Rockstar Entrepreneurs Do Come to Washington


Washington has come a long way in the past five or six years when it comes to discussion of entrepreneurship. If you follow PDE regularly, you know that there has been a shift in how policymakers view the field as they increasingly turn to startup savvy policy advisors focused on new firm formation. And while those inside the beltway are paying more attention to Silicon Valley, the reverse is equally true.

Back in 2009, we noticed that ’rockstar entrepreneurs don’t come to Washington.’

Of course, since then, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, Elon Musk brought a space capsule to Washington, and Mark Zuckerberg weighed in on the immigration debate.

Last week, a new think tank opened in the nation’s capital with involvement of Silicon Valley investors including super angel Ron Conway and Napster cofounder Sean Parker. The Economic Innovation Group describes itself as “an ideas laboratory and advocacy organization dedicated to forging a more dynamic, entrepreneurial, and innovative U.S. economy for the 21st century” which will “convene leading voices from the public and private sectors, develop original policy research, and work with policymakers to advance legislation designed to bring new jobs, investment, and economic growth to communities across the nation.”

The bi-partisan group is led by Steve Glickman, a former Obama Administration economic advisor, and John Lettieri, a former aide to former Defense Secretary and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

"It’s time for a paradigm shift in the way we think about growth, investment, and job creation. Important voices are missing from the policy debate, and Washington is mired in the same, stale conversations," Glickman said in a news release. "We’re bringing together entrepreneurs and investors who are at the vanguard of our economy to tap into their ideas, resources, and creativity to help increase economic opportunity around the country."

EIG released its first paper, Beneath the Recovery: Obstacles to Growth and Opportunity in the New Economy, identifying policy opportunities in four areas -- distressed investing, new business formation, public infrastructure and workforce development.

PDE will continue to track developments and recommendations emerging from the group.

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mark marich

Mark Marich

Mark Marich is the executive vice president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since 1998, Marich has provided communications leadership on several national initiatives and more than 100 public forums covering a wide range of policy issues, including: entrepreneurial growth & economic development; health care; renewable energy; telecommunications; regulatory reform; and, workforce development.