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Washington's Rush to Support Startups

Wednesday, December 14, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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By Jonathan Ortmans,

It was an active week for encouraging more startups in the nation’s capital. Take Thursday, December 8th. While I participated in a morning panel discussion on Capitol Hill with U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and others, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the bipartisan Startup Act, the White House announced that the Obama administration had committed $2 billion in public and private resources to support job-creating startups, and Startup America Partnership board members—at the White House for their first official board meeting—outlined commitments from more than 50 private-sector partners that amount to over $1 billion over the next three years.

The White House announcement of collaborative measures to facilitate business growth focused on entrepreneurship education with organizations like Junior Achievement, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and their private sector partners. Two specific examples from NFTE include a partnership with the Pearson Foundation to launch Connect, a free online community for teacher collaboration and training focused on entrepreneurship education, as well as a partnership with SuperCamp/Quantum Learning Network to make its BizCamps widely available to young people across the country.

The Obama Administration focused on expanding access to capital. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will implement its $1 billion Early Stage Innovation Fund in 2012, originally announced as part of Startup America. This fund will provide matching capital to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), particularly early-stage small businesses seeking private institutional capital. SBA is also proposing a modification of its rules allowing private funds that invest in early stage companies to participate in the SBIC program.

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