“It’s not the meek that will inherit the earth, it’s the geek.”
That was part of the message as Washington Governor Jay Inslee addressed the GeekWire Startup Day gathering on October 25th. In a talk that started slow — yeah 9:30 in the morning seemed a little early for many in the startup crowd — the Governor showed his understanding and appreciation of the technology industry.
The Governor recalled Washington’s history with airplanes and software and offered that innovation is really the stock in trade for the state. One of the relatively new industries, gaming, has 70% of total industry revenue in the state.
One key initiative was in making government data more accessible to the public. He highlighted Socrata a Seattle company focused on democratizing access to public data.
The Governor also has some key technology policy initiatives he will be pursuing:
- Tax credit for startup companies
- Research and Development tax credits
- Increasing focus on colleges and universities spinning off research to private enterprise
- Creating an index on the efficiency of government regulations
- Increasing the number of students graduating with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees
Finally, he challenged the audience with a bigger issue; the cumulative effect of our carbon choices. We’ve consumed vast stores of carbon fuels in a relatively short period of time. What technology and innovation can we bring to these challenges to improve our future?