Tom Still: Tech-based innovation across America: Wisconsin is far from alone

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.

As the Wisconsin Legislature rolls toward a spring wrap-up of its work, economic development items on its agenda range from protecting intellectual property from “patent trolls” to setting the stage for more classified research to rethinking the state’s sore-thumb tax on capital raised by many young companies.

It’s all part of a trend, not only in Wisconsin but nationwide, where most state governments are paying attention to what makes the tech-based economy tick.

Some leading initiatives to support the creation and expansion of high-growth businesses and jobs were highlighted in a 2013 summary by the State Science and Technology Institute, which supports and tracks how state and regional economies grow through science, technology and innovation.

Wisconsin was singled out for several initiatives. In its report, “Trends in Tech-Based Economic Development,” SSTI cited the Legislature’s overwhelmingly support for a “fund-of-funds” that will begin with a $25 million state investment and attract matching private dollars over time. The money will be invested in state startups.

That same report by SSTI cited Wisconsin’s decision to amend state securities laws to permit equity crowdfunding. It also highlighted the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s $300,000 investment in the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, which is beginning to invest in Wisconsin companies.

Read the full column for more