Today marks the kickoff of Startup Day on the Hill, an event launched by Engine to bring 18 startups from across the country to meet with policymakers to demo their products and talk about issues confronting small businesses. We caught up with AgLocal, who is attending the event. AgLocal is a web based marketplace and buyer management platform specific to meat producing farms, meat buyer/distributors, and retailers.
What impact does your business have on your community and on the country?
Rural job creation, future farm sustainability and viability via food supply innovation.
AgLocal's mission is to use the web as a tool to remove many of the barriers to the market for independent family farms, giving them higher margins and incentivizing sustainable and ethical practices. By doing this we will use the efficiency created to drive the market with new options for buyers large and small.
Cost easement, quality and transparency will hand power to the meat lovers!
Do you feel that your business is supported by government, local and federal?
I do! Many policy makers and administrators have been supportive of our mission, there is also a lot of education and sharing that must continue in order to continue the momentum gained.
Why are you attending startup day and why do you think it’s important for startups to have a voice in Washington?
Even before I founded AgLocal and from my time at the Kauffman Foundation, traveling to DC and in Silicon Valley, I've learned of the importance of startups to the unique foundation of American innovation and wealth creation. Now more than ever is a chance to set a road map for future innovation and wealth, because of what we know about innovation in America. A good portion of wealth is created during economic down cycles (See this Kauffman report, also see economist Joseph Schumpeter theory of Creative Destruction.
However, America faces unique challenges that it didn't face before, due to the digital and global nature of this new economy. Dialogue about policies regarding visa access, intellectual property, business taxation, investment incentive programs, and government small business loan programs, university internship to work programs is important.
What technology related policy issues concern you the most?
Net neutrality, university intellectual property pipelines, legislation like (SOPA/PIPA).
Have you in your business faced any particular challenges related to policy? Successes/challenges dealing with them?
No challenges come immediately to mind that have affected us, but we are a young company.