Founders to Watch: 4 Startups From Arlington County

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We're launching our City Meetup in Crystal City next month! Check out some startups in the area that are making a difference in the community.

By Ayesha Rizvi (Editorial Intern, Women 2.0)

The second largest principal city of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Arlington in Virginia, is dedicated to luring in high-tech start-ups, university researchers and corporations working with federal science agencies through a $700,000 public-private partnership fund, according to a Washington Post article from January.

Newly elected board chairman, Jay Fisette, wants the board and staff to lay the groundwork for Arlington to become a hub for the innovation economy so that it may thrive alongside surrounding cities. The startups featured below highlight the tech culture in the city as it exists today with plenty more startups beginning to rise up in the near future.

Changing the Way People Shop

 

ShanaShana Lawlor (Founder, MainST)

"We wanted to create some type of way that businesses and the community could connect that was different from what was out there already." -- Founder Shana Lawlor

MainST is a mobile application that inevitable changes the way people shop. Instead of spending hours online searching for sales, events and promotions, driving all over the place looking for amazing products and always walking away wondering if you got the best price, shoppers find peace with MainST.

MainSTIt's essentially a social network of shoppers that are working together to outsmart the masses by sharing their shopping experience, saving everyone time and money and making everyone's shopping trips more fun and fulfilling.

Also the founder of Small Business Day in Arlington, Shana Lawlor holds a B.A in International Communications from Texas Christian University and a MBA from George Washington University School of Business.

Connecting Authors with Communities

 

Laura FredericksLaura Fredericks (Founder, Describli)

 

“There are so many talented authors at the moment, but no great ways to separate the amazing emerging stars from those that brought their work to the public before it was ready.” --Founder Laura Fredericks

Describli is a new social community that helps authors cut through the marketing noise and reach their perfect audience. It combines the ideas of a writing critique site and a social media platform, geared towards authors.

With Describli, authors can find, grow and engage with their audience. They can link to their other work or personal website so giving their followers a chance to can read more and get to know who they are.

An advocate for self published and indie published authors, founder Laura Fredericks is most passionate about getting great books in front of their perfect audiences. She studied at University of Michigan and Georgetown University and managed to raise $20,000 in a crowdfunding campaign through IndieGoGo in December of last year.

Improving the Dining Experience

 

linda stevensLinda Stevens (Founder & CEO, Tangere Technology) “My Co-founder and I are avid food and technology enthusiasts, in fact, it’s due to these two mutual passions and our utter frustrations with the current dining experience that we decided to create Tangere Technology and bring the food services industry into the 21st century.” --Founder Linda Stevens

Tangere Technology offers food service providers with a consumer-facing iPad menu application that integrates with the establishment’s point-of-sale system (POS).Tangere Tech

Utilizing a SaaS based business model, restaurants can utilize the company’s proprietary software to increase consumer engagement. Their Touch2Order (T2O) application allows consumers to view menu items and recommendations, place their order; create a profile of their food preferences, pay their check and enjoy loyalty rewards.

Former product data manager at Google, founder Linda Stevens received her MBA from University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in entrepreneurial studies and a MBA from Santa Clara University in finance and marketing.

Making it Easier for Personal Trainers to Run Their Businesses

 

CameronCameron Kilberg (Founder, Disrupt Fitness) “Lots of trainers struggle to manage their business, either they don’t have the business background or they don’t have enough time. We enable the trainers to focus on what they love and we manage the rest." --Founder Cameron Kilberg

Disrupt Fitness is a website platform that offers clients a way to search for, manage and engage trainers. In addition, it enhances a trainer’s business by taking the hassle out of running a business while handling everything unrelated to training like client marketing, fee management, analytics, and organized benefits for their clients.

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Before launching Disrupt Fitness alongside her own personal trainer, Cameron Kilberg served as Virginia's assistant secretary of technology. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from University of Virginia and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School where she was also a member of the Public Contract Law Journal.

 

Are you a founder, executive, investor, engineer or creative innovator in the Crystal City, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia tech industry? Come to the next Women 2.0 City Meetup on June 26 to be inspired, build new relationships and drive change. RSVP today. See our complete list of cities here Photo by David via Flickr.


About the author: Ayesha Rizvi is a multimedia & editorial assistant at Women 2.0. She is interested in women, technology & how both, when combined, can contribute to economic growth and stability in the developing world. You can find her on twitter at @arizvii