Digital DC Tech Fund Eligibility
Thank you for your interest in the Digital DC Technology Fund (DDCTF) – a catalytic investment fund dedicated to growing DC’s Digital Economy.
The pilot investment round will award up to $1 million in grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 to tech start ups in the early stages and poised for growth. The ideal applicant is a seeded company ready to grow into Series A or B financing.
All fund investments are one-time, non-debt incurring grants. The fund is designed to grow and accelerate a diverse community of tech entrepreneurs who successfully expand ventures in Washington, D.C.
DC Innovates (DCI), a local nonprofit, will manage the process for review and recommendation on behalf of the District of Columbia Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. DCI has assembled an Investment Advisory Board (IAB) of leaders from the region’s investment and tech communities. This group will evaluate each application and recommend initial investments to the city. All final decisions on investments will be made by DC officials.
Eligibility. Funding for this pilot round is made possible through the DC Great Streets Program, a commercial revitalization initiative focused on improving major corridors. All grant recipients will be required to relocate to the new Digital DC Tech Opportunity Corridor within six months of funding. These companies will be required to stay within the geographic limits of the corridor for 36 months. Additional grant requirements include:
- Within six months of initial funding, the company must meet the criteria of a Qualified High Technology Company (QHTC), which is defined as an individual or entity organized for profit that:
- Maintains an office, headquarters, or base of operations in the District of Columbia;
- Has 2 or more employees in the District (NOT including board members, founders or their spouses);
- Receives at least 51% of its gross revenue from one or more of certain “permitted” tech activities (e.g., Internet-related services, content and products; information and communications technologies; advanced materials and processing technologies; engineering, production, biotech, and defense technologies; and electronic and photonic devices. For more details on permitted activities please see DC’s Office of Tax and Revenue Guidelines (Form 2013 FR-399 Qualified High Technology Companies PDF); and
- Does not receive 51% or more of its gross revenue from operating a retail store or electronic equipment facility in the District;
- The company must be appropriately registered as a business in the District.
- The company must be current in all District tax filing requirements and payment obligations.
- The company must be located within or relocate to the Digital DC Tech Opportunity Corridor within six months of initial funding. (The company must hold lease or own property in the corridor. Locating in a co-working or incubator space in the corridor does not qualify.)
- The company must commit to hiring DC residents (or those who will become DC residents within 6 months of joining the company) for 51% of new positions. The company must commit to participating in the District-subsidized Summer Youth Employment Program/One City High School Intern program
Deadline. Proposals must be submitted electronically (online), using the online application form accessible on this page. Please click on the ‘Apply Online Here’ button located on the top left or the ‘Online Application Form’ button located at the bottom of this page. All applications must be completed and submitted online by Friday, June 27 at 5pm Eastern Daylight Time. Partial applications and those completed after that time will not be considered for this round of funding.
Investment Criterion. The IAB and District officials will assess each proposal and determine whether it is consistent with the mission of the Fund to grow and accelerate a diverse community of tech entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C.
Criterion used in this evaluation will include:
- Founder(s) / Business Concept
- Management Team / Human Capital / Company Infrastructure
- Investment Stage
- Product / Service Offering
Confidentiality. Members of the IAB as well as DCI and city officials reviewing the applications do not sign non-disclosure agreements. However, each individual involved in the review process will respect the confidentiality of business plans. Submissions may be full business plans or Executive Summaries that provide adequate information for an initial review. Always include contact information so DCI can request additional information as needed.
Grant Recipients. Grant funding will be managed by grants and contracting officers from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Once an application is approved for investment, the applicant will have thirty days to execute the grant funding agreement with the City of Washington, D.C. As part of this process, awardees will be asked to provide proof of the following requirements:
- Grant recipients / awardees must be a registered business in Good Standing with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR), the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), and the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Grant recipients / awardees must possess property and liability insurance (an insurance quote is permitted for new businesses) and be compliant with requirements set forth in this application
- Grant recipients / awardees must verify location eligibility on the targeted Digital DC Tech Opportunity Corridor and possess site control of the property on which the business is located through one of the following:
- Ownership by deed;
- Property control by execution of contract of sale to purchase the property;
- Property control by execution of an option to purchase the property; or
- Execution as lessee of lease with an unexpired term of at least three (3) years
More information. If you have more questions, please contact the DCI team via email at [email protected]