Boston mayor honors tech community

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh hosted more than a dozen representatives from Boston’s startup community at City Hall Thursday as part of the city’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week — and the mayor’s latest efforts to promote the city’s technology innovation community.

Attendees included company owners and managers of small business incubators, and members of the mayor’s staff focused on tech and innovation.

“The Innovation District is thriving, and it’s because Boston has the entrepreneurs and investors committed to Boston and our startup economy,” Walsh said in a release. “Innovation knows no boundaries, and this active community has grown far beyond Downtown, taking root across our neighborhoods and in the very spirit of our City.”

The discussion centered on how the Walsh administration can be more supportive of the startup community, and the innovation sector’s important and ongoing contribution to Boston’s economy.

Prior to the meeting, Walsh toured the new location of the Cambridge Innovation Center, a co-working facility providing office space for startups, small companies and nonprofits.

Walsh was joined by representatives of the Cambridge Innovation Center, Highland Capital Partners, MassChallenge, District Hall, WeWork, HourlyNerd, Coalition Boston, Smarter in the City, Workbar, Localytics and Streetwise Media. A number of Walsh administration leaders — including representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Department of Innovation & Technology, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, the Economic Development Cabinet and ONEin3 — also participated in this dialogue.

On Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics collaborated with Orange Barrel Media on a celebration of PitchBoston winners at District Hall in the Innovation District. Six local startups debuted their 20-second videos highlighting their Boston company. The videos will be featured on a large electronic billboard at District Hall for the next six months.

Walsh has made an effort to bring members of the city’s entrepreneur community into city government. Earlier this year, he hired Jascha Franklin-Hodge, whose company handled the digital media aspects of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, to be the city’s chief information officer.

Earlier this month, he named Harvard Business School graduate Lauren Lockwood as the city’s first chief digital officer. Just 28, Lockwood was previously a project manager at HourlyNerd, one of the companies at City Hall Thursday.

The goal, in part, is to bring the ideas of the city’s strong entrepreneur community into the government, a growing trend at all levels of public sector technology over recent years.

Boston, in particular, well situated to take advantage of that because of the city’s position among some of the nation’s top institutions of higher learning, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others, that can provide lots of new ideas to change how city government operates for the better.

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Coalition Boston, District Hall, Highland Capital, HourlyNerd, Localytics, Marty Walsh, MassChallenge, Open Source, Smarter in the City, Software, Streetwise Media, Tech News, Workbar, workforce
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