SSTI Digest

Geography: Georgia

States Pass Innovation-Focused Legislation

Investments and policy to support innovation-focused agendas have flourished with the close of the 2014 legislative sessions in several states. Crowdfunding legislation, incentives for attracting talent, higher education affordability, punishing patent trolls, and encouraging greater accountability are some of the areas where lawmakers focused their efforts.

NIST MEP Awards MTAC pilots in CA, GA, OR, TX, WI

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program recently awarded $2.5 million for five pilot projects to improve small U.S. manufacturers' supply chain competitiveness and foster their readiness to adopt advanced technologies. The projects will be led by MEP centers and bring together teams of experts in specific technology areas. MEP centers in California, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin each will receive approximately $500,000 for the pilot efforts, which, in most cases, involve partners in other states. Read the announcement…

Governors Prioritize Funding Toward High-Tech Facilities

Having world-class facilities to train workers or support research in fields most likely to benefit the state is a draw for many reasons. Attracting outside investment, retaining talent and generating buzz are just a few of the benefits. Last year, Connecticut lawmakers dedicated more than $2 billion to expand science and technology education on the campuses of the University of Connecticut, including construction of new STEM facilities and for build research and teaching labs. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is the latest state leader to announce funding proposals aimed at either building new facilities or making capital improvements for training students in high-wage, high-demand fields.

People on the Move & TBED Organization Updates

Robbie Melton has been named the executive director and CEO of the High Technology Development Corporation.

Budget Round Up: States Address Higher Ed Affordability, Research Capacity, Workforce

Several common themes surrounding higher education have emerged as governors across the country unveil investment priorities for the upcoming fiscal year or biennium. In many states, governors have proposed more funding to increase affordability by freezing tuition or creating new scholarship funds. Support for expanding research capacity, technology-related infrastructure and job training in high-demand industries are some of the proposed measures aimed at competitiveness.  

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part II

The second installment of SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Virginia. The first installment is available here.

Crowdfunding Made a Splash in 2013, 2014 Could be Turning Point

Crowdfunding was poised to make a major splash on startup financing in 2013, aided by the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, a projected explosion in the number of crowdfunding portals and the adoption of state crowdfunding exemptions. However, the crowdfunding industry did not have the anticipated gamechanging impact on startup financing, mostly due to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) cautious approach to the adoption of the crowdfunding rules mandated by the JOBS ACT. The SEC eased into the crowdfunding era by allowing for the general solicitation by businesses to raise equity from accredited investors via secure web-based portals. Finally, late in 2013 the SEC released proposed rules that would allow for equity crowdfunding from unaccredited investors sometime in 2014.

Universities Take Crowdfunding into Their Own Hands

Georgia Tech has launched a crowdfunding resource for university-based students and faculty. Originally announced in the spring, Georgia Tech joins several other universities that are using crowdfunding to finance commercialization and the development of startups based on university research. The field has become common and relevant enough that an online community has started tracking this growth.

SSTI Examines Trends in Innovation Policy from the State Legislatures

As many state legislative sessions wind down, a clearer picture of the current direction of state innovation policies is emerging. This week’s SSTI Weekly Digest presents a few of the major trends in technology-based economic development initiatives approved by state legislatures during their most recent sessions. While this review is not meant to be comprehensive, it should illuminate the shifts states are making to refine their investments in the high-tech economy by providing smarter, more targeted support.

KS, GA, NC and WA look to Increase Small Business Capital Using Securities Exemptions

Since 2011, three states (Kansas, Georgia and North Carolina) have enacted securities exemptions that allow their state's entrepreneurs and small businesses to raise up to $1 million dollars via the sale of securities to residents of the state — Washington lawmakers introduced similar legislation in 2013 session where it is still pending. These exemptions, commonly referred to as crowdfunding exemptions, are intended to increase the pool of investors for small businesses by allowing them to publicly offer securities without having to spend the significant time and cost associated with registering a sale of securities with the state

TX, GA, NY, TN Incubators Top Global University Business Incubator Index

Rice University's Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship has been named the top university business incubator in the world by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index based in Sweden. The group reviewed 550 university business incubators and studied 150 incubators to determine the top incubators in the world based on their value for the ecosystem, their value for clients, and their attraction rate and past performance. Other U.S. incubators that made the UBI Index Top list include VentureLab, the University of Buffalo Technology Incubator, and Tech 20/20.

Seattle, Atlanta Launch New Initiatives to Support Startups

New nonprofit initiatives have been re-defined in Seattle and Atlanta to support their cities' startup communities. Startup Seattle and Startup Atlanta will work to serve, support, and link the regional innovation systems and startup ventures in their respective cities. Both entities previously were developed by and for the local entrepreneurial communities to support new companies but are restructuring as independent organizations.