free private chef on their first trip.

Absentee owner

When we heard Jim Garland, chief executive of Dulles-based Sharp Details, was scheduled to speak today at Ingar Grev’s National Capital Region Entrepreneurs Forum luncheon at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, we were curious to know the topic.

Garland, 43, said he planned to discuss how he was able to establish his $3 million business cleaning and maintaining corporate jets while taking a year off to travel the world with his wife and four children.

The quick answer?

“I hired well,” said Garland, who checked in monthly on his operations, which employs 65 people across seven states. “At the end of the day, systems are great, but if you have poor people running them, it doesn’t work. I had the right people in the right place.”

Garland traveled the world from August 2010 to June 2011, starting with a 10-day trip across the United States and then on to Costa Rica, Spain, South Africa and China. He finished up in Fiji before returning to home.

And the cost?

“Let’s just say I will be cleaning airplanes for a long time,” he said.

The Buzz Hears:

Columbus, Ohio-based Bravo Brio Restaurant Group is expanding into the Washington-Baltimore area. Brio Tuscan Grille opens in Rockville on Feb. 29 and another unit opens in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in mid-March. Brio is already in Tysons Corner and Annapolis.

Former NBC correspondent Brooke Salkoff, founder of CampEasy, the McLean-based search engine for parents planning camps for their kids, sold $3,000 in subscriptions in one 24-hour period last week to camps looking to market their summer programs. The site, which went live a few weeks ago, has generated more than $10,000 in revenue. Salkoff is looking for angel help to capture a bigger piece of the $25 billion market.

Silver Spring’s Moorenko’s Ice Cream is now in 26 Whole Foods Markets, 64 Giants and seven Fresh Markets and is participating in The Fancy Food Show this summer.

heatht@washpost.com

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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