Engine (organization)

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Engine Advocacy
EstablishedSeptember 2011
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California
Marvin Ammori, Leah Belsky, Josh Mendelsohn, Derek Parham, Julie Samuels

Engine is a non-profit group advocating for public policies that encourage the growth of technology startups in San Francisco, California.[1][2] Engine is composed of a 501(c)(3) organization called Engine Research Foundation and a 501(c)(4) called Engine Advocacy.[3] Engine Advocacy and Engine Foundation are the two branches of a non-profit organization that conducts economic research and policy analysis research and provides support and advice to technology startups.[4] Engine Advocacy was an instrumental partner in the effort to defeat PIPA and SOPA back in 2012. The organization researches and advocates around the issues of open Internet, intellectual property reform, privacy laws, Internet and spectrum access and immigration reform.[5] Google, SV Angel, 500 Startups, Mozilla, Yelp and the Startup Genome support the organization.[6]


Engine Advocacy was founded in September 2011 to advocate for public policies that benefit the startup economy.[7][8][9] In December 2011, over 300 entrepreneurs and investors attended Engine Advocacy's first meeting.[7] Engine supported the 2011 Startup Visa Act, a proposed amendment to the United States immigration law to create a visa category for foreign entrepreneurs who have raised capital from qualified American investors and the Startup Act and Startup Act 2.0.[8] These pieces of legislation were intended to make the immigration process for entrepreneurs and startup employees easier.[8] In 2012, Mike McGeary represented Engine Advocacy at the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention.[9] Engine Advocacy was involved in stopping SOPA passing the JOBS Act that year.[9]

In April 2013, Engine Advocacy met with the United States House Committee on Small Business in Washington, D.C. to advocate for startups.[6] Engine advocacy supported #iMarch, a virtual march on Washington in support of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform in May 2013.[10] The organization launched the "Keep Us Here" campaign in June 2013.[11] The campaign aimed to facilitate communication between entrepreneurs, investors and D.C. policymakers with the use of a website that featured various methods of contact.[11] In 2013, Engine Advocacy mapped where technology jobs are located in the United States based on the United States Census.[12] The project's goal was to raise awareness of the technology industry's widespread impact.[12]

Engine Advocacy and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute organized a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission in May 2014 to express alarm over proposed net neutrality rules and urge regulators to protect Internet openness.[13][14][15][16]

Engine Advocacy appointed Julie Samuels as executive director and president in 2014.[17] Samuels served as a member of the board since the organization's foundation in 2011.[17]

In 2014, Engine Advocacy lobbied on behalf of more than 500 technology startups and investors.[18] In April of that year, Engine Advocacy hosted, along with the Consumer Electronics Association, a fly-in to Washington D.C. for tech entrepreneurs to lobby for patent reform.[19]


Engine Research Foundation has conducted original research on high-tech entrepreneurship. In 2012, Engine commissioned a study[20] on high-tech employment and wages in the United States from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute; the study found that the creation of one high tech job accounts for the creation of 4.3 other jobs in a local economy. A joint report with the Kauffman Foundation in 2013 found that high-tech startups are a key driver of job creation throughout the United States.[21]


  1. ^ Decker, Susan (2014-05-13). "Apple Among Most-Sued as Patent Shakedowns Skew Market". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  2. ^ Gustin, Sam (2014-05-24). "This Is How the Patent Trolls and Trial Lawyers Won". TIME. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  3. ^ Gita Gulati-Partee (2008-12-21). "Stoking the Nonprofit Advocacy Engine". Nonprofit Quarterly. Retrieved 10-02-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ Debra Thimmesch (September 25, 2015). "Shapeways Helping to Keep 3D Technology Open, the Web Neutral". Meckler Media. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Alex (2012-01-28). "Engine Advocacy Turns Tech Nerds Into Political Experts". Mashable. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  6. ^ a b Koetsier, John (2013-04-18). "Startups and immigration: 500 Startups, Google, and Creative Commons-backed Engine speaks to Congress". Venture Beat. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  7. ^ a b Downes, Larry (2012-01-05). "The new politics of Silicon Valley: Revenge of the nerds". cnet. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  8. ^ a b c Estabrook, Rachel (2013-02-12). "Engine founder advocates for immigration reform, saying Silicon Valley talent is at risk". Peninsula Press. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  9. ^ a b c McKenzie, Hamish (2012-09-07). "Startups Get Political: How Engine Advocacy Is Bridging Washington and the Valley". pandodaily. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  10. ^ Li, Anna (2013-05-23). "Silicon Valley execs share personal immigration woes at virtual #iMarch". Peninsula Press. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  11. ^ a b Hepler, Lauren (2013-06-06). "Here are the tech tools Silicon Valley hopes will sway the Senate on immigration". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  12. ^ a b Milian, Mark (2013-01-22). "Engine Advocacy group lobbies for startups". SFGate. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  13. ^ Gustin, Sam (2014-05-12). "FCC Net-Neutrality Plan in Chaos". TIME. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  14. ^ Kim, Anne L. (2014-05-08). "Will the FCC Delay Its Net Neutrality Vote?". Roll Call. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  15. ^ Selyukh, Alina (2014-05-07). "Tech companies urge U.S. FCC to scrap 'net neutrality' plan". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  16. ^ Smith, Ernie (2014-05-13). "What The Net Neutrality Debate Teaches About Advocacy In The 21st Century". Associations Now. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  17. ^ a b Loney, Michael (2014-03-05). "Julie Samuels joins Engine from EFF". Managing Intellectual Property. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  18. ^ Smith, Gerry (2014-05-02). "Tech Startups May Be The Last Line Of Defense For Net Neutrality". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
  19. ^ Megan R. Wilson; Kate Tummarello (04-07-2014). "Friction tests patent reform push". The Hill. Retrieved 10-02-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  20. ^ "Technology Works: High-Tech Employment and Wages in the United States" (PDF). December 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-27. Retrieved 10-02-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  21. ^ "Tech Starts: High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States". August 2013. Retrieved 10-02-2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)