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Startup Act Introduced by Sens. Moran, Warner in 114th Congress

Bipartisan jobs bill would jumpstart economy through the creation and growth of new businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), along with Chris Coons (D-Del.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today reintroduced Startup Act in the 114th Congress – the bipartisan jobs plan aimed at jumpstarting the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses.

The Startup Act – based on research and analysis by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – modifies the tax code to encourage investment in new businesses, accelerates the commercialization of university research that can lead to new ventures, and seeks to improve the regulatory process. The legislation is also the only proposal that creates both Entrepreneur and STEM Visas for highly-educated and entrepreneurs here legally to stay in the United States where their talent and new ideas can fuel economic growth and create American jobs.

“Startup Act is about creating jobs for Americans through the creation and growth of new businesses,” Sen. Moran said. “Entrepreneurs and the businesses they create are responsible for almost every net new job in America, but under our country’s current policies, new business formation and the rate of entrepreneurship among young people have reached historic lows. We must reverse these trends. Startup Act would reduce barriers to growth, encourage investment in new businesses, stem government overregulation, and accelerate the commercialization of university research that can lead to new ventures. Startup Act would also help make certain America remains the land of opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Under new leadership in the 114th Congress, I am hopeful Startup Act will no longer denied a vote.”

“In the new Congress, we are focused on continued growth in the economy, and we’re looking for ways to ensure that the United States is able to compete and win the global competition for talented innovators and entrepreneurs,” Sen. Warner said. “Our bipartisan legislation provides commonsense tools and greater support for the creation of more high-wage, high-skill jobs in Virginia and across the country.”

“Innovation is the fuel that powers our nation's economy,” Sen. Coons said. “Congress should constantly be looking for ways to help America's innovative startups grow and create jobs, and this bill contains more than half a dozen of them. The bipartisan Startup Act is proof that there are good ideas for economic growth that have support from both parties and deserve to be debated and considered on the floor.”

“Now more than ever, we cannot afford to lose American innovators and entrepreneurs as a result of anti-competitive domestic policies,” Sen. Blunt said. “But countries like Great Britain and Canada are already promoting their low-tax, business friendly regulatory environments in hopes of attracting U.S.-based companies to relocate. I’m pleased to join Senator Moran and my colleagues in reintroducing this common-sense bipartisan bill, and I’m hopeful that we can work together to encourage American entrepreneurship and help put more people back to work.”

“First-generation Americans have always found a home for their ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in America. That’s why I’m pleased to once again co-sponsor the Startup Act,” Sen. Kaine said. “By providing entrepreneurs and foreign students who are educated in American universities with the ability to pursue career opportunities here, the Startup Act will help grow Virginia’s diverse talent pool, fill STEM vacancies in American companies, and create employment opportunities in new business ventures for American workers.”

“Ninety of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants and more than 200 were founded by immigrants or their children,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan bill would help ensure the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs can get their start in America and contribute their innovations to our country and economy.”

Research shows that for close to three decades, companies less than five years old have created almost all net new jobs in America – averaging about three million jobs each year.

Additionally, foreign-born entrepreneurs have a long history of creating businesses in America. Of the current Fortune 500 companies – including Apple, Google and eBay – more than 40 percent were founded by a first- or second-generation American. These American companies employ more than 10 million people. Both American and foreign-born entrepreneurs are needed to jumpstart the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses.

“In order for America to maintain its position as the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation, we must win the global battle for talent, increase access to capital for startups, and create pathways for fledgling startups to become iconic American businesses,” said Steve Case, Revolution LLC CEO and former member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. “The Startup Act encourages that by creating a visa for promising immigrant entrepreneurs and reforming the tax code to incentivize investments in startups and R&D. I’m pleased to see Senators Moran, Warner, Coons and Blunt kick off the year with a bipartisan focus on the essential need to keep our economy moving forward, and I am optimistic that Congress will pass this critical legislation.”

Many of the principles included in Startup Act are based on the research and analysis by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and have been endorsed by President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

“Kauffman research has found that skilled immigrants are more likely than the native-born to start new businesses that hire Americans,” said Dane Stangler, vice president of Research and Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “The decline in business creation in the United States has coincided with reductions in the immigrant share of entrepreneurship and especially tech-based companies. Research suggests that growth and job creation and innovation would receive a significant boost from expanding immigrant entrepreneurship.”

“American startups are responsible for strengthening our economy, driving significant job growth and bringing innovative new products to market,” said Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association. “Congress needs to make sure that high-skilled labor shortages and outdated regulations don’t hold back this essential sector. The Startup Act is just what we need to foster innovation and support entrepreneurialism. This bill will create new visas to allow immigrants who earn STEM degrees in the U.S. to stay here and found companies, or use their talents at American businesses and create domestic jobs. It will also improve startups’ access to capital, and reduce burdensome and unnecessary rules that inhibit investment.”

The provisions in Startup Act have been endorsed by CEA, CTIA, Engine Advocacy, Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, ITI, Northern Virginia Technology Council, and Tampa Bay Technology Forum.

“The Austin Tech Council represents one of the most innovative and accomplished technology communities in the world. The Startup Act is critical for funding and staffing the sustained success of our entrepreneurs and the national and regional Innovation Economies,” said Julie Huls, President and CEO of the Austin Technology Council. “We look forward to supporting Sen. Moran’s work to set this new benchmark in support of US competitors in the global market.”

Startup Act is also supported by additional regional groups including: Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), Arizona Technology Council (AZTC), Austin Technology Council (ATC), Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (CRTC), Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Connect (San Diego), Connecticut Technology Council (CTC), Howard Tech Council, Idaho Tech Council (ITC), Illinois Technology Association (ITA), KCnext - The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), Nashville Technology Council (NTC), New Hampshire High Tech Council (NHHTC), New Jersey Tech Council (NJTC), New York Technology Council (NYTECH), North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA), Northeast Ohio Software Association (NEOSA), OC TechAlliance, Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF), Tech Collective (Rhode Island), Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Technology Association of Louisville Kentucky (TALK), Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), Utah Technology Council (UTC), Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) and Wisconsin Technology Council.

Click below to read a one-pager on Why Startup Act Matters.

Click here to visit the Startup Act website.

Startup Act includes the following provisions:

  • Makes permanent the exemption of capital gains taxes on the sale of startup stock held for at least five years – so investors can provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth;
  • Creates a limited research and development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts. This R&D credit is designed to allow startups to offset employee taxes – freeing up resources to help these young companies expand and create jobs;
  • Uses existing federal R&D funding to support university initiatives designed to bring cutting-edge research to the marketplace more quickly where it can propel economic growth;
  • Creates an Entrepreneur’s Visa so foreign-born entrepreneurs in the United States legally can remain here, launch businesses and create jobs;
  • Creates a new STEM visa so U.S.-educated foreign students in the United States legally, who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, can receive a green card and stay in this country where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs;
  • Eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based visas – which hinder U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow;
  • Requires all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed “significant rules” with an economic impact of $100 million or more. This new requirement will help determine the efficacy of regulations and their potential impact on the formation and growth of new businesses; and
  • Directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to assess state and local policies that aid in the development of new businesses. Through the publication of reports on new business formation and the entrepreneurial environment, lawmakers will be better equipped to encourage entrepreneurship with the most successful policies.


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