Start Me Up

Mayor pitches startup projects in state-of-city address

Mayor Javier Gonzales trumpeted Santa Fe's diversity in his annual state-of-the-city address Tuesday.

But it's no secret that Santa Fe lacks on type of diversity: economic.

There's government jobs. There's tourism. Did we say government?

Gonzales says he wants to change that. MacGyver is here to help.

"In the long-term vision for Santa Fe’s economic future, the culture of entrepreneurship is critical to diversity, resiliency and strength," the mayor said, according to his prepared remarks. "We have to start building the foundation for future success today. That’s why we’ve launched the Ignite Entrepreneurship Project to kick-start a better environment for entrepreneurs. And the two projects we’ve selected for initial funding through Ignite will have a powerful impact"

Gonzales said that Startup Santa Fe, a public-private collaboration with Creative Santa Fe and Silicon Valley veteran Shawn Patrick, is expected to help local entrepreneurs "move their project from idea to innovation to reality."

"They say five in 10 businesses fail within the first few years," the mayor continued. "Well, this project is the start of a dedicated infrastructure of support to help make sure startups in Santa Fe are the exception to the rule."

On Wednesday, Patrick, who has lived here for seven months, sent a press release announcing that Startup Santa Fe is bringing the Founder Institute to Santa Fe, a "Silicon Valley accelerator" that says it's "helped launched over 1,310 companies, which have created over 10,000+ new jobs."

The Founder Institute plans to hold a Feb. 17 free "informational session" about its classes, which start in May. An expert panel will discuss "ideas to innovations" at the Warehouse 21 event. The panel includes former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber, formerly of Fast Company magazine, and Lee Zlotoff, the creator of the TV show MacGyver.

According to Patrick, Zlotoff is also somewhat of an entrepreneur himself, "an innovator in his own right," having found Storymyn Startup, which converts large data sets into understandable stories (like giving illiterate farmers radio reports on soil conditions).

Patrick says that the class is not only for people who want to get their ideas in the marketplace. He says the classes will address "What does it take to...take an idea and then turn it into an innovation?"

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