Signs of the high-tech downturn were evident at last night’s TechViews event, the ritzy hi-tech venture gathering held bi-annually atop the Columbia Tower.
The name of this season’s event, “Staying Alive in the Digital Economy,” was represented by a lower attendance than usual, and the presence of a biotech company among the start-ups.
Despite the slight scale-backs, the event provided an interesting array of presenting start-ups, and Senator Maria Cantwell to provide insight into how government and the private sector can team up to help the hi-tech sector emerge from its recent slump.
The first-term senator, who as a major shareholder in Real Networks is feeling the tightening economy on a very personal level, outlined five major points that she felt were essential in turning the economy around:
- Improve education and job training for all.
- Implement incentives to ensure broadband connectivity in every community.
- Maintain government investment in research and development during a period of tax breaks.
- Ensure a secure online environment for consumers.
- Take measures to ensure that intellectual property and copyright were protected in an online environment.
Above all, Cantwell was confident in her affirmation that tech is still very much alive and well. In her address the Senator compared the industry to a baseball game.
“We’re in the 3rd inning of the game, and we may be in a rain delay,” explained the Senator. “We need to all do our jobs to make sure that (it all) can continue.”