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Venture Hall Selected to Help Form First-Ever Kauffman Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network

Mike Sobol Innovation Ecosystem, Startup News, Venture Hall News 0 Comments

Selected as one of six entrepreneurial support organizations nationwide, Venture Hall will receive grant to serve as policy advocate for entrepreneurs.

Portland, Maine (Jan. 11. 2018) – Venture Hall announced today that it has been selected as a grant recipient to form the first-ever Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network, an alliance of organizations that will bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates at the state level.

Venture Hall is one of six entrepreneurial support organizations selected from an invitation-only nationwide RFP process. The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network seeks to remove barriers to new business creation and entrepreneurial success by improving public policy at the state level. Applicants included nonprofit and for-profit organizations that provide technical assistance, access to finance, education and other resources to entrepreneurs.

“This first-ever Kauffman policy advocacy RFP drew strong interest among entrepreneur support organizations,” said Jason Wiens, policy director at the Kauffman Foundation. Venture Hall recognizes the role public policy can play in removing barriers to entrepreneurship so that more makers, doers and dreamers can pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.”

Among other actions, grant recipients will:

  • Identify state policies that inhibit entrepreneurship,
  • Educate policymakers about the impact of those policies in erecting barriers to entrepreneurship,
  • Build support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship generally, and
  • Facilitate informational interactions between policymakers and entrepreneurs.

“We are incredibly excited by this support from the Kauffman Foundation for the Maine Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.” said Jess Knox, President, Venture Hall. “Through convening events, supporting deeper analyses, and catalyzing conversations, we are optimistic about the positive impact this initiative will have on reducing barriers for innovators and entrepreneurs across Maine.”

Entrepreneurs are the beating heart of the American economy, but they typically are too busy building their businesses to make their voices heard in public policy, resulting in more barriers to new business creation and waning business startup rates. The Kauffman Foundation is forming the Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network to bring the voices of entrepreneurs to policy debates by empowering the support organizations that champion them.

Supporting Venture Hall in this effort is an advisory board including the following people:
Amy Volk – Senate Assistant Republican Leader (R-Part of Cumberland County)
Heather Sanborn – Representative  (D-Portland)
Martin Grohman – Representative (I-Biddeford)
Jason Levesque – Mayor of Auburn
Pious Ali – Portland City Councilor
Dr. Jennifer Monti – Entrepreneur; Founder, Shock Analytics; Cardiologist, Maine Medical Center
Martha Bentley – Maine Technology Institute
Lance Dutson – Principal, Red Hill Strategies
David Farmer – Managing Director, Bernstein Shur Group
Maggie Drummond-Bahl – Maine Community Foundation

The Entrepreneurs’ Policy Network is part of the Kauffman Foundation’s Zero Barriers movement, which seeks to identify and remove barriers to new business creation.


About Venture Hall

Venture Hall ( ) is an educational not-for-profit that supports the development and success of high-growth and high-aspiration companies.  Through a range of programs, trainings and events, Venture Hall convenes the necessary talent, insights, connections and capital entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves, their teams and their products to make an impact on their chosen markets.

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

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