Here is a roundup of views and speculation on what Trump administration means to the startup ecosystem.
CEO of Silicon Valley Bank Greg Becker recently posted a blog that outlined seven key points the new president should try to do to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation. He starts off the blog with:
Startups, particularly in the technology and life science sectors, signal the future. Where will jobs be? What new innovations will change how we live and work? Entrepreneurs and fast-growing companies with big ideas offer opportunities to disrupt the status quo for the better, and help drive U.S. job creation. So we asked nearly 600 U.S. technology and healthcare startups what the new President and administration might do to help grow the U.S. innovation economy.
All the responses collectively fell into several broad categories, which are listed below along with representative quotes from innovative businesses across several sectors:
- Change U.S. corporate tax structure
- Increase access to talent through immigration policy and improvement to U.S. education system
- Simplify regulations
- Provide government financial support for startups, R&D and manufacturing
- Address healthcare costs and regulations
- Encourage global trade
- Reform the FDA approval process
Not surprisingly, other startup watchers have their wish list and concerns too. Most small-business owners are optimistic about Trump and repealing Obamacare, says CNBC.
For the majority of small-business owners, this is good news, according to a recently released poll from small-business online resource Manta. And almost seven and ten small-business owners say that Trump will positively impact their business. The same majority believes that Trump will follow through his promises of deregulation and tax reform.
A SFO Chronicle article says “Startups concerned about Trump’s plans for H-1B visas”
The H-1B visas, which allow highly skilled workers to spend three to six years at sponsoring companies in the U.S., are a big deal in the Bay Area. Tech firms particularly rely on them to fill engineering positions. But President-elect Donald Trump is widely expected to change the way the H-1B visa system operates, which could impact how tech hiring is done. Trump says on his website that the H-1B program brings in “temporary foreign workers” who end up replacing “American workers at lower pay.”
Some startup executives oppose the changes, fearing it will hurt their ability to compete with larger technology companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. Last year, the three companies applied for a total of more than 13,000 job slots needing H-1B visas, according to a Chronicle report that analyzed Department of Labor data. It is unclear how many visas the companies obtained, but the government approves a maximum of 65,000 H-1B applications each year, plus another 20,000 for H-1B workers who hold at least master’s degrees. In total, some 236,000 applications have been submitted during the current filing period.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs have had a rough time of it for these past eight years. New startups and entrepreneurial activity have pretty much been stagnant, weighed down by heavy regulation, high taxes and an economy that’s just been stumbling along.
But in recent weeks, there are signs of renewal that could mark a turnaround in the fortunes of small business.