Today, Representative Mike Honda (CA-15) introduced the Entrepreneur-In-Residence Act of 2012, legislation that would strengthen the partnership between the federal government and American businesses by creating a fellowship program for entrepreneurs. The bill is the House companion to S. 3222, introduced by Chairwoman Mary L. Landrieu of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, which is supported by industry leaders and groups including Dell, CompTIA, the Center for Public Policy Innovation, and 10 State-based technology councils.
"I am excited to work with Senator Landrieu to introduce the House companion bill," said Congressman Honda. "As a representative of Silicon Valley, I have been a long-time advocate for strong partnerships between the private high tech industry and the federal government. With job creation a top priority, a federal entrepreneur-in-residence program is particularly appropriate. These proven entrepreneurs would apply their real-life experiences and business knowledge to identify new opportunities and improve current federal efforts to foster American start-ups and emerging businesses."
The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Act of 2012 would authorize the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in coordination with the Department of Commerce and Small Business Administration, to place 30 successful entrepreneurs (ten in each yearly class) in federal agencies for no more than two years as entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR). Thus, the program would end on September 30, 2016.
Similar to Presidential Management Fellows, these EIRs would be civilian detailees directly reporting to agency heads. EIRs would be tasked with providing recommendations and assisting efforts to make agency services and operations simpler, more efficient, and more responsive to the current needs of entrepreneurs and businesses. The EIRs would also help the agencies in identifying ineffective or duplicative programs.
As a shining example of the EIR model, in September 2011, Dell announced the creation of its first Entrepreneur in Residence, bringing on board one of today's leading entrepreneurs in green Information Technology, Ingrid Vanderveldt. Ingrid has been focused on expanding the ways Dell connects with, learns from, and understands the needs of growing businesses so the company can bring solutions and services to market that help them succeed.
"Dell hired me as their first Entrepreneur in Residence to "bring the outside in'," said Ingrid Vanderveldt, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell. "As the EIR, I help drive strategy on extending how Dell listens and acts on what entrepreneurs need to take their businesses to the next level. This has helped create a more meaningful bridge between Dell and the small-to-medium-sized business marketplace."
"For this reason, I am excited about the possibility of scaling up the EIR model to the federal level. Just as Dell has been building bridges to small-to-medium-sized businesses, this program has the potential to build better bridges between federal agencies and entrepreneurs. A federal EIR program would make the government more responsive to the current needs of entrepreneurs and enhance partnerships between it and the private sector."