Dec. 18, 2013
Councilman Daniel Valenzuela’s Statement on City’s Economic Development Strategy Focus on Entrepreneurship:
"Today, my colleagues and I on the City Council Finance, Efficiency and Economy Subcommittee approved the city's economic development strategy, which includes the cultivation of entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises - which I presented as one of my top policy priorities at the April 2, 2013 City Council Policy meeting. I focused on the Regional Innovation System (RIS) concept for Phoenix, requesting citywide support to foster immediate and sustained success for entrepreneurial and innovative activity. The goal is to make Phoenix the city of choice for those looking to create their own economic futures through entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs have been responsible for the majority of new jobs created during the past decade, which is why this effort is vital to our city's overall economic development plan. Last year, I made it a priority to tour as many incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, higher education institutions and business organizations as possible - approximately 20 to date - to find out what is working and what still needs to be done to grow this sector of our economy. On December 12, I sent a memo to Acting City Manager Ed Zuercher highlighting the results of these visits (Click here to read memo). We have learned that the following needs exist in the entrepreneur community: create a brand to promote Phoenix as 'the' place for innovators; provide clear access to idea development resources; increase the concentration of entrepreneurs; and attract more capital to Phoenix. We already have taken a big step by joining the ASU Alexandria Co-working Network to offer collaborative space and resources at the Burton Barr Central Library, with plans to expand to all city libraries within the next few years. The next step is to expand partnerships with universities, colleges and commercial property owners along the light rail to create space for our growing entrepreneur community. We are off to a great start, but we need to move fast to stay ahead of other cities competing for the attention of these vital job creators."