The Case for the Startup Act
About the Startup Act
The Kauffman Foundation has created a "Startup Act" proposal to jump-start the ailing U.S. economy and increase job creation by accelerating the growth of startups and young businesses.
The Startup Act focuses the attention of citizens and policymakers on the central role that high-growth startups must play to assure continued U.S. economic strength. The benefits of startups are well-established: Virtually all of the growth in U.S. jobs has been driven by the formation of firms less than five years old, and these new firms have been disproportionately responsible for commercializing the cutting-edge innovations that characterize modern life.
The act was unveiled at the National Press Club in Washington on July 19, 2011, by Kauffman President and CEO Carl Schramm and Vice President of Research and Policy Robert Litan, followed by videotaped remarks from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
The Startup Act references recent Kauffman data that found that while more firms than ever have been created each year since the last recession began, the numbers of new firms with employees continues to drop—and this is a trend that pre-dates the recession.
Specific changes in government policy that the Startup Act proposes include:
- Welcoming immigrants capable of building high-growth companies to the United States by providing "Entrepreneurs' visas" and green cards for those with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
- Providing new firms with better access to early-stage financing, creating capital gains tax exemptions for long-held startup investments, providing tax incentives for startup operating capital, facilitating access to public markets, and allowing shareholders of companies with market cap below $1 billion to opt-in under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
- Accelerating the formation and commercialization of new ideas by creating differential patent fees to reduce the patent backlog and providing licensing freedom for academic innovators.
- Removing barriers to the formation and growth of businesses through the introduction of automatic ten-year sunsets for all major rules, establishing common-sense and cost-effective standards for regulations, and making assessments of state and local startup and business policies.
Job creation is a nonpartisan issue, and the Startup Act aims to educate policymakers on all sides of the political spectrum about the need for comprehensive legislation aimed at helping startups.
Coverage of the Startup Act
- The Washington Post: "Senators beckon immigrant entrepreneurs and workers with Startup Act 2.0" May 23, 2012
- Politico: "Startup Act's economic benefits" May 22, 2012
- The Wall Street Journal: "Visa Plan Poses Bipartisan Test" (subscription required) May 1, 2012
- Silicon Prairie News: "Kansas Sen. Moran talks Startup Act at SXSW, urges big social media push" March 16, 2012
- Techcrunch: "Democrats And Republicans Agree: We Need More Startups" March 15, 2012
- Politico: "At SXSW, Jerry Moran pushes startup bill" March 14, 2012
- The Wall Street Journal: "A Bipartisan Plan for Job Creation" February 7, 2012
- Silicon Prairie News: "Senators introduce Startup Act, aim to boost new business growth" December 13, 2011
- Wichita Business Journal: "Sen. Moran: New survey bolsters need for Startup Act legislation" November 30, 2011
- The Atlantic: "The Start-Up Act: Blueprint for an Innovation Recovery" November 16, 2011
- RealClear Politics: "Entrepreneurs the Key to Growth" November 1, 2011
- Wall Street Journal: "Bill Seeks to Ease Sarbanes-Oxley for Small Firms" September 26, 2011
- House Committee On Oversight & Government Reform: "The Kauffman Foundation's Brink Lindsey testified on the issue of jobs" September 13, 2011
- CNBC: "Recovering Small Businesses" September 8, 2011
- Milwaulkee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel: "Go where the jobs are" September 3, 2011
- Fox Business: "Helping the Small Business Comeback" August 31, 2011
- Wall Street Journal: "An Entrepreneurial Fix for the U.S. Economy" (PDF) August 29, 2011
- Portfolio: "CEOs Support Reform to Juice Startups" August 29, 2011
- Brookings Institution: "Will Obama Ever Say What He Should About the Jobs Crisis?" August 25, 2011
- Forbes: "Ways to Create Jobs -- Without Cost to Taxpayers" July 31, 2011
- Wall Street Journal: "Nuturing Startups; A new study offers ideas to assist job-creating companies" July 29, 2011
- The New York Times: "This Week in Small Business: Are Small Businesses the Answer?" July 25, 2011
- New Venturist: "Thoughts on Kauffman Foundation's Startup Act" July 25, 2011
- Holland Sentinel: "Open the door to those who can build our economy" July 24, 2011
- The New England Business Bulletin: "Start-ups hungry for financing tips" July 24, 2011
- The Wall Street Journal: "Kauffman Proposes Startup Act" July 22, 2011
- The Washington Examiner: "Startup businesses are creating fewer jobs, but why?" July 22, 2011
- The San Francisco Examiner: "Kauffman Foundation: more high-skill immigrants, please" July 22, 2011
- The Atlantic: "Ideas to Kickstart New Firms & New Jobs" July 19, 2011