Report on U.S Tech Startups

The release of a new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) https://itif.org indicates that the state of technology-based startup activity has been positive over the past decade in spite of some economy-wide declines in new business formation. The number of technology-based startups in the U.S economy grew a robust 47 percenter in the last decade.

According to Robert D. Atkinson, President ITIF and co-author of the report released November 28, 2017, “Technology-based startups are star players for the economy. They offer better paying longer lasting jobs than other startups, startups are able to innovate more, and they are more likely to export their goods and services which contributes to growth”.

He further points out, “There is a false impression that because some technology-driven companies have become hugely successful, there isn’t room for new entrants. But that is clearly not the case. Technology and innovation-driven startups are thriving.”

The report quantifies entrepreneurship in ten technology-based industries over the last decade at the national, state, and congressional district levels. The highest number of technology-based startups in any state is more than 30,000 in California.

The report urges policymakers to focus on several areas such as tax reform, improving STEM skills, but also provide for regulatory reform and open up new ideas for technology transfer. The report suggests that a new Office of Innovation Policy be created within the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, SBA’s office of Advocacy should focus solely on federal regulations affecting new firms in technology-based industries.

As for technology transfer, the first goal should be to establish an automatic set-aside program to allocate a modest percentage of federal research budgets to technology commercialization activities.

The second goal to move technology transfer further would be to develop a proof-of-concept “Phase Zero” individual and institutional grant award program within major federal research agencies as the national level.

The third suggestion for technology transfer, is to direct the National Science Foundation www.nsf.gov to partner with NIST www.nist.gov to develop a metric for universities to use to report on entrepreneurship and commercialization information on an annual basis.

“All levels of government should implement policies that will support technology-based startups,” said John Wu, ITIF Economic Analyst and lead author for the report. He further states, “Government leaders should promote policies to help current and future technology-based startups emerge and grow so they can go on to generate long lasting high paying jobs, increase innovation and productivity, which would greatly improve the global competitiveness of the U.S economy.”

Go to https://itif.org/publications/2017/11/28/how-technology-based-start-ups-support-us-economic-growth for the detailed report “How Tech-based Start-Ups Support U.S Economic Growth.”

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