360° Coverage : Innovation, American Entrepreneurs and the New Job Agenda

2 Updates

Innovation, American Entrepreneurs and the New Job Agenda

May 14 2014, 12:53pm CDT | by

American ingenuity. It’s the stuff of lore and legend, and it’s what drives the global economy. We literally bank on the next disruptive entrepreneur — and innovative new technology — to completely...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

22 weeks ago

Innovation, American Entrepreneurs and the New Job Agenda

May 14 2014, 12:53pm CDT | by

American ingenuity. It’s the stuff of lore and legend, and it’s what drives the global economy. We literally bank on the next disruptive entrepreneur — and innovative new technology — to completely redefine or create new industries. It’s what America does really well, our goose that continues to lay golden eggs.

And yet, maybe not.

The truth is that America’s startup engine is sputtering. The hope doesn’t always match the hype, and incubators, accelerators and entrepreneurial enclaves across the country are full of well-intentioned new products, if not real, scalable, game-changing innovation.

null

A February 2014 Kauffman Foundation study found the high-tech entrepreneurship rate peaked in the U.S. in 1982 – 32 years ago – when it represented 60% of all new firms. Today that rate has dropped by half. To be sure, there’s still an explosion of startups spreading across the country, and it’s cheaper, faster and easier than ever before to launch a new venture. But it’s also harder than ever before to succeed and scale, especially in a way that creates lots of jobs and lots of wealth for lots of people.

The condition of the nest – to belabor the analogy – does seriously impact that golden goose. Few American policy makers seem concerned about the conditions, particularly at the federal level.

Investors may love the idea of the capital efficient startup – a new venture that can launch and quickly grow big with as few people and resources as possible — but it’s so staggeringly rare that it’s barely a statistic. And when it does happen, the success of a venture like WhatsApp ($19b “value” with 55 employees) does relatively little to actually grow our common economy.

Innovation takes people, capital, research and development. It takes time and a big picture, long-term view. And it takes smart public policy that encourages and fosters those conditions. The political stalemate and gamesmanship in Washington has compromised America’s true drivers of entrepreneurship, innovation and our high-tech industry.

And yet both sides of the aisle talk about growth and jobs and new economic booms. Both parties talk about nurturing young, growing companies.

There really could be a common growth agenda in Washington, were it not mired in inaction and no sense of urgency. The consensus items are foolishly frozen as pawns in one or another political negotiation.

Align the education system to crank out more entrepreneurial-minded, tech-savvy kids

There’s a push in many states to include more coding, tech and design into secondary education, but computer literacy should be a part of the national discussion of basic competencies we expect of all kids. We need more specialized middle and high school technology programs. Becoming a great technologist takes about as much experience and knowledge as becoming a medical doctor, but those 10 to 12 years’ experience usually start in the family basement playing around with computers. More kids need access to start this learning path in more structured, supported programs.

null

Reopen America to the brightest, most motivated immigrant minds

More than 25% of all new businesses in America are started by immigrants, more than one-third of the venture backed companies that went public in the past six years, and for that matter, 40% of the Fortune 500, were all founded by immigrants. Our universities continue to attract the brightest minds around the world. Fifteen years ago we retained many of those minds in the United States. Today, those folks are increasingly educated here and then shown the door.

null

I’ve met very few politicians from either party who disagreed with stapling a green card to the diploma of a foreign born graduate in science, tech, engineering or math, yet it doesn’t happen. For every 1% increase in H1B STEM employment, there’s a 7% to 8% increase in wages for US workers. Yet the tiny allotment of H1B visas disappear each year within a matter of hours. Immigration reform is stalled by some Republicans in the House, and that inaction is strangling our ability to grow jobs and increase wages.

Invest into long-term, basic research

The innovations that drive American productivity and quality of life often originate in basic, government funded research. And while overall private sector research and development is woefully stagnant, the situation is even worse in long-term basic research funded by the tax payers, a mounting crisis that will reverberate for generations. Increases in basic government research in the United States accounted for as much as 50 percent of US economic growth between 1950 and 1993 (and that doesn’t include the internet driven growth of the past 20 years, an innovation that would not exist but for government funded research). And yet we’re dramatically underfunding research today.

null

Smarter tax policy could also be linked to encourage investors that support early-stage R&D and dedicate themselves to long-term research projects, not just quick, short-term gains. An Ernst & Young study of R&D Partnership Structures (a bipartisan idea that’s bouncing around Capitol Hill) suggests the idea would increase investment by an estimated $10.3 billion per year, and create 150,000 new jobs in short order.

Focus on growing new, small,  fast growing companies

The House of Representatives just passed a much needed research and development tax credit, but it does very little to impact young, growing companies. Most new ventures (the ones where the vast majority of new jobs are created in America) don’t yet have much income tax liability. If you want to free up capital for real job growth, support ideas like the Startup Innovation Credit Act, which would allow small businesses to offset payroll tax liabilities.

null

Fix, don’t tweak, the patent system and frivolous abuse

Patent litigation reform to curb abusive tactics is critical, but it starts with a more effective patent office that has the proper resources to evaluate and issue valid patents in the first place. The cost of frivolous litigation is suffocating innovation, especially among small companies, but so, too, is the timing and process young companies must go through to get valid patents.

null

Help American companies reinvest into America’s future

Big US-based, multi-national companies (including many in the tech industry) have about $2 trillion trapped offshore, avoiding repatriation under one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Democrats are skeptical that a reduced rate or tax holiday would result in the kinds of reinvestment into American growth that big companies promise, so nothing happens. Smart corporate tax reform could include incentives to reinvestment that capital into innovation, venture growth and national infrastructure. It’s not an intractable problem, but Washington hasn’t been up to the challenge.

null

Turn over the giant asset of open data to jumpstart new markets

We’re entering an exciting time for data, analytics and opportunities for increased insight and efficiency. Open data projects will result in smarter, more responsive and transparent government, there should be a national push to make more government records and data available across all departments. The innovative ideas and insight that could come from releasing that incredible asset to entrepreneurs would no doubt spawn new industries.

null

Most of the priorities above aren’t particularly political or divisive issues. These are all job and growth creating policies. The list is far from complete. Some are just basic common sense. Voters in every region of the country would benefit from their impact, and that would mean every politician would enjoy the credit along with their thanks. The only thing missing is for Washington to think and act more like the entrepreneurs they celebrate.

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (New ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Colombia to launch world's first floating gas liquefaction plant
Bogota, Oct 21 (IANS/EFE) The world's first floating gas liquefaction plant is due to begin operating next year off the coast of northern Colombia under a pact between Canada-based Pacific Rubiales Energy and Belgian shipbuilder Exmar.
 
 
Paralysed man walks again after pioneering cell therapy
London, Oct 21 (IANS/EFE) A paralysed man has been able to walk again after therapy that involved transplanting cells from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord, the BBC reported Tuesday.
 
 
Non-smokers face major health risks in smoking homes
London, Oct 21 (IANS) Living with smokers is as bad as living in smoke-free homes in heavily polluted cities such as Beijing or London, researchers said.
 
 
Finally Nepal, India sign power trade agreement
Kathmandu, Oct 21 (IANS) Nepal and India here Tuesday formally signed a landmark power trade agreement (PTA), allowing exchange of electricity, which is expected to open up new vistas of cooperation in the hydropower sector between the two energy-starved nations.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

1,074 new dengue cases in Chinese province
Beijing, Oct 18 (IANS) China's Guangdong province has reported 1,047 new cases of dengue fever, health authorities said Saturday. Six people have already died in Guangdong -- five in Guangzhou and one in adjacent...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Blake Lively 'always' wanted to be mum
Blake Lively has ''always'' wanted to be a mother. The 27-year-old actress is expecting her first child with husband Ryan Reynolds and she admits she's been dreaming of this moment since she was a youngster. Speaking...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner 'torn apart' by Bruce's new relationship
Kris Jenner feels ''torn apart and angry'' that Bruce Jenner is dating her former assistant. The 58-year-old matriarch split from the 64-year-old Olympic gold medalist last October following 22-years of marriage but is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini won't move to France
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini doesn't want to move to her husband's home country of France. The 'X Factor' judge, 31, who comes from Newcastle, is adamant she won't be relocating any time soon to suit her new spouse Jean-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lance Bass sets wedding date
Lance Bass has set a date for his wedding. The former *NSYNC singer and his partner Michael Turchin, who have been dating for two-and-a-half years, are to tie the knot on December 20, 2014, a representative for the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nepal avalanche toll reaches 39
Kathmandu, Oct 18 (IANS) At least 39 climbers died while hiking on a key Nepali route after it was hit by a major snowstorm and avalanches earlier this week, BBC reported Saturday citing officials. Over 350 stranded...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jake Gyllenhaal says society is complicit in 'nightcrawling'
Jake Gyllenhaal says almost everybody in society ought to relate to his new movie 'Nightcrawlers'. The eagerly-awaited film concerns those people who monitor police scanners and then race to crime scenes to film eye-...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
India eves look for first win in AFC U-16 qualifiers
Dhaka, Oct 18 (IANS) India will hope to register their first win of the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Women's Championship qualifiers when they take on hosts Bangladesh in a crucial encounter at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Moyes mulling return to management
London, Oct 18 (IANS) Former Manchester United manager David Moyes said that he is ready to revive his managerial career six months after being sacked by the 'Red Devils'. "I am ready to return. I have enjoyed the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ebola fears loom over Ghana hosting AFCON
Accra (Ghana), Oct 18 (IANS) The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) cautioned the government Saturday against hosting the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), despite a request by the Confederation of African Football (...
Read more on Sport Balla