The bipartisan Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 was introduced on Jan. 15 by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; and Todd Young, R-Indiana; and Reps. Dan Lipinski, D-Illinois; Daniel Webster, R-Florida; Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas; and Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma.

This bill encourages broader participation in the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program and provides additional training for innovators to learn how to turn their research into a company.

I-Corps connects scientists and engineers with the technological, entrepreneurial and business communities necessary to move discoveries from the laboratory to the market. The Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 expands the eligible pool of applicants for the I-Corps program, allowing the participation of aspiring entrepreneurs that have already demonstrated their merit by being awarded Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants from any federal agency.

The bill also authorizes a “Phase II” I-Corps program that would provide additional hands-on, immersive learning classes for participants who have already gone through the current I-Corps training. This “Phase II” course would help entrepreneurs develop business plans to the point where they are ready to attract venture capital funding.

“Training our most promising entrepreneurs to navigate the transition from the laboratory to the marketplace supports U.S.-grown startups and small businesses and increases our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Coons. “We wisely invest billions of taxpayer dollars every year into scientific research and development, and this legislation builds a bridge for our best research to directly benefit society.”

The bill text is available at bit.ly/2HbQFnO.