New York, March 21, 2012 – The NYSE Big StartUpSM, a nationwide jobs-growth initiative designed to connect young companies and entrepreneurs with corporate America, was launched today by NYSE Euronext (NYX) in collaboration with Accion, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and The Startup America Partnership. The program calls on the nation’s corporate community to lend support, experience and resources to startups and small companies to improve procurement, networking, business development, training, marketing and information sharing. Yelp (NYSE: YELP), LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are among the first corporations to participate in this endeavor. In addition to information and events to be provided as part of the initiative, a microfinance program called the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund, started with a $1.5 million commitment by NYSE Euronext, will provide small businesses and startups with the capital and support they need to grow.
The NYSE Big StartUp is unique in its comprehensive approach to promoting job growth through small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. The program helps to promote the increased demand for goods and services that these growing companies need, while also mobilizing the corporate sector to contribute knowledge, expertise and funding where it can be critical to job creation.
“America is looking for ways to create jobs and we believe part of the answer lies in nurturing the small business community,” said Duncan L. Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext. “Business leaders cannot wait for Washington to have all the answers, so our idea, The NYSE Big StartUp, is aimed at encouraging bigger companies to help small companies. NYSE Euronext is uniquely positioned at the center of capital markets to bring our community and partners together to fuel job growth. We are calling on established companies to direct their purchasing power to small companies. In addition, we are launching new training, mentoring and education programs for entrepreneurs, as well as the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund to help ensure that capital is available to those least able to access it from traditional sources.”
Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund
Accion is the largest microfinance lending network in the U.S. and has provided loans and support to hundreds of thousands of enterprising individuals in the U.S. The Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund officially launches today through a $1.5 million commitment from NYSE Euronext, and is now open for corporate contributors and small business applicants. The funding will be leveraged at a 4.5:1 ratio, enabling an even greater impact. Information on the Accion NYSE Job Growth Fund can be accessed and donations can be made at http://us.accion.org/.
“Small businesses are critical to job growth and to our economy’s recovery,” said Gina Harman, President and CEO of Accion, The U.S. Network. “At Accion, we have been working alongside determined, hard-working business owners for over 20 years, creating innovative ways to remove key obstacles to their success and ensure they have the access to capital and the business support programs they need. We applaud NYSE Euronext for initiating The NYSE Big StartUp and urge corporations to contribute to the fund so that we canprovide access to opportunity for the millions of small businesses in the U.S. capable of generating new jobs.”
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), a global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries, serves as a catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from their peers’ ideas and experiences. EO’s role in the NYSE Big StartUp will include special focus on its Accelerator program, which through events and other outreach efforts fuels growth of earlier-stage entrepreneurs, provides mentors and training for EO’s broader pool of entrepreneurs, and connects the EO network with the corporate supply chains.
“Entrepreneurs generate innovation, create jobs and drive economic prosperity,” said Bob Strade, Executive Director, EO. “Both NYSE Euronext and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization recognize the critical role that business owners play in society, which is why this partnership is such a natural fit. By focusing on combining the resources of both NYSE-listed companies and entrepreneurial firms to create jobs, we will work together towards a more robust economy.”
The Startup America Partnership
The Startup America Partnership, of which NYSE Euronext is a proud sponsor, brings together an alliance of major corporations including NYSE Euronext, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of high-growth startups in the U.S. The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in early 2011. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership, Priceline.com founding CTO Scott Case is the chief executive and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are the founding sponsors.
“Providing startups with access to large companies that could be potential customers, partners or advisors will be an incredible growth driver for young companies,” said Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “NYSE Euronext is stepping up in a huge way to take the lead on making this idea a reality and we could not be more excited to collaborate with them on this important project.”
Corporate Connections and Engagement
The NYSE Big StartUp’s corporate connections program locally and nationally will provide “live” and “virtual” events, learning and mentoring experiences, conferences and roundtables, webcasts, and relationship-building opportunities. The Corporate Connections platform, a secure and confidential web portal that is part of the Startup America Partnership, will help drive increased demand for the goods and services of America’s startups and entrepreneurs by providing an easy forum for corporations to review and consider pre-screened small businesses and entrepreneurs for potential new business and supplier relationships. Corporations can expand their supply chain and vendor networks, and also provide startups and entrepreneurs with access to support services including accounting, finance, legal and logistics as well as valuable guidance on sales and marketing, website construction, business operations and more. The initiative will also build on NYSE Euronext’s role as an active advocate for investors and companies small and large on key policy and regulatory matters, especially those focused on enterprise growth, capital formation and job creation.
“Connecting corporate America to young growth businesses and entrepreneurs is a powerful combination,” said Scott Cutler, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of U.S. Listings and Cash
Among the initial companies pledging support and participation in The NYSE Big StartUp is Yelp Inc., a leading innovator whose website connects people with great local businesses. Yelp will leverage platform insights and marketing best practices to develop programs that help local businesses engage in an online dialog with their consumers, and provide companies with practical mentoring and networking opportunities. Yelp is a great example of what can happen when the entrepreneurial spirit meets solid execution and a commitment to quality products. With their global recognition as a successful Silicon Valley company, Yelp is positioned to share its growth experience and evolution from startup to public company status to both educate and inspire others.
"Yelp has redefined how consumers discover local businesses, which has created opportunities and challenges for business owners as they get up to speed on the new rules of online consumer engagement," said Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-founder and CEO, Yelp. "Helping businesses understand and take advantage of these opportunities to interact with existing and potential customers is an important part of our business education programs, and we're thrilled that through this partnership we will be able to increase the reach and awareness of the best social media practices to help local businesses accelerate their growth. For Yelp, growing from our launch in San Francisco seven years ago to the more than 70 markets we now serve around the world has taught us a few lessons, as well, and we look forward to sharing them with other companies engaged in a similar journey."
LinkedIn intends to create a group for The NYSE Big StartUp that will enable participants to connect with one another, engage in online conversations, encourage companies to form their own groups to connect with startups and entrepreneurs, and share insights and advice throughout the LinkedIn community.
Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed. With over 45,000 startups from 100 countries in the program and a global network of 2,300 BizSpark partners, Microsoft provides great business value to young technology companies around the world. At no cost, the program provides a wide range of Microsoft technology, technical and business expertise, and enhanced market visibility.
“Startups are incredibly vital to a vibrant economy and very fragile. Through the Microsoft BizSpark program we work with thousands of startups to help them grow their businesses by providing access to technology, market visibility, mentoring and inclusion in the growing BizSpark entrepreneurial community,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. “We are looking forward to adding our energy and assets to this exciting collaborative effort between NYSE Euronext, Accion, Entrepreneur’s Organization and The Startup America Partnership where we are a leading sponsor.”
Become the Startup or Entrepreneur to Ring the NYSE Bell
Small business owners and startups have an exciting opportunity to win a chance to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on May 15, 2012. Through April 15, current or new members of The Startup AmericaPartnership and EOare eligible to submit entries that will be judged by the organizations with two winners announced on May 10. To get started and for more information visit the NYSE Euronext Facebook page.
Interested in The NYSE Big StartUp?
For more information on the NYSE Big StartUp and how to engage with the partnership or to access a list of programs and events, please visit: www.nysebigstartup.com.
Check out The NYSE Big StartUp partnership video: http://youtu.be/XukU_PPMJwc
As the largest and only nationwide microlending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with financing and the support it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. We stand behind every small business owner as they achieve success, so that businesses – and entire communities – see real and lasting impact.
With over 20 years of experience, Accion has made over 44,000 loans totaling over $320 million since we opened our doors in the United States. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of business owners across the nation count on Accion for the access to financial services they need to keep their businesses working and growing. For more information about Accion, visit http://us.accion.org/.
About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a dynamic global network of more than 8,000 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, the year 2012 marks EO’s 25th anniversary. With its transformative experiences and unparalleled peer network, EO transforms the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Membership in one of EO’s 120 chapters is by invitation only; the average member is 41 years old with annual revenues of US$17.3 million. For more information on EO, visit www.eonetwork.org or call +1.703.519.6700.
About The Startup America Partnership
The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in response to President Obama’s call to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. The Partnership is bringing together an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of high-growth enterprises in the U.S. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are founding partners. American Airlines, American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., Microsoft and NYSE Euronext are sponsors. The Partnership will identify, measure and report on the effectiveness of cross-sector collaboration in support of entrepreneurial ventures and its effect on job creation and growth. For more information on the Partnership, visit www.s.co and follow us at www.twitter.com/startupamerica andwww.facebook.com/startupamerica.
About NYSE Euronext
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