Seattle named Rebecca Lovell as the city’s startup liaison last week as part of the city’s efforts to bolster its startup technology community and establish the city as an internationally recognized home for emerging technology companies.
In her new position, Lovell will work with the Office of Economic Development and the Startup Seattle advisory committee to measure and promote the impact of tech startups on U.S. economy, foster startup communities through strategic partnerships, and increase access to the technology and startup sector, particularly with underserved students.
“A key part of supporting Seattle’s growing economy is to make strategic investments in our competitive industry sectors, from technology to manufacturing,” said Seattle 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.”
Lovell’s hiring is part of the Startup Seattle initiative, a collaborative effort between the city government and the leaders of the local technology community to develop a strategy to support early-stage technology companies and expand the number of startups within the city.
The startup liaison position was created based on recommendations of a technology industry task force that first convened in 2012. As a result, Seattle’s Office of Economic Development 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 love Seattle and the startup community, and couldn’t be more excited to be an advocate for our city,” Lovell said. “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. I’m excited to carry on the great work began by Red Russak, supported by the community.”
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.
“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.”