Bowser: ‘We are a tech capital because we've gotten out of the way’ - DC


Apr. 10, 2015 10:15 am

Bowser: ‘We are a tech capital because we’ve gotten out of the way’

The Mayor touts D.C.'s hands-off approach to cultivating the local tech scene. Now, she says, the District should work to “attract and attain more small businesses in tech.”

In March, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a partnership with Howard University.

(Photo by Lalita Clozel)

Speaking to a business crowd Wednesday at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser attributed the growth of the local tech sector to a hands-off government.

“Part of our economic development strategy is supporting innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said in her speech, according to conservative newspaper The Daily Caller. “We are a tech capital because we’ve gotten out of the way for the tech community.”

Just after she took office earlier this year, Bowser cut the budget for the District’s campaign to promote local artists and startups at SXSW, which had garnered controversy for its large price tag relative to previous efforts.

But her administration has also done its part to boost the local scene.

Before attending the Austin festival, she announced a new partnership with Howard University to host venture capital firms at below-market rates on the school’s campus. She also promoted the Connect.DC Digital Inclusion Initiative and announced the District would fund three Code for Progress fellowships for residents of Wards 5, 7 or 8.

“We’ve seen tech grow organically here in the District,” Bowser also said Wednesday. “Now I think we’re at a point where we have to figure out what it’s really going to take to attract and attain more small businesses in tech.”

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