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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


by Michael Monks 
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Covington Mayor
Chuck Scheper
Tuesday was an important day for the future of Covington and Northern Kentucky. At Northern Kentucky University, UpTech Ideas was unveiled and made known its plans to offer seed money of $100,000 to fifty start-up companies in the region. These potential new businesses may prove to be a serious game changer for the local share of America's economic slump. Tuesday evening at Covington City Hall, Mayor Chuck Scheper and the Commissioners highlighted their efforts at reaching out and bettering communication with the top one hundred businesses in town. The focus across the nation and right here in Covington in 2012 will be job retention and creation. 
The region may well become a case study for the information found in a new article from Atlantic Cities in which the mayor-entrepreneur is lauded as an important asset to urban revitalization. The best mayors, the article claims, are the ones that look at their cities much the same way as entrepreneurs look at the companies that they have founded:
The ingredients for a successful startup and a successful city are remarkably similar. You need to build stuff that people want. You need to attract quality talent. You have to have enough capital to get your fledgling ideas to a point of sustainability. And you need to create a world-class culture that not only attracts the best possible people, but encourages them to stick around even when things aren’t going so great.
(snip)So if you’re running a city and want to increase the number of jobs in your city, you should be doing whatever you can to encourage more viable startups. It’s something that Ed Lee, San Francisco’s newly-inaugurated mayor seems to understand, telling TechCrunch back in November “I want them [tech companies] to start here in San Francisco, and I want them to stay and to grow.”
(snip)The success of the Silicon Valley ecosystem is due, in no small part, to the availability of early-stage capital and its density of investors. Other metro areas have historically struggled to replicate this investment ecosystem but more attempts are underway.
Northern Kentucky appears to be embracing the importance of angel investors through the launch of UpTech. Another advantage that Covington has, based on the analysis offered in the article, is that Mayor Chuck Scheper is a former CEO. He knows entrepreneurship and he knows business. Scheper has already been credited with saving Tier 1 Performance Solutions as a Covington-business when the company was looking elsewhere but instead chose to stay and expand in a new space here. 2012 is a very important year for cities like Covington to stake their claim on the future. It looks like we are moving in the right direction.
Read the whole article from Atlantic Cities by clicking here and then share your thoughts in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter

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