News & Politics

Will Trump Sink DC’s Tech Scene?

Photograph by Flickr user Gage Skidmore.

Techies flocked to Washington over the past eight years, drawn to a city seen as cool and tech-friendly under President Obama. President Trump, on the other hand, rarely talks about Silicon Valley–esque innovation and seems unlikely to hold a “South by South Lawn” civic-tech festival at the White House, as his predecessor did. Can we expect a brain drain? Here’s what a few of our Tech Titans have to say.

“Tech requires energetic young people, and Obama brought that. I do fear now there’s just a weird taint on the city.”

Susan Tynan of Framebridge, who has seen prospective hires get cold feet about moving here after the election

“Before, it was ‘How do we increase diversity?’ Now it’s ‘How do we protect it?’ It’s weird—I never thought we’d have to do that.”

Zvi Band of Contactually

“I see a brain drain as a manageable problem. There’s a lot of power and desire that just needs to be channeled. Trump needs someone in his back yard to stand up to him.”

Dan Berger of Social Tables, who with other tech leaders is building a platform to mobilize employees on causes they believe in

“Trump might be the best thing to ever happen to DC tech.”

Sean Glass of Advantia Health, who posits that smart programmers working in federal government could leave their positions to found the next wave of great start-ups.

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.