Engine On Air Episode 2: The Economic Impact of Startups


Listen here.

Our research on the economic impact of new and young high-tech companies -- or startups -- forms of the basis of everything we do, and informs the positions we take on key policy issues. This summer, we released a new paper with the Kauffman Foundation that highlights the impact of high-tech startups on job creation and economic growth.

To help us explore this issue, and the role policy can play in fostering growth, this episode Mike McGeary is joined by Engine’s Research Director, and the author of Tech Starts, Ian Hathaway, Dane Stangler, Director of Research and Policy for the Kauffman Foundation, Jim Franklin, CEO, and Tim Falls, Director of Developer Relations, from Boulder-based startup Sendgrid, and Robert Litan, Director of Research at Bloomberg Government.

To set the table, Ian takes us through the key findings of his research, explains why there is still more work to be done, and then explores the policy implications of what he found. To answer the million dollar question of what issues deserve policy action, Ian talks about immigration and education reform, streamlining regulations, and revisiting the tax code.

Next up is Kauffman’s Dane Stangler. After we published Tech Starts, Dane took on the question of how tech hubs develop in a follow-up paper, and what local policy makers ought to be thinking about. Ian and Dane -- who worked closely together on Tech Starts --  reconnect on air to explore the factors that accelerate the growth of tech hubs and discuss how local government should find areas to support processes already in place.

Then, to give some real, on-the-ground color to the aspects of tech hubs described by Dane, we spoke to Jim Franklin and Tim Falls from SendGrid, in Boulder Colorado. Mike, Jim and Tim talk about the importance of an educated workforce, and discuss the other characteristics that make Boulder the perfect place for SendGrid, and continue to make the city a fertile home for other high-growth technology businesses.

To close out this episode, Mike speaks to Bloomberg Government’s Robert Litan who shines more light on the importance of tech to the American economy, and the role of policy in supporting these high-growth businesses. Robert starts by talking about the key contribution of the technology industry -- powering productivity growth -- and then explains the three key policy imperatives to ensure that the technology industry can continue to power growth moving forward: education, immigration and regulation.

Listen to the full episode here, and stay tuned for more updates on the continued efforts of Congress to pass meaningful immigration and education reform.