SSTI Digest

Geography: North Dakota

Early Stage Capital Measures Pass in KS, TN, and WV, In Limbo for AZ and ND

A mixture of success and trepidation accompanied 2016 legislation introduced in  several states to create, extend, or recapitalize angel tax credit programs. While legislation in Arizona’s legislature failed due to a lack of support, angel tax credit bills in Kansas and Tennessee passed easily with broad support from their governors, lawmakers, and the public. In North Dakota, the state’s angel tax credit program faces an unclear future due to concerns about transparency and oversight. To stimulate investments in West Virginia’s startup community, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed legislation allowing non-accredited investors to make equity investment in state-based businesses.

Useful Stats: Per Capita Personal Income by State, 2010-2015

North Dakota led the country in per capita personal income gains between 2010-2015, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). While average (mean) incomes rose 18.4 percent around the U.S. during that time, North Dakota incomes rose by 26.8 percent from $42,964 in 2010 to $54,376 in 2015. Changes in mean income can obscure discrepancies between demographic groups and concentration of wealth, but demonstrate some of the key economic trends of the last few years. For example, oil, coal and natural gas rich states, including North Dakota, experienced strong income growth in the early part of the decade, which has since leveled off or reversed. Meanwhile, income growth has begun to shift to states with a stronger foothold in healthcare and professional services, as well as the West and Southeast.

States Seek Slice of Growing Unmanned Aircraft Industry

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to propose regulations around the fledging unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry in order to ensure that it integrates into the current system as well as possible, states are beginning to act in order to improve their own competitiveness. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 directed the FAA to establish a test sites program for the UAS, taking into account geographic and climatic diversity, location of ground infrastructure, and research needs in choosing the sites. In December 2013, the FAA announced the selection of six public entities in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia for test sites, all of which became operational in 2014. With test site operations allowed to continue until February 2017 under current law, state agencies, in conjunction with universities and the private sector, are attempting to take advantage of the industry’s vast potential: more than 100,000 jobs created through the year 2025, with an expected economic impact of $82 billion, according to a report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Oregon, North Dakota Budgets Include Funds for TBED

This week, governors in Oregon and North Dakota released their budget proposals for the upcoming budget cycle. Although the budgets differ in both size and scope, education, workforce development, and other programs related to technology-based economic development are set to receive considerable amounts of state funding. 

TBED Ballot Issues, Bond Proposals Fare Well in Midterm Elections

In case you missed it, the midterm elections were on Tuesday, resulting in Republicans taking control of Congress, several new governors, and five states endorsing minimum wage increases. Although the 146 state ballot measures up for vote were a quarter-century low, several proposals were relevant to the TBED community, as highlighted in a Digest article last week. Voters ultimately approved many of these proposals, although initiatives related to higher-education in North Dakota and Oregon both failed. 

Ballot Preview: Voters to Decide on Taxes, GMOs, Higher Ed

On November 4, 42 states will vote on 146 ballot issues across a wide array of issues. In addition to initiatives on gun control, bear baiting, and the minimum wage, several initiatives relevant to the TBED community are also up for decision. SSTI has gathered information on many of these and will discuss their results after next week’s elections.

ND-MN Group Develops Five-Year Plan to Sustain Prosperous Economy

While it is common for states, regions or cities to develop economic strategies when times get rough, the Valley Prosperity Partnership hopes to capitalize on the unprecedented job growth the Red River Valley has experienced in recent years to build a more innovative economy. A new, five-year action agenda, drafted in partnership with Fourth Economy, offers many possible action items for the region, which includes parts of North Dakota and Minnesota. Priority areas include talent attraction and development research output, entrepreneurial activity, water management, infrastructure development and marketing.

North Dakota Expands Innovate ND Entrepreneurship Program

North Dakota has announced it will relaunch its Innovate ND business venture competition as a more expansive suite of services for innovative startups and entrepreneurs. Participants will receive vouchers for up to $2,500 to help pay for coaching and consulting services at an entrepreneurial center, development of a business plan or building a prototype. Education services also will be available, including biannual Entrepreneur Boot Camps.  Read the announcement…

TBED People and Orgs

President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee “2.0.” Former SSTI board member Luis Proenza, president of The University of Akron is part of the steering committee chaired by Andrew Liveris, president, chairman, and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, and Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MN, ND, NE, RI Sponsor Internship Programs to Build Relationships Between Employers, Students

During this year’s legislative sessions, several states looked toward creating, providing support for or redesigning programs that help incentivize businesses to hire and mentor student interns. In an effort to spur rural internships, Minnesota lawmakers approved a new tax credit program to support internships for students in greater Minnesota. In North Dakota, lawmakers committed $1.5 million to their Operation Intern program, while Nebraska lawmakers updated their Intern Nebraska grant program to provide students with a high-quality internship experience. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed a bill that will allow high school students (16 years and older) to engage in pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and internship experiences during school hours in approved manufacturing career and technical programs.

States Position Themselves to Compete in Domestic Drone Industry

While public debate rages over the role of surveillance in our society, one particularly infamous government surveillance technology, drones, is being prepared for private sector deployment in the U.S. Drone-related technologies are predicted to revolutionize commerce in the U.S., with industry projections valuing their initial deployment as an $82 billion boost to the national economy. In preparation for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rollout of drone-use regulations in 2015, entrepreneurs, multinational corporations and state governments are scrambling to be in a competitive position to benefit.

TBED People and Orgs

Yuka Nagashima, executive director of the High Technology Development Corp. and center director for the Innovate Hawaii program, has resigned from both posts and will leave the state agency in August. Nagashima will be leaving for Denmark to support her husband's research career. Len Higashi, current senior economic development manager, was selected to become the acting executive director.