News Roundup: Good News for the Startup Economy; H-1B Visa; Amazon’s Latest Buildings
Startup Economy Study
A recent study by Progressive Policy Institute shows that the startup economy is improving across the US. The creation rate of new businesses increased in 2015 and 2016, in tech hubs as well as smaller communities and states, signifying that the startup economy is returning to pre-recession health. However, more could be done to help. Implementing startup-friendly policies and removing barriers that impede creativity and growth would increase the pace of the startup economy even more. The study suggests policymakers focus on better regulatory policies, improved access to talent and capital, and better access to markets.
Pandora May Sell
According to Bloomberg, Pandora may be looking to sell its publicly traded company if they can’t match Spotify’s growth. A new streaming subscription service, Pandora Premium, is set to release in mid-April and its performance against competitors will have a direct impact on the company’s decision to sell.
H-1B Visa Concerns
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have made statements that could impact H-1B applications. Employers were cautioned not to discriminate against American workers, and H-1B dependent employers (employers that sponsor 15% or more of their U.S. workforce on the visa) will be specifically targeted for site visits. An internal memo was also sent out reminding its staff some entry-level high tech positions might not qualify as specialty occupations.
Amazon’s latest office project will create an “urban treehouse” near downtown Seattle if approved. They also opened a dog park available to the public next to its Spheres in the Denny Triangle area on Tuesday. These are just some of the 33 projects currently underway in the area, at least 5 of which are for Amazon.
Washington’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies
Puget Sound Business Journal is looking for entries in their list of Washington’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies. If you’ve had great revenue growth over the past three years, sign up to receive a survey and a chance to appear on the list.