Welcome to the first installment of this monthly series! In this first month on the job, it’s been great to have so many folks ask “what are you doing?” and “how’s it going?” so here’s a quick snapshot.
Connecting startups to resources: Seattle can now count itself among 13% of global cities that have an infrastructure for listening to innovators and entrepreneurs. In the last month, the city is doing just that, over email, phone, and in-person via “office hours” at co-working spaces including the Impact Hub, WeWork, and (coming soon) SURF Incubator.
What are the trending topics? So far, here’s what you’re reporting as your top five issues (starting with the greatest frequency):
- access to talent: not just people with STEM/STEAM backgrounds but finding those risk-takers with entrepreneurial DNA
- business partners: go-to-market strategy and how a small team can focus efforts and optimize customer development
- business plan validation: should I quit my day job?
- founder issues: struggling with those awkward conversations with colleagues/friends about equity and roles
- financing: partly about determining the scalability of the business (and whether it could be a fit for angel investing) and partly about identifying the right investor partners for your business
- It’s been fantastic to make connections with organizations supporting under-served high school students (young women, students of color and those with low-income backgrounds). A major focus for Startup Seattle is to help extend their learning beyond the classroom and after-school program, into experiential entrepreneurial experiences.
- Huge thanks to UP Global for expanding their UW Startup Weekend (May 9-11) to include high-school students and the broader community. We look forward to great things from participants across the board, including those from our partners the Technology Access Foundation, Young Geniuses, Ada Developers Academy, National Center for Women in Information Technology, UW Women’s Center and more.
Measuring and promoting our success:
- Metrics: If you missed the post on this topic, we’re establishing a baseline of startup activity via number of startups, funding and employees (thanks to Crunchbase and Startup Genome) and by June 30 want to capture where we are today as fully as possible (then measure progress from there, and triangulate that with revenue base and economic impact). Today we’re at 587 startups, and we know many of you have yet to stand up and be counted (register here!). Next month expect an update and for us to be posting some big numbers.
- Promotion: Launching May 1 on the Seattle Channel, check out the new TV Series Techcetera featuring the great folks and resources in our startup and tech community!
Keep the questions coming and stay tuned for updates! For an even deeper dive, check out this live “AMA” on Yabbly.