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America, the startup

About the author: Mike Farmer is the co-founder of Kansas City, Kan.-based startup Leap2Farmer (below) was invited to attend the signing of the JOBS Act on Thursday, and we asked Farmer to write about his experience.

Amazing day yesterday. Leap2 was one of 10 startups from across America that were invited to be a part of the signing of the JOBS Act.

During my day, I walked to the White House with the CEO of the Startup America Partnership, Scott Case, and it was during my walk that Scott and I talked about the Act and what it potentially meant for America.

To that end, I let him know that I spent several years in D.C. 16 years ago, and at that time I left feeling that there was little or no originality/innovation. Perhaps I was a bit idealistic at the time. But the fact that I would move to the Bay Area at the rise of the dot-com era — you can imagine the difference! Startups everywhere, innovation, IPOs, IPOs (OK, maybe too many).

So I reflected on this with Scott and told him it felt great that D.C. had come around and recognized the “entrepreneurial” spirit. To that end, he said, “You know, Mike, it’s always been there. Think about it, America after all, is a start-up, started by founders, just like Leap2.”

I thought a lot about that as we walked. America, the Startup.

Founding Fathers (Founders). Articles of Government (Incorporation for Startup). Constitution (Operating Agreement). And on and on.

Throughout the day at the White House, I really had a sense that when I told people that I was starting a company, people became VERY ENGAGED.

No I wasn’t with a think tank, a consultant, an analyst, iBanker, lawyer or staffer – just an entrepreneur. Correction – JUST AN ENTREPRENEUR. To feel this sense of belonging was incredible.

There almost seemed to be a bit of “Call to Arms” — people asking “how they can help,” “how’s your progress,” and most importantly “what are you building.”

Now that was cool.

Being at this historic signing of the JOBS Act, I had two distinct emotions. One was “honor,” to be amongst many amazing business leaders (like Steve Case), leadership from Congress (like Leader Cantor) and of course the President.

But even more than feeling “honored,” I felt “humbled” to be representing startups across the U.S.

There is a real hope with the JOBS Act, and potential legislation to follow, that entrepreneurs (like so many readers of Silicon Prairie News) will, in fact, lead the way to create the jobs that this country needs.

Here’s to America, the startup!


Here’s a video by Farmer documenting part of his experience:


Credits: Photos and video courtesy of Mike Farmer.

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