When the Kauffman Foundation focused its annual State of Entrepreneurship Address in 2012 on ideas for a Startup Act for the United States, a new set of questions emerged in the entrepreneurship policy world. Mostly, those questions were around where and with whom it was realistic to focus energy on in order to create better environments and ecosystems for new firms to form and thrive.
Despite continuing political deadlock in Washington, there were some interesting efforts made on behalf of entrepreneurs by policymakers this past year. One of my favorites was President Barack Obama announcing partnerships last summer to breathe more “entrepreneurship” into manufacturing through maker communities across the country. This included a commitment from the Department of Education to create more Makerspaces, to encourage more educators in teaching Making, and to launch various partnerships between federal agencies (USPTO, SBA, HHS, NSF, DOE) as well as more than 150 colleges and universities, 130 libraries, and major corporations to boost resources for maker entrepreneurs.