Removing Barriers to Innovation

May 22, 2024 | In The News, Press Release, Uncategorized

May 22, 2024


Contact: Courtney Gustafson

[email protected]

Removing Barriers to Innovation

IRG report shows how to make Wisconsin a national leader in innovation and technology

Delafield, WI – The Institute for Reforming Government (IRG) released a new report discussing the utility of regulatory sandboxes to spur innovation, empower entrepreneurs, and help solve the kitchen table issues facing average Wisconsinites. Sandboxes are a fast-spreading cutting edge reform that give problem solvers the flexibility to create products and services that would otherwise be hampered by antiquated state laws and rules. The report released today provides a detailed overview of Wisconsin’s regulatory environment and how we can become a national leader in innovation and technology.

The Bottom Line. Wisconsin is the 12th most regulated state in the nation according to the Mercatus Center. Ranking 44th in affordability when starting a new business, Wisconsin is increasingly unattractive to start-ups, tech entrepreneurs, and innovators. This is evidenced by Wisconsin ranking 47th in 2021 for its rate of entrepreneurship and ranking 45th in share of private sector jobs held at new businesses. We lack the ability to attract these creative problem solvers and retain those already here despite the state committing $80 million for venture capital in 2023

The Solution. Creating a regulatory sandbox solves this problem. In this model, innovators with a new product or service that does not fit into current rules can have those regulations waived for a set period of time. During the waiver period, the state would have oversight to ensure public safety. There are currently 14 states that have implemented this bipartisan reform.

“The biggest barrier to the next life changing innovation is an antiquated and out-dated regulatory environment. Revolutionary products and services will not fit nicely under rules written in the 20th century. Regulatory sandboxes allow for innovative solutions in every industry to be tested in the real world, while still ensuring that those charged with maintaining health and safety have oversight.”

Alex Ignatowski

Director of State Budget and Government Reform

Why it Matters. Wisconsin’s antiquated regulatory system holds back innovators and the creative solutions they could have to everyday issues. This reform has the potential to remove these barriers, and unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs to solve issues in health care, education, childcare, and artificial intelligence. 


The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.

To learn more about the Institute for Reforming Government, click here.