Arizona Congresswoman Sinema Visits SEED SPOT Team

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By: Tristan Gandolfi, School Partnerships Manager

Entrepreneurship is vital for a number of reasons – it spurs innovation, creates jobs, strengthens the economy, builds community, and gives voice to change makers outside of Silicon Valley. However, entrepreneurship has been on the decline in recent decades. The Kauffman Foundation estimates that startup density is down 48 percent since 1977.

As a result, Startup Week Across America was formed as bipartisan week for members of Congress to connect and support their local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. It gives the opportunity for senators and representatives to discover local startups and open up the conversation about the role that entrepreneurs play in the overall economy.

Arizona Congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema, visited SEED SPOT, to learn about the Arizona entrepreneurship ecosystem and meet founders, school leaders, and other entrepreneurship supporters. During our meeting with Congresswoman Sinema, she asked questions about how people take a back-of-napkin idea and transform it into a functioning business and discussed her work to help entrepreneurs thrive in Arizona.

Congresswoman Sinema

From L to R: Gabe Ramirez, SEED SPOT Community Organizer and Senior Director at SiteWire; Sheila Iyengar, SEED SPOT alumna and Founder of the Nagi Foundation; Patrick Armstrong, SEED SPOT Board Member and Partner at Canal Partners & JDA Investments; and Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Congresswoman.

“Arizona is home to creative, bold entrepreneurs and the hardest workers you’ll ever find. That’s why we’re one of the best states in the country for launching startups,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “The exciting Arizona companies and founders I met at SEED SPOT today are helping to power our state’s economy and provide good-paying jobs. We’re working to help Arizona startups by cutting unnecessary regulations, equipping our workforce with the skills they need, and expanding access to capital so these innovative companies can grow and hire.”

SEED SPOT alumna and Founder of The Nagi Foundation, Sheila Iyengar, attended the meeting and expressed the personal impact SEED SPOT has had on her business. “Even as an alumna of the program, I still feel incredibly supported. I know that any concern, question, or high-five I need is just a phone call, text, or email away. Knowing that I have such a strong team behind me has made all the difference in my confidence as business leader.”

Startup Week Across America demonstrates the importance for all ecosystems to be investing in their entrepreneurs from when they have an inkling of an idea to when they are scaling. We are incredibly excited to see members of Congress stepping up and highlighting entrepreneurship in their home districts.

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