Is an innovation bill around the corner?
According to Steve Felice, president and chief commercial officer of Dell, there is reason to be optimistic.
Speaking to a large group of government and private sector information technology enthusiasts at FedTalks 2013 on Wednesday at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., Felice encouraged government to adopt a program Dell has successfully implemented called the Entrepreneur in Residence Program. The initiative is aimed at infusing entrepreneurs into an organization to provide a fresh perspective, helping break down silos and spur creative ideas.
“There is a linkage between what’s going on in government and how we create jobs, and it really comes from innovation,” Felice said.
Because two-thirds of all jobs created come from small businesses, Dell created a program to get them access to funding, including extending credit to venture capitalists willing to help launch innovative ideas into motion. Thus far, 80 companies have taken advantage of the opportunity, helping Dell gain clients and small businesses attain the requisite capital.
Felice hopes to unleash this entrepreneurial spirit in the public sector by pushing forward a bill to create an EIR program for government. The bill would begin with 30 EIRs, assigned to various agencies on a volunteer basis. Felice said Dell has a high degree of confidence the volunteer clause will not be an issue because entrepreneurs are eager to give back. EIRs would advise agencies on how to do transformation faster, bring in their network of ideas, a new perspective and break through barriers.
Felice is optimistic the bill can pass, saying he has a representative from California who is going to sponsor it and has found bipartisan support in Congress.