By Emily Heintz, Associate Director, MVCA
Today I am writing from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court! Today is the legislative day of my trip and my last day in D.C. so I thought it would be a good idea to write from a landmark. Be sure to read the first two posts from my great Washington, D.C. adventure on behalf of MVCA.
My primary goal for today was to discuss the tremendous growth of the entrepreneurial and investment community in Michigan and see how we can be more collaborative with legislatures in their efforts in the future. Yesterday I was presenting to people on how we deliver our message and today I was delivering it big time! The last five years have been years of such growth in Michigan that it was easy to spread the excitement around a couple of these historic buildings in D.C. The upward trend in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan in terms of startups formed, angel investors and number of deals all point toward the state’s growing role in the national venture capital community. So I wanted to know how we can leverage these successes to be more helpful to our DC partners and how they can use their national platform to be more helpful to us!
One of the meetings I had today was with David Weinberg from Congressman Gary Peters’ office. Rep. Peters is the co-chair of the U.S. House Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a team of people that promotes legislation to help new and small businesses grow. I first met with David Weinberg a couple months ago and he was very helpful in arranging to have Rep. Peters speak at our Town Hall event in August. We have also partnered with Rep. Gary Peters in the past on Startup Day. It was a great conversation, as always, and their office is excited to be supportive of the investment community in Michigan.
David Weinberg would like to stay in the loop on initiatives that MVCA is working on and be supportive in any way that they can. They are very excited about some of the upcoming changes we are making to the research report survey that will allow us to tailor it for legislators. He thought this was going to be a really valuable addition.
Another great meeting I had today was with Sarah Shrive from Senator Stabenow’s office. Sarah was someone I had heard about from several people on my trip so I was very excited to finally get to meet her! Her office is very focused on key tax issues and is starting to think about possible tax reform in the coming years. We had a great discussion about the upward trends in the innovation community and also touched on a few opportunities for incentives might help spur more activity. She was very interested hearing more about the entrepreneurial and investment community’s needs in terms of business climate in Michigan and how their office might be able to help.
Sarah Shrive would love to come out to Michigan to meet with a group of entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists to hear your thoughts on tax reform and other business issues that you face. I will be reaching out when she is out in the coming months to set up a roundtable with a few members and their portfolio companies to provide her with some feedback.
Representatives from Rep. Gary Peters’ office and Sr. Stabenow’s office, in addition to other legislators, will be attending our annual dinner so make sure you stop them, say hello, and tell them first-hand about all the amazing things happening in Michigan!!