I’m a huge fan of Brad Feld’s Startup Communities. (Well worth the read or listen, if you haven’t already. I reread it every year.) And with it, the concept of “leaders and feeders.” That’s the idea that there should be folks who lead the startup community — entrepreneurs — and those that feed the startup community — like government — but don’t attempt to lead. Most startup communities I visit have plenty potential leaders but a dearth of potential feeders. That’s why seeing a reboot of legislation like the bipartisan Startup Act (which, in itself, was a reboot of a previous effort) is heartening. But it’s only a small step forward.
Thank you to @MarkWarner, @RoyBlunt and @SenAmyKlobuchar for continuing to prove the value of bipartisan work to help make certain America remains the best place in the world to bring an idea to market and grow a business. #StartupAct
— Senator Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) January 31, 2019
Somewhat of a misnomer, the Startup Act is actually designed to do two specific things: 1) Stimulate university technology transfer to commercialize research and intellectual property and 2) Reboot the “startup visa” concept for entrepreneurs, as well as Masters and PhD candidates in STEM, who are from outside the US.
And honestly, hopes aren’t terribly high that this will go anywhere, according to Geekwire (which quotes Jeff Farrah of the National Venture Capital Association).
Although the Startup Act has bipartisan support, it’s unlikely to advance according to Jeff Farrah, general counsel of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).
“The challenge continues to be that legislating a startup visa is tied to the larger immigration reform debate, which appears intractable even to optimists like myself,” Farrah wrote in a blog post Thursday.
But it’s a start. And like startups, if it fails, then hopefully we can learn from that failure. And continue to try to find the solutions that make the federal government a more conducive and supportive feeder for startup ecosystems around the US.
For more, read the press release on the Startup Act.
(Hat tip Center for American Entrepreneurship)