Barack Obama Loves Startups: New Federal Office for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

According to a Bloomberg report this morning, early-stage startups have a new friend in very high places.

The U.S. Commerce Department is establishing a new Office for Entrepreneurship and Innovation specifically to help entrepreneurs develop great ideas into workable business plans by giving them training, funding, advisement, access to data, and a big pair of federal-sized scissors for cutting through the red tape of starting a new business.

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The office is being announced by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, who has a track record of supporting entrepreneurship. Earlier this month, he examined a backlog at the U.S. Patent Office that was holding up many applications for years. "This has a direct, negative impact on America's economic competitiveness, creating uncertainty for entrepreneurs and inventors," he said.

And in light of America's current economic crisis, he echoed remarks made by Obama in a speech given on September 21st. The president cited a need for more federal support of innovation and entrepreneurship at a time when the country is reelying from "cycles of boom and bust." Lock said, "Instead of working to build a great company or discover a new invention, too many of our brightest minds were busy engineering credit-default swaps."

Locke will direct the new office in supporting entrepreneurs and startups through the coordinated efforts of many government programs and entities.

We look forward to reporting more on this office as news becomes available; however, we also acknowledge that not everyone agrees with the President's economic initiatives. As members of the American startup community, how do you feel about the likelihood of more federal involvement in our sphere? Is the government's help, including possible grants or loans, welcome?

Let us know your opinions in the comments.

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