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Spoonfed: Should Seattle be funding startup support?

Video: Councilmember Nick Licata & tech expert Chris Devore debate Seattle's startup plan.

Recently, the City Council voted to fund Startup Seattle, a project to support small Seattle businesses and encourage new ones to relocate to our city. The project was not without controversy. As Crosscut originally reported, Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata tried to defund it and then delay it during budget meetings. Neither attempt passed a city council vote, but Licata argued in a Crosscut piece that as-is, the program won’t be held sufficiently accountable to the city.

Members of Seattle’s startup community, like Chris Devore, a co-founder of startup accelerator Founders Co-op and an early backer of Startup Seattle, disagreed. Devore argued for the inherent economic benefits of attracting new businesses to Seattle also in a Crosscut editorial.

Never one to waste a public disagreement in our (web) pages, we brought these two together to duke it out over one question: Will Startup Seattle provide enough benefit to our fair city? And if not, how can we make it work?  

Berit Anderson is Associate Editor at Crosscut. You can find her on Twitter @Berit_Anderson or reach her at berit.anderson@crosscut.com.

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Posted Tue, Dec 17, 1:46 p.m. Inappropriate

Merge it with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, the Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Sustainability and Environment, the Office of Arts and Culture, and the Office of Film + Music into a single Office of Seattle "Progressive" Bullshit on Wheels.

Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs: $360,000
Office for Civil Rights: $2.7 million
Office of Sustainability & Environment: $2 million
Office of Arts and Culture: $7.1 million
Office of Film + Music: (they don't tell us)*

* part of the Office of Economic Development, $9.3 million


Posted Tue, Dec 17, 10:32 p.m. Inappropriate

There are more important needs that could use tax dollars than funding the dreams of people who can't sell their idea to the traditional sources of money.


Posted Wed, Dec 18, 10:03 a.m. Inappropriate

.. like any successful (read: sustainable) project, the city should wield a hand in the direction and nurturing of any worthy start up. That is the what the core of "investing in the future of our city" is all about. I do not see the city as the holder of the sword. That model is restrictive at best and recursive at it's worst. And everything a progressive city should avoid.


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