Tell the White House How to Power Up Startups

Once again, the White House wants to hear ideas about innovation in general and eliminating impediments to startups in particular from you Fast Company readers.

On March 23, from noon-12:40 p.m. EST, Fast Company senior editor Nancy Cook will travel to the White House with your questions in tow to moderate the panel, "Startup America—Reducing Barriers." It's part of the White House's Startup America initiative, which began with an executive order in January by President Obama, instructing federal agencies to identify and take steps to reduce old or burdensome business regulations. President Obama is also visiting eight cities and entrepreneurs and businesspeople there to get their ideas for how to further streamline the process. But if the president isn't visiting your city (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Boulder are still to come), here's your chance to take part nonetheless.

Via Twitter or the convenient box below, ask a question about any impediment you feel is getting in the way of startups. Or answer the question: "What regulations are stifling startups?" using hashtag #startupamerica. Or tweet the question at someone whose ideas you think we—and the president—should hear with the same hashtag. We'll grab a variety of questions and discuss them March 23rd at a roundtable with Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Adminstration, Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council, and others. The whole thing will be livestreamed from the White House. (We'll share details on watching the broadcast as the event draws near.)

What regulations are stifling startups?

We want to come up with smart questions and discussion topics for a White House panel on reducing burdens for startups. Contribute by tweeting your answers to "What regulations are stifling startups?" Or ask a question you want answered by administration officials. Or ask anyone who tweets for his or her ideas by including their Twitter username in your question.

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    Add tarriffs to imported goods. Get out of NAFTA, CAFTA and WTO. These actions alone would erase our budget deficit and unemployment.

  • Paul Vecchiet

    Please review the patent laws and how they affect inventors that work on energy related projects.

  • Paul Vecchiet

    if you are serious about this: 1)relax the patent laws that unnecessarily classify energy projects as a national security issue. 2) help stop the suppression of energy inventions by powerful special interest groups.there are many inventors that have provided ways to solve our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, but they have been harrassed or even worse, hurt by entities that are following big oil and other special interest groups. If we let these inventors release their work, and not lock it up in the patent office, it would likely create more welfare in the form of employment and savings in energy costs. We need this to change.

  • David Garlow

    How about funding? I live near Syracuse, NY and need some computer and other digital equipment and have an idea for a Youth Tech Center to work with kids on digital technologies. It seems impossible to find any help at all here!

  • Dennis Marchand

    Unfortunately the entire stimulus I have seen will benefit only the people who are out of the red zone.
    If your mortgage is under water or it just treading water and you have a second mortgage you are doomed.
    If you were treading water you will drown with the cost of fuel taking all your profits.
    Your income bracket, who dub those numbers, I’m 53 years old and my salary was around $60,000 a year and I never took home more then $ 200.00 a week after bills not counting groceries.
    It make me sick to here about the $200,000 bracket that cant make ends meet, let see how they would live on $6.75 an hour pay, and their rent is $800.00 a month.

    How many would commit suicide?

    There are a lot of business opportunities that could be started, but unfortunately everyone wants to make a killing on them, if the numbers are not large enough they won’t bother.
    I would start a business, but as you can see I have no security to do so, and without money you can’t get any money.

  • Margaret M. Cekis

    Today, NIMBYs protest anything that threatens their residential isolation. I think we need a new kind of entrepreneur-friendly buffer zone between the fully commercial business district areas or shopping centers, and the fully residential areas. We need a new kind of mixed-use zoning where entrepreneurs can both raise a family and build a business. As more undeveloped patches in city and suburban areas are being in-filled with townhome developments, they begin to look more like the older city model, but without the storefronts. Why can't we design a new kind of two-faced storefront/housing combination for these in-between zones where entrepreneurs would be welcome to develop new enterprises or new services for their communities?

  • Margaret M. Cekis

    What has to change is local zoning. Entrepreneurs are prohibited from starting businesses in their garages or basements by residential zoning regulations and homeowner organization covenants. My subdivision, a maze of convoluted cul de sacs, prohibits any kind of commercial enterprise that increases nonresident traffic in the subdivision. Compare this to older big cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. Streets are laid out on a grid. Homes are 2-flats and 3-flats to provide housing for multiple generations, or increase family income by renting out apartments. The corner buildings were storefronts, with living quarters behind or above the stores. these provided bakeries, delis, butcher shops, taverns and other businesses that met the neighborhood's daily shopping needs, within safe walking distance for children and the elderly.