Startup in a Day: Four Things You Should Know

Today, as part of White House Demo Day, we’re excited to announce the 25 cities and two Native American communities who won the Small Business Administration (SBA) Startup in a Day competition launched in June. The prizes of $50,000 each will help these communities streamline the licensing, permitting, and other requirements needed to start a business in their areas, with the goal of enabling entrepreneurs to initiate all necessary steps within one business day. The SBA is also awarding a $250,000 cash prize to the city of Los Angeles to create an open-source solution that will be replicable and scalable on a broad basis.

Here are four things you should know about today’s announcement:

1. We’re number… 46?! When it comes to ease of doing business, America is top 10 in the world. But when it comes to starting a business, we’re ranked 46th — much of this is due to navigating the largely state and local requirements needed to start a business. That’s why we launched the Startup in a Day initiative, a partnership with U.S. cities to develop online tools that let entrepreneurs discover and apply for the local, state, and federal requirements needed to start a business — in less than a day.

It takes longer to start a business in America than in other countries. We're taking steps to make it faster

2. Winners from every corner of the country. The Startup in a Day winners, like the entrepreneurs here at the White House today, are from all over the country. Urban and rural; coastal and central; from every region, including traditional entrepreneurial hotbeds and places where the next big thing will come from — because good ideas come from everywhere, we’re committed to supporting entrepreneurs everywhere. Congratulations to:

  • The 25 city winners: Anchorage, Alaska; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Boston, Massachusetts; Brookings, South Dakota; Burlington, Vermont; Champaign, Illinois; Jackson, Michigan; Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oakland, California; Peoria, Illinois; Riverside, California; Rockland, Maine; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Rutland City, Vermont; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Washington, District of Columbia; and Wilmington, Delaware.
  • The two Native American community winners: Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation; and Choctaw Nation (where President Obama recently visited to announce our ConnectHome initiative to bring high-speed broadband internet to low-income housing!)

3. L.A. is dreaming big. Los Angeles won the $250,000 “Dream Big” model prize, which goes to a community building an open-source platform. So, out of this competition will come a tool that can be used by many more cities to streamline the process of getting a business up and running, creating jobs and generating growth in communities.

4. Taking the pledge. Every community that won has taken a pledge to: 1) develop an online tool (a website or app) within a year for most entrepreneurs to be able to identify and apply for all requirements within a day; 2) develop a streamlined, business-friendly, online permitting system, so that the entire application process moves online; 3) to share best practices, facilitated by the National League of Cities — our partner in this effort.

Stay tuned for more on how we’re expanding entrepreneurial opportunities by tuning in for the President’s participation in today’s White House Demo Day event, starting at 2 p.m.:

Charlie Anderson is Senior Advisor for the National Economic Council.