Boston Mayor Marty Walsh delivered his first State of the City address on Tuesday, focusing largely on education and housing. Among his other announcements was one of great interest to the Massachusetts tech sector: the launch of StartHub, a regional platform to encourage entrepreneurship. Mayor Walsh said the project would include the naming of a full-time "startup czar" to guide its policies.
There are still very few details on this initiative, but members of the tech community welcomed the news. Walsh's chief of staff, Dan Koh, told BetaBoston that StartHub is the result of a series of roundtables the mayor has held with tech CEOs, venture capitalists and accelerators. Many complained that companies were not getting enough assistance from city officials.
"I think this is a big move by the city and has the potential to benefit the startup community if done right," said HourlyNerd CEO Patrick Petitti, whose website allows companies to hire MBA candidates and graduates part-time. "Without knowing the job description, I would imagine and hope that he or she will act as a conduit between the community and the city, engaging with entrepreneurs to understand needs and challenges."
As this blog reported at the time, New York City already launched a portal, Digital.NYC, in October, to help entrepreneurs connect with investors and with each other and assist IT professionals in finding work. Los Angeles also has a similar project in place to liaise with its tech community.
While this initiative has barely gotten off the ground, entrepreneurs and city leaders hope that in areas like software development Boston will be able to maintain the standard of its world-class universities.