Ed Murray, Mayor
SUBJECT: City's Office of Economic Development Names Rebecca Lovell as Startup Liaison
3/20/2014 11:00:00 AM
John Crawford-Gallagher (206)684-4008
City's Office of Economic Development Names
Rebecca Lovell as Startup Liaison
Startup Seattle initiative supports growth of local startup industry
SEATTLE - The city's Office of Economic Development (OED) announced today that Rebecca Lovell has been selected as the Startup Liaison for the City of Seattle.
"A key part of supporting Seattle's growing economy is to make strategic investments in our competitive industry sectors, from technology to manufacturing," said Mayor Ed Murray. "Nurturing our startups and helping innovative entrepreneurs expand in our city will allow our technology sector to continue to grow and support more jobs."
The Startup Seattle initiative is a collaborative effort between the City of Seattle and leaders of Seattle's technology startup community to develop a strategy to support early-stage technology companies, expand the number of startups, and firmly establish Seattle as an internationally recognized home for emerging technology companies.
The Startup Liaison position was crafted based on recommendations of a technology industry task force that first convened in 2012. As a result, OED acquired the Startup Seattle website from its founder Red Russak, who was a part of the initial strategy sessions along with Lovell and over 20 representatives of the technology community.
"I look forward to seeing the progress that OED makes with engaging the startup community, crafting meaningful partnerships, and driving forward the mission to ensure Seattle is the best place to startup," said Councilmember Sally Clark, Chair of the Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency Committee. "Creating career pathways to startup companies for under-served communities is an important aspect of this initiative, and I look forward to seeing more opportunities for Seattle residents."
Lovell has recently served as the interim CEO for Vittana, following her tenure as Chief Business Officer for GeekWire, Executive Director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, and Program Director for the Alliance of Angels. She has been an instructor at the University of Washington's Foster MBA program for six years (teaching classes on venture capital investing), and is a mentor for Techstars, 9Mile Labs, and the Founder Institute.
"I love Seattle and the startup community, and couldn't be more excited to be an advocate for our city. We have so many key ingredients for success, and I look forward to working with community organizations, schools and universities, and future and current startuppers to ensure Seattle is on the international map of innovation where it belongs," said Lovell. "I'm excited to carry on the great work began by Red Russak, supported by the community."
In the coming months, Lovell will work with OED and the Startup Seattle advisory committee to measure and promote the impact of tech startups on our economy, foster startup communities through strategic partnerships, and increase access to the technology and startup sector, particularly with under-served students.
"As one of dozens of community volunteers working alongside the city, I'm incredibly excited we're launching this initiative to ensure competitiveness, benchmark our progress against that of other leading cities, and expand opportunities in technology entrepreneurship," said Chris DeVore, Startup Seattle advisory committee member and chair of the city's Economic Development Commission. "Rebecca brings passion, industry experience, and an incredible network to this position, and I very much look forward to working with her in this new role."
Lovell is a phi beta kappa graduate of Carleton College with a BA in History, and received her MBA from the University of Washington Foster School, where she was a Dean's Scholar. She is also a graduate of Seattle's Garfield High School.
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