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Sep 27, 2012

Illinois Technology Leaders Discuss Key Aspects of Startup 2.0 Legislation That Can Spur Technology Innovation and Create Jobs

Chicago, September 26, 2012 – More than 150 technology executives joined Illinois TechVoice, a partnership between CompTIA and the Illinois Technology Association (ITA), and co-host Partnership for a New American Economy Wednesday to hear Representative Robert Dold discuss how various provisions of the Startup 2.0 Act (H.R. 5893 and S. 3217) address key policy concerns of the tech sector and can help spur and support entrepreneurs in technology.

“It’s heartening to see such strong engagement from the Illinois tech community on policies that impact IT entrepreneurs,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “Both the keynote and the panel discussion on job creation really highlighted the strong contributions of the IT sector to the national economy and the ways that supporting tech entrepreneurs can produce a ripple effect.”

In his remarks, Rep. Dold touted both the capital gains tax exemption for startups and a research and development (R&D) tax credit for startups as ways to help small businesses fuel growth and expand their operations. In addition, he outlined efforts to ease visa restrictions on high-skilled foreign-born workers as a way to help grow innovation in the US and create more employment opportunities for Americans.

“The 21st century workforce is found in the technology sector,” said Congressman Dold. “That is why I have been a strong proponent of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and helped introduced the Startup Act 2.0, which would allow foreign students with degrees in the STEM field to remain in America and help create jobs.  As part of my Main Street Jobs Agenda, I believe that a focus on STEM and pro-growth tax reform will allow innovation to flourish in our communities and, as a result, more jobs will be created here at home.”

“As an organization that works diligently to encourage the growth of Illinois’s technology industry, we at the ITA are encouraged by this high level of involvement from the local tech industry,” said Fred Hoch, President and CEO of ITA. “The issue of the growth is always at the top of our minds, and we hope to see that growth continue to increase at a high rate as the creation of new jobs and the filling of these open positions becomes a reality.”

The expert panel discussion provided additional perspectives on aspects of the Startup 2.0 Act, covering issues from the perspective of IT companies, as well as government economic development planning. Remarks from Andrew Hoog, Chief Investigative Officer, viaForensics, focused on funding challenges and how provisions of the Startup Act might impact fundraising strategies. In addition, Hoog talked about R&D and how the proposed tax credit could help companies like viaForensics develop new products and services to meet client needs.

Jeremie Bacon, President and CEO, Backstop Solutions Group, and Robert Feldstein, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning in New York City, focused on the challenge of hiring high-skilled talent, particularly those with advanced graduate degrees in technology. Feldstein explained that hiring high-skilled foreign nationals in not a zero-sum game that in fact it could help create more jobs for American workers.

“By making it easy for these foreign-born entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in the US – as opposed to forcing them to go abroad – we keep talent, economic growth and quality jobs in the US,” said Feldstein.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA at www.facebook.com/CompTIA and http://twitter.com/comptia.

About Congressman Dold
Robert Dold has gathered extensive and diverse experience both as a small business owner, and in Washington, DC, where he worked on campaign finance reform during his tenure as an investigative counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. In Congress, Bob is focused on bipartisan solutions for creating jobs, protecting the environment, keeping the homeland secure and ending human rights injustices around the world. As the first Member of the Freshman Class to pass a bill, Bob has stayed true to his commitment to provide independent leadership for a stronger economy.

About TechVoice
TechVoice is a newly–formed partnership of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), and participating regional technology associations including the Partnership for a New American Economy. Collectively, we represent thousands of technology companies across the country employing millions of workers. We are dedicated to empowering and mobilizing the grassroots tech community to impact legislative and regulatory issues important to growth, innovation and job creation.

About the ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is the driving force behind the growth of Illinois' vibrant technology industry. Providing programs and services focused on development, visibility, and talent attraction, ITA accelerates the growth of member company's businesses. ITA brings growth-stage industry companies together, leveraging the connections and experiences of the community to increase the overall success rate of the local industry. Championing the development and application of technologies and leveraging its transformative nature, ITA is an invaluable resource for growing companies.

About the Partnership for a New American Economy
The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together a bipartisan group of mayors from across the country and business leaders from all sectors of the economy and all 50 states to raise awareness of the economic benefits of sensible immigration reform. Our co–chairs and members range from industry leaders to small business owners, employing over 4 million people and generating over $1.4 trillion in annual sales, while our mayors represent cities of all sizes with a combined population of over 35 million residents.