Sen. Coons introduces Support Startup Businesses Act - Delaware


Sen. Coons introduces Support Startup Businesses Act

The bill would allow SBIR funding to go toward building your business (and not just research).

The Capitol.

(Photo by Flickr user Adam Fagen, used under a Creative Commons license)

The time is ripe, it seems, for legislation aimed at helping startups: Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced Wednesday morning that he, along with Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), have introduced a bill called the Support Startup Businesses Act.

The announcement comes on the heels of earlier news that the Delaware General Assembly and Gov. Jack Markell will be introducing legislation next week that allows Delaware residents to invest in local startups and small businesses through equity crowdfunding.

Sen. Coons’ new bill would authorize entrepreneurs who have received money through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to use up to 5 percent of those funds toward things like market validation, intellectual property protection, market research and business model development, according to a release. Currently, SBIR offers little financial support for commercialization efforts.

SBIR is a federally-funded program dedicated to helping small businesses develop cutting-edge technology-based products. Just last week, Ruth Shuman, the National Science Foundation SBIR program manager, spoke at an event hosted by the Delaware Small Business Development Center about how to snag SBIR funding for technical and scientific research.

The new legislation targets scientists and engineers and could be helpful for ex-DuPonters starting their own businesses in Delaware. “Startups are the engine of job creation in the U.S., but the rate of startup creation is well below historical norms,” Coons said in a statement.


So far, the bill has been endorsed by several organizations, including the Delaware Small Business Development Center, the University of Delaware, UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships and the Delaware BioScience Association.

Keep it comin’, lawmakers.

People: Chris Coons
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