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Startup America Policy Challenge: Universities Respond.

Article / Review by on January 31, 2012 – 8:00 pmNo Comments

Startup America Policy Challenge: Universities Respond

Aneesh Chopra is the United States Chief Technology Officer and in this role serves as an Assistant to the President and Associate Director for Technology within the Office of Science & Technology Policy. He works to advance the President’s technology agenda by fostering new ideas and encouraging government-wide coordination to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland.Aneesh Chopra is the United States Chief Technology Officer and in this role serves as an Assistant to the President and Associate Director for Technology within the Office of Science & Technology Policy. He works to advance the President’s technology agenda by fostering new ideas and encouraging government-wide coordination to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland.

Today, President Obama recognized the one-year anniversary of Startup America, the White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

As part of the Administration’s commitment to unleash market opportunities for entrepreneurs, in December we launched the Startup America Policy Challenge to identify high-impact ideas to support entrepreneurship in areas of national interest: education, energy, and health care.

To kick off the challenge, Secretary Arne Duncan (Department of Education), Secretary Steven Chu (Department of Energy), and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Department of Health and Human Services) each asked the American public for ideas about how the U.S. government can break down barriers to entrepreneurship and enable the use of clean energy, digital learning, and health information technologies.

The dialogue on Quora continues to be inspiring, with impassioned discussion about how to best enable use of these technologies, including discussion about how to tear down barriers to customer adoption. In the spirit of today’s focus on innovators, I also want to pose the question directly to entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs and innovators are busy, though, building their businesses. Other than a response on Quora, they may not have the time or interest in thinking about the idea translates to policy solutions. That’s why I’m pleased to announce today that a network of universities have responded to the Startup America Policy Challenge, launching a contest for students and other solvers to compete to develop the best “policy business plans.”

The independent contest is open to students, problem solvers and the American public at large – anyone who wants to take the ideas from the Policy Challenge and turn them into compelling policy proposals. Finalists will get a chance to attend a conference in Washington D.C. and present their full proposals to a panel of high-profile expert judges with backgrounds in government, industry, and academia—and winning proposals will be shared with the Cabinet Secretary from the relevant federal agency.

By Aneesh Chopra
U.S. Chief Technology Officer

###

About Startup America Policy Challenge

Help knock down barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship in health care IT, clean energy, and learning technologies.

Startup America is the White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

> Background

Startup America is the White House initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation.

Startups are engines of job creation.  Entrepreneurs intent on growing their businesses create the lion’s share of new jobs, in every part of the country and in every industry.  President Obama has called on both the federal government and the private sector to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of entrepreneurs across the country.

The Obama Administration is taking concrete actions to improve the environment for high-growth entrepreneurship, in five key areas:

  1. Unlocking access to capital for high-growth companies;
  2. Connecting mentors to entrepreneurs;
  3. Reducing barriers and making government work for entrepreneurs;
  4. Accelerating innovation from lab to market for federally funded R&D; and
  5. Unleashing market opportunities in industries like healthcare IT, clean energy, and learning technologies.  (That’s where you come in…)

For more information about Startup America, visit www.whitehouse.gov/startupamerica

> The Challenge

In the spirit of the Obama Administration’s commitment to open and participatory government, the White House is announcing the Startup America Policy Challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Major transformations are underway in the U.S. economy, opening up unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs:

  • Education is shifting from paper to digital.
  • Energy is shifting from dirty to clean.
  • Healthcare is shifting from volume to value.

How do we get there faster?

A lot of entrepreneurs have an idea about how the federal government could help knock down some of the barriers they face every day.  But they probably don’t have time to translate this idea into a rigorous policy proposal – after all, they’ve got businesses to run.

Meanwhile, other members of the public, including students, have time to do that research.  But they may not know what barriers are most important.

Enter the Startup America Policy Challenge:  President Obama’s Administration will ask entrepreneurs and the American public how to knock down barriers to innovation in healthcare IT, clean energy, and learning technologies. Entrepreneurs and other members of the public will post their ideas online. The public, including students and other solvers, will be invited to translate the best ideas into “Policy Business Plans,” which will be shared with President Obama’s Cabinet.

> How to Participate

Phase I: Entrepreneurs and others: Post your response to the White House and Cabinet Secretaries:

http://www.quora.com/Aneesh-Chopra-1/Startup-America-Policy-Challenge-We-Want-to-Hear-from-You

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/12/startup-america-policy-challenge-learning-technologies

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/13/startup-america-policy-challenge-clean-energy-0

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/16/breaking-down-barriers-health-it-through-entrepreneurship

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/06/we-want-hear-you-quora-annnouncing-strartup-america-policy-challenge

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/06/america-s-ideas-support-entrepreneurship-education-energy-and-health-care

Phase II: Help turn America’s ideas into a “Policy Business Plan” and compete to be the best!  Consistent with the Startup America Policy Challenge, a network of universities (http://policychallenge.asu.edu/) has decided to analyze the issues posed by the Cabinet Secretaries.  These universities will make the responses from Phase I available to students and solvers across the country.  Solver teams will choose an idea and develop detailed “Policy Business Plans” for Federal government action.  The winning Policy Business Plans will be shared with the relevant Cabinet Secretary: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Dept. of Health and Human Services), Secretary Arne Duncan (Dept. of Education), or Secretary Steven Chu (Dept. of Energy).

See more here: http://policychallenge.asu.edu/

> Important dates

Submission Period:
Start: Dec 08, 2011 12:00 AM EST End: May 31, 2012 12:00 AM EDT
Winners announced:
Jul 02, 2012 12:00 AM EDT

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The White HouseThe White House Logo

*  The above story is adapted from materials provided by  The White House

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