Startup Day on the Hill: Reflections from Detroit
Startup Day on the Hill was a great two day event (June 19th-20th) on Capitol Hill that included 18-startups selected from around the nation that met with members of Congress and demoed their products.
The Engine Advocacy group recognized the need to assemble a group of disruptive thinkers that are typically underrepresented in government as it relates to the economy. From the opening session it was clear that the politicians involved understood that we are shifting to a ‘Startup Economy’ and that startups play a significant role in innovation and job creation.
It was more than just a conversation where we spewed out facts: that small businesses have produced 100% of the net job growth over the last 20-years and that startups are producing 3 million jobs annually while existing companies have lost 1 million jobs during that same period.
The bi-partisan support for this event was overwhelming: Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Representative Anna G. Eshoo all of which lead the discussion about SOPA, PIPA and the Startup Act 2.0 and how we could actively impact legislation by engaging our digital communities.
It was an honor to be given a platform to share the story of a Detroit based startup I co-founded called Gokit that enables people to, ‘Capture and Share their life experiences through personas’.
Typically when you have conversations about startup regions you only hear about the mature ecosystems of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley. Startup Day was different it was platform for startup founders from cities that are starting to emerge as new tech hub destination like my hometown of Detroit.
Most importantly I was able to tell the story of the Detroit startup ecosystem as a native Detroiter and how we are reinventing our local economy. At the end of the day the access that was provided very powerful and I want to thank the Engine Advocacy, Consumer Electronics Association, Startup America and Twin Logic Strategies for putting together a well-organized event.
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