Encouraging Start-Ups

President Obama’s administration is moving away from crisis management to economy building, according to US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and one key way to build the economy is to encourage start-ups, because young companies account for nearly all the net job creation in the US.

OK – easier said than done, but the US government has come up with a couple of ideas which could apply just as well over here.


One is for the government to provide $2 for every $1 of private capital committed to start-ups.

The second is to dramatically reduce the time it takes to process a patent. In the US they hope to get this down to one year from the current three.

Lastly, of course, the perennial ingredient for start-ups – money. The US government has got a number of firms including Intel, IBM, HP and Facebook to stump up over $400 million to back start-ups.

With George Osborne saying he expects the private sector to employ all the people he’s intending to kick out of the public sector, he’s going to need every new idea for fostering start-ups he can get.



  1. Excellent, CustomGuy, that’s one George Osborne/Vimce cable should take up. And if we allowed some of these bankers to sit on the boards of the funds they could put their knowledge to investing in productive industry instead of in spivvy speculation.

  2. Why doesn’t the government kill the banker’s bonuses and startup funding/policy for growth problem with one stone? Take 5/10/20% of bankers bonuses and put it in a fund for early stage startups, equity gap finance and social enterprise. The bankers can’t complain because they can get the money back plus gains tax free after five years – we get a fund worth, well, x% of £6bn this year, every year: tantamount to a sovereign wealth fund after a few years.
    Lets put their money to good use instead of seeing it over inflate the cost of homes in the SE and beyond…

  3. They could accelerate the patent granting process by bypassing the checks for things like:
    [1] Novelty or downright, blatant obviousness.
    [2] Not infringing previous patents or being invalidated by prior art.
    Ummm… hang on… that seems to be the current MO! No savings there. Ho hum.

  4. “The US government has got a number of firms including …. Facebook to stump up over $400 million to back start-ups.”
    So that’s where the money’s going.

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