Despite what many of us might think, there are a lot fewer startups than there used to be. According to the Brookings Institution, the number of fledgling companies is in decline across nearly every industry in the United States. Overall, that drop in numbers adds to a pattern of declining startup numbers over the past 13 years.

And this is a problem for all of us, because as startups’ percentage of the economy grows smaller and smaller, they become less of a true economic-growth engine.

Surprisingly, one segment here -- the one that includes collaboration between startups and local governments -- hasn’t stalled at all in terms of numbers. And atitudes have become more collaborative. But these partnerships aren't panning out in the long run. So, why is that? And how do we get things back on track?

...