A Politician Walks Into a Startup House


A Politician Walks Into A Startup House

Written By: Sabastian Hunt, Chief Innkeeper at Year of the Startup

Photo Credit: Robert “Uncle Bob” Kirk


A politician walks into a startup house and hands over an over sized check. Sorry. That was an awful punchline, but that’s what actually happened.

Last week, U.S. Congressman Brad Ashford took time out of his busy schedule (probably advocating for TPP or negotiating a 2-state solution in Palestine) to drop by Year of the Startup’s newest startup house for a site tour. Randomly, former NE gubernatorial candidate, Chuck Hassebrook, was at the startup house that same morning too, having stayed as an overnight as airbnb guest. Coffee cups in hand, Ashford and Hassebrook talked candidly with us about entrepreneurship and innovation for about an hour.

Knowing, or the perception of knowing, that politicians care about the local startup community can do wonders for the collective psyche. It was good to see Congressman Ashford acknowledge the potential of business to make change in areas once reserved for government. Ashford told us stories of his recent trip to Israel and the hot Tel Aviv startup scene and the interesting problems other global tech companies are solving. We drank coffee and toasted to, “Innovate don’t legislate.”

Key Takeaways

  1. When hosting dignitaries remember to make enough coffee

2. Politicians can be down to earth.

3. Conversation between the startup community and the political community can be very rewarding especially when it’s done frequently.

4. The lexicon of innovative tech is being adopted by the political body and reframing the many long standing problems.

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