GA Washington DC

A couple of years ago, entrepreneurial educational institution General Assembly scouted Washington DC and decided there wasn’t enough startup activity to warrant starting a program in the city just yet.

This year, now that incubator-cum-startup community 1776 has established itself in the heart of the nation’s capital and consolidated much of the city’s startup activity within its campus, General Assembly has had a change of heart. Today, it is announcing a parternship with 1776 to bring full-time immersive programs, long-form courses, and classes in technology, business, and design to town.

General Assembly has taken over a large portion of 1776’s downtown floor space, which occupies two floors of an office tower just across the road from the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, and four blocks from the White House. The new set-up will begin offering classes and workshops in early October, with long-term courses kicking off early next year. The programs will cover a diverse range of startup-related skills and disciplines, from law to data visualization to web development.

Washington DC is General Assembly’s ninth campus, adding to its presence in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Previously, General Assembly had considered Washington DC as an early option for expansion beyond New York, but it instead decided to priortize other markets, including London, according to a source familiar wtih the company’s decision-making. But 1776, which launched seven months ago and now houses more than 100 startups, tipped the scales. General Assembly’s arrival at the campus comes on top of 1776’s other community offerings, including coworking space for startups, conference rooms, and regular events.

The addition of General Assembly to its campus is the latest step in 1776’s ambitious plan to become the global epicenter for startups interested tackling highly-regulated sectors, such as energy, education, healthcare, and government. Thanks to its proximity to the White House and Capitol Hill, as well as its contacts in the worlds of government and business, 1776 thinks it can help startups cut through red tape and forge the connections they need to get things done in areas where there tend to be a lot of bureaucrats.

In order to carry out that mission on a global scale, 1776 also recently announced an international startup competition set to take place across 16 cities – eight of which are in the US – over the course of several months. The competition, which starts in October culiminates in a week-long festival in DC in May 2014.

Later this year, 1776 will also launch an accelerator, and it is also exploring options for setting up a seed fund.

Image via General Assembly