The second annual Digital Capital Week, a technology and lifestyle festival, kicks off this Friday, the first of eight days of parties, panels and assorted events designed to bolster the District’s reputation as an innovation hub.
Event co-creator Peter Corbett said registrants — there were 8,647 as of Friday afternoon — can expect changes from last year’s inaugural D.C. Week, including a larger presence from community partners, such as the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association and FounderCorps.
Capital Business sat down with Corbett, who also heads digital marketing firm iStrategyLabs, to discuss what attendees can expect from the festival’s second year.
What’s new on the agenda?
We added keynotes at Warner Theatre. The one thing that we learned [last year] is because of a festival’s distributed nature, it’s sometimes hard to have that mass experience that people crave. They really want to see 1,000 people in the same room.
Community development was an emphasis last year. What kind of follow-through did you see?
There’s actually one really best example. Last year we had this pop-up incubator on H Street. We’ve seen just in a year alone temporary urbanism in D.C. just exploding. People are trying new things and that’s important because in D.C. real estate can be really difficult to get.
Can the excitement of a first-time event last?
People aren’t fully sure what D.C. Week is yet. The festival will be relatively double the size, so there will be a lot of people who weren’t there last year.
The question will be is that enough next year? And the fourth year and the fifth year? I don’t think so. What is going to be enough is this [acting] as a lever to show the rest of the world that this region is one of the most creative and innovative on the planet.
Following a tough fundraising quarter for companies and venture capital houses alike, Baltimore-based ABS Capital Partners plans to announce today the closure of a $500 million round — $100 million more than investors there initially planned.
ABS Capital invests in late-stage growth companies and counts local firms such as Alarm.com and Rosetta Stone among its portfolio companies.