We were fortunate to have Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers meet with a group of passionate stakeholders yesterday at Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) to discuss entrepreneurship in the Spokane region. Entrepreneurship is clearly top of mind for the Congresswoman, whose district includes twelve counties in eastern Washington. I am certain that she and her staff observed first-hand the tremendous passion our community and region has for encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship.
During her extensive travels across the country, she cited several successful models including South-by-Southwest (SXSW) and the Capital Factory accelerator in Austin, 1776 incubator in Washington DC, just to name a few. Her Technology Policy Advisor, Rebecca Mark, offered to facilitate introductions with each of these organizations so that we can learn more about their respective models and explore potential partnerships.
The Congresswoman and her staff were impressed with our collective efforts to encourage and support entrepreneurship. We shared our region’s need to foster more business ideas, encourage native entrepreneurship (growing our own), and spread the word that Spokane is a great place to start and grow a business so that we can recruit new businesses and ideas into our region. We asked for the Congresswoman’s support in helping us get the word out on a national level, as well as to help advocate for our state legislative request as well as federal grant requests.
All-in-all, it was a great opportunity for us to share our successes, as well as discuss the work in front of us for our region. The Congresswoman will be back during her summer recess, at which time we will introduce her to some of our region’s entrepreneurs so that she can hear their stories first-hand.