City officials in New York City, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon are serious about attracting startups to their neighborhoods. So serious, in fact, that they’ve launched venture capital funds to seed fledgling companies.
“It’s not just some feel-good way to get a lot of companies started,” explained Patrick Quinton, the Portland Development Commission executive director, to Inc. “Long term, we’re looking for big wins. Each city works with other local investors to manage the VC funds and co-finance them.
Government-sponsored businesses aren’t always a win (remember Solyndra?), so this idea isn’t without its critics. “The question is whether it’s justifiable for government to be involved,” Outlier founder and CEO Gary Kunkle told Inc. “Markets take care of themselves much more efficiently than governments want to give them credit for.”
Where do you stand on this issue? Should more cities follow in New York City, Philadelphia and Portland’s lead and create venture capital funds for startups? Or should the government stay out of private business ventures?
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