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Senators Introduce Startup Act 2.0 to Accelerate New Business Development, Expansion

May 23, 2012

Sens. Moran (R-KS), Warner (D-VA), Rubio (R-FL), and Coons (D-DE) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would continue to spur the economy through the creation of new businesses. Senate Bill 3217, also known as Startup Act 2.0, expands on the initial Startup Act introduced by Sens. Moran and Warner in December, and builds on the success of the JOBS Act passed with bipartisan support in both houses and signed by President Obama earlier this year.

One of the key aspects of the act is to use existing federal funding to support innovation initiatives to accelerate commercialization of university research and development. Grants would be awarded to universities to improve commercialization efforts and to support programs that allow faculty to commercialize research. The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) would be tasked with providing advice on the grant applications and awards.

Other provisions in Startup 2.0 include:

  • Visas for up to 50,000 foreign students who graduate from an American university with a masters or Ph.D. in one of the STEM fields;
  • Creation of a new "Entrepreneurs' Visa" for up to 75,000 immigrants who currently hold a visa to enable these entrepreneurs to create new businesses;
  • Elimination of country caps for employment-based immigration visas;
  • Capital gains tax exemption for investments in qualified small businesses made permanent; and,
  • Limited research and development tax credit for qualifying startups.

Startup 2.0 already has attracted several endorsements, including Google and the National Small Business Association. Read the bill summary

congress, commercialization