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Startup DC Seeks To “Reboot” America By Connecting Big Business and Emerging Startups

Reboot America, created by Startup DC in partnership with the national Startup America Partnership is a year-long program connecting large corporations and emerging startup companies across key regional industries for the purposes of collaboration and partnership. Corporations in DC-strong verticals like education, defense, biotech, media, and politics will learn about the DC entrepreneurship community and how they can work together for various reasons, and the startups will learn about the challenges of big business, potentially becoming their partners in new projects and business ventures.

Reboot America’s engagement will happen online through digital platforms and offline during a series of events culminating in a national conference on November 8 -9 during the 10,000-attendee Digital Capital Week festival.

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What the Future Looks Like

I’d like to share a portrait with you of what the future of our country looks like.

In this blog, I’ve argued repeatedly that we need tounleash our entrepreneurs to reinvent America. Technology is making us radically more empowered as individuals, while the institutions that define our countryaren’t changing with us. To me, these assertions are obvious truths about what hope looks like for America, but I’m certainly aware of the response that they are merely platitudes without any specifics.

Therefore, before I continue forward with my broader argument, I’m going to give a very specific example of a team of entrepreneurs reinventing an institution, namely high school.

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The Power of Entrepreneurs

We need to reinvent America because our system is broken. Technology is making us radically more empowered as individuals and our culture is rapidly changing. But the institutions that define our country haven’t changed with them.

The question isn’t whether we have to change. It’s how.

The answer is simple: we need to unleash the American people and our entrepreneurs. The frustration that we all feel when we look at our country today represents a massive market opportunity. I’m hell-bent on convincing the entrepreneurial talent in America that our crisis of confidence in the way our country works is actually the greatest opportunity for launching new ventures that we’ll see in our lifetimes. And even more importantly, tackling these really big problems is the single most patriotic thing you can do.

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America’s Crisis of Confidence

Evan Burfield wrote in The Huffington Post:

As a serial entrepreneur, I’m in the business of innovation. An entrepreneur constantly looks for market opportunities, or the aspects of life that frustrate us and prevent us from living and working at our full potential. Then the entrepreneur brings together a passionate team of people to invent a better way of doing things. If they’re right about the opportunity — if the frustration is great enough — and they build the right team with the right culture and everything else falls into place, then a new venture is forged and seemingly overnight people can’t remember how they ever lived without the venture’s wonderful new product or service.

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The Serial Entrepreneur

Evan Burfield wrote in The Huffington Post:

I’m a serial entrepreneur and I want to convince you to change the world. I’m currently chairman of Startup DC, chairman and founder of Synteractive, a mentor and limited partner with The Fort, a mentor to a venture accelerator program at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a husband, an uncle, a son, a brother, and a provider to my wife’s five cats.

While those are my qualifications at this point in time, my journey has done much more to shape my thinking than any particular destination. I’ve been kicked out of school. I’ve been told that I was destined to be a failure. I’ve been told that I was not very smart. I raised $1 million before I turned 20. I’ve won the Webb Medley award at Oxford University. I have failed, I have succeeded, I have lost mentors and family members, and I have created jobs, disrupted industries, and hopefully changed lives. All the while, I have been constantly questioning the institutions that attempt to pigeonhole us and make us conform.

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