Editorial: This important incentive program helps Nebraska startups get off the ground

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Many states are surpassing Nebraska in creating high-productivity, high-wage jobs, mainly in technical industries, that give significant economic advantages to those states. Startups in Nebraska also often find it difficult to obtain venture capital funding early in their development.

An existing Nebraska incentive program, the Business Innovation Act, has helped on this front, and the Appropriations Committee has rightly prioritized legislation this session to strengthen the program. Legislative Bill 334, by State Sen. John Stinner of Gering, would end another, less-successful incentive program, to free up $4 million to add to the Business Innovation Act. This would mean nearly $10 million in annual total funding.

The program provides matching seed money for companies, as well as funds to support prototype development, research and microenterprises. The act leverages about $4.50 in private investment for every $1 invested by the state, says Stinner, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

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