Blog

Bringing Broadband Choice to San Francisco

Bringing Broadband Choice to San Francisco

Engine chose to make its home in the Bay Area to be close to some of the most creative and disruptive companies in the country. A place where an innovative internet service provider like Monkeybrains could crowdfund the deployment of gigabit wireless service.  Or where a provider like Webpass could build an entirely wireless infrastructure, using super high spectrum frequencies to deliver the fastest internet in the city.

Engine Applauds International Entrepreneur Rule, Recommends Additional Improvements

Engine Applauds International Entrepreneur Rule, Recommends Additional Improvements

At Engine, we’ve seen firsthand some of the extraordinary contributions that immigrant entrepreneurs have made to the startup economy. One-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder. Moreover, immigrant entrepreneurs started, in whole or in part, some of the most important technology companies of our time, including Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, and WhatsApp. In fact, the United States was home to almost 2.9 million foreign entrepreneurs who generated $65.5 billion in business income in 2014.

Making It Bigger in Denver

Making It Bigger in Denver

With a population of almost 3 million (that is growing by 100,000 every year), ten Fortune 500 companies, and a strong network of regional universities, it may be unfair to call Denver a city on the rise. However, Denver residents will be the first to recognize that the city’s environment for early stage entrepreneurs and startup innovation is continuing to develop and there is still a lot of room for the city to grow. The Rise of the Rest tour, with Steve Case at the helm, spent its second day on the road in Denver to learn from the successes and challenges of the ecosystem and inspire the wider business, policy, and educational leaders in the area to support its many entrepreneurs.

Banging the Drum in Omaha and Lincoln

Banging the Drum in Omaha and Lincoln

In the 1860s, the First Transcontinental Railroad was constructed, connecting Omaha, NE to Sacramento, CA. It was fitting, then, that we kicked off Rise of the Rest’s western tour with a symbolic visit to to Lauritzen Gardens, the original site of the railway. While the rail line was one of Nebraska’s earliest “startups,” today there is a new startup scene taking hold in Omaha and Lincoln—one fueled by growing investment, exceptional local talent and ideas, and a unique culture around support and community.

Continuing the Startup Community’s Fight for Balanced Copyright

Continuing the Startup Community’s Fight for Balanced Copyright

As a non-profit policy organization committed to making the world better for startups, Engine has a long history of engagement on copyright reform issues. Indeed, Engine began as an effort to harness the political power of the startup community that emerged from the tech world’s fight against the ill-fated SOPA/PIPA copyright bills. While the SOPA/PIPA battle remains a critical milestone in the emergence of tech as a political force, our work to return copyright law to a system that promotes rather than hinders innovation is only beginning. To help further this crucial mission, we are proud to join the Re:Create Coalition, a group of creators, innovators, and users working to ensure that copyright laws are balanced and foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

Let’s Make It Easier for Startup Employees to Exercise Their Options

Let’s Make It Easier for Startup Employees to Exercise Their Options

Equity compensation, often in the form of stock options, is a critical tool used by startups to attract, retain, and incentivize quality employees. But stock options have a downside: current tax law requires that employees pay an immediate tax when they exercise their options, usually long before they can sell those stocks to realize their full economic value. Fortunately, a bill being considered today by the House Ways and Means Committee could remedy this problem. 

How Universities Can Help in the Battle Against Patent Trolls

How Universities Can Help in the Battle Against Patent Trolls

The patent system was enshrined in the American Constitution as a tool to promote innovation and invention. But as we have lamented again, and again, and again, the current system often has the opposite effect. In recent years, patent trolls—more politely known as non-practicing entities or NPEs—have hijacked the patent system, amassing hundreds and thousands of overbroad, low-quality patents with the sole purpose of suing and forcing companies into costly settlements. Unfortunately, this abusive patent litigation disproportionately impacts startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators (more than 80 percent of patent troll victims are small- and medium-sized businesses, and 55 percent of troll suits are filed against companies with revenues of less than $10 million).

How Startups Can Use Their Voice To Influence Policymakers

How Startups Can Use Their Voice To Influence Policymakers

For decades, the tech and startup community paid little attention to Washington, D.C. Entrepreneurs chose to focus their energies on building their companies, without much regard for the happenings of Congress or state legislatures. But in recent years, startups have begun to recognize that the decisions made by policymakers in a distant city can have a huge impact on their day-to-day operations and bottom lines. While the lawmaking process might seem long, laborious, and, at times, incomprehensible, it is more important than ever for the entire startup ecosystem to proactively engage policymakers at all levels of government—not only to foster a startup-friendly environment but also to anticipate and shape important policy debates that will affect America and the tech and startup communities for years to come.

Heading West with Rise of the Rest

Heading West with Rise of the Rest

Engine is excited to announce that we will be hitting the road again this October for Revolution’s fifth Rise of the Rest tour. Rise of the Rest is a road show to highlight and support entrepreneurship across America. Over the past four tours, we’ve had the chance to see thriving startup ecosystems in places like Baltimore, Nashville, and Detroit.

Republicans Release Their Party Platform

Republicans Release Their Party Platform

As the Republican National Convention kicked off this Monday, the GOP also released the final draft of their party’s platform. The platform, which was written with input from the party’s base sourced via www.platform.gop, included generous mentions of issues important to the startup community.

Investing in the Internet economy of tomorrow

Investing in the Internet economy of tomorrow

The incredible growth in mobile internet use over the past few years is nothing short of staggering. There are now around 6.4 billion internet connected devices worldwide, and that number is increasing by 5.5 million every single day. Some predictions suggest that we could reach over 20 billion connected devices by 2020, prompting a boom in the startups that will build the gadgets and services powering the coming Internet of Things (IoT). But such optimistic estimates assume that we’ll have the infrastructure to support billions of these connected devices.

Startups should be watching as the Supreme Court decides Samsung v. Apple

Startups should be watching as the Supreme Court decides Samsung v. Apple

Historically, startups have had little occasion to pay attention to the proceedings of our nation’s highest court. While arcane questions of constitutional law have an enormous impact on broader society, the Supreme Court’s activities are often too far removed from the challenges entrepreneurs must handle every day to simply keep their businesses afloat. But, an upcoming case on the Supreme Court’s docket may warrant a shift from this traditional mindset, as the outcome of the dispute could have a resounding impact on startups and small businesses in all industries.

Tech Companies Take Stock of the Brexit

Tech Companies Take Stock of the Brexit

As the dust settles from last week’s stunning Brexit vote, the broader tech community, which staunchly supported remaining a part of the European Union (EU), is taking stock of the potential repercussions of the decision. While the United Kingdom (UK) and the EU still have to negotiate the exact terms of the deal (assuming the British can cobble together a new government committed to the Brexit), uncertainty surrounds several key issues important to the tech community. 

FAA Makes It Easier for Commercial Drones to Fly

FAA Makes It Easier for Commercial Drones to Fly

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized its long-awaited small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rules on Tuesday, making it much easier for businesses to use drones for new and innovative commercial purposes. These rules provide much-needed clarity for the emerging drone industry and put the U.S. ahead of most countries, though significant gaps in the regulatory framework remain.

Who’s the Candidate for Tech? Let’s Look at the Issues.

Who’s the Candidate for Tech? Let’s Look at the Issues.

Recent headlines from around the country suggest that Silicon Valley has united against Trump...In addition to analyzing what influential venture capitalists and executives have to say about Trump, it’s just as important we take a close look at the issues and positions that impact the industry at large, from the major tech firms headquartered in the Valley to the single-person startups building new technologies and services in cities around the country.

An Opportunity to Fix Crowdfunding Before It Falters

An Opportunity to Fix Crowdfunding Before It Falters

On May 16, 2016, regulation crowdfunding will go into effect, meaning for the first time ever,anyone can invest in a startup through an online platform. This is big. Until Congress passed the JOBS Act  in 2012, buying an equity stake in a company required being fairly wealthy or having a pre-existing relationship with the entrepreneurs raising capital. But the Internet has dramatically changed the way entrepreneurs share their ideas and connect with potential investors. With the JOBS Act, the law finally caught up as well – or it almost did.

Calling All Accelerators: SBA Launches Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Calling All Accelerators: SBA Launches Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Do you run a growth accelerator, incubator, co-working space, shared maker-space, or other entrepreneurial ecosystem organization? If so, you might be eligible to compete for a $50,000 prize from the government. Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for the third year in a row. Each year, the agency awards $50,000 prizes to selected organizations to help cover part of their operating budgets.