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‘Startup America’ Building Support Network For Entrepreneurs Beyond Silicon Valley

/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/open_198000.jpgSmall businesses account for nearly two-thirds of net new job creation. And they innovate more than large businesses do, generating 13 times more patents per employee. That’s according to AOL founder Steve Case in a recent interview about “Restarting the US small-business growth engine.”

That’s why Steve Case, the Kauffman Foundation and fellow entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Reed Hastings of Netflix and others launched Startup America.

Startup America’s mission is to build a national network of high growth startup communities so entrepreneurs can support other entrepreneurs — not just in Silicon Valley but all over the United States.

New businesses are springing up everywhere — from Vermont to Oregon. What Startup America does is build a community of entrepreneurial leaders, founders, investors, mentors and executives to stimulate growth locally. It’s like a creative form of economic gardening.

Each Startup America region has a champion to organize boot camps that teach the stages of entrepreneurship, from idea to launch and beyond. Local experts mentor those starting out – or even starting again, as many entrepreneurs do before they achieve long-term success.

Startup Champions also engage business incubators and corporations to lend support and get involved.

In a related program, the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE Euronext) launched the NYSE Big StartUp. That program connects entrepreneurs and young companies with corporate America. Its goal is to marry small company innovation with large company knowledge, expertise and funding to create even more jobs.

To enable that, NYSE Euronext and Startup America offer a free technology platform called Corporate Connections.

Corporate Connections is like an online dating service where fast growing startups and large corporations can “meet” to explore a business relationship, new product ideas – even a “marriage.” Startups are screened to ensure trusted introductions for corporate participants, which include GE, Coca Cola, Walmart and others.

The NYSE Big StartUp partners with two other non-profits to provide capital and networking resources. Accion brings the nation’s largest microfinance lending network and Entrepreneurs’ Organization brings a global business network from 40 countries.

What’s unique about Startup America and the NYSE Big StartUp is that they offer resources nationally but deliver them locally, in a community of peers and experts who share the passion. And those resources support young businesses end-to-end, from mentoring to capital to corporate opportunity.

As someone who’s worked with young entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Kazakhstan, I was delighted to learn about Startup America and the NYSE Big StartUp. So I too got involved!

What a great way to help sprinkle the Silicon Valley magic on our startup communities everywhere!

Follow @JacquelnVanacek for how technology transforms government and the economy.

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      Author's profile photo Derek Klobucher
      Derek Klobucher

      Thank you for telling us about these promising new programs, Jacqueline. How has your involvement with Startup America and NYSE Big StartUp differed from your work in Silicon Valley and Kazakhstan?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for your question, Derek. Startup America is a private organization established by prominent VCs to support high growth startups. Several of them work closely with the White House and Congress on policy changes to support U.S. entrepreneurship to spur job growth. In other parts of the world, such a public/private partnership can be a model for similar efforts desired in the EU and Asia. The two most noteworthy trends I see in public sector today are

      a) Silicon Valley is growing leaps and bounds in political influence and activism, and

      b) ROW is using cloud, mobile, social and big data to carve out their piece of an ICT opportunity for economic growth.

      Kazakhstan is just one example, and I met with a new Angels Executive from there just this week! This IT inflection point truly is a "next Internet" in size and disruption -- fascinating to be a part of it!