Boston mayoral hopefuls John R. Connolly and Martin J. Walsh are both angling for the start-up vote, and on Friday went into the heart of the city’s Innovation District to woo its denizens.
Both candidates made promises that pleased the young tech workers and entrepreneurs who gathered inside the newly opened District Hall, a clubhouse for the growing business district along the South Boston Waterfront. The event was hosted by the New England Venture Capital Association and BostInno, a website that covers the area’s tech community.
Each candidate said he would keep the city open later, undo strict codes and licensing requirements that limit night life, improve broadband connections, and ensure that young companies have access to affordable office space.
Although they shared many of the same views, Walsh and Connolly offered unique approaches to building up the city’s tech economy and supporting start-ups. For one, Walsh committed to naming an “innovation advocate” in his administration. He has previously said he would create a new Economic Development Authority to attract and work with businesses. As part of that, he said, his administration would look for more “incubator space” in the city, and help young companies find affordable space.
“These young companies will become the next hot companies,” Walsh said. “Innovation is going to be a big piece of the next mayor’s agenda.”
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