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Hillary Clinton tries to win over Silicon Valley with new tech platform

Hillary Clinton released her tech platform on Tuesday, outlining her vision for technology and innovation in the United States. 

The platform is comprehensive, addressing topics such as patents, surveillance and STEM education. Clinton is also focusing on bringing high-speed broadband to all Americans – and to more public places – as well as continued support for Net Neutrality.

But some of the more interesting aspects of Clinton’s platform are focused on entrepreneurship.

And this is where the Clinton campaign is making a big play for Silicon Valley.

According to the latest CrowdPAC figures, Clinton’s campaign has raised $2.7 million from the technology sector. Granted, that’s much higher than the $22,000 raised by Donald Trump – but Clinton’s opponent in the primary, Bernie Sanders, managed to raise $6 million from the tech industry. 

That is less than President Barack Obama, who, as noted by Newsweek, managed to raise more than $13 million from Silicon Valley leading up to the 2012 election.

So it makes sense that Clinton would want to appeal directly to Silicon Valley with a few of her tech platform initiatives.

Take her proposal to defer student loans for entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses. Citing figures that show that fewer millennials are starting businesses than their predecessors, Clinton’s platform calls for letting entrepreneurs defer student loan debt for three years while they start their business. Clinton’s platform will also “explore a similar deferment incentive not just to founders of enterprises, but to early joiners – such as the first 10 or 20 employees.”

Clinton is also proposing to offer forgiveness for up to $17,500 in student loan debt after five years for entrepreneurs who launch businesses in distressed communities or that focus on social good.

An issue that Mark Zuckerberg’s has focused on is making it easier for foreign founders and tech workers to immigrate to the United States.

Clinton’s tech platform is aimed directly at that concern and has provisions focused on cleaning up the visa backlogs “that prevent high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs from coming to, staying in, and creating jobs in America.”

Clinton’s plan would, in her campaign’s words, “‘staple’ a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions—enabling international students who complete degrees in these fields to move to green card status.”

Moreover, Clinton supports start-up visas (which also advocates for) that would encourage top entrepreneurs from outside the U.S. to build their companies here. There would be provisions – immigrating entrepreneurs would need to have a financial commitment from U.S. investors before getting the visa and would have to commit to creating a certain number of jobs in the United States – but overall it would be a very tech-friendly immigration policy decision. 

Will this get Silicon Valley donating

The big question is whether Clinton’s platform will help win her financial backers from Silicon Valley.

We won’t know the answer until we’re further along in the election cycle, but it’s clear Clinton is going after the power players in Silicon Valley – and the tech sector in general – in a very big way.

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