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Ep 7: Building startup ecosystems and hosting President Obama with Donna Harris, Co-Founder of 1776

Donna Harris, co-founder of DC startup incubator and seed fund 1776, talks about building startup ecosystems across the US, the relationship between government and entrepreneurs, and the single skill all founders need.

Donna Harris is the co-founder and co-CEO of 1776, a startup incubator that introduces entrepreneurs from around the world to the political, social, and financial leaders of DC. Leaders like President Obama. She's also the founding member of the K Street Capital angel network, and actively invests in startups. Before starting 1776, she worked at Startup America Partnership, founded three companies which were ultimately bought, and raised more than $35 million in capital. It's safe to say she knows a thing or two about startup life.

In this episode, we talk to Donna about how startups are an underutilized resource in DC, the Challenge Cup global competition, and how government and entrepreneurs can work together to rethink education, healthcare, and transportation.

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The thing that we our most successful entrepreneurs that we've seen is this layer of self-directedness. That they aren't waiting for someone to tell them how to do it.

Startups need help from these big institutions like healthcare systems and school districts and universities. And those same organizations can learn a lot from the way startups think.

Donna can be reached at @dharrisindc. 1776 at @1776. The Protagonist @hughandcrye, #theprotagonist.