About Our Group

Who are we?

Hacker News Readers of DC is a meetup group of over 320 startup founders and technology enthusiasts in the DC metro area (including DC, Northern Virginia, and parts of Maryland). You can see our members' activity here.

How did the group start?

The name of our group comes from a startup-focused social news website called Hacker News. The website is curated by YCombinator, a Silicon Valley seed-stage venture capital firm recently featured in Forbes Magazine.)

In May of 2009, a member posted a comment that he had just finished a 2-year trip of backpacking and hacking (hackpacking?), hitting 20 countries in 2 years, and had flown home through Dulles Airport.

Rusty, upon seeing this, had two thoughts: "There are people who read Hacker News in the DC area?!" and "Wow, I'd like to buy that guy a beer!" On a lark, he created a group on Meetup.com and posted about it on Hacker News. Within a few hours the group had more than 50 members, and we held our first event a few days later.

Our meetup group has no official relationship with the Hacker News website or YCombinator, we all just enjoy reading the site. Check out the right side of this page for similar Hacker News meetup groups in other cities.

What happens at a typical event?

Up until now we’ve limited our events to happy hours at local restaurants and bars. When you put a bunch of interesting people together and add food and beer, the rest happens organically. We tend to schedule happy hours for a weeknight around 6pm at a bar near a metro in DC or NOVA.

We're ramping up to more structured events in the near future, things like:

  • Mini-technology conferences with featured speakers.
  • Opportunities for startups to present their products and get feedback.
  • “Find a Co-Founder” events to connect members launching companies.
  • Technology “swap meets”, allowing members to trade their old gear and gadgets.
  • Hack-a-Thon events, aimed at designing, building, and launching a product in a weekend.

(For this to happen, we need sponsors. Can you help?)

When is your next event?

You can find information about our next meetup, sign up to attend the event, and view ratings for past meetups at Meetup.com/JoinHNDC.

Who organizes the group?

Rusty Klophaus (@rklophaus) founded the group in May 2009 and continues to be the main organizer. Rusty is a Senior Engineer at Basho Technologies, a cloud database software company, and has presented at numerous technology conferences across the US and Europe. Rusty graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Computer Science/Engineering.

Recently, Aaron Dragushan (@dragushan) and Scott Pio (@cheetahtech) joined as co-organizers. Aaron runs Wondermill Webworks, a boutique web development firm and web product company. Scott Pio is a software engineer who launches highly addictive entertainment websites in his spare time.