‘Startup Seattle’ seeks to attract tech businesses
Seattle seeks to establish tech startups with “Startup Seattle,” a program to foster technology growth through marketing efforts and facilitating partnerships.
The initiative will center on hiring a Startup Business Sector (SBS) Liaison. This individual, who will be named in August, will serve as a marketing chief, raising awareness about Seattle’s benefits to tech startups, including a progressive political climate, inexpensive rent and a bustling food and nightlife community. Though the city has no intentions to use taxpayer dollars to fund these startups, the initiative seeks to expand Seattle’s fertility for small tech businesses, according to The Capitol Hills Times.
While there are already a number of public and private organizations that promote new ventures, Mayor Mike McGinn wants to do more. “We want to do better, we want to continue to grow,” he told the Seattle Times, stating that startup companies “are a really critical part of the economy here.” McGinn also pointed out Seattle consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world for tech jobs.
Additionally, as part of the initiative the city will partner with local tech organizations and educators as well as prioritize existing tech projects. One such project being city’s work with the University of Washington to plan for commercial development around transit stops near the campus, according to the Seattle Times.
The city council still has to approve the program’s $145,000 budget, most of which will go toward the liaison’s salary, according to the Seattle Times.
Additional funds from the budget will be used to revamp the Startup Seattle website, organizing student outreach events and performing market assessments and plans for the city. The initiative will also involve developing a relationship with Code.org, a non-profit that advocates for computer programing education, according to The Capitol Hills Times.
During a press conference at the downtown headquarters of Zillow, one of Seattle’s successful tech startups, McGinn said, "Startup companies are an important part of Seattle's innovative local economy. That's why we are working hard to support startup businesses that could turn in to the next Microsoft or Amazon.” according to a press release from the Mayor’s office.