Entrepreneurs in the heartland had their say on Startup Day

Conversations are taking place across the country this month between entrepreneurs and members of Congress as elected officials marked Startup Day Across America Aug. 1.

As a partner of the bipartisan initiative to connect policymakers to the startups and entrepreneurs they represent, Jason Wiens, Kauffman Foundation Policy Director, introduced local entrepreneurs to Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, D-Missouri, at PlexPod in Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 1, and to Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, at The Grid in Overland Park, Kan., Aug. 8, for conversations about how to reduce barriers to new business creation.

“One no longer needs to travel to Silicon Valley, Boston, or Austin to meet those on the front lines of economic growth,” Moran said regarding the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems in his own backyard.

“Startups create jobs every day and support critical innovation that will propel America into the future,” Cleaver said, which is why Startup Day can’t be limited to just one day, but is observed all month long.

Startup Day coincides with the traditional August Congressional recess when many elected officials have the opportunity to return to their home states to meet with constituents.

“From these conversations come a better understanding of the challenges emerging businesses face: an arcane tax code, a burdensome regulatory environment, limited access to capital, and a global battle for talent,” Moran said. “For those asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ much can be answered by getting to know the people most likely to hire, what type of positions they’re looking to fill, and which benchmarks a company must reach before doing so.”

While Startup Day Across America occurs once every year, elected officials and entrepreneurs talking about how to improve public policy so that more Americans, regardless of who they are or where they are from, can start a business should be a regular occurrence.

So, don’t worry if you missed Startup Day, go to entrepreneurship.org to learn how to request a meeting with your representative and senator. Working together, we can zero-out barriers to entrepreneurship.

  • Kansas Senator Jerry Moran heard from constituents at a co-working space in Overland Park.
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