Following the principals of crowd funding (e.g. crowd vetting, all or nothing funding, small dollar investments, community forum for knowledge sharing), allow SEC registered Internet platforms to offer limited offerings for entrepreneurs and small businesses (small businesses being defined as less than $5 million annual gross income). The window will allow for a maximum capital raise of $1M from micro-angels (capped... more »
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) currently face federal and state securities regulations that not only make it difficult to raise money, but in fact often outright interfere with that objective. That is why one of the most popular ideas presented on this website concerns "crowd funding", the most commonly raised issue at the Roundtable I attended in Palo Alto. The need for a crowd funding like solution is symptomatic... more »
Make health insurance & benefits as affordable to small startups as it is to larger, well-established companies. Allow either a government-sponsored and/or private consortium to pool the risk amongst several startups and collectively package their underwriting risk for health insurers and other group benefits offerings. Remove one of the fundamental risks of leading or joining a startup -- loss of basic affordable benefits... more »
At present our public libraries have been rendered mostly irrelevant. Aside from helping those without technology access and providing an after school safe haven for "lock key kids," their usefulness is limited. But it doesn't need to that way. Imagine libraries being a place where entrepreneurs and students could collaborate. Create "incubation pods" in libraries complete with technology and business support material... more »
Currently, start-up companies trying to raise money through innovative crowdfunding sites are treated under the same rules as those with conventional public offerings.
I suggest exempting securities offerings up to $100,000 with $100 maximum per investor from current SEC regulations.
Problem: Student loan payments prevent many would-be entrepreneurs from being able to afford the attempt to be an entrepreneur. Solution: Provide an "entrepreneurial deferment" loan program. In a deferment program, allow a recent graduate to make interest-only payments or defer all payments for some period of time, should they elect to pursue entrepreneurship. In order to continue the benefit beyond two years, the... more »
Imagine if you had access to a "Start-Up Concierge." This person would 'hand hold' you and your start-up through the regulatory processes and permits. Your concierge would actual be one of a network throughout multiple federal, state and local jurisdictions. Their goal would be to bring as many new businesses on line in the shortest amount of time. The "Start-Up Concierge" is not the gatekeeper, but rather the locksmith... more »
Make Entrepreneurship a part of the EDUCATION standards in America.
We don't have enough jobs - teach students how to run a business, make it fun, they should know how to make a living themselves. Too many college and high school kids think when they are done with school they go hunting for jobs - teach them to make their own living.
Then offer free training via service providers like the SBA.
Open the playing field (and support) for *all* startups whether they are high-growth or not. Growth is NOT the only pathway to success. And, one million companies hiring two people in their first year of business is more powerful and less susceptible to economic shifts than a handful of companies hiring the same amount of people.
Reduce the hurdles to obtain an SBA loan. The current process is nearly impossible to navigate and the sponsoring banks don't seem to want to help. You can qualify for a $50k car in an afternoon yet it takes weeks or months to qualify for the same SBA loan. Lack of access to capital kills great ideas every day. Technology fields specifically need to move fast or we end up watching our competition (other countries)... more »
Connect with local governments to take over public schools, libraries, etc. which have 'gone out of business'. These large buildings can be great incubators for start-ups. Companies get a 'classroom' or a 'shared classroom', there are workout facilities a cafeteria, etc. Better than leaving these community buildings empty and open to vandalism.
There are many people that have no idea where to begin when it comes to finding investors and many potential private investors that have no clue where to find great ideas to invest in. To help solve this problem the Federal Government could create a central website where private investors can be paired with entrepreneurs, inventors and idea makers. The Federal Government could also provide incentive for private investors... more »
Entrepreneurs need easy access to experts and knowledge. But how? Face-to_face networking still rules. There are hundreds of business, technology and life science networking opportunities that happen everyday. The problem is entrepreneurs do not know where to find the events that matter. What is needed is a national database of of business, technology and life science events so that people can start connecting.... more »
StartupVisa is a way for people currently in the US to start a business here without having to leave the country - or for new immigrants to move here to start their company. http://www.startupvisa.com/
Work with the existing SBA assets to create simple, easy-to-follow online blueprints for startups, oriented around the business area. In particular, blueprints written and designed by successful entrepreneurs would be valuable. Right now the SBA-type guides are generic (e.g. "write a business plan", "choose a location", etc.), and yet a wealth of business area-specific statistics and guidance lies within the references... more »