Senator Mark Warner Talks Business at UVA Venture Summit
Thursday U.S. Senator Mark Warner remotely addressed the University of Virginia's fourth annual Venture Summit where he talked about his personal achievements in business and his efforts on Capitol Hill to turn ideas into businesses more efficiently.
Projected on a screen at Old Cabell Hall, Warner started out Thursday at with an anecdote - explaining how colleagues used to laugh at him, "classmates, from Harvard Law School were all starting to prosper at big law firms. They all told me 'Warner go get a real job. Nobody's going to want a car phone.'" He jokingly added, "They're still practicing law."
That was before Warner founded a company that became Nextel and headed up Columbia Ventures, building up a resume that provided a great deal of knowledge to share at UVA's Venture Summit when he discussed startups.
For the entrepreneurs who filled the room, it was a message that hits home for many of them. They are full of big ideas but have little money in the bank to pursue them. Warner then talked about what he has been doing on Capitol Hill to spark business, specifically for startups.
Recently the senator was instrumental in pushing through three provisions in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed by President Obama on April 5. Warner is currently working on the Startup Act, which he sees as the second half of the JOBS Act. He hopes these updates will turn more ideas into businesses across the country.
Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, also a speaker at the summit, said regarding the JOBS Act provisions, it is "critical to finding those sparks of new ideas that deserve to be big companies."
Three provisions Warner worked on in the JOBS Act aim to ignite business. First, any citizen that makes less than $100,000 a year can invest 5 percent of their income into start-ups.
Businesses can also go public a little easier. Warner explained, "A lot more companies got swallowed up by companies that were then never to be heard from again, where if they had the option and ability to go public we would have seen more growth and more job generation."
Lastly, research agencies will be able to offer professors more resources so startups can have successful test runs. Chopra stated, "The National Science Foundation Innovation Core have only provided two rounds of innovation funding and UVA professors have won each time."
According to Warner, the Startup Act would allow entrepreneurs to obtain a visa so economic prosperity stays in the USA. He hopes these updates will turn more ideas into businesses across the country.
Warner said, "Bright electrical engineers and scientists in a graduate degree no matter where they come from to keep that job here in America."
He also pointed out that 80 percent of jobs in the U.S. are coming from startups. Warner hopes these updates and additions to the JOBS Act will create more job opportunities throughout the country.
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