Startup America Year in Review
As we hit the holidays and get ready to ring in the New Year, we thought we’d take a look back at 2011 and the strides the Startup America Partnership has taken since launch. Here we go!
On January 31st, the Startup America Partnership was announced at the White House, with our Chairman Steve Case signing on and the Kauffman and Case Foundations stepping up as the founding sponsors.
The next month, we announced that Scott Case (again, no relation to Steve!) would be coming on board as our CEO to lead the charge! Scott officially joined in mid-March, but wasted no time diving in when he headed to DEMO a week or so prior to his official start!
Our first big round of partners was announced in April, with American Express, Ernst and Young, First Data, Intuit, Microsoft and others committing to offer $400 million in unique services and resources to America’s startups.
Our very first region, Startup Illinois, was launched in May with Governor Quinn and Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts space in downtown Chicago. The same week, we headed to TiECon and captured videos of tons of great entrepreneurs, including Dropbox’s Drew Houston and Wildfire’s Victoria Ransom.
Startup Tennessee quickly followed suit in June, launching at Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center with Governor Haslam. We also headed to the inaugural CGI America to lead the startup track. We brought in four startup teams from across the country to the event, one of whom was able to pitch President Clinton at the final keynote!
In early September, we hosted Mega Startup Weekend at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus. Over 300 entrepreneurs got together for a crazy weekend of building companies- more than 30 companies focused on Healthcare, Education and Gaming were created. One company from each category then immediately joined us at DEMO, where we announced the launch of our platform that enables startups to get access to our partners’ resources. We also solidified another $330 million in offeringsfrom new partners including Dell, Dun and Bradstreet and LeadMaster.
The Northeast stepped up in October, with Startup Connecticut and Startup Massachusetts both launching. In conjunction with General Electric, we also kicked off our Startup-Corporate Connection Program, which asks large corporations to commit to helping America’s startups.
This month, we hosted our first in-person board meeting at the White House, where we announced that we’ve secured over $1.2 Billion in partners resources, with companies like Emma, NetSuite and Regus joining us. Our board met with President Obama and key administration officials to discuss how startups are the key to job creation in our country. And finally, Startup Iowa was the 8thand final Startup Region to kick off for the year.
Whew! It’s been a heck of a year for the Startup America Partnership, but we’ve still got our work cut out for us. In early January, we’ll be focusing on recruiting startups with our Master Challenge. We’ll also be joining a few of our Startup America Firms at CES’s Eureka Park, and stay tuned for our big plans for SXSW in March!
Happy holidays and here’s to starting up America in 2012!