Spoonfed: Should Seattle be funding startup support?

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

Nick Licata and Chris Devore debate Seattle's startup initiative.

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?  


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About the Authors & Contributors

Berit Anderson

Berit Anderson

Berit Anderson was Managing Editor at Crosscut, following tech, culture, media and politics. She founded Crosscut's Community Idea Lab. Previously community manager of the Tribune Company’s Seattle blogging network, her work has also appeared in YES! Magazine and on the Huffington Post, Geekwire, Q13Fox.com and KBCS 91.3 radio. She served as Communications Director at Strategic News Service, a weekly newsletter that predicts global trends in tech and economics, and Future in Review, an annual tech conference which gathers C-level executives to solve global problems. Her weaknesses include outdoor adventure, bananas with peanut butter and big fluffy dogs.