Entrepreneurs are positive about the tech sector but also say the government could boost the potential for growth and success in the “innovation economy” by addressing specific policy needs, says a new survey.

Silicon Valley Bank, which works with venture capitalists and the tech sector around the world, surveyed 270 U.S. based, privately held and in most cases backed by venture capital, and its 2012 outlook report cited seven policy areas that they believe need  to be addressed in order to optimize growth:

  • Intellectual property protection (62%)
  • Controlling healthcare costs (52%)
  • Improving the regulatory environment (49%)
  • International trade/ market access (42%)
  • Implementing healthcare reform (37%)
  • Immigration reform (34%)

“By amplifying the voices and ideas of entrepreneurs and startups we believe we can help the U.S. create a stronger, more competitive economic environment over the long-term,” said Mary Dent, General Counsel and head of government relations for Silicon Valley Bank.

“Our findings show that the U.S. has unique strengths that will be hard for other countries to replicate, and real opportunities for job creation and economic growth. But we also see warning signs for issues that, left unaddressed, could impact the country’s position as the leader in an innovation economy. We have a choice, as a country: we can survive based on our inherent strengths, or we can thrive by optimizing our policies and workforce to meet the needs of our evolving economy.”

Read more about the survey here.