Jonathan Ortmans

Building One Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Month: February 2012

Sweden’s Young Innovators Need Entrepreneurs Too

Sweden is not waiting for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress next month to devise its strategy for building a strong startup ecosystem. While “number of patents” is only one metric to measure innovation, Sweden thinks it is one of the most important. The 2011 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII)—developed by the INSEAD eLab which takes into account dimensions such as creativity and efficiency—ranks Sweden second of 125 economies. For the Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012, Sweden came in third position. And, in Thomson Reuters’ “Global Innovators” list, Sweden is the headquarters location of 6 percent of the list’s companies.

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State Leadership In Boosting Startups

Last week, I shared how we should be encouraged by recent developments to ramp up efforts in support of America’s new and young job creators—including legislation put forth by President Obama at the end of January. While there still remains a small window to get something done, Washington’s old timers emailed me afterwards to remind me that tackling the challenges of passing reforms during an election year is very hard and patience is in order. But as Bob Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation succinctly put it in an op-ed last week, the political climate at the federal level “doesn’t mean we’re out of ammunition.”

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America Looks Over Her Shoulder and Washington Starts to Act

Despite it being an election year and a period in American history of great political divide, the prospect that Washington, DC might actually get something done to make the path easier for nascent entrepreneurs and young firms is looking more promising. This past week saw lots of activity at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. First, on January 31st –the one-year anniversary of both the White House Startup America Initiative and the private-sector Startup America Partnership—President Barack Obama sent a “Startup America Legislative Agenda” to Congress. The following day, I took part in an official Senate roundtable on Capitol Hill focused on developing more high-growth entrepreneurship legislation. Add to this the efforts to support new and young firms announced in late 2011, particularly the Startup Act, and you have the most active pro-startup focus Washington has ever seen.

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