Doug Oliver releases first official policy on technology and innovation
Mayoral candidate Doug Oliver released his first official policy paper on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship while touring Turnkey Startup Space, a new co-working space for entrepreneurs and non-profits in Brewerytown.
Oliver believes that focusing on technology and innovation will cause positive change in the city like job creation, improvement in education and strengthen communities.
“Meaningful job creation cannot be generated solely by big business,” Oliver said. “It will require the contribution of smaller, entrepreneurial innovators who choose to locate their businesses in Philadelphia and who are willing to train Philadelphians for technical jobs. Tech training can be efficacious as long as we focus on soft skill training.”
“An overhaul of the education system given the City’s financial constraints must include the investment of large Philadelphia companies, universities and medical institutions,” Oliver said. “This requires a financial investment as well as an investment of resources to spur an entrepreneurial spirit and interest in technology in Philadelphia students from a young age.”
“The term ‘community’ had lost its meaning in many Philadelphia neighborhoods,” Oliver said. “Providing start-ups with tax incentives to locate in communities will serve multiple purposes - bringing jobs to people in their communities, developing safer neighborhoods and in the long-term creating better outcomes for children and families.”
Oliver thinks that Philly should get technology to start and stay in the city.
“Efforts to support technology companies will aid in counteracting the ‘scale or bale’ mentality of start-ups to start and grown businesses in Philadelphia yet move out of the City and sometimes out of state to achieve scale,” Oliver said. “The City of Philadelphia must provide start-up companies with the resources and assistance they need to succeed and in turn fuel the change that the City desperately needs.”
Oliver has a vision and plan that he hopes establishes Philadelphia as an innovation center. He wants to create a $1 million annual innovation fund to invest in small, innovative start-ups based in Philadelphia, gather support from big Philly businesses and universities to invest in local schools and STEM programs, and develop a job database.