Providence to relaunch Innovation Investment Program

Mayor Angel Taveras said he is restarting a suspended city program that invested in startup businesses in the annual State of the City address Tuesday. More

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Providence to relaunch Innovation Investment Program

PBN FILE PHOTO/FRANK MULLIN
MAYOR ANGEL TAVERAS announced in the State of the City address his plan to relaunch the Innovation Investment Program with $1 million in additional seed capital. The program, first launched in 2011, invested $1.65 million in 35 companies before running out of money.
Posted 2/11/14

PROVIDENCE – In the annual State of the City address Tuesday, Mayor Angel Taveras said he is restarting a suspended city program that invested in startup businesses.

The Innovation Investment Program, which offered $50,000 investments to graduates of the Betaspring startup accelerator and companies in the portfolios of Slater Technology Fund and Cherrystone Angel Group, will get additional $1 million in seed capital, Taveras said. The program was first launched in 2011 and invested $1.65 million in 35 companies before running out of money.

“Investing in entrepreneurs who are developing game-changing new technologies and innovative solutions to today’s challenges will help grow our knowledge economy,” Taveras told city councilors in the speech. “Small investments in innovation have the potential to pay off big.”

Taveras, who is running for governor this year, spent much of the speech describing his work plugging an inherited budget deficit and outlining the initiatives he’s undertaken since taking office in 2011.

“Not all moments in history are created equal. Some moments are momentous – shaping the course of future events for years to come,” Taveras said. “These past three years have been a momentous time for our city. Providence was at a crossroads.”

In addition to restarting the Innovation Investment Program, other projects Taveras said he would work on before leaving office included:

  • Creating a grant program to fund small-business storefront improvements.

  • Finishing a rewrite of the zoning code.

  • Finishing work on a $40 million road maintenance project.

  • Training 60 new police recruits.

  • Passing “one-strike” legislation that would revoke the license of any adult entertainment club where there is prostitution or that employs a minor.

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