General Electric CEO tells UW Regents about need for growth

General Electric CEO Immelt says US needs more innovation, start-up companies

General Electric Co. chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt says the United States needs more startup companies and innovation to compete with the rest of the world.

Immelt made the comments Friday at a meeting of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents.

He said the U.S.’s biggest problem is that it’s economy is not growing fast enough. He says there needs to be more startup companies, more risk capital and less government regulation.

Immelt said that while the U.S. graduates about 135,000 engineers a year now, there is capacity to employ about 500,000.

Immelt had breakfast with Gov. Scott Walker and UW regents prior to the meeting. His comments were briefly interrupted by a protester as he began his nearly hour-long speech.