Small Innovative Company Growth—Barriers, Best Practices and Big Ideas: Lessons from the 3D Printing Industry

Mark Harrison, January 2015

What challenges confront entrepreneurs and small high-growth firms as they attempt to commercialize innovative products and services? This report examines barriers hindering the growth and development of small innovative companies. It illustrates these issues in a case study of one industry—3D printing/advanced manufacturing. And it identifies a set of 11 barriers to small innovative company growth. For each of these barriers, the report presents:

  • What We Heard—Describing the input from entrepreneurs, private industry and other participants in the innovation ecosystem as a result of Advocacy’s outreach efforts;
  • Best Practices—Identifying best practices or recent activities around an identified barrier; and
  • Big Ideas and Recommendations—Highlighting policies or programs that should be considered by the federal government to overcome such barriers.