Administration to Increase Aids to Startups

President Obama is sending Congress a set of proposals to help boost startups and small businesses, the White House said in an announcement Tuesday that coincided with the one-year anniversary of Startup America.

“One year ago today, I called for an all hands on deck effort to ensure that America remains the best place on Earth to turn a great idea into a successful business. The private sector responded, with the Startup America Partnership launching new entrepreneurial networks all across the country. Today, we’re taking new steps that build on that progress, and I urge Congress to send me a common-sense bipartisan bill that does even more to expand access to capital and cut taxes for America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said President Obama.

According to the White House, additional administration commitments include:

• New Challenges Fueling Regional Innovation:  The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is launching the third round of the i6 Challenge, which funds regional collaborations to bring innovative, ground-breaking ideas from the lab to the marketplace, creating new startups and jobs across the country.  Commerce is also launching a new initiative to connect entrepreneurs with the resources made available through the Startup America Partnership and its partners.

• New Round of America’s Next Top Energy Innovator:  The Department of Energy is kicking off a second year of America’s Next Top Energy Innovator, a program that dramatically reduces the cost and red tape facing startup companies that license federal energy technology.  Up to 15,000 patents held by our national laboratories will be available for startups to license at a steep discount, representing a savings of $10,000 to $50,000.

• Building a Regional Mentor Network:  The U.S. Small Business Administration will launch a series of regional events at accelerators and universities to build a network connecting participants in the high-growth entrepreneurial sector, with the goal of scaling new and growing existing mentoring programs for entrepreneurs.

• National Education Startup Challenge:  The Department of Education is opening the doors of the National Education Startup Challenge, inviting students from 6th grade up to college age to develop an innovative solution to an education problem and design a blueprint for a new company or non-profit organization to deliver that solution.  Winning students will be celebrated by senior White House and Department of Education officials and may qualify for additional recognition opportunities.

• Startup America Policy Challenge:  In December 2011, the White House launched the Startup America Policy Challenge, asking entrepreneurs and the American public how to knock down barriers to innovation in healthcare IT, clean energy, and learning technologies.  In response, today the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Public Affairs is leading a network of schools, scholars, and problem-solvers from across the country in a contest to generate the best solutions.  Finalists of the contest will be invited to Washington, DC to present their ideas to a panel of expert judges from business and academia, as well as meet with principals from the relevant agency (Dept. of Health and Human Services, Dept. of Education, or Dept. of Energy) to discuss their proposals.

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