Conferences are great. But finding a great network, that’s alive and dynamic, helps you build a reputation, become known throughout the city, and of course create a unique personal brand.
D.C.’s entrepreneur and tech scene is one of the most unassuming and welcoming communities there is. Despite being at different stages of success, everyone is looking for and willing to give help.
So while you are waiting for the next TechCon, try these three networks to help you stay in the tech loop all year round.
1776 & General Assembly
Not just a place or a building– it’s a network. 1776 is where tech professionals go to find everything from big data and edtech opportunities to angel investors and office space.
The incubator hosts weekly events that specifically cater to the tech community in DC as well as offering classes and sessions to help you improve your skills. In addition to attending events, be sure to follow these guys on social media and subscribe to their mailing list. 1776 is a great place to network and forge real relationships with people in your profession who live in your city.
You can even take your affiliation a step further by becoming a member or getting a tech mentor and tapping into an even wider network of benefits. And just in case you’re wondering who’s been involved, think President Obama.
HDI Capital Area
What HDI lacks in glamour, it makes up in solid networks and connections that have a strong history in the District. The HDI Capital Area Chapter serves IT support professionals in the Washington, DC area and has been doing so long before tech became sexy. While it does not have the trendy incubator culture you’ll may find at 1776, HDI Capital Area is a network you’ll be glad you joined.
This organization not only provides an opportunity to network, but it connects you with relevant classes, webinars and sessions as well as organizations and individuals who have a long history with the city of Washington, DC. If you’re looking for a position with the federal government or a power player like Northrop Grumman, HDI Capital Area is perfect.
Membership is also available for those interested in connecting on a deeper level. What’s great about this organization is that they have weekly meetings in an intimate setting– where specialists in a variety of fields are brought in to give TED-style talks.
DC Nightowls Tech Meetup
From tech inclusion to happy hour— DC Nightowls do it all. The perfect starting point for wantreprenuers, it is a meeting of the most open minds. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely. And finally having a place to not just bring your ideas but find help bringing them to life is refreshing.
While its important to register for the upcoming TechCon, and to make that really cool happy hour on the Hill—remember that tech networks are probably the most useful tools for weekly and daily connections for professionals in the District. You can build meaningful relationships that can mature into everything from finding a cofounder, landing a new project, or even a new job.