Startup News Digest 7/20/2018

The Big Story: A Republican’s net neutrality push. Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman came out this week with two major moves on net neutrality; he introduced a bill that enshrines much of the FCC’s 2015 protections in law, and he became the first House Republican to sign onto the discharge petition to bring to the House floor the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, which would undo the FCC’s repeal of those protections.

Coffman’s signing onto the discharge petition marks a major victory in the fight to reinstate strong net neutrality protections. The CRA resolution passed the Senate 52-47 earlier this year, and the discharge petition needs 218 signatures to force a vote in the House.

At the same time, Coffman’s bill does a lot to reinstate the now-repealed FCC net neutrality rules, which kept ISPs from blocking or slowing access to websites and online services and kept ISPs from charging websites for better access to users. At the unveiling of the bill on Tuesday, Coffman described the legislation as covering the four corners of Internet freedom: no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization, and strong interconnection policies.

As Evan said in our statement on Tuesday, “Startups across the country rely on net neutrality protections to keep the Internet a level playing field. We applaud Rep. Coffman for supporting the Congressional Review Act resolution and advancing the debate with a bill that enshrines strong net neutrality protections.”


Policy Roundup:

Startups protecting patent quality. Engine organized a fly-in this week for startups to come to DC and talk about improvements in the patent system and why patent quality is so important to innovators. Check out our new video featuring one of those startups, Mapbox.

An expedited appeal. The Justice Department is seeking an expedited process as it appeals a federal judge’s approval of AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner. 

Comcast drops Fox bid. Comcast is no longer fighting with The Walt Disney Company to buy the 21st Century Fox entertainment empire, instead pursuing European provider Sky.

JOBS Act 3.0. The House passed a package of bills meant to facilitate capital formation and boost initial public offerings. The package includes a measure to remove unnecessary barriers to investing at startup pitch events and a bill from Rep. David Schweikert that could broaden the definition of an “accredited investor” to expand the pool of people who can invest in startups.

Google’s $5B fine. EU regulators are fining Google, claiming the company is abusing its market dominance in the Android market and forcing phone producers to pre-install the Google search engine and Chrome web browser on devices. 


Startup Roundup:

#StartupsEverywhere: Dallas, TX. Building a business plan can be challenging, but David Krauss, Co-Founder of NoiseAware, believes most startups are missing one key feature - advocacy. David has advocacy ingrained into NoiseAware’s culture. By embracing advocacy as a main focus, NoiseAware has built strong relationships with policymakers and in turn, has brought additional notoriety to itself as a growing startup. 

Startup Week Across America. Engine, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Economic Innovation Group, and the Center for American Entrepreneurship, will host Startup Week Across America August 20-24, 2018. We have invited all members of the House of Representatives to meet with startup constituents in their district. Interested in getting involved? Contact Jen Fox at or 631-742-9044.


One fun thing. The world celebrated the homecoming of the Thai soccer team this week. If you're interested in learning more about Thailand's emerging startup ecosystem, check out the Chamber of Commerce's upcoming summit.