January 15, 2019

Young, Coons Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Support Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON — The bipartisan Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 was introduced today by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and U.S. Representatives Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). This bill encourages broader participation in the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and provides additional training for innovators to learn how to turn their research into a company. 

I-Corps connects scientists and engineers with the technological, entrepreneurial, and business communities necessary to move discoveries from the laboratory to the market. The Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 expands the eligible pool of applicants for the I-Corps program, allowing the participation of aspiring entrepreneurs that have already demonstrated their merit by being awarded Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants from any federal agency. 

“Entrepreneurs fuel Indiana’s small business community and have the power to transform our lives,” said Senator Young. “This legislation will support Hoosier entrepreneurs by investing in research and innovation, and empowering individuals to turn their ideas into products and businesses.”

The bill also authorizes a “Phase II” I-Corps program that would provide additional hands-on, immersive learning classes for participants who have already gone through the current I-Corps training. This “Phase II” course would help entrepreneurs develop business plans to the point where they are ready to attract venture capital funding.

The bill has been endorsed by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, I-Corps Curriculum Developer and Stanford University Professor Steve Blank, I-Corps founding program officer and M34 Capital CEO Dr. Errol Arkilic, the National Venture Capital Association, the Council on Government Relations, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

The bill text is available here