Startup Outlook Report by Silicon Valley Bank Reveals Startups Nationwide See the State of the Innovation Economy at a Crossroads

Company news  |  May 16, 2012

Six U.S. Government Policies that Could Help Innovation Startups Grow

SANTA CLARA, CA — May 16, 2012 — Silicon Valley Bank, financial partner to innovation companies and venture capitalists worldwide, released Startup Outlook 2012, an annual survey of perceptions by startup CEOs in software, hardware, life science and cleantech sectors nationwide.

The survey revealed that the tech sector in the U.S. is healthy, hiring, has great business qualities and that startups are optimistic. At the same time, entrepreneurs and startup managers questioned whether the network of policies that support the U.S. innovation economy is optimized for growth. In particular, startups prioritized six government policies that could help them grow:

  • Intellectual property protection (62%)
  • Controlling healthcare costs (52%)
  • Improving the regulatory environment (49%)
  • International trade/ market access (42%)
  • Implementing healthcare reform (37%)
  • Immigration reform (34%)

More specific priorities by industry sector are available in the full report.

Silicon Valley Bank's survey of 270 U.S.-based, private, mostly venture capital-backed companies also found that 60% believe the U.S. education system is not preparing future workers adequately and just 8% said the 2012 presidential candidates have solutions to promote economic growth in the innovation economy. See infographic.

"By amplifying the voices and ideas of entrepreneurs and startups we believe we can help the U.S. create a stronger, more competitive economic environment over the long-term," said Mary Dent, General Counsel and head of government relations for Silicon Valley Bank. "Our findings show that the U.S. has unique strengths that will be hard for other countries to replicate, and real opportunities for job creation and economic growth.  But we also see warning signs for issues that, left unaddressed, could impact the country's position as the leader in an innovation economy.  We have a choice, as a country:  we can survive based on our inherent strengths, or we can thrive by optimizing our policies and workforce to meet the needs of our evolving economy.

Silicon Valley Bank will host a discussion of the Startup Outlook 2012 survey findings at an online event led by Mary Dent, with guest Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC, today at 10 a.m. Pacific time. A replay will also be available here.

Since 1983, Silicon Valley Bank has worked with tens of thousands of technology and life science startup companies, along with their investors, to help them grow into large, productive businesses, creating jobs and innovative products and services that are used and sold worldwide. Today, Silicon Valley Bank works with about half of all venture-capital backed companies in the U.S., servicing them as they grow into mature, multi-national corporations and increasing their probability of success along the way. Silicon Valley Bank and its parent company, SVB Financial Group, work with innovative companies through its offices in China, the U.K./Europe, Israel and India.  SVB Financial Group also helps ensure growing companies have the capital they need to thrive, with $1.5 billion invested in direct equity and venture capital fund of funds.

Independent market research firm Koski Research conducted the online Startup Outlook survey for Silicon Valley Bank in February 2012.

About Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank is the premier bank for technology, life science, cleantech, venture capital, private equity and premium wine businesses. SVB provides industry knowledge and connections, financing, treasury management, corporate investment and international banking services to its clients worldwide through 27 U.S. offices and seven international operations.  (Nasdaq: SIVB) [SIVB-F]

Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and the commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group. Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. SVB Financial Group is also a member of the Federal Reserve System.


Carrie Merritt, Silicon Valley Bank, 503-574-3705, or @SVBCarrie