Startup America Charged with Spurring Entrepreneurialism

A public-private initiative bringing together entrepreneurs, startup funders, CEOs, university presidents, foundations, and other leaders to help companies launch or grow kicked off this week with an announcement from the White House.

The Startup America Partnership will receive funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation, and work toward increasing the development, prevalence, and success of innovative, high-growth U.S. firms.

“Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country,” said President Obama on Monday. “And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs.”

Startup America’s specific goals include:

  • • Expanding access to capital for high-growth startups throughout the country;
  • • Expanding entrepreneurship education and mentorship programs that empower more Americans not just to get a job, but to create jobs;
  • • Strengthening commercialization of nearly $148 billion in annual federally-funded research and development, which can generate innovative startups and entirely new industries;
  • • Identifying and removing unnecessary barriers to high-growth startups; and
  • • Expanding collaborations between large companies and startups.

To date, more than a dozen firms and organizations have joined Startup America and pledged considerable contributions.

For instance, Intel Capital says it will commit $200 million worth of new investment in U.S. companies and senior leadership will share best practices from years of successful programs designed to support Intel portfolio companies.

Additionally, HP is investing more than $4 million this year in the HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs, a global program launched in 2007 that uses educational and technology outreach to help entrepreneurs and small business owners create and grow commercial opportunities.

Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, CEO of Revolution LLC, and chairman of the Case Foundation, will chair Startup America, while Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, will serve as a founding board member.

“America’s story has been forged in large part by entrepreneurs who have, against great odds, created innovative products and services that have changed the world− and created millions of jobs,” Case said.

“Our nation once again looks to these creative risk-takers to unleash the next wave of American innovation, and I am pleased that President Obama has made supporting and celebrating entrepreneurs a major priority of his economic strategy,” he continued. “I am honored to chair the Startup America Partnership, and look forward to working with the White House to champion the creation of new startups and help accelerate the growth of speedups.”

To learn more about the Startup America Partnership, visit StartupAmericaPartnership.org.