Jeff Bezos and the Amazon team have a big decision to make as they search for their second headquarters. As a long-time DC techpreneur, I have some advice for them. Like Bezos, I’m an entrepreneur (though my successes have been nano-small in comparison); right now I’m a co-founder or founder of my fourth start-up, Legends of Learning.
The home for all of my start-ups has been the greater Washington area, a wonderful community in which I attended college and graduate school. There are so many bright, talented people here thanks to the opportunities that are available to them. We’re home to top-quality program developers, marketing staff, consultants and other personnel who fuel business.
The presence of the federal government and its policies spawn much more than start-up mania here. The Greater DC Area has helped create countless edtech companies like EverFi and us, which seek to improve the country’s education fortunes.
Then there are the many agencies and companies working with incredible organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and the One Campaign that forge real philanthropic change on a national and global basis. Let us not forget that a vast majority of local tech is in the security space, a robust and unsung community thanks to the private yet critical nature of their national security and defense work.
A Home to Innovation
While Bezos found ways to improve e-commerce for many consumer and B2B industries, I believe game-based learning is ripe for innovation and a means to significantly better education.
Like Amazon, Legends of Learning believes in a data-centric approach. In fact, before we launched, we teamed up with Vanderbilt University on the new study “Substantial Integration of Typical Educational Games into Extended Curriculum.” Published by the Journal of Learning Sciences, the research shows students who played games as part of their regular curriculum were significantly more engaged, and outperformed their peers on both factual knowledge and depth of knowledge. Data continues to drive almost every decision we make in the company.
An Amazon that seeks to improve the industries it touches would fit in well with the general DC culture of seeking improvements to sectors and causes.
The District’s Transportation Benefits
With Legends of Learning, we are benefitting from DC’s easy transportation system. Our office is right near Union Station, which allows Legends of Learning to attract top team members from the breadth of the region. Staff commute from as far as north of Baltimore and much closer Northern Virginia.
As the District ramps up its efforts to land Amazon HQ2, I know I speak for the Legends of Learning team when I say it’s a winner, and as game based learning company, we know a lot about winning.