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?