Augusta Free Press

Sens. Warner, Moran reintroduce bipartisan Start Up Act

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), along with Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), reintroduced today the Start Up Act, bipartisan jobs legislation to encourage the creation and growth of new business. The legislation was previously introduced in the last Congress.

The Startup Act, S.1877, would accelerate the commercialization of university research that can lead to new ventures, review and improve the regulatory processes at the federal, state and local levels, and modernize a critical Economic Development Administration (EDA) program to promote innovation and spur economic growth. The legislation also creates both Entrepreneur and STEM visas for highly-educated individuals so they can remain in the United States legally to promote new ideas, fuel economic growth and create good-paying American jobs.

“For years, we have pushed in Congress for commonsense legislation to encourage entrepreneurship and help startup companies grow and thrive,” said Sen. Warner. “This bipartisan bill seeks to attract and retain the talented innovators and entrepreneurs that will help our country and Virginia promote capital investment and achieve economic growth.”

“New business formation and the rate of entrepreneurship have reached historic lows,” said Sen. Moran. “Simply put, America is falling behind and losing talent and jobs to countries overseas. Congress must work to reverse these trends and support policies that allow better opportunities for someone to take an idea, bring it to market, and in the process of pursuing that success, create jobs for other Americans. I am proud to introduce the latest version of the Startup Act and help make certain America remains the land of opportunity for innovators and job creators. This bipartisan legislation would reduce barriers to growth, encourage investment in new businesses, improve the regulatory process, keep talent here in the United States and accelerate the commercialization of university research that can lead to new ventures and the creation of good-paying jobs in Kansas and nationwide. With a new administration and a renewed focus on achieving American economic competitiveness, I urge my colleagues to support the Startup Act so that it can be debated and considered in the Senate.”

Many of the principles included in the Startup Act are based on the research and analysis by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. According to the 2017 Kauffman Foundation Startup Activity Index, the rate of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. decreased in 2016 to 0.31 percent (from 0.33 percent), or 310 out of every 100,000 adults starting new businesses each month.

Kauffman research shows that immigrants to the United States are nearly twice as likely as native-born Americans to start businesses, and first-generation immigrants now make up nearly 30 percent of all new U.S. entrepreneurs.

Data also shows that international students studying in the U.S. on temporary visas accounted for nearly two-fifths of all Ph.D.s in STEM fields – that number has doubled over the past three decades. Further, international doctoral students were significantly more likely than domestic students to major and earn degrees in STEM disciplines in the U.S.

“Too many have been left out of our economy. There’s a connection between the long-term decline in entrepreneurship and the effect on productivity, growth and wages,” said Jason Wiens, director of policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “Put simply, fewer startups means a lower quality of life for all Americans. We need more startups, fast. Based on research, we know that skilled immigrants are more likely than native-born to start new business that hire Americans. Job creation, innovation and overall quality of life for all Americans would receive a boost by increasing the numbers of entrepreneurs in our nation, whether American or foreign-born.”

The provisions in the Startup Act have been endorsed by Information Technology Industry Council, National Venture Capital Association, CCIA, Center for American Entrepreneurship, Sprint, SSTI, Engine, CTA, Kansas State University’s Institute for Commercialization, Internet Association, Enterprise Center of Johnson County, and Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.


Summary of the Startup Act