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Startup Act reintroduced, would expand federal innovation support

January 31, 2019
By: Jason Rittenberg

Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), co-signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), re-introduced the Startup Act today. The bill would enact an array of innovation policies, including reauthorizing Regional Innovation Strategies, creating a new commercialization grant program, and implementing a startup visa. SSTI has endorsed the bill and hopes to see the legislation passed by the 116th Congress.

A statement from Senator Moran’s office to mark the bill’s introduction read, “Congress must prioritize policies that will help recruit and retain highly-skilled students and innovators, bolster a pro-growth environment and enable entrepreneurs to transform ideas and research into companies and products.”

In support of the Startup Act, SSTI president and CEO, Dan Berglund said:

Our country makes great and important investments in research funding — but we need to make comparable commitments to help entrepreneurs convert our discoveries into new products and processes. This is the key to unlocking better solutions, jobs, and opportunities for all Americans.

The Startup Act takes important steps toward unleashing American innovation by leveraging a key — yet underutilized — asset: the non-profit and state organizations that work every day to create a better future through science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This bill will put more research to work for the American people and see more entrepreneurs succeed in creating new businesses and jobs. I commend Senators Moran, Warner, Blunt and Klobuchar for their leadership in crafting legislation to invest in our future.

The bill’s other sponsors also spoke to the importance of the legislation. Senator Warner’s statement noted the importance of these programs for “promoting U.S. competitiveness.” Senator Blunt appealed to making America, “the best place in the world for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.” Senator Klobuchar reinforced the bill’s emphasis on programs that will, “make it easier for students and innovators to get their ideas off the ground, encourage new ideas, and strengthen our workforce.”

According to Senator Moran’s office, other organizations endorsing the bill at this time are: Sprint, Garmin, Enterprise Center of Johnson County, Kansas City Startup Foundation, Engine, UMKC Innovation Center, KC Tech Council, Internet Association, Consumer Technology Association, CTIA, CompTIA, Angel Capital Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, National Venture Capital Association, Center for American Enterprise, and Information Technology Industry Council.

To learn more and to find out how you can encourage your delegation to support the Startup Act, contact SSTI at 614-901-1690 or contactus@ssti.org.

startup act, legislation, policy, RIS