Ensuring compliance with myriad layers of government regulations in one country, let only globally, can be a daunting task. Take Square's recent run in with the State of Illinois, for example. Though market demand may be similar around the nation, and around the world, the regulations that guide markets vary from one region to another, much to the woe of startups.
That’s why Engine attended the first-ever international Startup Advocacy Summit in East London, organized by UK-based organization COADEC. The aim was to bring together policy groups representing tech startups, share our experiences, and devise a clear path forward to affect change on the way politicians create laws that impact startups. Alongside startup advocates from France, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Greece, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, and the UK, Engine
delved into the issues that impact startups worldwide.
After hearing from different speakers on the first day, it was clear that despite location, all startups want to innovate freely. With that in mind, we worked to create an ideal startup ecosystem focusing on the issues that impact startups the most: immigration, patents, and data security.
After hours of healthy debate, we reached an agreement relatively painlessly -- confirming our shared ground, and affirming our policy views as reasonable.
Here’s how we answered three key questions:
1. How do we solve the visa problem?
Visa policies should be clear and flexible, allowing startups to find the talent they need, when they need it. We think the Senate Gang of Eight proposal will help startups in the U.S., so we're fighting for the change it promises.
2. What would the ideal Intellectual Property system look like?
Patent systems should promote and incentivize innovation by having clear and easy to understand frameworks. It's clear that we need comprehensive reform here in America, and startups need to be at the table when lawmakers discuss what that looks like.
3. How do we secure the open Internet?
Data regulation should be simple, giving industry room to innovate.
Of course, things get a lot messier off the island, but there’s hope that these reasonable voices will be heard more loudly when smaller organizations band together. We’re not exactly sure what the collaboration will look like in the future, but we’re looking forward to working closely with many of the folks we met, and others we haven’t, to advocate for better conditions for startups globally.
We welcome your thoughts on how this can best be achieved.