On Monday the White House announced the Startup America Partnership. Startup America is a White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout America. Below is a nice video of Austan Goolsbee the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers explaining the program.
About the only criticism I have about the program is the expression "valley of death." I live in startup land. I have never ever heard anyone say "valley of death." Regardless the four main points Mr. Goolsbee makes are that Startup America will:
- Expand access to capital for startups;
- Identify and remove unnecessary regulations that are barriers to startups;
- Expand entrepreneurial mentorship programs;
- Provide tax relief.
Aneesh Chopra, United States CTO, also has a nice outline of the program summary on TechCrunch.
Startup America is the capstone of a sea change that has been taking place. For years and years governmental economic development efforts have mostly focused on big companies. Then last year, at least in Atlanta, something started to happen. It seemed like all of a sudden people realized that startups create jobs. Lots of groups starting turning their attention to startups. Why this happened I am not sure. But I am very encouraged that the White House understands the importance of entrepreneurship and startups in expanding the economy and creating jobs. I am also very encouraged that Startup America is getting the right people and organizations involved.
As part of the Start America kickoff 27 public and private commitments were announced. As far as I can tell there is no entity from Georgia involved. There should be. The state of Georgia needs to leverage the Startup America program with it's own economic development funding. It needs to get the right people and organizations involved. It needs to tap into existing startup support expertise (such as ATDC one of the world's top ten incubators). Doing so will help Georgia technology startups succeed, create jobs, and give Georgia an opportunity to reestablish itself as a technology leader.