Young unveils bipartisan bill in Senate to train more entrepreneurs

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) on Nov. 27 introduced the bipartisan U.S. Senate version of the Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2018.

S. 9, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), would require the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program course to support commercial-ready innovation companies, among other purposes, according to the congressional record summary.

“Entrepreneurs fuel Indiana’s small business community and have the power to transform our lives,” Sen. Young said. “This legislation will support Hoosier entrepreneurs by investing in research and innovation, and empowering individuals to turn their ideas into products and businesses.”

Sen. Young noted that S. 9 aims to increase broader participation in the I-Corps program and give innovators more training on how to turn their research into a commercial company.

“Training our most promising entrepreneurs to navigate the transition from the laboratory to the marketplace supports U.S.-grown startups and small businesses and increases our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Sen. Coons. “We wisely invest billions of taxpayer dollars every year into scientific research and development, and this legislation builds a bridge for our best research to directly benefit society.”

A similar bill, H.R. 5086, was introduced on Feb. 26 by U.S. Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL).

H.R. 5086 would amend the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act to require that the NSF provide an option for I-Corps program participants to take an I-Corps Teams course by grantees of the Small Business Innovation Research Program and other entities, according to the congressional record summary.

The U.S. House of Representatives on April 24 approved H.R. 5086, 379-16, and sent it to the Senate, where the bill is under consideration by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Meanwhile, S. 9 – which also has been referred for consideration to the Senate HELP Committee – would authorize a “Phase II” I-Corps program to offer participants who previously finished the I-Corps training with more hands-on classes, according to a statement released by Sen. Young’s office.

The Phase II course specifically would aid entrepreneurs in developing business plans to attract venture capital funding, according to Young’s statement.