Throughout the final weeks of August, more than 50 members of Congress and their staff met with over 75 startups across the country, marking this year’s Congressional Startup Day a conclusive success.
Congressional Startup Day takes place every year during the August recess, when members of Congress are at home in their districts. As part of the event, Engine works with congressional offices to coordinate meetings between members of Congress and startups they represent. These meetings create a critical two-way educational bridge that gives lawmakers a chance to meet with and learn about local startups, and teaches startups how to engage in advocacy with their federal representatives.
This year’s meetings included a broad representation of technology that ranged from AI to co-working. There was widespread geographic diversity as meetings took place in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Omaha, Knoxville, Anchorage, and rural districts in Ohio and Pennsylvania among many others. In Iowa City, Merge IC hosted back to back startup community meetings with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa).
When it comes to advocacy on policies that impact startups, it is the startups themselves (and their respective ecosystems) that have the most important voice. Engine is honored to coordinate this work and keep the conversation moving each year. And though this event takes place in August, Engine offers introductions and help with meeting coordination as a resource at all times for both startups and government. If you’re a startup looking to interact with your representatives, or a congressional office hoping to meet startups you represent, let us know via email or social media.
Engine gives a huge thanks to the initiative’s congressional co-chairs, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), as well as Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Additionally, the initiative was supported by several partner organizations, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Economic Innovation Group, and the Center for American Entrepreneurship.