Venture to bring B2G start-ups to D.C.

DCVentureNet, which calls itself a business-to-government and e-government

accelerator, officially launched Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., with

the goal of establishing the nation's capital as a hotbed for high-tech

start-ups.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the government relations firm the Carmen

Group, DCVentureNet will provide selected B2G start-ups with office facilities,

financial backing and the technical support of staff and service partners,

as well as access to the parent company's government advocacy professionals.

In return, DCVentureNet receives stakes in the companies.

Stephen Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis, is managing director

of DCVentureNet. Goldsmith, whose day-to-day job is executive chairman of

NetGov.com, gained wide recognition during his two terms as mayor during

the 1990s for outsourcing many government services and helping to establish

{http://www.IndyGov.org} IndyGov.org.

Goldsmith said the first four businesses, which will be housed next

to the Carmen Group's offices in the Chinatown section of Washington, should

be selected in the next few weeks. He anticipates the selected companies

to have a federal slant, as opposed to a state and local focus, but that

is still being discussed.

"We're still evaluating that, as inside the B2G world needs further

refinement," Goldsmith told FCW. "We're trying to find a niche for the District..

The goal here is to give the District more of a high-tech start-up profile."

The Carmen Group has leased 18,000 square feet to serve as the permanent

home of DCVentureNet and is renovating the location to include a high-tech

infrastructure, including features such as access to dual T-1 Internet lines

and a suspended catwalk. That location will ultimately house 12 B2G and

e-government firms, and should be operational by April, 2001 Goldsmith said.

Other political heavyweights involved in DCVentureNet include Jack Kemp,

former secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who

is chairman of DCVentureNet's board of directors. H. Patrick Swygert, president

of Howard University, is also on the board. Mayor Anthony Williams was also

on hand Tuesday to welcome the new business to Washington.

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