This week, the White House announced the launch of the Startup America Partnership as part of President Obama’s national strategy to stimulate economic growth and the creation of quality jobs.
Chaired by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, CEO of Revolution LLC and chairman of the Case Foundation, the Partnership will receive launch funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation, and act as an independent private-sector alliance intended to dramatically increase the development, prevalence and success of innovative, high-growth U.S. firms. Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, will serve as a founding board member of the effort.
The Startup America Partnership will work closely with the White House to advance the goals of its Startup America initiative. The Partnership will bring together top entrepreneurs, start-up firm funders, CEOs, university presidents, foundations, and other leaders to help entrepreneurial companies start or grow. Partners (including corporations, foundations, startup funders, CEOs, and others) will contribute funds to existing proven models or develop new programs and efforts to help entrepreneurs.
To date, more than a dozen firms and organizations have joined the Startup America Partnership. They include the following commitments:
- Increased corporate investment and support for startups from companies such as Intel, HP, IBM, Facebook and others, including:
- Intel Capital will commit $200M of new investment in U.S. companies. Senior Intel leadership will also serve the Startup America Partnership and share best practices from years of successful programs designed to support Intel portfolio companies.
- IBM will invest $150 million in 2011 to fund programs that promote entrepreneurs and new business opportunities in the United States.
- HP is investing more than $4 million in 2011 in the HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE), a global program launched in 2007 that uses educational and technology outreach aimed at helping entrepreneurs and small business owners create and grow commercial opportunities.
- As part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment to encourage entrepreneurs, the company will launch Startup Days, a new series of 12 to 15 events around the country designed to provide entrepreneurs with access to expertise, resources and engineers to help accelerate their businesses.
- To foster entrepreneurship through higher education, as part of its overall $50 million commitment to entrepreneurship, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has announced a $5 million expansion of the Blackstone LaunchPad program piloted at two Detroit colleges. Based on a model created by the University of Miami, LaunchPad will be replicated over the next five years in five other distressed regions around the country.
- The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a nonprofit that provides entrepreneurship education for at-risk high school students from low-income communities, is launching new programs supporting young entrepreneurs and their teachers. Ernst & Young LLP will honor NFTE youth entrepreneurs at regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award® galas across the country, bringing important attention to the next generation of young entrepreneurs. The Pearson Foundation is working with NFTE to build its Digital Teacher Network, a free online community for teacher collaboration and training that will be used not only by NFTE’s 5,000 certified teachers but also by any educator interested in entrepreneurship. Google is sponsoring two new efforts in NFTE’s Bay Area programs: The Flat Classroom Exchange will allow local educators to team-teach the NFTE program in real time and leverage each teacher’s individual expertise, while the Makers Class project will integrate NFTE’s curriculum with invention and engineering lessons. New Markets Education Partners is providing NFTE with seed capital to launch in 2011 an interactive, online business planning course and social network connecting mentors, teachers, and students.
The Startup America Partnership will continue to marshal private-sector resources to spur entrepreneurship in the U.S. with a focus on three key areas:
- Acceleration and Scale: Replicate successful community-based entrepreneurship accelerator programs; encourage increase in experienced mentors to support startups and encourage partnerships with large companies to serve as customers or funders of current firms.
- Education: Identify resources to help expand high-impact entrepreneurship education throughout the country
- Commercialization: Increase the number of colleges and universities committed to commercialization outcomes, through efforts that include clearing the path to market for primary research, supporting the extension of successful accelerator programs, and spurring regional ecosystem development, faculty engagement, and streamlined technology licensing.
For more information about the Startup America Partnership and to see a full list of partner commitments, visit www.startupamericapartnership.org.
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.
She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.
Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.
Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.