President Obama is committed to helping America’s entrepreneurs grow and prosper. Today’s entrepreneurs are tomorrow’s Fortune 500 companies and exemplify America’s competitive edge in ingenuity and innovation. That's why President Obama's proposal -- the American Jobs Act -- rewards those that hire and invest, and includes new measures to cut red tape and ease access to capital. And in January 2011, the White House launched the Startup America initiative, harnessing public and private resources to accelerate the success of America’s high-growth entrepreneurs.
Unleashing Entrepreneurial Growth
Through Startup America, the Obama Administration is taking action to improve the environment for high-growth entrepreneurship across the country:
Unlocking access to capital: America’s most innovative companies need equity capital to grow and hire faster. The Obama Administration is committing $2 billion as a match for private investment in high-growth companies over the next five years. The first of these private Impact Investment Funds will provide up to $130 million in capital to job-creating businesses throughout Michigan, and new Early Stage Innovation Funds are also opening for business. President Obama is also using the tax code to create incentives for more private investment in the early-stage companies that need it most. The Administration has proposed new rules to simplify tax credits for investment in revitalizing low-income communities, and the President’s budget includes a permanent, 100 percent exemption from capital gains taxes for investors in small businesses. And as part of the American Jobs Act, the President is committed to unlocking even more private capital through smart regulatory changes that are consistent with investor protection, including expanding “crowd funding” opportunities and making public offerings easier.
Connecting mentors: Experienced mentors can dramatically improve the success rate of first-time entrepreneurs. The Obama Administration has launched cost-effective new mentorship and training opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs starting new high-growth companies – including military veterans, undergraduate engineers, and clean energy entrepreneurs.
Reducing barriers: Obama Administration leaders have traveled the country to get first-hand input from entrepreneurs about how to reduce barriers to success. In direct response, the Administration has taken action to dramatically streamline requirements facing entrepreneurs in clean energy and biotech, plus new efforts to attract and retain immigrant entrepreneurs who will create jobs here in the U.S.
Accelerating innovation: America must speed up taxpayer-funded research breakthroughs from the lab to the marketplace. The National Science Foundation has launched the new Innovation Corps to do just that, while over 20 other federal agencies have cooperated to fund regional entrepreneurial ecosystems that fuel high-tech job creation. The President also directed all federal research agencies to accelerate innovation by speeding up grants to startups and improving partnerships with industry.
Mobilizing the Private Sector
This is not a job for government alone. In response to the President’s call to action to accelerate America’s entrepreneurs, the Startup America Partnership, a nonprofit alliance of entrepreneurs, major corporations, and service providers, has mobilized well over $1 billion in private-sector commitments -- from free software to free consulting and legal services -- to grow 100,000 U.S. startups over the next three years. These resources are available to U.S. entrepreneurs right now.
And to learn how government can unleash new market opportunities, top Administration leaders continue to hit the road to engage with young entrepreneurs, urban entrepreneurs, rural entrepreneurs and high-tech entrepreneurs in healthcare, clean energy, and learning technology– including a “policy challenge” to get the best ideas from entrepreneurs on the front lines of innovation.