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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Startup Act

Moran, Warner, Blunt & Klobuchar continue push for innovation, jobs & economic development

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today reintroduced the Startup Act – bipartisan, cutting-edge legislation to encourage job creation, grow entrepreneurial activity, increase innovation and advance economic development.

The Startup Act would accelerate the commercialization of university research and creative inquiry that can lead to new ventures, review and improve the regulatory processes at the federal, state and local levels, and modernize a critical Economic Development Administration (EDA) program to spur economic growth and promote innovation. The widely-supported legislation also creates both entrepreneur and STEM visas for highly-educated individuals so they can remain in the United States legally to promote new ideas, fuel economic opportunity and create good-paying American jobs.

“America continues to fall behind in new business development and struggles to retain top talent that could grow our U.S. economy,” said Sen. Moran. “With a renewed sense of urgency, Congress must prioritize policies that will help recruit and retain highly-skilled students and innovators, bolster a pro-growth environment and enable entrepreneurs to transform ideas and research into companies and products – creating meaningful, good-paying jobs for Americans in the process. Thank you to Senators Mark Warner, Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar for continuing to prioritize this important legislation to help make certain America remains the best place in the world to bring an idea to market and grow a business.”

“I’ve spent most of my career in the private sector so I know the importance of advancing innovation,” said Sen. Warner. “By encouraging entrepreneurship and helping attract and retain talented individuals, this bipartisan bill will help Virginia promote capital investment while boosting our economy and promoting U.S. competitiveness.”  

“To compete and succeed in a 21st Century global economy, we have to make our country the best place in the world for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses,” said Sen. Blunt. “This bill will help promote innovation and small business growth, which in turn will create more jobs and strengthen the economy. The legislation will also increase U.S. competitiveness by making sure we have the workforce we need for high-demand STEM fields.”

“Startups and small businesses are engines of job creation and economic growth,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan bill would make it easier for students and innovators to get their ideas off the ground, encourage new ideas, and strengthen our workforce to keep the U.S. competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Many of the principles included in the Startup Act are based on the research and analysis by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City, Mo. Kauffman research shows that immigrants to the United States are nearly twice as likely as native-born Americans to start businesses, and first-generation immigrants now make up nearly 30 percent of all new U.S. entrepreneurs.

Data shows that international students studying in the U.S. on temporary visas accounted for nearly two-fifths of all Ph.D.s in STEM fields – that number has doubled over the past three decades. Further, international doctoral students were significantly more likely than domestic students to major and earn degrees in STEM disciplines in the U.S.

The Startup Act is supported by Sprint, Garmin, the Enterprise Center of Johnson County, the Kansas City Startup Foundation, Engine, the UMKC Innovation Center, the KC Tech Council, the Internet Association, the Consumer Technology Association, CTIA, SSTI, CompTIA, the Angel Capital Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, National Venture Capital Association, the Center for American Entrepreneursip and the Information Technology Industry Council.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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